Wintry weather is here and with that comes the extra threat of the flu. Dr. Sue helps you choose which vaccine is best for your little one.
Getting your kids vaccinated is a great way to fight the flu, but you can also keep their immune system strong with what they eat. Dr. Sue explains with the Kid's Doctor.
It's that time of year…packing up the family and venturing out on a holiday break or on a trip to see the grandparents! It's already a stressful time of year but add the congestion on the highways and in the airports… it's enough to make anyone crazy!
It seems as if it happens overnight. Your child's cough turns into something much worse. It's called croup…a viral upper respiratory infection that causes your child's trachea and larynx to become inflamed making it difficult for them to breath.
They have made their way back into your child's classroom…Lice! I have been fielding frantic calls from parents fighting lice in school and at home.
Some parents have dreams of their little athletes one day going pro. But for some children, the pressure can be too much and harmful to their health.
It only takes a few weeks of school for for the lice (pediculus capitis) problem to "rear its angry head"! I have had phone calls, emails and even frantic texts from many parents who are fighting head lice in their homes. This causes a lot head scratching in kids but even more anxiety in their parents (a few of whom have also gotten lice).
10 to 20 percent of children have common skin warts, but where do they come from? Old wives tales and folklore suggest they come from touching frogs or toads, but I think we've all grown past that as an explanation. Actually, warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They form when the virus gets into the skin, usually through a cut or scratch. The virus causes the rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of skin and once formed, they can be rough or smooth to the touch.
How do children get warts? A recent study found that elementary age children are most likely to catch the virus from family members or at school.
The study was led by, Sjoerd C. Bruggink, MD, Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He and his team looked at how warts are commonly spread. They focused on HPV, but not the strains transmitted through sexual activity.
The study looked at 1,000 children ages 4 to 12. Researchers looked for warts on the children's hands and feet, and recorded information such as whether any family members or classmates had warts, whether the children walked barefoot at home, and whether they visited public swimming pools, used public showers or played sports barefoot. At a follow-up exam a year later, the children were re-examined for warts.
Overall, 29 percent of the children in the study developed new warts during the year. Researchers said that children who had warts at the start of the study were more likely to develop new warts than were children who had no warts at the beginning of the study.
The investigators noted that the susceptibility to developing warts may run in families. The study found that children who had family members with warts were twice as likely to develop warts.
20 percent of the children were more likely to get them from classmates who had warts.
Prevention should be aimed at reducing transmission within families and classes, the researchers s
The dreary days of winter are quickly giving way to longer hours of daylight. Kids will soon be swimming, biking, playing sports and enjoying all the other advantages that more sunshine and warmer weather offers. Theyll also be absorbing more UVA and UVB rays.
While skin cancer in children is rare, and melanoma " the deadliest form of skin cancer- is even more unusual, more cases are being reported according to a new study. The rates increased by about 2% per year from 1973 to 2009 in U.S. children ages newborn to 19. Melanoma accounts for up to 3 percent of all pediatric cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
As you might expect, the largest increase was seen in teenage girls from 15 to19 years old. Girls tend to lay out in the sun or visit tanning booths more often than boys. Girls are more likely to have melanomas on their lower legs and hips while boys melanomas are typically found on the face and trunk.
Recent studies have also shown that melanoma is on the rise among adults as well. Exactly what is driving these trends is not fully understood, but increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and tanning booths as well as greater awareness of melanoma may be responsible, according to study authors led by Jeannette Wong of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
Skin cancer looks pretty much the same in children as it does in adults. Parents should routinely check any moles or changes in their childs skin.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. It is highly treatable, grows very slowly and is located on the top layer of skin. It usually appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin, mainly those areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It more commonly occurs among people with light-colored eyes, hair, and complexion.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a more aggressive skin cancer but
When a child is in pain and crying, a loving parent wants nothing more than to make the pain go away. Ear infections can be very painful and often a parent will request antibiotics to treat the infection from their pediatrician or family doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating childhood ear infections and would like to see fewer antibiotics prescribed.
The guidelines more clearly define the signs and symptoms that indicate an infection that needs treatment. They also encourage more observation, with follow-ups, instead of antibiotics. This would also include some children under the age of two. Most children with ear infections get well on their own and can be safely monitored for a few days.
For children with recurrent infections, the guidelines advise physicians and parents on when it is time to see a specialist.
"Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Allan Lieberthal, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City, in Los Angeles, and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
The guidelines say that there are definitely times when antibiotics should be prescribed such as when children have a severe ear infection. Severe is defined as when a child has either a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher or is in significant pain. He or she has a ruptured ear drum with drainage, or an infection in both ears for kids two years or younger. These account for fewer cases but studies have shown that children benefit from antibiotics given right away.
It's been since 2004 since the last set of guidelines were issued. Those guidelines stimulated new research that has provided evidence for the new AAP guidelines that will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics
I found myself rummaging through some paperwork that I had put away in an old box; circa 1970 something or other, and there they were my poems from childhood. These weren't famous or even infamous poems, they were poems I had written during a time of great change in my young life. Re-reading these little snippets I was surprised. I was expecting to find lines filled with depression and uncertainty, fear and sadness (I was an angst ridden 15 year old) but instead there was optimism and hope in a better future. To quote Monty Python - I was looking on the bright side of life.
I remembered the relief I used to feel when I'd take pen in hand and just write. Gradually I moved on to using a typewriter, which made me feel very grown-up. The touch of the key and the clicking of each letter gave me a feeling of authenticity. The automatic swoosh of the return carriage whispered keep telling your story... you're not finished yet.
Children and poetry go well together. It's good to start small children with rhyming poetry. The silliness tickles their funny bone and the words entertain their imagination. Children as young as 2 or 3 years-of-age can appreciate nursery rhymes. Short poems are better to hold a very young child's attention. As they grow older you can increase the length of the poems.
You can also use every day events to make-up poems or rhyming sentences such as, Can you hear the pretty bird sing, the one with the blue-blue wing? The pretty bird is such an itty-bitty thing.
Have your child make up poems too - it's all about making poetry fun.
As children get older, reading poems out loud is a great way to share time together. Take turns and let your child pick several of their favorites. Shell Silverstein's poems are fun for kids and adults.
Once your child is a little older, say around 3rd grade, start asking them what they think their favorite poems mean. What do they like about a certain poem, how doe
Like many adults, kids tend to be more generous when someone else is aware of their actions. A new study from Yale University says age isn't really a factor when it comes to giving.
Previous research with adults has shown that they are more likely to act in ways that will benefit their reputation if they know someone else is aware of their actions. If they know that their actions are going to be made public, they also tend to be more generous compared to when they are giving anonymously.
Research on children has been rather scant in relation to this topic. The researchers at Yale University decided to see if young children were as inclined to be more generous when they knew their actions were being watched as adults.
According to the results of the study, scientists have concluded that children view generosity pretty much as adults do.
Researchers gave stickers to 5-year-old children who had the option of sharing one or four of the stickers with another child of the same age. The children were more generous when they could see the recipient than when the recipient was hidden. They were also more generous when they had to give the stickers in a transparent container rather than in one where the stickers could not be seen. No matter how many stickers the children were allowed to keep for themselves, the results were the same when they were ask to give others stickers. If they could see who was getting the stickers they gave more. If the amount of stickers they were giving, could be seen by others they gave more. If not- they gave less.
The scientists deduced from these results that children as young as five years of age are able to make strategic decisions about whether to be generous or not if no one sees their gift.
"Although the frequency with which children acted antisocially is striking, the conditions under which they chose to act generously are even more interesting and suggest that children