Subscribe to this Blog
Today's Blogs
    The Checkup:

Archive: Health

Keeping my holiday food battles to myself

Yesterday marked the peak of the two-month period when, each year, my eating goes to pot. It starts with a few extra Snickers on Halloween and ends with one too many glasses of champagne, but the biggest disaster is always Thanksgiving. There is something about the stuffing and the gravy...

By Brian Reid | November 27, 2009; 07:03 AM ET | Comments (4)

Getting the 'brace face' at a younger age

Halloween came early for me this year. About a month ago, I took my elementary-schooler to the orthodontist, and -- and hour later -- she emerged looking like a tween, her new brackets decked out with green rubber bands. All she needed was a copy of "Twilight" and she would...

By Brian Reid | October 28, 2009; 07:01 AM ET | Comments (30)

Imprisoned (at home) by the flu

I received the dreaded call from school early last Thursday morning: The big kid had complained of a stomach ache, spiked a fever in the nurse's office, and needed to come home. Odds are, if you haven't received that call yet this year, you will. While my job has certain...

By Brian Reid | October 27, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (45)

Hey Shorty ...

Ah, to be an average height. It was one of my big wishes as a child. But alas, such glory would never be mine. And so, I learned to accept my short stature. It has come in handy at times: "Honey, you need to change the light bulbs." You see,...

By Stacey Garfinkle | August 17, 2009; 04:50 PM ET | Comments (11)

Medical Histories and Family Trees

By Rebeldad Brian Reid A couple of years ago, I was jogging with my father when our conversation turned to how lucky we seemed to be, genetically. That's not to say there was no reason to be concerned: I shared my grandfather's red hair, fair skin and propensity for skin...

By Brian Reid | July 2, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Daniel Hauser Update and More

Daniel Hauser, the boy who is refusing chemotherapy, and his mother arrived home yesterday and will appear back in court today. Daniel has been allowed to remain with his family so far. Attorney Jennifer Keller, who is working with the family, tells the Associated Press that Colleen Hauser "will abide...

By Stacey Garfinkle | May 26, 2009; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (8)

The Boy Who's Refusing Chemo

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Hauser and his mom are probably headed to Mexico if they aren't already there. That's the word from police in Minnesota who are searching for the pair. Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in January, writes the Minnesota Star-Tribune. He underwent one round of chemotherapy for the treatable...

By Stacey Garfinkle | May 22, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (58)

Yes, Mom, IPods Can Cause Hearing Loss

Amy in Germantown e-mailed a couple of weeks ago: "My teenage girls live and die by their iPods. Often I can hear their music from across the room. I think they listen to music turned up too loudly. My girls tell me that I’m just being ‘old-fashioned’. Is it crazy...

By Stacey Garfinkle | April 20, 2009; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (12)

No-Pill Tolerance Rules

The scenario presented in The Washington Post over the weekend is fairly simple: Teenage girl takes a birth control pill at lunchtime in a Fairfax County High School. Girl gets caught. Girl gets a two-week suspension along with a recommendation for expulsion. Why such a harsh punishment for a prescribed...

By Stacey Garfinkle | April 7, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (88)

Allergic Kids Find New Hope

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference wrapped up its annual meeting in Washington yesterday. For parents of children with allergies, there's good news and good news. While many kids truly are allergic to foods, the numbers diagnosed may be overly high. "Researchers at National Jewish Health in...

By Stacey Garfinkle | March 18, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Stomach Surgery More Acceptable?

In this morning's Washington Post health section, reporter Sandra Boodman tells the story of Andrew Burrill. By the age of 15, Andrew was 5'4" tall and weighted 260 pounds. "There were times when I felt I just couldn't go on," he told Boodman. Andrew tried everything to lose weight: diets,...

By Stacey Garfinkle | February 24, 2009; 11:43 AM ET | Comments (2)

The Original Vaccine/Autism Study Debunked

Eleven years ago, a study appeared in The Lancet that linked the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine to autism. On Sunday, The Times of London ran an investigative story saying that altered data was behind the study all along. The Times' story isn't the first to dispute those original vaccine...

By Stacey Garfinkle | February 11, 2009; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (55)

The Vaccine Schedule Debate

Vaccines and their effects on small children have been one of the great medical debates of this decade. And today, the issues become a little muddier. In addition to releasing the latest vaccine recommendation schedule today, the American Academy of Pediatrics journal "Pediatrics" is running an article by Dr. Paul...

By Stacey Garfinkle | December 29, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (34)

On the Road to Recovery

Author Jayne Lytel has spent the last seven years focused on one thing: helping her son "recover" from an autism spectrum disorder. Maybe the official term recovery wasn't what she had in mind at the start. But every hour, every bit of research, every decision about his therapies were designed...

By Stacey Garfinkle | November 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

No Smoking, Thank You Very Much

Cigarette smoke -- ugh. Just the thought makes me shudder. It's the one scent that can truly drive me from mannered to raving lunatic. I can't even walk by someone smoking on the sidewalk without my eyes watering and nose starting to hurt. You see, I was pretty much born...

By Stacey Garfinkle | November 4, 2008; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (69)

Doctor's Office Toys = Germs

So, which one of us has taken our kids to the pediatrician's office only to have them come down with a cold a few days later? The real question is, have any of us NOT had that happen? Well, doctors at the University of Virginia have confirmed that some of...

By Stacey Garfinkle | October 30, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Food Allergies' Emotional Toll

As we discussed last week, food allergies can have a huge impact on the practical side of raising our children -- all of them -- in a safe environment. But allergies also exact an emotional toll on the kids and their parents. Mom Tracy Rosenfeld has had to face those...

By Stacey Garfinkle | October 29, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

A Family's Life With Food Allergies

Food allergies. The term is easy to say, but it evokes different responses depending on your situation and experiences. For some an allergy means nausea or skin rashes. To others, it means whole body hives, throat tightness or other breathing problems. To mom Kari Keaton, who facilitates the 209-family Metro...

By Stacey Garfinkle | October 24, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (44)

A Good Busy or Overscheduled?

What a surprise: Some new studies about scheduling kids for lots of extracurriculars conflicts with conventional wisdom. CW -- which includes the American Academy of Pediatrics and social sciences professor William Doherty, of the University of Minnesota -- says that overscheduling can lead to anxiety, depression and lack of sleep...

By Stacey Garfinkle | September 29, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (24)

Got Lice? Get the Facts

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26627227/ CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/

By Stacey Garfinkle | September 23, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (39)

Sex Ed: How Early? How Detailed?

By Rebeldad Brian Reid It's a weird world we live in where -- in a time of economic turmoil, foreign wars and a health care system that teeters on the brink -- one of the surprise issues of the presidential election season is sexual education. First, there was the brouhaha...

By Brian Reid | September 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (101)

Cord Blood Banking and the Selling of Safety

By Rebeldad Brian Reid Two weeks ago, the Boston Globe ran a couple of pieces on a local event touted as the "Ultimate Baby Shower," which turned out to be a corporate event designed to push the idea of cord blood banking. The Globe's initial front-page article played the story...

By Brian Reid | August 14, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (87)

Kids Meals Pack Big Caloric Punch

"I'll have a four-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal with juice, please." That's the typical order request from my kids when we stop at McDonald's. That one meal is giving them 500 calories, 23 grams of fat and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. And it's well more than they should consume...

By Stacey Garfinkle | August 4, 2008; 05:00 PM ET | Comments (119)

The Skinned-Knee Conundrum

By Rebeldad Brian Reid I just returned from vacation, which seems to be an excellent opportunity for the kids to collect all manner of minor injuries. Maybe it was being out of the house and in a weird setting, maybe it was the total boycott on footwear, but we endured...

By Brian Reid | July 10, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (126)

Bunk Bed Boo-Boos

With two boys ages 6 and 4, the idea of buying bunk beds has crossed our minds more than a few times. Friends have them and love the camaraderie the children feel sleeping top to bottom in the same room. At one house, the bunk bed has been more like...

By Stacey Garfinkle | June 3, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Off to the Hospital

Surgery Day is closing in. Later this month, 4-year-old will undergo a surgical procedure that four doctors agree he needs. This isn't the first time he's gone into the operating room, but it is the first since a study on animals raised questions about the potential risks of anesthesia on...

By Stacey Garfinkle | January 11, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (29)

 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company