Parenting tips

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American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a texting program for parents (0-5 years) and expecting parents. Data and message rates may apply. Sign up at the HealthyChildren website.

Read simple age-appropriate activities to do with your child (0-5 years) using day-today objects and situations. Read tips on the vroom app or receive texts. Data and message rates may apply. Sign up at

Sports Physical 2020-2021

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While Cottonwood Pediatrics is still taking measures to stop COVID-19, we are ready to cheer for our kids during the 2020-2021 school year.

KSHSAA regulates school sports in Kansas, requiring a yearly physical after May 1 for the following school year. If your child is considering sports, schedule an appointment with us and get started with the paperwork (valid until the end of the school year).

The regulations in place are meant to protect young athletes. Getting this check-up done by a medical professional is giving your child better care.

Dr Matthews, Tarina Gfeller, APRN and Maureen Entz, APRN have daily appointments starting May 1.

Call 316-283-7100.



Telehealth at Cottonwood

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Some insurances have allowed telehealth services (virtual visits) for specific issues. Not all plans have this option, and not all conditions allow us to provide excellent care remotely.

Examples of appropriate telehealth appointments:
  • Mild cough, cold or congestion
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Dermatological concerns (such as acne or rash)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Pink eye
  • Possible COVID-19
  • Depression follow-up
  • Anxiety follow-up
  • ADHD follow-up

If you are interested in this kind of service, please call us at 316-283-7100.

Testing your device:

For telehealth, we need you to have a working front-face camera, microphone and audio, a well-lit area and a good connection. You can make a list of questions to ask prior to your appointment. We will test the service with you prior to meeting your pediatrician, but you can try it on this link: . Please allow the use of the microphone and camera.


During the appointment both the consenting parent/guardian and the child need to be present (and in Kansas). The child needs to be an established patient.


We may ask you to come in the office if further evaluation is needed.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice

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Caring for Children during COVID-19 outbreak. 
Caring for a New Baby during COVID-19 outbreak. 
Working and Learning from Home during COVID-19 outbreak. 

We encourage parents to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect their children and loved ones.

Local resources for the COVID-19 immunization:

COTTONWOOD PEDIATRICS: by appointment only – 316-283-7100

Harvey County Health Department: – 316-836-4990
McPherson County Health Department:  620-241-1753
Sedgwick County Health Department: – 316-660-1029
Harvey Drug and Gifts: – 316-333-0120
Hesston Pharmacy: – 620-327-2211
Dillons: – 316-283-4180
Walgreens: – 316-281-9356
Walmart: – 316-284-0555
Health Ministries: – 316-804-7785
Axtell Clinic: – 316-283-2800

Some steps we are taking to prevent exposure so far: 

  • We now ask that everyone 2 years and older wear facial coverings into the office if possible;
  • Our families are being screened over the phone and during check-in;
  • Our clinic has physically separated sick and well visits to opposite sides of the office;
  • Whenever possible, we ask that only one adult and one child come (be advised that the hospital is enforcing this for services such as x-rays and labs);
  • Possible COVID-19 patients are being triaged accordingly;
  • Telemedicine is available for some insurance policies. Not all concerns can be addressed by telemedicine nor are all children good candidates for the service.
  • Our office looks a little different as we are implementing physical distancing.

We are still committed to providing excellent care. If you have questions please call us.

The Good News: Children don’t seem to get as sick
In all the reports so far, while children do get the COVID-19, they typically don’t seem to get as sick as adults. All the basics apply: push fluids, rest, and take pain and fever medication. Call if short of breath or if breathing problems develop. Don’t go out, stay home.

Please refer to this Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

For current news, the CDC has been posting daily updates.

Remember to be developmentally appropriate when talking to children.

Russians and the Heated Discussions about Immunization

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Have you ever read a post about immunization that made you think it must have been fabricated?

Russian bots posted 75% more anti-vaccine messages than the average user according to a research from July 2014 to September 2017. These trolls have been posting both pro and anti-vaccine messages in order to promote discord in American society, according to Mark Dredze, Ph.D.

The story was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics magazine in November, 2018.

Washing the germs away

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Anyone around young children knows that their hands get dirty quickly. These hands touch eyes, noses and mouths, infecting everyone and everything that may come in contact.


Washing hands is the most effective way you can teach your child to eliminate germs. For a quick brush-up on handwashing, here are a few tips:


Lather hands for 20 seconds      

For young children, it’s a great time to sing the ABCs. You can use a cheap timer too (also helpful when brushing your child’s teeth).


Skip the antibacterial soap

Antibacterial soap is not better than regular soap and may actually eliminate good bacteria on the skin. For young children: use scented soap and ask to smell their hands afterwards – they will love to show off their fragrant hands.


Wash around nails

Most people neglect this part of handwashing. It is important to wash under the nails and all around the cuticles.


When to wash your hands

After petting animals;

After using the restroom or changing diapers;

Before handling food or eating;

Every time children go back inside;

After coughing or sneezing;

After blowing your nose.


Thinking about skipping the flu shot this year? The CDC estimated that 80,000 deaths last year. Please consider getting flu shots for all your family and kids and make sure they have healthy hygiene habits.



Do you wash your hands after using a public restroom? 69% of men and 35% of women don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom – U.S. National Library of Medicine

Handwashing Poster – CDC

Mom-tested handwashing tricks –