Posted tagged ‘health’

Don’t touch those toys

January 27, 2009

When you visit the pediatrician, keep your children away from the toys in the waiting room. It’s better to bring your own toys than to expose your kids to things that might make them sicker.

A study presented in October, 2008 confirmed that toys and other surfaces in the common areas of pediatrician’s offices often harbor disease-causing viruses. Furthermore, the use of disinfecting wipes really doesn’t make much of a difference.

Almost all common cold germs are picked up from contaminated surfaces by hands. You can bet that the surfaces, chairs, and toys in a doctor’s waiting room are probably coated with an infectious sheen of microorganisms. Children innocently rubbing their eyes or noses are probably inoculating themselves with a stew of whatever germs were left by the last sick child in the waiting room. This study confirms that these germs can survive for up to 24 hours, and are difficult to eradicate from surfaces even with good thorough wiping.

Colds may seem like an unavoidable nuisance, but there are some effective ways that can help your family stay healthy. Avoid sick people, get a good night’s sleep, keep your hands clean, and bring your own toys to the pediatrician’s office.

Cancer, diabetes, and vegans

August 16, 2008

A post from EH: “Recently I have been hearing about a link between dairy protein and diseases such as cancer and diabetes. What are your thoughts on this and can a vegan diet be healthy for small children?”

I haven’t seen any good data that supports a strong link between dairy products and either cancer or diabetes. The press likes to report things as if there is a single cause—a “smoking gun”—that’s the root cause of these problems, it’s unlikely that either disease is the result of one kind of food or exposure. As with many health conditions, they’re complex, poorly understood, and difficult to sum up for a 45 second sound bite on the news.

Nonetheless, this is the Pediatric Insider site, and I’m going to take a stab at it: in 45 seconds, what are the best ways to prevent cancer and diabetes?



July 1, 2008

It’s a new frontier for the blog: a podcast! I recently recorded an interview as a guest with Dr. Rich Sagall, the editor of Pediatrics for Parents. I’ve been a regular contributor to this journal for a few years. It’s a well-researched and reliable publication about children’s health issues for parents. In the podcast, we discuss things about patients that have caused us grief as doctors, along with tips and tricks about how to get the most out of doctor visits. The material is similar to some of the secrets covered in my first book. Check it out!

To listen to the podcast, go to this page and click on episode 58. You may see other podcasts that interest you further down on the page. There are a few others that feature me on a variety of topics. If you’d like, you can also reach this podcast or subscribe to the series via iTunes. Search for “Pediatrics for Parents.”

Let me know if you like the podcast format. They’re pretty simple to set up, and though I don’t have a jingle yet I could whip one up and start recording my voice more regularly if there’s interest. I promise I won’t sing!