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Good, sound sleep is vital for babies, children and teens. It’s just as important as a healthy diet and exercise in order for a kid to grow both physically and mentally. But establishing a consistent sleep routine can be challenging. You might wonder just how much sleep does my child need? How many hours are appropriate for what age? How can I get my kid to sleep – and get them to stay asleep?

I look forward to talking about kids and sleep, and answering your questions at the “Good Night, Sleep Tight” blogging event next month. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help prepare your kids for a good night’s sleep:

  • Watch out for sneaky caffeine! Caffeine can lurk in lots of surprising places, including bottled teas, chocolate, and coffee-flavored ice cream. It can also be found in over-the-counter medications so scan the active and inactive ingredients lists for caffeine before you give your child one of these medications.
  • Reduce stress before bedtime – if a child is stressed, their body will release high levels of the hormone cortisol and their body won’t be able to “shut down” to go to sleep. Keep pre-bedtime activities calm and the lights dim to help keep cortisol levels low.
  • Turn off the TV and other electric devices at least two hours before bedtime. The lights from computer screens, smartphones and tablets emit light of all colors, but it’s the blues that pose a danger to sleep. Blue light is especially good at preventing the release of melatonin, a hormone associated with nighttime.


Posted on Feb 1, 2016

Any parent will tell you that as soon as they have their baby, they are regularly thinking about poop.  When did the baby poop?  How much did the baby poop?  What color was the poop?  (I can say poop instead of bowel movement because I’m…



Posted on Jan 11, 2016

Every year from November to April we are officially in RSV season. This may not mean much to you but for pediatricians this is something we brace for and dread. So why should you care? Typically an older child or adult infected with RSV will…



Posted on Dec 22, 2015

All children, at some point or another, will experience a sore throat.  Many parents worry that their child’s sore throat is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus (strep throat) and will require antibiotics.  However, only 10-20% of children with a sore throat actually have strep.  If…



Posted on Nov 19, 2015

Winter is coming!  As if cold weather and runny noses aren’t bad enough, winter brings dry, cracked and itchy skin.  It’s only November and my hands have aged 40 years!  This is a problem that I see with kids every year, and not just the…



Posted on Nov 9, 2015

Every fall/winter we go through the same dreaded respiratory virus season.  What exactly does that mean?  For doctors it means very busy days in the office.  For patients it means lots of colds, coughs, croup, sinus infections, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza to name…



Posted on Nov 3, 2015

Every weekday during lunch time, I scurry out of my clinic and head towards the doctor’s lounge because the food is free (even though most of the time I am not sure what it is)! But more appealing than the costless lunch are the conversations…



Posted on Oct 14, 2015

Bed wetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is one of the most common childhood conditions that can take a tremendous toll on families as well as a child’s social well-being. Up to 40% of school-age children also show signs of bowel and bladder dysfunction. Symptoms include pain…



Posted on Oct 9, 2015

There are few things as scary as talking to your young daughter about puberty. Yet, it needs to be done and sometimes sooner rather than later.  Some girls will start to see puberty changes as young as 7 years old, although most will start between…



Posted on Sep 16, 2015

Every fall we are faced with the same question: To get the flu shot or not to get the flu shot? There are so many myths surrounding the influenza vaccine that many people grapple with this decision yearly, even people who otherwise get all of their…




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