Northampton Area Pediatrics, LLP
193 Locust Street 
Northampton, MA 01060
413-584-8700
413-584-1714 (fax)

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Holiday Hours

 

2020

Memorial Day

Monday, May 25

9:00am to 5:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

Independence Day (Observed)

Friday, July 3

9:00am to 5:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

Labor Day

Monday, September 7

9:00am to 5:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

Columbus Day

Monday, October 12

9:00am to 5:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 26

9:00am to 12:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 24

8:00am to 5:00pm

 

Christmas Day

Friday, December 25

11:00am to 2:00pm

Urgent Care Only 

 

New Year’s Eve

Thursday, December 31

8:00am to 5:00pm

COVID-19 NEWS ARCHIVE


March 22, 2020

INTRODUCING TELEHEALTH
AT NORTHAMPTON AREA PEDIATRICS

We are very pleased to announce that NAP has successfully implemented and piloted telehealth visits in the past week. All the NAP providers now can do these video virtual visits using secure technology enabled through the MyChart patient portal. We are now ready to open this service more generally. In the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and “social distancing”, this will be an invaluable tool for us to continue providing pediatric medical care and behavioral health services while reducing the need for you to come to our office.

Telehealth points to remember:
1) PLEASE BEAR WITH US. This is a brand-new capability that involves major operational changes. We will be actively converting appropriate existing appointments to telehealth visits, revamping provider schedules to do this work, and building the capacity to make sure you have the at-home tools to complete a telehealth encounter.

2) Telehealth visit require access to the MyChart portal (parent/proxy for ages 0-12, patient for ages 13+). Visits are best done on a smartphone or tablet but can also be done on video-capable computer. The “Zoom” app provides the secure video-conferencing interface.

3) Not all visits can be telehealth visits.  
a. Visits that we intend to do as telehealth encounters include medication rechecks, conferences, behavioral health, simple “sick” visits such as rashes, other rechecks that do not require physical examination
b. Visits that cannot be done via telehealth are those that require physical examination (for example ear or breathing rechecks), testing, or treatments.

4) Under COVID-19 circumstances, we intend to push as many encounters as possible from in-person to virtual encounters. This means that some important work such as vital signs, growth measurements, etc. may need to be deferred. Longer term we will need to re-balance to make sure that those important functions are restored.

If you would like to set up a telehealth visit, call the office at 413-584-8700 and select option 1 for Appointments—we will try our best to accommodate you directly, but we may need to verify if a telehealth visit is appropriate and build a telehealth slot as our schedules are changing rapidly. Better yet, if you are on MyChart already, use it to request an appointment or send us a message.  

If you are not yet on MyChart, call us to activate your account as soon as possible. MyChart is required for telehealth encounters and will be an essential tool for us to communicate with you effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 


March 19, 2020

This is the most common question we have received over the last 24 hours.

Q: My child is sick and might have the coronavirus. I have heard it could be dangerous to give her ibuprofen. Is that true?

A: We have researched this question and agree with Dr. Fauci from the CDC: there is no solid evidence showing it is dangerous to take ibuprofen when infected with the coronavirus. If you are still concerned, it is fine to take acetaminophen instead, since both do a good job in reducing fever and pain, but we don’t feel you need to avoid ibuprofen. This is a good opportunity to remind our parents that all fevers do not need to be treated. In fact, a fever might help the body fight off infection. The main reason we recommend treating fevers in children who are sick is to help them feel more comfortable. If your child has a fever but is happy and reasonably comfortable, then we don’t feel you need to give them any medication.


March 18, 2020
 
The most common question we are getting is --when will we be able to test for COVID-19 in our area? We still do not have the test available. Below is the most recent information from Cooley Dickinson Hospital:
 
PLANS FOR TESTING CLINIC
• First, the testing situation remains unchanged. Testing for COVID-19 is still extremely limited. This is true throughout most of the nation. Locally, all health care organizations – including Cooley Dickinson – are applying strict criteria for those who get tested.

• In anticipation of testing becoming more widely available in the coming days and weeks, we are planning for a testing clinic site.

