Health Information

FHPA Handbook

We have written this Handbook of Childhood Illness to give parents a general understanding of common pediatric illnesses, in a way that is understandable to most people, regardless of their medical knowledge.

By using this handbook as a starting point, our goal is to establish common ground without assuming you know more or less or about a topic.

Please remember that this handbook offers only guidelines. If after you have read about your child's illness and you still feel uncomfortable or have questions, give us a call.

Health Information

Being an informed patient and parent is key to taking charge of your health and the health of your child. We are committed to connecting you with the information and resources you need to understand options and to make health care decisions.

If after reading through the articles you have questions we have nurses dedicated to helping you decide on the best plan of care. Give us a call anytime with urgent concerns, during regular office hours for routine questions,  or send us an email through the patient portal.

Recent Health and Safety Information

Vaping: What parents should know.

In the summer of 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a law banning the use of e-cigarettes by minors, making Michigan one of the first states to address this growing issue.  This new law is in response to a rise in illnesses and death related to vaping.  According to the CDC, there have been numerous cases of lung illness and over 50 deaths related to vaping. 

What is vaping?  Vaping is the use of electronic cigarettes, which work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.  The liquid can contain nicotine, THC, CBD oil, or other substances.  E-cigarettes may also be called capes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mod, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).  Here is a link from the CDC with more comprehensive information. 

How does vaping cause harm?  The exact mechanism by which vaping has caused these injuries and deaths is not yet known.  We do know that all reported cases have a history of e-cigarette use.  In most cases patients reported using e-cigarettes containing THC (though some reported using THC and nicotine, and some nicotine only). 

Would I know if my teen is vaping?  Vaping is easy to hide, as many devices are made to look like a pen, a flash drive, or a key fob.  The legal age in Michigan to buy e-cigarettes has just been raised to 21.  Online and in other states, those 18 and older are able to purchase e-cigarettes, and many sites may not ask for proof of age. 

How can I talk to my teen about vaping?  Make sure that you have good information about e-cigarettes from credible sources first.  Educate yourself.  Remember to stay open, honest, and listen.  You want to start a dialogue with your child.  The Surgeon General has more information here.  The Child Mind Institute also has some good information on starting an open conversation with your teen. 

 Car Seat Safety

Winter can be a tricky time to balance car seat safety with keeping your little one warm.  Bulky coats and snowsuits should not be worn in a car seat because in a crash, the padding will flatten out, leaving extra space under the harness and putting your child at risk of slipping through the straps and being thrown from the car.  We hope the links below will be helpful in keeping your child safe during Michigan's long winter. 

Here is information from "The Car Seat Lady," Debbi Baer, RN who is a renowned national expert in the field of child passenger safety. 

This link provides tips specific for winter car seat safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  For general car seat safety tips, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this summer, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a law banning the use of e-cigarettes by minors, making Michigan one of the first states to address this growing issue.  This new law is in response to a rise in illnesses and deaths related to vaping. According to the CDC, there have been 380 cases of lung illness and 6 deaths related to vaping. 

 

 

 

 

 

Health, Behavioral, AND FAMILY Resources

Few areas raise more concern among parents than their child's behavior. Pediatricians are often asked how to respond to "behavior problems", but the best approach is not always clear-cut. The many professionals that deal with children often do not agree on this matter, and in fact there are are several approaches that seem to work.

Parents frequently have difficulty telling the difference between variations in normal behavior and behavioral problems, because what is normal is often dependent on a child's level of development. Children of the same age often vary in their level of development. Additionally, a child's development can be uneven so that a child's social, physical, and intellectual development may not all be at the same level. Finally, each one of us has different behavior expectations for our children based on our own family, cultural, and social values.

These resources and links provide a reasonable approach to problems. For some families, this information may be all that is needed. Others may want to make an appointment to discuss the problem further. In a few instances, we may refer you to a child behavioral specialist.

Common problems are listed below. Many more are covered in the Medical Library section, divided into topics, of the Symptom Checker. If you can’t find a topic by searching within the Medical Library please call the office during regular business hours and a nurse will assist you.

Family Resources

Community Resources

Lactation and Medications

Presciption Assistance

Smoking Cessation

Special Needs

Transportation

  Child Care

Medical/Health Information Links

In addition to The Handbook of Childhood Illnesses other helpful resources include:

  • www.healthychildren.org–Provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this site provides sections devoted to parenting issues, and children's health for all developmental stages. You can search for information by specific topics or by the age of your child.
  • www.medlineplus.gov—A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, this site provides links to numerous articles related to pediatric health issues, as well as an extensive medical encyclopedia.
  • www.kidshealth.org—Created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media, this site provides family with jargon-free health information for kids, teens, and parents. Physicians and other health experts review all content before it is posted.

The information on this website is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a health care professional.

Newborns

Having a newborn baby is both an exciting and tiring time for parents. We are here for you to provide information, instructions, and support to help you bond with your baby and ensure he/she is doing well. 

Visits

Your pediatrician will see you and your baby during a visit at 2 days, 2 weeks, and 2 months.

