A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

Award winning, top rated Pediatrician serving Frisco, Plano, Allen and North Dallas


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RESURGENCE OF A DEADLY PREVENTABLE DISEASE

according to a recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, Globally, more than 20 million people still get measles each year; about 122,000 of them die.

Troublingly, The number of people unvaccinated for "non-medical" reasons is creeping up.

The non-vaccination folks are causing a resurgence of measles in US.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases humanity has ever seen. While each case of Ebola, for example, leads to about 1-2 additional cases, a single case of measles can cause up to 18 secondary infections.

PARENTS – Think hard. Don’t BLINDLY subscribe to the Conspiracy theory on vaccines. Vaccinate.

Source: BI, NEJM, NPR


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LATEST NEWS: AIR POLLUTION IS A SGNIFICANT CONCERN FOR AUTISM

Living in an area with high levels of air pollution may increase a woman’s chances of having a child with autism, according to the first national study.

NEWEST STUDY: A recent study conducted in Western Pennsylvania. The study studied which certain air pollutants may place a child at an increased risk for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This specific region was chosen for the study as a consequence of the high number of cases reported in the area along with certain environmental factors being especially present.

The researchers found links between increased levels of chromium and styrene and childhood autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects one in 68 children. Children who fell into higher exposure groups of styrene and chromium were at a 1.4- to two-fold greater risk of ASD, after accounting for the age of the mother, maternal cigarette smoking, race and education.

Styrene is used in plastics and paints and is a product of combustion from burning gasoline in vehicles. Air pollution containing chromium is typically the result of the industrial process from industries such as steel manufacturing. Other air pollutants – including cyanide, methylene chloride, methanol and arsenic – were also linked to increased autism risk in children.

SECOND STUDY: Earlier studies have established a potential connection between air pollution and autism risk, but have concentrated on a few individual states. The latest study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives on Tuesday, draws on a large sample of women across the whole country.

HARVARD MAY-14 STUDY: Children in the Harvard research were from Utah and all other states in the nation, born between 1987 and 2002, and studied to correlate pollution levels in the area where the mother lived while pregnant. Data showed that the children who developed autism were statistically more likely to have been exposed to high levels of air pollution in the womb. Children in the womb are known to be susceptible to neurological or genetic damage when exposed to heavy metals and diesel exhaust pollutants.

USC 2013 STUDY: Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism among people who carry a genetic disposition for the neurodevelopmental disorder. Air pollution exposure was determined based on the past residences of the children and their mothers, local traffic-related sources, and regional air quality measures.

TAKEAWAY: IF YOU HAVE YOUNG KIDS OR ARE PREGNANT, LIMIT ANY EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION

Source: EHP, Harvard, USC, Univ of Pittsburg


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PRACTICAL TIPS ON TEENS AND DRIVING

October 19-25 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents to talk to their teen drivers about the risks they face.

FACTS:

  • · Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 14-18 in America.
  • · Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure.
  • · 56% of teens said they talk on the phone while driving.
  • · Only 44% of teens said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.
  • · Statistics show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.

Every parent should talk to their teens about the rules of safe driving, but a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have done so.

Eight Danger Zones: Make sure your young driver is aware of the leading causes of teen crashes:

  • · Driver inexperience
  • · Driving with teen passengers
  • · Nighttime driving
  • · Not using seat belts
  • · Distracted driving
  • · Drowsy driving
  • · Reckless driving
  • · Impaired driving

WHAT DO I DO?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations on the teen driver safety campaign “5 to Drive.”

1. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use. Don’t allow activities that may take your teen’s attention away from driving, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, or playing with the radio.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48 percent) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

6. Provide at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. Make sure to practice on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions. This will help your teen gain the skills he or she needs to be safe. Help your teen avoid insufficient scanning. Stress the importance of continually scanning for potential hazards including other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

7. Make sure your teen is off the road by 9 or 10 p.m. for at least the first six months of licensed driving.

8. Be sure your teen is fully rested before he or she gets behind the wheel.

9. Make sure your teen knows to follow the speed limit and adjust speed to road conditions. Remind your teen to maintain enough space behind the vehicle ahead to avoid a crash in case of a sudden stop.

10. Be a good role model: don’t drink and drive, and reinforce this message with your teen.

11. Sign a Teen Driving agreement: http://www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey/pdf/Parent_Teen_Driving_Agreement-a.pdf

For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign visit www.safercar.gov/parents, CDC and others

Check out: http://driveithome.org/ and http://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/teens/


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AVOID THIS DURING PREGNANCY & BREASTFEEDING

FOOD

Listeriosis and Toxoplasmosis are foodborne illnesses that are more likely to affect pregnant women.

Keep food safe to eat by following these general guidelines to avoid food borne illness.

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often.
SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate. For example, after cutting meat, wash the knife before using it to cut vegetables.
COOK: Cook to proper temperature using a food thermometer.
CHILL: Refrigerate promptly.

ALCOHOL

· Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant should not drink Alcohol. Alcohol can cross the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream. It causes damage to an unborn baby at all stages of pregnancy. Risks involves

• miscarriage

• the way your baby develops in the womb – in particular, the way your baby’s brain develops

• the way your baby grows in the womb, by causing the placenta not to work as well as it should – this is known as foetal growth restriction

• increased risk of a stillbirth

• increased risk of premature labor

• your baby being more prone to illness in infancy, childhood and as an adult

• learning and behavioral disorders

SMOKING AND DRUGS

· These are potentially just as dangerous as Alcohol, if not more. SO avoid.

CAFFEINE

· You should limit caffeine during pregnancy – avoid having more than 200mg of caffeine a day. High levels of caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight. Too much caffeine can also cause a miscarriage. Caffeine is found naturally in some foods and is added to some soft drinks. So avoid Sodas.

HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS

· Virtually no medicinal herb has been established as safe in pregnancy or breast-feeding, and even herbs that might seem safe because of their wide use in cooking could cause problems when they are taken in the form of highly concentrated extracts.

· Some herbs are definitely known to be toxic in pregnancy, such as blue cohosh and pennyroyal .

· Other herbs that are traditionally regarded with caution during pregnancy include andrographis , boldo , catnip , essential oils , feverfew , juniper , licorice , nettle , red clover , rosemary , shepherd’s purse, and yarrow , along with many others.

· the herb chasteberry has shown a theoretical potential for inhibiting milk supply.

· Some supplements like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) appears to reduce the fat content of breast milk, with potentially harmful effects on the nursing infant.

· herbs with estrogen-like properties make scientists worry about possible effects on the fetus; these include soy , isoflavones , red clover , flaxseed , lignans , and hops .

· Some un-regulated Chinese herbal medicines and Aryurvedic herbal remedies have been found on occasion to contain toxic heavy metals, poisonous herbs, or unlabelled prescription drugs.

HYGIENE:

· Wash your hands with soap and water after touching soil, sand, raw meat, or unwashed vegetables.

· Cats can spread parasite causing Toxoplasmosis. Have someone else change the litter box if possible. If you have to change it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.

· Wear gloves when gardening or handling sand from a sandbox. Cats may use gardens or sandboxes as litter boxes. Wash hands afterward.

· Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly when traveling in less developed countries.

Sources: EBSCO, NHS, Choosemyplate.org


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ROAD SAFETY / FATALITY REPORT

Here are the number of road fatalities in 2012 per 100,000 people in each state:

Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Michael Sivak, University of Michigan

North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming are the most dangerous states, with over 20 deaths per 100,000 people each. Meanwhile, more densely populated areas tend to be safer. New York had about 6 deaths per 100,000 people, Massachusetts about 5 per 100,000, and in Washington D.C., there were only about 2 deaths per 100,000 people.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/university-of-michigan-car-crash-study-2014-7#ixzz37T1vELBN


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HEROIN FOR KID’S COUGH?

Can you believe that?

In 1912 Beyer marketed Heroin as a cough suppressant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin – mediaviewer/File:Bayer_Heroin_bottle.jpg

We do NOT recommend any commercial over the top cough syrup for kids. If you must, try honey (for kid > 1 yr) or turmeric milk.


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SAFETY TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM CAR HEATSTROKE

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about 38 children die of heatstroke each year in the United States. Studies show that about half of the incidents involve a loving parent or caregiver forgetting about a sleeping child in the backseat. Curious children may sneak into an unlocked car to play and get locked in, so if your child is playing outside and disappears for a few minutes – check the car immediately, including the trunk.

Children left in a parked car, even on what feels like a cool day, are at risk of heatstroke. Also a child’s body’s temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s.

STEPS TO TAKE

a) instruct your child’s caregiver to give you a call if your child doesn’t show up by a certain time.

b) place a stuffed animal in the front seat as a reminder that your child is riding along

c) Sometimes if you leave a key item of your being like a cell phone, wallet, bag on the backseat or on the ground then you are liable to open the door to look for it and then that’s when you can see that your child is there

d) If you see a child in a parked car – call for help.

Source: Tips on how to prevent hot car deaths by 19 Action News Digital Team


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TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY GENERICS?

Generic drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription medications, are very strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rules for generics. Regulations include:

· A generic’s active ingredient, dosage, and strength must be the same as its brand-name equivalent.

· Generic drugs must be "bioequivalent" to brand-name drugs, meaning they have to show up as the same in the bloodstream and work in the exact same way.

