Smoking: The Movies vs. Real Life

Think about some of your favorite movies. Were the characters smoking in these movies? Why would I ask such a weird question? Here’s an interesting relationship to ponder: does exposure to smoking in our media lead to increased probability of picking up the habit? The Surgeon General, many researchers, and the leading health organizations say that, for impressionable adolescents, it does.

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Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most common micro-nutrient deficiency in the world and the largest group at risk includes pregnant women and young children. Iron is very important in child development, especially in the brain. In fact, iron deficiency during infancy can negatively impact thinking and emotions, behavior, movement, vision and hearing, learning and even memory. The younger the child, the greater the risk these effects are long-term. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends universal screening of iron deficiency at 12 months of age. Read more

Dietary supplements – not safe for teens (or anyone, really)

Every few weeks, I get asked, “What pill can I take to help me lose weight?”  Sometimes it’s asked by an overweight teen (or parent), sometimes from someone who is at a healthy weight but wants to be a “little bit smaller.” Many of my eating disorder patients admit to using diet pills. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Center for Disease Control – 5% of teens have used diet pills/powders/liquid in the past month without a doctor’s approval in order to lose weight or prevent weight gain. Just as often, I am asked about the proper supplement to take to help build more muscle. An astounding 35% of teen males have used protein powders or shakes to enhance muscles  (6% have used anabolic steroids!!).  I was just made aware of a bill in Massachusetts proposing to make diet pills and supplements illegal for minors to purchase.  Why all the fuss? Read more

Meet the Dart Family via “Love Wisconsin”

Wisconsin people. Wisconsin places. Put them together in an incredibly engaging social media platform and you get Love Wisconsin – an increasingly popular online destination for all things that make the Badger State the special place we know it to be. In only its second year, Love Wisconsin has made a huge impact on our state psyche by offering inspiring stories that make us especially proud to call Wisconsin home.

This summer, Love Wisconsin is partnering with UW Health to share stories of some of our patients in ways we hope you will find especially compelling. Our second story features the Dart family from Luxemburg, Wisconsin.

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Reflections on Turning 10

American Family Children’s Hospital has come a long way since opening its doors 10 years go. This is truly one of the most beautiful, family-friendly children’s hospitals you will find. It is also a time to reflect on how far we have come since the days of the old UW Children’s Hospital that was located within the much larger University Hospital.

The north end of fourth floor in University Hospital housed Pediatrics. The general inpatient area comprised two units, F6/4 and F4/4, one for the little kids and one for the big kids. Ten steps from the F6/4 nursing station got you into the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and 25 more got you to the other end. Some would say the origins of HIPAA started here, as there were only 3 private rooms in the 12-bed PICU.

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