September 6, 2018 – As more information about children and automobile safety is gathered and analyzed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is becoming more convinced that rear-facing is the safest seating position for a child riding in a car.
Prior to 2011, the recommended age to transition from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat was 12 months old. The AAP in 2011 moved that recommendation to 24 months.
That same group – in an effort to make recommendations based on the best and most up-to-date information available – continues to monitor crash safety data and now is recommending that children ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible – up to the limits of their car safety seat.
Most rear-facing car seats have a maximum rear-facing weight in the 30 pound range – the average weight of a 3-year old. Convertible car seats – seats that can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing – have a maximum rear-facing weight in the 40+ pound range – the average weight of a 5 year old. This new information will therefore include virtually all children under 2 years of age and most children up to age 4.
Car seat product listing – a 2018 listing from HealthyChildren.org that includes a comprehensive car seat listing that includes maximum height and weight limits – the new recommendation is based on those numbers (you can also find this information in the handbook that came with your car safety seat).
August 27, 2018 – There has been lots of first days of school so far for 2018 since Tracks 1, 2 and 3 got started on July 9th.
This morning, 160,000 Wake County, traditional-calendar students get started and we at RCAM would like to say to all our student-patients a heart-felt,
“Good Luck Today. Have a Great Year!”
Of course, many of our year-rounders have been in school for weeks to months. To you we add to the above, “Keep up the good work!”
One Reminder, Two Potentially Useful Links and a Video about a Fish’s First Day of Kindergarten:
Reminder: If your child suddenly tells you that they wish to play a sport and need a form completed, if they’ve been in our office in the last year for a well visit, we can fill out that form based on that visit. If they haven’t, give us a call and let’s get that scheduled. More information about getting forms completed here.
Useful Link #1: Last Monday, local affiliate ABC-11 compiled a county-by-county list of places offering FREE school supplieshere.
Useful Link #2: Our friends at the American Academy of Pediatrics website HealthyChildren.org have compiled MANY back-to-school tipshere.
On to the Video…
[NOTE: information that could be considered practical or useful ended above]
There are lots of great first day of school videos out there (and by “video” I am talking about a scene from a movie the depicts the first day of school).
I first thought of “Welcome Back Kotter” – which on further thought is more of a song than a scene so I’ve gone off theme here – also, RCAM parents are likely too young to get that reference. Those that did get it – they would know that song is about a former student returning as a teacher which is definitely not applicable to any current RCAM patients so… we keep moving.
Most movies that include the first day of school typically present the outsider / new student awkwardly arriving for their first day. That can be a lot of fun on a movie screen but not in real life. We see that theme in scenes from some all-time favorites like Footloose, Mean Girls, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and – my personal favorite – Grease featuring the awkward Aussie, Sandy.
For our purposes here, I’d like to feature this scene from Finding Nemo.
You will find no cynicism whatsoever in this depiction of a Kindergartner’s unbridled enthusiasm.
And – how bout Marlin (Nemo’s Dad)? Who among us can’t identify with a parent’s unflinching anxiety when faced with the appropriate parental duties of letting go.
Been there myself – probably still am but we’ll keep in the past tense; don’t want to overthink…
But wait… On second thought – Marlin was kinda right, wasn’t he? His out-of-this-world fears were actually founded. The decision to start school was almost tragic for Nemo.
I’m going to rethink my decision to drop my kids off at school today. In the meantime, try to enjoy (don’t let me start a panic – keep in mind – everything does turn out just fine for young Nemo):
August 8, 2018 – This month the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published reports that bring up safety concerns about a group of chemicals commonly referred to as food additives.
These are chemicals that are very commonly used with processed foods
Chemicals of Concern
There are two types of food additives.
Direct food additives – chemicals addedduring the processing of foods
Indirect food additives – these chemicals may contact food as part of packaging or processing
Many of these chemicals have a designation known as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). This GRAS designation allows many chemicals to be used without FDA approval or notification. They are designated as safe by company employees or hired consultants. In its policy statement, the AAP is recommending a reassessment of this process.
