Hi all!  Here it is June, time for check-ups, yet many parents still feel hesitant about scheduling their child’s routine well visit. This is especially concerning in the light of COVID-19, for which we currently have no vaccination.

It is very important to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  You can do this by limiting your interactions with others, avoiding sick people, staying home if you are ill, washing your hands before eating and after using the restroom, wearing a mask in public (as not to spread germs) and avoiding touching your face.

Check with your pediatric provider to be alerted to the prevention measures which they have instituted.  Many offices are seeing well children at times or in locations where there are no sick children allowed.  Be sure that the staff is using appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment: masks) and cleansing their hands often. Avoid waiting rooms if possible by checking in from your car in the parking lot.

There is concern that children could be at increased risk for catching vaccine preventable diseases if they get behind on their vaccination schedule.  Don’t delay those vaccines! Do all that you can do to keep your child and your family safe, but it’s vital to stay up to date on those vaccinations.  

Read more:  https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/dont-delay-vaccinations

This week I was happy to be invited to join the team at WTKR Channel 3, Coast Live to speak about what to say to your kids regarding the COVID-19 crisis.  I reminded folks to be understanding, as this is a scary time for all people, not just kids.  Kids are very alert and pick up on our concerns. Please reassure them that they will be fine and that most people don’t get very sick with COVID-19, although some people may get sicker.  We will wear our masks and wash our hands to protect ourselves and others.

It’s also VERY important that folks do NOT delay those so necessary VACCINES.  We do not want this health crisis to lead to an even bigger health crisis with a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases.  Pediatric offices are taking great measures to keep you and your child healthy.  Most offer well only appointments during certain hours.  Be sure to make your appointment for your child’s physical and vaccines. We want to keep everyone up to date and HEALTHY!

If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it here: https://www.wtkr.com/coast-live/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-covid-19-on-coast-live

Read more about how to talk to your kids about COVID-19 in my monthly column for the Tidewater Family Magzine:




With all the news of the pandemic COVID-19, you’d think that no other illness exists.  Unfortunately, kids still get ear infections. There are things you can do to help minimize your child’s risk of ear infection.  There are also things which you should avoid.  To learn more watch my segment on Coast Live from 3/31/2020 here:  https://www.wtkr.com/coast-live/treating-common-ear-infections-on-coast-live


Read more about those “pesky” ear infections in this month’s Tidewater Family Magazine here:  https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/those-pesky-ear-infections

Thanks to the Tidewater Family Magazine for continuing to put out such a wonderful product!  Please show your support to them by checking them out online.



Thanks Coast Live for hosting me virtually to keep everyone safe! I always enjoy being a guest on their show.  Be sure to check out April Woodard’s facebook post on “Marriaging Up”!  They are discussing driving. I will say that my husband and I often take turns driving.  I do note that he drives more on long trips, but I tend to drive more just around town. We BOTH gripe about the other’s driving, for sure!



Thank YOU for doing YOUR private part to slow the spread of COVID-19, but especially to all our front line workers: Nurse Practitioners, Respiratory therapists, Doctors, Nurses, Aides, Staff, Grocery store clerks, Truck drivers, Pharmacists, Gas station attendants, and a BIG thanks to our Police officers, Paramedics, and Fire Fighters! I am so proud of everyone for doing their parts to keep people safe and healthy.

Stay home.  Wash your hands.  Don’t touch your face. We are all in this together.



Turning on the TV news, you’d think the world is ending. The headlines all begin with news of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.  Instead of spreading fear, facts can calm the chaos and give practical advice on how to protect yourself and your family.

Coronavirus is not new. It is a virus that causes cold-like symptoms however, the 2019 strain is a new (novel) strain of the coronavirus. (No, it has nothing to do with corona beer.)  This strain started in China (Wuhan City). The virus has been named SAR-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called COVID-19.  This virus is NOT associated with any race. It is believed to be spreading person-to-person by close contact.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and are similar to flu symptoms. Because this is a new strain, the complete clinical picture is not yet fully understood. We believe that symptoms may occur within 14 days after exposure.  Most who get COVID-19 have a mild illness. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, muscle aches and fatigue.  Less common symptoms are headache and diarrhea.  It can progress in some patients to shortness of breath and pneumonia. Older people and those with serious underlying health conditions are at higher risk for more serious illness. Thankfully, children, teens and healthy adults are more likely to have mild illness.

Protect yourself and your family:

  1. Wash your hands. Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.  Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and running water after you use the bathroom and before you eat. 
  2. If you are unable to wash your hands, use a hand-sanitizer.
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze. Teach your children to cough or sneeze into their elbow, rather than their hands.
  4. Avoid touching your face. This keeps germs away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  5. Stay home if you are sick. People with fever and mild illness need to rest and recover. If you are having shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical care.
  6. Keep your environment clean: disinfect commonly touched places (doorknobs, counters, phones, keyboards, remotes).
  7. Avoid exposure to sick people. If you know someone is ill, reschedule.
  8. Avoid shaking hands. This is a great time to wave.
  9. Avoid travel to highly infected areas. Consider postponing cruises and exposure to large crowds in infected areas.
  10. Practice good health habits: exercise, nutritious diet, proper rest and adequate fluid intake.

