Parents and Kids

Katherine Fowler and her co-authors recently reported in Pediatrics on Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States this week. They joined data from the National Injury Surveillance System and the National Violent Death Reporting System to find:

  • 1297 children (individuals under age 18) died annually in firearm related injury, 53% homicides, 38% suicides and 6% unintentional firearm deaths
  • 5790 children were injured in the same time interval.
  • Boys were involved more than girls, older children (aged 13 to 17) more than younger children.
  • African American children had the highest overall mortality because of homicides. Their rate of 3.5 children/100,000 was...

You may have witnessed someone acting this way, and if you did – statistically speaking – it was a rare encounter. Aside from that, it'd be unforgettable in its own right given the stark contrast in behavior as compared to most everyone else you know.

This person clearly captured your attention. It was plain to see that s/he was friendly – very friendly, in fact – solicitous of you and curious about many aspects of your life. Questions tumbled forward, and the conversation turned personal. There were displays of affection, verbal and possibly physical; maybe some light touching or a hug. Probably not threatening – but certainly it was not what we consider normal social interaction for someone we haven't met before. 

So who was this – and what was going on?


Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents-to-be. Pregnancy also means letting go of some of your favorite things. The nine month journey can be quite limiting, and the following piece is not about sunshine and roses; the next few paragraphs are all about my whining, so if you aren't in the mood, I suggest you stop reading now. This piece is all about the fun I am missing out on, while waiting on the most precious little nugget to arrive. I'm sure most expectant mothers would say they miss a  good night's sleep (meh), a rigorous workout (LOL), or caffeine at will (doesn't bother me). Not me. Nope. Here's what tops my list:

1. Alcohol

I miss alcohol.

That is the honest truth. I am not above admitting that alcohol was...

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a new parent's worst nightmare - the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age, most frequently during the night - that has no immediately obvious cause. Although the cause may never be realized, the most likely causes of SIDS are suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, infection, ingestions, metabolic disease, congenital heart conditions and trauma (either intentional or unintentional.) 

There are only a few measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of SIDS. And, New York City is making it a priority to educate new parents and caregivers about them.

A new SIDS public health campaign has hit the streets and we applaud NYC for it. 

The rate of SIDS deaths started to fall in the early 1990s with the implementation of...

Last weekend when walking through our local garden shop I found some really beautiful flowering plants for sale — ready to be installed in one's spring and summer garden. One of the showiest was the Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). What I didn't see, however, was any notice that this plant could be cardiotoxic — after all, this is the original source of the medication digoxin. So if you don't eat it or drink tea made from it, you're ok. But children and pets are known to nibble on things they shouldn't, so information about what isn't a smart snack choice could be useful to people planning a garden, or just trying various "natural" plants and products. Here's a few known to be problematic and their potential effects.


In our latest intallment of #KuriousKiddos, Karson and Owen wanted to know: What makes our eyes red after swimming? Your first thought may be chlorine, but another culprit is to blame. Gross alert!

Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm starting to think about baby bottles, sippy cups, and all that fun stuff. But all the options online leave me thinking I don't have much choice when it comes to BPA-free bottles. And I don't mean lack there of. 

One day in second grade, the entire class was lined up outside the nurse’s office for, of all things, eye exams. One by one we dutifully took our position at the mark and began to read the eye chart. I know I got the E for sure, perhaps the F and P. But I could go no further. The nurse handed me a note to take home, to get a pair of glasses. I immediately, without hesitation, displaced of my fears and anxiety onto the nurse (and act I was, unfortunately, going to repeat several times in my professional career [1]) accusing her of making me stand further back than the other kids, of somehow making this test more difficult for me. How could this be? I certainly didn’t want to be a four-eyes.

I wound up getting glasses, and suddenly words on the page were actually clear. Who knew...

With new pregnancy come new health story ideas! Indulge me for a minute: we've started a new segment called The Pregnancy Diaries. Let's talk health issues, questions and expectations when expecting!

First up: Ana Dolaskie's Top Five First Trimester Woes!



The FDA has been busy lately, from protecting children from fake autism treatments to putting enough pressure on the makers of homeopathic teething remedies to result in a recall of the products.

But the agency does not intend to stop there. It is now cracking down on the use of opioid-containing drugs for children. But, is this an overreaction? Maybe.

The FDA has restricted the use of prescription pain and cough medicines with codeine or tramadol (for pain) for children and breastfeeding mothers. They want to remind health care professionals that tramadol (1)...