My youngest son recently had a birthday and like the dutiful mom, I posted embarrassing pictures of him on Facebook. Among all the “Happy Birthdays” were comments about “I remember when. . .” but mostly, “My how time flies”. I say all this because it’s becoming more and more common that my patients are not really new at all. I took care of their parents! The unsettling thing for me, however, is that the parents are NOT teen parents but FULL GROWN homeowners with families of two and three kids. My, how time flies. . . I look in amazement at the fact that I have been in practice for nearly 25 years. Many of these former patients may have been teenagers when we met so you sort of get the idea. In any case, I feel both honored and privileged that I have and will continue to touch so many lives. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take care of all of you—new and former patients.
I love you and thank you for trusting me!
Make vision screenings part of your child's yearly health routine.
While it's true that your child's school probably offers routine vision screenings every year, experts stress that it's important to have a comprehensive eye exam at their pediatrician's office as well. Most school screenings only test distance acuity; that is, whether or not your child has 20/20 vision. Pediatric Partners of Hampton Roads in Norfolk offer much more in-depth visual screenings to their patients. Here's why:
Visual problems can be mistaken or overlooked.
Although distance vision is a common problem for children, other problems with the eyes can go undiagnosed if only the distance vision is being tested. Furthermore, visual problems may be misinterpreted as behavioral or learning disabilities without a professional evaluation by your Norfolk pediatrician. Treatable conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), hyperopia (difficulty focusing at near distances), or strabismus (crossed eyes) are not typically diagnosed at school vision screenings.
A variety of tests pinpoints the exact vision problem.
Just as a dentist checks for a multitude of issues with the teeth - decay, misalignment or other abnormalities - your Norfolk pediatrician will conduct several tests to check each part of the eye for potential problems. These include testing your child's ability to read close-up, to focus, to track objects, to identify colors, and the competence of both eyes working together.
Healthy eyes contribute to success.
A child who has trouble differentiating colors or seeing the words in a book may suffer both socially and academically. Straining the eyes to see properly can also cause headaches and difficulty concentrating. By visiting Dr. Vernita Peeples or nurse practitioners Heather Westfall or Christine Hardy, you are giving your child the opportunity to correct any vision problems that may be causing other unnecessary issues.
If you'd like to schedule a vision screening at Pediatric Partners of Hampton Roads, give our Norfolk office a call today!
As a pediatrician, every day should be “Children’s Day” but believe it or not, there is an official Children’s Day in June. It occurs midway between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In the “country” where I grew up, it meant a special church program where the children were expected to recite Bible passages or perform in a cute skit or sing in the children’s choir. It also meant ice cream and cake after services. Although, I think of this “special day” as a “little known fact”, my sister, to my chagrin, always remembers the day and sends well wishes to all her nieces and nephews. For her kids, she gives a small token of love. The only bad thing about this is that my kids wonder why their mom—a children’s advocate, never remembers the day. My solution—let’s rename it Aunt Rain’s Children’s Day. LOL—Just kidding.
As our children grow, remember, however, to become advocates for your children.
- Have open and honest communication—the family supper table is a great opportunity to sit with your child and hear their thoughts on current events and things happening with their peers.
- Keep computers in open areas so that you can monitor your child’s computer content. Check out the social networks and chat rooms that they may be using. Place parental controls on websites that you do not want them to visit. Monitor screen time and set limits on cell phone usage especially at night (which may affect your child’s sleep hygiene).
- Sign up for the parent portal at the school so that you can monitor your child’s scholastic progress. Involve your kids with the portal so that they also utilize it to check for missing assignments or papers, then they won’t feel as if you are spying on them.
- Know your children’s friends—host fun events in your home so that their friends are comfortable in your home and you, in turn, will get an opportunity to get to know them.
Developing healthy relationships with your children will make every day a “Children’s Day”!
Remember, June 14th is Children’s Day!!!
Just the other day my son stopped by my office for an impromptu visit. Never mind that I just saw him that morning before he left to go to work/school, it still brought a feeling of joy and pride in my heart to see him. I feel that joy anytime anyone of my four kids stops by and pays me a visit or even when I come home and find them there waiting to tell me some interesting story. I am excited because they have given me the greatest gift—the gift of motherhood and with it came, insight (mother’s intuition) and wisdom and gratefulness that I have been able to create and impact a child’s life.
With Mother’s Day coming in just one week, I started to reflect on some of the great memories that I’ve shared with my kids—visits to the zoo, the dairy farm, school field trips (yes, I did chaperone one or two), violin and piano recitals, poetry slams and talent shows, soccer, softball and football games. I kept (and still do) the largest bundle of keys so that as my boys ran in those track meets, they could hear them jingling in celebration in the background. My kids and I share “memory making moments”—moments that don’t always get photographed but are definitely noteworthy. I can’t imagine my life without them.
Today’s blog only gives you one pediatric tip—most kids don’t remember your presents—an outfit or expensive shoes that you bought last summer but they remember your presence at their school play two years ago. Those important memories will stay with them and they will in turn, give you “moments”—like dropping in unexpectedly at your job just to chat.
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