Flu or Common Cold, How Can You Tell 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.

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 make an appointment with one of our providers since the illness can become complicated if your child is running a fever and/or dehydrated. 

Providers 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 Colds

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 or wet weather, but there is little evidence to support these beliefs.

Treatment for the common cold is “time.”  

There isn’t much one can do. However you should make an appointment with our office 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.
  • 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
  • Blue lips, skin or fingernails.





New: Expanded Office Hours

We are happy to let everybody know that we are expanding our patient care hours. Beginning October 1st, we will offer appointments starting at 8:00am until 6:00pm. 

Please note that office phone lines will remain close until 9:00am. In the afternoon, we will forward the lines to our answering service at 5:00pm. 

We hope that the expanded hours will help those of you juggling work, school, personal commitments, after school activities and other things, to have more options to bring your children to see our providers.

Staff Meeting & Training

We also would like to point out that the expanded hours makes it difficult to conduct staff meetings and training, so we decided to close the office for one hour on Fridays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm to conduct our weekly staff meeting and training.

As always, we would like to thank you all for entrusting the care of your child to us. We truly value our partnership with you to help your child reach their full potential as it relates to their health.  




We're Hiring


We have 3 job opening here at Salud Pediatrics. If you are interested in learning about each one of them, scroll below for details.  

Medical Assistant

The medical assistant positions works closely with providers by preparing patients for examinations, take patient history and vitals signs. The MA also assist in collecting specimens and instructs patients regarding preparations for test, immunizations as well as Assist in opening the office, initiating days activities and answering telephone.  

This is a Full-Time position, working days & alternating Saturdays (Sundays off). 


  • Minimum 2 year direct patient care experience not including externship in a Pediatric setting. 
  • Graduate of an Medical Assistant program or Externship experience in Medical Assistant program. 
  • 1 year medical office experience in a clinical environment. 

Registered Nurse

The RN  position assesses, plans, implements, evaluates and documents nursing care of patients under the direction of providers, organizational policies and in accordance with standards of professional nursing practice. This position is accountable for the quality of nursing services delivered by self or others who are under their direction. This position utilizes specialized knowledge, judgment, and nursing skills necessary to assess data and plan, provide and evaluate care appropriate to the physical and developmental age of assigned patients. 

This is a Full-Time day position with rotating Saturdays (8:45am - 1:30pm) and Sunday's off

Job Requirements 

  • Completion of an Associate’s degree, diploma, or BSN from an accredited school of nursing. 
  • Current licensure to practice nursing in the State of Illinois. 
  • Current CPR certification. 

Patient Representative

The Patient Representative position is a patient centered position that helps callers make appointments, answer questions, direct calls to the appropriate department, document messages and relay information to callers among other things. Other responsibility include:

  • Answer all incoming calls in a courteous manner
  • Take and distribute messages as needed
  • Greet all patients and their families in a friendly manner
  • Process incoming mail, filing
  • Distribute faxes
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Back up for front desk staff members

 Job Requirements 

  • MUST speak fluent Spanish.
  • Candidate must have excellent phone etiquette
  • Good communication skills,
  • Proficiency in multi-tasking,
  • Proficiency with computers, typing, and proper grammar are also essential to the role. 
  • Strong customer service background
  • Must possess good organization skills
  • Flexibility to work in a reactionary environment
  • Willingness to be a team player

The Patient Respresentative is a Full-Time position with alternating Saturdays. 

If you think you fit the qualification for any of these jobs, send Brandon an email at brandon (@)



How We Feel About Retail Based Clinics


Clinics offered by retails stores such as Mal-Mart and CVS ( i.e. MinuteClinic) is a convenient and often less expensive option for parents to address pressing medical issues with their children. 

However, most pediatricians I know of frown upon parents taking their children to CVS or Walgreens for pediatric care. The reason? Pediatricians believe, among other things, that retail based clinics fragments a child's care. 

For example, providers at retail clinics - which are not staffed by doctors, but rather mid-level providers such as physician assistant and nurse practitioners - often provide test without properly following up with patients.

There is also an issue of quality standards. 

In a recent study of 14,000 people conducted in the St. Louis area, found that health care providers at retail clinics prescribe unnecessary antibiotics.

For instance, two-thirds of patients who had colds or the flu (which are viral infections) were given antibiotics, which is not recommended by national guidelines.
According to the study, respiratory tract infection accounted for a large number of visits to retail health clinics. 

If providers are in fact prescribing antibiotics that were not necessary, the potential harm from widespread overuse of antibiotics for these common illnesses could have significant un-intended consequences for children. 

At Salud Pediatrics, we understand that in some circumstances parents don't always have the option to come to our practice when their child is sick. 

