Parenting

When is my child old enough to use an iPad or tablet?

In general, consider any child younger than 2 years old too young. Tablets may prevent infants and toddlers from engaging in the give-and-take of everyday exchanges with family as well as the “real” world of playing with physical objects that require and develop sensory and motor skills. iPads do offer some terrific “edutainment” apps to help young children learn, especially in spelling, reading and math. Tablets can also promote self-control. Before you use one for … Read More

What is National Poison Prevention Week?

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to poison centers all across the nation, and more than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. Since 1962, the President of the United States has proclaimed the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week to raise awareness about the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. The Oregon Poison Center would like to remind you that this is the time to … Read More

Buckle up: Three easy steps for finding the right bike helmet

The longer days of spring mean more time to enjoy being outdoors and bike riding. Bicycling is a great activity for every member of the family and the most important piece of equipment is a helmet. Today, there are a variety of styles and colors to choose from, but no matter which one you like best, make sure it has the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker inside. This label lets you know that your … Read More

Finding bravery at Doernbecher

If you’ve been to Doernbecher recently, you may have noticed some new faces outside the 10th floor pediatric hematology/oncology clinic. These “Brave Bots,” designed and created by local artist Gary Hirsch, invite passersby to take a photo and explore one of the questions painted on the bots: Who helps you be brave? What’s your superpower? What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? The installation at Doernbecher is the first Brave Bot mural inside of a children’s … Read More

2014 in review: small patients, big stories.

It’s difficult to capture and share even a fraction of the amazing stories that happen every single day at OHSU Doernbecher – and you know what? This is a marvelous challenge to face. From technological advancements to a remarkable former Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patient’s lemonade stand fundraiser, we took a look back to see which stories had the greatest impact on you, our reader. Here’s what we learned: You care about kids’ health, happiness and safety … Read More

The childless pediatrician: A parent’s worst nightmare?

“Do you have any children?”  I am asked this almost daily by families and parents of my patients, often as a means of small talk at the beginning of the visit, but more so at the end of an in-depth discussion, whether it be etiology of disease, prognosis, further lab tests, imaging, or suggested treatment. I would be lying if I stated this question does not trouble me, usually producing strong feelings of inadequacy and … Read More

Let’s Get Healthy! Teaching children about healthy food choices

We’ve learned that good nutrition in early life is critical to children’s health as they grow up and as adults. There are simple steps you can take to help your children eat well: Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; your children will follow your example. Create games to teach your children about healthy foods. Involve your children in cooking at home. Grow a garden at home, or participate in a community garden. You can … Read More

Talk to your kids about energy drinks

Energy drinks are a $12.5 billion dollar industry in the United States, and while the sale of soda continues to decrease, energy drink sales grew by 6.7 percent in 2013. Consumption is increasing among middle school and high school students, especially boys. The increase is driven by powerful marketing machines that target advertising to teens and young adults in ways that didn’t exist 10 years ago — game systems, downloaded apps on personal phones, reading … Read More

Of toddlers, tablets, apps and naps: thoughts on parenting the touch-screen generation

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, one-third of Americans own tablet computers and over half own smartphones. This means a lot of children have access to these devices — they rest in purses, diaper bags, on the dinner table and desk — often temptingly within reach. These touch-screen devices are astoundingly practical: filled with direction-givers, dictionaries, cameras to record tender family times, and offer worlds of apps and videos — things that enthrall … Read More

What parents should know about over-the-counter cold medications

I often have families come to me looking for a magic formula that will cure their child’s cold and get rid of all the symptoms. Simply put: There is no magic formula for treating a cold, and there are no over-the-counter (OTC) products that are safe and effective for treating young kids. You should never use OTCs in kids younger than 6, and I never recommend them in general. Before we talk about the meds … Read More

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