Child in bright blue exam room getting checked with stethoscope by smiling nurse

Pediatrics

About Us

Your comfort, trust and confidence in your pediatrician are the foundation of great care. We are dedicated to providing you and your child a compassionate, patient experience. Our caring and highly qualified team are dedicated to the health and wellness of children ranging in age from birth to young adults. We offer a full scope of health care services from immunizations and routine well visits, to the treatment of many childhood illnesses and conditions.

We make it a priority to educate, communicate and collaborate with parents and caregivers to achieve the best possible health outcomes for our young patients.

Our Services

Acute childhood & adolescent illnesses & injuries

Pediatric outpatient care is provided for acute illnesses (such as ear infections, pneumonia, rashes, etc.) and minor injuries.

Behavioral & learning disorders

Initial evaluations, behavioral specialty referrals and long-term management of behavioral and psychiatric and learning disorders are provided in a supportive setting. Our pediatric staff teams up with patients, families, specialists and teachers to achieve success at home, at school and socially.

Management of chronic illnesses

Pediatric physicians offer long-term management for children with chronic illnesses by providing referrals for sub-specialty consultations and other care coordinated through specialists, schools and community services.

Sports & school physicals

Daycares, preschools and schools require routine updates for admission and sports participation. We encourage parents to schedule annual, sports physicals and school (kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades) physicals as early as possible during the always busy back-to-school time-frame.

Well-baby & child evaluation

Well-baby and routine well-child visits are a significant component of overall care to each child. Age-appropriate education and guidance is emphasized to assist parents as your child grows.

Resources

When questions arise regarding your little one, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician or call the Springfield Clinic TeleNurse 217.528.7541 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Your new baby booklet

New babies, though long anticipated, arrive home from the hospital with a shocking suddenness. This booklet has been prepared to help answer many questions.

FAQs by age

Newborn to 5 Months

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at two months?
A few things to look for include being able to hold the head temporarily upright, tracking and following objects visually, smiling interactively and responding to voices.

At two months, can I start my baby on cereals, baby foods, juice or water yet?
No, there is no nutritional advantage to starting other foods now. Moreover, your baby's oropharyngeal (oral airway) motor skills are too immature at this time. Your baby should be exclusively breastfed or formula fed until at least four months old. Then you may start cereals, followed by baby foods. Water and juice should only be offered after six months.

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at four months?
The baby should be raising the body up somewhat by using the arms, reaching for and grabbing some objects, visually following objects for 180 degrees, starting to roll over and differentiating individuals.

How many colds do infants get each year?
Studies show that infants and children usually contract an average of 6-8 colds per year. Colds are caused by viral infections, and as such, antibiotics don't help. Nasal saline, bulb suctioning, a humidifier, and elevating the head of the bed are the best therapies. Colds usually resolve in 7-10 days.

How much should my baby sleep?
Every child is different. Most babies will sleep between 16-20 hours per day.

What is considered a fever in a newborn?
Anything equal to or greater than 100.4 degrees (measured rectally) is considered a fever. If a baby less than two months old has a fever, you should contact the pediatrician immediately.

How often should I feed my baby?
Newborns should generally be fed on demand. However, you should at least attempt to feed every 3-4 hours, especially the first few weeks of life.

Should I breastfeed or formula feed?
The decision is best made before delivery. You should make the decision you are most comfortable with. Breastfeeding does provide some definite advantages including decreased risks of asthma, allergies, and eczema. Also, the mother is able to provide antibodies to the infant, which will help keep disease away in theses critical early months. That said, most formulas are very good, too, these days

6 to 11 Months

Is it normal that my previously happy baby is developing separation and stranger anxiety?
Yes, it is very common at this age. It is part of the cognitive and social development. Short parent-child separation time is actually helpful towards teaching the child that parents will return when they leave. 

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at six months?
Your baby should be rolling over, sitting with support, transferring objects form one hand to the other, babbling, and showing pleasure or excitement during interactions with caregivers. 

How should I handle bedtime?
A routine before bedtime often helps. At this age, babies should be put to be bed while still somewhat awake. If the baby wakes up at night, you may try to comfort the baby some, but try to avoid feedings or playtime. 

