As a child, going to routine doctor visits can be a terrifying experience. You never know if you are in for a non-eventful appointment or if there might be a vaccine involved. So how as parents do we help our child through anxiety they might feel towards going to the doctor? We’ve got some tips.

Many think of playing as something only children do. But in reality, there are both physical and mental benefits of play for adults as well! Studies show that in adults playtime can help boost energy and improve resistance to disease. Playing, like exercising, can trigger a release of endorphins, which can help to encourage positive mood and even relieve pain. Playing also can provide a welcome distraction from life’s every day stressors and can help to ward off stressors and depression. Adult playtime with children is a great time for parents to connect with their child in an environment that allows the child to be completely expressive.

It’s summertime, which means it’s camp season here in Western North Carolina. A huge part of the culture of Henderson County is the summer camp industry. Since there’s no shortage of camps to choose from, it is important to take a few things into consideration to ensure that your child has a good well-rounded experience.

Everyone can agree that allergies have been at an all time high this year. Many who never experience allergies, are getting hit hard this year. Your children might seem like they have a never-ending cold, or complain of itchy eyes or headaches if they’re experiencing allergy symptoms. Here are some ways to help your child through spring allergies.

There have been many shifts in medicine over the last decade. Regardless, most of us still continue to practice in a way that focuses on our patients and providing quality medical care. Despite the obstacles, we remain dedicated. There are barriers. One of these being the “pop up” urgent care clinic.

“I go to an urgent care clinic because they take walk ins and have weekend hours.”

Both of our Hendersonville Pediatrics offices take walk ins during office hours, five days a week. We have evening hours most days (except for the summer months) and weekend hours every Saturday and Sunday. It is our goal to be present for our patients and their families. We understand how unpredictable illness can be and how difficult it is to have a sick child. We provide a clean, friendly and convenient medical home every day of the year. And we know your kids better.

“I go to an urgent care clinic because it provides similar medical care.”

Well, not exactly. When you bring your child to us, we have access to and review your child’s entire medical history. We can track disease trends, growth curves and developmental milestones. We do this at each visit for every patient before we even enter the exam room. Urgent care staff do not have access to your child’s complete history. They do not have their growth charts to view. They do not do developmental screenings. They often times do not do a complete physical exam when doing a sports physical. We do.

“It’s just a check for Strep throat.”

It could be that simple. It could not be. Each of us could tell you stories of visits which were scheduled as “cough”, “possible Strep” or “headache” and turned out to be “pneumonia”, “peritonsillar abscess” or “encephalitis”. We have incidentally found leukemia in kids coming in for “just fever”. This is the scary part of our job. It is the art of medicine which allows us to look a little further, ask a few more questions and order the correct test. We know your kids better.

“My child is healthy. There is no need for a detailed pediatrician visit.”

I am an osteopathic physician. As a “DO” I have been trained to center my focus on treating the whole person. The mind, the body and how they are interconnected. It’s about balance. Each work day I diagnose mental health conditions, developmental delays, nutritional deficiencies. I listen to stories and struggles of families in crisis, dealing with addiction, reaching out to get support. Hendersonville Pediatrics has a mental health team. Our psychologist, Dr. Will Dalton is available to our patients for help with issues such as potty training, discipline, ADHD, phobias, food refusal to name just a few. Our psychotherapist, Michael Thomas provides support for our patients with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, ADHD, among others. As pediatricians we are trained to ask lots of detailed questions about physical symptoms, pooping, hobbies, social lives, academics. We might even ask the color of your bedroom rug:) We thrive on details. While this all takes time, we need to know these things to know your child. We need to ask some hard questions because it enables us to be complete. We want your children to feel comfortable telling us anything. Urgent care clinics may keep it quick and simple - less attention to your child’s needs. We are their medical home. We know your kids better.

Also, there is the issue of continuity of care. We have a medical team where everyone communicates and the electronic medical record is complete. We do not however, always receive updates from the urgent care clinics. So we do not have that Strep infection documented or that fourth ear infection. Similarly, if not communicated to us through a note from urgent care we may not have the medication list updated. Would you want your physician treating you without a complete medical record?

So, I’ll end with this: next time you consider going to an urgent care for a last minute sports physical or a sick visit, remember that we are here. We are willing to accomodate you the best we can. We know your children and want them to have a medical home here. 

Dr. SUrgent care clinics keep it simple but not necessarily complete.