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Daily Dose


1:00 to read

I was seeing a newborn the other day and the parents had a great idea. Their baby had spit up and they were concerned about how to clear his airway.  When we discussed how to hold the baby to clear the airway they had the great idea of having a CPR “teaching party” for a group of their friends who also had young babies!


I do encourage new parents (actually all parents and even grandparents) to take a CPR class. I am fortunate that we have yearly CPR class in our office which keeps us all up to date. 


It is fairly easy to find local CPR classes either through the YMCA, the American Heart Association and often through the hospital where you deliver your baby.  But, in these cases you have to take the class on “their schedule”. What a great idea to host a party with your friends and hire a certified CPR instructor to come to you!!


You know I do like to “isolate” my newborn patients from crowds (for 6-8 weeks), but it is fun to gather with other parents of newborns to get some social interaction. If everyone brought their baby, and a dish for dinner, it could be a mini dinner party followed by CPR training….ending with wine!


So…let’s start planning CPR parties, I may even do one for my friends who are becoming grandparents!



Your Child

Protecting Your Child’s Skin in Winter


Between the cold weather outdoors and the dry heat indoors, your child’s skin can become dry, itchy and irritated.

Dry skin is a common problem in winter because as the humidity level drops and the air cools, the water in your skin evaporates more quickly. Babies and small children’s skin is very delicate and more susceptible to drying out.

As the temperatures drop outside, we naturally tend to spend more time indoors. This time, it’s the heat in the house that sucks the moisture out of the air. Dry indoor air not only dries out your skin, it also dries out your mucous membranes, leading to dry, chapped lips, dry noses (nosebleeds), and dry throat (hoarseness, sore throat).

There are several ways you can help combat these skin irritating scenarios.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. The general rule is the thicker the better. If your child's skin is still dry even with daily moisturizing, try switching from a lotion to a thicker cream or ointment. Ointments are best at keeping moisture in the skin, but they can feel greasy. Just use small amounts and gently rub it into the skin. Creams rub in without leaving a greasy feel on the skin.

You might also want to consider moisturizing twice a day – once after bathing and once during the day. If your child doesn't have the patience for a midday slather, you might let them listen to a favorite song or watch a video while you apply the moisturizer. Or, if he or she is old enough, let them do it by themselves, if that makes the routine more agreeable.

Make sure that your child is well hydrated. Dry skin lacks moisture. Offer your child plenty to drink year-round to replace the moisture that's evaporating from his or her skin. If your child is still a baby, stick with breast milk or formula for at least the first six months, unless his doctor advises otherwise.

Keep in mind that drinking a lot of water won't do anything if you don't moisturize as well. It's like pouring water into a bucket with a hole, says Seth Orlow, Director of pediatric dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.

Without moisturizer to hold in the water, your child's skin won't properly hydrate.

Trim back on bath time. Bathing dries a child's skin because it removes the skin's natural oils along with the dirt. Instead of a 30-minute bath, cut bath time down to about 10 minutes. Use warm water – not hot – and soap up sparingly. In fact, Orlow suggests using a fragrance-free, soap-free cleanser, which is much less harsh than regular soap.

Once you take your child out of the bath, quickly pat him dry with a towel, and then apply moisturizer immediately. Applying the moisturizer within minutes of taking your child out of the tub will seal in the water that's still in his skin from the bath.

To help with the dry air inside the home, make sure that you run a humidifier during the night when your little one is sleeping. Humidifiers can help soothe dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips. They can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition.

When using a humidifier, make sure it is maintained properly and kept clean to avoid bacteria and mold. Find out what humidity levels are recommended by the manufacturer.

When outside, shield your child’s lip with thin layer of petroleum jelly or lip balm to create a barrier against the elements.

Protect against frostbite. Dress your baby in mittens and a hat or hood, and don't stay out too long. Extend the cover on your stroller to block the wind. If your baby's skin looks red, use a warm washcloth to restore circulation. This may take several applications over a period of time. Call your doctor if her skin color isn't normal in a couple hours.

