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.
With kids back in school comes new health concerns. Dr. Sue has some tips for preventing and treating lice.
The Kid's Doctor breaks down how to keep kids healthy in the summer heat
Fish are high in several beneficial nutrients, including some that are related to healthy brain development.
While tobacco use is at an all time low among teenagers the use of marijuana is on the rise. According to the annual 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey (which is administered annually to over 45,000 students grades 8-2 in both public and private ...
Headlines recently announced the death of Cory Monteith, one of the stars of the TV show Glee.
I was recently involved in the care of a 17 year-old boy in our practice who had meningococcal meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is a rare bacterial infection, but meningococcal disease continues to cause 75-125 deaths/year in the U.S. ...
Welcome your Royal Highness Prince (name to come) and congratulations to new parents Prince William and Duchess Kate.
The modified saying Music soothes the savage beast may have new applications in the modern world of medicine. New research suggests that music may help some children experience less discomfort when dealing with low level or moderate pain.
Do you remember your first period? I do. Even though it has been many years since that fateful day, I can recall the experience as if it happened yesterday. I was 13 years old and walking home from school. Something felt odd as I took each step something wet.
During our summer vacation, which happened to be overseas, I began to notice a recurring theme. Teenagers from around the world often behave in a similar way. That is, maybe it really is something in a teen's nature that affects behavior and attitudes....
A new study just published in the August online edition of Pediatrics confirms what I see in my practice.
Many adults and kids have switched to diet drinks to help reduce their calorie intake. In fact, children who drink sugar-free beverages have doubled in the past 10 years according to a study released in 2012.
An article in the news caught my eye today when I noticed that The World Health Organization (WHO) called an emergency meeting to discuss the infectious disease known as MERS (Middle East Respiratory virus, formerly known as nCoV). ...
Is there ever really a perfect time to start a family? If you're in the planning stage or wanting to grow your family you might want to rule out the month of May for conception.
They have been fortunate that no one in their own immediate family had died, and therefore she had never really discussed death with her daughter. I could sense that she was dreading the discussion, just as much as some parents dread discussing sexuality with their children. ..
If you look at a baby's legs it is easy to see how they were folded so that they fit inside the uterus. Those little legs don't get unfolded until after delivery.
If your teenager tells you that he or she has a stomach ache it might be more than just an excuse to get out of doing something you've asked them to do.
Our typical sizzling summer has officially begun and temperatures are rising across the nation. My thermostat isn't reading as hot as some places like southern California (currently 114 degrees), but it's still pretty toasty outside.
Kids get runny noses. But is it caused by allergies, a simple cold or something more serious like a sinus infection? If your child has a history of sinus infections, a new review of clinical guidelines may be just what the doctor ordered.
I still get a lot of questions about starting solid foods in a baby.
When brothers and sisters pick on, harass, hit, punch, kick, insult and generally harass other siblings they're not typically identified as bullies. The response is more often kids will be kids.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is producing remarkable results in teenage girls by cutting infections in half. A new study measures the vaccines impact since it came on the market in 2006.
Only about half of teen girls in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of the expensive vaccine, and just a third of teen girls have had all three shots, according to the latest government figures.
"These are striking results and I think they should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC study compared infection rates in girls 14 to 19 before and after the vaccine became available. The proportion infected with the targeted HPV strains dropped 56 percent, from about 12 percent before the vaccine was sold to 5 percent. That result was for all teens after it was on the market, whether or not they were vaccinated.
Among girls who had gotten the vaccine, the drop in HPV infections was higher " 88 percent.
For the vaccine to be effective, 3 shots have to be given over a period of 6 months. There are two vaccines against HPV, but the study only looked at Gardasil. Both vaccines are approved for use in males and females " ages 9 to 26 for females and ages 9 to 21 in males.
The study involved interviews and physical examinations of nearly 1,400 teen girls in 2003 through 2006 and of 740 girls in 2007 through 2010.
The vaccine's impact was seen even though only 34 percent of the teens in the second group had received any vaccine. That could be due to "herd immunity" " when a population is protected from an infection because a large or important smaller group is immune.
Some parents have balked at having their children and teens vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease out of concern that it could encourage sexual activity. Frieden said the vaccination is meant to protect them when they become adul
Did you know that the first day of summer, June 21, not only kicks off sun, fun and relaxation, but it is also National ASK Day.
The summer months are typically the time of year when children play more often in homes of their friends, or even other family members. While we parents ASK all sorts of questions to ensure our childs safety, parents need to ASK if there are guns where their kids are playing?
National ASK Day, is a collaboration between The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV). Statistics show that about 1/3 of homes with kids also have guns, many of which are left unlocked and may even be loaded!
