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140924EPA domesticviolence-smPrevention of domestic violence starts with how we raise our kids. As parents, we must step up and take this strong stand with our kids: Hitting another human being is wrong. Every time. And if someone hits you, the right thing to do is run the other way and get help to protect yourself from that person. Don’t return and be hit again.

I am a huge football fan, but the recent Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice headlines have made my stomach turn. But they have proven to be a superb teaching moment at our home. If you have teenage children, sit down with them and watch the YouTube video of Ray Rice in the elevator. Let your teens share their reactions while you listen.

Then tell them your own reactions and beliefs. Here is how that exercise went at our house:

Jack, age 16: “There’s nothing manly about that, Mom. It’s disgusting.”
Liesl, age 13: “How did he know he didn’t kill her, and how could he do that if he loved her?”

My responses:
“Jack, the biological fact is that men are generally bigger and stronger than women, which means they have an extra obligation to keep women safe. If you are ever so mad that you cannot find words, your dad and I expect you to walk away. We believe it’s wrong for any human being to hit another. Ever. If I ever hear that you hit a woman, I will tell her to walk away from you and never come back.”

“Liesl, it’s always wrong for women to be hit. They never deserve it. If any guy ever lays a finger on you when he’s angry, walk away and don’t ever go back, no matter what he says after he’s done being angry. And tell your dad, or me, or the cops, or a friend that you trust.”

Thanks, Ray Rice, for giving every parent in America the perfect chance to teach our kids that hitting is always wrong.

Posted by on in News
140916EPA asthma-smDoes your school-aged child have asthma?  If so, now is the time to take steps to be sure the asthma is controlled as the school year gets rolling.

Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates urge you to:

  1. Take an updated, written Asthma Action Plan to school and review it with your child’s teacher and front office staff so they know how to handle the asthma. See us if you need an updated written plan.
  2. Take a fresh Ventolin (rescue) inhaler to school for your child.
  3. Be sure your child gets a flu shot this September or October. Influenza illness is especially dangerous for kids with asthma.
  4. Talk to your children and review the symptoms they feel when an asthma attack is starting, and be sure they are comfortable asking their teachers for help when they don’t feel good. 
  5. Watch our instructional video on www.eugenepeds.com about proper technique using asthma wet inhalers.  

Asthma is a chronic and potentially serious health condition. But with proper management, it will not stop your child from living a long, healthy and active life.
140909EPAvirusblog-smHospitalizations for severe respiratory infections in children are climbing at some U.S. hospitals because of confirmed cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of human enterovirus D68, or EV-D68. As yet, Lane County has no confirmed cases.

There are more than 100 types of enterovirus infections, with 10 to 15 million cases every year. EV-D68, however, is less common. Small clusters of EV-D68 were reported in the United States in 2009 and 2010.

Last month, hospital officials in Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago contacted the CDC after finding higher than usual numbers of admissions due to respiratory infections. The CDC then confirmed 19 of 22 specimens from Kansas City hospitals and 11 of 14 specimens from Chicago were EV-D68. The strain is not new.

The CDC continues to investigate possible clusters around the country, and testing is ongoing, said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a CDC telebriefing held yesterday.

Who’s affected and how?
Children from six weeks to 16 years, and with a median age of 5 years, have been most affected by the current outbreak, especially those with a history of asthma or wheezing. Some children have been admitted to intensive care units. At Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, for example, officials called in extra providers to help care for an unprecedented influx of children needing intensive care.

The onset of symptoms can be quick. Within hours, typical cold systems have turned into breathing difficulties, sometimes accompanied by wheezing, cough, rash or fever. Some EV-D68 infection can be serious but rarely result in neurologic illness, including meningitis.

What can I do?
Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates urge you to take the following steps:

  • Remain calm. This is not a deadly virus, like Ebola. Supportive care is helping many of the sick kids in the Midwest get well.
  • Keep sick children with rashes and bad coughs OUT of school and daycare.
  • Call us to discuss your children’s illness if they have a bad cough, fever, body aches or shortness of breath. We can help you decide what to do next.
  • Keep up your kids’ washing regimen. Enteroviruses are spread by close contact with infected persons or by touching contaminated objects. Thoroughly wash your kids’ hands and faces and change clothes when they get home after being around lots of other people.
  • Be mindful about swimming pool hygiene. Enterovirus infections also can be spread by fecal–oral routes.
  • If your child has asthma, make sure you have rescue inhalers that are up to date and your child gets a flu shot this month or next.
And remember: Even though this newsworthy virus isn’t prevented by a shot, please immunize your children against influenza, which kills more people every year than all vaccine-preventable diseases put together! FLU SHOTS SAVE LIVES.

140528EPAteendrinking 2Graduation and party season is upon us, so consider the following facts about teens and alcohol:

So ask yourself, which style of parenting about alcohol is most likely to contribute to teen alcohol use, and which style is most protective against teen drinking? Is it a parent who says:

  1. “You will never drink a drop of alcohol while you are living in my house.” (Autocratic style)
  2. “Have a glass of wine with me so you learn to drink responsibly.” (Permissive style)
  3. “I don’t want you to drink until you are 21 because it’s illegal and it is dangerous.” (Constructive style)
  4. “You are a smart kid. I know you will make a good choice about drinking.” (Uninvolved style)

The answer

Kids who drink earlier and heavily are ones whose parents are permissive and gave reply B.

If your child believes you think it’s safe for them to drink, and if they have had alcohol with you at home, they are five times more likely to get drunk under age 21. In addition, these children have been shown to binge drink much more often.


140303EPA vaccinationblogA front page article Friday in The Register-Guard highlighted a new law that went into effect March 1 requiring all children who attend school either be vaccinated or have a parent produce evidence that they have been educated about vaccines and still chose not to vaccinate.

Proof of exemption can include a form signed by your child’s physician and a certificate obtained by watching an online education module produced by the State of Oregon about vaccines.

Here is some information I want to share on the new vaccine exemption process:

  • Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates believe strongly that vaccinating kids saves lives. We have all seen firsthand the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases on kids. Dr. B vaccinated her own precious children based on many years of experience and confidence in the safety and efficacy of childhood shots.
  • We welcome your questions about shots during your visits at Eugene Pediatrics. You can also read information on vaccines on our website under both the Vaccines and the Resources sections.