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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2013

POSTED: Friday, March 29, 2013, 9:20 AM
Filed Under: Gary A. Emmett

Prescribing drugs solely to boost thinking and memory functions in children and adolescents who do not have neurologic disorders should never occur.  Practitioners should not let parents or patients bully them into prescribing stimulants and other psychoactive substances to improve academic performance, according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in a paper earlier this month.


“Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication,” said author William Graf, MD, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn. in a press release. “The practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”

POSTED: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 9:21 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition

If you’re like me and your iPhone (or Android) is rarely outside of arm’s reach, you should keep reading.

Nutrition apps have exploded onto the digital scene over the last few years.  From calorie counting to countless recipes, there are hundreds of options that promise to make your quest for health easier. Now that so much nutrition information is literally at your fingertips, I decided to navigate the iWorld and find the apps that will make feeding your family easier.  

1. Fooducate - Diet Tracker & Healthy Food Nutrition Scanner

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 6:00 AM

When should an infant get solid food? For over 20 years, we have been saying after four months.  Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed that to a recommendation that an infant should get nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life, or infant formula if breast milk is not available.  

A new survey of over 1,300 mothers showed that 40 percent fed the baby solid food before four months and almost 10 percent before four weeks, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the April issue of Pediatrics, released online today.

Why are pediatricians worried about early feeding?  Babies that are fed too early are more likely to be obese when they get older - that is proven.  Doctors also worry that children fed early develop abnormal bowel flora (the germs in our gut that help us digest our food and prevent diseases such as celiac and inflammatory bowel diseases) and are more likely to get severe self-allergy diseases such as eczema and asthma. The evidence for these is not as strong as for obesity, but is a very strong suspicion.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 9:19 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace

It’s springtime!  If your family celebrates Easter, you may end up with a basket of candy as big as a Halloween pumpkin.  If you want to avoid the sugar rush this year, there is still plenty of time to make a healthy Easter basket swap.  Melanie Savoca, a registered dietitian at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and mother of a two-year-old, helped me put together this list of Healthy Easter Basket alternatives:

Garden theme - What better place to "grow" special family memories than in a garden? Gardening with your kids not only provides the tangible benefits of fresh food, but also teaches kids about new foods, and offers an opportunity to work towards a common goal. A Garden-themed Easter Basket could include things like:  

  • Vegetable, fruit, herb seed packets
  • Flat stones that kids can paint or decorate to label each plant in the garden
  • Kid-sized garden gloves & sun hat
  • Small watering can and kid-sized garden tools

Artist Basket- Do you have a budding Picasso in your house?  Use this opportunity to refresh their art supplies and they will have the items long after a sugar high would last:  

  • Water color paints
  • Stickers
  • Coloring books
  • Washable markers
  • Mini easels or inexpensive frames to display their work

POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 10:06 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Tips

How do you make spinach,  a superfood, more super? Pair it with a food high in vitamin C like an orange, berries, or peppers to make its nutrients easier for your body to absorb.

March is National Nutrition Month so all month long CHOP's trusted dietician Beth Wallace will be sharing her top tips for healthy eating. Follow Beth on twitter for more tips @BethWallaceRD.

POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 9:42 AM

Name the sport and it likely has a famous athlete who’s used performance enhancement drugs to win big. Now, with the recent headlines involving Lance Armstrong and doping, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk to our kids about what’s right and what’s wrong. Win or no win.  


Doping is when athletes use prohibited substances or methods to unfairly improve their athletic performance. There are over 100 drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Some of these drugs have enticed our young high school athletes.

POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013, 6:00 AM

Azithromycin, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, could potentially cause a fatal irregular heart rhythm in some patients, the Food and Drug Administration warned last week

This warning will now be reflected on the drug’s label which is known as Zithromax, Zmax or as a "Z-Pack." The drug manufacturers producing the product (primarily Pfizer) also agreed with the FDA’s recommendation.

It was first reported about a year ago that azithromycin, and some other antibiotics, but not penicillins such as amoxicillin, increased the rate of cardiovascular death, and actually increased the rate of death from all causes after this antibiotic was used in adults. The rate was not insignificant being 47 additional deaths per million doses used (about 1 in every 25,000 doses), according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2012. The FDA warning also includes children, although children were not included in the original report.

POSTED: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 11:53 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Tips

At mealtime, create a balanced meal by including foods from at least three different food groups: healthy whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

March is National Nutrition Month so all month long CHOP's trusted dietician Beth Wallace will be sharing her top tips for healthy eating. Follow Beth on twitter for more tips @BethWallaceRD.

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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