An average of 8 kids and teens are killed by firearms everyday and 42 additional children/teens are seriously injured (according to CDC data). 88% of the children who are injured or killed in unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes or in the homes of relatives or friends.
Other studies show that 42% of parents who own guns keep at least one unlocked, and 25% keep at least one loaded, and UNBELIEVABLY 14% keep one unlocked AND loaded! I cannot believe this myself. Scary!
Children are curious and clever. They may see their parent with a gun and it is left out and suddenly a tragedy has occurred. Accidental? Hard to use that word when this accident may be prevented. Talking to a child about gun safety and the danger of firearms is great, but not enough. Curiosity and availability may win when a child wants to play with the gun. Kids are clever and may f
The rotavirus vaccine is definitely one vaccine you want to make sure your child gets.
Rotavirus is a gastrointestinal disease that causes an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can produce severe diarrhea along with vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. Dehydration is often a side effect and globally, its responsible for more than half a million deaths each year in children under the age of five.
This disease is bad news for youngsters, but since the Rotarix and RotaTeq vaccines were introduced - U.S. children have benefited greatly from the protection.
Most parents are good about making sure their kids receive all the recommended vaccines, but many wonder how effective these vaccines really are. A new study says that the rotavirus vaccines are 91-92 percent effective for children 8 months and older. Thats an excellent result.
The study, led by Margaret M. Cortese, MD, of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aimed to find out the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine.
There are several types of rotavirus vaccines. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of the monovalent vaccine called RV1- that came out in 2008. They also reviewed data on the pentavalent vaccine RV5.
The researchers gathered files on all children who went to one of five hospitals in Georgia and Connecticut with severe diarrhea lasting no more than 10 days.
The children were all born after the RV1 vaccine had been introduced (2008).
The researchers tested their stools for rotavirus and looked at their immunization records.
The researcher then compared the vaccination history of the children who had rotavirus to those who did not have rotavirus.
There were 165 children who had rotavirus in their stool and 428 who tested negative for it.
When the researchers compared these groups, they found the RV1 rotavirus vaccine was 91 perce
I just read an article published in the journal Pediatrics which once again validated the importance of family routines. In this study researchers from Ohio State University looked at household routines as they related to childhood obesity, an ever escalating problem.
The research, conducted in 2005, but published this year, analyzed over 8,500 four year old children. 18% of the children were identified as obese. Families were then asked if they regularly ate evening meals together, did their children have a bedtime and receive adequate sleep, and was television time limited within the home? When looked at more closely a little more than half of the children reported having family dinners 6 or 7 evenings a week.
There were 57% of the children who were reported to have 10.5 hours of sleep per weeknight. Only about 40% of the studied children were reported to watch less than 2 hours of television or movie viewing per weekday. When looked at in terms of those children who were exposed to all 3 routines, the prevalence of obesity was 14%, while those children not exposed to any of the 3 routines had a prevalence rate for obesity of 24.5%. The research also found that the number of household routines was a predicator of obesity and that by adding a routine, there was a 17% reduction in odds for obesity as a new routine was added.
These household routines seem to be fairly easy to initiate in that they may be accomplished without any cost etc. Establishing good routines for family meals has repeatedly been shown to improve a childs academic success, attention, risk of using alcohol and drugs and overall well being. If it could also reduce the incidence of obesity what a win!! Just one more reason to plan for a family to eat dinner together. This study did not even discuss healthy food choices, which might make the statistics even more compelling, and what about adding eating breakfast togeth
Baby Matters LLC is voluntarily recalling its foam rubber Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners and their covers, in exchange for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) dropping an administrative complaint that it filed in December 2012.
From 2009 to the present, the Commission staff has received at least 92 incident reports involving the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill products, including five infant deaths. CPSC is aware of four infants who died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and a fifth death involved in the Chill model. In the incident reports received by CPSC, there were 92 reports of infants hanging or falling over the side of the products, including some infants who were restrained in the products harness.
In December 2012, four major retailers"Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us"announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny and Chill models sold in their stores. Consumers who purchased a Nap Nanny from one of these retailers should contact the retailer for instructions on how to obtain a refund for the product.
About 165,000 of the Nap Nanny and Chill products were sold between 2009 and 2012 for about $130. The recalled products were sold at toy and children's retail stores nationwide and online, including at www.napnanny.com.
Baby Matters LLC is no longer in business and is not accepting returns. CPSC urges consumers to immediately dispose of the products to ensure that they are not used again.
- Buy Buy Baby: Toll-free at (877) 328-9222,http://www.buybuybaby.com/productRecalls.asp
Summertime in the pediatrician's office means lots of check ups, and often this includes those tweens/teens/and college students who were too busy to schedule their doctor's appointments during the school year. The next three months will be busy indeed.
