Category - Kids’ Health

1
The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled
2
What to Expect When Your Son Starts Puberty
3
Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?
4
What Cold Remedies Really Work?
5
The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered
6
Beware of Hidden Allergens
7
How Can I Lower My Risk of Heart Disease?
8
Live and Learn: When Your Child’s Vaccines Go Badly
9
It’s Flu Season: Can We Still Get the Nasal Flu Vaccine?
10
What Do I Do If My Child is Afraid of Shots?

The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled

(This post was originally published January 22, 2014, and has been updated for the 2017-2018 influenza season.) As the days grow colder the influenza vaccine rhetoric heats up, even at the most zen of locales, the yoga studio.  A few years ago I recall the discussion of who was ill and for how long infecting the air over the patchwork of exercise mats and the talk leading to a count of who got the flu vaccine, who did not, and the defense of their decisions. Back when I was a practicing physician assistant in Wisconsin, the misinformation about the flu…

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What to Expect When Your Son Starts Puberty

  I am in awe of the transformation.  I am a little sad, too.  My younger son, born breech at barely five pounds, is becoming a man.  At age 12 he is hands-down taller than me, with a cracking voice, acne and, um, hair (more on that below…).  It boggles my mind, a glimpse into what is in store for his twin brother, who has yet to join him in this journey.  I decided to repost What to Expect When Your Son Starts Puberty from April, 2015, to help us Moms (and Dads, of course) navigate these changes, changes in our little boys that…

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Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

Summer, summer, summer.  Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  While sunscreen is recommended year-round to prevent burns, aging and the increased risk of skin cancer, in the warmer months we dress less and slather up even more.  Have you ever wondered whether those chemical sunscreens are safe to use in such large-and-frequent proportions?  In this repost from July of 2015, I describe some of the myths and facts surrounding the totally-tubular and ubiquitous poolside essentials. Everyone notices when someone sports that gorgeous sun-bronzed skin from a sunny vacation.  But my family?  The people who get sunburned through car windows?  We return from a…

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What Cold Remedies Really Work?

A couple weeks ago, in The Common Cold:  Your Questions Answered, we looked at some of the lesser-known (but widely-wondered) aspects of that pesky triad of runny nose, sore throat and sneezing (etc.).  Now let’s dig in to the burning question: What remedies really work to cure the common cold? Well, the bad news is no medication or remedy cures the common cold. And unfortunately, there are no prospects on the horizon.  But the good news is there are options that help minimize symptoms and give relief while the virus runs its course: For the full gamut of symptoms:  Rest and…

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The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered

It’s morning.  I’m getting ready for school and hear my family in the kitchen.  My husband’s rattling cough, punctuated by wall-shaking sneezes, echoes through the house.  My daughter harmonizes with a wheezy, low melody.  My older son, who normally sneezes three times in a row on a good day, seems determined to break the world’s record for ah-choos in rapid succession.  And my younger son?  Still out “cold” and I’m just letting him sleep.  As for me, I’m dragging and achy and my throat is sore.  I don’t have the sonorous coughing or sneezing like the rest of my family…

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Beware of Hidden Allergens

Remember Snackwells?  The near-miracle treat that contains no fat?  Back when we were told that fat, any fat, in our diets would surely lead to our artery-clogging demise, these cookies were a godsend to those of us with a raging sweet tooth.  And I remember my indulgence, eating almost a whole box of the devil’s food variety, proudly avoiding an eminent heart attack by eating dessert so wisely. But now, times have changed and the “devil” in the name of those (let’s face it) tasteless, half-dessicated cookies has an updated meaning.  Most of the calories come from sugar (satanic carbs!) and…

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How Can I Lower My Risk of Heart Disease?

Last week I wrote about the myths of heart disease and how heart attacks present in women.  In today’s post, I’ll describe how we (both women and men) can lower our risk of this number one killer in the United States. Heart disease in women doesn’t get the press it deserves.  But the unfortunate facts still remain. ♥Only 1 in 5 women thinks heart disease is her greatest health risk. ♥Approximately one woman a minute dies from heart disease. ♥Women don’t necessarily have the same symptoms of heart attack that men do. ♥And 90% of women have at least one…

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Live and Learn: When Your Child’s Vaccines Go Badly

Talk about a royal tank.  Worse than a tank, actually, a royal disaster.  Maybe I jinxed it by blogging about it a few weeks ago.  Because my poor son has resolved to never, ever, set foot in the pediatrics office again.  That’s how badly his appointment for a flu shot went down. In my time as a physician assistant, I worked in two different family practice settings.  In both, we provided vaccines to children.  Our medical assistants were skilled at giving multiple shots to even the most fearful of kids.  There wasn’t a swirl of activity and dialogue around “shot anxiety.”  The…

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It’s Flu Season: Can We Still Get the Nasal Flu Vaccine?

Darn.  We really liked that one.  My shot-fearing son finally caught a break.  And with a vaccine he has to get annually (yay!).   A few years ago, after growing out of mild asthma he was finally eligible for the “up-the-nose” flu** vaccine (FluMist), alongside his brother and sister.  One less needle, one less time he could proclaim “No fair!” when it came to his siblings. Well, now “No fair” is in triple harmony this fall.  And I don’t blame my kids one bit. Because of recent news regarding the FluMist vaccine, our pediatrician’s office will not be offering it this…

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What Do I Do If My Child is Afraid of Shots?

Shots are a real pain for everyone.  Unfortunately some of us have an intense reaction, called a vasovagal response, to receiving vaccinations and pass out at the sight (or the mere thought) of a syringe and needle.  Heart rate and blood pressure tank.  Blood flow to the brain tanks.  And thud, fainting occurs and there’s a call for smelling salts.  (But I think those are only used in black-and-white movies…) My son is deathly afraid of his vaccinations.  He doesn’t go vasovagal, though.  I  hate to say it, but I kinda wish he did.  Because he is an otherwise 100-pound, very determined and…

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