I remember a warm September day at the playground 22 years ago. I was there with my 19-month-old daughter and newborn son. Zack was hungry, so I sat down on a bench to nurse him -- but every time I got him settled, Michaela ran away from me. Far away, out-of-view away (she was a quick little thing). The playground was fenced in, but there were lots of ways for ...

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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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I love being a pediatrician; there's nothing I would rather do. But sometimes I get frustrated by things that parents do -- or don't do. I'm not talking about things like being late (hey, I run late, it would be unfair to complain), or getting upset with the staff about waiting (hey, I'm going as fast as I can and what if it were your kid who needed more time?), or ...

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Tackling: in so many ways, it's what football is all about. Now, of course running, passing and scoring (and strategy) are important parts of football too. But it's tackling that stops the opponent. Without tackling, you can't play football. Or can you? A policy statement just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that we need to do some thinking about tackling and its impact -- literally -- on ...

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I did something really death-defying with my daughter this summer. I taught her to drive. Truly, teaching a teen to drive is scarier than just about anything else we do as a parent. It's scarier than giving birth, as there are usually skilled people around during labor who can take over if things go awry. It's way scarier than first days of school or first dates, scarier than most illnesses and injuries ...

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As a pediatrician, I get lots of questions from parents -- but sometimes I wish they would ask different ones. That's what check-ups are for, really: questions. Aside from questions about illnesses (obviously my purview, as a doctor), I get questions about just about every aspect of a child's life. The parents of babies and young children ask the most -- here are some of the most common: Should my baby's poop ...

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shutterstock_196751390 There's an awful lot we don't know about the effects of screen time on babies and toddlers -- which is too bad, as babies and toddlers get an awful lot of it these days. We don't know if watching TV or using tablets or smartphones will turn them into violent zombies, make them brilliant computer scientists, do something in between or do nothing ...

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shutterstock_245476813 The explosion of tech and screens into the lives of children is outrageously obvious to me as a pediatrician. Besides the fact that most kids and parents seem to be attached to a phone or tablet when I enter the exam room, when I ask questions about how kids spend their days (and nights), screens seem to be part of everything. You'd think ...

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Here's a question for you: Which causes more deaths, motor vehicle traffics accidents or firearms? I asked a bunch of people that question, including a bunch of doctors, and everyone said that motor vehicles did, by a lot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, 33,804 people died from motor vehicle traffic accidents -- and 33, 636 died from firearms. They kill the same number of ...

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shutterstock_220684471 When you send your kid to dance class, it's reasonable to think that not only are they learning how to dance, but that they are getting exercise. Most parents think that way; dance class certainly gets mentioned when I ask parents in my practice what their children do for exercise. Not so much, says a study just published in the ...

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shutterstock_59443372 The other day, a teen patient of mine told me she is pansexual. We were having the usual talk I have with teen patients, the one where I we talk about sex and sexuality and birth control and sexually transmitted infections. But over the past few years, that conversation often takes interesting turns when I ask about sexuality, like it did the ...

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The riots in Baltimore are all over the news. As a parent, it would seem like the best thing to say to your kids is that riots are bad, that violence isn't the way to solve anything. But that would be missing the point -- and missing an opportunity. Don't get me wrong; I don't think that riots are good or that violence is the way to solve things. But what is ...

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It happens every once in a while in my practice: Parents ask if we can delay or skip certain vaccines, or spread them out. According to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, I'm not alone -- in fact, 93 percent of pediatricians get asked the same thing. Now, it's important to point out that most families don't ask for this. Most families are fine with the current vaccine schedule -- ...

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shutterstock_126097835 When my older children were in elementary school, I sent in cupcakes for their birthdays or for class parties. My youngest is in elementary school now, and for his birthday, I sent in pencils and temporary tattoos for classmates -- because the school doesn't allow us to send in sweets anymore. When the change was first made, my reaction was: For real? Banning ...

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Cases of measles linked to an exposure at Disneyland continue to spread, not just in California, but in several other states and in Mexico. The numbers of cases are climbing -- and so are the number of exposed people who might get sick -- and expose more people before they realize they are sick. Measles is extremely contagious; if someone has it, they will infect 90 percent of the people ...

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shutterstock_114356413 The other day, I read about some really cool research that suggests that little kids are naturally altruistic. It got me thinking: What is it we do that stops them from being that way? Because, let's face it, not all big kids -- and definitely not all grownups -- are kind and look out for others. Felix Warneken, a Harvard researcher, studies the evolutionary ...

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shutterstock_205278607 Everyone yells at their kids. Oh, I'm sure there are some truly perfect parents out there who don't (and some who don't because they are physically unable to yell), but the rest of us do. Parents are human; we all get frustrated, angry, exhausted and scared and, well, yell. But yelling rarely helps. It usually makes things worse. And it makes us ...

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For years, my husband and I have argued about how to dress the kids for cold weather (given that we have five kids ranging in age from 23 to 9, this argument truly has been going on for a while). He says I don't dress them warmly enough. I say he overdoes it. After all these years, I still think I'm right. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the way ...

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shutterstock_182289464 I see it all the time at our practice. Parents come with kids who really don't need to go to the doctor; they are only mildly ill, or already getting better. When I ask them why they came, the answer is simple: daycare. They need a note saying the child is better in order for the child to go back. They need ...

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At the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I got to hear Hillary Clinton talk about the AAP's partnership with her Too Small to Fail campaign. It made me happy -- and sad. The partnership is a great idea. It's all about improving early childhood literacy, which is way more crucial than most people realize. It's not just about an income gap when we talk ...

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