COVID-19 Guidelines

While you are waiting for the test please continue to isolate in order to prevent infection to others. If your condition worsens prior to receiving test results, please seek prompt Emergency Room Care.

To monitor your condition the following items are important:

1. A good thermometer. *A temp greater than 101.5 is of concern*
2. A pulse oximeter to measure both blood oxygen and pulse. Your value should be in the range over 95% for oxygen level and pulse should be between 60 and 100 resting. Rapid pulse greater than 100 and pulse oxygen less than 95 is of concern. If oxygen level is less than 90%, go to the ER.

Most individuals who test positive with mild to moderate symptoms do well being managed at home:

1. Take infectious precautions to avoid spread to others: MASK wearing, using separate sleeping and bathroom, proper quarantining, etc.
2. Take Tylenol, Acetaminophen, or Ibuprofen for general discomfort or fever.
3. Drink plenty of fluids to maintain normal blood pressure and good urine output of clear urine. Continue with your usual medications unless directed by your provider to do otherwise.

Severe COVID infection is a medical emergency. Symptoms of pulse ox less than 90%, confusion, increasing shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea vomiting dehydration all are warning signs and warrant prompt Emergency Room Care. Please Do Not Delay going to the Emergency Room or calling 911 if your condition deteriorates.

Follow up at BFM. If your test is positive, this can be done through a virtual visit. This can be scheduled if you have concerns to discuss with your provider or if symptoms persist despite negative test results. If you have a positive test from another facility schedule an appointment during our sick clinic for evaluation.

We are encouraging all patients to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine per CDC recommendations when available through the Virginia Department of Health. At this time our office does not have access to a supply of any of the available vaccinations due to the state’s prioritization of distribution. Hopefully, this supply will change in the near future. Check our website for current updates and the CDC website which is an excellent resource to answer other questions and Covid 19 concerns.

Covid-19 Testing Campaign

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

As of January 25th, Virginia Beach Health District will expand COVID-19 Vaccination to “Phase 1b” recipients. Click here to learn more.

We Are Members of Privia Medical Group

As of June 30, 2020, we are proud members of Privia Medical Group!

Hives in Toddlers: Should You Worry?

Hives in toddlers are little raised, red patches of skin called wheals (or welts). They come about in groups on any part of the body and may seem like mosquito bites. They are frequently itchy, but occasionally as well sting. The medical phrase for hives is urticaria (er-tuh-care-ia).

Hives are frequently an indication of an allergic reaction to things similar to food or a bug sting. Hives are awfully common – one out of every five individuals will have hives at some time in their life. Treatment includes medication and avoiding common triggers. The triggers may differ with each child.

Questions About Pediatrics? Get Them Answered.

Have questions and concerns? Need advice about pediatrics?

Ask us! The team at Blackwood Family Medicine is here to help you.

Signs and Symptoms of Hives in Toddlers

  • If the child has hives, they might have raised circular welts that seem like mosquito bites. The welts are reddish on outside and white in the centre.
  • Hives are usually very itchy, however, it can also sting. A welt frequently lasts around 24 hours prior to fading with no trace.
  • The welts come out in batches or clusters. New batches may build up as old areas fade away.
  • Frequently the welts stick together to form bigger swellings. The area of the affected skin may differ in size from fairly small to as huge as a dinner plate.
  • Hives in toddlers will typically go away in a few days, but may possibly last weeks.
  • Hives can look or feel unpleasant, but typically they are not dangerous.


Occasionally children have a more serious allergic reaction identified as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Wheeze or persistent cough
  • Difficulty with breathing and/or noisy breathing
  • Loss of consciousness and/or collapse
  • Swelling and/or tightness in the throat
  • Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Becoming pale and floppy (infants/young children).

Call an ambulance immediately if your child has symptoms of anaphylaxis.

If your child experienced anaphylactic reactions before, you may be advised to have an adrenaline autoinjector (e.g. an EpiPen) with you every time. The child might also wear a medical alert accessory or bracelet to let individuals know what may cause them to have an allergic reaction. Talk about this issue with your GP.

What Causes Hives in Toddlers?

