How Do I Get My Kids to Stop Picking Their Scabs?

mosquito-clip-art-AT-1-300x215Warmer weather is here!

Time for shorts and tank tops and cuts and mosquito bites.


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Is Bubble Bath Bad for Kids?

bubble bathWebMD_BubbleBaths_2000

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A Day’s Worth of Food: for Adults

Pyramids and plates and portions—for adults, here’s the day—

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How Do I Stop Getting Sick?

VintageFast fact: most viral infections enter the body through the eyes, nose or throat. It takes discipline, but don’t touch your eyes, nose or throat unless you have just wished your hands.

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Helping the Anxious Child and Teen

Teddy Bear

A little anxiety in normal in the face of new people and new activities. When anxiety keeps your child from activities or intrudes on family time, it’s important to understand how best to respond to your child and provide support. Parents often find it difficult to reassure the anxious child. This is natural, because you cannot change the anxious person’s perception.

Anxiety is best approached by developing strategies:

  • Distract yourself with pleasant thoughts and activities
  • Use play and laughter to keep worries away and make the body strong
  • Set a specific, short time each day for worrying
  • Tell the worry to wait for worry time
  • Write the worry down and put it in a special place until worry time

Anxiety_Helping_Your_Child_Cope is a parent information sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Recommended Books

What to Do when you Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner, PhD

Helping your Anxious Child by Ron Rapee

My Anxious Mind by Michael Thompkins &Katherine Martinez (for teens)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective way to address anxiety. Therapists may use workbooks like Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook by David H. Barlow & Michelle G. Craske for older teens and adults.

Local Resources

The San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy in the Rockridge section of Oakland, CA is one resource. Their number is 510.652.4455.











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When Should I Keep my Baby or Child Home?

First Aid Neon

Babies and kids can get sick up to a dozen times a year as they build their immunity to common childhood diseases. Each infection can last up to two weeks, so parents often wonder when to keep their child home and when can they go back.

Children can be contagious for days before they show any symptoms and can spread some infection for three weeks afterward.

General reasons to keep your child home include:

  • Fever (temperature over 100.4F/38C) in the last 24 hours
  • The child can’t stop coughing and the cough is interfering with the child’s day or the day of those are her*
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea that cannot be contained in the diaper or need close access to bathroom
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis). Children may usually return after 24 hours of prescription antibiotic eyedrops
  • Children with strep throat may return after 24 hours of antibiotics
  • Children who need more TLC than daycare and school can provide while they recover

The Bananas child care sick policy is a comprehensive list of conditions for which a baby or child should be kept at home.

*Despite the current “catch your cough” craze, sneezing and coughing are best done into a tissue which is then thrown away and then the hands washed. Coughing and sneezing into the hands of the elbow of clothing leaves mucus on hands and clothing which is then spread by touching. Use tissues and wash hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is useful when there is no soap and water.




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Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Neon

How to treat vomiting is here.

What to give a vomiting child to drink is here.

How to treat diarrhea is here.

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Measles 1991: My Philadelphia Flashback

Shot TimeIn 1991, Philadelphia experienced a measles outbreak. I was in medical school in the city, and I remember how difficult it was to control. Children—some of whom had never been immunized—died. Babies received measles vaccines at 6 months of age and again at 12 months. Countless measles vaccines boosters were given. Living through a measles epidemic and seeing its grave consequences only confirmed the need to immunize against vaccine-preventable diseases.

There is a short radio piece on that time here.

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Pediatric Practices in the United States

BabyMoving and need to find a new pediatrician for your family?

The map link here will show you pediatric practices affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Practice Administration.

A more general link for finding a pediatrician from the American Academy of Pediatrics is here.

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