My Blog

Posts for: October, 2017

By Mary Lewis, MD
October 30, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: ADD   ADHD  

It's mid fall. First quarter school grades are being posted, and teachers are contacting parents by email or phone about school problems.  This is the time of the year that pediatricians field many calls from parents worried that their child may have ADD/ADHD.

ADD and ADHD are not uncommon, but many perceived problems can be addressed at home before requesting a formal evaluation by a pediatrician..

First--where and how does your child study and do their homework?  A quiet place, free of ALL electronic devices and media/noise, is essential.  Not one of us, especially a child, can multi-task efficiently with phones and computers dinging, TVs blaring, music blasting, family yelling. Have your child pace themselves with assignments and studying.  A homework notebook is a great way to prevent the "I forgot"s.  Also, many kids get bogged down with new material and the need to work hard, and may need extra help or a tutor.

Is your child getting a good night's sleep?  The bedroom should be free of all media and electronic devices as well.  A regular bedtime should be maintained.

Is your child eating a healthy breakfast before leaving for school?  No one can perform well with no/little fuel in the tank.  A mix of protein and healthy carbs (fruits, veggies, whole grains) will give your child brain energy and prevent blood sugar crashes.

If after all that, you are still concerned, contact your pediatrician.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends ADD/ADHD screening be done with a behavior rating checklist called the Vanderbilt Assessment.  Your pediatrician can address your concerns and give you these forms for parents and teachers to complete.

Happy Halloween!

October 13, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Exercise  

Children ExercisingChildren need physical activity on a regular basis to keep them healthy and strong. It’s unfortunate that many kids today are considered overweight. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. And in 2008, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

The effects of obesity on a child’s health can be severe. Overweight children are more prone to chronic illnesses as well as a poor self-image during childhood. It's critical that kids are getting the right amount of exercise in order to regulate obesity, promote heart and lung fitness, and prevent other serious illnesses. Adopting healthy habits at a young age can keep kids fit and healthy into adulthood.

So as a parent, how do you find the time to stay active and healthy? And how can you make physical activity fun and enjoyable for your child? To help kids stay fit while having fun, follow these helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Set a good example and embrace a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Children who see a parent making health and fitness a priority will be more inclined to do the same.
  • Limit TV time to two hours a day to encourage physical activity elsewhere.
  • Keep physical activity fun and enjoyable so that your child wants to participate again and again.
  • In combination with an active lifestyle, provide well-balanced meals and promote healthy food choices.
  • Talk to grandparents, teachers, and other caretakers about your expectations for fitness so that you can work together to encourage healthy activity when your child is away from home.
  • Turn mundane tasks, such as raking leaves, into a fun family activity that involves exercise.
  • Learn your child’s interests and suggest team sports, such as soccer as a great way to keep kids active and fit on a regular basis.

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle for your entire family. Parents can turn exercise into a lifelong habit by making fitness a part of their daily schedule. When your child is interested in physical activity at a young age, exercise and fitness are more likely to become a routine that lasts for years in years.

Questions about fitness or nutrition? Talk to your pediatrician for advice and suggestions for promoting a healthier lifestyle for your family.

By Dr.
October 06, 2017
Tags: News Media  

Our world is a scary place.  We have been bombarded with so much bad news in the last few weeks,  Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Las Vegas shootings, the North Korea threat, daily violence in our local area.  NO good news on TV, radio, or social media.  What do we tell our kids?

First, if your child asks you about certain events, it is important to ask your child what they have already heard, and what questions they may have.  Be honest with your child and focus on the basics.  Be alert for any misinformation or fears they may have.  Be calm and reassuring about your family's safety.  Spend extra time together to give your child a sense of secuiry.  Talk about ways your family might help.

Young children under age 10-11 should not be allowed to view the media coverage, because it often includes frightening graphic images and sounds.  Discuss and answer questions as they arise.  Older children and teens are more plugged in, but you may want to preview the news and then watch it together.  Give older kids more information as they ask for it, and listen to their opinions about causes, future outcomes, and relief efforts.

Watch for signs of anxiety, stress or sadness.  These might include sleep problems, behavior changes, or physical complaints like headaches or stomach aches.  Call the office if you are concerned or worried.


October 02, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Teenage Acne  

Acne is by far the most common skin complaint among teenagers, affecting nearly all of those between the ages of 12 and 17 at least occasionally, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In most cases, hormones released during puberty are responsible for the appearance of blemishes during the teen years. These hormones stimulate the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands, producing oily skin that is more prone to breakouts. Because teens are extremely conscious of their image and appearance, an acne outbreak can be emotionally devastating. 

While hormonal changes during puberty cause many types of acne to be unavoidable, with a diligent skincare regimen, many teens can help control breakouts from becoming severe, minimize the appearance of blemishes and prevent scarring. The good news is that acne goes away almost completely for most people by the time they are out of their teens.

  • Keep skin clean. Teens produce more oil, so it’s important to wash the face every day with warm water and a mild cleanser to remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Always remove makeup before going to bed to avoid clogging pores.
  • Avoid over washing. Harsh scrubbing can lead to dry, irritated skin which can actually increase inflammation and trigger glands to produce more oil.
  • Don’t pick. Squeezing and picking at acne can make breakouts worse. Picking at blemishes can also lead to greater inflammation and infection, increasing the risk for scarring.
  • Keep hands off. Avoid touching the face throughout the day as the oils on hands can drive bacteria into the pores.
  • Use oil-free products. Avoid oil-based makeup. Instead look for products that are noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic. 
  • Shower after sports or physical activities. Sweat and oil can settle on the skin’s surface trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores.
  • Visit your pediatrician or dermatologist. Most cases of mild acne can be controlled and improved with a good skincare routine at home. If your skin problems persist, visit your pediatrician for professional treatment.

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about breakouts. The good news is that effective treatments are available for acne — and the earlier treatment is started, the lower a teen’s risk of lasting physical and emotional damage. Take your teen to a dermatologist or pediatrician who can provide feedback on the cause, type and severity of acne. Your pediatrician can make recommendations for medications and regimens based on your teen's unique skin type.