Healthy Eating during the Holidays

Rachna Patel, MD,  December 2018

  • With the holidays approaching, family and friends will be gathering together and mostly around food. It can be difficult to keep up with your family’s good eating habits during this time. Here are a few tips that can help keep you and your family on track:
  •  Offer plenty of vegetables and fruits during holiday meals
  • Choose more vegetable based dishes high in protein and fiber. Try to eat the fruits, vegetables, and protein first before going for the sweets.
  •  Keep normal eating patterns
  • Consistency is important to keep your children on track. Avoid eating light throughout the day and then binging on your favorite holiday meals. This will help you from overeating.
  •  Try healthy substitutes
  • Instead of butter, try using avocado or banana. Replace some sugar with applesauce or black beans for flour.
  •  Make sure the protein is lean
  • Turkey, roast beef, or fresh ham are good choices. Trim the visible fat before cooking. Instead of frying, try broiling, baking the protein, or cooking in an air fryer
  •  Organize a family activity
  • Enjoy a walk outside after dinner or visit to a park. Play games or organize a scavenger hunt!

Halloween Safety

Laurie Wolf, CPNP, October 2018

It’s time to bring out the pumpkins and candy! Be prepared for a safe night out with your ghosts and goblins with these safety tips.

  • An adult should always accompany young children for trick or treating.
  • Each person trick or treating should carry their own flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • For older children without an accompanying adult, discuss the route they intend to take and a specific time to return.
  • Only visit homes with a porch light on.
  • Pick masks and costumes that don’t obscure vision to prevent trips and falls.
  • The most common injury to children on Halloween is pedestrian/car related. Discuss street crossing safety.
  • Inspect all candy before allowing children to consume it.

Have fun!

703-361-7131   Manassas

703-753-6184   Haymarket

Crestwood  Pediatric  Associates

Swimming pool safety!

Dr. Jennifer Bradford, DO, FAAP, June 2018

School is out and it’s time for some summer fun! For most families, this includes lots of swimming in either community pools or a backyard pool on a fairly regular basis. Here are some key safety points to keep in mind to keep the kids safe while swimming this summer:

- An adult who is able to swim (and preferably who is CPR-trained as well!) should always be present at the pool actively watching older children swim and actually in the pool with infants and toddlers free from any distractions like smart phones, house/yard work, socializing, and alcohol.

- Remember that inflatable swimming aids (“floaties”) are not a substitute for approved life jackets and offer a false sense of security.

- It is a good idea to have a few rules for playing in the pool if you do have your own backyard pool. These might include no running on the pool deck, no diving, no electrical appliances near or in the pool, no toys near the pool when not using the pool, and no tricycles or bicycles near the pool, and of course, no using the pool without an adult physically present as mentioned above.

- If you do have your own pool, one of the best ways to protect children in addition to having adult supervision, is having a fence completely around the pool to prevent any accidents.

- Remember that children over the age of 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swim lessons, but such lessons should not be considered to “drown proof” any child. Adult supervision is always needed!

So, grab your swimsuits, have fun this summer at the pool, and always stay safe!

Nip Allergies in the Bud

Dr. Rachna Patel, MD, April 2018

Spring means children playing outside, sunshine, flowers budding, and leaves on trees. It also means itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, and congestion. Luckily, there are ways to help reduce allergy symptoms this spring season:


- Reduce exposure to triggers. 

- Remove clothes worn outside and shower at night. 

- Keep doors and windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Vacuum/dust your home often. 

- Be sure to change bed sheets every week. 

- Keep your nose clean. 

- Clean out your nose with a nasal saline spray. For toddlers, use a nasal aspirator or bulb syringe to suck out their noses.
- Rinse nasal passages to help relieve congestion by using distilled or sterile water in a squeeze bottle or neti pot.

Using an over-the- counter allergy medication Antihistamines such as loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine can help receive congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose. Decongestants, both oral and nasal, help relieve nasal congestion. Some options are pseudoephedrine and oxymetazoline. There are many ways to treat allergies and usually can be controlled with the use of
supportive measures and medication. However, you may have to try several different approaches before you find what works best for your child. If allergies are still not under control, seeing the pediatrician is a great place to start!

Mumps Outbreak at James Madison University

Several confirmed cases of mumps has been reported at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA. Several more cases are suspected with test results pending. Mumps is a mild to moderate contagious viral illness that is spread through close (face-to-face) contact with an infected individual. Symptoms usually appear 12-25 days following exposure and include body aches, fever, and swollen or tender salivary glands. If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms and has been exposed to mumps, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Up to 10% of people who have received two doses (the routine schedule) of the MMR vaccine are still susceptible to infection from the virus. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that individuals in an outbreak setting receive a third dose of the MMR vaccine to prevent against infection. This recommendation is supported by a study performed at a university with over 20,000 students during a mumps outbreak. 

To prevent the spread of mumps - or any virus - the following actions are recommended:

              - Wash hands with soap and warm water

              - Don't share food, drinks, or utensils

              - Limit your contact with people who show symptoms of illness

              - Clean surfaces that are frequently touched (doorknobs, tables, counters, bathrooms) with soap and water or other                                  disinfectant


We at Crestwood Pediatric Associates are concerned about the increasing use by our patients of retail based clinics or urgent care centers. Here are some important things to consider before you go:

  • The medical provider at an urgent care center does not have your child’s record. All children are not the same.  Having your child’s record allows us to define a treatment program specific for your particular child’s needs taking into account all prior treatments and diagnoses.
  • The medical provider at the urgent care center is unlikely to be a board certified pediatrician. This means that they are not specialists in pediatric care. They do not have the same level of experience and training.  They are much more likely to miss a diagnosis or overprescribe antibiotics as compared to a trained pediatrician.
  • Bringing your child to an urgent care center breaks up the continuity of care. Recurring conditions such as recurrent ear infections and recurrent strep throat may need referral to a specialist for consideration for surgery.  The number of episodes will not be accurately recorded. This leads to a delay in treatment.
  • The urgent care center does not have the immunization record. Every time we see your child in our office is an opportunity for us to review their immunization record and update needed vaccines. Since the urgent care center does not have this record, your child’s vaccines are much more likely to be delayed.
  • Since the urgent care center does not have your child’s record, they do not know about any chronic conditions, outstanding tests, and results of referrals that your child has had. We take the opportunity on every visit to catch up on these or to arrange follow up visits to discuss these issues. Parents that have chosen to have their children go to the urgent care center then have to make a separate visit in our office to address these issues. This results in delays in treatment and increased cost.

Parents are often unsure when a problem arises when our office is closed if it can wait till the office opens in the morning. We have 24/7 on-call physicians that can help you make the decision to go to an urgent care center or ER, or if it can wait till the office opens in the morning.

We understand that children get sick at night and on the weekend. Our office is open until 9 PM most nights and on Saturday morning to give maximum flexibility in scheduling to our patients.

We remain your partner in your child’s care. We want what is best for your child as do you. Please consider the above carefully the next time you consider going to an Urgent Care Center.