Hives are a skin rash typically caused by an allergic reaction. Hives can rarely occur without a trigger, but frequently occur when the immune system responds to a substance (such as a food or bug venom) as if it were poisonous (toxic). Hives take place when blood plasma leaks from the blood vessels into the skin. This happen after a chemical called histamine is released.

The following can hives in toddlers:

  • Chemical in food, medicines, or plants.
  • Viral infections (e.g. a cold or hepatitis)
  • Insect stings or bites

For most children, each attack of hives will become more severe and intense if they are repeatedly exposed to the same trigger.

Typically tests are not performed because frequently it’s not possible to know what triggers hives in children.

Care at Home

Usually, hives in toddlers can be carefully managed at home, with no need to see a doctor. A pharmacist may give you with a few antihistamine medications for relief of symptoms through an episode. The best action for hives is to keep away from the cause or trigger, yet this is not always possible.

You can help out treat your child’s hives by:

  • Avoiding identified triggers for your child
  • Avoiding things that will make your rash worse, for example; sunshine, heat and hot showers
  • Applying cool compresses (a face washer, cloth nappy or clean tea towel soaked in cool water), that may aid reduce the itching and stinging.

When to See a Doctor

If your children continue to have hives for over six weeks, assist them to see your GP.

Actions for severe or recurrent hives may include:

  • Medications like corticosteroids, which can decrease the immune system’s retort to the triggers
  • Checking that the rash isn’t caused by an different disorder
  • Prescribing non-sedating antihistamines to give relief from itching – these may be incredibly useful if given at bedtime.
  • If at any time the hives are connected with other symptoms (high fever, bruising, purple skin discolouration or joint pains), assist them to see a doctor.

Main Points to Remember

  • Hives are a skin rash involving red, raised wheals that are normally itchy.
  • Hives in toddlers are very regular and are frequently harmless.
  • Treatment options are; avoiding identified triggers and medications such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.
  • This kind of skin rash is an allergic reaction, which means the immune system reacted to a substance as if it were poisonous.
  • Call an ambulance if your child has signs of anaphylaxis.

Importance of A Family Clinic and Family Doctor

If you have a medical need — sudden flu symptoms, nagging back pain, an unanticipated rash — who is your first point of contact?

A family physician can be the correct answer for most healthcare issues.

A medical emergency is an exception. An emergency is a legitimate reason to visit an emergency room, not a family clinic— but a lot of Americans use the ER or urgent care as their main source of care. It’s one cause among many we spend more as a country on healthcare than anybody else, but still rank far from the top in health outcomes.

Using more principal care physicians — as well as family doctors — can assist. Here are just a few of the payback for you and your family.

Family Doctors Track Your Life Cycle

I treat children. I care for teens and those in their 20s. I take care of middle-aged adults, retirees and individuals well into their 90s. I frequently see these same people for years or even decades.

That’s usual of family practitioners. Given that family doctors care for a wide range of situations, they can be your main care physicians at any point in your life.

In the long run, that means you can make a lasting connection with a family physician. And having such a relationship means.

They Know about Your History

When doctors assist you for a long time, they get to identify your medical history all throughout. That helps them make precise diagnoses, watch for red flags about medications and keep an eye on changes in your health through the years.

But the “family” in family doctor matters, too. Seeing numerous generations of a family can aid a doctor record a precise, in-depth family health history. for instance, if I know you had cancer at a young age, and so did your parents, that’s a red flag. I will advise genetic counseling and propose a screening plan not only for you but also for other relatives at risk.

The medical record is just part of the picture. Occasionally it helps to know what’s happening at home, too. When treating a youngster whose parent just lost a job, for example, that information comes into play when assessing anxiety and unease.

When doctors take care of you for years, they get to know your medical history all throughout.

Family Doctors Treat Further Than You Think

Yes, family doctors do your annual check-up and see you in the family clinic. However, they also can help you manage chronic situations such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. They can treat sensitive situations such as sinus infections and injuries. They can assist you through a pregnancy.

They also can carry out minor surgical procedures, sometimes even done in a family clinic, such as freezing a wart or draining an abscess. These are but a few examples, and it goes a long way.

When You Need a Professional, They Assist to Find the Right Fit

When you want to see a professional for heart disease, cancer or any other serious concern, a family doctor can assist to find somebody who fits your exact needs — and character.

