Parents and Kids

Several years ago, a school bus full of elementary students in Massachusetts was evacuated. A potentially deadly item was found on the floor. Was it a gun? A bomb? A blood-contaminated hypodermic needle?

No, it was a peanut.

Over-the-top responses to peanuts aren't uncommon. People are under the impression that the mere whiff of a peanut is enough to send some kids to the emergency room. But, that's simply not true. The molecules in peanuts that are responsible for aroma are not the same as the ones that trigger allergies. Also, an allergic reaction only occurs if...

Every semester, I would start my lecture on Bordetella pertussis by playing the sound of a baby with whooping cough - loudly and for a long enough time that my students almost couldn't bear to listen to it anymore.

The sound of a baby that cannot breathe is one of the most upsetting sounds imaginable and I hope that, by listening to it, they gained an appreciation of how horrific whooping cough can be. Of course, we then would shut the sound off and go on with our lecture - something that a parent of an infant with whooping cough cannot do.

If you want to listen to it, and I encourage you to, click here. If you want to fully understand what whooping cough does to infants, watch...

A growing number of parents choose to opt out of giving children their daily dose of milk, and switching to alternatives like almond milk or cashew milk. Perhaps they may think the alternatives offer a bit more calcium than real milk — but this is misleading: Real milk contains both calcium and vitamin D (added in the 1930s due to Rickets — a vitamin D deficiency among children), and the presence of vitamin D helps absorb the calcium. 

For pediatricians, it is hard to imagine a week going by without a child accidentally or intentionally ingesting some random substance. The phone calls from concerned parents go something like this: “Umm, he ate the dog’s poop” or “he ate his own poop” or “she ate the dirt from a potted plant.” 

So, news that alcohol-based hand sanitizer made the list of such ingestions by children came as no big surprise. After all, it glistens, oozes, sometimes sparkles and seems to abound in homes, schools, offices, travel gear or key chains these days. 

What is of interest is the fact that the occurrence of such innocent, voluntary or mischievous misdeeds with respect to hand sanitizer happened enough times to warrant the ...

A baby will typically end their first year of life two and a half to three times heavier than its original birthweight. During that time, they will go through an estimated 2500 - 3000 diapers.  

Diapers are designed with this dramatic growth in mind and companies sell multiple different sizes for the quickly growing baby. Diapers have traditionally started at the ‘newborn’ size which is designed for babies that weight less than 10 lbs (which likely fits the majority of newborns.) Some diaper companies make a ‘preemie’ size that is for babies weighing less than six pounds - a necessary category as roughly 10% of babies are born prematurely (before 37 weeks) in the United States. 

But, what happens when your baby arrives early (really early), weighs one or two...

A study is making headlines that suggests that older mothers are better mothers. The study reports that children born to older mothers have fewer behavioral difficulties at ages 7 and 11 than those born to mothers who are younger. 

Although this is an interesting headline, and relevant as the age of childbearing is steadily increasing in developed countries, saying that older mothers are better is just too big a generalization to make for this scientist (and mother.) Also, on another note, this study was a real win-win for me as I had my third child a full nine years after my first, so, I fall into both categories (younger and older.) It is not everyday I stand to come out on the top of a study - no...

We've known for a long time that if a woman is obese during pregnancy she'll be more likely to experience problems such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and to have unusually large babies. But we're now learning more about the health consequences for the offspring. A recent review of studies in The Lancet/Diabetes Endocrinology found links between maternal obesity and negative effects on a child's health.

As part of a series in that journal, Drs Keith M. Godfrey and ...

Every year, the recommended childhood and adolescent vaccine schedules are reviewed, adjusted and approved by the following governing bodies:  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP),  and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

The 2017 revisions are now published for those 0 to 18 years of age with some of the recent changes listed here—see “notes” section for accessing complete information:

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

This vaccine protects against certain strains of the...

One of the biggest health threats that young soccer players face are injuries to their knee ligaments. These are painful, and they can also be a harbinger of continued problems for years to come.

But results of a new study may have identified a new way to protect players better, by getting information about proper preventative care to coaches – the adults on the field closest to the youngsters. And that crucial information can be delivered to coaches in just 90 minutes.

Researchers, teaming up from three colleges and universities, determined that "when coaches receive even a small amount of education about preventive training, they can be as effective as professional athletic trainers at mitigating poor movement behavior and preventing injury in young soccer athletes."...

ACSH's "on-site mother" Marge Bloom turns 90 on Saturday, February 4th, 2017. We get to see plenty of her, but the rest of you have not been so fortunate. Until now. Happy Birthday Marge!

                      

 

                     

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