Parentelligence Blog

Tics or Tourette's?

Anthony Bouldin
Tics are sudden, stereotyped and repetitive movements or vocalizations that are involuntary and often appear similar to normal movements.  They can be brief simple movements such as eye blinking or facial grimacing or more complex behaviors such as jumping or repetitive touching.  Common vocal tics or vocalizations are humming, throat clearing and coughing.  Tics can be a temporary or a passing phase (transient tic disorder) or more chronic.   The diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome is defined as a history of multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic occurring for longer than 12 months.

Tourette’s syndrome typically begins ...

Guide to milk alternatives

Leah Goldstein, RD, CD

Leah Goldstein, RD, CD
Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Navigating the world of dairy-free living can be overwhelming! There are so many milk alternatives on the market these days and unfortunately, not all are created equally.

The following guides break down the pros and cons of each milk substitute while looking into specific nutrients, availability, use in cooking, and other allergens. Remember that if your child is not drinking milk, we need to ensure they receive enough fat, protein, calcium and vitamin D, so always compare food labels to make sure you are making the best choice for your dairy-free child.

The “Leaky Gut” Hypothesis

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Have you heard of the term “leaky gut”? It’s used to describe a (scientifically unproven) theory, which proposes that the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract could be abnormally permeable to dietary and other environmental substances, which then “leak” into the blood stream to trigger inflammation. Sometimes, the “leaky gut” theory is put forth as the cause of a variety of poorly understood diseases, ranging from autism to autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

As a gastroenterologist, trained with the knowledge of how the internal mechanics of the gut lining are designed to make it an effective barrier, I have always found it hard to accept this hypothesis. I wanted to share the findings of a recent publication showing that in a group of children known to have food allergies and gut inflammation, their GI tract was no more “leaky”, compared to the intestinal tracts of healthy children.

Spring allergies strike early

Kevin Dooms, MD

Kevin Dooms, MD
Allergist/Immunologist

Is your house filled with people sneezing, sniffling or rubbing their red, watery eyes? If so, you or a family member may have “hay fever,” also known as “allergic rhinitis” or “allergic conjunctivitis.”  With the unseasonably warm weather, the spring pollen season has arrived especially early this year.

Feeding peanut to infants decreases the risk of peanut allergy

Kevin Dooms, MD

Kevin Dooms, MD
Allergist/Immunologist

This week an important new study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that infants and toddlers exposed to peanut at a young age have a significantly lower risk of developing peanut allergy.

The study took place at King’s College in London, and involved 640 infants at high risk for developing peanut allergy (infants who already had severe eczema or egg allergy). Starting as early as 4 months of age, half of the babies in the study began eating peanut on a regular basis.  The other half of babies completely avoided peanut until they were 5.

When the children in the study reached their fifth birthday, researchers compared the rates of peanut allergy in the two groups:

Are trampolines safe for kids?

Kathleen Moen, MD

Kathleen Moen, MD
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Trampolines are fun and children get a good amount of exercise when using them. However, thousands of children every year are injured on trampolines. In 2009, 98,000 people were seen in emergency rooms with injuries sustained while on trampolines. While many of these injuries were bumps and bruises, others were fractured bones that required casting and injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery. Sadly, a small percentage of people sustained life-threatening and permanently life-altering injuries, including closed head injuries and spinal cord injuries. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the America Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have discouraged the recreational use of trampolines. What do we know about how these injuries occur and can we avoid them?

About 75% of injuries happen when more than one child at a time is on the trampoline. The smallest children are most at risk, because:

Tips for parents dealing with toddler’s diarrhea

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Toddlerhood is a time when children are going through a lot of changes.  Children enter pre-school, toilet-training begins, diets change, and sometimes stooling patterns become different as well.  The latter issue often leads to parental worry.   One of the most common changes that parents of toddlers bring up during visits with me is that their toddler’s stools seem very loose or watery (“diarrhea”).  More often than not, the diagnosis ends up being “toddler’s diarrhea”, a harmless type of diarrhea that generally starts after a child is weaned.  (Other names for this condition include “functional diarrhea of childhood” or “chronic non-specific diarrhea of childhood”.)

Toddler’s diarrhea occurs due to a relative immaturity of the intestinal tract of young children.  Relatively speaking, sugars and some fluid get poorly absorbed.  The stools often contain undigested food particles (carrots and corn being the most commonly noticed).  The key differentiating factor that sets toddler’s diarrhea apart from other causes of diarrhea at this age is that except for loose stools, there are no other symptoms.  There is no malabsorption of nutrients, so children with toddler’s diarrhea have normal growth and weight gain.  Otherwise, they are perfectly healthy.  There won’t be anything abnormal found during their physical exam.  Tests are not generally needed, because those, too, will be normal.

Even though toddler’s diarrhea resolves on its own, I often tell families to follow the “4 Fs” as a guide to treatment:
Results 1-7 of 100

Top Authors

Jennifer Wojciechowski
Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Robert L. Weinsheimer, MD

Robert L. Weinsheimer, MD
Pediatric General Surgeon

Elizabeth Meade, MD

Elizabeth Meade, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist

Featured Classes


Healthy Weight Series - 3 class series

Swedish/First Hill
Thu, June 4th, 2015
6:30-8:00pm

Register Now