Chapped skin, which gets ruddy, peels, and even cracked, usually strikes the face, bottom, or spots where skin rubs, like the folds at the wrists. "Chapped skin is basically dry skin that has become inflamed," says Peter Lio, MD, attending physician in dermatology at Children's Hospital Boston. Blame anything irritating: wind, friction from clothing, drool on the chin, a runny nose, or a wet diaper.

Spend as little time in the elements as possible, and bundle him up when you do go outside. Using a thick moisturizer such as Eucerin, Aquaphor, or petroleum jelly on your baby's cheeks (or other problem areas) will add to his natural barrier and help treat any skin that's already chapped.

It may be downright cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep your kids indoor 24/7. If you bundle your little one up in layers and cover their head, feet and hands, apply balms and preventative creams– they should be able to be outside for short periods – depending on the temperature and wind chill.

One other little fact that may surprise you, kids can get a heat rash if they become overheated from too many layers of clothing. Make sure to keep an eye on how they are doing and if you think they are getting overheated, have them come inside, rest a bit and remove some of the extra layers.

Story sources:

Wendy Toth and Rebecca Felsenthal,

Daily Dose

Bathing Your Baby

The end of summer baby “boom” is still going on and new parents are coming in with all sorts of questions…including how do I bathe my baby?  As many mothers and their babies are being discharged from the hospital after 24 hours, they really don’t have the opportunity to “practice” new parent skills, including giving their baby a bath.

Bathing your baby is really fun and is a good bonding experience for parent and child.  The bath also keeps your baby clean and smelling “sweet”.  I was convinced that it would also help them to relax and to sleep longer (not scientific at all - but it works for us right?).  At any rate, you can bathe your baby every day or every 2-3 days, or even once a week. It is really personal preference…but that wonderful “after bath smell” makes me smile.

Many people buy infant bath tubs and there are tons to choose from. I like the the “Puj Tub” or the “Tummy Tub” as you can easily put them in the kitchen sink (grandparent friendly), but you want to make sure that there are no sharp edges or places where a baby might get bumped or injured when you put the tub in the sink.  Some people use a folding tub (be careful not to pinch the baby) or inflatable tub  these may collapse), because they are easier to store if you have limited space.

The number one rule for a bath - NEVER leave your baby alone in the tub, not even when they can start sitting up. A baby may drown in an inch or two of water…so never even turn around to check your phone or check an email.  You should also make sure that the water temperature is correct and every new parent should check the hot water heater and lower the temperature to 120 degrees F, so prevent burns. Regardless, always check the water temperature before you put the baby into the tub.

I am also a fan of using mild soaps..including Cetaphil, Cerave, Aveeno, and Aquaphor  baby wash. If your child tends to have sensitive skin it is best to avoid fragrances and harsh chemicals.  I also like to moisturize the infant after a bath with baby lotions from these same companies. New data is showing that frequent moisturizing (twice a day) may also be important in preventing allergies later in life…. so why not enjoy some baby massage…and keep watching for more information on this issue.



Daily Dose

Flu Vaccine

1:30 to read

Even though the temperatures are topping out in the high 90’s around many parts of the country, it is still the time of year that pediatric offices are just receiving their flu vaccines for the 2017-2018 season.  Our office received our first shipments about 10 days ago and we have already started immunizing. This includes “my” precious 6 month old babies - all the way through to my college patients. 


There are 2 questions on parents and their kids minds:


#1 Is it too early to get a flu vaccine?

#2 Is there “flu-mist” available this year? 


I bet you can guess who is asking question #1 and who wants to know about question #2.


