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Parenting

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Helping children feel safe in the aftermath of gun violence

Janice Schreier, L.C.S.W.
In the aftermath of gun violence in schools, many parents are asking “How can I help my children feel safe” or “How do I reassure myself that my children are safe?” As parents, it is important to acknowledge and gain a healthy perspective of your fears for the safety of…
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Constipation in your kids

Sara Hassan, M.D.
No one likes to talk about constipation, least of all school-age children, preteens and teenagers. While a degree of banter on the subject may be common at school, the realities of living with it amount to a very private embarrassment. Pediatric constipation affects 10% to 30% of kids under 18…
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Parents and Children’s Athletics: Are You a Spoilsport or Wise Mentor?

David B. Soma, M.D.
You’ve heard the stories and seen the videos: A parent of a 13-year-old player in a youth football game didn’t like a penalty flag so he grabbed the referee and body-slammed him onto the ground; parents at their 8-year-old’s soccer game verbally abusing (to put it mildly) officials; and parents…
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From biting to tantrums, how to diffuse disruptive behavior

Jocelyn R. Lebow, Ph.D., L.P.
Witnessing your child act out for the first time can be a bewildering experience. Biting, screaming, fighting the cat — unwanted behaviors can run the gamut. While such displays can appear as suddenly and inexplicably as a new cold, there are clear, research-backed techniques to help turn them around. Jocelyn…
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Taking flight with Mayo Clinic’s peregrine falcon friends

The Mayo Building in downtown Rochester, Minnesota, has 21 floors, with most of this space dedicated to providing expert medical care to people from around the world. High atop this tower — on the roof, in fact! — is a small, boxy maternity ward that specializes in incubation and egg…
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Polycystic kidney disease can affect children, too

25:33
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder where clusters of cysts develop within the kidneys, causing the kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. The cysts, which are noncancerous sacs containing fluid, vary in size, and they can grow to be large. This disorder can occur in children and…
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The first parent freakout: Baby falls

James (Jim) Homme, M.D., FACEP
The night was going well. My husband and I — along with our newborn son — were visiting our good friends at their house for dinner. We talked and laughed over a meal of enchiladas, and then all paused to put our kids down to sleep before continuing with our…
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Tips for helping kids build resilience

Angela C Mattke, M.D.
Most parents instinctively recoil when it comes to thoughts of their children facing failure or dealing with a difficult situation. In fact, parents typically think it’s part of their job to shelter and protect their children from the storms of life. It’s a totally natural assumption. But it’s not always…
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How and why endoscopy is used in children

33:00
Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to visually examine the digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube. An upper endoscopy examines the stomach, esophagus and small intestines. A colonoscopy, which is another type of endoscopy, is used to examine the rectum, large intestine and colon.
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The sleep episode: For both you and your infant

29:47
Fact: babies actually sleep a lot. And moms can, too. Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., discuss how to make both things happen on the regular, with help from special guest Jay Homme, M.D., pediatrician at Mayo Clinic and father of six children. To discuss: *          Sleep patterns…
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Are video games and screens another addiction?

Fiona Swanson, L.I.C.S.W.
In an increasingly digitalized world, where most people ― even children ― own electronic devices with screens, many parents worry about the effects of screen use on themselves and their children. To complicate matters, some screen time can be educational for children and support their social development. With the COVID-19…
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The Feeding episode: Helping your baby thrive

45:29
Breast is best. Or is formula fine? A bit of both? Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., talk through all the issues and research, with help from special guest Jay Homme, M.D., pediatrician at Mayo Clinic and father of six children. Topics include: *          Breastmilk vs. formula *         …
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Common skin conditions in babies

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Many parents expect their newborn’s skin to be flawless. But most babies are born with some bruising, and skin blotches and blemishes are common. Young infants often have dry, peeling skin, especially on their hands and feet, for the first few weeks. Some blueness of the hands and feet is…
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Video: How to talk to kids about serious illness

1:46
How do you talk to a child about a serious diagnosis in the family? Mayo Clinic experts have helped many families with the process. See what they recommend.
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Climate change and global childhood health

25:56
From allergies and asthma to infectious diseases and even malnutrition, the indirect effects of climate change are taking a toll on our most valuable resource, kids! On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Ask the Mayo Mom host Dr. Angela Mattke, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, is joined by Dr. Molly Herr,…
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Why premature birth happens