• More information will be available in the coming days.

 
Telehealth and MyChart Portal
We are working very hard to have tele-health abilities and hope to have that available in the next few days. If you are signed up for our MyChart portal, it will make tele-health more accessible. We anticipate that communicating through the MyChart portal will be essential over the coming weeks and months for tele-health visits, refills and communicating with your provider.

If you have not yet signed up for MyChart, please email contactus@napeds.com. You will then get a phone call to set up your portal connection.  


March 17, 2020

NAP is continuing to see sick patients with fever and respiratory symptoms in our Amherst office. Our Northampton office is seeing all other visits including other sick visits and well visits. We are working very hard and hope to have tele-health ability in the near future so we can see some of these visits without your coming to our office. You will hear more about this in the next few days.  

Below is an answer to the most frequently asked question of the day.

Q: My child is sick with a cough and fever. How do I know if they have COVID-19 and what should I do? Can I get them tested? 
 
A: We are very fortunate that few children who get this infection end up having serious disease. The most important question is how sick is your child?  If you feel you can manage this at home, meaning they are not in distress, working hard to breath, and is able to drink fluids, then the very best thing is to stay home and make them comfortable with the usual care for a cold or flu. We are trying to reduce exposures by having children stay at home who do not need medical attention. If you are not sure, then please call our office and we can help you determine if they need to be seen. We are seeing children with fever and respiratory symptoms in our Amherst office. 

As of March 17th, unless your child is sick enough to be in the hospital, we are not able to get testing done in our area. This is still being limited by the Commonwealth and we cannot get the testing materials. We will keep you updated and promptly notify you when this changes.  

Because we don’t have testing available, we are assuming that COVID-19 has already been in our community and that many children with cold and flu symptoms do indeed have the disease.  It is important that we all continue social distancing and that children stay away from those people, like the elderly and immune-compromised, who are most vulnerable. 

Here is also a link to more detailed information on how to treat your child with a possible COVID-19 infection and how to self-isolate:
 
SELF-ISOLATION INSTRUCTIONS from Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department

Here is information directed specifically to your teenagers:

MESSAGE TO TEENS


March 16, 2020 

We are rapidly receiving new information and updating our recommendations on COVID-19 based on guidance from the state, CDC and Boston Children’s Hospital among others. We encourage you to give us feedback and ask other questions so we can be of more help to you and your families.  Feel free to e-mail us your questions via our website or your patient portal. We will do our best to answer them with what we currently know about this infection.   

Now that school is closed for at least 3 weeks – Is it ok for my child to hang out with a friend at our house or at their house (assuming no-one appears sick)?
People have understood us as saying casual playdates are okay, and that is not the case.  We are frequently being asked, what do I do with our kids?  Staying apart from one another (social distancing) continues to be the most important thing that we can do to avoid spreading the virus. 
We have the following clarified recommendations:
 1. Staying home and avoiding playdates is best, if you can.

 2. We recognize that complete avoidance is sometimes impossible, for example if parents need to work, or a child is truly struggling with  social isolation.   If you absolutely must cross-cover child care or arrange a “playdate”
a. limit it to one or two other children
b. focus on being outdoors, doing activities where you can be apart (e.g. bike riding or hiking)
c. avoid seeing multiple friends over multiple days-- if you can identify a close friend and you are all healthy it is reasonable to get ogether with them (practicing the above precautions)
d. wash or sanitize your hands frequently

3. Certainly if anyone is showing any sign of illness they should isolate and avoid others. Many children will have very mild symptoms (and it is likely that the virus can be spread before significant symptoms arise) so if there is any question that your child has symptoms or if it possible that any of you have been exposed to the virus, you should stay at home and self-isolate.

Is it ok for older grandparents to see my child?
While children often have mild disease, this coronavirus can cause very severe illness in the elderly. Since testing is limited and it may be hard to tell if a child is affected, we would recommend avoiding direct contact with older relatives for now (but Skype and Facetime are ok and encouraged!)