Attempting to Clarify the Concern:
The AAP has produced two documents to add some clarity and direction toward reducing possible risks:
Practical Steps: Reduce Exposure to Chemicals of Concern
Frankly, it is difficult to avoid some of these chemicals completely. Here are known practical steps to reduce exposure (as published in the above AAP Policy Statement):
Prioritize consumption of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables when possible, and support that effort by developing a list of low-cost sources for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Avoid processed meats, especially maternal consumption during pregnancy.
Avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic, if possible.
Avoid placing plastics in the dishwasher.
Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.
Look at the recycling code on the bottom of products to find the plastic type, and avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless plastics are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware,” indicating that they are made from corn and do not contain bisphenols.
Encourage hand-washing before handling foods and/or drinks, and wash all fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.
August 7, 2018 – Many of our patient’s families have been following the pregnancy of our very own Sarah Owrey, MD.
[Editor’s Note: Don’t confuse Dr. Owrey’s pregnancy with those of the 2 other RCAM pediatricians also set to deliver over the next 7 weeks. That little period of time is something RCAM likes to call “Operation: Brace Yourself”]
We happily pass along that this past Sunday Sarah gave birth to a 7 lbs 15 oz baby girl. Sarah, husband Ryan and big brother Hudson have named her Harper.
When the list came to Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time”, they wrote the following:
Proudly play this 1988 song when you’ve labored intensively towards one illustrious achievement and you’re approaching the pinnacle of success. Breathe deeply, then bask in the glory and enjoy your moment
That description begs the question, “Were they referring to childbirth or competing in a decathlon?”
For those of you who have given birth you may ask, “What’s the difference?”
Let’s all bask with this happy family and welcome little Harper to her ‘Moment In Time.’
July 3, 2018 – Welcome to the banner change where, at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine (RCAM), we officially move past spring and welcome the summer. This is a little late but – c’mon man – a legend retired 11 days ago – cut us a little slack.
Among those recommendations: every child 3 years old and above should have a well visit / complete physical every year.
If your child might play sports in middle school or high school, keep in mind their school will require them to have had a well visit / complete physical in the last year. The summer is a perfect time to take care of that. Call us and schedule a visit.
School Sports Participation Forms
Be ready when you hear at the last minute that your child wants to try out for their school’s quidditch team. Instead,
Schedule an appointment (919-781-7490).
Download the appropriate form your school requires.
Bring the form to your appointment and we will complete it at your child’s well visit / physical.
Avoid a crisis and have a completed form ready to go before school even begins.
Here are some of the local school athletic participation forms:
Wednesday, July 4th – Duraleigh and Brier Creek Offices both closed for the Independence Day holiday; holiday coverage described here (in short, a limited clinic starting at 10am at the Duraleigh office)
Thursday, July 5th – Duraleigh and Brier Creek Offices back to being open regular weekday hours
June 19, 2018 – How do you say “Goodbye” to an icon?
This week at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine, we are trying to figure that out.
After 33 years, Friday, June the 22nd will be the last official workday for Leigh Lehan, MD.
Below is a token of what her peers had to say about those 33 years:
Leigh S. Lehan, MD Day Week
If you make it into the office, be aware that RCAM is celebrating her career for the entire week.
Monday, June 18th – ALLITERATION DAY – as we say goodbye to “LL”, we attempted to add our own alliteration to the day and all the while maintaining a pleasant, soothing demeanor – sorry you missed it.
Tuesday, June 19th – DIET SUNKIST DAY – Dr. Lehan is known for a ‘Sunny’ presence – she is also known to enjoy a Diet Sunkist from time to time, and – while that seems to be something none of the rest of us enjoys – on Tuesday we will take time to enjoy some of the small things that make the day more enjoyable
Wednesday, June 20th – NOTE CARD DAY – we will all do our best Dr. Lehan impersonation by writing thoughtful words on a piece of paper and sharing them with someone else in the office [NOTE about NOTE CARD DAY: if you are still reading this, you must be a big Dr. Lehan Fan like the rest of us; if so, please take a moment to write some words for her and we would be happy to sure that she gets them; send them to: RCAM / Dr. Lehan Retirement, 3100 Duraleigh Road, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27612]
Thursday, June 21st – BAKED GOODS & CRAFTS DAY – no explanation necessary
Friday, June 22nd – LEIGH S. LEHAN, MD DAY – Dr. Lehan began her career at RCAM in 1984 and we will try to recreate some of the themes of that era for her last day