Pediatrics Opinion Archive

How long is long enough? Taking time off after an illness

Different illnesses require that patients stay home from school or work for different lengths of time.

Are immunization schedules negotiable?

Providers should consider both medical ethics and scientific evidence when parents want to delay the vaccine schedule for their child.

After an accident, when do you need a new car seat?

Car seats must be replaced after moderate and severe car crashes, but often they do not need to be replaced after minor crashes.

Oxycontin for 11-year-olds? I'm okay with it

The FDA approval of a pediatric indication for Oxycontin creates a safer situation for terminally ill children.

Psychotropic medication use in children

Whether to prescribe psychotropic medications in children with anxiety and sleep disorders is a common ethical dilemma faced by primary care providers.

What I learned during my pediatrics rotation

Working in pediatrics takes good communication and negotiation skills - as well as some hand sanitizer and tissues to ward off the extra germs.

Providing health care as a parent

Becoming a parent can provide a new perspective for health care providers working in pediatrics.

Preparing for a new semester in a nurse practitioner program

Making flash cards, taking notes, and being flexible are just three ways to keep on top of your studies.

Tips for reducing needlestick pain in children

Primary-care providers should try to ease pediatric patients' anxiety about needles by preparing them for what to expect.

Neck-to-waist ratio can help predict pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

Research from Canada demonstrated that a neck-to-waist ratio of >0.41 has sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be considered a predictor of obstructive sleep apnea.

January and you still have head lice!

Head lice cases peak in September and January in schools, and treatment can be difficult.

Encourage better sleep hygiene for children

A child's sleep issues may be directly related to his or her caretaker's parenting skills.

FDA label changes simplify medication safety during pregnancy

New FDA labeling system makes it easier to answer, "Is this safe to take while I'm pregnant?"

Are children in low-income areas less likely to be immunized against influenza?

Vaccinating kids against the flu should be a priority for providers, especially for those practicing in low-income areas.

Sleep continues to be disturbed by electronics

The National Sleep Foundation's annual poll reveals that children are using their electronics in the bedroom, which causes disturbed sleep.

Skin-to-skin contact 'all benefits' for moms, babies

Skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth makes an easier transition from fetal to newborn life.

A later start benefits teens' health

Delayed sleep phase syndrome shifts circadian rhythms and sleep and wake times, making it more difficult for teens to get up early.

Help children keep asthma at bay

Begin to impart asthma information to young patients and/or their caregivers as early as possible.

Distorted body image not just a girl problem

Clinicians are seeing more boys with eating disorders and/or complications related to inappropriate diets, supplement use and steroid use.

Managing speech-delayed patients

Screening for speech deficiencies at each visit can identify potential delays and target interventions to achieve milestones.

Vaccinating moms with TDaP protects babies, too

Newborns that contract whooping cough most often catch it from family members.

Encouraging positive body image in teen girls

Discussions about the female body should focus not just on looks, but also the amazing things the body can do.

The facts about Plan B

As the laws regulating emergency contraception change, make sure you know the facts and are educating your patients.

National health initiatives take aim at kids and families

Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, discussed the benefits of several Health Resources and Services Administration programs at NAPNAP 2013.

Advocate for public policies against childhood obesity

Bryan weighs in at 210 lbs, and he's 10 years old. He wants to be a policeman, but gets tired going up stairs. What can we do for him?

Talking to kids about the Boston bombing

Children might be exposed to media coverage of violent events without their parents' knowledge. Are you prepared to discuss their fears and anxiety?

What to do when you suspect child abuse

About 9 in every 1,000 U.S. kids are victims of child abuse. Are we doing our part as healthcare providers to stop it?

Preventing teen pregnancy in underserved communities

Despite recent declines, U.S. teen pregnancy rates are the highest among Western nations. What can we do to make a difference?

Treating sleep disturbances in patients with autism

Did you know that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have a 66% chance of having moderate sleep disturbances?

Sleep affects infant development and temperament

Sleep is important to the maturation of the brain and central nervous system, as well as future cognition, temperament, and psychomotor development.

Navigating healthcare services for premature infants

Accessing developmental evaluations and services is one of the biggest challenges preemies and their families face.

Infant safety: Part of the primary-care job

Primary-care clinicians need to educate parents of young children on dangers such as suffocation, car safety, falls, burns and choking.

What are bath salts?

The long-term health consequences of bath salts are not yet known, but experience suggests that proactive efforts are needed to minimize it's public health impact.

Making sense of mass shootings

Efforts to end gun violence in Newtown's wake must address 'culture of violence.'

Strategies to help children sleep

Despite cultural shifts encouraging more autonomy for kids, children still need structure when it comes to their bedtime schedule.

Determining when a grandmother's love is unhealthy

An obese 12-year-old experiences rapid weight gain over the summer. Is granny to blame?

Why play is good for children

Unstructured play increases physical activity, provides stress relief and improves a child's ability to concentrate.

Help kids who are bullied or bullies

Bullying can begin as early as kindergarten, and it can affect all children regardless of race, gender and socioeconomic status.

Trusting expert guidelines for pediatric lipid screening

Promoting behavioral changes during childhood is an effective prevention tool that is much cheaper than treating adults experiencing adverse health outcomes from preventable conditions.

Asking teens about uncertainties helps ID depression

Assessing mental health in primary care can be daunting, especially if community resources are scarce and your patient has limited finances.

Is obese the new normal?

Self-regulation of hunger and understanding satiety is the most important thing parents and caretakers can teach their children.

Smart phone app useful for detecting concussions

Having a very high index of suspicion for concussion is extremely important in protecting children and adolescents. Did you know there's an app for that?