With HPV back in the news after Michael Douglas revealed that his throat cancer was due to HPV, what better time to remind parents and young adults of the need for the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine has been available in the U.S. for over seven years, but statistics from the CDC continue to show that the HPV vaccine is still not being given at the same rate as other recommended vaccines. In other words, we doctors need to ensure that every person between the ages of 11-26 who we see is offered the vaccine, this also means we need to educate.
HPV causes CANCER! This is truly the first anti-cancer vaccine, and I am hopeful that I will see more vaccines to prevent cancer while I continue to practice. I am sure that there will be more anti-cancer vaccines in our children's lifetime. This is exciting news as research continues on ways to combat cancer.
But.....for some reason (that is difficult for me to understand both as a parent and a physician), some parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated despite ongoing evidence that HPV is widely prevalent and causes numerous cancers. The fact that this virus is transmitted sexually seems to be the root cause of parental concern. Do parents not assume that their own children will become parents one day as well? Dont they want to be grandparents one day? Well, that means having sex with a partner. At some point in time, our children do become sexually active and shouldn't they all be protected as much as possible?
Giving adolescents the HPV vaccine does not promote sexual activity. In fact, I think that by having a discussion abou
The esteemed Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank that conducts public opinion polls and demographic research and analysis, came up with five facts about fathers that are interesting.
Over the last thirty years, the roles fathers play in the lives of their children have changed. Some might say for the better.
While there are still way too many children growing up without a father, many dads are making a dedicated and heartfelt effort to be more involved in their child's life.
So, in keeping with dad appreciation week as we build up to Father's Day next Sunday, here are five facts you may not know about dear old dad.
1. The Census Bureau estimates that last year there were about 189,000 stay-at-home dads, defined as married fathers with children younger than 15 who stayed out of the labor force for at least one year primarily to care for the family while their wife works outside the home. Those dads cared for an estimated 369,000 children.
2. In 2009 there were about 2.4 million custodial fathers (that is, raising their children while the mother was living elsewhere), versus 11.2 million custodial mothers, according to a Census Bureau report. About 619,000 custodial fathers were due child support; collectively, they received about $1.9 billion.
3. Fathers have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children, from 2.5 hours in 1965 to 7.3 hours per week in 2011, according to a Pew Research report that analyzed years of time-use data. Despite that increase, 46% of fathers said they spent too little time with their children, compared with 23% of mothers who said the same; half of dads said they spent the right amount of time.
4. More than three-quarters of new fathers took one week or less off from work after the birth or adoption of their most recent child, according to a 2011 Boston College study of fath
I love talking to parents about behavior modification and that includes beginning to discipline their children. I really think this is one of the most important jobs for parents and it is hard to believe that your most precious, perfect child will at times misbehave. It happens to all of us!
I would recommend to start using time out as a means of behavior modification when a child is somewhere between 15-18 months of age. For those of you who watch Super Nanny, she coined the word the naughty step which is her version of time-out chair.
When you begin time out, pick a small chair in the house which you can use consistently for time-out. Never use a child's crib or bed, as you do not want them to think that bed is for misbehaving. After a child gets used to doing time out you can use all sorts of chairs and do time out anywhere. Like many things it just takes practice.
When putting your child in time out get down to their eye level, explain why they must sit in the chair, and hold them from behind (with your arms wrapped around them like you are a rope). I use a timer even at this young age so your child begins to understand how long they will be sitting in time out. Time out is typically one minute per year of age.
After time out is finished, get back to eye level and explain that the next time you ask them to mind you, they may choose to listen and they will not have to go to time out. These are such important words for a child's entire life, as they need to understand that they are making choices for their behavior. In other words, taking ownership of making a bad choice and knowing that there will be consequences. You will use these words over and over, you made a bad choice therefore....the consequence is....for a young child it is time out, for older children it may be no TV, or no going to a party, or even no driving. All versions of
Kids and water: They may not want to drink a lot of it, but they sure love to play in it. Now that the magical season of summer is almost here, there will be a lot of children doing just that. While you may think you already know everything there is to know on water safety, its still a good idea for parents, guardians and babysitters to freshen-up on ways to help keep kids safe when around or in water.
The good news, according to a study published by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University in 2012, is that more parents ARE paying attention to water safety. Children dying from drowning"related incidents have declined dramatically since the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, more than 1,000 U.S. children still die from drowning and another 5,000 are injured every year. Dying from drowning isnt the only serious outcome that can occur. Nonfatal drowning can also result in brain damage and long-term disability.
Children less than 4 years old are most likely to die in drowning incidents, usually in bathtubs or after falling into water. Older children are more likely to drown while swimming, according to research cited in the study, with the risk rising in warmer regions of the South and West that have longer swimming seasons.
