We love to use fancy names and terms in medicine; it makes us feel smart. But the truth is, the terminology is not actually all that complicated. Knowing a few key medical terms can help you understand any medical-ese that you may encounter. Keep in mind, however, if your doctor ever uses a term that you aren’t familiar with, make sure and ask for further explanation. Never be embarrassed to speak up. Erythematous [er″ĭ-them´ah-tus]—Simply means red. Often used in the context of describing something on the skin. Lesion [lē’zhŭn]—A change in the body’s tissue from baseline normal, usually referring...Read More
Month: June 2016
If you’ve ever had a child who suffers from night terrors, then you know how awful they can be. Night terrors happen during the deepest stage of sleep, which is usually within the first third of the night. Although the child may appear awake when it happens, during a true night terror, the child is still actually asleep. While night terrors can happen at any age, they are more common in the toddler and preschool age. Characteristic behaviors during night terrors Screaming/crying uncontrollably Look awake, but actually still sleeping Inconsolable Sweating or shaking Have a terrified or confused look May...Read More
Great question. I wish I had a quick fix for you on this one. The answer to what will work really depends on your child. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another. For some, a simple, honest explanation is enough. If I told my 5 year-old that picking her scab will cause a scar, she’d stop in a second (she has a death fear of anything leaving a mark on her). For others, use a dramatized story of worst case scenario (albeit unlikely). If I told my 9 year-old that picking his scabs would leave a scar, he...Read More
A conversation with a parent yesterday about a dog bite gone awry (think awful infection that required drainage) has inspired today’s post. Turns out that people have pets, and kids like to aggravate the pets. This often ends in the unfortunate situation of the child being bitten. My experience is that parents typically over-worry about things, but bites are the one exception. Parents often underestimate the severity and dangers of animal bites. Who’s at the biggest risk? While bites happen at any age. Most of the bites I take care of happen in the 15-month to 3-year age range. The...Read More
I taught a class of young kids yesterday. Because it was Father’s Day, one of the questions posed was, “What does your dad always say?” Without thinking, one child stated: “If you keep lying, your nose will grow.” I laughed out loud. The statement told me a lot. Clearly, this cute kid was struggling with frequent lying and her parents were trying to address it. Everyone lies. Kids do it for the same reason grown-ups do. They feel trapped or threatened, scared of punishment or rejection, or think it will make things easier somehow. So what do we do about it? Lying:...Read More
Dr. Monica Wonnacott
I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.
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