Why I'm worried it's not just croup

With decreased immunization rates, whooping cough seems to be making a comeback, showing its distinctive sound particularly on the Pacific coast.

Is a child's snoring the root cause of his ADHD?

Unrefreshing sleep can lead to prefrontal cortical dysfunction. In children, this can manifest as behavioral problems, difficulty controlling emotions and difficulty with attention and hyperactivity.

The problem with TIME magazine's breastfeeding cover

Women tend to attack those who make different parenting choices. Instead of alienating each other, we should encourage respect and understanding.

Celebrity status raises awareness about breastfeeding benefits

Are the new moms you treat on the fence about breastfeeding in public? Tell them Beyoncé does it.

Don't let patients tan their lives away

Teen girls will come up with 100 reasons to use tanning beds. We as health-care providers need to give parents one really big reason to say no.

Do teens plan 'accidental' pregnancies?

Some adolescent girls romanticize parenthood, viewing it as a way to improve their lives and relationships.

What is the best way to discuss pediatric obesity?

Many health-care providers are unsure of the best way to talk about weight with their patients. A survey suggests that some terminology may be better than others for inspiring positive behavior changes.

Axing unnecessary tests and procedures to cut health-care costs

An adolescent patient received a battery of unnecessary tests, including chest X-rays, when he visited the ER for viral respiratory symptoms. When will it stop?

Clinician bias in pain care: The emperor and his clothing revisited

A recent study shows that clinician bias leads to unequal pain care in children, but clinician avoidance of why this is so is the real problem.

Recognizing obstructive sleep apnea

Women and children with obstructive sleep apnea are often misdiagnosed because they present differently than men.

Is there a clinical explanation for the lazy teenager?

Patients with delayed sleep phase syndrome are often labeled negatively. Being out of sync with the rest of the world can lead to frustration and depression.

Promoting neonatal health through breast-milk donation

Milk banks now provide life-improving and sometimes life-saving services to many newborns and infants, especially premature infants around the world.

Use well infant and child exams to identify toxic stress

Exposure to stress hormones in infancy can lead to permanent structural brain changes that contribute to chronic physical and mental health conditions.

Implementing standardized developmental screening in pediatrics

Does your pediatric practice use standardized developmental screening tools for autism spectrum disorder? Research shows that developmental surveillance based on clinician experience alone is not good enough.

Supply and demand imbalance to blame for attention deficit drug shortage

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their families suffer most, as drug manufacturers produce fewer generic medications.

Busting sleep myths to prevent SIDS in vulnerable populations

Does the supine position increase an infant's choking risk? Are babies really more comfortable sleeping on their bellies? At what age do pacifiers lead to dental problems?

Personalizing SIDS prevention: Take individual sleeping habits into account

National recommendations for SIDS prevention are too general and do not address individual environmental and cultural factors that may influence risk.

Avoiding family politics in the gynecology exam room

When should mothers stop accompanying their daughters to gynecology visits?

Take sleep histories during adolescent well visits

Do your adolescent patients report feeling tired and sleepy at school? Remember that the recommended sleep requirement for this age group is nine to 10 hours a night.

Encouraging adolescent health with group visits

Group health care visits could improve adolescent health by encouraging commitment to a prevention-based lifestyle and help shift U.S. health care away from a system based on treating diseases, to one that aims at stopping them before they begin.

Preventing teen pregnancy: Emphasize honesty over abstinence

If health-care providers do not have open communication with teenagers about birth control early, they may find themselves providing "options counseling," when there are no good options left.

Flu vaccine facts can persuade reluctant parents

Take a few extra minutes to convince reluctant parents to get their children vaccinated against influenza.

Pregnancy denial: A growing problem?

In recent months I've seen an increase in women presenting to the emergency room with undiagnosed third trimester pregnancies, many in active labor.

Adolescents need HPV shots early

Common reasons that parents give when declining human papillomavirus vaccine for their children are, "My teen is not sexually active," or "Maybe we'll wait until he/she is a bit older." This thinking negates the vaccine's preventive purpose.

Elevated ALP and normocytic anemia

What is the significance of an isolated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) of 161 IU/L in the absence of gallbladder, pancreas or liver disease?

Florida gun law interferes with patient relationships

Florida House Bill 155 prohibits health care providers from inquiring about the presence of firearms in the homes of patients. Does it violate the clinician-patient relationship?

Teens and indoor tanning: communicating health risks

When discussing indoor tanning with adolescent patients, appealing to their sense of vanity can go a long way toward dissuading them from engaging in risky behaviors.

The 100-day cough: clinicians be(a)ware

Only 5.9% of eligible candidates receive the recommended pertussis booster vaccine, and the disease remains one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide.

Baby knows best: inducing labor can lead to unnecessary complications

Many pregnant women are shocked that we would allow them to continue past their due date.

Advice for first gynecology visits

There is no hard fast rule governing the timing of a first gynecological visit, but establishing a comfortable relationship with a gynecology provider during adolescence can provide young women with crucial health and sexual education.

Expelling the myths of the midwife

Many people think seeing a midwife means forgoing to the comfort and convenience of modern health care. Find out here why it's not.

Are vaginas troublesome for girls with body image issues?

Women's health care providers should encourage self-awareness, appreciation and acceptance among adolescent patients.

Vaccine lawsuits promote public mistrust

NVIA, VAERS protect against liability, ensure public safety.

Menarche research provides controversy but few answers

A new study tries to quantify the impact of an absent biological father on adolescent development.

Medical homes: A feasible concept?

Minimize impact of violence for young people

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