So here you go:


#1  It is NOT too early to start getting your flu vaccine. Once you receive the vaccine it takes several weeks to develop antibody levels and these antibodies have been shown to last throughout the flu season. Flu season is also temperamental….in that it sometimes decides to arrive sooner than is typical- which means you want to be prepared in case of an early influenza season. So, if you are in your pediatrician’s office, go ahead and opt in for the vaccine…and then you save yourself a trip back later in flu season…and in many cases another co-payment!


#2  Sorry kids and parents (and doctors too), there is not going to be a nasal mist influenza vaccine again this year.  The studies of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist) from the 2015-2016 flu season found that FluMist was only 5% effective in children ages 2-17, compared with 60% effectiveness for the inactivated (shot) flu vaccine.  While no one wants tears - pediatricians do want to give a vaccine that has been found to work - which means a shot.


Just to clarify…as parents often ask…”if the flu vaccine is not always 92-99% effective like our routine childhood vaccines, why should we get a shot?”.  My short answer, “would you buy a lottery ticket if you had a 60% chance of winning, rather than .000000001% chance?”. If you don’t get a flu vaccine it is guaranteed that you didn’t get any flu protection…I would rather go with the odds of it working (and winning the lottery which I would buy a ticket for with better odds).  We also have data that shows that those children who received flu vaccine had less chance of complications and hospitalization than those who were not vaccinated. 


Start scheduling your family's flu vaccine today.










Daily Dose

Baby Naming in the Hospital

1:15 to read

An interesting article was published this week in Pediatrics. If you have had a baby or visited the newborn nursery you typically see that a newborn is named “Babygirl or Babyboy Smith” on their crib and chart.  These are the temporary names given until the baby is named and the birth certificate is filled out. Well, it seems that these temporary names can cause quite a bit of confusion and may also contribute to medical errors, especially when there are babies with the same last name.   

These temporary names are even more problematic when a newborn is admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which was the case for my grand daughter last summer. While there may be few orders in the regular newborn nursery which are used for every baby, in the NICU each baby has many different orders and issues.  

A study was done looking at ways to cut down on medical errors in orders written in the NICU by using more distinct temporary names for newborns. In the study they incorporated using a mother’s first name into the newborn’s first name (for example, Susansgirl Smith). By changing the manner in which temporary names were used there was a 36% reduction in orders being placed in the wrong chart and then having to be retracted.

So, the next time you head to the NICU or newborn nursery for a visit you may soon notice a difference in the way temporary names are used. I can see how this would really make a difference as we often have several newborns in the nursery with the same last names and it can be confusing, even when the chart is labelled “name alert”. I like this idea and I would think it would be easy to implement this change without needing a lot of new training or computer programs.  We will all just get used to seeing longer temporary names on those baby cribs!


Memorial Day Safety Tips


Memorial Day is often referred to as the “unofficial” start of summer and is one of the busiest days for family get-togethers.

It’s a wonderful day to share memories and do all the fun things that warmer weather and longer daylight hours offer.

The American College of Emergency has a list of safety tips to help make sure your Memorial Day isn’t interrupted by a trip to the ER.

“Fun in the sun, by the pool, on a boat or at a barbecue can quickly send you to the emergency department if you don’t plan ahead or use common safety sense,” said Dr. David Seaberg with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “You can have fun while at the same time take reasonable precautions to help keep you safe and most importantly, keep you alive.” 

Food Safety — Judging by what I’ve seen recently in the grocery checkout lanes, food is going to play a big role in family get-togethers this Memorial day!

Refrigerate all perishable food within 2 hours, 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods. 
To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees.

Grill Safety — A lot of that food will be cooked on a grill. Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Before cranking up the grill, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors that can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a any grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport or porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the grill. If using lighter fluid to start a fire, do not over-saturate the coals or wood., and stand back from the grill to light it.

Water Safety — Many families and friends will be at the pool, lake or beach this holiday, participating in water activities. To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don't swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in case of an emergency. 

Sun Safety — Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get into a cool place immediately. 

