Exploring How Snacks Can Harm Kids (Pedcast)

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Thanks for stopping by DocSmo.com, where portable, practical pediatrics is our specialty! Our goal is to provide pediatric advice on your schedule, answering your questions on any topic concerning your children. Today, we will be talking about one of my personal pet peeves, how seemingly innocent snacking poses some serious consequences for your children’s health. Diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic issues, obesity, and tooth decay are only a few of the problems that arise from babies and young children eating little puffs, pastries, and crackers and drinking sugary drinks throughout the day. In America, children are treated to little snacks almost round the clock, from sugary cereals at preschool to after-sports snacks of cupcakes and cookies. Continue reading

Can Eczema/Allergy Be Prevented in Kids? (Pedcast)

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Life threatening diseases like meningitis, sepsis, and dehydration are mostly a thing of the past for babies and children in 21st century America. Thank goodness! But instead of these acute illnesses that were so prevalent in the past, now children are battling chronic illnesses like asthma, food allergy, and the topic of today’s talk, eczema. If you search the Portable Practical Pediatrics archives, you will see that we have talked about eczema on many, many occasions– but today I thought I would bring you some new information that recent research has uncovered. If this research is correct, it looks like eczema may be, in  a large number of children, preventable. So stay with me to find out more about how you might be able to prevent the debilitating skin disease known as eczema in your children.

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Interesting Conversations March 2017 (Pedcast)

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Welcome to another edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, a board certified pediatrician. People call me Doc Smo. My patients bring up such interesting topics…so interesting that a few years ago, I started sharing some of them with my blog audience. I have to say that after 35 years of practicing pediatrics I have learned and lived this Doc Smo pearl, “The best doctors listen way more than they talk.” With that in mind, I am going to share with some of the interesting things my patients have told me recently. I think you will see that by listening intently, I learn a lot from my patients.   So let’s get into the next set of “Interesting Conversations” I’ve had recently with my patients and their families, shall we? Continue reading

The Chickenpox/ Shingles Story (Pedcast)

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I was having a discussion the other day with the mom of one of my patients. She was asking me why we vaccinate children against chickenpox; a disease that her mother told her was a benign mild childhood illness that doesn’t hurt kids.  Keep in mind that almost none of the parents of my current patients have ever seen or had any experience with the disease of chickenpox.  The disease is virtually gone in the United States so everything parents know today is based on what they have heard.  This particular mom had so many questions and a few misconceptions about chickenpox. Because of this I thought many of my blog listeners probably have many of the same questions, so today were going to talk about the disease known as chickenpox: the myths and facts and the rationale behind vaccinating today’s children. Why do we bother vaccinating for a harmless childhood illness? Continue reading