Announcement Regarding New Patients

We are currently staffed well enough to be able to open up our practice to a limited monthly amount of new pediatric patients of all insurance types, including OHP/WVCH. Please call and talk to our billing office if you would like to bring your children to us.

As always, we are NOT able to accept patients on Kaiser-Permanente plans or on CareOregon. We do accept WVCH and most commercial plans such as Providence, BC/BS, MODA, HealthNet, Aetna, and a number of others.

Doctor’s Office, Urgent Care Clinic, or Emergency Room?

Where you go for your care matters

For most medical problems, you should go to your regular health care provider first. You get the best care because they know you and your medical history. 

Doctor’s Office

The best place to get care is a doctor’s office for common illnesses, management of chronic illnesses, minor injuries, and routine health exams. Your doctor can also help you manage your health over time. Your records are available and you get care from a pediatric specialist.

You should make an appointment with your doctor’s office for:

  • Common illnesses such as colds, flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever or rashes
  • Minor injuries such as sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or minor eye injuries
  • Regular physicals, prescription refills, vaccinations, and screenings
  • A health problem where you need advice
  • Chronic illness that has worsened or needs checking up on

Usually open during regular business hours as well as evenings and weekends.

Urgent Care Clinics

When your doctor's office is not available, urgent care clinics provide attention for non-life threatening medical problems or problems that could become worse if you wait.

Urgent care clinics provide walk-in appointments and are often open seven days a week with extended hours. 

When your regular doctor or health care provider is not available, you should go to an urgent care clinic for:

  • Common illnesses such as colds, the flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever, rashes
  • Minor injuries such as sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or minor eye injuries

Usually open extended hours into the evening and on weekends. Some urgent care clinics are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hospital Emergency Rooms

You should use a hospital emergency room for very serious or life threatening problems. Hospital emergency rooms are not the place to go for common illnesses or minor injuries.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, don’t wait! Call 911 or get to your nearest hospital emergency room.

  • Severe abdominal pain 
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Severe burns
  • Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or loss of coordination or balance 
  • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg 
  • Sudden, severe headache (not a migraine)
  • New Seizures
  • High fevers
  • Any other condition you believe is life threatening

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

No matter where you go for care, be sure to bring a list of the current medications you are taking.

When illness, accidents, and injuries happen, where should you go for care? 

If you’re unsure where to go for help, call your doctor or a health help line 24 hours a day. 

Important: New Procedures at our Reception Desk

Childhood Health is always looking for ways to improve patient safety and communication. We will be asking adults who bring our patients to their appointments to show a photo ID when checking in with the patient. You may also be asked to fill out an "Alternate Caregiver" document. This document allows the parent or guardian of the patient to list other adults who have permission from the parent or guardian to bring the patient in for appointments.  These other adults also need to be prepared to show a photo ID. Thank you for helping us improve the safety of our patients!!

Use of Electronic Devices in Childhood and Adolescence: Guidelines from Dr. Joel Lampert

 

Have questions about what electronic devices are appropriate for what ages, and in what amounts? Our own Behavioral Health Consultant, Joel Lampert PsyD shares some guidelines that you may find helpful.

Babies born in 1993 became the first generation to grow up with a consistent electronic presence. They have never known a world without computers, cell phones, video games and other technological wonders. As smartphones and other devices continue to gain popularity, parents increasingly have to make decisions related to if and/or when they should allow their children to have these items. Childhood Health Associates of Salem providers are frequently asked about “the right age” for children to get their first cell phone, gaming system or other device. Parents also have questions about safety concerns that come along with increased exposure to the online world. Here are some considerations and recommendations:

Facts:

  • The more technology you are exposed to, the more difficult it can be to concentrate

  • Today’s young people are likely to be involved in many social media applications such as texting, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Whisper, Tinder, Klout, Kiip and others

  • Gaming addiction and binge-watching have become more common

  • Approximately one third of teen drivers text or email while driving

  • The average age of first exposure to pornography is eight (8) years old

  • Girls send more than 80 texts/day; Boys send more than 50 texts/day

  • Cell phone use is increasingly common

    • 31% of children aged 8-10yrs have cell phones

    • 69% of children aged 11-14yrs have cell phones

    • 85% of children aged 14-17yrs have cell phones

  • Many user agreements for social media and other sites require that you agree they will “own” materials posted to their sites, even if copies are removed from pages; those materials can then be used for other purposes without further consent

  • Any information posted to the internet should be considered permanent and likely will become public

  • Privacy settings can be confusing and change frequently

  • We often feel safe using the internet because it feels like we are in control and can stop at any time or chat online without consequences; however, it is important to keep in mind that people often portray themselves to be someone else online and unsafe content is only a click away

Recommendations:

  • Parents and children/teens should openly discuss digital safety

    • what information to share/not share

    • what sites to use/not use

    • when parents will access a child’s content/sites, texts, etc. and when they won’t

  • Limit use of all electronics and other screen time to no more than two hours per day

  • Consider an “electronics free” hour or a “digital free day” to increase interactions with family off-line

  • Eat meals together without electronic interference by turning off cell phones off during meal time

  • Parents and children need to decide what are appropriate boundaries. Examples:

    • parents may review social media accounts and retain passwords

    • parents may review text messaging

    • consider limiting types of gaming and movies/tv shows by age group

  • Parents need to model appropriate digital use. Examples:

    • do not use electronics while driving

    • do not answer the phone during meals or important events, etc.

    • avoid devices when having face to face conversations

  • Do not allow use of electronics (including television) for any child under the age of two years

    • consider moving televisions, computers and other commonly used technology to spaces in your home that are not common areas

    • do not allow your children to use your cell phones or other handheld technology

    • incorporate daily time to read, play games and engage in other activities as a family and individually

  • Consider use of internet filters

  • Eliminate electronics from bedrooms, especially if you have trouble with sleep

  • Parents should investigate platforms their children are using

  • Be conscious of trends in technology and new apps that become popular

Questions to ask to help you decide when your child is ready for his/her own device:

  • Is he/she trustworthy?

  • Does he/she lose things?

  • Can he/she use the device safely and responsibly?

  • Will he/she abide by the parent/child agreements about having the device?

  • Does he/she need the device for safety reasons?

  • What does he/she really need--e.g., basic phone vs smart phone?

  • Who pays any bills associated with the device--if child pays all or a portion of the bill does that change any parent/child agreements?

  • Will you and your child sign a contract for use of electronics that parents will be able to reinforce?

    • What happens if there is an overage for data/time/etc.--who pays the bill?

    • When does usage of technology get restricted?

    • When can usage of technology be increased?

    • How do we address technology that costs money on a case-by-case basis such as pay-to-play games or websites?

  • Try to find some common ground to be able to go online together in an effort to model using the internet safely: e.g., plan a family activity, engage in family genealogy, or play an online game together.

As always, if you have any questions, would like to discuss anything in this article, or need any assistance talking with your child, teen or spouse about how to navigate the digital world please schedule an appointment with the Behavior Health team at Childhood Health Associates of Salem at (503) 364-2181