Category Archives: winter

Stomach virus season


Yes, we’re starting to see some fall/winter viruses that cause gastrointestinal (GI) problems. By the end of winter, Rotavirus will have been our most common offender, but now that kids are back in school, lots of viruses are happy. Families who get the viruses… not so much.


GI viruses like school, daycare and home settings because these places have children who haven’t always learned good hygiene practices. Prevention is always the best action against these diseases, so don’t forget to CLEAN door handles, toilet seats, other bathroom surfaces, television remotes. Also be sure to wash hands before cooking, serving and eating food.


Another way to hinder a virus is to keep your child home when she’s sick, preventing the spread to other children and adults. That may have been where she came into contact with the virus. Let’s not spread the “love.”


When can you send him back to school or daycare? Make sure he has been fever free for 24 hours (without a fever reducer), is able to tolerate small amounts of bland foods, has gone at least 12 hours since his last episode of vomiting and has had no more than 3 episodes of diarrhea in 8 hours.


Contact our office if diarrhea and vomiting don’t subside within three days or if diarrhea is bloody, if there’s been no urine output for 10 hours, or if the fever is high or doesn’t subside. We have a nurse available for advice on the phone, and we often can call in prescriptions for nausea for older children, unless we think they need to be seen in the office first.


More information? See our blog from last spring which includes a link to the American Academy of Pediatrics article on Rotavirus. Also, our blog regarding when to be concerned about a fever.


Stay healthy this winter!




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Flu vaccinations are working

Having encouraged all of you to be vaccinated against the flu, we think this is a good time to give you a local update.

Here are some very interesting statistics:

  • So far this season, Georgetown Pediatrics has administered 4200 doses of flu vaccine, including both shots and nasal mist.
  • We have had 76  positive flu tests in our office.  Of those 76, one was influenza type B, one was both influenza A and B, and 74 were influenza type A (H1N1).
  • Only 22 patients who received flu vaccine in our office also tested positive in our office for the flu.  Of course, some patients may have been diagnosed with the flu elsewhere or had the flu and weren’t diagnosed at all, or some may have received the vaccine elsewhere.  Even so, we are happy to note that only 1 in 190 patients who received our vaccines tested positive for flu here.


The bottom line is that flu vaccine works.

Something else you should know:  it isn’t too late to get the vaccine.  Even if you’ve already had the flu, it was likely type A, and you can still contract type B.  Both types are covered by the vaccines.  Once kids are back in school after these snow days the virus is bound to be spread more.
We often see cases of influenza B all the way until spring break, so don’t hesitate to come in.  Just remember that if you receive the nasal mist you will test positive for the flu for about two weeks, because it’s a live vaccine and the test is a nasal swab.

As winter drags on, you may not be able to stop the snow and ice, but you can certainly lower the risk of your family getting the flu.


© 2013, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

Fact or fiction: a few winter health myths

Do you remember all those things your grandmother taught you about staying healthy in the winter?  Many of them hold true (chicken soup really is good for you!), but there are some commonly held beliefs about cold weather and health that just don’t hold up to scientific scrutiny.  Here are three.

1. “Stay inside, because cold air will make you sick.”  Viruses and bacteria cause illness, not air temperature.  Chilly weather shouldn’t keep children from getting the exercise they need.  Just be sure to dress them warmly and use common sense.  Don’t forget that cold and wet together (think playing in the snow) can cause frostbite fairly quickly.

2. “Never go out without a hat—you’ll lose all your body heat through your head.”  Well, not exactly.  Yes, staying covered keeps you warm.  And yes, staying covered includes wearing a hat.  But if your child got on the bus without her hat, she’ll be okay unless it’s super cold.  You lose heat through any exposed skin, but no more through the head than through any other part of the body.  Just keep your children warmly dressed.  A hat or hood is often a good way to feel (and be) warm.

3. “Allergies go away in the winter.”  Maybe.  If your child has pollen allergies, those will likely improve.  But if he has allergies to dust mites or pet dander, those may worsen because of increased time spent indoors.  Many people with allergies have a sensitivity to live Christmas trees, not only because of the greenery, but because of outdoor allergens that cling to the needles.

Stay warm and healthy this winter!

Artwork by Damion

Artwork by Damion


© 2013, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved