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Health information you can trust: It’s what we do.

    Article |

    Body image issues in children and teens

    Nick Johnstone
    Studies show that kids as young as age 3 have body image concerns. Those concerns tend to escalate sharply — year on year — peaking in adolescence but often cropping up over a lifetime. