The Next Step in Quality Pediatric Health Care

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Whose Homework Is It Anyway?- Reducing the after school frustrations and fights.

Whose Homework Is It Anyway?

We’ve all seen the Staples commercial; Dad dancing down the aisle, getting school supplies, relishing the approaching day when his kids will be sent back to their schools.  No longer his responsibility, no more refereeing, no more attitudes. Peace at last.

Now, back to the cold reality.  Yes, your children are begrudgingly pushed onto buses and out of carpool doors, but, in the blink of an eye, they’re back, and they have homework. It seems like homework is becoming a larger and larger portion of children’s education, and completing it has brought many families whole new challenges, frustrations, battles, and questions of self-worth, for student and parent alike.

At the bottom of this blog there is a link to a comprehensive article published by the National Association of School Psychologists.  But just in case you’ve only got a few minutes before it’s time for you to decipher the new method of division (“MOM, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!”), here are the bullet points.

  • Important Points to set as law starting the year:
    • Homework is considered important in your home – getting it completed and handed in on time is his/her responsibility, and he/she will be held accountable.
    • You will be there for support, within reason. Your presence during homework can be comforting for a child feeling overwhelmed.  Be there to answer questions, and aid with refocusing and self-confidence.
    • You will not be there to do the homework. This interferes with your child’s education, and promotes the feeling that he/she can not succeed on their own.
  • Ways you can support your child with homework:
    • Establish clear homework routines: timing, a place in the house,
    • Check in daily. Not to micromanage, but to find out what things are due and when.  This can help your child organize things, and even remind them of things they’ve forgotten.
    • It takes a village! Split the support with your spouse (pick your best subjects), or utilize other family members, local high school students, etc.
    • Incentives help. Giving your child something to look forward to at the end of a homework session or project could be the stimulus they need.
    • Keep communications lines open with teachers. Find out if homework is being handed it, if assignments are coming home correctly, or if there are things you or the teacher can be doing to make your children more successful.

It is important to instill as many of these tips as possible early in the year.  When kids fall behind with school, a level of pressure can get added that makes even simple challenges seem insurmountable.  Make sure your family is getting the support it needs, both children and parents!


Again, you can click for the full article from the NASP entitled Homework: A Guide for Parents


You’ve got this!!

But if you need some support, you know where to find us!


When Cute Feet Go Bad…Tackling Foot Odor

When Cute Feet Go Bad…Tackling Foot Odor

It’s Summertime.  The sun is shining, ice cream and watermelon abound, and…Oh my!!! What is that smell? You look to the back of the minivan in horror, wondering what sort of animal has met its demise.  Could it be?  Could that rancid odor be coming from the feet of my pig-tailed beauty?  How is that possible?!

That scenario, shocking as it seems, is actually quite common.  Yes, children’s foot odor is one of the better kept secrets of parenthood.  Children’s feet tend to sweat much more than those of adults, making it a good environment for bacteria to grow. The bacterial culprit is kyetococcus sedentarius (be sure to remember to answer in the form of a question if asked on Jeopardy).  These bacteria live on the oils and dead skin cells of feet and produce sulfur-like byproducts, hence the powerful odors.

The good news is there are things you can do to help.

Handy (footy) Tips:

  • Washing – Now, this isn’t to say that your child’s feet smell because they are dirty, but showering daily and having your feet be in soapy water may not be enough to remove the skin cells and bacteria causing the problem. Specialized soaks and exfoliating foot scrubs will do a better job of removing bacteria (there is no evidence showing that anti-bacterial soaps are effective).
  • Avoid using lotions on feet that can clog pores and increase sweating. Try to use powders for any conditions needing treatment.
  • Try to avoid plastic and rubber footwear that could cause feet to perspire more. More breathable fabrics are preferred (leather, canvas, modern mesh). Cotton or moisture wicking socks are helpful too.
  • It can be helpful to have a few pairs of footwear, allowing you to switch daily, and give sneaker a chance to dry and air out.
  • Sock changes after exercise or whenever wet.
  • Finally, some footwear has removable shoe inserts that can be washed separately.
  • If all else fails, send them to grandma and grandpa’s for the summer!!

Foot odor in your children can be frustrating and even embarrassing, but don’t be discouraged. With some preventative measures, and detailed cleanings, your children’s feet will be the envy of the carpool!


Old Tappan Pediatrics Receives National Recognition as a Medical Home

Old Tappan Pediatrics Receives National Recognition as a Medical Home

Old Tappan Pediatrics has been awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  The NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The Recognition Programs were developed to help clinicians and practices support the delivery of high-quality care. The Recognition Programs are built on evidence-based, nationally recognized clinical standards of care.  Simply put, these are evidence based guidelines to show that we dedicate ourselves to the complete care of our patients, during a time when more and more fast-food health care centers are opening, trying to treat patients in 3 minutes or less.

We continue to improve ourselves to serve our patients better, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And now we’ve got the national recognition to prove it!  If you have any questions about our certification, please feel free to ask.

Camp and Sports Physicals

It’s that time of year again.  Our phones start ringing, the voices of frantic family members on the other end.  “My son just let me know that if he doesn’t get a check-up in the next 6 1/2 hours, he can’t play baseball, his future will be ruined, he’ll be destined to work on a corner in New York City, squeegee in hand”.  That’s a lot of pressure for a few well intentioned Pediatricians.

Physical season comes every year, like taxes and Taylor Swift romantic interests (sorry TSwift, but it’s true).  We do our best to accommodate as many appointments as possible, but we need your help to get everyone taken care of.  Often the requests come in bunches, and some patients are left going to school sports physical “car wash” events, where a group of health care people check various parts of your children for a few seconds, and claim them “fit for sports”.  These events relieve the schools of some liability, but do not do your child justice.  Yes, “breathe in, breathe out, turn your head and cough…done”, is very convenient, but we like to think that an annual physical should encompass a great deal more than that.

So pick up your date book, look ahead to the next few weeks, and make an appointment as far in advance as possible.  Set up a well visit for your child. Help us help you.

Enjoy your summer!