Spread awareness to decrease fear. Learn more at cdc.gov/coronavirus



Dr. Melanie J Wilhelm DNP CPNP is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Norfolk, VA as well as an Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University.  Her book, Raising Today’s Baby: Second Edition, is available on Amazon.com.  Read more at RaisingTodaysChild.com. Email Dr. Wilhelm at raisingtodayschild@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RaisingTodaysChild  and twitter at www.twitter.com/Rzn2dayschild

After appearing on Channel 3’s Coast Live, speaking about the prevalence of heavy metals in baby foods, I thought it only prudent to offer additional information about how you as a consumer, parent or grandparent can keep your little nugget healthy by offering SAFER baby foods. My article in this month’s Tidewater Family magazine does just that. 

Click on this link to read it: https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/is-your-baby-food-safe

Thanks Coast Live for inviting me to discuss how to avoid heavy metals in baby foods.  It’s always fun to come to the studio and watch the magic happen.  Hopefully, we got the information out that you can decrease your child’s risk of exposure to heavy metals in baby food with just a few simple changes.  Watch the video to learn more:  https://www.wtkr.com/coast-live/advice-for-feeding-todays-baby-with-dr-melanie-j-wilhelm-on-coast-live

Have siri set an alarm for Wed. Feb 12, 2020 at 10 am and switch on WTKR: Channel 3 (Norfolk) for Coast Live! They have invited me to discuss a study which found heavy metal contamination in 95% of baby foods tested.  Late fall 2019, a study was released that tested 168 baby foods, 61 brands from 17 stores nationwide. 1/4th of the baby foods had all four metals tested: lead,arsenic, mercury and cadmium. This is concerning due to the affects these metals can have on developing brains, resulting in lower IQ points and behavioral changes. Watch to find out what YOU can do to protect YOUR child.

Thanks Coast Live for inviting me!  https://www.wtkr.com/coast-live

I find that I spend a good deal of time striving for organization in my life.  I could not keep the schedule I keep without organization.  You see I work two jobs: as a clinician Doctor of Nursing Practice & Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, seeing patients three days each week and as an adjunct Assistant Professor with a local university. I am also a parent of two and a wife, a sister and a friend.  Try to squeeze in exercise and an occasional movie and that’s all the time we have.  Yet, I try to find more….time to write a monthly magazine column (TidewaterFamily.com), time to make a TV appearance (https://www.wtkr.com/coast-live), and time to write my third book (Raising Today’s Toddler).  I’ve had some success at this. I completed my masters and doctoral degrees while raising 2 kids and being the wife of a Navy spouse (who was often deployed). I have published a book: Raising Today’s Baby and it’s update:  Raising Today’s Baby, 2nd edition, available on amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Todays-Baby-complete-parenting/), and having survived generally up to this point (barely).  Don’t get me wrong.  I still MUST sleep.  I still get sick.  I still am HUMAN. I still have bad days.  I still fall short. I just believe that with a LITTLE more organization, you spend LESS time looking for lost keys and more time getting your GOALS accomplished. So this month I wrote my Tidewater family article on organization tips (https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/plan-to-be-organized).  I wish for you a more organized year and less lost keys. 

Many parents ask me, “Could my child have ADHD?”.  In order to answer that question, we need to consider the different types of ADHD.  There are 3 main types of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  

  1. Inattentive: These are our daydreamers.  They miss the assignment because they are looking out the window, lost in their own world. Often these children are not diagnosed, as they aren’t a “problem” in class.
  2. Hyperactive: These are our energizer bunnies.  They can’t sit still.  It’s hard to learn if you are unable to focus and pay attention.
  3. Combined: They are a little bit busy and a little bit inattentive.

Could your child have ADHD?  Read this month’s article: https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/about-adhd


Asthma is a scary word.  It conjures images of kids coughing and wheezing while struggling to breathe.  Asthma can be scary, but it can also be managed if diagnosed and treated appropriately.  I have lived this life, having a child with asthma.  In fact, I decided to return to school BECAUSE of my child with asthma.  It seemed to me that no one could give me the answers I needed to PREVENT her flares. I remember waking to that dreaded nighttime cough (a signal of an asthma flare) and thinking….here we go again. Over time, we learned her triggers (cold air, weather changes, viral illness like colds, exposure to smoke/fumes from fire) and got the preventative medication we needed by working with a wonderful Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. If you, like me, want to learn MORE about asthma and HELP protect the ones you love, read my article in this months Tidewater Family Magazine:  https://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/kids-and-asthma    Share this with family and friends so that we can help others live healthier lives. I thank you for your support in my mission to help parents raise healthy, happy children!