A concussion is a brain injury. A mild one, yes, but one that can lead to longstanding symptoms. What you do after a concussion, immediately and in the weeks that follow, can make a big difference in how your child recovers. Though it’s a mild injury -- there’s nothing to see on a CT, X-ray, or MRI -- the effects of a concussion can be significant and uncomfortable for a child ...

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William Osler once said, “Listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.”  Anybody who practices medicine knows that is easier said than done. The ability to take a skillful history takes years to develop. There are many nuances in a medical history and physicians must know the right questions to ask. The next step is to avoid asking the wrong questions and the wrong wording of the right ...

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One evening this past week, after my wife finished feeding our 5-week-old daughter, I took over baby duty. I sat her up on my lap and gave her a few thumps on the back. Not hard enough to hurt, obviously, but just to make her burp. She didn’t burp. So I gave her a couple more gentle-but-firm whacks, still without a result. And then I remembered the phone call I got a ...

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On the eve of President Trump signing an executive order on immigration, I lay here awake, silently screaming for the Syrian children. What will become of the hundreds of children I met recently at the Zaatari camp in Jordan whose hopeful eyes searched my own for answers? Unable to return home because of a war that has stretched more than 5 years, where will they go if we turn our ...

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Should school boards discontinue support for high school football? That’s the provocative title of a recent article in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The background to this controversy is the increasing recognition that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a severe and debilitating brain problem first identified in former professional football players, can have its beginnings in college or even high school football ...

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Bringing a child into the world is nothing short of a miracle. It’s not comforting to think about, but even if you do everything “right,” there can always be circumstances beyond your control. Whether you have been told to plan for a stay in the NICU or it’s unexpected, here are survival tips from nurses for orienting yourself to the NICU. 1. Try to see your baby as soon as possible. It ...

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I spent many sleepless nights in the months after my son’s autism diagnosis fretting whether I could have done something to prevent it. I recounted, in obsessive detail, the course of my pregnancy, the birth, and the two years of child-rearing that led to the moment when our pediatrician confirmed my fears -- and life as I’d known it tilted off its axis. In my spare waking hours, I pored ...

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It is clear that the anti-vaccine movement is born out of concern for children and their well-being, and I sympathize with the fear and uncertainty of parents. I do not, however, sympathize with President Trump’s decision to meet with the out-spoken vaccine critic Mr. Robert. F. Kennedy Jr., or his reported decision to have Mr. Kennedy chair a commission investigating the safety and efficacy of vaccines. It is not merely ...

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Coughing is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to see me. And I can understand why. Coughing is noisy and uncomfortable and gets kids dirty looks in schools and subways. Even worse, coughing keeps kids and their parents awake. We’ve all been there, and no one likes to cough. But coughing is there, usually, for a reason. Almost all coughs are from upper respiratory infections (that’s fancy ...

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During this recent emotional and divisive election cycle, much ink was devoted to analyzing the brave new political world we now live in, a world in which just about anyone with an audience and a platform can issue statements that are accepted as fact by millions of people, often in the face of solid evidence to the contrary. I’m talking, of course, about the world of post-truth politics. Two ...

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