Lets review a few water safety tips, provided by kidshealth.org, and USA Today News that may help your little one from becoming one of the heart-breaking statistics listed above.
Supervision: The number one rule for water safety and children is that an adult, preferably one who knows CPR, is overseeing any child or group of children in water - whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. If you dont know how to swim, learn. A parent or guardian who can actually enter the water and retrieve a child is able to respond faster, when a child is in trouble, than someone who has t
Time and time again headlines declare that vegetables are absolutely necessary to a healthy lifestyle. As parents, we get it. But what if your little one doesn't like broccoli, green beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets -ok, I'll pass on that one too- corn, cauliflower, spinach or tomatoes? What if every time you attempt to smuggle a vegetable into your child's meal world war three breaks out?
Well...there may be hope. Try a little dip (and tenderness). According to a small but optimistic study, kids that don't normally like veggies messing up their perfectly good meal, will reevaluate that outlook and give vegetables a taste if they are presented with a bit of flavored dip.
The fact that the dip used during the study was low in fat, calories and sodium didn't seem to matter.
The study was conducted at the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University.
Thirty-four preschoolers were asked to do a taste test of vegetables with and without the low-fat dip.
Not surprisingly, the kids liked the veggies better when they were served with dip. When the dip was flavored, kids liked the vegetables even more compared to plain dip or no dip at all.
What I find amazing is that thirty one percent of the little tykes liked the vegetables as is nothing added. When the researchers added the dip though, a whopping sixty-four percent were thumbs up on the vegetables. There were of course, those children who wouldn't budge even while others were smiling, dipping and exclaiming how tasty cauliflower can actually be. Six percent said no thanks to the dip and the vegetables while eighteen percent said absolutely no to the vegetables with no dip.
To see just how far kids were willing to go with the veggie and dip combo researchers did another study. This time they offered 27 preschoolers celery or squash both notorious for being leaders in a preschooler's yuck category. The kids basically picked at the
I saw a young boy (this week) who was bitten by a dog. Very sad as I began to think this is the time of the year that I will start seeing more bites. Why? Warmer weather brings families outdoors and I've noticed more dog parks popping up. I have experience with dog bites as a pediatrician and mom.
We are a dog family and my husband and I had our first dog, Mrs. Brown, before our oldest son was born. She was the perfect dog, a mutt that my brother (who is a vet) had found and gave yo us.
When the boys came along she was wonderful and would follow them around the yard and to the closest neighbors, I would always know where the kids were as Mrs. Brown would be waiting on the porch for them.
Our next dog was a golden retriever, Maddie, that our middle son wanted, and she too was a member of our family for 12 years. Sweet (but a bit lazy), she was so sad as each of our sons left for college. She was suddenly the only child left at home. It broke our hearts when she died and the boys had not gotten a chance to get home to see her.
Thinking we didn't need a dog in a empty house was a mistake. The youngest son felt like he should have a dog (even though he was away at college) and I thought a little dog might be nice. No way, according to the youngest son, we are a big dog family, and so we now have 4 year old Maggie, a yellow lab. Sweet, smart and spoiled is all I can say.
Now, back to dog bites. I think it is important for children to be around dogs (and other pets as well) but to have a respect for them. Just like we teach children, stranger danger, the same goes for dogs. Teach your children not to approach strange dogs, or reach through a fence to pat a dog. Always ask the owner before trying to pet a dog.
I would not recommend buying your child a dog until they are around 4 years of age. But, if you
I have been receiving a lot of calls, emails and questions on twitter regarding Michael Douglas' admission that his oral cancer was caused by HPV.
Coxsackie virus is rampant once again! I have seen too many kids to count (TMKTC) with symptoms of coxsackie virus and the classic skin rash associated with hand, foot and mouth disease. Many parents are telling me that their day care centers are having outbreaks which is what typically happens at this time of year.
Like many viruses, coxsackie can make some children quite miserable, while others have very few symptoms but never the less are contagious and shed the virus to others. Viruses are just plain ole contagious, even with the best precautions to help prevent spreading the illness. Best prevention continues to be hand washing!
The classic symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease are a fever, sore throat, and a rash which looks like small red spots or even a bit of a blister, occurring on a childs palms, soles and often in their throats causing pain. We are also seeing many children who have a rash on their buttocks, and legs as well. The rash is often confused for a diaper rash if there are no other associated symptoms.
Coxsackie virus typically lasts from 3 -7 days. While some children are terribly cranky and uncomfortable and will even drool rather than swallow their own spit, other seem to not even notice the rash on their hands or feet. The treatment is totally symptomatic, which means acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and discomfort and keeping your child hydrated.
Most kids don't have a great appetite when they have a sore throat (do you?), so I am a big believer in popsicles, Slurpees, ice cream, fozen yogurt, shaved ice.....the list is long. You just want to make sure your child is h
Many obese men and women are turning to surgery to help them lose the extra weight. But for women who are planning a pregnancy, is it a good idea?
A new study suggests that for obese women who choose weight-loss surgery to bring their weight under control, having the procedure may also benefit their future children.
A Canadian study found that children born after their mother had lost considerable weight from gastric bypass surgery were slimmer than their pre-surgery siblings and had fewer risk factors for diabetes or heart disease later in life.
The findings showed that numerous genes linked to obesity-related health problems worked differently in the younger siblings than in their older brothers and sisters.
The researchers looked at the genes of 50 children who were born to 20 mothers before or after they had gastric bypass surgery. The children were on average about 15 years old.
The moms were between the ages of 35 to 51 and were all classified as obese before they had the procedures. They all lost almost 100 pounds after the surgery.
The type of gastric bypass surgery performed on the mothers who participated in the study is called a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure. It is not used as often as the more common Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. In the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure, a larger part of the stomach is left intact while bypassing most of the intestine.
In the children born after their mothers surgery and weight loss, researchers found 5,698 genes were expressed differently than their older siblings. What that means is that the mothers didnt pass on different genes to their children, but how those genes operated in the childrens bodies were different in the pre and post surgery children. The reason may be that factors inside the womb seem to affect the dimmer switches that develop on a fetus' genes " chemical changes that make genes sp
OK, I am back to the subject of squeeze pouch foods or as another cute 2 1/2 year old called it squeegy fruit. I have written about this before as I was fascinated by these when they first hit the market. On the one hand, I get that they are convenient and are easy to use for those first months of pureed baby foods, but beyond that, I think they are given to older children.
It seems that more and more kids are enjoying squeegy fruit and also slurping pureed vegetables. The issue is these pouches foods are being masqueraded as healthy foods. Yes, they are fruits and vegetables often mixed together, but if you read the labels it gets a bit more complicated.
I see so many toddlers in my office who are happily sucking down a packet of apples and blueberries. These parents are adamant that their kids don't drink juice boxes or eat junk food but at the same time they are letting their children suck down several of these pouches a day. This is also often in place of meals, as many of these children are described as picky eaters. I saw a little boy today who had been vomiting, but was on the exam table with pouch to mouth as he drank/at a combo of apples, peas and something else. (note: not recommended when vomiting).
So....I decided to look up the nutritional value of these pouches....many of them although all organic or described as healthy do contain a lot of carbohydrate and sugars. Actually, as much as two fruit roll ups! Yes, I did a little comparison and 2 of the dreaded fruit rolls ups contain 23 grams of carbs and almost 11 grams of sugar.....while a 3.2 ounce pouch has somewhere between 19-24 grams of carbs and between 14-23 grams of sugar.
The point of this is not to say that squeeze pouches are bad, or that a child should never have a fruit roll up. Rather, it is to point out that even healthy snacks can be fu
If you're planning on adding another child to your family-or thinking about starting a family-you might want to consider getting the whooping cough vaccine before you get pregnant.
Why would you do that? According to a new study from Australia, babies who are born to women that are vaccinated with the whooping cough (also known as Pertussis) vaccine before they become pregnant have a 50% lower risk of developing the disease.
Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system. It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before they are immunized, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to decrease. Pertussis is characterized by severe coughing spells that may produce a whooping sound when the child breathes in.
It is highly contagious and before the Pertussis vaccine was available it killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the U.S. each year. Now that there is a vaccine, the annual number of deaths is less than 30. But in recent years, the number of cases has started to rise. By 2004, the number of whooping cough cases spiked past 25,000, the highest level it's been since the 1950s.
The researchers looked at 217 babies ages 4 months and younger who had whooping cough. They compared them with 585 healthy infants born at the same time in the same area.
They discovered that a similar percentage of mothers - in both groups - received the whooping cough vaccine. However, 41 percent of the moms of healthy babies had been vaccinated at least four weeks before their infant became sick. However, of the mothers whose babies had whooping cough, only 27 percent of mothers had been vaccinated at least four weeks earlier.
Also in the healthy baby group, 26 percent of the mothers said they had been vaccinated before their baby was born, while only 14 percent of mothers whose babies had whooping cough said they had been vaccinated before delivery.
In this program, "there was no vaccination durin
Parents, you know you can say all sorts of funny things and now here come cute, clever kids comments. This has been a week of kids say the darndest things.
