Hooray! United States flu vaccine is here!

should my child get the flu vaccine?

Fight the flu! Vaccinate!

It’s time for your child’s yearly flu vaccine!

Why get the flu shot? Vaccinate against influenza (the flu) not only to avoid missed school days, but also to avoid hospitalizations and death. Last year in the USA, 172 children died from flu. You may not have heard about these fatalities because more sensational news tends to overshadow news about illness. We wish the news would inform that the vast majority of kids who died from flu had not received the flu vaccine. In addition, about half of the children who died from the flu were previously healthy and without underlying medical problems. Excluding the 2009 flu pandemic (H1N1), last year’s flu deaths represents “the highest reported since influenza-associated pediatric mortality became a nationally notifiable condition in 2004.” Kids younger than 5 years old have the highest flu complication rate of all children, so even if they do not yet attend daycare or school, bring your little ones in for a flu vaccine. Vaccinate your school-aged kids as well, for they spread the flu to more folks than any other age group.

Does it help to wait to give the vaccine? What if the vaccine wears off before flu season ends?
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Updated car seat safety guidelines!

car seat safety 2018 update

Car seat safety isn’t just child’s play.

Just in time for families who plan to drive to Labor Day Weekend destinations, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their car seat safety recommendations.

Families are now encouraged to keep their children rear facing for as long as possible, until they exceed the height or weight limit allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer. This means that some kids who are older than two years will continue to ride backwards. Dr. Lai’s own pip squeaks easily would have ridden backwards until they were three or four years old. Continue Reading

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Ready for school: backpacks, packing lunches, when to keep your kid home for illness, and more

 

get your kids ready for schoolNow that you just read how to drop your kid off at school on the first day, you may be backpack shopping, pondering what to send your child for lunch, and knowing that your child will have difficulty waking up early for school. Never fear! Your Two Peds can help you and your kids get ready for school.

First, make sure your child’s backpack fits correctly and is not too heavy. Our guest blogger, a pediatric physical therapist, provides tips to help lighten the load.

Help your child get back on a school-friendly sleep schedule. If your child is still in summer vacation sleep mode, we provide ways to help get your child’s sleep back on track.

If your child brings lunch to school, you may need some hints on what to pack and how to beware of junk food disguised as healthy food. And this post provides suggestions for healthy snacks.

Need suggestions on how to motivate your child to want to learn? Two former school principals share their wisdom in this post.

Finally, you should know when to keep your child home for illness. This post also contains some surprising truths about when you can send your child back to school during as well as after certain maladies.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2018 Two Peds in a Pod®

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The truth about the first day of school for parents- from kindergarten to college

first day of school for parents

The first of many first days of school.

Parents, let’s admit it. Many of the tears shed on the first day of school are our own. The first day of school for parents is not easy. There is genuine sadness and ache that goes beyond the bittersweet as our kids approach momentous milestones such as kindergarten entry and college send off. As our pediatrician friend Dorothy Novick posted on Facebook, “Because here’s a thing no one ever says out loud on Facebook: as all the balloons and congrats explode on our feeds, many of us parents of graduates are experiencing some pretty serious grief. There’s true pride in the photos, yes, but there’s also honest to goodness grief.” Continue Reading

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How to stop nail biting-thoughts to chew on

Stop Nail biting

A preschooler nibbles on her nails.

Stop nail biting! One of our readers wrote to us: “My 3.5-year-old daughter has started biting her nails to the quick. She does have a new little sister so perhaps it is stress/anxiety about that, but I don’t know what to do. Do I ignore it? Offer rewards for not biting? Please help – the habit drives me nuts and her poor little fingers are looking worse for the wear (and painful).”

As many of you have likely already discovered, telling your kid, or pleading with them, or bribing, ignoring, or yelling at them, will not help your kids stop nail biting. Continue Reading

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About nine-year-olds and Happy Birthday to Two Peds

Nine year old

Nine-year-olds love collecting little treasures.

It’s a funny thing about nine-year-olds. You may look at your own nine-year-old and think: where did my baby go? Gone is the nine-MONTH-old who worried about approaching strangers and howled when you walked away. Now you have a nine-YEAR-old who may shoo you away when you drop her off at a friend’s house.

Yes, some nine-year-olds may seem embarrassed by their parents, yet they absolutely want you around on the sidelines. Continue Reading

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In a scrape? Preventing infection in cuts and scrapes

cuts and scrapes

How can you tell if your child’s scrape is infected if his skin is already bright red?

I heaved a sigh of relief. My children greeted my husband and me at the door. The children had just baby-sat themselves. I thought everyone was unscathed until I saw one of my children covered in bandages. Cuts and scrapes? Apparently, although I had admonished them not to ride anything with wheels and not to climb on anything above the ground, the child with the bandages had tripped over her own feet during a benign game of four square.

“Did you wash the scrapes?” I asked.

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Hurray! Updating to keep you updated

two peds in a pod new look

hurray! launching a new look (photo credit: pixabay)

It’s no longer a secret. Many of you have noticed our new Two Peds in a Pod® logo. And indeed, we’re launching a whole new look. It’s a new vibe with the same dependable and relevant pediatric advice in a mobile friendly format!

The average blog’s lifespan is counted in months, not years, and as we complete our ninth year, we’re proud to have exceeded that expectation many times over. But it’s now harder to hang in.

Please don’t let us disappear off the internet!

As more and more advertisers jockey for spots at the top of search engines and more content crowds the web, it has grown tougher to reach parents. In fact, if you are reading this on Facebook, it’s because we’ve just paid Facebook to have this post reach all of our followers. We’re proud to avoid distracting pop-out ads on our blog, and we’re depending on your grassroot efforts to inform other parents and caregivers about our site. Invite your friends to follow us!

It’s been nine years, and like a cat with nine lives, we are determined to land on our feet. We believe, more than ever, that the internet is the best medium to reach you at all hours of the day. Help grow our worldwide presence.

Wishing you all Peds on earth!

Naline Lai, MD and Julie Kardos, MD
©2018 Two Peds in a Pod

Read our very first blog post from 2009 here.

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Easy way to remove a tick

how to remove a tick

Ick, a tick.

I was grumpy all morning after realizing that my dog was out of tick repellent. Really grumpy. I did not like the thought of having to remove a tick from my dog.

After all, on the East Coast of the United States, we are seeing ticks galore. All month long, parents who have had to remove a tick have been bringing us presents such as the one pictured here. Yes, that is a tick you see nicely trapped in tape. Sometimes when parents bring us a tick, it’s still clinging to the child and they ask us to remove it. To save you a trip to the doctor’s office, here is a quick refresher on how to pluck the bugs off:  Continue Reading

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Poison ivy: stop the itch

Stop the itch of poison ivy and avoid touching the plant in the first place

Teach your child to recognize poison ivy: “leaves of three, let’em be!”

Recently we’ve had a parade of itchy children troop through our office.  The culprit: poison ivy.

Myth buster: Fortunately, the rash of poison ivy is NOT contagious. You can “catch” a poison ivy rash ONLY from the plant, not from another person.

Another myth buster: You can not spread the rash of poison ivy on yourself through scratching.  However, where  the poison (oil) has touched  your skin, Continue Reading

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