Thanks to Coast Live WTKR, Channel 3, Hampton Roads for inviting me to speak on health advice for kids as we approach winter. I enjoyed chatting with the lovely, brilliant and talented April Woodard. I mentioned five recommendations to keep kids healthy. We discussed the Center for Disease (CDC) recommendation for all children 6 months and older to get an annual flu shot. April asked if the flu shot could give you the flu.  Take a look at the segment to see my reply!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 54 children.  It is a disability which affects language, behavior and social skills.  Chances are, you know someone with ASD.  The medical field continues to learn about ASD.  The early signs are recognizable at a young age. Researchers feel that causes include both genetic and environmental issues.  This month’s article in the Tidewater Family Plus magazine highlights this topic.  Take a look:

Everyone gets a headache now and then, but headaches in children can be worrisome.  Most headaches are not a problem, but how does a parent know when to worry and when to act? In this month’s Tidewater Family Plus article, I discuss pediatric headaches including answers to the following questions:

What are the different types of headaches?

What can you do if your child gets a headache?

How should I track my child’s headaches?

When should I call my child’s pediatric healthcare provider or go to the Emergency Room?

Take a look:

In the USA, there are over 34 million people with diabetes.  Unfortunately, 1 in 5 of those people doesn’t know they have it. Diabetes runs in my family. I’m aware of how serious the consequences of diabetes can be. In America, it’s the 7th leading cause of death. Diabetes is a very serious disease in children. Children with diabetes may present with increased thirst, increased urination and even weight loss. If you are concerned that your child has diabetes, seek urgent care with your pediatric healthcare provider.

To learn more about diabetes, take a look at my article for the Tidewater Family Plus Magazine here:

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends transitioning to a cup before 18 months of age. As a mom, I found the transition from bottle to cup challenging. My daughter just did not want to give up her beloved “ba-ba”.  She still remembers the drama! I feel that this is an important topic to discuss in hopes of easing some struggling parent’s burden. I hope it is helpful!


Take a few minutes and read my article in the Tidewater Family Plus magazine here:

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:

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:

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:


Read more about those “pesky” ear infections in this month’s Tidewater Family Magazine here:

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



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  Read more at Email Dr. Wilhelm at Follow her on Facebook at  and twitter at

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: