Why Can’t Johnny Poop? (Pedcast)

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Introduction

Today were going to take a little detour from traditional pediatrics and discuss a unique view of a common pediatric condition, constipation. I’m going to introduce you to a thought I had many years ago about why children so frequently have trouble with the basic bodily function of defecation. You may be surprised to find out that constipation is an amazingly common symptom in children and one that pediatricians encounter frequently. I often am amazed at the myriad of ways a constipated child can present to their pediatrician: recurrent abdominal pain, excess gas and flatulence, bloating, heartburn, morning vomiting, hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, toilet clogging large stools, and stool leakage, just to mention a few. But why so much constipation?  I hope to answer that question for you in today’s pedcast. I also want to share with you my personal theory of why abdominal complaints are so common in children, an explanation that involves evolutionary theory of all things.  I hope I have you curious with that comment so stay tune for this very interesting addition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. Continue reading

Straight Talk About Sleep in Infancy-Updated (Pedcast)

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Introduction

Welcome, I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen.  At the time of this recording, it will have been my honor to practice general pediatrics for the past 35 years. Today we are going to talk about an extremely important topic for you and your child….how to get a good nights sleep for both you and your infant.  You remember that whole concept before you had kids– you lay down and are not disturbed for 8-12 hours and you sleep.  Ah, bliss.  A day doesn’t go by without me talking to a family with a significant sleep problem regarding their children. Like the family I spoke with recently.  Lovely people with a gorgeous child who I was seeing for his six-month checkup.  Let’s call him Johnny. I asked the standard questions about Johnny’s sleep and I got that look.  Mom is up with him at least 3 times a night breastfeeding and rocking.  She seemed exhausted and maybe starting to get resentful of her child’s constant demands at night.   She is a working mom and totally exhausted all the time.  This situation is not good for this mom or Johnny, so in today’s pedcast, I’m going to tell you what advise I gave Johnny’s family and I am going to give you some simple tools to teach your children how to become good independent sleepers.  Don’t miss this important episode of Portable Practical Pediatrics. Continue reading

Children Need Balance (Updated Pedcast)

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Introduction

Every once in a while I like to reach back into my previously posted articles and pedcasts to do a fresh update. Bring some fresh perspective to a previous idea. That is exactly what we are going to do today’s post.  I’m reaching way back to June 2012 and giving some fresh thought to an article that I originally wrote and posted when my youngest child was in college. The subject, life’s perspectives and how they change throughout our lives. I call these paradigm or perspective shifts. I hope you enjoy this edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics and take a few minutes to reflect on the message it imparts– A balanced life is a happy life. Continue reading

How Are Pediatricians Saving Lives Today? (Pedcast)

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Introduction

Child death from an infectious disease like pneumonia was all too common in America just a hundred years ago. If you read descriptions of life in the 19th century, you quickly realize that children suffering from infectious diseases was common and often devastating.  Thank goodness those days are gone. Good riddance.  To demonstrate that point, just take a look at the most common causes of death in older infants and children during the turn of the century era.  Study of childhood deaths year 1900

#1 Pneumonia secondary to influenza

#2 Tuberculosis

#3 Acute Gastroenteritis

Notice, all of the big three causes of child death have one thing in common; they are all infectious diseases. Have you ever known any children who have succumbed to any of these diseases? Probably not because these infections that lead to death in 1900, are very rare in today’s children. Just forty years ago, at the onset of my pediatric career, pediatricians regularly saved children by treating them for meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, and dehydration secondary to acute gastroenteritis; but not today. Those days of infectious disease deaths, relative to the past, are mostly gone. But pediatricians still regularly saves by using tools other than traditional medical therapies.  What are those tools you ask? Well stay tuned to find out and explore this interesting topic further in this edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. Continue reading