Travel Safety – Memorial Day is one of the busiest holiday travel days by car. One of the most obvious safety tips is never drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Take along a traveler first aid kit to help you be prepared for common emergencies. Wear your seatbelt and make sure your children are buckled up or in their car seats at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is. Also, avoid talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. You can always text or return calls after you get where you are going or pull off the road and park, if you need to reply immediately.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and be sure to take a few minutes to think about the true meaning of the holiday. A day to honor those that have given their lives in service to our country.

Story source:





December Holiday Celebrations!


For kids and adults, the most popular December holiday in the U.S. has to be Christmas! But did you know that there are other religious and secular holidays celebrated this time of year as well?

Teaching your children about other traditions can broaden their understanding about additional cultures and beliefs during the most celebrated month of the year!

While the day may change, the date never does for Christmas. It always falls on December 25th. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. No one knows the exact date of Christ's birth but in the 4th Century, Pope Julius I, chose December 25th as the day of celebration. For Christians, Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. It's a holiday that's celebrated in a variety of ways not inly in the United States but around the planet. While many lament the commercialism of the Christmas holiday, its’ true meaning continues to inspire people, young and old.

Hanukkah, which is the Hebrew word for dedication, honors the victory of the Jews over the Greek Syrians in 165 BC. The Greek Syrians denied them the right to freely practice Judaism and had demanded that the Jews instead pray to Greek gods. After their victory, the Maccabees, sons of the family that led the revolt, entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to the service of their God. When the Maccabees entered the temple, they found only enough lamp oil to last one night, but the oil somehow managed to burn for the whole eight days it took to go in search for more oil. Therefore, Hanukkah is observed over eight days.

Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. Although some people believe this holiday is a substitute for Christmas, it is not a religious holiday. It is celebrated every year on December 26th. Kwanzaa, which means "first fruit of the harvest" in Swahili, is a time to focus on the traditional African values of family. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green. Black represents the color of the people, Green represents the fertile land of Africa and Red represents blood shed in the struggle for freedom. Kwanzaa was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to celebrate and honor African culture and to also inspire African-Americans.

The Winter Solstice is the beginning of winter. It is also the day with the shortest amount of daylight. Because of the earth's tilt, the Northern Hemisphere is as far away from the sun as it can be. Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures around the world over for thousands of years.

Did you know there is a holiday called Boxing Day? It’s celebrated on December 26th and it’s not about stepping into the ring and duking it out. The first Boxing Day is believed to have started in the Middle Ages, This is just a guess because the exact date isn't known. How Boxing Day started is a question as well. Some say it started with the giving of Christmas boxes, while others think it was named after the tradition of opening charity boxes placed in churches during the Christmas season. Boxing Day is typically celebrated in Canada and some European countries.

New Year’s Eve is the oldest known of all celebrated holidays. It was first observed in Ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23rd, although they had no written calendar. It wasn't until 153 BC that the Roman senate declared January 1st to be the beginning of the New Year.

No matter which holiday you celebrate, we hope it’s a wonderful time filled with love, family and friends!

Story source:



Should You Take the Kids "Black Friday" Shopping?


The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It’s come to be known as “Black Friday;” a day where deals can definitely be found.

In some places, it has become more like a scene from the movie “Fight Club” than a shopping spree. There seems to have developed a need so great for the cheapest electronics and clothes that people are willing to fight, push and steal from each other to get them.

So, should you take your kids with you if you’re planning on doing a little shopping on this unruly day?  The short answer is no. However, if you find yourself in a situation that it’s either the kids go, or there is no holiday shopping to be had, then do some planning ahead of time to prepare.

If there is anyway possible to avoid taking a newborn into a crowd of grabbing hands, shoving elbows and long lines – not to mention the germs- please do it.  Newborns will be the most vulnerable and will demand all of your attention. If you do take a baby with you, make sure you have a partner who can help with your baby’s care and safety.