A verbal little 3 year old came in this week and while I was getting his chart opened on the computer, I asked him what's the matter? He is the third child in the family and is quite comfortable coming to the doctor and is always chatty. His response was,I have the God bless you's. Now I admit that I was not quite sure what he meant? Then it hit me! He was sneezing a lot and that was what the God bless you''s meant. How smart is that!
He then proceeded to tell me that he had been sneezing and coughing. He also happens to have asthma, so I asked him if he had been wheezing as well. His response to all of these questions was equally bright. He said , I haven't had to use my puffer, my breaving is okay.
I examined him (by this time he is watching a cartoon on his iPad) and he was spot on. His lungs were clear as a bell, he had a clear watery runny nose and his nasal mucosa was swollen. He also had allergic eyes. He was using an antihistamine but not his steroid nose spray.
So I tweaked his allergy medicines a bit and reminded his mom to have him bathe or shower after he had been playing outside. I also suggested that they use a nasal saline rinse on him as well, as this would help to get the pollens out of his nose after he had been outside, and may be one of the best cures for the God bless you's.
Who says children can't give a good history? I often find that the young patient is a great communicator and may open a doctor's eyes to different ways of relaying a new symptom. Whether is from a 3 year old, a tween or a teen, having a patient that you know and that is comfortable talking to the doctor is the key to a good history. This is was a great remind
Here is another one of the can't believe what I hear at the office! I was on call the other night and it was around bedtime when I walked in the exam room to see 2 little girls (actually they are part of a triplet set but their brother was home). Their dad had brought them in because they had rashes and bug bites. Nothing too serious. They are adorable 2 years old and very well behaved.
So, after examining the rashes and bites and determining that they could be dealt with a bit of cortisone cream, the dad and I were discussing a few more things. Of course the girls got bored, and as you know a bored 2 year old typically doesn't sit still, especially when it is time for bed. So as the girls jumped up and down off the table and picked out more stickers their Dad was getting tired as well. By the way, he is a great father and he and has wife have handled having triplets with such ease. They were meant to have multiples.
Well, before we could finish up the appointment the girls had gotten into the diaper bag, pulled out snacks and were enjoying themselves. As much as he was ready to go, they were not ready to pack up and leave and he was having a hard time getting them to listen.
Here comes the line of the night! He turns to the girls in a moment of what to do next and says,if you don't behave and listen to me, Dr. Sue is going to make you sick! LOL! I have heard a lot of Dr. Sue will give you a shot if you don't behave, but I have never heard this one. While I don't believe in threatening kids with shots at the doctors, this was a new one.
After I stopped laughing I told the girls that this was not true, doctors would and could not make them sick, but they did need to listen to their dad!!
I know that we all say things out of desperation, but please don't use the lines the doctor will give you a sh
The surge in allergies this year has been due to a very wet winter and the weather this spring has brought erratic temperatures and lots of wind. The perfect storm for the "allergic cascade" to inflict itself on everyone's nasal mucosa. The best preventative for nasal allergy symptoms (allergic rhinitis) has been the use of intranasal steroids. These steroid sprays have been used for the past 15 years and clinical studies have shown that intranasal steroids are superior to oral antihistamines. Intranasal steroids function by inhibiting the production of chemical mediators such as histamine and prostaglandin that cause inflammation and mucous production. In other words they are more of a preventative medication, while an antihistamine is treating the histamine that was released once you inhaled the offending tree or grass pollen. Intranasal steroids may also help eye allergy symptoms too. The problem is getting young kids to let you use a nose spray on them. The same holds true for the older tween and teen crowd who complain that they "just don't have the time to use it everyday" (it must take all of 15 seconds to use on yourself!) They have been shown to be effective within 3-12 hours, although will reach their maximum effectiveness after several days to weeks of use, so using it daily and throughout the allergy season is going to give you the maximum therapeutic effect. There are many different brands available and everyone seems to have their favorite. If one spray seems to bother your child due to scent, or intensity of the spray ask your doctor to try another brand. Many times they will have a sample and give you several to try and then prescribe the one that is easiest to get your child to use. It may be trial and error, but finding the right nasal steroid may just change your allergy season. That's your daily dose, we'll chat again tomorrow. Oh, God Bless You! Send your question to Dr. Sue!
