From gas stations to grocery stores, slender cylinders of nicotine “e-juice” seem to be available everywhere. On my drive to work, in fact, 2 new e-cigarette shops have opened their doors in just the last 3 months. So I was not surprised to read a recent report suggesting a rise in the number of teens trying e-cigs. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine by heating nicotine-containing fluid into a vapor that is inhaled. ...

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color crayons “I’m so frustrated, Dr. Natasha. My 2-year-old son knows his letters and can count to 10, but he does not seem to know any colors. He just calls everything ‘blue’. Do you think he could be colorblind?” Parents often come to my office with the concern that their child is unable to correctly identify colors, even when these children have an impressive ...

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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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school-bus 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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ABC_baby_monitor_hacked_thg_130813_16x9_608 (1) 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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Lego-Friends-Heartlake-Stables 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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fresh-produce 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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