Catholic Pediatrics Blog

Where’s the village? Children and families need kindness, not criticism

There is something about children that gives everyone a license to hand Families Circleout unsolicited advice to parents.  I’ve heard it all:

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Top 5 apps neurosurgeons let their kids play

I found myself drinking fine wine with a bunch of neurosurgeons this weekend, and it didn’t take long to realize they’re asking the same question as every modern parent– how much screen time is okay for toddlers, and is there such a thing as good screen time?
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Top 5 apps neurosurgeons let their kids use

kidsandappsI found myself drinking fine wine with a bunch of neurosurgeons this weekend, and it didn’t take long to realize they’re asking the same question as every modern parent– how much screen time is okay for toddlers, and is there such a thing as good screen time?
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CCC: Clarifying Where Mental Health Begins

In 1980, my father started the Can Collector’s Club (CCC).  I was 2 years old.  As the story goes, it was my mother’s brainchild, but dad quickly took ahold of the idea with his entrepreneurial spirit.  Some people thought he had lost his mind.  Some still do.  But the purpose of the CCC was simple.  Convince family and friends to turn aluminum cans into him so that he could use the money from recycling to support our college fund.  And clean up the environment.  Quickly, the CCC turned into an annual contest, with those collecting the most cans awarded prizes at a fiscal (can) year-end par

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Baby Talk – How moms’ and dads’ voices make baby smarter

There is a moment in the delivery room when the new mother first talks to her baby–usually just seconds after birth when the wet, crying infant is placed on mom’s abdomen.  I get the pleasure of watching the joy in the new mom’s eyes, and hearing the words she picks to welcome her baby into the world.  For most moms, this first conversation is spontaneous, unplanned, and natural.  When dad gets a chance to hold baby, he’s often silent.   Usually the words don’t come so easily to new dads.

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11 medical decisions to make for your baby before delivery (or someone else will make them for you)

You’ve educated yourself about pregnancy and made choices for your labor and delivery, but are you prepared to make medical decisions for your baby?  In the first few hours of your baby’s life you will need to make 11 medical decisions for your tiny new person, or someone else will make them for you.  I’ve attended deliveries for more than a decade at five different hospitals, and it’s shocking how few mothers are able to make educated decisions on these issues.  So take a few minutes to think through these 10 issues, and include your preferences in your

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What really comes into the ER on Halloween Night

I’ve spent many a Halloween night in the pediatric emergency room, haunted by princesses charged up on sugar and teen vampires who tried more than candy. These are my real life ghost stories, tales of mishap and mystery – mystery solved with medical science.

Ghastly Breathing

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Turning Distress into Joy, Part V and Final: Meaning & Transcendence

It was not the dawn flooding the bay with splendor which woke Frederick…rather it was a gradual awareness of flaming words…all around him—living things that carried him down wide rivers and over mountains and across spreading plains.  Then it was people who were with him—black men, very tall and big and strong.  They turned up rich earth as black as their broad backs; they hunted in forests; some of them were in cities, whole cities of black folks.  For they were free; they went wherever they wished; they worked as they planned.  They even flew like birds, high in

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Turning Distress into Joy, Part IV: Gratitude

Tears were streaming down his mother’s face. Just minutes earlier, he had unleashed a flurry of harsh statements and cursed at her as she stood their silently. For months, John Foppe’s parents had tried to provide various options, and even personal encounters with others similar to him, to teach him how to do the basics. Like dressing himself. Or eating without assistance. Or using the restroom on his own. But over and over, John had refused to open himself to these possibilities, and was resigned to a life largely dependent on others. His parents struggled with what to do next. But, the night before, they had spoken with his brothers, and told them that they were no longer to help him unless told otherwise.

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Oh, Croup!

I suspect the diagnosis as they walk in the door. I can hear them across the ER. “Croupers,” as we call them, have a very distinctive hoarse cough and a noisy breathing sound called stridor.  It’s very scary for both the child and the parent, which is why croup is probably the most common diagnosis that I make in the ER during the winter months. Here’s the good news: croup looks scary, but is usually not dangerous. Sometimes it can be treated at home.

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