I recently received a question from a Twitter follower related to cradle cap and dandruff. She wanted to know if there was a difference in the two. You know there really isn't as they are both due to seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory condition of the skin in which the skin overproduces skin cells and sebum (the skins natural oil). Cradle cap is the term used for the scaly dermatitis seen on the scalp in infants. It is also seen on the eyelids, eyebrows, and behind the ears. It is typically seen after about three months of age and will often resolve on its own by the time a baby is eight to 12 months old. It is usually simply a cosmetic problem for a baby as it looks like a yellowish plaque on a baby's scalp and is often not even noticed by anyone other than the parents. Unlike seborrheic dermatitis in adults, cradle cap typically doesn't itch. It is thought that cradle cap may occur in infancy due to hormonal influences from the mother that were passed across the placenta to the baby. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to become over active. In some severe cases an infant's scalp becomes really scaly and inflamed and causes even more parental concern, as it appears that the infant is uncomfortable and may be trying to scratch their head by rubbing it on surfaces. The treatment for cradle cap is to wash the baby's scalp daily with a mild shampoo and then to use a soft comb or brush to help remove the scales once they have been loosened with washing. When washing the head make sure to get the shampoo behind the ears and in the brows (keeping the soap out of baby's eyes). This is usually sufficient treatment for most cradle cap. In situations where the greasy scales seem to be worsening it may help to put a small amount of mineral oil or olive oil on the baby's head and let it sit (I left a small amount on my children's heads overnight) and then to shampoo the following day. The oil will help the scales to loosen up and come off more easi
You can count on it. As spring turns to summer and temperatures outside start climbing, a child will die after being left in a hot car.
It happened recently in Dallas. A mother arrived at work, parked her car, grabbed her purse, locked the car and went into her workplace. She didn't see her baby asleep in the backseat.
When officers arrived about 6 hours later, they said she seemed truly surprised when they confronted her. She asked if her husband was ok or if something had happened to her baby at daycare. She was sure she had delivered her baby to daycare that morning up until the moment she was told her baby had died in her car.
Variations of this story play out across the country every year and children die because they are either intentionally or accidently left in a hot car.
Many people are shocked when they hear or read about something like this happening especially when a parent or caregiver simply forgot the child was with them or thought they had left the child with someone else. They wonder how could that possibly happen?
While there is no excuse for negligence, experts say that parents who are otherwise loving and attentive to their kids can forget that their child is in the car when they are super-focused on getting somewhere, distracted while driving, under tremendous strain or when taking their child to daycare is not part of their daily routine.
Another factor that may contribute to a parent's forgetfulness is rear-facing car seats. Originally intended to save lives, when the car seat is placed behind the drivers seat a parent may miss the visual cue of a child when glancing in the rear-view mirror. Children are usually pretty noisy when they are in the car, unless they fall asleep. The silence doesnt offer the sound cue that someone else is in the car.
Then there are the parents or caregivers who deliberately leave their child in the car when they run an errand. They often think that its easier and faster
Let's face it, it's tough being a mom in today's world. There is so much pressure we place on ourselves in the hopes we are making the right decisions when it comes to raising our children.
We are all saddened by the tragic devastation in Oklahoma and surrounding communities leveled by yesterday's tornadoes. There are numerous tragic and traumatic events which occur across our country (and around the world) and at times, children may be witnesses to these events. With that being said, how do you discuss these tragedies with a child? think the most important thing to remember when talking to a child about a trauma or tragedy is to use words that are appropriate for the child's age and vocabulary and to acknowledge your own feelings as well. They need to know that you too were scared, sad, upset or anxious about the event. Ask them how they felt and listen to the words that they use as you may use those words again when talking to your child. While every child is different you can often follow their cues as to how much and how detailed a discussion to have, and when and how to bring the topic up again. Some children are talkers and want to discuss things at length, while others may be quieter and take some time to absorb the information. Don't force the discussion. A parent knows their children and the discussion may/will be different for each child and will be further impacted by their ages. For young children, it is also important to let them know that "Mommy and Daddy" are there and will take care of them and protect them, but at the same time bad things sometimes happen. That is why parents take precautions and are responsible (like holding hands when crossing the street, or wearing a helmet etc).But, if something does happen it is so important to validate your child's feelings while at the same time teaching your child coping skills and resilience. If your child does view a traumatic event it is not unusual for them go through a period when they are afraid of separation, or have nightmares etc. They sometimes develop somatic complaints like tummy aches, headaches, and non specific complaints of "I just don't feel well". This is normal, but you shou
I recently ran into a friend I hadn't seen in about 5 years. We were catching up on each other's lives when her teenage son joined us. The last time I saw John he was about 11 years old and full of pre-teen energy and curiosity. This time however, he was quiet and kept his head down when he said hello. When he finally looked up, I saw why he had been avoiding full-face eye contact. John had a pretty severe case of acne. Not a few pimples, but entire areas on his face that were red and dotted with large pustules and cysts. It looked painful.
Typically, acne isn't a serious medical condition. It comes and goes throughout life and is more of an annoyance than anything else. For some though, acne can cause emotional distress and lead to scarring of the skin and psyche.
Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) medications that when combined with a consistent face cleaning routine, keep breakouts to a minimum.
