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Articles filed under Minciotti, Helen

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  • Button batteries can pose health hazard to young children Jun 3, 2013 6:27 AM
    The small silver disc fell out of the back of the electronic toy and lay nestled in the carpet. While his parents didn’t notice it from their vantage point 5 and 6 feet up, the shiny object did catch the eye of their ever-inquisitive 3-year-old who promptly popped the button battery in his mouth and swallowed. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but after he told his parents what he had done, the boy’s impulsive ingestion sent the family on a trip to the local emergency department. Thankfully, his chest X-ray was clear of any foreign body, so the battery was not in the esophagus.

  • Pacifier use should depend on age of baby May 6, 2013 6:00 AM
    To use a pacifier or not to use a pacifier? That was the question posed by two families one office morning, and though their question was the same, my answer was not. Was I being inconsistent? No, it's just that one child was 2 months old, so the answer was "sure," while the second was well past his second birthday, so my advice was, "it's time to break the habit."

  • Norovirus infection can travel quickly Apr 8, 2013 6:00 AM
    Norovirus is named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in this country, with 21 million Americans affected each year. Not surprising since one infected individual can shed billions of norovirus particles, while as few as 18 of these tiny viral particles are capable of sickening another person.

  • Trying to wean a baby from nighttime feedings Mar 11, 2013 6:39 AM
    If a 9-month-old baby is growing well and getting plenty of good calories from a daytime regimen of three hearty solid meals plus 20 to 24 ounces of formula, eliminating unnecessary nighttime bottles is the way to go and can improve the sleep of everyone in the family.

  • Important for parents, caregivers to have immunizations Feb 11, 2013 5:00 AM
    Parental flu shot recommendations are not new and for quite a few years flu shots have been advised for all individuals 6 months of age and up. Flu hits the very young very hard, with infected children younger than 2 years of age facing higher rates of severe flu-related complications. Vaccination makes it less likely that parents will bring influenza home from work and other public gatherings, keeping infants healthier.

  • Physical therapy often effective in treating head tilt Dec 17, 2012 6:24 AM
    The 9-month-old boy had been diagnosed with torticollis or wry neck early in infancy and had already been checked by an orthopedic specialist who found no bony abnormalities or neck masses. His parents had been diligent, but their little guy's head tilt continued to be noticeable. Mom was interested in beginning a formal physical therapy program to help stretch the infant's tight neck muscles and improve his range of motion, and I agreed.

  • Some conditions signal potential for Type 2 diabetes Nov 19, 2012 6:00 AM
    A physical examination of a healthy 6-year-old reveals a few conditions, such as elevated weight in relation to height and dark marks on the skin, as potential signs of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

  • Teaching kids how to cope with colorblindness Oct 22, 2012 6:54 AM
    Colorblindness is a minor inconvenience for most affected schoolchildren. Color vision defects can, however, cause problems since students are often expected to differentiate colors on classroom graphs and whiteboards. Colorblindness can also be socially challenging as affected kids try to coordinate matching clothes for each school day.

  • Cause of children eating nonfood items unclear Sep 24, 2012 6:00 AM
    Pica, or the ingestion of nonfood objects, can occur in kids as habit behavior, as well as in children with developmental delay or those with some type of nutritional deficiency. The word pica derives from the Latin term for the magpie, a bird known to have a wide- ranging and indiscriminate appetite.

  • Precautions urged when making a hospital visit Aug 27, 2012 6:00 AM
    Though officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that friends and relatives who visit hospitalized loved ones are "not likely" to get C. dif, they should still take simple precautions during these visits. Hospital visitors should start by checking with the patient's nurse to see if gowns and gloves are needed for a visit. Visitors are also urged to wash their hands both before entering and as they leave the patient's room.

  • Keeping up to date on hepatitis viruses, vaccines Jul 30, 2012 12:54 PM
    Hepatitis A is a virus known to infect the liver, and infection can result in a monthlong illness featuring fever, vomiting and diarrhea, dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice. While vaccines have not yet been developed for the rest of the "alphabet" of infectious hepatitis, it is fortunate that safe and effective vaccinations are available against both the hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses.

  • Healthy, growing kids often don’t need vitamins Jul 2, 2012 6:56 AM
    In their Pediatric Nutrition Handbook, experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics comment that, "Supplemental vitamins are expensive and probably unnecessary for the healthy child older than 1 year who consumes a varied diet." Without a doubt, there are children who can benefit from certain vitamin and mineral supplements. For patients who don't drink enough milk or have limited dairy intake due to lactose intolerance, targeted calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help promote bone health.

  • HPV vaccines provide important protection Jun 4, 2012 6:00 AM
    Mom was on board before I even finished talking. I had just done a physical on her 16-year-old son and was discussing the new recommendations for human papillomavirus vaccination for tween and teen boys. The mother felt that providing her son with the same viral protection as her daughter seemed like a sensible medical decision.

  • Be on lookout for ticks, Lyme disease symptoms May 7, 2012 6:08 AM
    Fevers are not that unusual in elementary schoolchildren and, in fact, nothing worrisome was turning up as the physician examined the 7-year-old. But after other symptoms started appearing including a rash, more tests were conducted. After months, the child's condition was finally traced to Lyme disease.

  • Child's rectal bleeding linked to congenital intestinal defect Apr 9, 2012 6:00 AM
    Rectal bleeding in children is alarming, with the list of possible causes quite long. For one young patient, it turned out to be Meckel's diverticulum, which occurs in only 2 percent to 3 percent of the population, but ranks as one of the most common congenital intestinal defects.

  • Risk of injury still exists for ‘safe' baseball, softball Mar 12, 2012 6:00 AM
    While baseball and softball are considered to be relatively safe, traumatic and overuse injuries do still occur and tend to "cluster," with the highest number of baseball injuries occurring in 11- to 14-year-olds, and the greatest number of softball injuries seen in 13- to 16-year-olds.

  • No definite cause for Kawasaki disease Feb 13, 2012 6:00 AM
    Some pediatric diseases are obvious from day one, while others take a while to declare themselves. My little patient came to the office with a history of two days of high fever, thick yellow-green nasal drainage and a cough. The boy was suffering from Kawasaki disease, an inflammation of the blood vessels. KD is well-studied and treatable, but still lacks a defined cause.

  • Take action when objects get stuck in noses, ears Jan 16, 2012 5:45 AM
    While nasal foreign bodies rarely are an issue in the adult world, they are frequently seen in the pediatric population. Nasal foreign bodies that are quickly and easily removed generally don’t cause problems for children. An item that lingers in the nose undetected can cause unpleasant symptoms, and classically presents at some later date as an unexplained chronic, thick and foul-smelling discharge coming from only one nostril.

  • Any way you slice it, breakfast an important meal Nov 7, 2011 6:00 AM
    Is breakfast important? Most nutrition experts seem to think so. Yet, in her review in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, registered dietitian Gail Rampersaud notes that up to 30 percent of American children and adolescents often or always skip breakfast.

  • PCD patients suffer from abnormal airway cilia Oct 23, 2011 10:29 PM
    PCD is often lower on the list of possible airway diagnoses because it is a fairly uncommon medical condition. Symptoms of PCD can include neonatal respiratory distress and nasal congestion, as well as a chronic and persistent cough, wheeze, sputum production, sinusitis and ear infections.

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