Catholic Pediatrics Blog

A shot for the common good – It’s not just YOUR child’s life that depends on it

Two US Universities are in the middle of meningitis B outbreaks, a rare strain not prevented by the meningitis A vaccine that is routinely given to pre-teens.  As of December 4th, the CDC has confirmed eight cases of meningitis at Princeton University and four cases at The University of California Santa Barbara.  More than 4,000 Princeton students lined up to get a vaccine against Meningitis B that is not yet licensed for general use in the US, although it is available in Europe, Canada, and Australia.  In an aggressive move to prevent the spread of the bacteria, the CDC w

(Read more...) about @title

Five tricks to a peaceful home – with kids

It’s hard to say my home is peaceful—we have five kids ages 9, 7, 4, 2, and 2 months.  But 2 years ago we made intentional changes in our parenting that have brought peaceful moments to our daily life—kids working, cooking, and playing together without that screaming, jealousy and sibling rivalry that used to plague all our time together.  Changing our parenting was very hard– our unexpected switch to homeschooling really forced my husband and I to get on the same page with our parenting techniques, and be very intentional about our parenting choices.  But homeschooling or not, every family

(Read more...) about @title

The teen drug I REALLY hate

A 15-year-old stumbled into my ER at 2 am, barely conscious, supported by his terrified mother.  He was out with friends, dropped off at home, seemed tired and went to bed.  The mom of one of his friends just called, and her son is in another ER unconscious, poisoned by something someone allegedly slipped into his drink.  “They must have done the same thing to him,” my patient’s mother tells me.

(Read more...) about @title

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:

(Read more...) about @title

The 20 Worst Holiday Gifts for Kids

Here are this year’s worst gifts to buy for kids—those toys likely to conveniently disappear within a few months (or minutes!) of opening.  Thanks to all the moms on Twitter and Facebook who sent in ideas for this post.  It’s a dirty job to take a gift away from a kid, especially when they’ve just opened it.  So let’s avoid the pain this year.  Feel free to share with your relatives so that your holidays will be merry and bright!  And please, add your suggestions (and horror stories) of gifts that didn’t work out in the comments section below.

(Read more...) about @title

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.

(Read more...) about @title

Killer cramps are NOT normal

“It’s just part of being a woman,” my patient’s grandmother told her, “the curse of Eve.”  My patient looked down as she told her story of menstrual pain and bleeding so heavy that she ruined her clothes and had to stay home from school.

No.  It’s not normal.

(Read more...) about @title

Cord Blood Banking – Why I changed my mind

Cord blood banking vs. donation—what to do with those stem cells

I changed my mind about cord blood and cord tissue banking.  Here’s why.

(Read more...) about @title

Do you drink at your kids sporting events?

The dad sitting next to me at my daughter’s soccer game was drinking bourbon and coke.  Another dad had at least 3 beers—during the one-hour game.  Our team won.  We were all excited and rowdy.  And then we drove our kids home.

How much is too much to drink at a child’s sporting event?  I get it—we’re all tired and it’s been a long week and we finally get to sit in the cool sunshine and relax, for one hour.  Our kids’ sports events pretty much become our social life, too.  A drink sounds like a good plan.

(Read more...) about @title

Is Online Privacy for Kids a Lost Cause?

lady with laptop

The average American teen has 300 Facebook “friends” according to new data out this week from the PEW Internet and American Life Project , yet only 60% set their Facebook profiles to private (friends only).  53% post their email addresses and 20% post their cell phone numbers.   Is there such thing as a private life for our next generation? 

(Read more...) about @title