Sometimes the Best Medicine Is None At All

When I’m working in pediatric urgent care parents often bring their children in for acute illnesses hoping that I can “do something”. Worried, weary of illness, and sleep-deprived, they just want it all to be over. Sometimes, they relate a past episode during which the first doctor they saw “did nothing”, and, frustrated, they sought a second opinion where they were given antibiotics. See, they say, my child really was sick.

As a parent, I understand the misery of a sick child and the desire to do something. Even a common cold can be the cause of a pretty unpleasant week. As a pediatrician, I certainly don’t want my patients walking away from a visit feeling that their time was wasted. But, as I often explain to parents, it may be that the first doctor above was actually providing better care for their child.

Why? Continue reading

What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia and How Does It Affect Kids?

Based on recommendations from the AAP and risk factors in certain patients, many clinics screen infants for anemia around one year of age. Parents often have questions about why we need to draw blood (not an easy¬†procedure at this age)¬†and wonder what anemia really is. Here’s my answer with links to other good resources on this topic. Continue reading

Why Vaccinate for Varicella?

The other day the mom of one of my ten-month-old patients called and asked, “What do you think about me taking him to a chicken pox party instead of getting the vaccine?” This is a question that comes up occasionally, and has a clear, easy answer. Don’t do it! Vaccinate your kids against varicella. Here’s why.

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All About Milk: From Breast Milk to Soy Milk and Everything in Between

I get lots and lots of questions about milk in clinic- breastmilk, formula, whole milk, soy milk. You name it. Especially during the first two years of their child’s life, parents think a lot about milk. So, I thought I’d round up some of the best resources I’ve found on this topic. Continue reading

7 Ways to Keep Kids Safe Around Medications

Children are innately curious and tend to explore their environment. Medications and other substances around the house can be dangerous for little ones if accidentally ingested or taken in inappropriate doses. Over 60,000 children visit emergency departments every year due to accidental medication poisoning. Here are a few tips to keep your kids safe. Continue reading

Teething: Myths, Facts, Do’s and Don’ts

Photo by Chrisbwah

Eruption of the primary teeth usually begins between 4-7 months of age, although some babies won’t have their first teeth until 12 months or later. New teeth will continue to appear until about 3 years of age, when most children have the full complement of 20 primary teeth. Many parents await that first toothy grin with much anticipation, but teething can also be a source of some concern and questions. There are a lot of myths out there, both in terms of teething symptoms and remedies. Here’s the low down. Continue reading

Vaxfax: Resources for Information about Immunizations

April 21-28 is National Infant Immunization Week in the US. This annual observance is set up as a time to promote the benefits of immunization and to celebrate the milestones reached in controlling vaccine-preventable illness in children. This year the campaign goes global, with the World Health Organization sponsoring the first ever World Immunization Week. Continue reading

Five ways to prepare for your child’s doctor visit

This morning I put on my mom “hat” and took my little guy to see his pediatrician for his two year old well child visit. Doctor visits can be difficult for the toddler age group. So, before today’s visit I spent some time thinking about how I could make this visit easier for my son. Here are a few tips that can help make young children’s check-ups a little less painful for all involved. Continue reading