Category - Kids’ Health

1
Is My Child Overscheduled?
2
The Thing About Box Tops for Education
3
The Influenza Vaccine: Setting the Records Straight
4
When a Loved One Dies: How We Can Help Our Kids
5
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Kids and Sleep
6
Getting the Most Out of Your Sunscreen
7
It’s Time to Return to School: Should I Vaccinate My Children?
8
Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?
9
Your Child Needs the HPV Vaccine
10
What to Expect When Your Son Starts Puberty

Is My Child Overscheduled?

When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings? ~Omid Safi, in his essay “The Disease of Being Busy” for onbeing.org My husband and I limit our kids to two extracurricular activities per child at any given time.  This is fewer than that recommended by experts who diss kids’ crammed schedules  (three or fewer, they say).   So our lives shouldn’t be too hectic, right? In theory, yes.

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The Thing About Box Tops for Education

It’s reflexive.  I see that little rectangle of cardboard on a box and automatically rip it off.  I stick the little chips in a Ziploc-brand plastic bag (one of the participating products, I might add), and hand them over to one of my kids to take to school.  I think very little about the process, which has somehow been ingrained in my psyche.  I’m like a rat in a Skinner box. But Psyche woke up.  A few days ago, a call went out on our school’s Facebook page to turn in our Box Tops for Education (or, as the logo…

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The Influenza Vaccine: Setting the Records Straight

(This post was originally published January 22, 2014, and has been updated for the 2015-2016 influenza season.) The bad news: cold and flu season is upon us. The good news: we can put up our dukes against it. The season is a hot topic amongst moms and I recall one particular day that was no exception. Discussion of who was ill and for how long infected a session at my yoga studio and the talk led to that of who got the flu vaccine, who did not, and the defense of their decisions. Back when I was a practicing physician…

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When a Loved One Dies: How We Can Help Our Kids

I was in second grade when my grandfather died unexpectedly.  It was a horribly difficult time made even harder by the fact that he died a day after my family returned from the funeral of another family member.  As a child I recall feeling confused, sad and so scared I couldn’t even go into the living room to see my grieving grandmother. The death of a loved one is difficult to explain to children, especially as we adults are trying to process our own loss, sadness and grief.  Funerals are emotional and perplexing.  I didn’t go to my grandfather’s.  Because…

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What Every Parent Needs to Know About Kids and Sleep

It still sticks in my brain:  the girls teasing me about the time I went to bed.  Why?  Because I wasn’t smart enough to not answer when they asked, even though they weren’t my friends and kinda mean.  So of course my 8 o’clock bedtime became fodder for calling me a “baby.” Even though I slept like one, this “baby” would have much preferred to stay up later.  What kid doesn’t?   But my parents were unwavering on when I went to bed, which was good:  I went out fast and rarely awakened during the night.  So I must have needed…

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Getting the Most Out of Your Sunscreen

A few years ago, I tried a new sunscreen.  Not just a different brand from the drugstore, but something completely different.  The active ingredient was titanium oxide  but it was formulated in a tinted powder and applied with a brush, much like foundation.   The person who recommended it was a fair-skinned pediatrician who loved to sail, and with that kind of multifactorial endorsement, I bought a jar (at a rather hefty price tag).  I liked the idea of a non-greasy, lightweight sunscreen that wouldn’t appear smeary-white if we didn’t get applied evenly.  Certain it would be the best thing…

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It’s Time to Return to School: Should I Vaccinate My Children?

It’s hard to believe it’s time for our kids to return to school.  Today was “Fall Check-In Day” (aka Registration Day)  for my kids.  Not being Kindergarteners, or otherwise new to the school, our paperwork process was pretty straightforward.  But for new families, registration can be a seemingly insurmountable pile of blank forms and information.  I remember those days…especially when I had three sets of vaccination records to dig up and then transcribe to official school documents!  But I’m taking a long time to get to my point.  Given it’s that time of year to get school health records in order, and given…

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Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

  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 week away and people look at a quizzically and say, “Where did you go, again?  Submarine cruise?” I honestly could kick myself for not buying stock in a sunscreen manufacturer before we had kids…given their genetic legacy I knew they would be more sun-sensitive than a field of solar panels. Most of us use more sunscreen in the summer than any other time of year.  And most of us don’t think…

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Your Child Needs the HPV Vaccine

A few years back I sat in a church basement with my parenting group and listened to a male OB-GYN describe how he discussed safe sex with his own kids. Yes, that was a church basement.  Yes, that was a male gynecologist.  And the topic at that moment was, yes, kids and sex. I hope I got your attention.  Because he sure got mine, especially as this seemed an unlikely and absurd senario.  But still, the topic was pertinent and this doctor’s message clear:  we as parents would be sorely amiss to assume our kids will honor abstinence at our request.   He…

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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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