What is real fun?

A three-year-old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.

– Bill Vaughan

Last week I met with a new family in my office. It was a couple that adopted an eighteen month-old boy from a Russian orphanage, where the boy had spent most of his life.

I always admire and greatly appreciate people who have the courage and big heart to adopt children. It must be so difficult: sudden transition of becoming a parent, lack of knowledge of the health history of the child in most cases, cultural background and conditions the child used to live in that affect him physically and emotionally

I salute these families, but my thoughts today concern the boy. Continue reading

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TV.  If kids are entertained by two letters imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six.  Open your child’s imagination.  Open a book. 

~Author Unknown

It’s been for a while now that I seriously doubt the existence of coincidence.

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter with a very attractive promotion for our office: they would come to install TV at NO cost for us, provide service at NO cost, etc…..

As I was planning a new topic for my Blog, this promotion came in handy. No!!!  I will not have TV in my waiting room (as I have never had it before). It gave me an idea that I want to share with you.

We never had and never will have a TV in our office. It is not because we can’t afford it. The reason is deeper: I never promote it. Furthermore, I always try to convince the parents to use it as little as possible.

For busy, working families, TV becomes a lifesaver at the times: it keeps kids busy while we fix the dinner, when we need some time on the phone, and finally… when we need to take a shower! Continue reading

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Welcome to MY Blog

Open & Find Out

Open & Find Out

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children;now I have six children, and no theories.

John Wilmot

This is the first of the series of Blog posts I will be sending to you, parents of my patients. You may sign up to receive them on-line. You may discontinue your subscription anytime. You may share them with your friends and relatives.

Why did I start doing it?

  1. Some of my patients’ parents encouraged me to do so.
  2. This is a great way to share my thoughts and ideas with those of you who I don’t see very often in my office.
  3. There will be no specific recommendations for certain situations. There will be just general thoughts that may help you uncover some tiny or a little bigger problems in your child that skips from your glance.
  4. We have access to an enormous amount of information now. I want to help you to sort it out (we’ll limit it to yours and your child’s health issues, of course!).
  5. I’ve collected enough of interesting cases and thoughts that I will gladly share with you.

I will try to focus on the issues that may be interesting to most of you. If the topic applies to your family and carries useful information I ask you to share it with your spouse and other family members. And, what may be even more important, with your child (if his/her age allows you to do so).

You may know by now that, unfortunately, you are not always a great authority for your child. This has absolutely nothing to do with you, the way you approach your child, level of your education, etc.  No. It is just the way IT IS.

Here I need to tell you a story from my life as a parent and a practicing pediatrician.

It was a while ago when my older daughter was about 14. She started having allergies and I brought some medications and explained how to use them.

In several days my daughter said that they were not working. In a week, she claimed that she was getting worse because of my treatment. At one point, she refused to use anything. The message was clear: You don’t know what you are doing.

But her symptoms required treatment. I asked my colleague at that time Dr.K. to see her. Before coming to the room  Dr.K. asked me:” What does she need?” I said, ”Some Claritin and steroid  nasal spray”.

In a couple of minutes my daughter was done. She came out of the room happy, confidently carrying prescription for Claritin and steroid nasal spray. “Look, mom”, she said” I have a prescription now. Dr. K. is a real doctor”. ‘’Great”, I said, ”That’s why we are here.”

Our dear children are all different and all alike. Sharing my thoughts (that apply) with them could be a good tool to manage different situations at home.

We will see how it works!

All the best to you and your families!

Photo credit: Flickr Hu2Desigh

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To snore or not to snore?

To snore

To snore

A healthy mind has an easy breath.

~Author Unknown

It was several years ago. We just moved to our new office and our patients were showing up to say “hi” and see our new place. Among them was my patient “E” with his mom. They stopped by with a bouquet of flowers to chat for a couple minutes – perhaps a while longer. “E” got used to it and was always very patient. To acknowledge his presence, proper demeanor, and good manners I approached him and tried to involve him in our conversation. But profession is profession.

“Is he sick?” I asked the mom.

“No, he is fine,” she replied.

“Are you sure?” I insisted.

She was sure. At this point, I feel the need to mention that, usually conversation in my office goes the other way around: anxious parents ask the questions and I answer them trying to comfort and reassure them. It seemed like the direction of this conversation puzzled the mom as well. “Why do you ask? Does he sound different than usual?”

In a way she was right.  He always sounded pretty much the same to me. Being an overall healthy boy he would be brought to me only with bad colds or an occasional sore throat. Then he would sound congested, not breathing through his nose with his mouth open. It was normal. He was sick. This time something wasn’t right. He sounded congested… but he wasn’t sick.

I decided to push further, “Does he snore?”

The response was, “Oh, big time!” Continue reading

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“What’s for dinner, mom?”

Picky Eater

Picky Eater

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:  take it, or leave it.

~Buddy Hackett

Picky eating will always be a problem – as you change your baby’s diet from the breast milk or formula to solids and then adult foods. It remains a problem until they go to college. Whether it’s a problem then, we usually do not know. But, while they live at home, it’s our problem.

I often hear it in my office: “he eats only certain foods and drinks juice or soda.”

Then, I usually puzzle the mom with a question: “Does he go to the grocery store himself?” After a second, she usually understands what I am getting at. Continue reading

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