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First with Kids, by Dr. Lewis First

Sports safety tips

With so many children playing so many sports nowadays, parents have been competing to ask me questions about what they can do to make sure their child is as safe as possible when practicing or playing a particular sport. Let me see if I am game enough to offer some tips on this ...

‘Spot on’ information about measles

Parents have been spotting me out and about and when they do, they are asking me more and more questions about measles. To answer their questions, let me spread some information about this disease, rather than the measles virus itself. - What is it, and how does it spread? - Measles ...

Three tips to make family meals a staple in your home

Parents have been hungry to ask me what they can do to insure the health and well-being of their children. My response is family meals — that’s right, family meals — so let me give you some reasons why. - Family meals are for more than food - Studies have shown that family meals ...

Soaring through a fear for flying

Parents have been flying up to me asking me what they can say to their children who have never been in a plane before to reduce their fear of flying. Well, fasten your seat belts and let me provide some information on this topic. - Fear of flying is very common - Studies suggest that ...

Let it snow — safely!

Oh ’tis that special season When I hope you’ll have good reason To decorate with safety in mind When it gets to be holiday time! - Yes — it’s the holidays, and what better gift can I share than a few reminders to make this the healthiest and safest of holiday seasons: ...

The best toys to buy for your young child

Recently, I unwrapped some safety tips regarding how to ensure the toys you buy your child for the holidays are safe ones. So this week, instead of talking unsafe toys, I’m game for suggesting some appropriate toys to buy for your younger child — especially in an era where digital toys are ...

Best practices for homemade baby food

Parents of infants have been feeding me lots of questions about whether it is better to buy infant food, or make their own homemade baby food. This question starts popping up when babies begin to eat solids around 6 months of age. Well, let me take a bite into those questions and provide some ...

Children and their imaginary friends

Parents of toddlers and preschoolers often ask me if it is all right for their child to be speaking to imaginary friends. I won’t usually answer until Dr. Check-Up, my imaginary pediatrician friend, gives me the advice I need to answer their question. Fortunately, he has, so here are my ...

Pinkeye: What exactly is it?

Parents have been asking me some eye-opening questions about whether or not their child could get pinkeye. Let me see what I can tell you about this problem. --- What is pinkeye, exactly? --- Pinkeye gets its name because it describes the pink or reddish appearance of what is normally ...

Growing pains: height issues in children

Parents have been hitting new heights with their questions about what to do when their child is concerned about being too tall or too short. Well let me size up those questions and provide some information on the topic of growing pains. - What determines your growing pace - Everyone grows ...

Tackling acne mythbusting: What is fact versus fiction?

Recently I’ve come face to face with teenagers eager to ask me what is fact and fiction about their developing acne. Well let me see if I can break out with some accurate information about some common acne myths. - The first myth: Chocolate or fried foods cause acne - One common ...

Listening in to treat ear infections

Recently, parents have been asking me an earful of questions about why their children get so many ear infections. They also ask what can be done, if anything, to prevent them. - Causes of ear infections - The majority of ear infections in children are caused by viral germs. Viral ...

What you need to know about febrile seizures

Parents are often hot to ask me questions about convulsions, or seizures that are associated with fevers. We call these febrile seizures. - What are febrile seizures? - Febrile seizures, which can involve shaking of the arms and legs, usually last for only a few minutes, if that. ...

Igniting e-cigarette dangers

Parents have been lighting up with questions about e-cigarettes and what they can say to their teenagers to convince them to stop, or better yet, not even use them. - What are e-cigarettes? - E-cigarettes are battery powered smoking devices that contain cartridges filled with a liquid ...

Spitting up: gastroesophageal reflux

Parents have been bringing up lots of questions about their babies who tend to spit up a lot. This week, let me try to keep down their concerns and provide some information on this “spitting up” topic we call infant heartburn or reflux. - Spit up specifics - Now, all babies will ...

Wrapping your head around homework

With school back in session, I am frequently asked what parents should be doing to ensure that homework gets done. Let me take on that assignment and provide a few tips. - More than just homework - Homework, though perhaps not your child’s favorite after-school activity, is not just ...

Heading off concussion concerns

Parents of children playing contact sports have been heading me off at the pass asking me if they need to worry after their child has had a concussion. - What is a concussion? - A concussion is a temporary loss of brain function due to a direct injury to the head and a shifting of the ...

Asking your child questions about school

Parents are frequently testing me with the question of how can they better learn what is happening in school, when the usual response to “How’s school?” is “Fine” or “Nothing happened” to simply end the conversation. So let me try to take on that assignment and offer some ...

Hand, foot and mouth disease: what you need to know

Parents have been asking me a mouthful of questions about an illness called hand, foot and mouth disease. While commonly associated with younger children, it has begun to show up in teens and young adults as well. - When does this happen? - Hand, foot and mouth disease is often seen in ...

The game plan for coed sports

With the fall sports season here, parents have been getting their kicks asking me questions about girls and boys playing sports together. They want to know when coed competition is and is not recommended, particularly in contact sports. Well let me see if I can touch down on this ...