How often should I feed my baby solid foods?
You may feed your child 2-3 meals daily, while introducing new foods every 3-4 days. You should continue to offer iron fortified cereals. Most fluid intake should still be breast milk or formula. Juice or water may be offered sparingly. 

Should I advance feedings at nine months?
Yes, if your baby has done well on cereals and baby foods, this is a good age to gradually start on table foods. You may start offering soft foods like mashed potatoes, noodles, bread, soft carrots and peas, and fruits. 

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at nine months? 
Your baby may be walking while holding on to something (i.e. cruising), picking up objects using a thumb and index finger, responding to his/her name and starting to understand a few words (i.e. "no" or "bye").

12 to 17 Months

How do I improve my child's behavior at this age?
It isn't easy. Toddlers naturally become more independent at this stage. You should try to teach the child that good behavior will garner more attention, and give immediate praise and positive reinforcement. Try to re-direct or distract the child when acting up. As tough as it may be, you should try to ignore temper tantrums as much as possible. Spanking generally is not effective and can teach the child that striking others may be acceptable. 

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at 12 months? 
Your baby should be pulling up to a stand and walking with little support, playing with adult-type objects (such as combs, phones, pots and pans), starting to enjoy little games like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake.

Is 12 months of age a good time to switch to milk? 
Yes, most children should be switched to whole milk at this age.

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at 15 months?
Your child should be feeding him/herself with fingers, using approximately five-15 words, identifying one or two body parts, understanding simple commands, and communicating pleasure or displeasure. 

Should I start brushing my infant's teeth? 
Yes, infants should have their teeth brushed once or twice a day with infant (non-fluorinated) tooth paste. Some infants absolutely do not like to have their teeth brushed. Try not to make a battle out of it if this is the case. 

At 15 months should I get rid of the bottle? 
Yes, if this hasn't already been done, phasing out the bottle is appropriate now. 

What do I do about a picky eater? 
Parents should have clear routines and expectations at meals. Try to avoid battles. However, do not let the child be in charge. Your child should be eating mostly the table foods you are at this age, though you certainly may need to cut or chop some foods up. Always try to offer the right foods and have one or two foods that you are sure the child will enjoy. That said, do not "short-order cook" if the child refuses what is on the plate. Otherwise, the child will learn to refuse your meals on a regular basis with the expectation of getting something better later on.

2 to 4 Years

What are some developmental milestones my child should be reaching at 24 months/two years of age?
Your child should be walking up and down stairs with assistance, using a spoon and fork, scribbling with crayons, have a vocabulary of up to 50 words, occasionally put two or three words together, play in parallel with other children. 

Does my child need to stay in a car seat or booster seat? 
Refer to the Illinois Secretary of State website for up-to-date information on child passenger safety requirements.

Should my child be interacting with other children? 
Yes, if not already done, this is a good time to enroll your child in playgroups, or pre-school or other activities. Sharing and socialization do not always come easy, and this is a good age to work on social skills. 

Is it okay that my child has stopped napping? 
Yes, most children stop taking daily naps around age 3 or 4. This may in turn lead to them becoming more tired and cranky around bedtime. You may want to move bedtime up a little. 

What are some developmental milestones my child should be reaching at three years of age?
Your child should be able to jump in place, pedal a tricycle, copy a circle, stack about eight blocks, speak in short sentences with speech that is about 75% intelligible. 

What else can I do to help with behavioral issues? 
Continue with positive and negative reinforcement. In addition to that, give the child a warning about the unacceptable behavior. If that isn't successful, time-outs can be very helpful. The length of the time-out should only be two to three minutes at this age. 

What are some tips for potty training? 
There are all sorts of variations. There are two important mainstays for most methods. First, you should try to regular encourage to sitting on the toilet, whether to just become comfortable with it or to try to actually use it. Secondly, if the child actually is successful, use positive reinforcement - something that will keep the child wanting to go back and try again. 

What type of milk should my child be drinking?
Most children should be switched to low-fat milk at this age. They should drink no more than 24-32 oz of milk per day.

4 to 6 Years

What are some developmental milestones my child should be reaching at age four?
By now, your child should be balancing on one foot, walking up and down stairs with alternating gait, using full sentences with at least six words, engaging in interactive pretend play, able to get him/herself dressed. 

