Month: October 2016

SCOLIOSIS: THE CROOKED/CURVED SPINE

Scoliosis is abnormal curvature of the spine. The spine does have some normal curves if you look at it from the side (going in and out from the neck to the lower back). However, if you look at the spine from the back, it appears to be straight (side-to-side curvatures aren’t normal). Scoliosis is relatively common in kids (esp. teenage girls) and something your pediatrician should be looking for during your child’s well checks. It’s a simple examination of your child’s back. If there is more than a 10 degree curve, it is considered scoliosis. There are different types...

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HOW TO INTERPRET GROWTH CURVES

One of the most important parts of the well visit is the growth curves. A 10-second review of growth curves tells the pediatrician volumes of information. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll feel like an expert at interpreting growth curves as well. The growth curves are the little graphs that tell you where your child stacks up size-wise compared to other kids the same age. Now, there are different graphs for boys vs. girls, and different graphs for different countries. It makes sense when you think about it; average kids in China are generally smaller...

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SECRET TRICK FOR WHEN YOUR KID SHOVES SOMETHING UP HER NOSE

Most small children go through a phase of shoving stuff up their noses. In my career, I’ve pulled everything from beans to beads out of noses. While it makes my day a little more entertaining to see what sorts of things we can add to the list, most parents find the whole experience super frustrating. No one has extra time and money to “waste” at the doctor’s office. My secret tip is going to save you the trip. When done properly, I’ve yet to have a failure. Here are the steps to getting something out of your child’s nose. As...

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HELP! MY KID DOESN’T SLEEP.

There are few things more frustrating for a parent than a kid who can’t sleep. Exasperated parents come into my office everyday stating that they’ve tried everything and STILL they can’t get their child to sleep. The child is exhausted and ornery. The parent is exhausted and short-tempered. Everyone is in desperate need of a good night sleep. While it’s true that some kids are naturally “better sleepers” than others (they seem to be able to fall asleep on command and sleep through anything), few people recognize sleep as a learned behavior. Just as with anything we do, we can...

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IS IT OKAY TO GIVE MY KIDS BENEDRYL TO HELP THEM SLEEP?

The question of whether it’s ok to give children Benedryl to help them sleep is a regular question that I field in my office. I got it again this week. I figure for the number of times that a parent actually asks me the question, there has to be significantly more who are just doing it and not asking if it’s ok. The short answer to the question is: NO. It is not a good idea to drug a child to get the child to sleep. The cute mom who asked this past week protested. “But, it’s working,” she said. (Her...

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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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