There is a lion roaring outside our patio. A squirrel is under the bed. And, the trains and dinosaurs at our house are having some very cool conversations and adventures. Our son’s imagination has fully arrived. An amazing development- the emergence of imaginary play is certainly magical to witness as a parent, but it also serves important functions for kids. Continue reading
I grew up in a game-playing family. A love for playing cards and board games seems to be embedded in our DNA. Lazy summer afternoons were spent laughing over a game of Scattergories or Balderdash with cousins. I learned the ins and outs of Hearts, Canasta, and the “Dice Game” from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. In my immediate family we have a years-long Euchre rivalry (kids currently besting parents, if memory serves). So, it is with quite a bit of joy and a nod to my game loving relatives that I’ve realized that my newly minted 3 year old really likes games.
As it turns out, games are good for him as well. Continue reading
This has been a very tough week. Scary and sad, for so many reasons. Terrible events are very upsetting for everyone. But these events, and subsequent media coverage, are particularly difficult for kids to process. Here are some of the best articles I’ve found regarding how to talk with children about tragedies. We’ve had all too frequent need of them lately. Continue reading
Many parents clearly remember that first car ride home with their newborn. I certainly do. Car seat buckles double and triple checked. Driving slowly, cautiously out of the parking lot. The weight of our new precious cargo heavy on our minds.
As time passes that anxiety fades a bit but still, three years later, I often have jolts of the weight of it. To sit behind the wheel of a car brings great responsibility, made even heavier when a child is riding with you. There are a number of things we can do as parent-drivers to make the ride safer for kids. Continue reading
The Pew Research Center‘s report entitled, “Modern Parenthood” recently came through my twitter feed. Amidst so much recent talk about women and our professional lives and “balance”, I loved reading this treasure trove of data about how moms and dads are spending our time, how that has changed over the last few decades, and how we feel about it. First, let me say that if you’re not following Pew’s work (including that of the fabulous Susannah Fox) you really must check it out. Here are a few things that stood out for me. Continue reading
I recently co-authored an op-ed on gun violence that was picked up by The Huffington Post. As topics go, this is about as controversial as a pediatrician can get. Anticipating strong feelings on all sides of the issue, I was forced to really look at my feelings about writing in open spaces and exposing myself to criticism. This is an interesting vulnerability for a physician. Ever trying to avoid mistakes and often trained to steer clear of controversy, we avoid a public role as a rule. But, recent reflection has made me realize how much my perspective on all of this has shifted and been clarified over the last few years. Continue reading
Going to the doctor is a scary thing for a lot of kids. Whether it’s due to being in an unfamiliar place, having someone poke and prod you, or the intuition that shots are coming, I see kids deal with fear and anxiety every day. Parents respond in many different ways, almost always with the goal of diffusing the situation, but with varying degrees of success. Here are a few tips for helping your child when they are feeling afraid, whether at the doctor’s office or in other life situations. Continue reading
Atopic dermatitis (also called eczema) is right up there with diaper rash as one of the most common skin conditions I see in clinic. This post will answer some of the most common questions parents have about atopic dermatitis (AD), as well as describe the types of treatment your child’s health care provider may recommend. As with all topics, please consult with your child’s physician if you have specific questions about your child. Continue reading
As a pediatrician at a busy county clinic with close proximity to pediatric specialists, I care for a significant number of children with special health care needs. Instead of colds and ear infections (though there are those too), my days are often filled thinking about gastrostomy tubes, tracheostomies, and ventriculo-peritoneal shunts. I sign orders for specialty formulas and nebulizer machines. Many of my patients have thick charts and diagnoses like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, chronic renal failure, and achondroplasia. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. These kids and their families have taught me more than I can possibly put into writing. About medicine. About life.
But, all too often these families are labeled “difficult”. Continue reading
It’s flu season. There’s been much in the news this past week about influenza, which has reached epidemic levels in much of the country. I’ve collected some of the best information I’ve found around the web in order to answer questions that families may have. Continue reading