Is Money Dirty? It Is, But Not In Ways You'd Think. 

During this time of the year, we often hear about the importance of washing our hands so that we don't spread germs.

We tell our kids to use their elbows, instead of their hands, to cover cough or sneezes. We also ensure they use hand sanitizer as often as they can after playing outside, touching grocery carts and visiting the restroom.

As it turns out, there is something just as bad at spreading germs that most don't even consider it. And that is MONEY

Dr. Pai, from Kids Plus Pediatrics explains to use that scientists are discovering a surprising number of microbes (Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi) living on cash.

His conclusion? Bottom line: all money is dirty, and bad germs lurk in many unexpected places!

To read in detail Dr. Pai's article, click on the link below


More on: Flu or Cold, What is the Difference? 


Although vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu, practicing healthy habits can also lend a hand in prevention. For example, washing your children’s hands and asking them to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing is a good way to avoid spreading germs. Of course it always best to stay away from people who are sick. 

Flu vs. Colds

Flu symptoms can vary from child to child – and they can change as the illness progresses. The flu has symptoms that make a child worse than symptoms associated with a common cold. However, it is not that easy to tell the difference between the two. To help decide whether your child is fighting the flu or a cold, ask yourself these questions about your child’s symptoms.

Questions to ask - Is it Flu or is it a Cold?


Flu Cold

Was your child's onset of illness Sudden Slow

Does your child have a Fever No (or mild) fever

Is your child's exhaustion level Severe Mild

Is your child's cough Dry Severe or hacking

Is your child's throat Fine Sore

Is your child's head Achy Headache - free

Is your child's appetite Decreased Normal or midly decreased

Are your child's muscles Achy Fine

Does your child have Chills No Chills


What to do if my child has the flu? 

Unlike other infections, the flu does not always require treatment. But it is always best to inform your pediatrician since the illness can become complicated if your child is running a fever and/or dehydrated. Doctors may prescribe an antiviral medicine, but in reality, these medicine usually only shorten the course of the infection by just 1 or 2 days-provided your child’s illness is reported at an early stage. Here are a few helpful tips one can do to help your child feel better should he or she come down with the flu.

  • Offer plenty of fluids. Try ice pops, icy drinks and soft fruits should your child get tired of drinking water.
  • Encourage bed rest.
  • Acetaminophens (such as Tylenol) and ibuprofens (such as Advil or Motrin) tend to relieve aches and pains. Do not give aspirin.
  • It is important to continue encouraging healthy habits by washing you and your family’s hands thoroughly and often. 
  • Keep them home from work or school. You will help prevent others from catching their illness.

Common Cold

Common cold symptoms may include sore throat, headache, mild fever, aches and loss of appetite. Unfortunately, no effective cold vaccine has ever been developed, so it is not easy to prevent. But much like the flu, practicing healthy habits can go a long way.

Some people believe that kids may be more vulnerable to colds if they do not eat nutritious meals; they are stressed or tired; if they are exposed to cold, wet weather - but there is little evidence to support many of these beliefs.

Treatment for the common cold is “time.” There isn’t much one can do. However you should contact your pediatrician if there is increased throat pain; coughing which produces green or gray sputum or lasts more than 10 days; fever lasting several days or over 101F; or if the child has shaking chills, chest pain or shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, poor intake of fluids, pain in the ear, unusual lethargy, enlarged, tender glands in the neck, or blue lips, skin or fingernails.



What Is The Difference Between The Cold And the Flu?


People often throw these terms around without distinction. Especially during this season. These diseases are quite distinct even though they do share or have overlapping symptoms. 

The people from the Khan Academy, put together this great 12 minute video explaining the difference. 

The Khan Academy stresses that this video is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The intent is for informational purposes only. 

If you have any questions pertaining to your child's health, concerning the flu or otherwise, feel free to give us a call. We'd be happy offer our advice. 




Meridian Health Plan Confirmed as In-Network

Hello Friends,

Quick blog post to let you know that we have received confirmation from our Meridian Health Plan rep that our office (Salud Pediatrics and Doctors) is in-network with the plan.

We were also informed that it may take a 2 or 3 days to appear as providers under Meridian's in-network provider list. If you don't see us there today, we advise you to wait and check back at another time.

If you have any questions about the enrollment process or if trouble, we encourage you to call Meridian directly at 1-866-606-3700 for information.


Changes to Illinois Medicaid And How It May Affect You

Many of you have been calling our offices regarding the changes to Illinois Medicaid. We wanted to share with you what we know and what you can do to keep Dr. Joanna Betancourt or Dr. Sandra Graba as your primary care providers.

The State of IL is requiring that all Medicaid insured people in Cook County and nearby counties enroll in one of the "managed" or "coordinated" care Medicaid plans.

If your child is enrolled in Medicaid, you should have receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) which included a list of all the plans and instructions on what to do to enroll.

Which Medicaid plans will Dr. Betancourt and Dr. Graba participate in?

In order to answer this questions while remaining compliant with the HFS Manage Care Rollout guidelines, our office mailed a letter to our Medicaid patients stating which Medicaid plans Salud providers will accept.




When will Dr. Betancourt and Dr. Sandra accept the new insurance?

We began the enrollment process with the plans a few weeks back, however, the process takes several weeks. Our plan representatives are doing everything they can to make sure providers will be in-network by Nov1st.

What happens if you enroll in one of the plans the practice accepts, but Dr. Betancourt or Dr Graba are not enrolled by Nov 1st?

If Dr. Betancourt or Dr. Graba do not appear as in-network providers on Nov 1st, check back frequently. It may take a few days before the database gets updated.

Keep in mind that within a plan, you are able to change providers once a month.

What can I do if I was automatically enrolled in a plan that Salud Pediatrics doesn't belong to?

You have 90 days from the time that you enrolled or were automatically enrolled to change your plan. If you do not change plans within the first 90 days, you will have the opportunity to change plans again one year later.

If you have any questions and/or are ready to enroll, you can call Illinois HFS Client Enrollment Services at 877.912.8880.