Parenting

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

Doernbecher Emergency Room staff wish you a fun-filled, INJURY-FREE Spring Break!

As we head into Spring Break, many children will be playing outdoors, and the most important message I can give families is this: Most childhood injuries can be prevented! With that in mind, please consider the following-injury prevention tips: Apply sunblock frequently — to prevent sunburn now and skin cancer later in life. Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard or while on the mountain skiing or snowboarding — head trauma is one of … Read More

Doernbecher NICU staff create ‘Kangaroo Covers’ for parents and babies

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a simple touch between a parent and baby can have such a meaningful significance that it is too wonderful for words. Several months ago our staff in the Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center (DNCC) was asked, “What do you want parents to remember the most about their experience in the NICU, specifically a take away ‘Signature Moment’?” Most answers centered around the moments when parents actually get to touch … Read More

Surviving when the crying won’t stop!

It’s the end of the day and you’re looking forward to sitting down and relaxing, if only for just a minute, when it begins … the crying. She doesn’t want to feed. She doesn’t need to be changed, and none of your regular tricks for soothing her are working. She just keeps crying. You are at your wits’ end, but the screaming continues. You have entered: “The Period of PURPLE Crying.” Infant crying typically starts to … Read More

Consent form improves emergency care for kids

It’s hard for parents to imagine their child needing emergency medical services when they’re not around — but there are many times when this happens, especially on weekdays when parents are at work and children are in school. That’s why at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital we have developed an emergency consent form to ensure children receive the care they need, as quickly as possible, in any pediatric emergency room. Although most public and private schools have similar … Read More

Balancing act

2 mice Nine years ago, when I started medical school, I told my husband (who was then my boyfriend) that I wanted to train for a marathon. Many of my colleagues in Northwestern’s M.D.-Ph.D. program ran marathons. The kind of people who embark on a really long, intense dual degree program like that tend to push themselves in other areas of life, and do intense, crazy things just to prove they can. My husband thought … Read More

Babies should ALWAYS sleep on their backs

As a new parent, you may have difficulty fending off newborn sleep advice from grandparents and friends. On top of advice, there seems to be a dizzying array of infant sleep products on the market. At OHSU Doernbecher, we recommend families adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and place babies on their back for every sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who sleep on their stomachs are much … Read More

Protect your family from sunburns!

With temperatures in the 80s, summer must be here! Gone are the grey clouds that keep us moist and protect us from the sun, but one of the biggest reasons we love living in Portland are the beautiful, long summer days. Do you have to live in fear of the bright yellow sun? Definitely not; get out there and play, but protect yourself and your family from sunburns. Your best bet to keep kids from burning is … Read More

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