For Example: Say I have a patient who wishes to see a cardiologist. I know from years of experience this person prefers conventional treatments. That means I’ll look for for a cardiologist who takes a conventional-first approach somewhat than someone known for insistent treatment.

They Can Save Lives — and Save You Money

There’s more than enough evidence — equally here in America and abroad — that using more principal care saves money for a healthcare system.

For example, according to an insurance study, a 23% boost in primary care expenditure in Rhode Island led to an 18% decrease in total healthcare expenditure.

And data suggests that adding up one principal care physician (such as a family doctor and a family clinic) for every 10,000 individuals can lower hospital admission by 5.5%, emergency room visit by 11% and surgery by 11%.

Those numbers are all the more striking than cost savings. Family doctors can definitely save the nation money, but more significant, they can offer your family improved health.

What are Boutique Doctors?

A growing number of doctors are ditching the status quo and having an entirely different business model: being boutique doctors.

In fact, a survey of 862 independent physicians found nearly half are choosing a switch to concierge medicine. This new business model is an increasingly popular practice model, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

But what are boutique doctors? What does switching to this new practice model does, exactly, and how do you know whether it’s for you or not?

Concierge medicine, also called boutique or retainer medicine, is a new type of practice management that offers numerous benefits. These include:

  • Cutting back number of patients physicians need to see in a day
  • Extremely Improving personalized care
  • Greatly reducing physician burnout

What Is Concierge Medicine?

The easiest way to explain what concierge medicine will be discussed and how it differs from traditional practice models. Here are some of the major differences:

Payment: Patients pay a fixed membership fee in advance for medical services. According to Tom Blue, executive director of the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP), this fee ranges from $50 a month to $25,000 a year, with $135 to $150 per month being the average.

Insurance: Blue estimates about 75 per cent of boutique doctors applies for insurance, while the remaining have cash-only practices.

Patient panel: Boutique doctors usually have 80-90 per cent fewer patients under the concierge model compared to more normal practices. The average concierge practice will have 500 to 1,000 total patients, according to Blue.

Physician access: This decrease inpatient count gives boutique doctors to promise same-day or next-day appointments, 24/7 access and longer examination times.

Additional perks: A lot of concierge physicians offer incentives, such as house calls, nutritional counseling, emergency room visits and executive-level annual exams.

Concierge doctor salaries are usually the same as their colleagues’ income.
Keep in mind that the amount of income you earn depends on how many concierge patients you serve. Some people choose to turn their entire practice into a concierge format. This is often referred to as the “full” model. It allows doctors to work at a slower pace because their revenue per patient is significantly higher.

Other doctors may prefer to implement a “hybrid” concierge model: The practice keeps operating in the normal manner, but several hours a week are blocked off to care for a percentage of the practice’s concierge patients.

This is particularly great for doctors who fear their salary will take a hit if they convert to concierge overnight without having enough membership fees to cover costs and make a living.

Although changing to concierge practice may not result in a huge salary increase, it can lead to possible cost savings. Since you’ll have fewer patients, you may be able to operate more effectively with lesser staff or smaller office space.

Software to Support Concierge Practices

Those choosing to use concierge care will find that it’s a good time to re-evaluate their workflows and invest in new or upgraded health IT tools. Below are some types of applications that can optimize concierge model operations and examples of highly-rated software vendors to use and choose from.

Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Every physician would benefit from digitizing their patient’s evaluations, but concierge practices have unique incentives to go paperless.

EHRs makes documenting patient’s condition easier over time, so you can provide them with accurate, detailed and comprehensive clinical documentation that supports your recommendations for their health plan.

Since patients are usually paying for more customized services and will need greater access to this documentation, it is extremely smarter to invest in an electronic system to meet the said expectations.

Medical Billing Software

Medical billing software automates the collections process for your office. Some solutions are surprisingly well-suited for concierge practices because they usually provide helpful functionalities, such as generating pre-collection letters, a compilation of all payment plan patients and conducting a report to calculate outstanding bills and balances.

Patient Portals

The value of concierge medicine from the patient’s point of view is that they get to feel a genuine level of accessibility to, and attention from their doctor. Patient websites provide a platform or a messaging tool which doctors and patients can securely exchange messages, schedule appointments and review medical notes any time of the day.

