From the time he was a child himself, Dr. Noel C. Nye has loved playing with kids. Now, as a pediatrician at Tanner Clinic Syracuse, he still gets some play time, but also time for healing and educating.
Dr. Nye offers all aspects of general pediatrics, including well-child checks and immunizations, newborn care and acute care, such as sore throats and earaches. An athlete himself, he has a special interest in pediatric sports medicine.
Dr. Nye, a native of Ogden, Utah, graduated from Weber State University with a B.S. in microbiology.
He earned his D.O. at the A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. For his residency training, he completed the Austin Pediatric Education Program at the Children’s Hospital of Austin, Texas. He received the Resident of the Year award as a first-year resident and, as a third-year resident, was named chief resident.
Dr. Nye, who is board certified in pediatrics, has been with Tanner Clinic since 1999.
Dr. Nye is married with four sons. He enjoys skiing, hiking, camping and soccer. He has coached his sons’ baseball and soccer teams and served as a Boy Scout leader for many years.
“Love Dr. Nye at Tanner Clinic! Even though he’s a very busy pediatrician he always takes the time to listen to my concerns. Tanner Clinic doctors have been my doctors since 1980!” –Andrea on Facebook, January 18, 2016
“Before moving, we asked our former pediatrician for a recommendation for a pediatrician in our new area. Without hesitation she said ‘Dr Nye.’ We listened to her and are so happy with the level of care he shows for our children and family.” — Elizabeth on Facebook, Sept. 9, 2014
“I‘ve had the same pediatrician for six years, even after moving 20 minutes away. I will never change cuz we absolutely love Dr. Nye and his staff. I have never been more pleased. Even his nurses know who I am when I call. … My children get excited when we pull into the parking lot.” — Dawn on Facebook, Aug. 13, 2014
“My son came down with a very pronounced spotting and rash following his one year vaccination. We thought they were chicken pox, but they were not. Dr. Nye was concerned and asked us to bring our boy in daily to observe (at no cost). Dr. Nye actually gave his cell phone number to us so we could be in touch. A steroid was necessary to clear up the reaction. We used the phone number to text pictures of our son’s spotting and communicate. Dr. Nye is, in our opinion, the kind of man who takes his oath as a physician to a personal level. Very grateful for doctors like him, which are rare.” — RateMDs.com, Nov. 3, 2013
In a world filled with electronic gadgets designed to glue kids to couches, outdoor play times must be part of the game in a child’s life.
It’s a belief shared by many concerned adults, including Dr. Noel Nye, a pediatrician at Tanner Clinic Syracuse, and a father of four boys.
“Especially the way things are now, you’ve got 500 channels on cable, video games, computers, Twitter and Facebook,” said Dr. Nye. “We need to get kids outside and get them in the sunlight running around and playing and using their bodies.”
He smiles when he sees the shins of his younger patients marked with bruises. “I like to see those,” he says, “not that I like to see kids hurt, but it tells me they’re running around being active and playing. That’s a kid’s job — they’re supposed to be playing.”
Any moving or stretching activity is helpful
An athlete himself, Dr. Nye has a special interest in pediatric sports medicine. Now that kids as young as age 4 are joining teams and clubs, the pediatrician follows his young patients from t-ball to junior-high soccer and, in many cases, on to high school sports such as football.
Sports is, of course, not the only way to prompt activity, he says. “But I do encourage activity, whatever it is — get out, be active, do something.”
If he could, Dr. Nye would prescribe sunshine and play as a preventive treatment plan, beginning as early as possible. It was a treatment that worked during his own childhood in northeast Ogden, where he played football, wrestled and hit soccer goals for Ben Lomond High. And, as the youngest of 10 children, he did a lot of roughhousing with numerous nieces and nephews.
Injuries get bigger, just as kids do
Children are resilient when faced with most injuries that come with sports, says Dr. Nye. He sees twisted ankles, tromped-on toes and the broken arms common to jungle gym climbers. In young soccer players, he sees strain injuries and knee injuries from zigzagging.
Unfortunately, kids — and injuries — soon grow bigger. “It’s not until you get bigger, when you can run faster and have bigger body mass with more force involved that you start having injuries,” he said, such as broken limbs and concussions.
Many recreational, volunteer-staffed leagues are available. But in competition leagues, Dr. Nye points to today’s much higher level of engagement and stress, which may put children at higher risk of injury or strain. Plus, certain sports require training year-round, rather than seasonally.
“The demands we’re putting on the kids — and I do say it like that — the demands we’re putting on kids are higher. There’s a much higher level of competition,” he said. “When I was a kid playing sports, it was for fun.”
However, today’s coaches and trainers are much better trained than in the volunteer, recreational-league teams he grew up with.
“Hopefully, coaches are being training to the potential for injury and change the play to prevent them. They’re also teaching the kids themselves how to play to prevent injury,” he said.
So, what’s the difference between a goose egg and a concussion?
According to Dr. Noel Nye, a pediatrician at Tanner Clinic Syracuse, “you can get knocked on the head all the time and get a goose egg or something, but with a concussion you’re going to have, typically, a headache that persists, some visual changes, some memory loss.”
Because it’s a brain injury caused by rapid acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull, there may be balance issues, he said. “And you may have some cognitive disabilities, where you’re trying to think of something and you can’t.”
Dr. Nye had his first-ever concussion just a few years back when, during a ski run, he wiped out and hit the back of his helmet on the packed snow.
Now he understands the disorientation and memory loss of a concussion. “It was like my brain was in a fog,” he remembers. “I remembered being on the lift, but I couldn’t remember getting on the lift. It was like I was right in the moment, but nothing else. I was having memories, but when I stopped and thought about them for a second, I realized, ‘Wait, that’s not true.’”
The best treatment for a concussion is “brain rest,” said the physician. “If there are no other serious injuries, it’s just rest. You’ve got to take it easy.”
Subsequent concussions have an “additive effect,” he said. “If you don’t let your brain recover completely and you go back and smack your head again, there’s additional trauma.”