Infant Care

7 Tricks to Avoid Getting Sick this Thanksgiving

Every year our ER gets busy right after Thanksgiving—‘tis the season for crying toddlers with fevers, runny noses, and diarrhea.  It’s no coincidence, there are real reasons why illness spreads during the holidays.  Here are seven tricks to keep your kids (and yourself) healthy this Thanksgiving:

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Does Curious George make your children smarter?

First, a confession: my kids watch Curious George almost every day.  So I was flooded with relief to hear the PBS announcement, “A new study proves that kids also learn from Curious George.  That’s one smart monkey!”  The curious scientist in me got excited.  So I put my two-year-old in front of our iPad, turned on everyone’s favorite monkey, and looked up the data myself.

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Writing a birth plan: 10 essential tips from a pediatrician and mom of 5

When a laboring mom arrives at the hospital with a birth plan, nurses often roll their eyes and smirk, especially if it is a check-off-the-boxes and fill-in-the-blanks birth plan off a web site.  Why?  Because 80-90% of moms on the unit where I work arrive with a plan for natural delivery, yet more than 90% end up with an epidural and toss aside the requests on their birth plans.  I’ve attended deliveries for more than a decade at five different hospitals, and I’m about to deliver my own 5th child.  Yes, I have a birth plan.  You should too.

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Do newborns really need that eye ointment?


Usually yes, sometimes no.

Just minutes after I delivered my first child a nurse squirted antibiotic ointment into his eyes.  My husband asked what it was for, and I called from bed, “It’s in case I have an STD.”  The nurse laughed at my frank answer, but my husband was quite horrified.  So what is that antibiotic eye ointment newborns get and what is it for?  Do all new babies really need it?  Is it safe to decline this medicine for my newborn?

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