Catholic Pediatrics Blog

Safe sleep for babies – let’s make it law!

Missouri lawmakers are trying to protect infants in daycare centers by mandating that licensed daycare providers use safe sleep practices in accordance with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  State Rep.

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The Measles – A Reality Check for Parents

Measles is back in the United States, and the population at greatest risk is our babies.  Infants under one year are not old enough to have had their first MMR vaccine, so essentially all American infants are at risk for measles.  Measles is highly contagious.  Although most people who have measles recover uneventfully, it can cause permanent brain damage and death.  What does this mean for parents?  Can you take your baby to the grocery store?  What about daycare?  Should your baby be vaccinated early?

It’s time for a healthy reality check here.

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Weighted Blankets – Avoid a Tragic Mistake

Seven-month-old Owen was found dead in his crib, under the weighted blanket his daycare providers hoped would help soothe him.  Owen fought sleep at daycare, and he had just learned to roll from his back to his belly.  His daycare provider put a weighted blanket over his buttocks and legs, hoping the flax-seed-filled blanket would help him sleep more soundly.  Although she noticed he had rolled onto his belly, she didn’t flip him back over.  She also used a white-noise machine intended to improve i

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Top 15 apps and web sites for kids, 2015 edition

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that kids should not have more than 2 hours per day of “recreational” screen time, a recommendation that has opened a vehement debate among scholars and parents alike.  What is “recreational” screen time?  Does a geography iPad game count?  How about PBS kids, which includes some educational games but also videos of television shows?  There is no easy way for parents to regulate screen time, either.  What do you do when your child is over their time limit and doesn’t want to get off the screen?  What if they start off on an educational website and the

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US Birth Rate Declines for 6th Consecutive Year: Have we forgotten that children are good for America?

The US birth rate fell to another record low in 2013, marking six straight years of decline in the number of births in America. Experts blame the poor economy, figuring young adults are putting off childbearing until their finances become more stable. Although there may be some truth in this, there is another reality no one is talking about-- lots of young Americans don’t really want to raise a bunch of kids.

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Teaching an Attitude of Gratitude: 12 Tips for Thankful Kids

Tired of bickering, jealousy, and selfishness?  Kids are naturally materialistic and self-serving– but the good news is that gratitude can be taught.  And from gratitude flows joy.  Here are 12 tricks for teaching children gratitude and creating a more joyful home:

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Begin the year with an attitude of gratitude: 12 tips to teach your kids

HeadachesTired of bickering, jealousy, and selfishness?  Kids are naturally materialistic and self-serving– but the good news is that gratitude can be taught.  And from gratitude flows joy.  Here are 12 tricks for teaching children gratitude and creating a more joyful home:

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Embracing the Four Dimensions of Our Being

I awoke to a flickering light. As I sat up, I thought for a moment I had left my head lamp on. But as I listened to the varied sounds of breathing around me, I discerned that the light was coming from the campfire that had stubbornly refused to go out. I stepped out of the tent into the breeze of a perfectly cool night. The stars brilliantly looked down upon me. As I made my way to the bathroom across the gravel road, there was only silence. The day before, Steve and I had taken our four oldest kids for a wilderness adventure. We had hiked up hills together, prayed over meals, and watched them as they joyfully scrambled over rocks and hopped through creek beds. Laughter was never far away.

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Thinking Through the Immersion Dilemma: What if My Teen’s Life is Governed by Media & Technology?

Over the past couple of years, I have spoken and written much about issues related to our youth’s use of media and technology. In addition to this series, further reading is also available in the 2013 January and September edition of Just Thinking. As part of these series, I briefly addressed the question many parents have: What should I do if my teens (or even kids) are immersed in technology in ways that I worry have become unhealthy and intrusive?

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Where’s the village? Children and families need kindness, not criticism

There is something about children that gives everyone a license to hand out unsolicited advice to parents.  I’ve heard it all:

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