It seems as if it happens overnight. Your child's cough turns into something much worse. It's called croup…a viral upper respiratory infection that causes your child's trachea and larynx to become inflamed making it difficult for them to breath.
Fall weather is finally here and cooler temperatures usher in fall allergy season. The sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throats and cough, which are all symptoms of allergic rhinitis, start up as the pollens blows in and stirs up ragweed, the most common fall allergen.
A new study slated to appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that there is no association between the amount of vaccines a young child receives and autism. Some parents have worried that there may be a link and have opted out of having their child vaccinated or reduced the number of vaccines recommended.
Do You Follow Your Child's Doctor's Advice?
Do you follow your child's doctor's advice? If not, you're not alone but you may be setting your child up for future health problems according to a new study.
The study showed that 56 %, about two-thirds, of parents said they followed the doctor's advice most of the time, and 13% said they followed it only occasionally.
The findings were produced by, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.
One possible reason as to why parents didn't always follow their child's doctor's advice was how well they related to their medical provider. Among parents who rated their children's doctor as excellent or talking to me in a way I can understand, 6 % said they followed the advice only occasionally. But 46% who rated their doctor as good, fair or poor said they also followed his or her advice only occasionally.
"Parents need to ask for clarification if they are unsure about what the provider is saying, or why it's important," said Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the poll. Doctors should use clear language, ask parents about their concerns, and give practical examples of what works with children, he said.
That last point cannot be emphasized enough. While parents need to speak up if they don't understand what the doctor is telling them, providers need to take the time to ask the parents questions to make sure they understand what is being said and why. Too often parents say they feel they are being rushed out of the exam room and receive information that is given to them in doctor speak and not common language.
What advice are parents more likely to heed? The studys results say that recommendations on nutrition, dentist visits and using car seats.
What recommendations were parents least likely to follow? 40 % said they didn't follow advice on discipline, 18% said they didn't follow advice on sleeping recommendations a
I received an email from a mother who was concerned because her toddler son was crying when they left him at day care. They were alarmed as he had not previously cried when they dropped him off and wondered if this was normal or a sign of a problem. Actually, this phenomenon should be quite reassuring to a parent as this is a sign that your child is developmentally on track, and has developed a healthy attachment to his parents.
All children go through periods developmentally when they are more prone to separation anxiety. As a new parent you are often concerned about leaving your child under the care of someone other than a parent. But, in actuality, it is far easier to leave a newborn or an infant than it is to leave a 8-9 month old.
By the time a child reaches this age they are beginning to show signs of stranger anxiety. In other words, they now recognize the faces and voices of their parents, routine caregivers, siblings etc.
But, when a new person (and face) reaches out for a 9 month old it is not uncommon for that child to suddenly panic and burst into tears. This is not because the stranger has done anything at all, but because the child now understands being separated from their parent and may fear that the parent is leaving forever.
The bond between parent and child has been successfully established, which is quite healthy. This is the beginning of teaching a child that a parent may leave for work, school or even a trip, but that they will return. Just because a parent leaves for awhile, they are not gone forever.
This first stage of separation anxiety can provoke feelings of anxiousness in both child and parent, but it is an essential part of normal development. Separation anxiety, like almost all behaviors, varies from child to child. While some children are more clingy than others, some may just be wired in a certain way and are more vulnerable to separating from a parent. Regard
Millions of people watch YouTube and other social media videos. There's everything from music to medical procedures, comedy clips and cooking shows you name it and there's a video for it.
There are also videos showing teens and pre-teens choking each other and beating each other to a bloody pulp. These are videos that encourage dangerous and sometimes deadly games. It appears the more outrageous you can be, the bigger audience you'll have. Unfortunately a lot of kids end up in emergency rooms or worse, dead.
Last week a 15-year-old boy died while copying a YouTube video he and his friends had seen. While standing, he passed out, and fell forward crashing into an empty drinking glass. His collarbone broke the glass and a shard sliced through his interior and exterior jugular vein. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital. It's called the choking game.
The asphyxiation-to- get-high videos are popular with young adults, teens and even preteens.
Other popular games include jumping off a moving vehicle, salt and ice, extreme fighting, the cinnamon challenge and hitting someone over the head with a folding chair.
Dr. Thomas Abramo, the chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said he sees all of it in his ER. Although teens have acted on risky behavior fads throughout his 30-year career, he said he's seeing trends catch on faster than ever before, and he thinks it's because of YouTube and social media.
