Catholic Pediatrics Blog

You’re piercing what? Medical complications of cartilage and ear piercing

with earringsIt was almost midnight when 14-year-old Kyla came to the emergency room with her mom and two friends– but they knew that infected ear cartilage could not wait until the morning.  Cartilage infections spread rapidly and can cause permanent disfigurement to the ear.  Her ear didn’t even look too bad– just a little red and sore where she had pierced

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How long can a baby go without pooping?

diaper2“Is 18 days too long to go without pooping?” a mom of a 3-month-old asked.  Believe it or not, yes, sometimes this is okay.  How long is too long for an infant to go without pooping?  The answer depends on age and diet, but most of the time babies that won’t poop are fine with little or no treatment.  Here’s why babies can go a long time between bowel movements,

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It’s What’s On the Inside that Counts: Why This Just Doesn’t Cut It

We have all said it. Or at least thought it at one time. Maybe it was in response to a brand new pair of thick-rimmed glasses that suddenly adorned a face of someone we loved. Maybe it was a statement of comfort to a person who was fifty pounds overweight, or whose face was covered in pimples. Or maybe, it was just intended to make someone who the world judges as unattractive feel better about themselves. Regardless, the statement or ones like it, usually come from a good place, with admirable intentions. Especially as parents, we find ourselves desiring that we live in a world where people aren’t judged, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by the color of their skin or the attractiveness of their body, but by the content of their character. The problem is, we are unknowingly sending the wrong message when only the “inside counts”, and ignoring just where we are.

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

DepressedAmerican 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:

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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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