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Although most babies are born full term and free of medical problems, some are born too early. A premature (preterm) birth — a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy — gives a baby less time to develop and mature in the womb. As a result, premature babies may…
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Delivery: The real deal and stuff no one tells you about

40:50
Learn why Rachel’s delivery room scene on “Friends” qualifies as “the most unrealistic birth ever.” Myra J. Wick, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic obstetrician, gynecologist and medical geneticist, joins co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D. to guide you through the reality of labor (vaginal or C section), including: *         …
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Toilet training: Recognizing readiness

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Many children show signs of being ready for toilet training between ages 18 and 24 months. However, others might not be ready until they’re 3 years old. There’s no rush. Rather than relying solely on your child’s age — or when his or her peers are being toilet trained —…
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Preparing for Delivery: Having a plan, but keeping it flexible

33:23
Your trip to the hospital, like a trip to go camping, will benefit from advanced planning. Myra J. Wick, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic obstetrician, gynecologist and medical geneticist, joins Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D. to help you think of everything you’ll need, before you need it, including:…
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When to start feeding your baby peanut butter, milk, and other foods

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
It’s time to begin feeding your baby some of the same nutritious foods the rest of the family enjoys at mealtimes, such as mashed or pureed vegetables, fruits and cereals. But be aware that some foods can cause problems if they’re not introduced at appropriate times. Here’s some advice about…
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Planning and Nesting: What do you actually need?

26:22
The pop-up ads will start soon after the positive pregnancy test. You must have this safety feature! Your baby cannot survive without that gadget! Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., sort out what you actually need from what you don’t, what to look for — and look out…
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Early intervention can help kids with cerebral palsy

34:17
Children with cerebral palsy may require lifelong care from a medical care team, but early intervention and treatments can improve function. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It’s caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before…
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Understanding self-injury in teens

While parents may suspect signs of self-injury: wearing long sleeves when it’s hot out; frequent reports of accidental injury; being sensitive, moody or getting angry very quickly; many struggle to understand it. Self-injury typically is not meant as a suicide attempt. Instead, the act of deliberately harming one’s own body…
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Hidden signs of vision problems in children

Misty M. Watters, O.D.
In some cases, the signs a child has a vision problem is abundantly clear. The child may squint, hold reading material close, experience headaches or complain about things appearing blurry. However, there are some less obvious signs a child is having trouble seeing. Here are four signs your child may…
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Video: How parents find hope when a child faces brain surgery

1:29
No family should have to face brain surgery for a child. But the inspiring outcomes this Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon has seen show hope for any child’s future.
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Pregnancy do’s and don’ts – Part 2

22:31
Pregnancy creates a tidal wave of hormones. This protects a growing baby — while creating serious discomfort for mom. Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., discuss the many day-to-day health challenges and disruptions to your routine. Get expert medical opinions on these hot topics: *          Prenatal vitamins *         …
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Managing sickle cell disease in children and teens

29:30
Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Red blood cells are usually round and flexible, so they move easily through blood vessels. With sickle cell disease, some red blood cells are shaped like sickles or crescent moons, become rigid and sticky. These sickle-cell shaped cells…
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Pregnancy do’s and don’ts — Part 1

14:57
Being pregnant means you’re about to swim in a sea of “do’s and don’ts.” Mostly don’ts. Co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., discuss the many foods that society tells pregnant women to keep off their plates. What’s science? What’s fiction? What’s in between? Learn all about: *          The…
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Burnout in youth sports: Help your child stay in the game

David B. Soma, M.D.
David B. Soma, M.D., is a pediatrician and sports medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, and his research passion is pediatric sports medicine. Here, he talks about how parents can uplift and enhance their kids’ experience in athletics — and avoid being “that parent. ”   Q: What are the emotional…
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The itchy truth: What to know about head lice

Maegen Storm, C.N.P.
You may have the urge to scratch an itch in your hair when you hear about head lice. The tiny insects like to move in and make their home in clean hair while feeding on blood from the human scalp. Knowing how to prevent and treat head lice can ease…
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Kids with diabetes: how technology is changing the landscape of care

Ana L. Creo, M.D.
When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, parents most often want to know what care options are available to limit restrictions on their child’s life — while also keeping them tuned in to safety. One of the most common questions the child wants to know is if they can still…
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Keeping yourself and your baby healthy early in pregnancy

35:12
Pregnancy: It’s the most excited you’ll ever be. And it’s the most scared you’ve ever been. Myra J. Wick, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic obstetrician, gynecologist and medical geneticist, joins co-hosts Angela Mattke, M.D., and Nipunie Rajapakse M.D., to discuss the often-conflicted feelings of expectant parents. Questions tackled include: *          What…
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Helping children cope with medical experiences