"If you get one kid doing it, you tend to see more kids doing it," said Abramo, who said two of his patients have died playing the choking game. "The spread of the event is definitely faster."
One challenge that scares Abramo involves being hit on the head with a bench or a folding chair to "see if you can take it," he said. A lot of the time, they can't.
"Fractures, concussions, lacerations," Abramo said. "Just the things you would think would happen."
They fly, crawl and can ruin a perfect summer day. Bugs are creeping everywhere this time of year and there is only one way to keep them at bay...insect repellent.
Does your child use sunscreen everyday?
If you're planning the perfect getaway this summer with your family, don't let motion sickness spoil your plans. Did you know 58% of children between the ages of four and 10 experience the symptoms of motion sickness?
I have many young patients that are regular soccer players and many of them are adolescent girls. A recent article in the British Medical Journal caught my eye. The title Simple Warm-Up Program Prevents Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries.
In my early days of training, I was taught that children rarely had ligamentous injuries especially involving their knees. Boy has that information changed over the years! I cant even count the number of teenage patients of mine who have had serious knee injuries, many requiring surgeries and some injuries ending their athletic careers.
We now know that adolescent female soccer players experience anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries at a rate that is twice that of their male counterparts. This study looked at whether these serious injuries can be prevented.
4,600 females between the ages of 12 - 17 years participated in the study. Two-thirds were instructed in how to perform a 15 minute warm up program focusing on new control and core stability. This consisted of 5 minutes of jogging followed by six exercises (one-legged knee squat, two-legged knee squat, lunge, bench press, jump/landing technique, and pelvic lift). The program was completed twice weekly during soccer season and progressed through 4 levels of difficulty.
The outcome? Seven players in the intervention group, and 14 in the control group experienced ACL injuries. The rate of ACL injury was 64% lower in the intervention group. Pretty impressive!
So, a simple warm up program which is easy to institute can prevent ACL injuries in young female soccer players. It would be interesting to see another study looking at whether these same warm up programs can be applied to male soccer players as well as to athletes in other sports (basketball and softball) where knee injuries are common.
These exercises seem to help minimize
If your child's BFF is active, that may have a positive impact on your own child's health. On the other hand, if your child's friends tend to be sedentary and have unhealthy eating habits, that could have a negative impact on your child's health. Why is that? Because peer pressure has a powerful influence over kids and often determines who fits in and who doesn't.
Sabrina Gesell, a research assistant professor in pediatrics at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and her colleagues, studied a network of friends in an after- school program involving students, ages 5 to 12. Using a pedometer-like device that recorded minute muscle movements, the researchers tracked kids's physical activity levels over a period of 12 weeks.
At the start of the program, none of the children knew one another well, so the researchers were able to track how the youngsters made and dropped friends and what effect these changing relationships had on their physical activity level.
They discovered that during the time the children spent in the program, the strongest factor influencing how much time they spent engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity was the activity level of their four to six closest friends. In fact, children changed their exercise level about 10% to better match those in their circle; children who hung out with more active students were more likely to increase their physical activity levels, while those who befriended more sedentary children became less active.
We see evidence that the children are mirroring, emulating or adjusting to be similar to their friends,says Gesell. And that's exciting because we saw meaningful changes in activity levels in 12 weeks.
The results suggest a potentially inexpensive and effective way to change childrens behavior. Obesity is engulfing too many of our young kids, bringing with it adult diseases and shortened life spans. Scientists believe the results from this study may offer a new and eas
They're convenient but could make your child extremely ill. Those colorful and handy little laundry packs, that many households are switching to as an alternative to boxed detergents and heavy bottles, are causing some children to end up in the emergency room.
There have been almost 250 cases reported this year to poison control. These cases are only a tiny fraction of the thousands of poisoning calls received every year about household medicines and other cleaning supplies, but doctors are concerned. The symptoms they see in connection with ingesting the packets, such as nausea and breathing problems, are more severe than typical detergent poisoning.
"We're not quite sure why it's happening," said Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a Dallas toxicologist and professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "But we've clearly had some kids who have become much more ill. We look at these pods as being clearly more dangerous than the standard detergent."
Detergent manufacturers introduced versions of the packets earlier this year. They're intended to be dropped into a laundry machine in place of liquid or powder detergent.
Several poison control centers started to get calls from parents about the packets in March and April, soon after they were introduced in earnest. Texas reported 71 instances of exposure this year, all but one in March or later. Missouri reported 25 cases related to the packets, and Illinois reported 26.
