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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A couple of years ago, I took care of a 12-month-old boy with a cough. He had been seen by three other doctors over the last two days. Initially, he was seen by his pediatrician, who told his mother that it was “just a virus” and that his symptoms would go away on their own. Unsatisfied with this answer, she left the pediatrician’s office and drove immediately to an urgent ...

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On June 30, 2015, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277 (SB277), which tightened requirements so that parents could no longer opt out of vaccinating their children if they were attending state licensed schools, daycares, and nurseries. Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, sponsored the legislation, which quickly became a nationwide litmus test on the debate over personal liberty versus public health in the aftermath of the large, ...

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