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?


Traveling on a plane with the kids this summer? Here is how to prepare

Traveling with kids is never easy. But at least for those of us that have done it before, we know what to expect and prepare accordingly. 

For those parents that have never been a plane with their child(s), it can be pretty stressful. It is not like they give lessons on this sort of stuff before you go home from the hospital. 

Don't worry. We have you covered. 

We've embedded an infographic with tips and advice to help while traveling with your young one or ones. 

Oh, and one last thing that the infographic doesn't mention that we'd like to bring up. Have lots of patiences. 





Annual Physicals - Scheduling Them Now

School is not quite over yet. But we've begun to schedule school physical appointments for the summer months.

Keep in mind that many camps require physicals as well. And if you child is participating in sports this summer, they may also require a a sports physical.

But more important, here at Salud Pediatrics, we believe that yearly wellness examinations are an important part of what we do.

During these visits, providers have the opportunity to do a complete head-to-toe health exam that may not be possible during acute type visits.

Give us a call: 847-854-9402 

You can change it later if you want. But put it on the books and we will give you a call the day before to remind you.


Form And Letter - New Policy

In the past, as a courtesy, we've filled out all requested forms as well as written letters on your behalf.

Recently, more of you are requiring us to fill out forms and write letters. This recent influx has disrupted our ability to provide the consistent level of service that we strive for. Providers and their staff are spending many hours fulfilling these requests; which take time away from patient care.

As a result, we felt the need to put in place a policy to address this issue. Starting this new year (2013), we will be charging for forms that were NOT requested during your child's office visit.

We will continue to fill out school, sports and camp forms, asthma medication school forms and others during your child's office visit free of charge if the request is made at the time of your child’s visit.

However, if a request to complete a form occurs after your child’s visit, a charge will apply.

There will also be a charge if you require a provider or a staff member to draw up a specific letter.

Unfortunately, a fee will be applied regardless if the request is made during or after the appointment due to the time it requires to prepare such a letter.

As always, we want to thank you for entrusting to us the care of your child. We view our relationship as a partnership to help your child reach his or her full healthcare potential.