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Inquirer Daily News

Rima Himelstein

POSTED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 3:35 PM
Female athletes at any level—from recreational players to elite, highly competitive athletes—may have one or more parts of the triad. Research has found that up to one third of college-level and elite female athletes have disordered eating. The triad is more common in sports that emphasize thinness, such as gymnastics, ballet dancing, diving, and figure skating—where 42% of participants may have disordered eating. And one study found that 16% of elite female runners had all three parts of the triad

By Rima Himelstein, M.D.

The first time I met my 16-year-old patient, she hadn’t had a period for 14 months. For the past year, she had felt moody, had difficulty concentrating, and had experienced “hot flashes” and “night sweats.” This teenager was a competitive volleyball player with Olympic aspirations. She exercised every day and lost 20 pounds over the prior six months. She didn’t eat very much, but at night she often dreamed about food. Luckily, she hadn’t had any bone fractures … yet.

My patient was experiencing the Female Athlete Triad, a disorder that has three related parts: 

  1. Low energy availability from disordered eating
  2. Menstrual problems
  3. Low bone mineral density for the patient’s age
POSTED: Friday, November 16, 2012, 12:49 PM
They’re known as study drugs ... party drugs ... vitamin R, the smart drug, addy, a-bomb ...

By Rima Himelstein

They’re known as study drugs ... party drugs ... vitamin R, the smart drug, addy, a-bomb ...

Regardless of the slang or street names, they’re actually stimulants like ‘Ritalin’ and ‘Adderall’, which are commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But like many other prescription drugs, they are getting in the wrong hands for the wrong reasons. Look on the Internet for a crash course on what our kids may be learning in between classes.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 11:39 AM
Filed Under: Rima Himelstein | Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need 9-1/4 hours of sleep per night—mainly because hormones needed for growth and sexual maturation are primarily released during sleep. But the average teenager only gets about 7 hours of sleep per night.

By Rima Himelstein, M.D.

It’s 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning … and, yes, I do know where my children are.  They’re sleeping, just like we used to do when we were teenagers.  But do they really need this extra sleep … or should I wake them up?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need 9-1/4 hours of sleep per night—mainly because hormones needed for growth and sexual maturation are primarily released during sleep. But the average teenager only gets about 7 hours of sleep per night.  And they feel it!

POSTED: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 4:59 PM
Does your teen know the risks of trich? Trich itself is not a life-threatening illness, and it is easy to treat. But it shows that someone is having unprotected sex and is taking big risks.

by Rima Himelstein, M.D.

Heard about “trich”? Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a type of tiny parasite. When I find the infection in my patients, I often show them the trich under the microscope. Seeing the infection can be the key to getting teens to change their risky behaviors -- sometimes being spooked changes teens’ behaviors.

It’s a creepy infection, which is easily spread. Trich is passed from one person to another through unprotected sexual contact. Both females and males can get this infection.   And because the organism can survive for about one and a half hours on a wet sponge, transmission can possibly occur through shared washcloths, communal bathing, or during routine child care.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 1:07 PM
Filed Under: Psychology | Rima Himelstein
In 2010, 4.4 million teenagers (26 percent of youth ages 16 to 19) gave 377 million hours of volunteer service to communities across the United States; 39 percent of teenagers who volunteer, do so on a regular basis. In this photo City Year Corps volunteer, Leon McClain, right, helps assemble emergency preparedness backpack kits at Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Rima Himelstein, M.D.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

In 2010, 4.4 million teenagers (26 percent of youth ages 16 to 19) gave 377 million hours of volunteer service to communities across the U.S.; 39 percent of teenagers who volunteer, do so on a regular basis.

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012, 1:07 PM
In this photo a teen's waist is measured as she takes part in her final session of a 20 month obesity prevention study. Nearly one-third of American teens are overweight. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

by Rima Himelstein, M.D.

What forces are adding to the obesity epidemic in teens? Here are key ones:

  • Fast food:  80 percent of teens underestimated the calories in their fast-food meals; they guessed 800 calories when the calorie count was really almost double that: 1,500.
  • Screen time: One third of teens spend close to 40 hours on TV and the computer every week and about 7 percent spend more than 50 hours.
  • No gym: Less than half of 9th-grade students and less than a quarter of 12th-grade students have physical education.

How it all adds up: Fast food plus screen time minus gym class equals obesity. It is no wonder that over 18 percent of children and adolescents are obese and that over 30 percent end up being obese as adults.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 2:19 PM
Sometimes a teen or child who has been bullied eventually becomes the bully as a way to retaliate. In fact, revenge for bullying is one of the strongest motivations for school shootings. (AP Photo)

by Rima Himelstein, M.D.

Bullying. It has happened to many of my patients; maybe it’s happened to your child, too. When it happens to celebrities like actor Kate Winslet, who was called “Blubber” and locked in an art-room closet, or former President Bill Clinton, who was called a “fat band boy” and hit in the jaw ... then it starts to gain more attention.Comedian Chris Rock is another star who was bullied in school, and he knows that bullying is no laughing matter.  It is such a serious problem that October has been named National Bullying Prevention Month.

It’s about power or, rather, the imbalance of power. Bullying is a form of youth violence in which there is an imbalance of power with one child or group of children causing harm, fear, or distress in another child through repeated attacks. Bullying may take various forms:    

  • Physical, including hitting, punching and kicking
  • Verbal, including teasing, name-calling or racial slurs
  • Cyberbullying, including harassing e-mails, text messages, or internet posts
POSTED: Friday, September 7, 2012, 3:53 PM
When marijuana use starts in the teenage years, becomes a daily habit, and persists for years, users’ IQ points may be permanently lost. (AP Photo)

by Rima Himelstein, M.D.

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the world — including by adolescents. New research findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) indicate that teens who become daily marijuana users may be losing IQ points. 

Marijuana 101 for Parents

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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