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  • Writer's pictureDr. Sally Smith

October 2023 - All About Fall!

Welcome! For this first exciting newsletter, I've included every patient (for whom I have an email) I've had the privilege of caring for over the years (if you are wondering how the heck you got roped into these emails! ;)). However, you can easily opt out of these monthly newsletters at any time by clicking the 'unsubscribe' button at the bottom of the email. Alternatively, if you (friends, neighbors, grandparents...) would like to opt-in to these emails, please click here and sign up when prompted!


Happy Fall! It's such a beautiful and often crispy, leafy time of year, and the kids (and parents) are getting all settled into the school routine. Kids back in school usually means a sudden upswing in those contagious and infectious illnesses, but thankfully so far this season has been a relatively healthy one! I’m just starting to get more calls and visits pertaining to those pesky viral illnesses that pop up this time of year - specifically croup, influenza, hand-foot-mouth disease, common cold with coughs, and strep throat. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me by text or call if you have any concerns about your child.

Virus Watch: Croup

Croup is a common viral respiratory illness, often caused by the parainfluenza virus, that primarily affects young children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. The key characteristic of croup is the sudden onset (usually in the wee hours of the night) of a loud, barky, hoarse cough, often accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the child's throat. This cough can be alarming for parents, and it's not the most comfortable experience for your child either. In most cases, it's a mild infection, often associated with fever and typical common cold symptoms such as runny nose and congestion. However, this virus can become more severe, causing upper airway obstruction and respiratory distress, which may require a visit to the emergency department.

Mild croup can usually be managed at home. When your child experiences croup symptoms, you can help alleviate their symptoms by holding them upright, comforting and reassuring them, and stepping outside to let them breathe in the colder nighttime air, which can reduce throat swelling.

As previously mentioned, in some instances, croup can escalate, causing upper airway obstruction and breathing difficulties. If your child experiences severe symptoms, such as pronounced stridor (a high-pitched sound when breathing), retractions (visible pulling in of the chest wall during breathing), or significant difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention, often at the nearest emergency department.


  • Flu shots have arrived and are ready for your child, and 'tis the season! Call or text if you'd like to come and get one while they last. I'm just starting to see some flu cases this year, and it's difficult to tell how severe this season will be. Often we don't see the worst of influenza until January and February, so it's always a good idea to get protection via the Flu vaccine sooner than later. It's safe and easy, but if you're worried, just call and we can discuss your concerns.

  • HICKUP FORMS; These beloved forms have gone through some major updating and renovations, including links and articles and the latest pediatric advice. While you will continue to receive the hard copy at your child's well-visit, you can now find the electronic version of these forms on my website in the member section.

  • Speaking of my website, you'll find loads of information like helpful links, product recommendations, and resources like dosage calculators, my personal well child check-up guides, and even more in the members' section.

  • I'm committed to creating a comprehensive and all-encompassing resources section on my website, with a special focus on local businesses. Your business could be a valuable addition to the "Outside Resources" section. Please reach out to me if you'd like to explore this opportunity!

October Finds...

Something Helpful: The mom of one of my patients is (impressively) a writer for Motherly. Give this website a look over for oodles of information on parenting, kids, life, + much more!

Something Interesting: Did you know that eating 2 Kiwi fruits per day is a proven effective treatment for constipation? Constipation is surprisingly common - ask my daughter, who deals with chronic constipation (she also receives this email, so I'm sure she will be thrilled to be featured here✨! She tried out this Kiwi theory and gives it the thumbs up! If you'd like to read some scientific mumbojumbo all about it, here's a link, but truly it's helpful, along with pears and prunes!

Something Captivating + Heart-Warming: This is an interesting and sweet story about the wolves of Yellowstone National Park (not really medical or pediatric, but perfect for an evening walk).

Final Thoughts:

Wishing you a safe and spooktacular Halloween! While you're already Halloween experts, here's an excellent article on Halloween safety. A quick refresher is never a bad idea, whether you're a more experienced trick-or-treater or venturing out with the little ones for the first time. 🎃👻

If you are looking for some fall & Halloween activities, check out this great list of events around Ventura County!

Wishing you all a very healthy fall season,

Dr. Sally

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2 commentaires

Nancy Beltran
Nancy Beltran
01 nov. 2023

Thank you Dr. Sally. :)


Whitney  DeMoor
Whitney DeMoor
25 oct. 2023

Love this newsletter!!! Thank You Dr. Sally!

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