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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.

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...

A year has passed since publication of the Pyrmula et al 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.

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?!

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.

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.

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.

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