If you’re like most parents, you want your kids to be healthy. And if your kids are like most kids, that isn’t always the case. The most frequent illness of childhood is the common cold, and children -- especially those in daycare -- can get several of these infections per year. While cold viruses rarely result in significant complications, they certainly cause their share of discomfort, lost sleep, ...

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Wow. For those who think MOC isn’t a big deal, my open letter to the American Board of Pediatrics just hit 70,000 views.  That’s stunning. For those commending my bravery,  realize efforts like this are not done in isolation. I am not alone. I have the most amazing partners. I can’t even express how blessed I am to work with the ten doctors in our private practice. Not only do we share ...

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(The following story was told to me by a friend; details have been changed to protect privacy.) An early winter snowstorm left Janet with an unexpected whole day alone with her 17-year-old daughter Ally. As was typical for the pair, they spent the morning in comfortable separateness. Janet took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on paperwork, while Ally stayed in her room working on college applications. In Janet's view ...

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I have a new hero. Her name is Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan. She grew up in a suburb of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan before attending medical school at Michigan State University. During her clinical years (the 3rd and 4th years of medical school), she spent many months at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, which serves as a clinical ...

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It happens each time one of my children enters the teenage years (sometimes a little bit before). I go from having a lovely child and feeling like a reasonably pleasant parent to having a moody houseguest and becoming a shrew. You'd think, having gone through this now four times, that I'd figure out how to avoid it. Or that I'd expect it. Or not let it bother me so much. Nope. ...

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Without a doubt, parenting is simultaneously the most rewarding and difficult job we have as adults. As a child psychiatrist and mom, I am always asked if I find it easier to parent given my profession. I always respond by saying, "I was the perfect parent until I had children!" I am also universally asked about how to raise happy children. I always pause before I attempt to answer this question. ...

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Fever phobia is common among parents. The vast majority of the time, these fears are unfounded, because a fever is very rarely a cause for significant concern. One important exception is in newborns under 2 months of age. Compared to older children, these very young infants are at high risk for serious infections, so any fever in this age group requires urgent medical evaluation. Here’s what parents needs to know ...

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Dear American Board of Pediatrics: On December 17 2015, at 3:01 in the middle of my busy day seeing patients, I voluntarily gave up my American Board of Pediatrics certification. I thought I should write this letter, hopefully preempting any more threatening emails warning me that I must pay up or lose my certification. This was not mere oversight on my part. This was purposeful. The reason I am no longer ABP ...

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I was recently scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came upon a long message chain started by one of my friends, an older woman from my hometown in New Jersey. She had seen a discussion given by a drug representative who was promoting administering Gardasil to early adolescents for the prevention of cervical cancer, and my friend wanted to know how other parents felt about allowing their children to ...

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When my twin sons were born prematurely at 26 weeks’ gestation, my family’s lives were thrust into the whirlwind of the NICU and living daily with the reality of the babies (William and Elliott) being on life support. Having had no prior intense and prolonged experiences with the hospital, and watching helplessly and fretfully as my tiny two-pounders fought for their lives, it’s almost impossible to put into language what ...

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