Posts Categorized: Children’s Health

The Cinnamon Challenge: A View from the ER

As a physician who has helped teens in the Emergency Department because they took “the cinnamon challenge,” I have witnessed the dangers of this stunt. The consequences are not pretty. And yes–it can kill you. The so-called “challenge” involves trying to swallow a tablespoonful of cinnamon powder in under 60 seconds without drinking anything. Without… Read more »

Good Reasons to Raise the Smoking Age to 21

Since most smokers began their tobacco addiction as teenagers, New York City officials recently proposed legislation to raise the smoking age to 21. The proposed law could prevent young people from picking up their first cigarette–and avoid smoking’s negative health consequences. Another policy has already decreased adolescent smoking initiation by restricting the point of sale… Read more »

No One Deserves Bullying

It used to be taken for granted, but bullying is not “harmless fun.” In fact, it makes headlines. Parents, healthcare professionals and educators now realize that this destructive behavior has far-reaching after-effects–not only for the target, but also for the bully and the bystanders. As news coverage of it increases, sometimes the definition of bullying… Read more »

Teen Repeat Births: A Significant Pattern

The report highlights the ongoing need for health education and support for adolescents, their parents–and all women of reproductive age. There are several ways not only to ensure that the rate of adolescent pregnancy continues to decline (as it has since 2007), but also to prevent repeat teen pregnancies. These include linking pregnant and parenting teens… Read more »

A Cure for HIV in a Newborn?

The case of a Mississippi child “cured” of HIV is a highlight of the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. The situation is unique because the baby received three high-dose antiretroviral medications starting at 31 hours old, and then fell out of care after several months. At 24 and 26 months, tests showed no… Read more »

Mary from Little House Didn’t Get Scarlet Fever

In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s semi-autobiographical Little House book series, her sister Mary became ill with fever and severe headache. “Far worst of all, (scarlet) fever had settled in Mary’s eyes, and Mary was blind,” the author wrote. Yet it was viral meningoencephalitis (a viral brain infection) that caused Mary’s illness and subsequent blindness—not scarlet fever, according… Read more »

Pick the Best Toys for Kids’ Safety

When shopping for the top toys for kids, parents already know to watch for small parts that are choking hazards. But it’s important to remember that many toys that seem harmless can cause eye trauma or even permanent blindness. 1. Avoid playthings that shoot or have parts that fly off. 2. Slingshots, paintball guns and… Read more »

Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised: Weighing Risks and Benefits

Debates surrounding circumcision span generations, cultures and religions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently renewed the discussion by issuing a statement reporting that the health benefits of newborn circumcision outweigh the risks and that the benefits justify access to the procedure for families who choose it for their newborn. Opponents of newborn circumcision believe it… Read more »