It’s frightening when your child awakes from sleep and vomits and complains of “head pressure.” The non-medical parent will likely think the child has a “stomach flu.” The parent who is a pediatrician (referred to as a “pediatrician parent” for the rest of this piece) instantly thinks of increased intracranial pressure as the cause. Trying to perform a fundoscopic examination at 3 am on a child who just vomited and was in total darkness just minutes before is an impossible task. Pediatrician parents should not and cannot handle such a health crisis on their own.
I’m no longer aflutter about the recent outbreak of Hantavirus infection linked to Yosemite National Park. If you’ve read my blog entry from July 17, 2012, you’ll know that my family and I visited the park during the same time as the 9 people with confirmed Hantavirus infection who were exposed to the virus while staying at cabins in the park.
Pediatricians who are not practicing in the academic realm may be interested to know that more changes are coming for residents during their training. One new requirement that I look forward to helping create at my institution is career tracks. I think this is a great idea, which will hopefully enhance pediatric residency and pediatric skills.
During my recent vacation to California, I rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, swerved back and forth down one of the most crooked streets in America (San Francisco’s Lombard Street), and drove several hours to Yosemite National Park and through Napa Valley. Although the sites were spectacular, the motion sickness that accompanied the car travel (also known as car sickness) put a damper on the experience.
Many of us are taken aback by the media attention given to an overly-tanned mother accused of bringing her young child into a tanning bed. We also read about a push to ban children from tanning in salons in some states. I see a much bigger problem in my pediatric practice and that is the exposure to natural ultraviolet (UV) rays in kids who are playing outdoors during the spring and summer.
My husband wanted my opinion on the recent TIME magazine cover of a mother nursing her toddler. The toddler, who is almost 4 years old, is standing on a chair and looking toward the camera. He has his mother’s left breast in his mouth. When my 14-year-old daughter saw the photo, she said, “That’s kinda creepy.”
There will always be bullies, despite antibullying campaigns by major medical associations or celebrities who try to eliminate insensitive and hurtful behavior through public service announcements. Every so often though, a bully is grabbed by the horns and forced to face the repercussion of his or her poor judgment. An example of this is the Dharun Ravi case.
Among the risks associated with prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is also the risk of the development of colic. I know I have felt cranky and irritable when exposed to smoke, it’s no wonder that babies exposed to smoke would have colic.
The overuse of stimulant medications in children1 is a topic that I’ve discussed with colleagues and friends on many occasions. Despite the well-founded concerns about these medications, they continue to be prescribed to huge numbers of pediatric patients and more and more adults. A topic about which I haven't had too much discussion is the overuse of acid suppression in infants. I think the use of stimulants in older children with behavior issues, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], can be compared to the use of acid suppression in infants with behavior issues (ie, colic, irritability).
Instead of battling the crowds at the stores on "Black Friday" this year, my family traveled to Plymouth Massachusetts, the historic location that most Americans equate with Pilgrims and the birthplace of the holiday of Thanksgiving. Following the visit, I was surprised that my children didn't talk much about the cramped quarters on the Mayflower or the small size of Plymouth Rock, but their conversation focused on the Wampanoag Homesite