Tag Archives: safety

Dr. M’s SPA Newsletter Volume 11 Issue 28

High Flying Majestic Frigate Birds

Teenagers are in need of our guidance despite what they may tell you. Stay involved in order to love and guide them.

Do you know what your teenagers are texting?
As our teenagers learn and attempt to navigate the modern world replete with ever time consuming social media applications and devices, we must stay tied to them for safety. Dr. Laura Berman has a cautionary tale that discusses the hidden dangers of children using social media to communicate their desire to use and obtain drugs. She stated in a post, “Instead of writing out words and structuring sentences, teenagers and young adults are using emojis to express thoughts or emotions in conversations with their friends and online strangers. So, it’s important that parents become educated on the language our kids are speaking. ” (Berman, L)
The world of teenagers is a scary place for a parent to navigate as children have applications that disappear written text and pictures in seconds to minutes hiding an obvious trail of trouble if it exists……..
Read more at https://www.salisburypediatrics.com/patient-education/dr-magryta-s-newsletter
Have a great day,
Dr. M

Swimming, A Basic Life Skill All Children Should Know (Archived Pedcast)

Swimming lessons are a crucial for every child’s safety–drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children. As parents, you can help protect your children and lower the number of needless drownings by teaching them water safety skills. In this pedcast, Doc Smo emphasizes the importance of child swim lessons and gives parents some practical advice about teaching their children to swim.

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Driveway Disasters (Article)

The combination of driveways and your children can be a deadly one. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye while a parent is performing a mundane task like backing their car out of the driveway; disaster can sadly be just feet away. We all know how much kids love playing outside in the driveway. This puts them squarely in a dangerous zone where they can be injured by a moving car. It’s an alarmingly easy mistake to make that happens frequently. So many families have been devastated when their children are injured or killed by the family car.

In the U.S., fifty children are backed over every week. Of these fifty, two are fatally injured, and most victims are between only twelve and twenty three months old; they are just little innocent toddlers who have no awareness of the danger a moving car poses. They just innocently toddle out into the driveway following their parents, right in the way of the moving vehicle. Most accidents occur when drivers cannot see children in their car’s blind spot, the space behind the car that is not visible from the driver’s seat. Since trucks, vans, and SUVS have the largest blind spots, the majority of accidents are attributed to these vehicles. Fortunately, with more awareness, most of these accidents are preventable.

Here are a few easy tips to ensure that your children are kept safe in your driveway.

  • Always walk all the way around your car before backing out of the driveway. These few seconds could save your child’s life.
  • When young children get in or out of the car, hold their hands and guide them to a safe area where the driver can easily see them.
  • When you’re behind the wheel, remember to back up slowly and always pay attention to your mirrors.
  • Consider purchasing a car that is equipped with a back-up camera and alarm, especially when your children are very young.

Hopefully, all these measures will reduce the number of children who are injured where they should be the safest…their own homes. The prevention of such accidents is possible and in our hands. This is a problem that we can fix!

Your comments are welcome at my blog, www.docsmo.com. Until next time.

Smo Notes:


Written collaboratively by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.

The Genius of Parents (Pedcast)

Doc Smo here, your pedcast host. Thank you for tuning into another edition of DocSmo.com, the pediatric podcast dedicated to parents and children. It’s a beautiful day in Charlotte, and that fact has undoubtedly raised my mood. I must say, I’m constantly reminded of what geniuses mothers and fathers are. Just this week, observing parents with their children has reminded me of this fact.


Take a mother who came with her 10 year old this week, for instance. During the talking part of this boy’s checkup, the conversation turned to his bedroom and his bedtime activities. This child’s mother was quick to pipe into the conversation how important sleep was to his brain function… and she is right! Recent research shows that just an hour less sleep each night reduces the intellectual functioning of a school age child by 2 full grades! That’s like a 5th grader functioning on a 3 grade level. This mom hadn’t read this research but instinctively knew this. Amazing. During that same conversation, the mother reiterated why her son could not have a TV in his room or screens of any sort in his bedroom! This lady is on top of the latest research without even reading it. Research shows that, on average, children with screens and TVs in their room do less well in school.


I am also reminded of the mom who chimed in during my conversation with her son about bike helmets, reinforcing my message of how absolutely essential it is to wear a helmet, not just on a bike, but anything that rolls. The child started negotiating…”What about my skateboard, what about my scooter. Do I need to wear my helmet riding these as well”? Mom took over at this point and came out with this statement, “The point is, Johnny, if you fall and hit your head rolling on anything, we want your helmet to break, not your head. You’ll wear the helmet when you ride on anything that rolls or you will lose that toy.” Right on, Mom.

Dad’s aren’t too shabby when it comes to intelligence either. While I was discussing a young boy’s respiratory illness with him and his Dad earlier this week, the young man interrupted me with a comment before I had finished with my thought. Dad was quick to correct his interruption with some wisdom of his own: “Son, you only have one mouth but two ears, which means you should listen twice as much as you talk!”  What wisdom.  We should all remember that one.


And finally, let’s not forget the teaching of social graces that parents are constantly doing. Just because their children are at the doctor’s office doesn’t mean that these genius parents don’t stop demanding that their children learn to talk to and respect older individuals. I can’t tell you how often I hear parents correct their children to address me as sir, look me in the eye when talking to me, prompting their children to answer my questions without the parent’s help, or show gratitude when I show concern for their well being or give them something. Personally, I take comfort when I hear these things. These parents are grooming their children for success, teaching social skills that they will undoubtedly need when they are captains of industry, civic leaders, professionals, or productive, responsible adults.


Parents never cease to amaze me. That’s why I always do my best to listen carefully when they talk. They usually are very insightful and wise about one of their favorite topics: their children. If you enjoyed this pedcast, take a minute to write a review on iTunes or leave a comment on my blog, www.docsmo.com. You are the reason I make these podcasts. This is Dr. Paul Smolen, hoping you get in sync, with your great parental instincts. Until next time.