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Mario Cruz

POSTED: Thursday, March 20, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Growing Pains | Mario Cruz | Parenting | Tips
(iStockphoto)

Guest blogging today with regular contributor Mario Cruz, MD, is Nova Ashanti, MD, a pediatric resident at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

While you may not want to be reminded about your child’s rapidly changing body and emerging sexuality (yikes!), puberty remains a life transition that parents and teens must navigate together.

During puberty, children are especially vulnerable to depression and to participating in a number of risky behaviors. Regular conversations with your child may help them deal better with these physical and emotional changes.

POSTED: Monday, April 16, 2012, 11:37 AM
For those who really do have ADHD, appropriate treatment including medications, can dramatically improve the quality of life of a child and his or her family. (AP/Photo Robert Bukaty)

I see a 9-year- old girl in my practice who is inattentive and hyperactive at school and at home. A thorough evaluation revealed that she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In our last visit I provided her mother with specific parenting advice that has not resolved the behavior issues. I then suggest that we start her child on an ADHD medication, such as Ritalin. The mother hesitates and says, “I don’t really want those medications. I heard that they have really bad side effects.”

In my last blog entry, I talked about how physicians are often too quick to “label” a child with ADHD. However, for those who really do have ADHD, appropriate treatment can dramatically improve the quality of life of a child and his or her family. While parents often worry about the side effects of ADHD medication, the reality is that the impact of untreated ADHD is often much worse than any of the medication side effects. For example, untreated ADHD can result in poor school grades, difficulty making friends, family stress, conflicts with siblings, low quality of life, poor self-esteem and an increased number of accidental injuries (due to carelessness and hyperactivity). During adolescence, children who were never treated for their ADHD symptoms are also more likely to abuse drugs … yikes!

When considering ADHD medications, here are a few of the common questions that come up:

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 6:53 AM
In 2010, a whopping 10 million children were diagnosed with ADHD, a 66 percent increase from 10 years ago. But not all those diagnoses were accurate. (AP Photo/University of Alabama-Birmingham, Jim Willett)

My child is having trouble at school. The teacher says I should ask about ADHD.”  Sound familiar to you? It should.

The diagnosis of ADHD is being made more frequently than ever before. In 2010, a whopping 10 million children were diagnosed with ADHD, which is a 66 percent increase from 10 years ago! What concerns me is that many are being incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD by busy pediatricians who don’t take the time to ask some important questions.

I once had a hyperactive 9-year-old patient with sleep apnea who snored so badly that he would stop breathing dozens of times each night. An operation by the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon cured his apnea and improved his behavior.

About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Mario Cruz, M.D St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, RD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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