Welcome to Oak Tree Pediatrics and More, a unique blend of Pediatrics and Family Practice.  We strive to provide children and their families with comprehensive quality medical care in a warm and friendly environment. Our three Pediatricians, Drs. Spadaro, Spinner, and Weisz are knowledgeable and experienced and have been practicing locally in Thousand Oaks for many years, enjoying excellent reputations in the community. A visit to Oak Tree can be a time saving one stop shop for all the family’s routine medical care needs.  Come in and visit our office and meet the family! 

 

 

NOVEMBER 30, 2009

What can families do to protect themselves from H1N1 influenza (swine flu)?

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Wash hands for 20 seconds, which is about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also work well. Keep in mind that alcohol-based products are toxic if ingested by children. (The amount left on hands after use is not a concern.)
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve. If you use a tissue instead, cover your nose and mouth with it when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash right after you use it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are sick. Avoid crowds. This will limit the spread of illness.
  • Stay home when sick to keep from spreading illness.
  • All sick children and/or sick adults should stay home until 24 hours after they have no more fever (or signs of fever) without the use of fever-reducing medications. A fever is considered to be a temperature of at least 100.4°F.
  • Seek medical care if you are severely ill, such as having trouble breathing. Antiviral medicines may help.

NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

Should my child get the flu vaccines?

  • Even healthy children can get the flu, which can make any child very sick – and can even be fatal.
  • There are several kinds of flu illnesses, and children can get all of them.
  • Children should get flu vaccines to protect themselves from the flu. Each flu vaccine comes as a shot or a spray up the nose.
  • All children ages 6 months through 18 years should get the vaccine to protect against the seasonal flu. If your child is less than 9 years old and this is his or her first time getting a flu vaccine, s/he will need two doses.
  • Parents and caretakers of infants under 6 months of age should also get the seasonal flu vaccine now to protect these children who are too young to be vaccinated.
  • A separate H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is needed to protect against the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) strain. This vaccine is starting to become available now, and the CDC expects more doses to be available each week.
  • The 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is a good match for the strains of the virus now circulating in communities. This means it should work well against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.
  • Certain high-risk groups of people should be first in line to get the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine. That includes all children ages 6 months through 24 years of age, caretakers of children younger than 6 months, pregnant women, health care workers and emergency services personnel, and adults ages 25 to 64 with chronic medical conditions that increase their risk of flu complications.
  • Adults need one dose of the H1N1 vaccine.
  • Children ages 10 through 17 years need one dose of the H1N1 vaccine.
  • Children under 10 years of age need 2 doses of the H1N1 vaccine.

NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org


Is the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine safe?

  • The H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is being manufactured in the same way as seasonal influenza vaccine, which has a 60-year safety record.
  • Many careful, repeated studies have shown that vaccines, including influenza vaccines, are safe and effective. For more information about vaccine safety .
  • The H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is being tested in adults, children and pregnant women to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. Some results have been reported from the studies of this vaccine in adults and children. These studies found the vaccine is safe and is similar to seasonal flu vaccine. No serious harmful side effects were reported.

NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

Where can I get the flu vaccine?

  • Seasonal flu vaccine is available now. Call your pediatrician to learn the best way for your child to receive this vaccine.
  • H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is being distributed by the government through state and local public health agencies. Distribution will vary by community, but it may be available at doctors’ offices or special clinics set up in schools and other public facilities. Check with your local health authorities and news sources to learn about distribution in your area.
  • Preservative-free flu vaccines without thimerosal are available.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

  • What are the symptoms of flu in children?

    • Children with influenza have a sudden onset of fever, chills, sore throat, cough, and runny nose. It may also cause headache, muscle aches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and belly ache.
    • Influenza is different from the common cold, but it can be hard to tell which illness someone has. Typically, a child with a cold can have a stuffy nose, sneezing, scratchy throat, hoarse voice, dry cough (usually from mucous dripping down the throat), and slight fever. Even with cold symptoms, people generally can keep up with their usual activities.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

    What should parents do if their child has flu-like symptoms?

  • If your child has mild illness, he should stay home from school or child care until he has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Any child younger than 3 months who has a fever (rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher) should see a pediatrician.
  • In a child older than 3 months, how high the fever is, is not as important as how he or she feels and acts. Bring your child to the pediatrician if she is very sleepy or has little energy to play, is very irritable and cannot be comforted, has trouble breathing, is not drinking well or is otherwise not acting normally.
  • If your child has underlying health problems (for example, heart or lung problems, weakened immune system, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease, asthma, or a severe neurological disorder not including ADHD or autism), see a pediatrician as soon as mild flu symptoms start.
  • If your child is otherwise healthy, call your pediatrician to see if an appointment is needed.
  • If your children are uncomfortable because of the fever, you can give them medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Do not give aspirin-containing products.
  • Encourage them to drink liquids, especially if they are not eating well. Chicken soup can provide liquids and has been found to alleviate symptoms.
  • If your child has severe symptoms, has been to an area where there have been cases of swine flu, or been directly exposed to a swine flu patient, call your doctor for advice. Your doctor can help you decide whether your child needs to be seen or if they may need to be treated with an antiviral medicine.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

  • Are any medicines recommended to help children with swine flu?

    • Children with influenza should never receive any product that contains aspirin. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) are fine to treat fever and body aches in children.
    • Cough and cold medications do not help, and should not be used, especially in young children under 4 years of age.  
    • Most adolescents, adults and children do not need antiviral medicines. Overuse of these medications could be counter-productive and lead to resistance.
    • People who are at high risk of complications from flu should talk with their doctor in advance about what to do if they notice flu-like symptoms.
    • Only children who are at higher risk of flu complications (such as those with chronic disease or cancer, or very young children) should receive antiviral medicine for flu symptoms or close contact with a person with the 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu).
    • It is expected that oseltamivir (Tamiflu) will be more effective if taken soon after the onset of symptoms, rather than later in the course of the illness. Based on a recent study, Tamiflu may have more side effects in children than in adults; your pediatrician can help you decide if this medication is right for your child. Zanamivir (Relenza) is not for young children under 7 years of age.
    • The use of antiviral medications is not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine.
    • Your pediatrician will decide when treatment is indicated and which drug is best to treat your child.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

    Is flu more dangerous for very young children?

    • Children under age 2 have a higher risk of complications and hospitalization from influenza than older children.
    • Children of any age who have an underlying medical condition, such as asthma, diabetes, another metabolic disease, chronic kidney disease, or sickle cell disease are also at greater risk of complications.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

    How is the 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu) different than the "regular" flu?

    • At this point the 2009 H1N1 virus does not appear to be more severe than seasonal flu.
    • Unlike seasonal flu, which tends to cause more significant illness in elderly people and very young children, H1N1 flu (swine flu) is most common in people 5 to 24 years old.
    • While seasonal flu usually peaks in January or February, the 2009 H1N1 virus has caused illness during the summer months and remains active as we head into the fall and early winter.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

    Can mothers who have swine flu coninue to breastfeed?

  • The influenza virus is not transmitted by breastmilk.
  • Mothers who believe they may be infected should be sure to wash their hands before breastfeeding.
  • Be sure to use clean burp cloths, and consider wearing a face mask.
  • Parents and caregivers of infants under 6 months of age should receive the flu shot to prevent illness.

    NOTE: This information is provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org

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