Health – /helTH/ – The state of being free from illness or injury Care – /ker/ – The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, and protection of someone or something. System – /’sistəm/ – A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. It’s not keeping us Healthy, it doesn’t seem to Care, and it’s certainly no kind of System. What we’re got is ...

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A new study about the best place for babies to sleep -- in their own rooms, or sharing a room with their parents -- contradicts current AAP guidelines. But hopefully, in the long run, it will help more parents and babies get a better night’s sleep overall. The most recent “safe sleep” guidelines were published in 2016. They stressed evidence-based recommendations for the safest way for babies ...

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Ask babies with fever how they feel, and they’ll say … well, they probably won’t say anything, because they’re babies. But ask older kids, and they’ll look at you funny, and maybe say “Why are you asking me?” Kids these days, am I right? Fevers make kids feel bad. Achy and miserable and bleh. So for comfort, I think it’s a good idea to treat fever in a child who’s uncomfortable. ...

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A small study published this month showed that most Epipens retain their potency for at least 4 years after their expiration date. That’s no guarantee, of course. I’d still recommend as a “best practice” that families replace them as they expire. But it’s reassuring to know that they’ll usually be effective even when expired. And using an expired EpiPen is almost certainly better than using nothing ...

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The human immune system is an amazing thing. There are thousands of microorganisms -- millions, maybe -- that are lurking out there, eager to make you sick. You breathe them in. They’re in every bite of food, and all over your hands when you rub your nose. We live in constant bombardment. And they’re sneaky, too -- with changing DNA and proteins to fool us. We’ve got soap and water and ...

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My daughter and I were talking the other day and saying we would like to ask a doctor what his thoughts are about all these ‘natural’ remedies that are available. Recently a friend made the remark, ‘I do everything I can to avoid a doctor.’ I lean more toward the medical system and the knowledge they have acquired over the years rather than relying on these home remedies. What are ...

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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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Rachel had a fair question, and I really haven’t answered it yet:

My daughter and I were talking the other day and saying we would like to ask a doctor what his thoughts are about all these "natural" remedies that are available. Recently a friend made the remark, "I do everything I can to avoid a doctor." I lean more toward the medical system and the knowledge they have acquired over ...

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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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Megan, like all parents, hates the whining and nagging: "It’s driving me crazy. My children whine and complain until they get what they want. I try not to give in, but sometimes it’s just impossible. What can I do?" (That’s an excerpt from a much longer message. You get the idea.) Let’s look at whining from a classic behavioral approach. Stay with me, here -- behavioral theory is a big part of ...

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Parents are sometimes surprised to find out that migraines are the most common cause of recurrent headaches in children. Yes, kids get migraines -- and many adults who get them started getting them as children, even if they weren’t diagnosed correctly. (And many adults who get migraines are still not being diagnosed correctly. Do you get “sinus” headaches? They’re almost certainly migraines. Yes, I know you feel congested with them. Yes, ...

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Someday, we may miss the quaint idea of going to see your doctor for your medical concerns. I realize taking your children to see their doc is a pain. So is taking your car into the mechanic, waiting for the cable guy or going out for groceries. There are other things you’d rather be doing with your time. Can a quick phone call substitute for a doctor visit? At least one huge ...

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Codeine is a terrible choice for treating children’s pain and cough, and we ought to just stop using it. It’s like an old yogurt container, way at the back of your fridge -- sure, it was once tasty, and then for a while, you held on to it for sentimental reasons. “Remember that yogurt?” you’d say to your spouse. But it’s well past time to throw that stinky stuff away. For ...

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A provocative new study from Denmark supports a link between hormonal contraceptive methods (like birth control pills) and depression. The association seems to be strongest for adolescent girls. Huge studies like this are based on huge datasets. In this case, the study relies on the Danish medical system’s longstanding penchant for meticulous and integrated medical records. You couldn’t do this kind of research in the USA, where medical records ...

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A patient wrote in, asking what she ought to do with unused medications, including some psychiatric drugs and controlled substances. It’s good to get those out of the house, safely -- but how? Parents should make sure to keep their homes free of unused medications. The misuse of prescription medications (usually narcotic painkillers) has surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading accidental cause of death in the U.S. A lot ...

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The television doctors: Striding purposefully through the ER, giving orders, surrounded by a gaggle of eager learners and a super-team of nurses and techs. Or spending hours operating, then sipping martinis while waiting for the next disaster. Maybe saving lives in between daydreams and liaisons with hot colleagues and nurses. All in a day’s work! Maybe not. A new study looked at what doctors really do all day. In the real ...

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EpiPens have gotten crazy expensive, yes: $600 for a two-pack. Here are some alternatives that might help you save a few bucks. 1. Wait a few weeks, and see what Mylan does. Mylan, the company that makes the “EpiPen” brand of epinephrine auto-injector, has been under a lot of pressure lately to back off their unseemly price gouging. They’ve introduced a savings card that claims to lower your ...

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Can the chiropractic profession evolve and renew itself as a legitimate part of the health care system? Prominent Australian chiropractor Bruce Walker, who is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, has proposed a 10 point plan to ensure that chiropractors create a profession based on science, knowledge, and genuine healing. He makes a strong case that chiropractors need to embrace research, shun “nonsensical elements,” ...

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Recently, the CDC announced that its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to stop recommending the nasal spray flu vaccine, FluMist, for anyone. Bottom line: it doesn’t work. Though their recommendation against the use of FluMist still has to be approved by the CDC director to make it “official,” it’s pretty much a done deal. The AAP’s president has already endorsed the announcement, too. Bye, Flumist. We’ll ...

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We’ve heard it before: Antibiotics just don’t work for viral infections. Docs know this, and I think most patients know this, but it’s an addiction we’ve had a hard time shaking. Docs overprescribe because it’s fast, it’s easy, and it (might) increase patient satisfaction and return visits. That’s led to a cycle of reinforcing expectations from patients -- who, after all, keep feeling better after the antibiotics. Of course, they do. ...

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