Should Kids Have Their Cholesterol Checked?

Three Girls

Three GirlsWhen we think of cholesterol screening, we think in terms of ourselves – not our nine-year-old son or daughter. But new recommendations from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are suggesting children between the ages of 9 and 11 should have their cholesterol checked, and again between ages 17 and 21, regardless of their risk.

Previously, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised screening children with a family history of early heart disease or high cholesterol, or those children who are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure. But those guidelines may have resulted in some children with high cholesterol going undiagnosed.

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Super Safety Mom

Trick or Treater

There are a lot of things to look forward to at Halloween – the candy, the decorations, the costumes and did I mention, the candy.

It is fun to be a child at Halloween.

Still, as the pediatrician who is not so endearingly nicknamed “super-safety-mom,” I feel it is important to take a moment and remind everyone about staying safe.

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

Berries and Oatmeal

Berries and OatmealThere’s no doubt that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And this is especially true for kids.  Growing bodies rely on regular food intake. And studies have shown kids who don’t eat breakfast can experience behavior problems and have difficulty in school.

Don’t think you have time with the busy morning routine? Try something as simple as a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. Healthy doesn’t mean complex. A few suggestions include:

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Tips for Introducing Kids to Sports

Girl Playing Tennis

Girl Playing TennisUW Health Sports Psychologist Dr. Shilagh Mirgain explains that sports provide a learning platform for life, and help kids develop a sense of self and positive self-esteem. Kids also learn valuable life lessons — learning to work collaboratively, goal setting and perseverance are just a few.

But, with so much benefit to be gained, how do you get kids involved in sports?

The number one reason kids participate in sports is because it’s fun.

Some strategies for introducing kids to sports include:

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Help for Swimmer’s Ear

Whether it is during gym class or in an after-school program, swimming can be a fun form of exercise. While kids are working on their form, they also need to watch out for “swimmer’s ear.” Dr. Diane Heatley, a UW Health otolaryngologist, explains what swimmer’s ear is, and how it can be treated.

Swimmer’s ear, or “otitis externa”, is a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin of the ear canal.

The ear canal is the skin-lined opening from the side of the head that ends at the ear drum. The skin of the ear canal includes specialized glands that produce cerumen, or ear wax. Ear wax provides some protection to the ear canal skin against infections.

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