Is it ok to go to a park and play at a playground in the open air?
Being in the open air and running around is great. However, we would suggest that you not participate in large group activities. Try to limit it to just one or two other children. Choose activities where children are less clustered together, and wash hands when finished using common equipment e.g. play-structures. If more kids are at the playground, then another time would be better-- early morning and later evening visits might be less crowded.

Is it ok for our kids to go on bike rides or a hike with friends (assuming no-one appears sick)?
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and helps our immune systems. Yes go for bike rides and hikes but limit it to just one or two children and make sure they do not have symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Should we relax the rules regarding the number of hours of online gaming – so at least social segregation isn’t as much of an issue and they can talk to their friends?
There is a time and a place for exceptions to the rule. This is a reasonable time to allow your child more than your usual limits on screen time especially if it can allow them to interact with their friends on-line. Even better, It is a good opportunity to spend more time with your children doing those activities that you enjoy together like reading, projects or playing a board game together. (if playing a board game, remember to wash your hands frequently.)

Is it ok to order take out from restaurants/delivery?
Take-out is fine. The virus is not thought to be transmitted through food. Remember to wash your hands after picking up bags or boxes from an outside facility.

Do you recommend avoiding dining out?
In Massachusetts, this is no longer an option as all restaurants are closed to dine-in patrons for the next three weeks in an attempt to limit exposure to the virus. Take out is ok.

Do you recommend avoiding going to a movie theater?
Movie theaters have a large number of people who are close together. This is a perfect place for a virus to spread. For now it is best to avoid theaters, concerts, plays, sporting events and other such gatherings.

Are swimming pools, like the YMCA, ok to use?
There is nothing concerning about swimming pools as long as there are only a couple people in it and you are not close to them. Since that is not likely, we would not recommend using public pools.

I hear a lot about testing. Are you performing the test in the office and if not, where can I get my child tested?
There has been much talk about testing in the media and at times you are probably hearing conflicting information. We do not have any abilities to test for this virus in our office. Locally, Cooley Dickinson Hospital is doing very limited testing, mostly just on patients who are hospitalized. We are told that it is still a week or more away until our area gets more testing available but this may change.

 


March 15, 2020

To the families of Northampton Area Pediatrics, 

We recognize that during this time when COVID-19 is likely to spread in our community, many of you will have questions regarding things that are safe to do with your child, and things you should avoid. We would like to answer those questions for you. Not all infectious disease experts would answer these questions in the same exact way, but through our research and experience we hope to provide reasonable guidelines for you to use to make decisions. The answers may change as we learn more about the virus and its activity within our community, and we will update answers accordingly. 
 
Below are some questions we have been asked with our current responses. Feel free to message us with more questions and we will do our best to answer them.  

Frequently Asked Questions:
Questions about “social distancing”
 
Now that school is closed for at least 2 weeks – Is it ok for my child to hang out with a friend at our house or at their house (assuming no-one appears sick)?
We currently do not recommend complete isolation. It is very reasonable for your children to have play dates, but we would suggest limiting it to one or two children who are not showing any signs of illness. We would discourage parties, trips to the mall, and gatherings of larger groups of kids. We would recommend frequent breaks for hand washing. 

Is it ok to go to a park and play at a playground in the open air?
Being in the open air and running around is great. However, we would suggest that you not participate in large group activities. Try to limit it to just one or two other children. Choose activities where children are less clustered together, and wash hands when finished using common equipment e.g. play-structures. If more kids are at the playground, then another time would be better-- early morning and later evening visits might be less crowded. 

Is it ok for our kids to go on bike rides or a hike with friends (assuming no-one appears sick)?
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and helps our immune systems. Yes, go for bike rides and hikes but limit it to just one or two children and make sure they do not have symptoms of a respiratory illness. 
 
Should we relax the rules regarding the number of hours of online gaming – so at least social segregation isn’t as much of an issue and they can talk to their friends?
There is a time and a place for exceptions to the rule. This is a reasonable time to allow your child more than your usual limits on screen time especially if it can allow them to interact with their friends on-line. Even better, It is a good opportunity to spend more time with your children doing those activities that you enjoy together like reading, projects or playing a board game together. (if playing a board game, remember to wash you hands frequently.)

