The teenage girl was in my office for a routine physical. As we were talking about healthy dietary habits and routine exercise, she blurted it out: “I make good choices, Dr. Natasha, I’m not like those girls who just want a bigger thigh gap.” “So, you guys are talking about thigh gaps now?” I asked with horrified curiosity. “Yeah, mainly the girls in volleyball or cheer. I mean, they have to show their gaps. But, ...

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Our hearts are heavy after learning about the loss of a talented high school athlete in our community. Recently, Andre Maloney died after suffering from a stroke caused by a blood clot in his brain. As the details are continuing to emerge, it is beginning to become clear that the stroke Andre suffered from was not a result of a traumatic hit on the field, nor a concussion event. Sadly, his ...

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Did your team win this weekend? I hope so. It is so exciting when your team gets to throw up a “W” after their first contest. It gives all the fans hope for a successful and exciting season. Fall also is a time to cheer for our annual opportunity to protect our families against a predictably unpredictable opponent: influenza. That’s right. It’s time to defend against the flu by getting an annual flu vaccine. This ...

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Should school buses have seat belts? Recently, parents all over the Kansas City area waited patiently for the news that the 6th graders were okay. Many were holding their breath. And those of us whose children ever step foot onto a school bus, thoughts came to our brains that we don’t like to talk about. The good news is that the kids were fine. Certainly shaken, but no critical ...

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How to prevent your baby monitor from getting hacked When I heard the news of an innocent child’s room getting infiltrated by a digital stranger, I was worried. Disgusted. Disturbed. Although reports about baby monitors getting hacked are certainly not new, the event in this little girl’s room seemed different somehow. More real and more personal. I know most of my families have monitoring systems in their children’s rooms. ...

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Do Lego Friends promote stereotypic gender roles? She spends hours with them. Literally hours. And, apparently she is not alone. Lego Friends have captured the heart of my daughter, as well as thousands of other school-aged girls across the country. In fact, the Lego Friends series has been a financial boom to the Lego corporation in just a few months. The Friends series is essentially pastel colored building ...

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There is little nutritional advantage to organic food In many of our local supermarkets, there is a section of organic produce in addition to produce that is traditionally farmed. For those of us selecting and preparing food for our families, we often wonder what items, if any, we should purchase with the organic label. When I shop, I typically choose traditionally farmed foods for my family’s meals. There are certain items ...

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I visited with 5 charming teenagers last week. Four of them had something in common: These teenagers are texting in the middle of the night, nearly every night. Texting in the middle of the night is not a new phenomenon. Over 2 years ago, reports on teenagers texting at night began to surface. One study concluded the average teenager sends 34 texts after lights out. ...

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During a routine office visit, I was discussing activities and extracurriculars with a bright 10-year old girl. She loved talking about her dance team, gymnastics, and her new hobby of horseback riding. Towards the end of our conversation, however, she said something that surprised me: “And, I am addicted to Pinterest.” I turned to her mother, who was also in the exam room, and asked, “Did you know she is on Pinterest? ...

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Ask your toddler to do the chores If you ask for a spoon in my house, you may expect to be directed towards a drawer of neatly nestled stacks of stainless. Instead, you will likely find this a tangled mess of silver and plastic in no apparent order. I used to be bothered by a such a disorganized silverware drawer, but that was years ago. I have let go of ...

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