Catholic Pediatrics Blog

Dry Drowning: What Every Parent Needs to Know

It’s not often that I beg parents to bring their kids into the ER, but that’s exactly what I did when I heard about a child with a dry-drowning episode.  He knew how to swim but he inhaled some pool water by accident.  He coughed a bit, but a few minutes later was back in the pool.  The child looked fine, the parents reassured me.  It was bedtime, and everyone was tired after a long day in the sun at the pool.  “We’ll let him sleep, and if he’s having any issues in the morning we’ll take him into his pediatrician,”the father told me.

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The Double Helix of Faith and Family

Over sixty years ago, in a small laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, Harry Harlow devised a series of groundbreaking and controversial studies.  Using infant macaque monkeys, Harlow was interested in examining early attachment in order to test theories posited by John Bowlby and others about the importance of love and maternal interaction.  He and his students created two “surrogate mothers.”  One was simply made of wire mesh while the other was covered in cloth.  Over a number of experiments, they examined the monkeys’ reactions when fear-evoking stimuli were introduced, and

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2014 Hot Car Deaths – How does this happen?

In the last two months five American children have died of hyperthermia in hot cars.  They ranged in age from 9-months to 2 –years-old.  Two were toddlers who climbed into unlocked parked cars and couldn’t get out.  One 2-year old was “playing” in the parked car for about 15-30 minutes before she was found dead from hyperthermia.  A family member was supposedly watching her while her mother changed her twin’s diaper.  Two had parents who went to work, forgot to drop children at childcar

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Tired teens: could it be narcolepsy or depression?

A teen I know was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy—but only after almost a year of, inaccurate diagnoses, missed school, anger, frustration, and much pain. 

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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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