Breastfeeding

We are pleased to offer in-office breastfeeding support. Be sure to check out our lactation services page complete with resources, times of our breastfeeding groups and how to schedule an appointment with our consultants.

Helpful Resources

You will find detailed information regarding common newborn concerns in the following links:

Teens

Teen Years Are a Time of Change—We’re Here for You

As you continue to grow and change, you will have new health needs. These changes can be confusing and leave you wondering what is happening to your mind and body. You may have questions about these changes and how you should take care of yourself.

We are here to help you stay healthy and answer your questions. We see many patients until they are between 18 to 20 years old. When you reach this age, we will discuss how to transition to physicians who can care for you as an adult.

Your pediatrician can answer questions about:

  • Eating right
  • Your height and weight
  • Exercise and sports
  • Acne
  • Dating
  • School performance
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Other concerns that you may have

Our Discussions Will Be Between Us, Whenever Possible

When you are 11 or 12 years old, we will speak with you and your parents at your check-up and suggest that you spend some time alone with your pediatrician at future visits. What you talk about during these visits will remain confidential. This way you will begin to learn how to take care of your own health.

As our patient, we respect your privacy. However, your parents may be concerned about your health and well being. Your pediatrician will keep them informed of extreme situations, for example, if your life or someone else's is in danger. In most cases, the information you share with us will stay between us.

Yearly Check-Up Recommended for Teens

We recommend that you come in once each year for a check-up. This is a first step in taking charge of your own health. During this visit we will discuss how you can keep yourself healthy, recommend appropriate screening tests, and make sure everything is okay.

When To Make an Appointment

Beyond your annual physical, you should also make an appointment to see us when you are sick or concerned about what is happening to your body. Physical growth may also trigger changes in how you think and feel. You may feel sad, angry, or nervous at times. You should feel free to talk with us about these things

Sports and School Physicals

During a sports physical we focus on health issues that are important to sports participation. Any physical after April 15th is valid for the following school year. We recommend that you schedule your sports physical at least 8 weeks before you are to begin practice. This way if we encounter a problem that may limit participation we can thoroughly evaluate it before you are scheduled to begin practice. During these visits, we discuss many ways to keep healthy and fit during your sports season. Most times this can be done along with your yearly well visit. If you come in for a physical without your parent, please bring your consent form. Also please complete your surveys found in your portal prior to your visit. Call us at 949-4465 to make your appointment today.                                                                                                         

Treatment of Illnesses or Injuries

It is important for you to tell us about any chronic pain or illnesses that you have or any changes in the way you feel, even if you don't think they are serious. We can discuss the impact that these may have on your health.

Growth and Development

Your body will go through a big growth spurt during puberty. You may want to discuss things like how tall you will be, is your sexual development normal, should you worry about your weight, or are you having problems with your menstrual periods. These are all things you can discuss openly and freely with your physician.

Problems with Friends, Family, or School

Sometimes it is difficult to know who to turn to when you have a hard time dealing with problems with friends, family, or school. Feel free to talk to us about your concerns.

Alcohol or Drug Use

You may be tempted to take risks or feel a lot of pressure from your friends to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. Becoming an adult means more than just physical growth. It means making decisions that are best for you. We can explain how smoking, drinking, or taking other drugs can affect you.

Sexual Relationships

During your visits with us, you'll have a chance to ask questions about dating, sexual activity, and infections. We can also talk to you confidentially about postponing sex and how to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV and pregnancy. It's important to make smart choices about sex now since the wrong choice could affect the rest of your life.

Referrals to Other Doctors

If you have a medical problem that will require you to see a different type of physician, we will refer you to a specialist who can help. A referral may involve an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for visual problems, psychologist for stress or depression, physical therapist for injury rehabilitation, or other physicians to address your special needs.

The information on this website is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a health care professional.

Well Child

Well Child visits are regularly scheduled appointments where we discuss age-appropriate developmental issues or school performance, family issues including an updated family disease history, behavioral expectations, growth and nutrition, and age-related safety issues.

Your child will have a head to toe physical exam including vision and hearing screening. If additional screening tests are needed, they will be done in our office or at an appropriate facility. We will give you wellness information in handouts at your appointment and send you an electronic version through your portal. See the Pediatric Advisor for more health and wellness information.

Your child's immunization record will be reviewed and immunizations will be given following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Because we care for the health and safety of your child and all of our patients, we require that you adhere to these recommendations.   If you chose to decline vaccines or follow an "alternative" schedule, we ask that you seek another pediatric practice.

Age-Based Guidance

Children Ages 3 to 20—Annual Visit

We recommend that children 3 years and older have a well-child appointment every year. The yearly well child exams include the review of symptoms, history, and the sports physical exam required for organized sports participation.

We provide care for children through age 20 and help facilitate the transition of care for teens. 

If you are unable to accompany your minor child to an appointment, please send the consent for treatment form with them.

Chronic Illness Visits—Every Four-Six Months

If your child has a chronic illness that requires an ongoing medication such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, ADHD, obesity or nutritional concerns, heart or lung disease, or a genetic condition, we recommend that they be seen at least every 4-6 months. This allows us to monitor their condition, increase/decrease medications and order appropriate testing. Please discuss this with your child's physician at their next visit.