Pediatrics News

Lakewood Pediatric Associates | Pediatrician serving Lakewood, Tacoma & Fircrest WA

Some things to consider as we approach school enrollment.

To some it might be too soon to think about these things, but experience has shown that a little planning makes everything run smoother.

In order to enroll your kids in school, sometimes you will be requested to fill out out various forms, physical forms, shot records, medication forms and many others.  Sometimes your child will not be able to complete enrollment until these forms get filled out, or they may not be able to participate without them.  Many of them require us to fill out and sign the forms.  We request that you give us at least 24 hours to get these done.  We care for several thousand kids in this practice, and when we suddenly have several dozens of these forms to complete, it does take some time, in addition to the other work that we do.  We ask for your patience in this, and really do realize that these forms are important, for your child’s participation.  The it’s best to take note of when these papers are due, and plan accordingly.

Also, if your child is going to need a physical, we would recommend that if possible you should get him or her scheduled as soon as possible rather than waiting until just before school starts.  The time in late August becomes very busy for us doing school check ups, and the waiting time becomes longer.  There is hardly any wait at this time.

For kids with special considerations such as Asthma and food allergies, schools usually require up to date treatment plans, medication refills and other documentation.  Again, if you could pass them on to us as soon as you get them, rather than waiting until the end, we can fill them out for you efficiently.

We at Lakewood Pediatric Associates are looking forward to an exciting and productive school year, and hope to get everyone back to school smoothly.

It’s Physical Time.

It’s summertime, the weather’s warm, and school is out.  It is a good time to think about the annual physical, or Health Exam, as we call it.  This is a perfect time if your child has not had a check up in the past year or two.  You might ask why, so here are a few reasons.

Your child might need one anyway.  Many sports and camp programs require a physical for participation.  As it gets closer to school enrollment, more and more parents begin to realize this, and then all of a sudden our schedules fill up, and choice of appointments become limited.  Coming in early will get this done and out of the way with the least anxiety.  Don’t worry if you do not have the necessary forms yet, as we can always fill them out later for you.

If your child is at one of those transitional ages, he or she might need some immunizations in addition to the check up.  This usually comes at first school entry (kindergarten), age 11, and at entry to high school or college.  Educational institutions usually require proof of these shots for admission.

Annual physicals are a great time to ask those health questions that have been bothering you all year.  In addition to listening to your heart and lungs, we review developmental stages, check growth, discuss safety issues, mental health, and screen for any age specific important health topics.  The field of children’s health care is constantly changing, and new recommendations are always coming out.  And we welcome your questions about anything that has to do with your child’s life.   The annual physical is a comprehensive review of your child’s well being, a tune up for the body and mind.

Avoid the September rush.  If it has been more than 1 or 2 years since your child’s last check up, our receptionists are ready to take your call.

New Cholesterol Screening Guidelines

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in conjunction with the AAP have now recommended that all children between the ages of 9 and 11 be screened for high cholesterol.  In the past, it was recommended that children only needed to be tested if there was a family history of high cholesterol or vascular heart disease.  Because it is now known that problems with high cholesterol begin at a young age, but do not show up as heart disease until much later, these recommendations are now being made.  Heart disease due to high levels of bad cholesterol is a condition passed down from parent to child, but the previous way of screening missed too many at risk kids.  Discovering the problem early can lead to efforts to improve healthy diets and exercise, and possibly involve the use of cholesterol lowering medications if the problem is severe enough.

At Lakewood Pediatrics we will be offering the cholesterol test to children at their 10 year old physical.  We invite parents to let us know of any concerns regarding family history of heart disease, or the need for testing for their children.

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