Catholic Pediatrics Blog

How to get a 2-year-old to stay in bed

A parent emailed me with this story, “Over the past week and a half, we have been having serious issues getting our 2-year-old to go to bed, both for naps and for nighttime.  We go through her usual routine of brushing teeth, prayers and reading a story, then put her in her bed with her doll/blanket.  As soon as we put her in her bed, she starts screaming, jumps up and runs for the door (we have a baby gate on it so we can keep the door open).  We leave the room and she keeps screaming bloodcurdling screams wanting to go downstairs and snuggle with us.  At a mi

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Why Teens with ADHD Smoke (and how to avoid it)

ADHD is often treated with stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta, yet many parents, including myself, are hesitant to put our children on these drugs.  New research published today in the medical journal Pediatrics gives parents another reason to feel good about treating ADHD with stimulants—untreated adolescents with ADHD often self-treat with nicotine.

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Are We Losing Our Parental Will?

Some time ago, a pediatrician that I respect greatly stopped by my office to chat.  In the midst of the conversation, he smiled, and spontaneously mentioned that he had seen a rash of a particular condition lately.  When I inquired what it was, he stated Helpless Parent Syndrome.  

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How to Build the Essential Parent First-Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

Summer is approaching, and every year the summer arrives with full force in my ER: cuts, ticks, poison ivy, infected bug bites, sun burns, eye injuries, broken bones, and all other kinds of summer fun gone wrong. Luckily, you can easily treat or prevent much of the summer craziness if you are prepared.

Being prepared means you need a “Dr. Mom” first aid kit and know how to use it. Although pre-made store-bought first aid kits are a good start, these kits typically lack many items you’ll need for your family this summer.

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Partner Bill of Rights: Speaking to the Cycle of Abuse

In 1993, the World Health Bank estimated that domestic violence, or intimate partner violence (IPV), was a greater cause of poor health than traffic accidents and malaria combined1.  It was believed that 5-20% of healthy years lost for women were attributed to IPV2.  By definition, violence is considered to be any physical, verbal, or sexual assault that significantly comprises a person’s body, trust, and sense of self2.  But it is not solely a female issue even as women are disproportionately perpetrated against in this way.

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Better births, healtheir babies: Delayed cord clamping made easy

Waiting just 1-2 minutes after birth before cutting your baby’s umbilical cord can protect her from anemia, yet most obstetricians don’t do it.  I know why—I’m a hospital based pediatrician and I attend deliveries regularly.  Practicing “delayed cord clamping,” as this procedure is called, means that the OB has to hold the crying, wet, squirming baby down at the level of the mother’s vagina for 1-2 minutes, letting gravity pull the blood from the placenta into the baby’s tiny body.  It can seem like an eternity.  At that serene moment when the baby is finally out, all the mom wants i

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The Value of Our Efforts

On the morning of April 12th, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean.  He filled up two water bottles.  One he hoped to dump into the Pacific Ocean at the end of his journey.  One he hoped to keep as a souvenir.  Three years earlier, his left leg had been amputated after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his knee.  He had undergone months and months of painful chemotherapy, and had become begrudged that little was being done in his country to address the real problem of cancer.  So he set out, in his unusual hop-step gait, to run a marathon a day across Canada until

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10 tricks to avoid allergies this spring

My Daffodils are blooming, which means it’s allergy time in the pediatric ER.  The nicer the day, and the more kids spend outside, the busier I get.  Allergies are much more than runny noses and watery eyes.  What really sends kids to the ER are complications from allergies, such as coughs that turn into pneumonia, sniffles that turn into sinus and ear infections, and severe eye allergies that make the white of the eye puff out. 

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Beyond time-outs: No-yell, no-spank discipline


I got this email from a colleague: “My son laughs in my face when I put him in time out.  If you don’t spank, and you don’t yell, what do you do?”

I’ve been there and had the exact same thought.  For a long time I looked for a simple, formulaic answer to this problem.  If child does X behavior, then punishment should be Y.  But it’s just not that easy.

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More Parenting, Less Yelling: How to Calm the Storm

Parents have taken to heart the research that shows spanking leads to more aggressive behaviors.  But instead of spanking, most parents yell at our kids.  Yes, I yell at my kids.  I don’t like it, but I do.  Kay Quinn of KSDK News Channel 5 invited me to talk about it:

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