1. Your New Braunfels Pediatrician Offers Tips to Avoid the Flu

    The flu season is quickly approaching, and your children are most at risk for the virus. Children will be the first in any city or town to get sick with the flu. Children are also more likely than their parents to get the flu when they are exposed. And if you get the flu, it will likely be because you were in contact with your children as they are the ones who are most to blame for passing along the virus.

    Getting the flu is no fun, regardless of your age. The flu will make you feel lousy and children can suffer additional symptoms in addition to the coughing, fever and aches including stomach pain and earaches. In addition, children younger than the age of five are at a high risk for serious flu complications. Some of these complications can be serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

    The flu is a big deal and should be treated as such. To help prevent your child from getting the flu, your New Braunfels pediatrician at River Valley Pediatrics offer these tips to keep in mind.

    Get Vaccinated

    You may have heard the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Getting a flu shot may hurt a little, but it is far better than having to suffer the aches and pain of the flu virus. There are treatments available should you or your children get the flu, but you will still suffer. And if you do happen to get the flu even if you have been immunized, the symphony won’t be as bad or won’t last as long.

    Wash Your Hands

    Your hands are a favorite way the flu virus travels, so it is important to wash them as often as you can. Teach your children at an early age that they need to be washing their hands after using the restroom, before and after eating and after they cough or sneeze.

    Teach your children to wash their hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds. Mom and Dad should also have an alcohol-based hand gel in their vehicles and purse for hand sanitizing when the family is on the go.

    Stay Healthy

    It is a good idea to practice healthy habits during the flu season. This means children and adults alike should be eating healthy, getting the recommended amount of exercise each week and getting plenty of rest to help optimize their immune systems. Make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand for your children to eat and make sure they drink plenty of water.

    School-age children should be getting about 10 hours of sleep a night and you need to encourage them to get at least an hour of physical activity each day.

    Avoid Exposure

    If your child’s best friend is over for a visit coughing and sneezing, it makes sense to send them home and definitely not a good time for a sleepover.

    We encourage you to follow these tips and keep your children healthy this flu season. Contact River Valley Pediatrics for more information.

  2. Annual Visits to Your New Braunfels Pediatric Clinic are Recommended

    We all know just how fast kids grow up. It seems like just yesterday when you were pushing him in the stroller through the park and now he is ready to take his driver’s test. When he was younger, you worried about his health and made regular visits to River Valley Pediatrics, your New Braunfels pediatric clinic. But this changed as he got older and he hasn’t seen his pediatrician on a regular basis.

    It’s easy enough to know when to take babies and toddlers to the doctor to have them get checkups. But after the age of five, when most children start school, things become much less clear. Annual visits are crucial in ensuring your children is growing and thriving at the appropriate developmental level. These visits are an essential part of your child’s overall healthcare. Here are several reasons why you should continue annual checkups for your children, regardless of their age.

    Early Diagnosis

    One really good reason to schedule annual checkups with your local pediatrician is so your child’s health can be properly monitored. Your family might have a history of certain conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes that could be diagnosed early by your pediatrician.

    There is also a host of other health conditions that when caught early, can be more easily treated.

    Monitor Lifestyle Behaviors and Choices

    Your pediatrician will talk with your child on their annual visit about their habits and behaviors. They might be asked about how much exercise they get a week or what they eat.

    Teenagers will be asked about bad habits they may have picked up, like smoking for example. Older teens may also be asked about peer pressure, self-image and self-esteem. Annual checkups give your pediatrician an opportunity to discuss common issues that growing children face every day.

    Opportunity to Ask Questions

    There could be any number of questions your child or teen may want to ask their pediatrician. These could be very delicate questions that children or teens may not want to discuss with their parents. This isn’t because they are afraid to talk with their parents, it is just some questions are best fielded by a doctor.

    Tracking Growth and Milestones

    On annual visits, your pediatrician will track your child’s growth and discuss milestones. They will address any concerns they might have about developmental progress.

    Strengthen Relationship

    If your children see their pediatrician on a regular basis, they are more likely to establish trust and a bond with them. As your children grow, they will be more likely to be honest with their pediatrician and have frank discussions about what is happening in their lives.

    As you can see, there are several excellent reasons you should have your children see their pediatrician on a regular basis. Remember, preventative medicine is always the best medicine. If your children are not seeing their pediatrician on an annual basis, it’s something you should seriously consider. Contact River Valley Pediatrics and schedule an appointment today.

