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Childhood Obesity – Americas Number One Growing Epidemic

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: November 2017

obese kid

The holiday season is here. While we celebrate this joyous time, let’s start a conversation about Childhood Obesity. We should all be thankful this season for the gifts we are given. One gift taken for granted is the amount of food we consume.

Childhood Obesity affects 30% of our children.
Main factors that contribute to the rise in this epidemic are poor lifestyle habits. These repetitive behaviors can be changed with perseverance and education.

  • Physical activity has been greatly limited due to electronics as a way of life. Kids are simply getting less and less exercise by opting out of organized sports, spending more time indoors with video games, social media and communicating on-line rather than face to face while enjoying parks and playgrounds, outside playing sports or simply being driven around rather than walking.
  • Diet is another risk factor. Processed sugary foods contribute to 40% of a child’s diet. Our schedules are busier than ever. It’s easy for us to grab ready-made meals, pop into a restaurant to eat out and use vending machines in order to get calories into our over scheduled children.
    These habits lead to excessive intake of fat, carbohydrates and calories. They are simply unhealthy. Of course portion size has to be accounted for as well. Remember the amount of starch, (rice, potato, pasta) consumed at a meal should not be bigger than your palm. Even the size of a portion (6oz) of steak should be no bigger than this size.
  • Psychological issues also contribute to overweight children. Some people, including children, overeat to combat stress, depression, boredom and uncomfortable feelings. Children learn these behaviors from their families. Physical activity and aerobic sports are the best way to deal with anxiety and stress. Remember obesity eventually leads to a number of medical issues for children beyond their third decade which include hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, a 40% increase in solid cancers, hip and knee replacement surgery and depression. This is on top of the social isolation and depression overweight and obese children suffer as they enter adolescence.

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What is the Stomach Flu a.k.a Gastroenteritis

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: October 2017

young woman flu sitting in bed

Having the stomach flu is not the same as influenza. It is an illness caused by viruses that lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as fever, malaise, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. One could have all or just one, maybe two of these symptoms. Rest, hydration, and a bland diet is necessary for a speedy recovery.

The causes of gastroenteritis can vary. The most common virus that leads to the stomach flu are Noroviruses and Rotaviruses. Both are highly contagious. Rotavirus is most common in children. Both types of virus cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Some children may have respiratory symptoms such as runny nose and cough with Rotavirus.

The Norovirus causes 50-75% of gastroenteritis in adults and children according to the CDC, spreads rapidly and is usually caused by contaminated food and liquids. Food becomes contaminated by either feces or improper storage. It is passed onto others by touching objects, such as cups, utensils, door knobs and surfaces that contain the virus. A person then contracts the virus by putting contaminated hands or food in their mouth.

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What is Human Papillomavirus - a.k.a. HPV?

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: September 2017

little girl getting vaccination from pediatrician at office

What is HPV?

HPV is virus that enters the body by through intimate contact via tiny small tears or abrasions. It usually comes from sexual contact and most people will become infected with it at some point in their life. There are over 100 strains of the HPV virus. The ones that we are most concerned with are those that cause genital warts and cancer in both boys and girls. This type of HPV infection can lead to deadly forms of cancers; vaginal, vulvar, cervical, anal, penile and throat. Luckily, we can prevent the virus from ever entering our system with the new HPV vaccine.

Should I Vaccinate my Child? Yes!

The HPV vaccine is crucial for your child regardless of gender. According to the CDC, about 14 million people including teens are infected with the virus each year. The vaccine can protect girls from cervical, vaginal and vulva cancers and in boys’ penile cancer. Mouth and throat cancers in both can be caused by HPV and prevented with the vaccine.

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Pros & Cons of Kids Smart Phone Use

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: August 2017

Child on mobile phone

Teaching responsible use is the key

Every parent in the 21st century must ask the question, “When is it ok for my child to have a cell phone”? It equates to parents in the 20th century asking, “When is it ok to let a child watch television”? The answer is when your son or daughter can use these devices responsibly. Lets’ face it, we live in a mobile and global society. Responsible use of electronics is the key to allowing our children the inevitability of owning a cell phone. 

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Headaches

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: July 2017

Headaches

Not all Headaches are the same

We all get headaches. Kids, teens, adults, seniors and even babies. Headaches can be brought on by factors such as stress, food, the environment, infection, or even the need for eye glasses. Headaches fall into different categories with the most common being tension, migraines, cluster, and sinus. Knowing the symptoms can help your doctor determine the type of headache you or your child is suffering from and how to treat. 

Tension Headaches come and go throughout the day. Episodic tension headaches can be the most common among kids and teens causing mild to moderate pain. They come and go when the child is under a great deal of stress or suffers from an anxiety. The pain usually begins gradually and occurs in the middle of the day then subsides. Chronic tension headaches can last all day. The pain intensity comes and goes but is constant. They occur more than 10-15 times a month. Tension headaches whether chronic or episodic have symptoms such as irritability, mild sensitivity to noise and light, poor concentration, and often are felt upon waking. Most tension headaches are often described as pressure or pain around the forehead. 
 

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Bed Wetting

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: May 2017

bed wetting

Bed Wetting: What is it? What can be done to help the child? 

Families who have children older than five who wet their bed or eliminate during the day are often concerned something is seriously wrong with their child. In fact the opposite is true. Love, compassion, behavior modification and psychotherapy can do wonders for a child who suffers this humiliating disturbance in life.

To make a diagnosis of enuresis, bed wetting, a child must have reached the chronological or developmental age of five. It must take place at least twice a week for three months or cause significant distress and interfere with the child's school and/or social life.

There are two main types of enuresis in children. Primary enuresis occurs when a child has never established bladder control. Secondary enuresis occurs when a person has established bladder control for a period of six months, then relapses and begins wetting. Involuntary enuresis is much more common than voluntary enuresis.

Primary enuresis occurs when young children lack bladder control from infancy. Most of these children have urine control problems only during sleep. It is unconscious and non-intentional. These children do not wake up in time to relieve themselves. In other cases, the child's enuresis may be related to a sleep disorder.

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