PWG’s news update for busy families… in the know

Hi everyone! For many of you the summer has wound down and back to school has started, here are some good articles that could help you with this transition.

Less screen time and more sleep can help reduce impulsivity at school

Published in Pediatrics August 2019

Why it’s important: seems self-obvious but worth a reminder as we transition from glorious summer to fabulous fall back-to-school. This article sums it up nicely, and these tips from the AAP can help.

 

Getting enough sleep should be a priority

Published as a news article in the Austin (TX) American-Stateman 8/10/19

Why it’s important: sleep is crucial for all of us, but many of us do not get the sleep we need. It’s easy to slip into vacation sleep habits without the structure of the school year. This article has some great tips that are based on these AAP sleep recommendations. A good day at school depends on a good night’s sleep, so let’s get this slumber party started!

 

California law requires schools to print National Suicide Prevention Hotline number on student ID cards

Went into effect July 2019

Why it’s important: suicide rates continue to rise in the US, with a significant increase among 15 to 24-year olds.  This law applies to students in 7th through 12 grades in public, private and charter schools, and should provide important information for teens to access mental health resources as this CNN piece explains. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

PWG Phones are down 8/14/19

We are currently having trouble with our phone system. We apologize for the inconvenience.   We are working to get this fixed ASAP.  If you call you will be connected to our answering service, you may leave a message with them and we will return your call once we have phone service.  If this is a medical emergency, Please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

PWG thinks you should know…news that’s good for you

We are looking for information about our health online

The numbers are staggering:  80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.Jul 16, 2019

But science can move fast, and all that internet browsing can be overwhelming.  How can you recognize a good study and weed it out from the not-so-good ones? What studies have just been published that could impact your family’s health? What is your pediatrician reading? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just collect all that information and put it in one place instead of having to jump from site to site!

At PWG our doctors do just that…scanning multiple journals to stay current on trends/reports/breakthroughs. We have an internal journal club to discuss medical topics and wanted to extend that idea to all of you. We’re rolling this out as a curated list of articles that we think you should know about. We’re including a brief synopsis and reasons for why we think they’re important, feel free to share or delete as you see fit. Our hope is that they spark curiosity, some conversations, and maybe even a deeper dive into a subject matter that can help you and your family. Thanks and happy reading from all of us at PWG.

Do you really need to get that tongue tie clipped? From a July 11, 2019 study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Why it’s important: There has been a 10-fold increase in tongue-tie and upper lip tether release surgeries in the US between 1997 (1,279 surgeries) and 2012 (12,406 surgeries) without strong data that shows these are effective for breastfeeding. The study looked at 115 newborns that had referred for tongue tie clipping, after going through a thorough multidisciplinary evaluation 63% did not have the surgeries and did fine. Tongue tie clipping has real potential downsides: pain and infection for the baby, significant out-of-pocket costs for the family. Their conclusion? Frenotomy may help some babies, but a large number could be helped by less invasive methods.

Social media can be hazardous to your (mental) health from a July 15, 2019 study published in JAMA pediatrics

Why it’s important: social media is here to stay, and even though it was created as a way to help foster social connections the news keeps getting grimmer about what unintended consequences it can have.

Bottom line? For every additional hour that a young person spends on social media or watching TV, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience goes up. High levels of computer use or TV watching are also associated with depression, but in this study the key was that an increase in the amount meant an increase in the depression symptoms. There is a growing national conversation about the importance of mental health in all ages, this is yet another reason to “power off”.

Plastic chemicals that replace BPA may not be any safer from a July 25, 2019 study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society

Why it’s important: BPA [bisphenol A] is being phased out because of safety concerns that it is an endocrine disruptor and linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and ADHD. Now we read that proposed substitutes may not be any safer; some have estrogen-like activity and some are still inked to obesity. What can you do to avoid bisphenols? The non-profit Environmental Working Group advises us to: eat fewer processed foods and more fresh ones; choose frozen or dried foods over canned, or foods sold in glass or other alternatives to cans and plastic; avoid hard, clear plastics with the recycling code 7 or marked “PC”; ask for electronic receipts; wash your hands after handling paper receipts.

We advocate for the well being of all children

“GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE.” – EMMA LAZARUS, AS INSCRIBED ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

We just found out about this national vigil sponsored by Lights for Liberty that is happening tomorrow, both Dr. Eileen and Dr. Niki will be at the Redwood City event to support the rights of all children. Please join us, and feel free to share this post.

Measles update April 2019

As of April 25, 2019, there were 695 confirmed cases of vaccine-preventable measles across the USA in 22 states, with 4 confirmed cases in San Mateo County. This the highest number on record since the disease was thought to be eliminated in 2000.

   Information you should know:

  • Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can have long-term consequences, especially among medically vulnerable people including young children, adults with weakened immune systems and the elderly.
  • Measles spreads by direct contact with infectious droplets or through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. The virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the appearance of a rash. Symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
  • The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Adults born before 1957 are unlikely to need more MMR shots since most caught measles and have natural immunity.

What we are doing at PWG:

  • Our vaccine policy at PWG has remained the same since we opened in 2011: At PWG we believe that vaccines are safe and important for the health and welfare of your child, your family and our community. It is our policy that patients in our practice must be vaccinated.
  • In order to keep everyone safe we have implemented infection control steps if we suspect a possible measles exposure. We will ask you specific questions to assess the risk and then ask you to follow a different check in process. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

More resources:

We will continue to provide periodic updates as we get new information. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Common Sense Media

Hello friends and families of PWG!

We know that technology is a big part of each family’s daily life. Many of us seek realistic ways to manage media and devices at home.

To promote healthy media habits at every age and stage, we’re launching Common Sense Media’s Family Media Toolkit (developed with the American Academy of Pediatrics)–Resources here! You’ll find tips for screen time and age-appropriate content that reflect today’s fast-changing reality. Let us know if you find it helpful.

-The Pediatric Wellness Group Team