Children's Health Matters
Vaccine controversies, parents who demand antibiotics, infant sleep strategies, talking with teens. . . . If you don't shy away from the tough issues in pediatrics, we invite you to join the conversation.
About Our Blogger
Linda S. Nield, MD, is an associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown and a member of CONSULTANT FOR PEDIATRICIANS’ editorial board. Dr Nield also works in the pediatric clinic at University Health Associates’ Pediatric and Adolescent Group Practice. She and her husband have 2 children of their own (Olivia, age 12, and Timmy, age 10).
Blog: Children's Health Matters
Making a Better Place to Live For Children With Autism
April 12, 2011
West Virginia (the state in which I practice) was not one of the 10 best places to live if you have autism, according to this year’s survey from Autism Speaks. Although thanks to a piece of legislation enacted this month, it is now a better place to live if you have autism. Your state can become better too.
Antibullying Efforts: What You Can Do
March 16, 2011
In a conference last week, President Obama announced a new Web site http://stopbullying.gov to help raise awareness about the issue. This is part of an effort to encourage cooperation between government agencies and educators to protect children from bullying based on race, ethnicity, disability, or sexuality. Are you an advocate for prevention? Share your antibullying efforts with colleagues.
Cartoons and Cigarettes: A Careless Combination
March 15, 2011
Cigarettes don’t belong in children’s cartoons, nor does violence or sexual innuendos. Other story features such as revenge and traumatic deaths are not so child-friendly; however, they often make an appearance in kid flicks. How effective would an “R” rating be at preventing references to smoking in movies meant for young audiences?
Healthy Heart From the Start
February 15, 2011
It is midwinter. I’m tired of the cold weather and the white stuff falling from the sky. Lately, I’ve been thinking about another type of white stuff that often gets a bad rap—white rice and white foods in general. Rice cereal has a special significance for pediatric health care providers because it is typically the first solid food that is recommended for the 4 to 6 month old. Recently, I read about a pediatrician who is encouraging the use of brown rice cereal or a homemade brown rice mash or vegetable puree.
Aberrant Predisposition Not Political Rhetoric to Blame for Tucson Tragedy
January 14, 2011
The recent murders in Arizona are horrific. That a 9-year-old girl was one of the victims magnifies the horror even more. Of course, it is natural to seek explanations for why someone would lash out like this. However, when rationalizing random acts of violence, it is important to consider the path leading up to the tragic event and be wary of current opinions propagated in the media.
Child Maltreatment Study Findings—Not Surprising
December 8, 2010
It is quite frustrating for all of us as children’s advocates to see little change in a high-risk family’s situation, despite the provision of available resources. Most pediatric health care providers and Child Protective Services (CPS) professionals would probably be able to share some uplifting accounts of families improving. However, I assume they could recall many more instances in which nothing seemed to change...
No More Antipyretics Before Vaccines
November 10, 2010
A year has passed since publication of the Pyrmula et al1 study, which concluded that prophylactic antipyretics before vaccination should not be routine. The researchers came to this conclusion because they found reduced antibody responses to several vaccine antigens in children who received antipyretics, even though the vast majority of children studied (those given antipyretics and those not given antipyretics) had antibody titers well within the protective ranges.
Note to Return to School: Do You Sign It?
September 28, 2010
School has been back in session for less than a month, and our office has already had parents come in or call for the “golden ticket” that allows a child to return to school after an illness—the doctor’s note. Often parents want us to write something to the effect that “Johnny is no longer contagious….” Can we ever truly say that about anyone?!
Dealing With Difficult Parents
July 26, 2010
For the past several years, I’ve listed “difficult parents” on my department’s conference evaluation form as my answer to the question, “What do you consider to be the single biggest problem that you face in your practice?” At times, I have to admit that difficult parents have made me dread my decision to become a pediatrician.
Words of Wisdom for New Residents
June 22, 2010
Thoughts of my summer vacation are on the back burner now as I prepare to welcome the incoming pediatric residents. July 1st has a special meaning to all of us who have survived the grind of an internship. Fear was probably my main emotion at the start of my residency, while I’m sure for others it was excitement and anticipation. On July 8, I have to give a talk to the newcomers at our institution.
Whether to Pull Kids From School for a Family Vacation
June 2, 2010
I’ve just committed my family to a 5-day July vacation to Orlando so we can visit a new amusement park dedicated to Harry Potter. The famous series of books about the teenage wizard has really sparked the love of reading in many children, including mine. My kids are really excited about seeing Hogwarts come to life, but my husband is not so thrilled about being in the potentially sweltering heat of Florida in the middle of the summer.
FROM PHYSICIANS PRACTICE
How Physicians Can Manage Unexpected Free Time Jennifer Frank, MD,
October 22, 2013
Whether you have an unexpected patient no-show, or two hours before bed, figuring out how to spend spurts of free time can be a work-life balance stressor.