Happy Thanksgiving! We recently asked our patient families what they were most thankful for this year, and the responses we received were heartfelt and beautiful. However you spend this special week—celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or both—we hope you’re able to find a few moments of peace for yourself and your family, and together enjoy the things that you’re thankful for.
I’m thankful for the cardiac team that kept my baby healthy before and after her emergency Tetralogy of Fallot repair this month! Could not have asked for better caregivers for my baby girl!
This year, my family is thankful for a happy, inquisitive, sweet, quirky, loving, (but most importantly healthy) toddler! A year ago, we questioned what life would be like after his Hirschsprung’s Disease diagnosis and THANKS to Boston’s Children’s Hospital we get to share and enjoy life with our wonderful little boy! We can’t wait to see what his future holds!
I’m thankful that Boston Children’s Hospital helped me go from 400 pounds to 235 pounds and still losing! Without the weight loss, my son would have never been conceived.
We are thankful to be Boston Children’s Hospital parents, because they saved our son’s life. Boston Children’s was involved with his heart even before he was born, as he had a fetal intervention when I was 29 weeks pregnant. They handled the surgery and procedures after birth, and now he is a thriving little four-year-old boy.
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“When asked to conjure an image of a patient living with an eating disorder, I imagine many people picture a young, thin woman. This reflects two common stereotypes: that eating disorders only affect women, and that all people with eating disorders are low-weighted. In fact, clinical experience and an evolving field of research show that many males struggle with eating disorders,” says Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, fellow in Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Similarly, parents and health care providers may see gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in terms of their sexual identities and forget that these teens may face body image and weight control issues as well.
Two recent studies published by researchers at Boston Children’s debunk these stereotypes and may change the way parents and providers think about eating disorders and risky weight control behaviors in all teens. Full story »
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends and great food. This year, try making healthier alternatives to some of your favorite holiday dishes. The staff at Preventive Cardiology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital has researched some delicious and healthy recipes to put on your table this year. Remember, be creative and an extra side of vegetables never hurt anyone!
APPETIZER: Butternut Squash Soup
This year, instead of filling up on empty calories before the main meal, try eating a healthy soup!
- A single (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper Full story »
Michael Rich, MD, MPH
Michael Rich, MD, MPH, is Boston Children’s Hospital’s media expert and director of Boston Children’s Center on Media and Child Health. Send him a media-related parenting question via email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @CMCH_Boston.
Last week, the New York Times featured an article entitled “Unlearning Gun Violence”, which discussed the work of an epidemiologist who, after a decade of fighting TB, HIV, and cholera in Africa, returned to a life-threatening epidemic in his hometown of Chicago—violence. He uses the same techniques that worked in Africa, teaching perpetrators and victims of violence to prevent recurrence of this deadly cycle. Such secondary and tertiary prevention is effective—but after the fact. Prevention of future violence can only happen after violence has occurred, identifying those at risk for aggression and victimization.
One day earlier, a research report in Pediatrics detailed the dramatic increase in gun violence in PG-13 movies, tripling over the past 3 decades. Movies that any child can watch (hopefully, but not necessarily with parental guidance) are now more violent than those that are restricted to those 17 or older unless accompanied by an adult. One day later, I was asked to present research in support of a bill in the Massachusetts Senate that would appoint an expert commission to study whether and how video games and other interactive media influence and teach their users. Full story »
Was Thomas Jefferson on to something when he quipped, “A strong body makes the mind strong?” It appears so, according to a study of nearly 5,000 British teens. Researchers tracked physical activity and standardized test performance at ages 11, 13 and 16. Overall, kids who were more active achieved higher test scores in English, math and science.
Interestingly, as parents, educators and policymakers lament the lack of women in science, the results indicated a strong link between physical activity and science scores for girls.
The researchers, whose study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, aren’t sure why kids who spent more time sweating outperformed their couch potato peers on academic measures, but suggested that physical activity might increase time on task and curb problem behavior in the classroom.
Kathryn Ackerman, MD, MPH, co-director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Sports Medicine Division, adds another possibility: The structure of sports carries over into other aspects of kids’ lives. Athletic discipline makes for academic discipline. Full story »
Dr. Claire McCarthy is a primary care physician and the Medical Communications Editor at Boston Children’s Hospital. Along with her blogs here on Thriving, you can find her at the Huffington Post and Boston.com. Follow her on Twitter @drClaire.
I spent my 50th birthday being the starter at a swim meet.
It was a really great way to celebrate. Full story »
Arms crossed, eyes rolled, heavy sighs. Teens’ body language often suggests utter disregard for adults’ advice. The phenomenon may peak during discussions about substance use, which is one reason some pediatricians may bypass substance abuse counseling during annual visits. Yet the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends physicians screen all adolescents for alcohol at least once a year. New research from the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Boston Children’s Hospital may allay physicians’ fears.
A brief computer-facilitated counseling session during an annual physician visit reduced drinking among teens whose friends drink or approve of drinking. In a study of 2,092 12- to 18-year-old patients, teens with friends who drink (those with peer risk) had reduced alcohol use at three-month follow-up, Jennifer Louis-Jacques, MD, MPH, from Boston Children’s Division of Adolescent Medicine, reported in a study published online Nov. 11 in Journal of Adolescent Health. Full story »
Diabetes management can drain anyone. The multiple daily needle sticks, constant need to estimate carbohydrate intake and occasional hypoglycemic dizzy spells are tough to manage. These challenges may be magnified for kids with diabetes, who often find it difficult to stay on top of managing their condition while also juggling school, sports and time with friends.
Yet, 19-year-old Henry Abrams, a Cape Cod teen diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, says he’s grateful for its life lessons.
Henry, currently an engineering student at University of Massachusetts, credits his ability to keep his glucose levels under control to his math finesse. “I can estimate the amount of sugar in food and make the adjustments I need.”
Henry’s mother, Lysbeth Abrams, says he’s taken the diagnosis in stride from day 1, finding ample opportunities to learn from his condition, whether it be math or nutrition or task management. Full story »