29:43
Parents and caregivers play an important role in helping children feel comfortable with medical care. When possible, sharing age-appropriate information with children before a medical appointment can help ease their fear and anxiety. To help children prepare for a visit with their health care team, it is important that parents…
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Video: Balancing life as a busy professional and a mom

1:53
As a working mom, it’s tough not to buckle under the weight of your two jobs. Mayo Clinic doctors who are also moms offer their own secrets for balance.
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Managing colic and keeping your cool

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Caring for an infant who has colic can be exhausting, confusing and stressful — even for experienced parents. Colic isn’t a result of poor parenting skills, so don’t blame yourself for your baby’s colic. Instead, focus on ways to make this difficult stage a little more bearable. Remember, this too…
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Congratulations, you’re pregnant! But now what?

20:006
Co-host Nipunie Rajapakse M.D. talks through the “biggest adventure of my life” — she’s pregnant!  She’s joined by co-host Angela Mattke, M.D. — and special guest Jay Homme, M.D., pediatrician at Mayo Clinic and father of six children. Tune in for a wide-ranging discussion of pregnancy in an age of…
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Stepping back from helicopter parenting

Angela C Mattke, M.D.
Protecting your child without over-protecting — and helping them learn and grow in the process. You’ve probably heard of helicopter parents — it’s a term used to describe parents who hover over their children and micromanage their lives. Prime examples of helicopter parenting include following a preschooler around the playground…
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Video: Normalizing life for kids with epilepsy

1:40
Should children with epilepsy be encouraged to take risks? Dr. Lily Wong-Kisiel of Mayo Clinic says yes — maybe more than you think. Find out why.
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Innovative procedures for kids with congenital heart disease

28:30
Thanks to significant advances in techniques and devices, minimally invasive procedures can be used to treat some congenital heart disease defects. Innovative procedures using catheters through blood vessels in the legs or neck allow interventional cardiologists to repair heart defects without surgically opening a child’s chest. Specialists at Mayo Clinic’s Center for…
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More than 2 years of COVID-19 takes its toll on children, families

31:23
More than two full years of living in the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on children and their families. During the most recent omicron surge, pediatric infection rates were particularly concerning for pediatricians across the country. Parents of children younger than 5 years of age are…
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Keeping your cool during family mealtimes with babies and toddlers

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Mealtimes are an important part of family life. They offer family members a chance to come together to share not just food but companionship. Whenever possible, have your baby eat at the same time as the rest of the family. This helps your baby get used to the process of…
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Single parent? Go from surviving to thriving

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
As a single parent, some days it may feel like you’re doing all you can just to survive. It will get better. As one mother says, ”I learned that regardless of whether or not this is the life I planned, this is my life and I need to embrace it.
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Treating congenital heart defects

26:57
A congenital heart defect means that a child was born with a problem in the structure of his or her heart. Some congenital heart defects in children are simple and don’t need treatment. Others are more complex and may require several surgeries performed over a period of several years. Improvements in…
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How to put your baby to sleep safely

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby. Although the exact cause is still unknown, it appears that sudden infant death syndrome may be associated with problems in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.
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Treating hernias in children

19:10
A hernia occurs when a part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the stomach muscles. A hernia creates a soft lump or bulge under the skin. In children, hernias usually occur in one of two places: An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin area.An umbilical hernia occurs near the belly button.
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Early signs of autism

Walter Cook, M.D. Medical Editor,
Kelsey Klaas, M.D.
Many children with autism spectrum disorder show hints of the disability within the first year of life. Other children appear to develop with their peers but then suddenly — or gradually — become withdrawn and lose language skills that they already had. Most children show clear signs of autism before…
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Spinal anesthesia has advantages for some pediatric surgeries

32:51
When a baby needs surgery, parents may be worried about how general anesthesia will affect their child. In place of general anesthesia, Mayo Clinic is using spinal anesthesia in some pediatric urology surgeries. The advantages of spinal anesthesia include a less time in the operating room and a quicker postop recovery. And…
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Podcast: Healthy ways to discipline children

29:51
Child health experts condemn the use of violence in any form, but some people still use corporal punishment, such as spanking, as a way to discipline their children. Any corporal punishment can leave emotional scars. Parental behaviors that cause pain, physical injury or emotional trauma — even when done in…