Catholic Pediatrics Blog

The Return of Essential Oils

essential oilsDo essential oils really work, or are they just over-priced fragrant quackery? I would have assumed the latter, until I got an invitation to an essential oils party from a friend who is a Harvard educated lawyer. A shop-at-home party for alternative medications was the least likely place I’d expect to find her, let alone me.

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Sleepy Teens – new study says teens are even more sleep-deprived than we thought

If you can’t get your teen to go to bed, you’re not alone.  American teens sleep less now than they did twenty years ago, according to a study published in the TeenSleepmedical journal Pediatrics.  This large study looked at mor

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Your teen sleeps less than you did

If you can’t get your teen to go to bed, you’re not alone. American teens sleep less now than they did twenty years ago, according to a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. This very large study looked at more than 250,000 teens between 1991-2012, and the results are eye-opening. As our children move through adolescence they sleep less and less. In the past twenty years there has been an overall decline in adolescent sleep. More than half of teen ages 15 and older sleep less than seven hours per night, and about 85% of teens get less than the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Age 14-15 seems to be a big turning point for sleep deprivation, a year when teens experience the greatest drop in hours of sleep per night.

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There’s More to Sleep than Shuts the Eye, Part III: Putting to Bed Specific Sleep Problems

Even when parents utilize good routine and emphasize healthy living, sleep difficulties can arise. Issues occur for many reasons. Some are related to developmental milestones, such as increased mobility or verbal abilities in young kids. Other challenges emerge during changes in the home environment, such as a move or a parent starting a new job. And then, as with all families, sometimes unexpected illnesses emerge or other personal issues that may result in a shift in nightly patterns.

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There’s More to Sleep than Shuts the Eye, Part II: The ABC’s of ZZZ’s

Despite the importance of sleep, including for our kids, evidence suggests that many of our youth do not get the recommended sleep each night. A recent article through NBC News indicates that 90% of high schoolers fall short of the optimum amount of sleep. When this occurs, significant risks emerged in many domains. One study indicated that teens who sleep the least are 21% more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

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There’s More to Sleep Than Shuts the Eye, Part I: Waking Up to All that Sleep Does

Every day for most people, something mysterious begins to take shape that still defies scientists in these times. Although the primary reasons for most basic bodily functions, such as eating and moving, have been known for centuries, sleep, or also known as slumbering or snoozing or napping or crashing, still remains an enigma in many ways. Yet, there is no single activity that we do more in our life.

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Stressed and Depressed-- How American Teens are Hurting Themselves, and what Parents can do to Reverse the Trend

American teens are stressed and depressed. As a pediatrician, I see the suicide attempts, the overdoses, and all the new methods that teens are finding to intentionally hurt themselves—to somehow dull the pain. It’s getting worse. According to recent results from the Stress in America Study, teens are now more stressed out than adults:

40% feel irritable or angry
36% feel nervous or anxious
31% felt overwhelmed due to stress in the past month
36% feel fatigued or tired, and
Almost 30% feel depressed or sad

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Safe sleep for babies – let’s make it law!

Missouri lawmakers are trying to protect infants in daycare centers by mandating that licensed daycare providers use safe sleep practices in accordance with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  State Rep.

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The Measles – A Reality Check for Parents

Measles is back in the United States, and the population at greatest risk is our babies.  Infants under one year are not old enough to have had their first MMR vaccine, so essentially all American infants are at risk for measles.  Measles is highly contagious.  Although most people who have measles recover uneventfully, it can cause permanent brain damage and death.  What does this mean for parents?  Can you take your baby to the grocery store?  What about daycare?  Should your baby be vaccinated early?

It’s time for a healthy reality check here.

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Weighted Blankets – Avoid a Tragic Mistake

Seven-month-old Owen was found dead in his crib, under the weighted blanket his daycare providers hoped would help soothe him.  Owen fought sleep at daycare, and he had just learned to roll from his back to his belly.  His daycare provider put a weighted blanket over his buttocks and legs, hoping the flax-seed-filled blanket would help him sleep more soundly.  Although she noticed he had rolled onto his belly, she didn’t flip him back over.  She also used a white-noise machine intended to improve i

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