But for some people, teens in particular, acne can progress to the point where OTC medications don't control the problem. Pediatricians are often called upon to help teens come up with a plan of treatment.
There is a range of medications that can clear up even severe cases of acne, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Writing in the May issue of its journal Pediatrics, the group throws its support behind new guidelines from the American Acne and Rosacea Society that detail how to treat acne in children and teens of all ages.
That "all ages" part is important because acne is becoming more and more common in pre-teens, too, said Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, the lead author of the AAP report. One study of 9- and 10-year-old girls found that more than three-quarters had pimples.
A possible reason for why kids are experiencing breakouts at a younger age is that, on an average, boys and girls are starting puberty earlier than in past generations says Eichenfield.
On Monday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report saying that, in the United States, 2012 was the deadliest year on record for deaths attributed to the West Nile virus.
Texas led the nation, compromising 33 percent of all reported cases with 1,868 infections and 89 deaths. That was far above California, which had the second most reported cases at 479 and 20 deaths.
In the majority of West Nile virus cases, most people experience only minor symptoms such as fever and a mild headache. However, some people who become infected with the virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
Serious symptoms can include:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stupor or coma
- Tremors or muscle jerking
- Lack of coordination
- Partial paralysis or sudden muscle weakness
Signs and symptoms of West Nile fever usually last a few days, but signs and symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis can linger for weeks, and certain neurological effects, such as muscle weakness, may be permanent.
If you or a family member experience any of these more severe symptoms see a physician immediately.
The CDC's Dr. Lyle Petersen says it's impossible to know what West Nile will do this summer. "It is very hard to predict," he said in a telephone interview with NBC News. "I can't tell you what the weather is going to be like this summer, for example." The virus is driven by weather; it's worse during hot, wet summers in temperate climates.
"What last summer's outbreak tells us is that West Nile is not going to go away," Petersen said. "Most places in the United States are at risk of having outbreaks."
Currently, there is no vaccine against the virus for people. Most infections occur in the warmer months when mosquitoes are active.
Adults over 50 ar
I see a lot of girls who are preoccupied with their weight. It seems that more and more girls, at younger and younger ages begin to ask, am I fat? or does this dress make me look fat? or even why do I have a fat on my stomach that I can pinch?
The world we live bombards young girls with images of being thin and of the perfect body. We all know that a Barbie doll is not a realistic image of a woman's body, just as the cover of People magazine or the cover of Teen Vogue is also not always real. Many models are 10-20% below their ideal weight, and movie stars often have their pictures photo-shopped to appear thinner. The obsession with being thin has only continued to contribute to the increasing incidence of eating disorders, in girls as young as 10 and 11.
Anorexia and bulimia are both examples of eating disorders. Anorexia is a syndrome in which there is insufficient caloric intake to maintain normal weight and growth, which is associated with a disturbed body perception, an intense fear of weight gain, and obsession of being thinner. Girls (who are more commonly affected) truly believe that they are fat, even when they are emaciated and they fail to be able to distinguish a healthy weight.
Anorexia occurs in about 1% of the adolescent population, and is most commonly seen in females (90%), who are Caucasian (95%). It is also seen more commonly in middle to upper middle class families.
Bulimia is defined as binge eating followed by compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain. These behaviors may include vomiting (purging), laxative abuse, diuretic usage, stimulan
Many a new mother has struggled with whether to breast-feed or give her newborn formula. A recent study, published in the journal
Did you know that May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month? I really think that this should be a topic of interest to parents year round, but this is a good month to be reminded of the importance of educating our children about their sexuality.
The good news is that the teenage pregnancy rate is going DOWN! The bad news is that 750,000 teens in the United States experience a pregnancy each year and 400,000 will give birth. That means that 70 young women out of every thousand become pregnant. To continue to reduce these statistics requires improved education and continued dialogue about the risk of teen pregnancy.
Although some teens think that becoming pregnant is a way to escape their own situation, the reality is that teens who become pregnant are less likely to finish high school or enter college, and are more likely to experience poverty. Being a parent is a hard job for any one, but trying to be a teen parent is almost impossible, even with good support systems. The effects of teen pregnancy are far reaching for all of society.
Studies show that teenagers who receive comprehensive sex education are 50% less likely to experience teen pregnancy compared to those who were taught abstinence only sex education. Other studies have recently shown that the decline in teen pregnancy rates are due to increased contraception use. But, 39% of sexually active teens did not use condoms when they last had sex, and only 23% of teen reported that they or their partner used hormonal birth control.
Parental involvement in sex education should occur in every home. This begins with that first, birds and bees talk with your child. A comment from a recent young patient after reading Where Did I Come From with her parents DISTURBING ! (cue my laughter).
The conversation needs to continue during the tween years an