Early literacy does not mean early reading. Early literacy emphasizes positive exposure to a literacy-rich environment. Many important reading concepts begin before kindergarten. Studies show us that a child’s early literacy environment (age 0-3) plays a crucial role in school success and reading ability. Children enter kindergarten with different knowledge levels. Those who enter with the least knowledge of beginning reading skills are at academic risk.
The benefits of early literacy do not stop at kindergarten; it continues throughout the school years. Frequent positive literacy experiences in preschool is directly associated with:
For most parents, the newborn period is a time of profound joy, incredible challenges, and LOTS of questions. As pediatricians, some of the questions we are frequently asked are related to a simple blood test done on all infants in Washington State. Commonly referred to as the “newborn screen” or “NBS”, “PKU”, or “newborn metabolic testing”, this test checks for several congenital disorders that are rare but can be life-threatening.
Often parents want to know:
What does the test involve? The newborn screen is done by pricking the heel of the infant at around 24 hours of age, then collecting a few drops of blood onto a piece of test paper. This is dried and then sent to the state lab, where the testing is performed. Because some of the conditions may take several days to show up, the test is repeated at 7-14 days old (usually by your primary care doctor; it can also be done in the hospital if the baby is still there for any reason).
Does it hurt? The needle prick is performed by trained nurses and is done quickly. It may feel similar to pricking your finger to test blood sugar. And you can significantly decrease the discomfort of the quick poke by breastfeeding your baby during or immediately after the test!
Why do we need this? The diseases we check for are typically rare, but if undiagnosed and untreated can cause a variety of complications, including blindness, poor growth, brain damage, and even death. The reason that testing every baby is essential is that babies with these conditions can look and act perfectly healthy even while the disease is damaging their bodies, until they get so sick they need to be hospitalized or have permanent damage. Starting treatment as early as possible can prevent many of the complications.
What are you testing for? The ...
Check out your local farmers market or produce aisle for something new and seasonal. Search the web or your favorite cook book for ideas on preparation, and don’t be afraid! Find recipes with some of your other favorite flavors or styles and you may just find your new favorite vegetable.
2. Get sneaky
- Pureed peppers, zucchini or carrots can be “snuck” into tomato sauces for pasta or pizza. Not even the pickiest eater will notice!
- Cauliflower, carrots or sweet potato can be steamed and pureed into mashed potatoes or a casserole.
- Have a ...
Labor pain is due to contractions of the muscles of the uterus and by pressure on the cervix. This can feel like strong cramping in the abdomen, groin, and back. Some women experience pain in their sides or thighs as well. Women can also feel pressure on the bladder and bowels by the baby's head and the stretching of the birth canal and vagina. Some find the hardest part is not the contraction itself, but the fact that the contractions keep coming.
One of the best ways to alleviate fears for women is to learn about the available strategies for coping with pain. There are both medical and non-medical tools that may be a good match for you.
While you are deciding, think about what appeals to you most. Ask your health care provider these questions:
As a pediatric urologist, I am frequently asked to consult with parents whose newborn son has hypospadias.
Hypospadias is usually diagnosed during the physical exam right after the baby is born. When parents see the abnormal penile anatomy they naturally want to learn about the diagnosis and understand what, if anything, needs to be done. Answering these questions, discussing options, and performing reconstructive surgery to help restore normal penis appearance and function are some of the most rewarding things I do as a pediatric urologist.
I would like parents who have a son born with hypospadias to be reassured that the anatomy can be reconstructed, the surgery is well tolerated, and a good outcome with a normal, or near normal, penis appearance and function can be achieved.
It is not urgent to treat newborns with hypospadias because they can usually pee (urinate) just fine through their existing urinary opening.
In fact, when hypospadias is the only condition noted in a newborn physical exam there is a low chance of additional developmental abnormalities. Additional tests and studies on the baby are usually not necessary.
It is important to note that if any unusual shape of the penis or urethral opening (where the pee comes out) is present then circumcision (if desired) should not be performed until after the child is examined by a pediatric urologist. This is because the pediatric urologist may need to use the foreskin tissue for the surgical repair.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
About half of all children will develop enlarged lymph nodes (cervical lymphadenitis) in the neck for example, and the vast majority of these are in response to a minor infection in the area (sore throat, sinus infection, ear infection, etc.). Often the infection is quite subtle and might not be identified. These nodes typically go through a pattern of growing and then receding in size once the infection resolves. This process can take several weeks to months. The nodes may become tender, warm, and there may be some redness of the overlying skin. Your child might complain of pain in the area, be fussier, have fever, and/or have decreased appetite. If the node itself becomes infected, it can turn into an abscess and would require antibiotics and a drainage procedure. Any possibly infected lymph node should be evaluated by your doctor.
Some enlarged lymph nodes ...
Here's what you should know about antibiotics in these situations:
- Ear infections ...