Autism and Recent Findings

smcternan March 31st, 2014, 11:18 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Two new reports have been released about the rise in autism incidence in this country. What does it all mean really? We do know that autism is no longer rare, and that it no longer affects only, or even primarily, boys. The incidence is rising in both boys and girls, albeit more boys than girls are still diagnosed.

We can identify autism at much younger ages using tools that ascertain symptoms that would otherwise be missed at a child’s 6-, 12-, 18-month and two-year check-ups. We are getting better at getting services to…

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A Cough That Just Won’t Stop

smcternan March 23rd, 2014, 4:53 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Maybe spring is in the air, but along with warmer temperatures come a host of viruses and bacteria as you venture outdoors.

Have you ever had a cold that lasts for two weeks or longer and then becomes an irritating, compulsive cough? This may actually be whooping cough. Whooping cough can be deadly in small children and infants as it becomes very difficult to eat, and vomiting and difficulty breathing are often symptoms of whooping cough. It is very hard to watch a child cough repeatedly and struggle to breathe. Malaise…

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Move It, Move It

smcternan March 16th, 2014, 1:00 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Upon my return from a national conference on all things Pediatrics and Healthcare, an interesting discussion was ignited by Bone Health and the loss of bone density in children. Why are children today experiencing more bone breakage and weaker bones? Does the use of sunscreen have anything to do with it? Maybe,but then again maybe not as skin cancer is also on the rise in younger and younger children. What is a parent to do about their child’s bone health. Well it is known that kids that are active have…

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Peace on …Trains, Planes and Automobiles

smcternan February 23rd, 2014, 3:18 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Thirty percent of two-year-olds (yes, toddlers!) know how to operate a smart phone. As plans go forward to allow use of cellular phones on planes, I wonder who will use phones more, adults or their offspring. I am guilty of handing my iPhone to my elementary school child as we wait to board a plane or for a meal served in a restaurant to prevent boredom,  but actually I have realized that the opportunity to distract my child with another tactic is lost. With my older children, I’d have a…

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It’s Snowing…..

smcternan February 16th, 2014, 11:49 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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stowe-holiday-spring 015

Another  day of school at home, and a day at home doing what? Well most kids are not complaining about not going to school, but I can safely say that my kids have caught up (sufficiently) on deprived sleep.

We have also shoveled and dug out from snow bound homes, apartments and cars many times over now. Shoveling is hard work, and it is not the type of work that gets you in shape. Shoveling stresses your back more than anything.

On the other hand, snow forts and snow people and snowball fights…

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Car Crash Safety

smcternan February 9th, 2014, 8:34 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Families rely on transportation from trains, planes and automobiles to get to ALL the places they need to go. The laws regarding car seats provided what research has found to be the safest way to get to your destination. That is if you use it and use it correctly. Deaths of children in car crashes has decreased by an incredible 43% in the USA(CDC 2002-20011 data). Of the 9000 children who died in auto accidents in the year 2011 many could have been prevented by using appropriate

Than moisturizers which, your…
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Super Kids

smcternan February 2nd, 2014, 3:05 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Here is a question, and think hard…what makes someone truly SUPER? Defining your child to someone may cause you to pause….fine, great, amazing, honest, kind, mischievious, or maybe even a holy terror. Well we all have good and bad days and we hope when we become parents that there will be more Good than Bad. One of the hardest parts of parenting is to set them free. Yes, we take care of every booboo and dry every tear but when is it Ok not to dry their tears and let…

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Bridging the Generations: A Winning Strategy for Family Caregivers

jsantamaria January 29th, 2014, 5:02 PM
Judy Santamaria, MSPH
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We often refer to the difficulties faced by the “sandwich generation” — those in their 40s and 50s who find themselves caring for elderly family members while they still have children at home. Worrying about driving your elderly mom to the doctor can be especially stressful when you also need to cook a healthy meal for your growing teen. But sandwiched caregivers, take heart: While no one can diminish the stresses you face in caring for both older and younger family members, this may be an opportunity for multiple generations…

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Snow, Ice and Freezing Temperatures

smcternan January 25th, 2014, 2:17 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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January 2014 has been memorable in both winter storms and record cold temperatures. Already two snow days from school and we still have much winter left. We could be lucky and have a mild February and March or we could have more of the same. What to do when outside seems unbearable and inside cabin fever is happening at record rates. If the gym and possible indoor adventure sites are not your thing, then maybe some home based adventure is for you and your family. An active  toddler or school…

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Look into My Crystal Ball…

smcternan January 20th, 2014, 10:20 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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What do you see? I see a torrent of change. Where is it coming from-EVERYWHERE! Why is it coming? Well that would truly be a magical skill if I knew the absolute answer- but maybe you do. I am speaking of where the future of health in this nation. Yes, we all WANT and maybe NEED to be healthy, BUT do we know how? My guess is that if you survey most Americans of any age the answers would vary tremendously. Ask a five year old and he will tell…

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