     

     

     

     

  3. Your Friendly Neighborhood Pediatrician vs Urgent Care

    Your child is sick and it’s after-hours. Your child isn’t hemorrhaging anywhere and there are no bones sticking out of his skin. He may have a fever, or a nasty cough, or may have a strange rash that you have never seen before. Is your first instinct to make a mental note to call your pediatrician in the morning, or do you have the urge to drop everything and rush to your closest 24 hour Urgent Care clinic?

    Stop! Think.

    Let’s go over this carefully.

    Ask yourself if he needs to be seen immediately. Has he had a seizure? Is this an infant that is severely lethargic and dehydrated, even unresponsive? Is this an allergic reaction that has worsened, and he is having problems breathing? Is this an asthmatic attack that has progressed and your child is getting tired? Was there some trauma that requires sutures, an x-ray, or further attention, like a bad concussion? Then please choose to go to a good emergency room as your child may require immediate specialized care.

    Let’s say your child is “not that bad”. You’re sitting there debating what to do. Urgent Care now, or wait for his pediatrician in the morning?

    First things first, let’s talk money. We all know how health care costs have risen in the past few years. Whether it is that your family had to drop insurance because of rising premiums that became unaffordable, or you had to choose a plan with higher deductibles or higher copays, chances are you’ve found yourself spending considerably more than in past years. Consider that most insurances have higher copays for emergency rooms and urgent cares than at your regular pediatrician. While an emergency room might bill you later (and you’ll be paying off that ER bill for a long time), most urgent cares require payment up front, and it may be a considerably higher bill than your physician, because after-hour codes are billed higher.

    Now, let’s talk experience. Your pediatrician has specialized in treating children specifically, while in some urgent cares you may not see a board-certified pediatrician. You might not see a physician at all. Many urgent cares might see your child and then send him back to your pediatrician for follow-up, and then you are already down two co-pays…. and if your pediatrician changes the diagnosis or treatment, then there is the issue of medications you might already have purchased.  Some childhood illnesses are best evaluated by a pediatrician that has studied many years to do just that– treat children specifically- and he or she will know best about illnesses that most general practitioners might not know much about, or have never seen. Save yourself some time and money and just go straight to your pediatrician! He or she already knows your kid and knows better than any other random medical practitioner about his allergies and past medical history, not to mention that, well, experience trumps everything else!

    Most insurances have an after-hours triage line that you can use to ask what’s appropriate for your child. A friendly nurse will talk to you and tell you what’s the best course of action. If your child is very ill, an emergency room is more appropriate– if at all possible, choose an ER that has pediatric specialists on site (you may have to drive a little further for this). If time is of the essence, a local ER may stabilize your kid and then transfer them to a higher specialty hospital. But if your child is not severely ill, save yourself some time and money– and call your pediatrician. That’s what we are here for. That’s what we do!

  4. Benefits of Seeing a Pediatrician in New Braunfels

    As a parent, deciding who to entrust the health care of your child is an important decision. One of the biggest questions you will ask yourself is if you should go with a pediatrician in New Braunfels or a family doctor. Both types of doctors offer advantages, but you really need to look into the benefits of choosing a pediatrician.

    Pediatricians are medical doctors who have had special training in the illnesses and diseases that affect the health and development of babies, children and teenagers. They know an awful lot about the many conditions that can affect your child’s health, behavior and welfare. River Valley Pediatrics offers you these reasons to consider pediatric care for your child or children.

    Point of Contact

    Your pediatrician can also be your main point of contact for any concerns or questions you have regarding the health of your children. Your pediatrician is the person you turn to when you are worried about the flu seasons, injuries in sports or anything else that causes you to lose sleep at night.

    Preventive Care

    Most pediatricians provide primary healthcare for newborns through teenagers. They provide preventative care, help identify disease, treat injuries and care for chronic and acute illnesses. One great benefit of having a primary care pediatrician is that they will have experience in referring you to a pediatric specialist should the need ever arise.

    If your child should ever develop a serious illness or other medical condition, your pediatrician can refer you to a specialist who only treats children.

    Specialize in Children

    Pediatricians undergo several years of schooling to complete their postgraduate pediatric qualification. After completing residency, these doctors will obtain licenses from different states to seek their profession.