In an article on The Penny Hoarder, author Nicole Dieker, reached out to Rosemarie Groner, a mother of two and owner of the Busy Budgeter blog, for tips on how to successfully navigate Black Friday with the kids.

Groner shares her thoughts and suggestions on the topic.

Though not typically recommended, this may be the day when giving your little one unlimited screen time on a tablet or cell phone is warranted. An all-day shopping trip becomes more fun for the kids when there is a digital distraction to keep them occupied.

It’s also a good idea to pack small toys to keep kids entertained, and Groner suggests packing special toys that kids don’t usually get to play with. 

It’s also possible to buy new toys to increase the delight/distraction factor – just make sure the new ones are within your budget.

Packing your kids’ favorite snacks is another great way to delight and distract. The kids get their favorite goodies — and yes, this is the time to pull out those special-occasion treats — and you also save money by not having to buy snacks at the food court. 

“Packing a cooler full of drinks, sandwiches and portable snacks like Go-Gurt, trail mix and chips can help you avoid the high cost of eating out,” Groner explained. It’ll also help you keep the kids happy, fed and hydrated so you can keep shopping. A small roll around cart is essential for keeping everything you’ll need portable.

What about those famous Door-busters? Should you tackle those? Many stores have moved the open door time for these super-shopping events to Midnight or 1:00 AM. Some people even camp out in front of the store hoping they will be the first ones through the doors.

Groner suggests you skip it. “Unless I could save several hundred dollars on something I would have bought anyway, I would skip the frustrations involved in that. I can’t think of anything that I could get to make camping outside of a store with kids overnight worth it.” If you feel left out on great deals – look for the same items online on Cyber Monday. Shop in your pajamas with a cup of coffee, from your own home instead!

If Black Friday shopping is still calling your name, shop in teams. If you’ve got another parent, relative or friend available to shop with you, use the power of teamwork.

“It’s a great idea to team up with another adult,” Groner said. “That would give you both a chance to break away for a few minutes kid-free to grab something while the other handles the kids.”

With two adults, you also have someone available to take kids to the bathroom, sit with them as they eat a snack and help entertain them when they get bored.

If you have a small child, consider using a well-made child harness to make sure your little one doesn’t disappear in the crowd.

Black Friday shopping has become a sport for those who are free to move about easily, have plenty of stamina and little distraction. If you’re the parent of small kids, online shopping may be just the ticket for your holiday gifts.

Story source: Nicole Dieker,


Daily Dose

Parenting is Hard Work!

1:30 to read

Being a mom (as well as a dad) is one of the hardest jobs in the world....and as many a person has pointed out, it pays a lot less than minimum wage.  But, it is also the best job in the world.

I have the privilege of seeing a lot of mothers everyday. From the time they come in with their brand new infant until their children have graduated from college....mothers worry about the “job” they are doing.  For a new mother who is already hearing that voice in her head...”am I doing this right?”, 

it is very reassuring for her to hear me say, “you can’t mess this up yet!” Your baby loves you unconditionally, just like you do them.

But as your child gets older it takes a great deal of self-esteem to sometimes feel as if you are “doing it right”.  Children of all ages can sometimes bring us to our can a small child know just the right thing to say, and that teenager...well, enough said.So, I like to tell them my own stories about raising children and my days of feeling like a failure, or at the least an inadequate mother....especially as your children point this out to you.

When my oldest and very verbal son was about 6, he was riding in the front seat with me (crazy huh) and I stopped the car in front of our neighbor’s house where our 4 year old son was heading to play. I rolled down the window to give the 4 year old some instructions when the eldest son leaned over and started telling his younger brother what to do. So. in my best “mommy voice” I tell the 6 year old that I am the mother and will handle this, to which he doesn’t miss a beat and responds ”if you were doing a better job of being a mommy I wouldn’t have to help you!”  Enough said.

It takes a lot of self esteem and true grit to be a mom. Hang in there.  We all have those days when we know we are doing our best and our kids disagree. 


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Potty training can be tricky.

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