However, as trusted partners in the healthcare of your child, and in alignment with our mission to help each and every child reach his or her full potential, we feel it is necessary to bring awareness to some of the potential pitfalls that can occur as a result of visiting clinics offered by Wal-Mart, CVS and the likes. 

We also believe it is important to highlight that as your child's doctor, we have a comprehensive understanding and awareness of your child's health that enables us to provide a personalized and tailored medical services to you and your child. 

Parenting Tips on Potty Training [Guest Post]

Today's guest post come from Dr. Melissa Arca. Dr. Arca is a pediatrician, blogger and mom. She works part-time while raising her two young children, Big Brother (age 6) and Little Sister (age 3). She is passionate about writing and writing about motherhood, parenting, and children’s health is what she does best. Dr. Arca blogs regularly atConfessions of a Dr. Mom. This post appeared originally on Dr. Arca’s blog Confessions of a Doctor Mom.


Potty training seems to incite fear and stress among parents.

And with all the horror stories we read and hear from family, friends, neighbors, etc…it’s no wonder. It doesn’t help that there’s a stark paucity of science to support one strategy over the other. Even timing is up for debate. So, what’s a potty training parent to do?

First, take a deep breath, relax, and know that your child will progress on to big kid underwear. I promise. It will happen.

I’m a huge believer in “follow your child’s lead” and the rest will eventually fall in to place. I also advocate for keeping it as low key and stress free as possible. I’ve got two potty trained kiddos under my parenting belt. One potty trained at 3 ½ and needed much encouragement and positive reinforcement. The other at 2 ½ and she practically potty trained herself.

Which brings me to my next potty training mantra…tailor your approach to match the temperament and development stage of your own unique child.

Parents frequently get trapped by their own good intentions when it comes to potty training. I’ve gotten trapped myself. But…no need to get hung up on some common potty training pitfalls. Save yourself (and your child) time, stress, and worry by making sure you don’t get hung up on these…

Comparing your child to your friend’s child. Or to a younger or older sibling for that matter. In general, it’s not a great idea to compare milestones with other moms. Kids are unique and develop on their own unique timelines. Potty training is no different. Just because your friend’s daughter was completely potty trained by 2, does not mean your 3 year old is delayed or that your friend has superior parenting skills.

In fact, the age at which a child potty trains is not a reflection of good or bad parenting. It’s ultimately up to the child. It is, after all, the child’s success. Not ours to own.

What matters most is to get started with the process once your child displays readiness signs such as ability to help dress/undress self, shows interest in using the potty, can tell you when he is wet or needs to go poop, takes pride in his independence, and really wants those big kid underwear.

In general this can happen anytime between 18 months-3 years old. Some studies actually show that initiation of potty training prior to 27 months old does not lead to completion sooner than if you waited. Both my children fell on the latter end of the spectrum and the upside to that is they reached completion fairly quickly. No long drawn out process. 

Potty training is more important to you than to your child. Toddlers are incredibly intuitive. They know when you’re stressed, anxious, or upset. And if you’re any of these things when it comes to potty training, you can bet your little one will put up quite the fight. Your child must want this. If not, you’ll just be banging your head against the wall.

You punish or get upset when your child has an accident. Do your best to stay positive, even on accident filled days. We know accidents will happen. The first few days will be a steep learning curve for everyone. Praise for effort and by all means, if your child is motivated by reward charts…use them.

All or nothing. Parents often expect nighttime dryness to coincide with daytime potty training. In most cases, this simply doesn’t happen. And it’s completely normal. It often takes months to years for children to become dry at night. It’s okay for your child to wear pull-ups at night. This is not considered a potty training failure or set-back by any means.

Also, many children will not have a bowel movement in the toilet for months after being potty trained. Be patient. It will happen. No need to force the issue. 

Constipation. If it hurts for your child to have a bowel movement, you can bet he’ll be resistant to try to poop in the toilet. Make sure your child’s stools are soft and regular by offering fiber rich foods and plenty of water daily.

Potty training, like many parenting issues, is not an exact science. Take heart in knowing that you can support and guide your child through the process, but ultimately this milestone is his to accomplish and own. It’s such a fantastic step toward independence for them. Do your best to lovingly support and gently encourage. When they are ready it will happen. 

It will.

And soon, you will be packing up all the left over diapers and pull-ups ready to donate them to a friend in need. The tears welling up in your eyes will be your bittersweet reminder that time indeed marches on and diaper clad toddlers grow up and blossom into preschoolers donning big kid underwear.

Relax my dear friends, family, and parents in the throes of potty training. Free yourselves from the potty training traps. For in this case, time is really on your side.

How did potty training go in your household? What questions do you have about potty training? Are you stressed about it?