Key Takeaways on Boutique Doctors

Concierge medicine can be a great option for physicians who are ready for a change of pace thanks to the smaller patient panel and reduced dependence on insurance reimbursements.

Why Vaccines for Children Should Be Taken Seriously

Childhood immunizations or childhood vaccines can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent. Vaccine schedules suggested by organizations and agencies, such as the CDC, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics cover approximately 14 different diseases.

Vaccines for children not only guard your child against deadly diseases, such as tetanus, polio, and diphtheria, but they also keep other kids safe by eradicating or greatly decreasing life-threatening diseases that used to spread from direct contact.

How do vaccines for children work?

A vaccine is a dead or sometimes weakened version of the germ that causes the disease it’s supposed to protect from. When children are exposed to a weakened disease in vaccine form, their immune system, the body’s germ-fighting protection, can build up antibodies that protect the kids from contracting the disease if they get exposed to the actual disease.

Over time, vaccines and immunizations have generated some controversy over efficiency and safety, but no substantial evidence of serious risks has been found. Nevertheless, even though children can have a reaction to any vaccine, the important thing to know is that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the possible side effects.

Keeping track of immunizations from your children’s pediatrician

Most of your child’s vaccines are completed between birth and 6 years. Many vaccines are given more than a couple of times, at different ages. This means that you will need to keep an accurate record of your child’s vaccinations. Although your child pediatrician’s office will also keep track, people change doctors, records get misplaced, and the person responsible for keeping track of your kid’s immunizations is you.

Ask your pediatrician for an immunization record form. Keep your child’s record as you would a birth certificate and keep it with your other pertinent documents.

Even though a lot of doctors and parents do a stellar job of keeping up with vaccinations, studies show that about a quarter of preschool children are missing at least one important vaccination. Almost all states will not allow your child to start to school without a complete immunization record. Sometimes, though, a vaccination is missed when a child is sick. Nevertheless, no matter what the reason, it’s vital to make up missed vaccinations.

If your child has missed an immunization, though, you do not have to go back and start over. The previous vaccinations are still good. Your doctor will just proceed with the immunization schedule.

How many shots do children need?

Although vaccines for children are mixed to lessen the number of shots needed, the list is still long.

Here is a typical immunization schedule recommended by age 2:

  • A vaccination for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Four vaccines for Haemophilus influenza (Hib), a common upper respiratory infection that can cause meningitis
  • Three to four polio vaccinations (IPV)
  • Four shots for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT)
  • Three immunizations for hepatitis B
  • One shot for varicella (chickenpox) for age 12 months above, and only if your kid does not develop chickenpox on his own.
  • Three shots for rotavirus, a type of infection that causes acute diarrhea.
  • Four vaccines for pneumococcal disease, a common cause of pneumonia and ear infections

From age 4 to 6, your child will also need booster shots for DPT, MMR, IPV, and chickenpox. Kids should also start getting a yearly flu shot after 6 months of age. A shot for hepatitis A is advised for all children. This is quite a lot to keep track of, hence you need an immunization records form.

Final tips on immunizations

Keep this info in mind to help your child’s immunizations go more smoothly:

Common side effects of vaccines for children include swelling at the spot of the injection, soreness, and slight fever.

Ask your doctor’s office if it has in an immunization registry. This is a source you can go to if your child’s vaccination records get lost.

Also, ask your doctor’s office if it has a vaccination reminder system. This will call to notify and remind you when your child’s immunizations are due and it will warn you if a shot has been missed.

Vaccines and immunizations are some of the most effective and safest medicines we have against life-threatening diseases, so much so that they have made a lot of dangerous childhood diseases rare today.

What Do Primary Care Doctors Treat?

In the medical field, primary care doctors or primary care providers are healthcare professionals that mainly practice general medicine.

Primary care doctors are who patients see for non-emergency medical services and routine checkups. They also encourage health education, maintenance, disease prevention, health counseling, and helping patients manage short and long-term health needs.

If you have a mild cough, fever, rash, are nauseated, or other mild symptoms, a primary care provider can usually make a diagnosis to check further what needs to be done about your condition.

Not All Primary Care Physicians Are Alike

In the healthcare industry, there are many different specialties. Not all primary care doctors are the same. An internal medicine specialist is different from a pediatrician. You and the rest of your family members may see one family medicine physician or an advanced practice provider.

