Saturday, June 12, 2021

Do we recommend the COVID vaccine for our patients?

 As of today, June 12th, 2021, the COVID vaccine is approved for 12 years of age and above. We strongly recommend it for our patients. From all available evidence it is safe and highly effective. We currently have the Pfizer vaccine (this is subject to change and I highly recommend you check our website for up to date information about our COVID vaccine clinics) and have given it to hundreds of adults and children 12 years of age and above. 

Some benefits of the vaccine: helps prevent the illness, helps prevent the spread of the illness to those in poor health, helps prevent the spread of the illness to those who cannot receive the vaccine, and eliminates having to quarantine after possible exposure if the vaccine-recipient has no symptoms.

We are happy and proud to have been able to serve the community during this challenging pandemic by vaccinating adults and teens with the COVID vaccine! We look forward to approval of the vaccines for children 11 years of age and below.  

Swimmer's Ear Season!

Swimmer’s ear is a common childhood infection where bacteria infect the skin or lining of the ear canal. It most commonly seen after swimming, but it can occur after long showers or getting the ears damp with baths. Swimmer’s ear is more common when the water is untreated (ocean, lakes, ponds). Often the outer ear will be tender when tugged or pushed. We want to see these children with possible swimmer’s ear in the office for an accurate diagnosis. You can help prevent this infection by using swim ear plugs or putting over the counter drops (SwimEar® and AuroDry® are two brands) in the ear canals after swimming (note: these prevention drops should not be used for a child with ear tubes).

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Coronavirus and COVID-19

     Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses in humans, mammals, and birds. In humans, the viruses typically cause respiratory illnesses. In 2019, a new (“novel”) coronavirus infection was first found in China. It has been named COVID-19. Since that time, the infection is spreading to other countries. As of 2/4/2020, the countries with the most widespread numbers of coronavirus infections are China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. However, many other countries have had some cases and this list is likely to expand as the infection spreads. Because this is a new viral strain, people are not immune to it from a prior infection.

How The Illness Presents
     COVID-19 presents with symptoms similar with influenza: fever, cough, and fatigue. Sore throats and shortness of breath have been less common at the start of the illness. As with influenza, most of the cases of breathing difficulty (respiratory distress) are occurring later in the course of the illness – the average is 8 days after the onset of the illness. It is the respiratory distress that has caused the deaths associated with the COVID-19. A patient with COVID-19 infection with respiratory distress will be breathing hard and fast, as well as coughing very frequently.
     Most of the severe infections have been in adults, especially older adults. The more severe infections are also in those with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, heart conditions, and diabetes. As with other respiratory illnesses, there will be some persons with COVID-19 infection where the illness is very mild.

Testing For COVID-19
     There are tests for this virus. The testing is NOT available at this point in doctor’s offices and urgent cares. The testing is more available through large hospitals, emergency departments, and health departments. At this time, we do not have this testing available to us.
     Who should be tested? If someone with worrisome symptoms with a known exposure to someone with the virus OR recent travel to a country where the illness is more wide-spread (China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy). Realize, if a child had a possible exposure or concerning travel history AND had a cough, fever, and respiratory distress, they likely have another virus – often influenza with pneumonia.

What To Do
     If your child has traveled to a country where the virus is more common OR they have had an exposure to someone known to have the infection AND has a fever and cough, especially if they have breathing problems, they should be seen at the pediatric emergency room. You should CALL AHEAD to alert the emergency room before you arrive to discuss how to avoid exposing others to the infection.
     As with avoiding all common respiratory viruses, frequent hand washing, avoiding places where ill people may be (large gatherings), and covering your nose with sneezing and covering your cough. Wearing a mask Is appropriate IF you have symptoms, but it is not currently recommended if you are trying to avoid getting the virus.
     This information will very likely change quickly. The website is an excellent source of up to date information.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dr. Jeff's retirement on April 30, 2018

     We are fast approaching Dr. Jeff's retirement on April 30th, 2018!
     Dr. Jeff founded Hilliard Pediatrics in 1990 after finishing his pediatric residency at Columbus Children's Hospital. Starting a practice on your own meant seeing all the patients, taking all the nighttime and weekend call, and seeing both healthy newborns and children hospitalized at Children's Hospital.           The practice grew and grew with Dr. Jeff's hard work and excellent care. 
     Over the years, the office has moved locations - from Leap Court to Berry Leaf Lane (in 1996) to Trueman Court (2011) - and grown as other doctors joined the practice.
     Dr. Jeff has been passionate about Hilliard Pediatrics, his family, sailing and painting, and the environment. Dr. Jeff has run marathons, raised bees, painted exam rooms and portraits, and had some great life adventures.
     What has never changed is Dr. Jeff providing excellent pediatric care for his patients. The patients will miss him and we at the office will sure miss him. He will be remembered for his dedication to his patients, his infectious laugh, and how many lives he positively impacted.
     Thank you Dr. Jeff for all that you have done!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Dr. Mike Patrick's Pediacast pediatric podcasts

     Dr. Mike Patrick, M.D. from Nationwide Children's Hospital has a podcast called Pediacast that has an amazing amount of information for patients and families. I highly recommend it! He and guests cover many topics. If you are unfamiliar with it, is the web address. It can also be found wherever you find other podcasts (iTunes, etc.).

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Is it too late to get the flu shot?

     The simple answer is no. It is not too late to receive the flu vaccine if you or your child has not yet received it this season.
     The influenza season started early this year. By late November, a number of cases were appearing in Central Ohio. The season usually runs from December through March.
     Although a report out of Australia reported that the vaccines effectiveness versus the H3N2 strain (one of 4 in the vaccine) was only 10% last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report the U.S. effectiveness was between 30-40% (significantly better) and it is likely going to be closer to that percentage in the U.S. this influenza season. Here is a link to more information from the CDC.
     We have been out of the vaccine since early November. But there are other ways to get the vaccine:
1. The Franklin County Health Department is able to give the vaccine to those 6 months and above. You can schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine by calling 614-525-3719 or going to to make an appointment.
2. The urgent cares staffed by nurse practitioners (such as Minute Clinics) are able to give the vaccine to children 18 months or 24 months and above (it varies). Check here for more information.
3. Many pharmacists are able to give the flu vaccine to those 7 years of age and above. Check with your favorite pharmacy for more details.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Storing Breast Milk and Formula

     We are frequently asked in the office about how long breast milk and formula can be safely stored. The major risks for going past this limits is accidentally introducing an unhealthy bacteria to the infant ("spoiled milk") or the breast milk or formula having its ingredients break down.
     Although you can find a wide variety of guidelines on the Internet, I find it easier to keep it simple to remember: follow the Rules of Six for breast milk storage. Breast milk can be safely consumed if stored for 6 hours at room temperature, 6 days in the refrigerator, and 6 months in the freezer. If the breast milk is kept in an insulated cooler bag, it should be used within 24 hours.
     The guidelines for formula are different. A bottle of formula should be kept at room temperature for no more than 1 hour. Formula prepared from powder then stored in the refrigerator should be used within 24 hours. Formula prepared from concentrate or ready-to-feed formula may be stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours. A can of powdered formula should be used within 30 days of opening.
     Here is a link to some more detailed information about safely storing breast milk from the Centers for Disease Control. Here is a link to an article about storing infant formula from Healthy Children.