Is it ok to order take out from restaurants/delivery?
Take-out is fine. The virus is not thought to be transmitted through food. Remember to wash your hands after picking up bags or boxes from an outside facility.  
 
Do you recommend avoiding dining out?
This is a tough question since experts do not all agree on the answer. The virus is mostly transmitted via droplets from another person who is within 3 to 6 feet from you. If you can be in a public place that has tables that are far apart then that might be reasonable. However, most younger kids get up and walk around so if you have younger kids then we would recommend take out. 

Do you recommend avoiding going to a movie theater (assuming they remain open)?
Movie theaters have a large number of people who are close together. This is a perfect place for a virus to spread. For now it is best to avoid theaters, concerts, plays, sporting events and other such gatherings. 

Are swimming pools, like the YMCA, ok to use (assuming they remain open)?
There is nothing concerning about swimming pools as long as there are only a couple people in it and you are not close to them. Since that is not likely, we would not recommend using public pools. 

I hear a lot about testing. Are you performing the test in the office and if not, where can I get my child tested? 
There has been much talk about testing in the media and at times you are probably hearing conflicting information. We do not have any abilities to test for this virus in our office. Locally, Cooley Dickinson Hospital is doing very limited testing, mostly just on patients who are hospitalized. We are told that it is still a week or more away until our area gets more testing available, but this may change.  

Blog for Parents

We recommend this blog by Sarah Abel, LICSW for those who need extra comfort in these stressful times.
Please click the link Parenting in a Time of Anxiety


March 13, 2020

In order to minimize the chance of exposure to COVID-19 and still take care of your children's medical needs, we are establishing a separate space where children with symptoms of respiratory illness can be evaluated, leaving the main office space for well visits and children with non-respiratory problems. 

Starting Monday, March 16, NAP will be establishing several new changes to help minimize risk.

  • 8am to 8:30am Walk-In Urgent Care is now CANCELLED in both offices.
  •  All visits with respiratory symptoms will be seen in our Amherst office, Monday through Friday, 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm. The Amherst office will be used exclusively for this type of visit.
  • On nights and weekends, sick visits with respiratory symptoms will be seen in our Northampton office, Monday through Friday, 5pm to 8pm, weekends 9am to 5pm. There will be a separate entrance for these visits. We have a VIP Entrance (yellow door) which is to the right at the back of the building. There is also designated VIP parking.
  • Our Northampton office will remain open for all other visits (without respiratory symptoms) during our usual office hours, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.
  • Only one parent and the sick child should come into the office whenever possible, for any type of visit.
  • All patients and their family will be asked screening questions at the time of check-in even if they were asked on the phone during scheduling.
  • Appointments currently booked in the Amherst office will be rescheduled, if needed. We will start the rescheduling process starting tomorrow.

As the COVID-19 situation changes, we will determine if our protocols need to be updated.

We have had an increase in calls, so please be patient when calling our office. We encourage non-urgent requests to be done via the MyChart Patient Portal. Please email contactus@napeds.com to register for an account, if you do not have one yet.
 

CANCELLATIONS at NAP Offices
NAP Event Status:

  • ADHD Parent Support Group (1st Monday of every month) - at this time, April and May are definitely cancelled. Please contact Meg at ValleyADHDfamilies@gmail.com with any questions.
  • Breastfeeding Support Group (Northampton office on Thursday nights and Amherst on Wednesday mornings) cancelled indefinitely. Please contact Kate by calling our office at (413) 584-8700 or through the MyChart Patient Portal by addressing her in a general question.
  • NAP Parenting Workshops (one Sunday a month) - These have not been cancelled yet. We have 3 more workshops in the series on April 19, May 3, June 7.

March 11, 2020

COVID-19 Upate

Today the World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. While there have been no official cases in our area, that is likely to change in the near future. The good news is that children with the disease continue to show mostly mild symptoms of fever, cough, and runny nose.  

