pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Showing posts from: April 2017

Vaccine Hero’s

Bill and Melinda Gates, perhaps today's most philanthropic people

Ever since Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, gave a talk about “Vaccine Hero’s” I’ve seen more and more “vested interests” jumping on his bandwagon with their own hero lists.

Gates had a list of seven person’s, 6 medical related and 1 business, who he is continually grateful for as he and his wife attempt to ameliorate great inequities and suffering around the world in the area of vaccines and disease prevention.
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Common Foreign Bodies Found In Children and Teens

The featured photo is not quite what I mean by the title of this post – it says: foreign bodies found “In” children, not “On” children. Oh well.

I have taken probably more foreign objects out of people than the average pediatrician in my career. Mostly because our Naval base hospital didn’t actually have “pediatric” gastroenterology Read more→

#37 James Parkinson (1755-1824)

Dr. James Parkinson was born on World Parkinson’s Disease Day, April 11th 1755, in London, England. Of course he didn’t know it at the time. Come to think of it, neither did his parents; nor the fact that he would become one of the 50 most influential doctors of all time.

Affecting an estimated 1% of people over 60 years of age, what has come to be known as “Parkinson’s Disease” is one of the most common neurologic disorders known today.
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Helmets Don’t Prevent Concussion – Here’s Why

Concussion vs Skull Fractures
TED: David Camarillo explains difference

A ton of great information, right? I enjoyed the talk, even if he seemed a bit didactic and condescending in his delivery. None-the-less, the information that he DID give us is eye-opening and should cause us to pause in our analysis of how we’re going about protecting our kids. Completely being na├»ve to what we are doing doesn’t do anybody any good and may delay or prevent us from doing what really will protect them.

I completely understand the difference between concussion and skull fracture. And I understand completely why everyone’s first attempts at keeping kids safe was to protect against skull fracture. Obviously everyone makes the assumption, as I do, that decreasing skull fracture is a laudable goal because it intuitively must be related to concussion. But it’s interesting to realize that helmets are only designed and developed against fracture. However, we haven’t needed Camarillo to tell us that our former beliefs weren’t completely accurate. Most of us have come to believe that for several years; but, I’m glad that he and his group are trying to put some real dimension to the study and for that he should take credit.

If I find a disappointment with his talk it would be his appearing to want to take the credit for the discoveries of others in the field; and, his carefully worded dancing around the question regarding what we do now? Did you notice that he posed the question himself, then gave a non-answer… several times. He asked “what do I recommend to parents?” then skated to something like: “I don’t need to answer for me because I’ve got a couple years before my daughter actually rides a bike.”

So really, what DO we DO?! The honest answer is that there is nothing we can do, EXCEPT to do what we can—BUT not delude ourselves that what we are doing actually protects us from concussions. We’ve got helmets that don’t protect against concussion only fracture. We use what we can and look for other things we can do. We all have to decide for our own kids whether or not to let them participate in any activity, situation by situation. At the same time, to actually protect our kids we need to DEMAND MORE of our equipment, rule-makers, sports-organizers, government regulators, coaches, other teams, referees and umpires—pretty much everyone who is trying to turn children’s PLAY into trophy’s, pro-level goals and techniques and, yes, money-making schemes.

Those situations are not easily decided because of the complexity we have turned today’s “children’s play” into. It’s NOT just your coach; but how qualified, tolerant the referees are. Do they simply use common sense beneficial to children or are they just “winging it” or some sports wannabe living vicariously. And the other coach. Is he a complete nut who belittles his kids to basically “win at all costs?” And the schedule, does it suck every bit of spare time for other (let’s face it more life-important or family) activities out of not only your kid but the family as well? And the equipment—and on and on. Every decision stands on its own. Just know that today, there is probably 800 times more regimented activity available than is needed by your child to grow, develop and be happy in his life. You don’t NEED to endorse any sport for them to grow to their best potential.

You Can’t Make A Kid Eat 

In fact there’s a lot of things you can’t MAKE a kid do—well you could, but not without damaging something. Things like eating, sleeping and going potty are the “trifecta” of parenting problems a pediatrician is sought out for to provide counseling and hopefully an answer.

A pediatrician on the east coast calls himself “A Musing Pediatrician” – get it? Well, one of us seems to have been channeling the other for years though we’ve never met. Because I outrank him in years by a decade or more (judging by his photo) I’m going to believe it is he who is channeling me; but, in a lot of parenting things we seem to have the same mind and similar style. You just gotta’ read this!