Since there is a multitude of titles and specialties in the medical field, understanding and getting familiar with them may seem challenging.

Whatever type of primary care provider you may require, it’s essential to know what the most common types are. This way, you’ll know who to turn to for your specific symptoms.

Vital to Patient Health

Primary care is essential to overall health. When people regularly see their primary care doctors, the likelihood of them needing urgent medical attention is reduced. This is because they are in a better position to maintain and manage their health. They know how to manage chronic symptoms and conditions better.

Exposure to primary care allows us to live healthier and prevent disability.

Here are the five types of primary care doctors and their specialties.

Family Medicine

The rise of family medicine stemmed from the 1960s when the medical field was getting divided into specialties. There was an ongoing endeavor to promote continuing treatment in doctor-patient relationships.

Family physicians or family doctors can treat patients of all ages. They typically see patients in an outpatient setting as they diagnose and treat different varieties of ailments. Aside from those, family doctors also conduct physical examinations, wellness screenings, and offer general preventive care.

These primary care doctors give comprehensive healthcare and can treat most health conditions, stemming from the extensive training and education they acquire.

While other healthcare specialists treat a more specific condition, age group, or body part, family doctors can see the complete family unit, regardless of age and condition.

Internal Medicine

This medical specialty is another type of primary care service. Internists or internal medicine doctors, mainly see adult patients with common ailments: obesity, heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

Internal medicine physicians can also conduct general preventive care and health screenings. They can either be found in hospitals, doctors’ offices, or clinics.

Internal medicine was actually started earlier than family medicine. According to the American College of Physicians, internal medicine begun emerging in the late 1800s, when the diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care were approached with a more scientific methodology.

As pediatrics grew into a child-focused medical discipline, internal medicine developed to focus on the primary care requirements of adults.


As mentioned above, pediatrics focuses on the primary care needs of younger patients (babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents). Pediatricians are primary care doctors that provide treatment and care for conditions prevailing in younger patients.

These primary care doctors also provide vaccinations, physical examinations, and preventive care. Additionally, they offer professional guidance and advice on the development and growth of children.

Pediatricians usually have their own private practice. Many of them also work in a hospital or a clinic. Because of population growth, the demand for pediatricians continues to grow.


Obstetricians and gynecologists focus on overseeing women’s health. While there’s some debate in the medical field whether or not this falls under the primary care specialty, there’s no question that OB/GYN is an vital healthcare branch.

Obstetricians provide treatment and care for pre, post, and during pregnancy. They also handle labor delivery. Gynecologists, on the other hand, diagnose and treat the female reproductive organs for female patients of all ages.


This is another branch of medicine that some may classify as primary care. Geriatricians are primary care doctors that focus on the treatment and care for patients over 60. Memory issues, injuries related to falls, and deteriorating body functions because of age are some of the health conditions geriatricians treat.

Working in this medical specialty involves helping patients maintain independent physical functions and long-term care.

Diabetes Management: What Your Doctor Wants You to Know

Like so much else about health, diabetes management can be highly personal. Depending whether you experience Type I or Type II diabetes, you already know there are a number of things you need to do in order to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Keep these basics in mind between doctor’s appointments in order to help you manage your diabetes.

Follow Your Diet

Diabetes is an imbalance of blood sugar caused by the body’s inability to process sugar (glucose) and remove it from the body as quickly as it is taken in. If your body does not remove the sugar you take in from food, it will build up and cause medical problems. So one of the first things that all diabetics must learn to do is monitor their food intake. Diabetes can be well managed for some people by diet alone.

Talk with your doctor about the specifics that are right for you, but most diabetics follow a meal plan that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and salt. Choose foods that are unprocessed when possible, especially things like sauces and salad dressings. Whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables are often better for a diabetic to help regulate blood sugar. Your diet is a big part of diabetes management.

Exercise Daily

While most people try to get a few minutes of exercise every day, it’s especially important for people who are working on diabetes management. Physical activity boosts muscle activity, which helps your metabolism work harder to break down the sugars in your system. When you move your body, your whole body starts to move – on small, microscopic levels – that keep you healthy through and through.

