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Entries in colds (3)


FYI: Milk, It Does a Body Good (even when sick)

Like most doctors, I spend a lot of time teaching parents how to help their kids feel better while they are sick.  I run through the list of things that may be helpful, depending on the age of your child and whatever is ailing them.  Tylenol and Motrin for fever or aches and pains, honey for cough, Vick's vapor rub  and bulb suctioning (especially my beloved Nose Frida) for nasal congestion and on and on.   I often get a surprised smile from a child when I recommend ice cream or a milkshake to soothe a sore throat - especially when I emphatically say "Ice cream for this kiddo.  Doctors orders!"  But parents sometimes are suprised to hear me encourage dairy while their child is sick.  

Turns out, there is a common misbelief that dairy products (milk especially) should not be given to kids when they have a cold or a fever.  Some people are worried that the milk increases mucus or phlegm production. Others worry that milk will turn sour or cause an stomachache for someone who has a fever.

But let's set the record straight!  There is no scientific or biologic reason to avoid milk when you are sick with a fever or a respiratory illness such as a cold. (Though gastrointestinal or stomach bugs are a slightly different story as we do recommend avoiding milk immediately after vomiting of in some cases of chronic diarrhea).

A great study was published on this subject in the 1990s.  Researchers

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Nosefrida - best baby product of all time! 

When I first suggested to my husband that we needed to buy the Nosefrida, he says he nearly fainted.  Clearly, he was clearly not sold on the idea.  And most parents that I describe it to in clinic have similar first impressions. And yes, I understand that the concept behind the Nosefrida seems gross.  But this baby product is so effective that virtually everyone who tries it is easily won over (my husband included).  Parents of my patients rave about it.  Many have called it a "life saver" or "the best baby product ever."

There is nothing more pitiful than watching a baby struggle to breath.  This time of year, with influenza and RSV running wild in our area, many youngsters out there are in the same bind:  tons of snot is keeping them from resting (and in some cases making it hard for them to nurse or drink from a bottle).  The classic nasal aspirator (the blue bulb suction) doesn't hold a candle to the Nosefrida - even if you use nasal saline drops too.  I have found the bulb suction often causes irritation and sometimes even bleeding due to it's shape and how delicate the skin is inside a baby's nose.  As a mother, I have been very frustrated by the meager amount of mucus I can remove with it on my own babies.  Enter the blessed Nosefrida! 

Nosefrida, the Snotsucker, has an ingeniously simple design (developed by a

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FYI: Seasonal Allergies Part I (Allergies vs Cold)

This time of year our clinic rooms are full of adorable children with runny noses.  But whether it is seasonal allergies or a virus (upper respiratory infection or URI) such as the common cold) to blame can sometimes be tricky.  Both conditions are VERY COMMON.  In fact, experts estimate that anywhere from 20-40% of Americans suffer with seasonal allergies and we know that children will typically have 8-12 viral URIs per year.  So it is very likely that your child will suffer from one (or both) conditions in any given year. 

So when should you suspect your child has seasonal allergies? If your

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