NAP is working very hard to develop protocols so we can continue to see patients who need to be seen for sick visits and at the same time maintain a safe environment for those patients coming in for routine physicals and other non-sick visits. We will be asking you questions prior to your visit in order to maintain that safe environment.  We are working with the Department of Public Health and those protocols will continue to change as new information comes in. 

If your child is sick with a fever, runny nose or cough, and can be managed at home, this will help reduce the spread of any infection. If your child needs medical attention, we will continue to be here for you.  

We are also working with Boston Children’s Hospital to provide the latest updates and accurate information about this virus. Please check out the following link.

http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/c/coronavirus

Since many children will be hearing about the coronavirus epidemic, they may have many questions and worries about their own or your health. Here is a link to some good information on how to help them with these worries. 

https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=READ%20MORE&utm_campaign=Weekly-03-03-20

As you have already heard, but we can’t say it enough--Please wash your hands as frequently as possible.  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf


March 9, 2020

NAP Guideline and Protocols for Coronavirus (Covid -19)
We would like our patients and families to know about NAP’s policies and preparations for a possible coronavirus outbreak in our community. Coronaviruses have been around for decades and usually cause common cold- and flu-like symptoms. 
Covid-19 is a new coronavirus that was first discovered in China and is now spreading throughout the world.  

The good news is that in the pediatric population, Covid-19 has almost exclusively caused mild symptoms. Unfortunately, there are many unanswered questions regarding if and when this virus will come to our area and how many people might be infected if and when it does arrive.  

To prepare for every eventuality, we have implemented the following protocols to ensure your visit to our office is as safe as possible, and at the same time that we are taking the best care of those patients who might have this disease and need medical care.  

If you call our office for a sick appointment you will be asked a few simple screening questions regarding travel, possible exposure to Covid-19, and symptoms. Answering these questions will help us determine if we should have you enter the office through a different door to reduce the exposure to our other patients. 
While we are always available to see your sick children, we may recommend that you stay home with your child who does not need medical attention.  
Testing for this virus is determined solely by the Department of Public Health and we will contact them to get instructions if testing is indicated.  

We want to emphasize that a vast majority of children infected with Covid-19 will likely be able to be treated at home in the same manner that you currently treat children with common respiratory ailments.
  
NAP has created a team of physicians, nurses and clerical staff that is meeting daily and will change this policy if new information suggests changes should be made. Please feel free to call or message our office through the patient portal if you have further questions regarding your child’s health or the potential spread of this virus. We are here to help you.
  
Below are some useful links that provide up to date and accurate information:  

http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/c/coronavirus
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx
PRINTABLE LETTER

Flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness

We are working closely with our area hospitals (Boston Children's Hospital, Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Baystate Medical Center) and the Massachusetts Department of Health, to come up with improved protocols.

Steps we have taken....

Trained our staff on prevention techniques
Educate our staff about symptoms and risks
Educate our staff on identification of staff and patients with symptoms and/or risks
Implemented a contingency plan if the status changes
Retrained our employees on basic infection control practices
Increased the number of hand sanitizers and tissues for easy access throughout the offices
While our exam rooms are always disinfected between patients, we have implemented a plan to increase disinfecting the surface areas in our non-clinical areas - the waiting rooms, check-in/check-out and entry ways

The Importance of MyChart Patient Portal

Our providers prefer to use the MyChart Patient Portal to communicate with our patients and their families. This method is easy, direct and connects with our medical records system. With the outbreak of the coronavirus, we encourage more families to sign up for the portal. In the future, the portal will be used for important group message alerts and possibly telemedicine.  There are exciting things happening with the portal coming soon!

The portal allows you to:

Have access to all children with one log-in
Get access for multiple parents
Send documents, photos and videos to NAP
Print school and camp forms from home 
Complete questionnaires online before your visit
Persons requesting access must be the legal guardian of the patient. Please email contactus@napeds.com or call us at 413-584-8700 with the following information about you (the legal guardian):

1. Name of person requesting access
2. Date of birth (of legal guardian)
3. Zip code
4. Email address
5. Full names of your children with their date of births
you need access to

 

 

Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest about our services.