Make it a goal to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. For low-impact exercises that don’t cause a great deal of stress on joints and lower limbs, try swimming, tai chi, or yoga. Elliptical machines can also be a good choice for people looking for low-impact but higher-cardio workouts.

Check Your Glucose Levels

Every day it is important for diabetes management to check your blood sugar levels. Knowing your normal, elevated, and low blood sugar levels are vital, and can even be life saving in certain circumstances. If you are on insulin therapy, it will be crucial to measure your blood sugar so you can properly administer your medicine.

While it used to be difficult and inconvenient to monitor blood sugar, today there are many options for easy-to-use and low-invasive blood glucose meters. Ask your health care provider about the best ways for you to check your glucose levels.

Monitor Your Medicine

At your regular doctor’s appointments, make sure you discuss your diabetes management regimen and whether it is still the right approach considering your current lifestyle. Maybe six months ago, you weighed a different amount or exercised more or less. Maybe there’s been a change in one of your other medications. In any case, make sure that you’re regularly discussing your treatment with your doctor and confirming that it’s the right treatment for you.

If you change your medication, be cautious. Read all labels and be aware of what the side effects of your new medication can be – especially any dangerous side effects that could alert you to an allergic reaction. For the first few days, follow all safety guidelines about driving and machinery and monitor yourself for any issues.

In addition, when you are shopping for over the counter medicines for minor aches and pains, cough medicines, or especially dietary supplements, make sure to discuss your current medications with a pharmacist. Ask if there will be any issues with combining the two medications or if the OTC medicine could affect your blood sugar.

Alcohol and Street Drugs

Don’t risk your blood sugar levels. One aspect of diabetes management that many people overlook – or at least, would like to overlook – is how alcohol and nonprescription drugs can affect blood sugar. Many alcoholic beverages cause problems for diabetics, as they can be packed with empty calories or loaded with refined sugars. Other alcohols might be mixed with sugary syrups or fruit juices, all of which can cause havoc on your blood sugar levels. Although most people don’t consider how street drugs might interact with their insulin or other diabetes medicines, many nonpharmaceutical drugs are mixed with powdered sugar or other substances that are safe for most people to digest, but can react negatively in a diabetic’s system.

The Importance of Primary Care Providers

Even if you and your family are primarily healthy, it’s highly recommended that you check in with your trusted family medical center. Having a primary care provider for your family is one of the essential factors in ensuring that you have optimal health.

If you don’t have a go-to family primary care provider, you might be missing out on achieving optimal health. We’ll share below how important it is to have one and what the benefits are.

What is a Primary Care Provider?

Primary care health professionals specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a wide variety of health conditions.

These health specialists are usually your first point of contact when it comes to your general and health care needs. They mainly have a family or internal medicine background.

The Institute of Medicine defines it as:

The provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.

Primary Care is Essential

According to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information under the US National Library of Medicine, over 100,000 deaths in the United States could have been prevented if there were more primary care providers available.

Having a primary medical provider has a lot of significant benefits, such as:

Living and Staying Healthier

Regular visits to your care provider allow you to be on top of your and your family’s health. Since you’re checking in with your healthcare provider regularly, you can better manage chronic conditions. Your health provider can also help you create a customized health plan and achieve your health goals.

Being Familiar and Comfortable with Your Healthcare Provider

Talking about your health is a private and intimate topic. When you discuss your health issues and conditions with anyone, it must be with someone who knows you and your medical history. Having a go-to healthcare provider gives you tailor-made and not just general healthcare solutions.

More Affordable Costs

Prevention is better than cure. When you are regularly visiting your healthcare provider, you’re taking the necessary steps to maintain your health. This allows you to monitor your health and avoid any extreme medical situations that need a trip to the emergency room or urgent care facilities.

Regular check-ups also help avoid hospital visits that may need confinement or further intrusive, more expensive treatment methods.

Building Trust and Communication

With a trusted primary care provider, you’ll find it easier to discuss more private and intimate medical concerns. Trust and communication, which are essential in any patient-doctor relationships, are critical in achieving optimal health.

Additionally, you’ll have more confidence in your overall health; your primary care provider will know you better over time. He or she can help you make the best healthcare-related decisions based on your health history and goals.

Different Specialties

While primary care providers or general practitioners can check your overall health, some specialists focus on a more distinct function of the body.