"If you look at the Tide Pods, they're bright blue and bright red and they look very similar to some of the ribbon candy," said Julie Weber, director of the Missouri Poison Control Center in St. Louis.
Paul Fox, a spokesman for Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Tide, says all cleaning products need to be handled carefully. He said Tide was working with poison control centers and advocacy groups to make sure parents know more about the risks.
"The packs themselves are safe,
I have been attending a conference for my continuing education (I still love going to school) and one of the topics was Universal Cholesterol Screening in Children. While adults have known the importance of healthy cholesterol levels for a long time, there is more and more data to validate the need for children to have cholesterol levels monitored as well.
The current guidelines by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which are also endorsed by the AAP recommend that ALL children, regardless of family history have either a non-fasting total cholesterol and HDL level or a fasting lipid panel performed between the ages of 9 & 11 years and again between 17-21 years. Again, these are screening tests only.
The recommendations previously supported screening cholesterol levels for children who had a family history of elevated cholesterol levels or those with familial risk factors for coronary artery disease. Knowing that coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and also realizing that coronary artery disease really begins in childhood, modifying risk factors in childhood will hopefully lead to a reduction in coronary artery disease later in life. One of these risk factors is elevated cholesterol levels.
What is a healthy cholesterol for a child? A non-fasting lipid panel should look at total cholesterol minus the HDL cholesterol, which gives a non-HDL cholesterol total. The current guidelines recommend that the non-HDL cholesterol should be < 145mg/dl and the HDL should be > 40 mg/dl. If a fasting lipid panel is used the LDL should be < 130 mg/dl, HDL > 40 mg/dl and non-HDL cholesterol <145 mg/dl as well.
The guidelines also state that if the cholesterol is abnormal a repeat screen should be done 2 weeks-3 months after the first screening and the results should be averaged before deciding on further investigation or treatment.&n
Is it possible for children to come down with shingles? I recently saw a 2 year old with a most interesting history who then developed a weird rash. Funny thing, I read an article shortly after seeing this child that described his case perfectly, only wish I had seen this the week before.
So, this 2 year old complained that his leg hurt. Enough pain that he limped and woke up at night crying that his thigh hurt. He had no history of trauma and also was otherwise well, in other words no fever, vomiting, cold symptoms etc.
After several days of watching him without resolution of his pain the mother noticed 3 little spots on his thigh, which she thought might be a bite. The little boy was seen and the diagnosis of herpes zoster (shingles) was considered. In children the differential diagnosis of localized leg pain in the absence of a rash would not normally include shingles.
According to the pedi dermatologist (that I consulted) shingles in children occurs more frequently on their lower extremities (not for adults) and may involve the back on the same side. Unlike adults, most cases of zoster in children are only mildly painful and resolve fairly quickly.
Well, this little boy didn't read the book and his rash continued to get worse and spread, and was quite painful for days. Prior to this, he was a perfectly healthy little boy and had received his first varicella vaccine when he was 1.
Since the widespread use of the varicella vaccine (chickenpox vaccine, see old post), the incidence of chickenpox has decreased dramatically, and vaccination should also reduce the risk of developing shingles later in life. In otherwise healthy children shingles (zoster) tends to develop at a younger age among vaccinated children than in those who have had a natural chickenpox infection. When shingles occurs after vaccination it represents either a new infection with wild-type virus (an exposure to
Doc McStuffins is Disney Junior's newest series which helps kids get over their fear of the doctor.
Allergy season is literally in full bloom with flowers, trees and grasses all contributing to the sneezing, itchy eyes, runny noses and coughs which are seen in allergic children. If your child continues to suffer from allergies despite medical therapy with daily antihistamines and nasal steroids, your pediatrician may recommend a visit to a pediatric allergist.
It's winter and that means cold dry air, heat on in the house and dry and chapped skin as a consequence.
Backpacks can make carrying a lot of items easier and kids often use them to haul their schoolbooks to and from home and classes. They have pretty much become a part of many children's personal dress code. When backpacks are used properly, they are actually very handy.
"Boundaries" and "limits" are two words that every parent needs to have in their vocabulary, just the same way that every child knows the words "no" and "mine".
It s croup season and you may already have experienced the nighttime barky cough that signals croup.
Concussions have been in the news a lot lately, particularly when they relate to children. Awareness about the dangers of concussions has changed how schools, coaches and parents watch for and treat this kind of injury. A new study released this week points out that some concussion side effects can last longer than thought.
Children who suffer even a mild concussion can have attention and memory problems a year after their injury.
