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Happy & Healthy: Advice from Arkansas Children's Hospital is a weekly column covering a variety of kids' medical concerns as discussed by our physicians. If you have a topic you'd like him to consider addressing, email achconnect@archildrens.org. Browse the topics below for more information about topics that are important to you.

Staying up to Date on Recalls will Help Keep Your Kid and Family Safe

With every passing year, we learn about products that can be unintentionally dangerous or harmful to children such as disc batteries or single-load liquid laundry packets that look like candy. Many families are surprised to learn that even the equipment they buy to comfort or protect their children sometimes develops defects or creates unsafe risks.
» More about Recalls

It's Messy, but Parents Can Relax about Reflux

Babies are pure joy – but boy can they be a mess! All expectant parents know they’ll encounter spit-up during that first year, but many are surprised by how much and how often spit-up dribbles from their little one’s mouth. Moms and dads can relax, though, because reflux is completely normal in young infants.
» Learn more about Reflux

Germs Pose Biggest Risk when Pets Bite Kids

Some of our happiest childhood memories tend to include family pets. Whether a sweet dog that belonged to Mom and Dad before the addition of children or a hamster that joined the household years later, pets often become treasured friends for kids.
» More about Pet Bites

Lumps, Skin Lesions, Though Scary, Shouldn't be Cause for Worry

You notice a lump on your child's neck. Was it there yesterday? Did your spouse notice it before now? Where did it come from? The average parent's mind begins to race and it isn't long before they're consulting Dr. Google.
» More about Lumps

Kids' Vitamins & Supplements May Offer Little Something Extra, but Mostly Unnecessary

Most parents today grew up taking some kind of vitamin – maybe a chewable shaped like a favorite cartoon character. They were often billed – and still are – as part of a healthy childhood.
» Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements

Quick & Queasy: Food Poisoning Comes On Fast but Recovery Isn't Far Off

It's ruined many a favorite restaurant and forced even the biggest foodies to eliminate beloved dishes from their diets. I'm talking about a topic that's especially hard to stomach: food poisoning.
» More about Food Poisoning

Bumbos, Boosters and Highchairs: Oh My! Injuries from Falls on the Rise

When my kids were growing up, a highchair was about as sophisticated as a feeding seat got! Nowadays, parents have more options, including Bumbo seats, to make feeding little ones more convenient.
» Read More on Falls

What Parents Should Know About Heart Defects

When a newborn enters the world, that first shrill cry is a welcomed sound by parents. But after weeks or even months of excessive crying, parents can wear thin of that ear-piercing, heart-wrenching noise.
» More on Heart Defects

Colic Can Make Even the Toughest New Parents Want to Cry

When a newborn enters the world, that first shrill cry is a welcomed sound by parents. But after weeks or even months of excessive crying, parents can wear thin of that ear-piercing, heart-wrenching noise.
» Learn more about Colic

RSV: Three Little Letters Can Mean Big Trouble for Wee Ones

To hear a baby struggling to breathe is one of the worst sounds a parent can hear. It breaks your heart to see your child experiencing troubled breathing; I know it saddens me to see a little one with these issues in clinic.
» Learn more about RSV

Whooping Cough Rise Underscores the Need for Up-to-Date Vaccines

When I first graduated medical school, it was hard to imagine that the United States would see a resurgence of some of the diseases we had nearly stamped out thanks to the modern miracle of vaccines. Think polio, measles and whooping cough.
» More on Whooping Cough

License Restrictions Making Big Strides toward Saving Lives of Teen Drivers

As parents, is there any moment when we feel quite as vulnerable as when we turn over the keys to a newly licensed teen driver for the first time? I’ve done it twice – with sons who are now in college – and the memories are still fresh in my mind.
» Learn more about License Restrictions

Commit to a Fit Family in 2014

The statistics on childhood obesity are alarming: according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Unfortunately, I don't have to search for data to see the increase in childhood obesity; I see its rise firsthand in our clinics every day. Also evident from my day-to-day patient care are the many detrimental health effects of obesity in children and teens.
» 2014 Get fit tips!

Beware the Button Battery: Tiny Discs can Lead to Big-Time Health Scare

Parents sometimes dismiss the occasional swallowed item as a rite of "passage" in young kids. They often assume that the ingested object will, indeed, pass through their bodies quickly, and they'll see it again at a diaper change. While this may be true with older babies and some items like coins, there is a swallowing hazard that parents need to know about and stay on top of: the button battery.
» More about Battery Safety

Red Bump Causing Little One Pain? Don't Blame the Itsy Bitsy Spider

In the Emergency Department at Arkansas Children's Hospital, we see this scene replay over and over: A mom comes to us concerned about a spider bite on her infant's groin or upper leg. She first noticed it a few hours earlier during a diaper change. It's red, raised and hot. She checks it again in a couple of hours and finds it's nearly doubled in size and looks even angrier. Now it's time to load baby up and head to the ER.
» Learn more about Staph Infections

Headed to the Duck Blinds or Deer Stand? Time for a Safety Refresher

No matter the season, if families are hunting in our state’s beautiful wilderness, the Emergency Department at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is treating injuries associated with guns, ATVs or basic slips and falls.
» 10 Tips for Gun Safety

Is that a Fracture? After-School Fun Can Lead to Emergency Room Visit

It's true that emergency rooms across the nation consider summer to be their peak injury season. When kids are out of school, there are more opportunities for the kind of unruly fun that leads to falls and crashes.
» Read More

Bullying’s Evolution Amplifies its Effects

As a kid, I was smaller than most of my classmates and was definitely considered bookish. I had a late August birthday, which meant I was also a good bit younger than some of the other kids. Not only did these traits set me apart, but they also made me a target for bullying.
» Learn how to protect your child from bullying.

Touch Screens Can Lead to Parents who are Out of Touch with Kids

There's no question that the rise of touch screens has made our lives just a little bit easier. Need a quick recipe while scanning the pantry for ingredients? Easy to pull up on the tablet. Want to check the weather to see if you need an umbrella on the way out the door? Your smart phone has the forecast at the ready. Looking for a quick way to distract your toddler? Well, maybe not so fast.
» Read more about childhood development and touchscreen devices.

Fighting the Flu Starts with Not Just You, But Your Entire Community

Just about every child I visit with at Arkansas Children's Hospital has the same question: "Am I gonna get a shot today?" It doesn't matter if I'm looking at a bump on their arm or a sore behind the ear, the conversation nearly always starts this way. Usually, I'm able to say no and the child brightens up. I can definitely sympathize with these kiddos because I would do anything to get out of a shot when I was younger.
» Learn how to fight the flu!

Early Detection & Treatment Can Prevent a Concussion from Sidelining Young Athletes for Long

Who doesn’t love the drama of fall football? When the chill is in the air and the players take the field, it’s hard not to embrace that team spirit! But at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, we also know that with those pep rallies and thrilling plays comes the risk of additional injury to our young athletes. We want to be cautious about concussions in all children, and especially those active in sports.
» Get concussion prevention tips.

Appendicitis Can be Overwhelming, but Recovery is Usually Quick

It begins with a simple complaint: "Mom, my belly hurts." Kids come to parents with all sorts of minor tummy troubles, so the parent decides to wait and see. Within just a few hours, the child seems to be hurting even more, so much so that he doesn't want to play videogames on the phone or do much of anything other than lounge on the sofa. He is not hungry, and he's not going to the bathroom much, either. So Mom begins to wonder, "Could this be appendicitis?"
» Read more about appendicitis.

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