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Are Digital Screens Harming Kids’ Brains? One Study Raises Red Flags

Posted by Karen Wittenburg, M.D. on Feb 11, 2019 8:06:00 AM

We know that too much screen time isn’t good for anyone, let alone kids. Too much time on digital devices has been linked to poor sleep patterns, behavioral issues, loss of social skills, obesity, and even violence, but the National Institutes of Health wanted to delve into this issue a little further and see what long-term effects, if any, screen time for kids might have on the actual structure of their brains. The results are concerning. 

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Topics: digital devices and kids brains, how screen time affects kids brains

Cold, Dry Air Can Trigger Asthma Attacks and Nosebleeds in Children

Posted by Jennifer Lai, M.D. on Jan 23, 2019 5:56:01 PM

While nose bleeds and asthma attacks in kids are fairly common, I often find that parents are understandably worried about them. It doesn’t help when these conditions seem to accelerate during the colder months. As Houston’s version of winter arrives, now might be a good time to talk about how cold air can trigger asthma attacks and nose bleeds in children. 

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Topics: asthma, cold weather nosebleeds, cold weather asthma, nosebleed

CDC Warns Parents of Infants to Watch for RSV

Posted by Jennifer Lai, M.D. on Jan 9, 2019 8:04:00 AM

Your baby is coughing and has a runny nose. It could be a cold, but it could also be something far more serious for infants. Just before the new year began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning to parents about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). 

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Topics: RSV, what are the symptoms for rsv, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, how is rsv treated

Should You Spank Your Kids? The American Academy of Pediatrics Says No

Posted by Kemba Black, M.D., F.A.A.P. on Dec 12, 2018 1:57:49 PM

Depending on where you live in the United States, spankings and other types of aversionary discipline, such as yelling or shaming, may be fairly common. In other areas, punishments like this are on the decline, which is a good thing. For about two decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged parents to use caution when disciplining their kids with these types of punishment tactics – especially spanking. Recently, the organization updated its recommendation: Don’t spank your kids. Ever. 

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Topics: American Academy of Pediatrics, is spanking bad for kids, spanking, disciplining children

Why Parents-to-be Should Take Advantage of a Prenatal Visit

Posted by Kathryn Wright, M.D. on Nov 24, 2018 9:11:00 AM

There’s a lot you have to learn in a few short months if you’re about to be a parent. Your OB/GYN will be there to help you through much of it, but there’s another doctor you should get involved in this process before your baby is born: a pediatrician. A good way to go about doing that is by taking advantage of a prenatal visit. 

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Topics: prenatal visit, why a prenatal visit is important

Why You Should Ditch the Baby Walker

Posted by Asma Siddiqui, M.D. on Nov 19, 2018 8:13:00 AM

Baby walkers are such a common and ubiquitous part of childhood that many of my patients are taken aback when I tell them that baby walkers not only pose a potential threat to their children, but that they’ve been banned in other countries all together. 

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85% of Children Who Died of Flu Last Year Were Unvaccinated

Posted by Jessica Lanerie, M.D. on Oct 24, 2018 2:17:42 PM

Children and the elderly don’t have the strong immune system most others have. When an illness sweeps across the country, they are often the most affected. This is why it’s incredibly important to make sure your child has his or her flu vaccination as early as possible. Last year, 85 percent of the children who died from the flu were unvaccinated and  one unvaccinated child has already died this year. These are heartbreaking statistics, but hopefully we can reduce this through education and awareness. 

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Topics: influenza, seasonal flu, unvaccinated

Good News for Kids: FluMist Nasal Vaccine Is Back … But with a Caveat

Posted by Jessica Lanerie, M.D. on Oct 3, 2018 10:03:43 AM

If there are two things I know, it’s that most kids aren’t overly fond of shots and vaccinating your kids for flu season is incredibly important. This can be a tough balancing act when it comes time to take your needle-shy kiddo to the doctor to protect him or her from the flu each year. It is especially tough during flu seasons like 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, when it was determined that the FluMist nasal spray shouldn’t be used because it was ineffective. This year, though, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 12 to 2 to return the nasal spray to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of recommended vaccines for the 2018-2019 flu season. The committee stopped short of explicitly recommending the nasal spray, however, and will instead let providers and patients decide if they’ll use it instead of traditional flu shots. 

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Topics: Flu shot, flu nasal vaccine, FluMist

Are You Up to Speed with Recently Changed Rear-Facing Car Seat Guidelines?

Posted by Kara Carter, M.D. on Sep 19, 2018 9:52:00 AM

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its guidelines about rear-facing car seats. If you have a child in a car seat, it is important to know these changes. 

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Topics: rear-facing car seat age change, rear-facing car seat guidelines

Warning Signs Your Child Might Have a Communication Disorder

Posted by Sophie Lung, M.D. on Aug 27, 2018 8:02:00 AM

You learn things about your baby as you grow together. From “Is that a hungry cry or a mad cry?” to “She rubs her nose when she’s sleepy,” your baby can communicate basic needs and wants to you. But every baby is different, which means that recognizing milestones, such as when baby should start crawling, walking, and especially talking, can be tough to measure. I find that parents fret over trying to figure out when their babies should be talking. It’s different for every child, but there are signs to look for if you’re concerned your baby might have a communication disorder. 

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Topics: communication disorder

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