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7 Reasons Why Your Child Needs a Catholic Pediatrician

Why your child needs a Catholic Pediatrician

I used to believe we should leave medicine to the doctors and faith to the Church.  I didn’t really understand that my pediatrician would become a personal mentor for me as I navigated parenthood.   I didn’t really consider that my pediatrician would become a private confidant of my children, discussing sensitive issues behind closed doors. 

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Recent Articles

The Day the Silence Died

Blue Bonnets at Big Bend

“When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, then society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate.” — Thomas Merton

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Why marijuana should still be taboo

Something has changed in the past five years-- pot isn’t really considered a street drug anymore by my patients. Marijuana use isn’t anything they feel a need to deny or hide. With increasing frequency, my adolescent patients openly discuss their marijuana use in front of their parents. Some adamantly deny alcohol use yet don’t hesitate to discuss their regular marijuana use.

Just a few years ago, this wasn’t true. As soon as I mentioned the need to get a drug screen, my patients would get a nervous look on their face, often confessing marijuana use before the test results came back and begging me not to tell their parents.

My patients now recognize marijuana as a drug-- a medical drug, that is.

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Back to School, Back to Sleep: 10 Tips to Finding Your Sleep Routine

Sleep helps kids do well in school, improves social functioning, prevents illness and injuries, and even prevents obesity.  But American children don’t sleep enough.  With touch-screens luring children to avoid bed,  we have a growing epidemic of pediatric sleep deprivation.  Don’t let your kids go to school sleep-deprived.  Summer is ending and it’s time to get your kids on a back-to-school sleep schedule.  

Here are 10 tips for back-to-school sleep:

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How To Avoid Getting Sick on Vacation: 5 Tricks to Keep You Healthy While You Travel

Every summer my ER fills up with travelers-- families far from home with vacation plans gone awry.  Most are children with high fevers, vomiting, broken bones, burns, poison ivy, and infected insect bites.  With a few tricks and a bit of preparation, you can keep your kids out of the ER and enjoy your vacation.  


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12 Tricks for a Successful Family Road Trip

True confession: the night before we left for our national park road trip my husband and I seriously considered cancelling the whole thing.  On a total whim (and moment of fantasy) I had planned a six day, 1700 mile family road trip to Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse.  Perhaps I was the crazy one?  As we stayed up late packing the minivan, my dreams of teaching my kids history and watching family movies in the minivan turned to fears of incessant back-seat bickering and kids bored by national parks.

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The Paradox of Praise

In February of 2014, in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (General), Eddie Brummelman and colleagues published an article that revisited the subject of praise for youth.  For decades, praise and positive reinforcement had been hailed by mental health professionals as the antidote to many of our youth’s problems.  Parents regularly heard the message that there was no such thing as “bad praise.”  But as the research began to evolve, some began to question this notion.  Brummelman and his co-authors focused on two types of praise:  person praise and process

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Are you getting enough iodine?

iodized salt

I’ve been throwing down prenatal vitamins every morning for more than a decade, so I was shocked to realize that I’m deficient in iodine, a nutrient essential for thyroid function and brain development. I’m not alone, almost a third of pregnant women in the United States don’t get enough iodine in their diet, and only about 15% of prenatal vitamins contain iodine (mine didn’t.) This month, The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy statement about iodine deficiency, making the recommendation that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should be taking at least 150 micrograms of iodine daily.

Everyone needs iodine, but new research on iodine deficiency

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Bribing Kids to Eat Well-- Has Positive Reinforcement Gone Too Far?

Bribe our kids to eat healthy food?! Did I really just read this in a respected medical research journal? I did a double-take, but yes, someone actually published research suggesting that bribing kids to eat healthy food is an approach to fight the American obesity epidemic.

One third of American children are overweight or obese, and 70% of these children will grow up to be overweight adults. American medicine has defeated polio, smallpox, and the other infamous killers of children. But we’re failing when it comes to obesity. Our children might be the first generation of Americans to die younger than their parents. We are now so frustrated by our inability to combat addictive junk food that we’re willing to stoop to bribery to get kids to eat right.

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