Does it seem like you make a lot of trips to see your pediatrician? Regardless of the reason—the sniffles,
a high fever, an infection or something else—it is a good idea to make regular visits to the doctor. These appointments, along with any “back-to-school” check-ups, are not only important to your child’s well being, but also can help physicians identify health
risks and preventive measures.
Alison Galanopoulos, MD, NorthShore-affiliated Pediatrician, identifies some of the common health concerns that a pediatrician can often identify during regular visits:
How frequently do you take your child/children to the pediatrician?
Now is the time when our shopping lists for holiday giving may include items for children of varying ages. While walking through the aisles, you’ll see plenty of new toys along with many of the tried-and-true classics (like building blocks and dolls). With
all the options out there, how do you know which toys are best suited for what ages?
The most colorful or cute toy on the shelf doesn’t always make it the best choice. It’s worthwhile to recognize that children of varying ages have achieved different development milestones. Just as you wouldn’t give an infant a LEGO® set, you also wouldn’t
buy a four year old a teething rattle.
Kenneth Fox, MD, a pediatrician at NorthShore, gives the following recommendations when shopping for age-appropriate toys:
Play is essential to a child’s physical, cognitive, social and moral development. Toys, books and experiences that enrich creative play make wonderful gifts for the season and support healthy child development all year long.
Can you remember a time when one of your children received a toy not well suited for his or her age? What did you do?
Conception difficulties and infertility aren't as uncommon as one might think; the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimate that approximately 10 percent of women between the ages of 15-44 in the United States have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.
There are many fertility treatment options available, including conventional biomedical treatments, such as
fertility medications, artificial insemination and
in vitro fertilization, and traditional methods, like Chinese herbal medicine and
acupuncture. Many couples have found great results with a combination of treatments.
Ultimately, the right choice is the one that works. While there is no preferred method for everyone, in many cases, the age-old treatment of acupuncture has been shown to help enhance fertility and increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Nicole Hohmann, Acupuncturist with NorthShore's Integrative Medicine Program, shares some of the health benefits of fertility
Has acupuncture worked for you or someone you know?
Baby has arrived – and sometimes with that arrival come feelings of anxiety, mood swings and depression.
For many new moms, the baby blues (occasionally feeling down during the first few weeks after birth) are common and not a cause for concern. However, some women suffer from more prolonged, severe depressive symptoms.
It’s important to remember that having a baby in itself can be an emotional journey, and feeling down once the baby is born is not something that should cause embarrassment. In fact, one in eight women is affected by postpartum depression after birth and may
require treatment. For some women, these difficulties can begin during pregnancy.
If you’re a new or expectant mom struggling with depression or anxiety it’s important to know that you are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help, you can feel better. Psychotherapy, medication, support groups, and diet and exercise modifications are
some of the options that are effective in treating depression during pregnancy or postpartum.
Jo Kim, Ph.D., of the
NorthShore Perinatal Depression Program, recommends new moms be aware of the following symptoms that may signal postpartum depression:
What tips did you use for staying positive and healthy after your baby was born? What adjustments in your lifestyle were the hardest to make?
NorthShore offers a free, 24-hour crisis hotline at 866.364.MOMS (6667). This confidential line is staffed by licensed mental health professionals.
The first year of your baby’s life will involve various dietary changes. For the first three to four months, your infant will only
need breast milk or formula.
As your baby begins to hold his head up, is teething and shows interest in food (at around four to six months), you can start to introduce pureed foods and cereals (iron-fortified) into his diet.
This transition may be messy at first. Over time your baby will become more independent (and interested!) in feeding himself. When do you know it is a good time to hand the spoon over?
Sharon Robinson, MD, Pediatrician, at NorthShore provides some tips on how you can transition your child from being spoon-fed to beginning to eat on his own:
When did your kids start eating solid foods? How old were they when they began feeding themselves? What were some of their favorite foods?
From the moment you take your newborn home from the hospital to every time you get in the car to run errands, it is essential to make sure that your infant is safe, well supported and secure in his car seat. Proper seating can help greatly reduce your child’s
risk for permanent injury if you were to get into an accident.
However, just because you have proper seating for your infant, doesn’t ensure that it is being properly used or was installed correctly. It is important to practice installing your new car seat and/or seek professional assistance before your infant rides
in the car for the first time.
Anne Middaugh, RN, MSN, CPS Technician, Community Health Specialist at NorthShore offers her insight on proper child safety seat installation:
Where did you install your child’s car seat? What resources helped you determine the best place to put it?
More and more children are being diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders —a range of neurobiological disorders that are best managed
when they are diagnosed early. It is estimated that one in 110 children is affected by autism and that boys are four times more likely than girls to have the condition.
Some signs of autism can be detected in very early childhood. It is important for parents and other caretakers to be aware of concerning signs and behavioral patterns so that children can be evaluated as soon as possible.
Sara Wiemer, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, identifies some of the signs of autistic spectrum disorders in children:
Have you noticed any of these signs of autism in your child? Don’t hesitate to bring your concerns to your child’s pediatrician.
Walk down the snack food aisle at a grocery store and you’ll find the aisle packed full of chips, cookies, crackers and candies. With all the snack options available, it’s often too easy to overlook nutritional facts and the healthiest choice. Despite this,
it’s important to know what foods will best restore energy without spoiling appetite and off-setting a diet.
Michael Rakotz, MD,
gives some quick, healthy snack alternatives for kids (and adults too!)
What are some of your favorite snack choices? What is your go-to healthy snack?
Pregnancy brings about many changes—both for the mother and baby. While most women have normal, healthy pregnancies, everyone is at some risk for problems.
Issues during a pregnancy can range in severity—from poor nutrition, nausea or fatigue to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infectious diseases or premature birth. With the proper planning, education and physician involvement, many risks can be greatly reduced
Scott MacGregor, D.O., gives his recommendations about what women can do both before and during their pregnancy to ensure a healthy self and baby:
What are some things you’ve done to prepare for a healthy pregnancy? What have you done during your pregnancy?
Have high-risk pregnancy questions? Join Dr. MacGregor for a live medical chat on Friday, March 16 at 1:30 p.m. He’ll answer your questions about risk factors, treatments and signs of high-risk pregnancy. Save the date and
submit your early questions today.
Accidents involving children happen. The good news is that most of these accidents can be prevented by proper childproofing and preparation. According to the
National Safe Kids Campaign, accidents disable and kill more children than disease, drugs and kidnapping combined. It’s important to childproof your home early and to make adjustments as they get bigger and become more active and mobile.
Julie Holland, MD, pediatrician at NorthShore shares a few key tips for childproofing your home:
What have you done to childproof your home? What other child safety tips would you like to learn more about?
For more household safety lists, visit:
Safe Kids USA