HPV vaccine: When opportunity knocks, answer

 Over the last eight years, I’ve captured stories of children and families affected by vaccine-preventable diseases, many of which I’ve shared on this blog. Families like the Lastinger’s who lost their 4-year-old daughter, Emily, to influenza. Or the Throgmorton’s who lost their newborn daughter, Haleigh, to pertussis. Most recently, I’ve had the unique opportunity to capture the stories of men and women affected by human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-related cancers. This time, I met adult men and women, most of whom are parents or grandparents, who were affected by a vaccine-preventable disease for which we now have a vaccine. In other words, nearly all of these mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers are facing the long-term side effects of a disease for which they never had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Full Entry »

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When joint pains are more than just pains

The boys are sick

One of the most common reasons for referral to a pediatric rheumatologist is joint pain, often with the suspicion that the pain is due to arthritis. These two terms are sometimes used synonymously, creating much anxiety and worry in parents leading up to the office visit with a pediatric rheumatologist. There are a myriad of reasons your child may have joint pain, and my job as a pediatric rheumatologist is to figure out if the pain is more than just pain, or due to arthritis – a term that refers to inflammation in the joint. Full Entry »

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Toxic stress and child development

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”—Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa

Children can experience a number of stressors throughout their childhood. It’s important to note not all stress is bad stress. There are generally three levels: Full Entry »

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What the color of your baby’s stool can tell you

Children do not come with how-to handbooks, but from day one, they depend on their parents to understand what they need. With each passing day, parents get better and better at knowing what cry means what, what food is best and even what diapers to use. But what about your baby’s poop? Is your baby’s stool trying to tell you something your baby needs you to know? Full Entry »

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Liver transplant: Reid’s story

Reid’s pediatrician missed his diagnosis, even though he presented with all of the symptoms. We trusted her opinion as we had been going to her for four years. At his initial appointment, his pediatrician stated jaundice in newborns is common and to place him in indirect sunlight during the day. He attended all appointments as required, at 4 days old, 2 weeks old, 2 months old, and he even attended a sick visit at 2-and-a-half months with a nurse practitioner. Nothing additional was said about his jaundice, so we assumed it was normal, or that he needed more time in the indirect sunlight. Full Entry »

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