  • Internal medicine doctors, or internists, check adults for any medical concerns.
  • Gynecologists or obstetricians focus on checking and treating health conditions that affect women. They are usually the go-to primary care providers for women, especially those of childbearing age.
  • Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced training and education in a more specialized area such as pediatrics or gynecology.
  • Physician assistants are part of a doctor’s team. They are certified to do what doctors can do, but a doctor must supervise them.

Choosing the Right Provider for You

When selecting a primary healthcare provider, you should consider your personal needs.

Are the staff helpful and friendly? Do they return your calls? Does the doctor work with your health insurance plan?

You can always check the web for customer reviews and testimonials if you’re interested to see a primary care provider. Also, ask for recommendations from your family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.

Furthermore, you can ask your pharmacist or dentist for helpful information before you make a decision.

Final Thoughts

Aside from your spouse, children, or best friend, it’s your primary care provider who knows you best. Don’t forego this meaningful relationship you’ll have in your life.

Having a lasting and trusting relationship with your healthcare provider allows you to live a healthier, happier life.

Helping Your Kids Maintain a Healthy Weight

No age is too young to adopt healthy habits. And as a parent, it’s never too early to introduce eating habits to your kids so they can maintain a healthy weight. These good habits, along with regular visits to a pediatric primary care professional, will ensure that your children will feel their best.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity affects about 14 million children and adolescents (aged 2-19 years old) across the country. It has become a severe problem in the United States that is putting the health of children and adolescents at risk. As alarming as this data is, there are ways that parents can do to help overweight children lose weight and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Set a Good Example

A significant part of your parental responsibility is to teach your children to lead healthy lives. The ideal time to start imparting these teachings is when they are still young. Telling your kids what to do or what not to do will not always work. One of the most effective ways to teach children is to set a good example. They will need to see you making these habits as well.

Kids pick up most of their habits at home, from their parents. If everyone at home is eating microwavable dinners and other foods high in fat and sugar, then it’s easy to fall into that bad habit. Evaluate your family’s eating routine and behavior. Do you cook healthy meals or do you often get fast food takeout or heat up frozen dinners? If parents take a step towards healthy eating, then the children will follow as well. This simple act will help the children make healthy choices and develop lifelong good habits.

Stay Active

Every one of us – from kids to adults – all seem to be glued to our electronic gadgets. While technology has dramatically improved our lives, we still need to stay active and get regular physical activities. It’s recommended for kids to get a minimum of an hour of physical activity each day. Whether it’s joining a sports team in school or the community, or even just playing out in the backyard – whatever form of physical activity it is, it’s better than doing nothing.

As a family, you can engage in fun, group activities that will let you bond and stay active. However, make sure that the physical activities you plan are suited for your kids’ age, weight, and height. Talk to your pediatric primary care specialist to check what age-appropriate physical activities you can do.

Some of these activities are:

  • Go on a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. This bonding activity encourages talking to your kids and asking them how their day has been, without phones or TV as a distraction.
  • Go on nature hikes. It doesn’t have to be as intense as when it’s an adult activity; however, hiking with kids may get your heart rate up as much as regular soccer practice. While you’re at it, you can also enjoy some bird watching or pick up collectibles like leaves, rocks, or flowers, that you can add to your craft projects – another activity you can enjoy with your kids.
  • Follow a YouTube tutorial. While Youtube and the internet as a whole have kept kids from doing any physical activity, you can turn this around. Good news is there are plenty of Youtube videos about different kinds of exercises you can follow. Whether it’s a simple aerobic or a quick yoga session, check out kid-friendly Youtube exercise videos and follow them along with your kids.

Eat Healthy Snacks

When your kids come from school, they’re always on the hunt for an after-school snack around the house. When all you have on hand are potato chips, cookies, or other sugary and unhealthy snacks, then naturally they would only grab those. While those foods are enjoyable to eat, they should only be taken in moderation. Stock your pantry with healthy snack items. Go for apple slices, carrot sticks, peanut butter, vegetables. Consult with your pediatric primary care specialist for other healthy snack options you can get for your kids.

Do You Have Any Concerns About Your Kids’ Weight?

If your child’s weight is becoming a serious issue, give us a call. Turn to a pediatric primary care specialist for effective and safe methods to help your kids shed excess weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.