Right From the Start Pediatrics  
     
     
Welcome
Welcome

My patient care philosophy is straightforward. I am a pediatrician. I love children, and my goal is to care for them as well as I possibly can, helping the well children to stay well and the sick children to be well again.

Children and adolescents need to see me regularly, to make sure that they are growing well, reaching developmental milestones, and receiving necessary immunizations to prevent terrible illnesses. I delight in seeing well children - watching them grow and helping their parents understand the different stages of child development. Routine physical exams are important, so that I know, and the patient knows, how their normal body looks and acts.

I also need to see children when they are not well (that is, when things are "not normal"). My job sometimes involves prescribing medicine to help the children get better, but education is equally, if not more, important. If children and their parents become educated about their illness, they can often get better without my help. If a child or her parent remembers what I taught or advised about a particular illness, and can use that advice the next time that illness comes, that is just as rewarding to me. In such cases, I didn't even write a prescription, but I can (and did!) still help the patient.

For all the hard work I know it takes to raise a child (see my sons, Jack, DOB 5/6/02, Nicholas, DOB 5/13/04, and Luke, DOB 2/13/07), I also know that children are all about fun, laughter, and smiles. There's nothing better than seeing a smiling, laughing child. And even though I'm a pediatrician and kids are usually scared of me, I try to keep their experience in my office fun. I try to get them to laugh at least once when they come to see me.

If I had to come up with a motto, it would have to be, "Keep the well kids laughing, and get the sick ones laughing again." And if I can laugh with them, then so be it.

I hope to see you soon.

Dr. Dan

Special Interests

Sports Medicine
I have a personal interest in sports medicine, in particular, the care of the young athlete. You can always bring your child to see me if you have a sports-related problem/injury or if you need a sports physical for participation in school or recreational sports.

I am a member of Athlete's Advantage, the sports medicine program at St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese, IL, providing sports physicals, game coverage, and general sports medical care for local school athletes.

Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics
Since beginning my practice of pediatrics in July 1999, I have developed an interest in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. This includes caring for children with behavioral disorders such as ADHD and autism, as well as those with school-related problems, including learning disabilities.

I also have an interest in the development of speech and language in children.

I like to work closely with teachers as well as other health care professionals to elicit childrens' needs. I keep in close contact with psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, and pediatric neurologists (among others) to make sure children make definite strides in their growth and development.

Obesity

Obesity is an ever-growing (no pun intended) problem in the US. Children are practicing eating habits which are not healthy, while at the same time limiting their physical exercise. They spend too much time watching television and working or playing on the Internet, pastimes which may be harmful on their own. They need to learn a balance which will help them to achieve better health, and put themselves at less risk for problems in the future.

I am intent on helping to curb the obesity problem, if not in the country, at least in my own practice. If you have particular concerns about your child's weight, eating habits, or frequency of physical exercise, make an appointment and we will discuss it.

Newborn hearing screening and hearing loss
This topic is particularly dear to my heart, as my first son, Jack, was diagnosed with a congenital hearing loss. He was born in New Jersey in 2002, and had it not been for the law requiring universal newborn hearing screening, my wife and I may have never detected this hearing loss. Rather, we may have suspected something when he was 2 or 3 years old, when his speech and language skills would not be fully developed and he would be at a disability when starting preschool.

Our early identification of Jack's hearing loss enabled us to get him connected with the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St. Louis, where he was fitted with hearing aids at the age of 5 months. Seeing the audiologists and therapists at CID helped to keep Jack caught up with his developmental milestones, especially as relates to speech and language. At the age of 2 years and 4 months, he was speaking at least at the level of a 3-year-old. With a pediatrician and a speech-language pathologist as parents, continued therapy, involvement of Child and Family Connections (the Illinois provider of Early Intervention services), and vigilance once he gets into our local school district (Mascoutah schools), we expect Jack to keep the disability from his hearing loss to a minimum.

We had some more unexpected news when our third son, Luke, was diagnosed with a severe-to-profound hearing loss shortly after his birth at St. Joseph's in February 2007. Although his loss is more severe, we got him started on the same road as Jack, and now he has hearing aids as well. There is a possibility that he will be a candidate for a cochlear implant (an electronic implant that helps a child hear like you and me) some time in the future.

Please be assured that if you have any concerns about your child's hearing or speech and language development, I will do my best to have this evaluated.