Catholic Pediatrics Blog

Did Cindy Crawford go too far: Your child’s risk of PCBs

Cindy Crawford recently pulled her children out of Malibu high school, expressing concern that the school is contaminated with PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, a chemical known to cause cancer and a host of other health problems including neurological impairment.  This is not a problem limited to Malibu– many schools and public buildings built between the 1930’s and 1970’s are contaminated with PCBs, which were used in caulking and a variety of building materials.

(Read more...) about @title

Enterovirus: Myth, Fact, and What's Really in the ER

sneezing child

Enterovirus has hit St. Louis early this year, and it’s hit us hard.  Enterovirus causes the common cold– a runny nose, sore throat, and sometimes fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches.  We usually see a surge of patients with viruses like this each fall, shortly after school starts, but this year the virus has hit early and hit hard.

(Read more...) about @title

Babies after 40: Three moms’ stories

Recently I attended a delivery of a baby a baby born to a mother who was almost 50 years old.  I did a double-take when I saw her age on the chart– this was the oldest mother I had ever seen deliver.  Her baby, who had Down Syndrome, seemed like a miracle to her.

(Read more...) about @title

Should Catholics Get the HPV Vaccine?

HPV, or the Human Papiloma Virus, is epidemic in the United States. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 24.5% of females in the United States aged 14 to 19 years are HPV positive. Among women 20-24 years old, an astounding 44.8% were positive. Given sad statistics like this, it’s no surprise that many people pushed hard for the development of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.

But now that we have vaccines, a raging debate has grown up around them. Parents especially express concerns about vaccine safety, parental autonomy, and the financial interest of vaccine manufacturers. So many parents ask me the question, “Why expose your child to a vaccine when virus can be prevented by abstinence?”

(Read more...) about @title

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

(Read more...) about @title

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.

(Read more...) about @title

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.

(Read more...) about @title

Back to School, back to sleep! 10 tips to finding your sleep routine

“The road to academic success is paved with sleep,” according to Dr. James Kemp, the director of our sleep center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  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.

(Read more...) about @title

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.

(Read more...) about @title

Vacation at the ER? How to avoid the emergency room during your summer getaway

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, posion 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.

(Read more...) about @title

Pages