    Board Certified

    Board certification of pediatricians is done by the American Board of Pediatrics, which was formed in 1933 to evolve rigorous standards for improving the quality of care pediatricians provide. Board certification was created to add even more assurance of quality.

    Up-To-Date Knowledge

    Your pediatrician will have updated information about what is happening in the field of pediatric care. Basically, even though your pediatrician has completed schooling, the learning never stops.

    Downside

    There is one downside in choosing a pediatrician and that is the fact that someday, your child will outgrow the pediatrician and may not want to leave. While some teens and young adults will be comfortable with moving on to a physician who doesn’t have a lot of toys in the waiting room, others will find the move rather difficult.

    Reasons to Visit Your Pediatrician

    Vaccines– Vaccines are injections that will help fend off infection and keep your children immune to certain diseases. Unfortunately, you cannot just take them all at once and have them done. From birth to adulthood, there will be a series of immunizations your children will need. From a one-time chickenpox vaccine to yearly influenza vaccines, your pediatrician strongly recommends you bring your children in for these shots.

    Development– It is important that you take your children to a pediatrician so you can better monitor developmental progress and other milestones. Each time you visit the pediatrician, your child will be weighed, measured and compared to other the same age to see where they are developmentally. Your pediatrician will also check for any delays in development, changes in behavior or in muscle tone and reflexes.

    Ear Infections– Younger children will average six to eight colds a year and will often come down with an ear infection. Some common signs of an ear infection include tugging at the ears, trouble sleeping or acting a lot more irritable than usual.

    Fever– Most all children will suffer a fever at some point in their young lives, and there are some instances in which you should have it checked out. For example, if you have an infant under the age of three months with a temperature of over 100 degrees, have them checked out. If your two-year-old has had a fever for more than three days, have it checked out. IF you have a child of any age and their fever is only getting worse, give your pediatrician a call right away.

    If you have any questions about River Valley Pediatrics, please feel free to give us a call.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  5. This Week at RVP- Stay Safe!

    Because of recent weather events, River Valley Pediatrics will be closed on Monday, August 28th. At this point, we will be taking precautions to keep our employees and our patients safe. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you. As of right now, Seguin ISD, Navarro ISD, Marion ISD and New Braunfels ISD have canceled classes for tomorrow. Comal ISD is still on for a Tuesday first day of school, although this might change.

    Guadalupe, Comal, Hays, Bexar, Caldwell, Gonzales and surrounding counties have had numerous road closings because of flooding or the potential for it. Please heed all warnings and stay safe. Texas Governor Greg Abbott repeated it several times this weekend, “Turn around, don’t drown!” Did you know that only twelve inches of running water is enough to flip over a small to moderate-sized car? Do not risk it! Six inches of swift running water can drag a person down as well; please take no chances and please don’t let your kids play in currents, no matter how safe they might look. Here in New Braunfels, river access has been canceled as well as in Seguin. While this may be common sense, there is always a false sense of security when the winds die down and the rain lets up.

    Stay abreast of recommendations. If at some point our water supply is unsafe, our officials will let us know. At that moment, they will announce a water-boil recommendation; this means tap water is not safe to drink. If possible, use bottled water or water from a good filter to make your baby’s bottles.

    Most importantly, when possible, stay informed. Communicate with your neighbors. Watch the news. When you have power, charge your phones and pads for the times power is lost. We will be getting additional rain the next few days so it’s crucial to stay informed.

  6. In the Path of Harvey

    The events of the past few days have proven to be heart-wrenching. The near total decimation of Rockport, TX; the extensive damage to Corpus Christi, Cuero, Victoria and neighboring towns, the isolated floods and property damage in Seguin, Luling, New Braunfels and San Antonio… and now the catastrophic ongoing floods in our hometown of Houston…. This is all very humbling. We pray for all our families, friends and strangers. We pray for our first responders who risk their lives every single minute to save those who are in dire straits. We pray for a speedy recovery of our communities and for the strength to build back up yet again.

    Natural disasters will never leave us. We can, in some way, somewhat prepare with a few days’ notice thanks to modern technology, but we never can quite avoid 100% of the damage that can happen. We can only prepare, heed warnings, listen to our elected officials, and help our friends and neighbors in their time of need.

    Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Whether it is you affected directly, or you’re sitting at home anxiously awaiting news about the safety of loved ones, know that Texans are resilient and we will recover from this. Godspeed everyone!