The study results were published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and suggest that problems such as forgetfulness, dizziness, and fatigue may linger for up to about 20 percent after an accident.
Forgetfulness, difficulty paying attention, headaches and fatigue were more common in study children who lost consciousness or who had other mild head trauma that caused brain abnormalities on imaging tests, compared with kids who didn't get knocked out or who had normal imaging test results.
Longer lasting symptoms were not determined since the study only followed children for a year after their injury. For that year though, children who had injury-related symptoms experienced "significant functional impairment in their daily lives."
"What parents want to know is if my kid is going to do OK. Most do OK, but we have to get better at predicting which kids are going to have problems," said study author Keith Owen Yeates, a Neuropsychologist at Ohio State University's Center for Biobehaviorial Health.
Children who have concussion symptoms may need temporary accommodations such as extra time taking school tests, or wearing sunglasses if bright light gives them headaches, Yeates said.
Most of the children in the study received their concussion from a sports related injury or fall, but about 20 percent had a mild brain trauma injury from a traffic accident or some other cause.
The study included 186 children, aged 8 to 15, with mild concussions and other
Good news for parents whose kids who are engaged in America's favorite pastime, baseball and softball. They are some of the safest sports for children to play.
With winter in full swing, many families are traveling. Some families are heading to the mountains or maybe camping and hiking in a National Park. Others may be going to far away places for an adventure in South America or even Asia and encounter higher altitudes.
Studies have shown that more and more women are deficient in vitamin D. Thats not good for women in general, but for mothers-to-be, a new study suggests that it could put their child at risk for learning difficulties.
Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy may relieve the problem. "Adequate vitamin D levels among pregnant women may be important for the optimal development of their baby," said lead researcher Andrew Whitehouse, an associate professor and reader in developmental psychopathology at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia. "However, it is important for the findings of this study to be replicated before any strong conclusions are made."
Vitamin D levels among pregnant women have decreased steadily over the past 20 years, most likely because of less exposure to sunlight, Whitehouse said.
"The effects of lower maternal vitamin D levels on the developing offspring is not fully understood," he said. "The current study found that women with vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy have an increased risk of having a child with developmental language difficulties."
Whitehouse's team looked at vitamin D levels in more than 700 pregnant women. They also measured their children's behavior at ages 2, 5, 8, 10, 14 and 17.
In addition, the researchers measured language development when the children were ages 5 and 10.
The researchers found that vitamin D levels during pregnancy had no effect on behavioral or emotional problems of the children.
Researchers did find, however, that that there were noteworthy differences in language skills from children whose mothers were deficient in vitamin D while pregnant.
The Whitehouse group found that these children were twice as likely to have language difficulties as children whose mothers had adequate vitamin D levels.
"The findings suggest that there may be a link between maternal vitamin D lev
Child identity theft is on the rise. One reason child identity theft is on the rise is because of new software that can predict social security numbers (SSN) before a child is even born.
ECGs could save your child's life. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) record the electrical activity in the heart and can identify people who are risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
Can you remember something that happened when you were two years old? It's probably a safe bet that most adults would have to say no. There's always the few that can recall almost every day of their lives, but most of us can barely remember what happened yesterday much less something that occurred when we were toddlers.
"Spare the rod; spoil the child" was a fairly common attitude that many parents took to heart. Spanking was the way you disciplined a misbehaving child - even if the child wasn't capable of understanding what they were doing wrong. Over the years, spanking has declined some in popularity. A just released twenty-year study reveals the long-term harmful effect that spanking or slapping has on a child's development.
Sport activities are as American as (put your favorite pie here.) From pre-school through college many kids are playing one sport or another. Sports that can cause a brain injury - and there are many- are some of the most demanding, and some of the most popular.
Here's a question for you. Should sugar be labeled a toxin and regulated like alcohol and tobacco?
Although there seems to be non-stop discussion about the influence modern day society has on our children, one fact remains the same. Parents and caregivers have the biggest impact on a child's life.
Government funded school lunches will offer more fruit and vegetables and less fat on their lunch plates starting next September.
We all know that exercise is good for the heart, lungs, weight-control and now a new study suggests that it's good for increasing academic performance as well.
Do children who speak more than one language score higher on cognitive tests?
To date, it has been an unbelievably quiet flu season throughout the country. But with that being said there is still some flu and there could be more to come, this is typically the time of year that flu begins to peak.
Wouldn't life be a lot easier if your child knew how to swallow a pill?