When should my child see a dentist?
There are varying schools of thought on this subject. That said, if your child has not seen a dentist by this age, you should schedule an appointment soon. 

How much television should my child be watching? 
Television time should be limited to no more than two hours per day, if that much. Watching television together is beneficial. This allows you to screen what is on the television, and explain things accurately. Letting a child have a television in his/her own room is discouraged. 

What does my child need before starting kindergarten? 
Your child will need a physical exam with the pediatrician, at which time most children will need their booster immunizations. Illinois law mandates that all children see an eye doctor and a dentist, too. 

What are some developmental milestones my baby should be reaching at age five?
Your child should be able to draw a person with about 6 body parts, printing most letters and many numbers, able to copy circles and squares and triangles, counting to at least ten, and able to listen and follow multi-step directions. 

Should my child be doing chores at this age?
Yes, this is a good age to introduce small, age-appropriate chores such as cleaning up or setting the table.

6 to 12 Years

What are growing pains? 
Growing pains are episodes of pain in a child's legs common in preschool and preteen children. The cause is unknown. They often occur at night when the child is resting and is usually in the lower legs. It does not affect joints such as knees, ankles and hips. Massage is often very helpful and the pain can awaken a child. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be helpful. If pain persists especially if localized or associated with other symptoms or if located more in the joints the child should be seen. 

Is bed wetting still normal after age six? 
Most children who wet the bed overcome the problem around the age of six to ten years. It is still quite common to have accidents after age six and these children will eventually grow out of it. You can encourage your child to get up to urinate during the day, encourage daytime fluids and limit nighttime fluids, empty the bladder at bedtime, and often bed-wetting alarms can be helpful. If bed wetting occurs suddenly after a child has been dry for a long time then usually the child does need to be seen. 

How much television can my child watch in a day? 
We recommend less than two hours of screen time per day (including video games, TV, computer etc). Heavy TV watching (more than four hours per day) is associated with poor school performance and decreased exercise. 

How often does my child need to be seen by a physician? 
Physicals are required for children entering Kindergarten, sixth grade, ninth grade and annually for those enrolled in sports for a sports physical. Often parents want them seen once per year for a general physical which is fine as well.

Adolescence to Teen

We think our teen is sexually active. How do we talk to my child about this decision? 
Admittedly, talking to your teen about sex is not usually easy or comfortable but it is very necessary. Communication is a key component in teaching your child and teen about sex. Begin age-appropriate discussions at a young age. Communicating your values and morals, gives your teen guidance and insight into your expectations. Discussing the responsibility, and consequences of sex allows your teen to evaluate the risk of sexual activity (STDs, pregnancy) and receive accurate information to make informed decisions. If your teen is considering or has become sexually active, then safety issues are of paramount importance. Protection against STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy, needs to be addressed. You and/or your teen may want to talk to a provider about these concerns. 

My teen will soon be driving. How can I help my child become a responsible driver? 
Demonstrate responsible driving to your teen. Secondly, practice, practice, practice; once your teen receives a learning permit, allow him/her to drive with you as much as possible. Begin with basics and advance to difficult (night, highway and inclement weather driving) as your teen's ability and comfort level increases. Praise your teen for good decisions behind the wheel. Discuss areas that need improvement once the car is parked. Ask your teen what he/she could have done differently in those situations. Set rules, including, use of seat belts, no texting/phone calls while driving, music volume, and limit the number of people in car while the teen is driving. As a parent, become familiar with the Rules of the Roadbook regarding teen driving and curfew. Periodically reevaluate driving privileges, as your teen's level of maturity and competence increases. 

My teen is beginning to develop acne. How can I help my child deal with this? 
Acne, while usually temporary, can be devastating to your teen's self-esteem. There are many products that will control acne. In order for these to be effective, your teen needs to be motivated to follow a treatment plan daily. Results may take three to six weeks. Mild acne may be treated with good skin care, including cleansing with a mild soap and/or a Benzoyl peroxide product. Cleansing your skin twice daily and after perspiring is the most important activity your teen can do to help keep acne under control. However, if this is not providing adequate results, talk to your provider. There are many prescription topical creams and gels, as well as, oral medications that are used to control acne. If these treatments fail, your provider may refer you to a dermatologist.

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