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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2013

POSTED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 5:40 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Lauren Falini

Is your child watching TV, playing video games, on their cell phone, or on the internet after school?  Do you remember running outside, playing sports, tag, building forts, and jumping over creeks? Is this a memory of your childhood and not your child’s? The weather is getting nice! Now is a great time for your kids to start playing outside and continue through the summer and fall.

Make it routine!

Schedule outside time the same time everyday for your child so it can become a routine. Be firm! It is not your child’s choice, but your choice as a parent. It can be first thing after school, after homework, or after dinner. Connecting outside time to before or after something else done regularly helps reinforce the routine. Studies have shown that kids are most likely to be active right after school. That’s when there is light and school sports are right after school. Once they are settled inside, it becomes downtime and it is more natural to relax. This can be a good thing – it’s easier to set a mindset for homework later on as tensions dissipate.

POSTED: Monday, April 29, 2013, 10:37 AM

It’s difficult to hide: multiple slash marks on the forearm. Many try to cover-up the painful reminders of a very bad day while some tell me openly all of the details. Either way these are the patients that are amongst the most distressing to me as a doctor and as a mother.  And at the same time they are the most intriguing. They almost all say the same thing: they were not trying to kill themselves…but they cut themselves for other reasons.

Cutting is one type of “non-suicidal self-injury” (NSSI). In teens, NSSI most often involves cutting, but also can be burning themselves or banging their heads. Cutting is usually done on the arms, stomach, or thighs with a sharp object like a razor blade, knife, or scissors. To parents it may be out of the expected, but it’s usually not out of the blue. 

NSSI is an outward sign of an inward pain. Teens often cut themselves in response to emotional pain or distress. When they cut, they feel a rapid physical release of emotional pain that is otherwise too difficult to tolerate. Surprisingly, studies have shown that people who self-injure have little or no physical pain even when tissue damage is severe.  After cutting, they still feel badly, but they feel calmer and better able to manage their feelings.  It often begins as an impulse, but cutting can quickly become a habit that is difficult to stop.   

POSTED: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Anna Nguyen | Product Recalls
Land of Nod Plush Dollies

The recall of about 2,500 dolls from the Land of Nod includes plush handmade baby dolls in five styles and colors. The hands on the plush dolls can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. The fabric dolls measure about 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide. The dolls are dressed in a one piece printed floral fabric outfit with a white lace trimmed hood over the head of the dolls.

No injuries have been reported. Find out more at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Website.

Read more from the Healthy Kids blog »

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 9:48 AM
Filed Under: Anna Nguyen | Product Recalls
Young Hearts girl’s three-piece clothing sets

This recall by Children's Apparel Network involves 9,200 girl’s “Young Hearts” brand three-piece clothing sets. The vest sold with these sets has a belt at the waist that could become snagged or caught in small spaces or vehicle doors and it poses an entanglement hazard.

The sets were sold with a pink vest, black pullover shirt and knit pants in sizes 12 months to 6X. “Young Hearts” is printed on a label inside the shirt collar. The pink vest has a black bow applique on the left front and a pink elastic belt with silver clasps.

No injuries have been reported. Find out more at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Website.

POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013, 9:47 AM
Polly Pocket Pollywood Limo-Scene is shown in the office of Talbots Toyland in San Mateo, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. The toy store pulled off these items earlier in the day after it was listed on the toy recall list. Mattel recalled 9 million Chinese-made toys Tuesday, including Polly Pockets play sets and Batman action figures, because of dangers to children from lead paint or tiny magnets that could be swallowed. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Magnetic toys are attractive to everyone.  Parents want them for their kids because they’re science-related, encourage creativity, affordable, and can keep them occupied for hours. Kids want them because they are cool. These addictive toys can be used to construct endless shapes and patterns and even relieve stress. That's why magnets, in sets of 50 to 200, are also sold as desktop toys.  Tweens and teens also use magnets to create jewelry, and wear them to mimic tongue, lip, and nose piercings or studs.

Powerful magnets, made of neodymium-iron-boron, which are 10 to 20 times stronger than older magnets, called ferrite, have been increasingly available for purchase in the past few years.

Generally, most swallowed inedible objects or foreign bodies are not dangerous unless they get stuck such as bigger coins in the esophagus – the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, or have the potential to erode though the walls of the stomach or intestines such as button batteries and sharp objects. 

POSTED: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 1:21 PM
Filed Under: Anna Nguyen | Product Recalls
Gingham Bunny Flatware Collection's fork and spoon set has been recalled. (Photo:

This Reed and Barton recall involves infant flatware from the Gingham Bunny Flatware Collection, sold three ways; as just the infant feeding spoon, in a fork and spoon set, and in a three-piece set including the infant feeding spoon with a bowl and bib. The flatware is silver-colored, nickel-plated and has a bunny with pink coloring on its ears at the end of the handle.

The pink coloring on the bunny's ears can come off, posing choking and ingestion hazards to babies. The company has received one report of the pink coloring on the bunny's ears coming off the flatware. No injuries were reported.

More information is available at the the pink coloring on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Website.

Read more from the Healthy Kids blog »

POSTED: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 9:38 AM

The statistic seems alarming. Hospital stays for bipolar disorder among children aged 1 to 17 years increased 434 percent from 1997 to 2010, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently reported. This rise in diagnoses started in the mid-90s when bi-polar disorder for children was heavily marketed and promoted in the psychiatric community. As bipolar diagnoses has increased, we’ve seen a decrease in other diagnoses such as disruptive and intermittent explosive.

A classic bipolar adult patient. As a trainee, graduate student I saw my first bipolar patient almost 35 years ago.  A wealthy executive with a large corporation, he became energized one week with new ideas on how to revolutionize his company. This led to a trip to Manhattan where he charged a limo rental and expensive hotel to his corporate account. Married with children, he picked up a young man and they flew to a tropical island for a few days. He had written all his ideas in a journal during this time, which were later found to be totally incoherent. Finally after a week, he started to realize what he had done after waking from a long sleep and went into a deep depression. He was fired from his job and his wife wanted him out. Then here he was in my tiny basement office at the county mental health office asking for help. 

As a trainee, I had a difficult time sorting out being fascinated with the story and figuring out how to help him, but in my mind this was, and still is, classic bipolar, a manic phase with no inhibitions, followed by a crashing depression, and lack of self-control throughout a two week period, all occurring in a brilliant, skilled executive and bringing him to ruin.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 5:55 AM

It’s time to dispel some allergy myths that I often encounter:

Hypoallergenic dogs. Is your child allergic to dogs, but really wants one as a pet? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. At some point the notion was put forth, possibly by dog breeders, that certain short-haired breeds were hypoallergenic because they had hair, not fur. Another perpetrated myth is that you can become sensitized and therefore not allergic to your own pet, while still having symptoms when you’re around other dogs.

There is no evidence to support either of these theories. The proteins that cause people to react to dogs are present in all dogs, albeit possibly in varying amounts. If you do become tolerant to these proteins where you no longer have symptoms, your tolerance will be to all, not just one or some dogs. Some breeds do exhibit slightly more allergenic response on analysis, but it’s not a very significant difference compared to other dogs.

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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