Sleep Syllabus: Resources for Tired Families

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, sleep is the holy grail of parenting.  Adequate, quality sleep is essential for children’s growth and development.  Poor or insufficient sleep can contribute to a host of child health problems.  And, we all know how the mood of a household can plummet when kids (and therefore parents) aren’t sleeping well.  But, achieving adequate sleep for all family members is, at times, a daunting and difficult task.  In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, I thought it would be a good time to provide a sleep syllabus of sorts.  So, here it is- a list of resources for tired parents facing sleep difficulties.  I hope you will find it useful. Continue reading

Why I Won’t Fire Vaccine-Hesitant Families

There was much buzz in the media last week about a recent Wall Street Journal article suggesting that more physicians are “firing” families who refuse to vaccinate their children.  The article cites two recent studies that found that a range of 21-30% of physicians admit to this practice, versus 6% in a 2001 study.  While this is still a minority of physicians, it seems to be a growing minority. Continue reading

Do all kids need their cholesterol checked?

As directed by new guidelines from the Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents, my clinic recently started checking a non-fasting lipid panel for all ten year olds.  The other day a father asked me a question I had sort of been asking myself for a few months now.  Is it really necessary?

It is still a difficult question for me to answer, and it appears I am not alone. Since the release of the guidelines, the reaction has been mixed. Here’s a quick review of the arguments for and against checking cholesterol for all kids. Continue reading

The toddler, the toothbrush, and the timer: How does one keep a toddler’s teeth clean?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is now recommending that infants see a dentist before their first birthday, or shortly after the first teeth erupt.  This may seem early, but it is for good reason.  Poor oral health and dental decay are all too prevalent in young children and can be cause of significant pain and suffering.  Baby teeth serve important functions in chewing, language development, and as place-holders for adult teeth. An early visit to the dentist can help catch any cavities and offers an opportunity to discuss dental care and fluoride needs. Practically speaking, I encourage parents to at least get to the dentist between the first and second birthday.

I took my son to his first dentist appointment around sixteen months of age.  Continue reading

One bad burger: Is it food poisoning?

Staph aureus: Cool to look at. . . not so cool to have.

Recently I’ve taken care of a few kids who came into the clinic with vomiting that suspiciously started soon after eating a hamburger (two at school and one at a fast food restaurant).  Is this food poisoning or a routine viral infection?  What is “food poisoning” and what causes it?  What should parents do if they suspect their child has food poisoning?  Read on to find out. Continue reading