Category Archives: Uncategorized

We welcome Dr. Katie Smallwood to our practice!

Georgetown Pediatrics is once again expanding our staff so that we may better serve our patients. Dr. Katie Smallwood recently joined our practice after completing medical school and residency at the University of Kentucky. At UK she was a recipient of several awards, including the John H. Githens Award for Excellence in Pediatrics.

Having grown up in a small town in eastern Kentucky, Dr. Smallwood searched for a practice with a strong sense of community. She felt that Georgetown Pediatrics was the perfect fit as the physicians and staff are not only dedicated to providing comprehensive care to their patients and families, but are also very connected to the local community. This connection is an attribute of our practice we’re proud of, and we are excited that Dr. Smallwood appreciates those same values.

Dr. Smallwood, her husband Brett, and their dogs, Callie and Potato, love living in Georgetown and continuing to explore their new surroundings.

Call our office to schedule an appointment with our newest physician.

 

 

Whooping cough–don’t take it lightly

Whooping cough.  It sounds like one of those old-fashioned diseases that shouldn’t be around anymore.  In reality, it’s as modern as today’s news, and more common than you might think.

The good news is that it’s mostly preventable and treatable; the bad news is that it’s still a dangerous disease, especially for the very young.

A few confirmed cases of whooping cough (pertussis) in the Scott County Schools have spurred us to remind you of the dangers of this disease.

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection whose most striking symptom is described in its name—a loud, persistent cough that doesn’t easily go away.  In an older child, there is a “whooping” sound made as the child tries to catch her breath between coughs.  Infants may not “whoop,” but you should call the pediatrician if your infant has a persistent cough that seems to exhaust him, and his appetite has decreased.

This disease affects the lining of the bronchial tubes , and is very contagious because the vigorous coughing disperses the bacteria into the air.  Anyone of any age can get it, but it’s most dangerous among the very young.

Infants and young children, in particular, can develop life-threatening illnesses from whooping cough, including pneumonia. Hospitalization is often required.  This means that they, and the people around them, should be immunized.

          We cannot stress enough the importance of getting the appropriate immunizations at the right agesThe pertussis vaccine doesn’t last forever, and must be taken at intervals to be effective.

  • Children should have a total of 5 pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines before they start school.
  • The youngest children are at highest risk and the most vulnerable to this disease, and should have vaccines at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of age.
  • Booster shots are given at 12-18 months, and
    again at 4-5 years of age.
  • The College of Gynecology and Obstetrics recommends that pregnant women receive a pertussis vaccine with each pregnancy to reduce the chances of whooping cough in their newborn.
  • Caregivers and other adults who live or work with infants should also be re-immunized, because they’ve lost immunity from their childhood vaccines.  They may not even realize they have whooping cough, because symptoms are not as severe.  It may simply feel like a lingering cough from a cold, but they can transmit it to the children in their care.

When should you bring your child to the pediatrician for whooping cough?  If he has cold symptoms, and you notice that the cough is worsening at about the time when it should be getting better, call our office for an immediate appointment.

There is a test we can do in the office, but it has to be sent to a lab, which takes several days.  In the meantime, if the pediatrician suspects pertussis, your child will be started on a five-day course of antibiotics.  The child is considered contagious and should not return to school or daycare until the five-day course has been completed.

To read more, check out this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Also, see our Facebook November 8 reposting of an article from two years ago by our own Dr. Hambrick.  The experience of one of his own children having been made dangerously sick by this disease makes him particularly diligent in trying to keep your child healthy.artwork by Macy

 

 
artwork by Macy

© 2013, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

When is a fever something to be concerned about?

That’s a great question, because we probably get more calls about fevers than about anything else.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a brief article about fever and treating it, reminding parents that fever is the body’s way of fighting an illness, and the reason to treat it is to make the child more comfortable.  They emphasize:

  • watching for signs of serious illness;
  • being careful of dosage amount based on the child’s weight;
  • keeping the child well-hydrated;
  • storing the medication in a safe place;
  • not waking the child up to administer the medication.

So, what should you be watching for, and when do you call the pediatrician?  Here we’ve quoted a list from the same article that we think is quite helpful:

“Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fever and

  • Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy.
  • Has been in a very hot place, such as an overheated car.
  • Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids.
  • Has had a seizure.
  • Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher.
  • Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age.

“Also call your child’s doctor if

  • Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down.
  • Your child seems to be getting worse.
  • The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
  • The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older.”

Don’t forget:  since a fever is a sign of an illness, do NOT send your child back to school/daycare until his temperature has been under 101 for 24 hours.

Together, we’ll work at keeping your child healthy.

Artwork by Tori

Artwork by Tori

 

© 2013, MBS Writing Services.