· Manufacturing, testing, and packaging sites are subject to the same FDA regulations, whether the product in question is a brand name or a generic. (About half of generic drugs are actually made by the same companies making the brand-name versions.)

In the end, the variation in performance between brand names and generics is about the same as the variation between brands.

So, do Doctors buy generic?

Source: Bronnenberg et al

YES!

Now, you decide.


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DRUG AND FOOD INTERACTIONS TO AVOID

This is more for adults than for children:

· Grapefruit juice negatively interacts with more than 50 medications, including statins. Because the effects of the citrus juice last more than 24 hours, simply taking your meds at a different time won’t solve the problem.

· An enzyme found in pomegranate juice can break down several blood pressure prescriptions.

· Calcium can interfere with the effectiveness of thyroid medication. Wait at least 4 hours after dosage to drink any calcium-rich beverages.

· Caffeine can pose a serious health threat when taken with stimulants. Avoid a cup of joe when taking ephedrine (appetite suppressants), asthma prescriptions, and amphetamines (such as Adderall).

· The potassium in Sport drinks can be dangerous when coupled with some heart failure or hypertension drugs. Bananas are also very rich in potassium.

· Skip the dinnertime glass of wine when taking antidepressents; the combo can cause hypertension, headaches, fast heart rate, and stroke. The same goes for energy drinks.

· Vitamin K, also found in broccoli and kale, can decrease the effect of blood thinners such as coumarin or warfarin.


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SHAME ON TEXAS – DRUNK DRIVERS

Imagine this: Your lovely child has grown up following all the rule and laws, is a shining example and a model student, helpful in every way to the family and society, has great prospects for the future and then SUDDENLY….an erratic and fast moving car plows down your child in front of your home, in front of your eyes.

And guess what the driver is taken to court and all he gets is his wrist slapped by the justices (with involuntary manslaughter that sometimes carries only a probation).

Think this is not possible?

This happens every single day – by DRUNK DRIVERS. In fact there are 1000s of repeat offenders who casually Drink and Drive and all our society and lawmakers do is turn a blind eye. If you are a concerned parent or grandparent you should be enraged that we don’t have strict anti-drinking laws or condemn such behavior.

This doesn’t look like a big problem? Here are the stats on Texas

· Drunk driving deaths per 100,000: 5

· Total DUI arrests: 85,436 (2nd highest)

· Beer consumption per capita: 34.4 gallons (9th highest)

· Percent of minors consuming alcohol: 22.4% (14th lowest)

· Percent of binge drinkers: 18.9% (19th highest)

Nearly 1,300 people in Texas died in drunk driving accidents in 2012, more than in any other state. In 2012, 3,610 young adults under 21 were arrested for violating the state’s underage drinking laws, among the most in America. In 2012, 169 people under the age of 21 died in drunk driving accidents in Texas, more than in any other state. Overall, Texas law enforcement officers arrested 85,436 people for drunk driving that year, more than in any other state except for California.

Should the irreponsible drunk get a free pass from our justice system? Shouldn’t they be punished with the maximum sentence?

If you care, write to your lawmaker.


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BPA Free Plastic bottles are safer right. No!

Years ago I watched a BBC documentary that showed the dramatic impact of plastics on sperm motility.

The documentary concluded that one the prime culprits of Infertility in the Western world is due to the prevalence of Plastics

(especially those that come in contact with our food and water).

Then came the damning revelation that BPAs in plastics were leaking into food. If you don’t know how it affects your child’s life, see

· PVC, BPA and DEHP are Dangerous for Kid’s Health

· FOR A SAFE PREGNANCY – AVOID BPA

· CHEMICALS TO AVOID

· DANGEROUS HARMONE AFFECTING CHEMICALS IN OUR KID’S DIET

The recommendation given was, Choose BPA free Plastics. But guess what, even if the bottle says BPA free, it is NOT SAFE.

See this wonderful article from Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/bpa-free-plastics-tritan-nalgene-dangerous


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READY TO DIE FOR A DYE?

Researchers in Sweden studied nearly 300 non-smoking hairdressers and those who often used light colored hair dyes or hair-waving products on clients had more potentially cancer-causing compounds in their blood than hairdressers who used the chemicals less frequently. Specifically, toluidine compounds in the blood increased with exposure to perm chemicals and permanent light hair dyes.

In the late 1970s, regulatory actions were taken in Europe and carcinogenic aromatic amines were forbidden for use as hair dye ingredients. But it still shows up in hair colors.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

Exposure to o-toluidine should be eliminated since it is a carcinogen.

· If you must use color, use gloves to minimize exposure to chemicals in dyes and change to fresh gloves after mixing the dye, applying it and rinsing it.

· Use Shikakai as an alternate natural coloring agent.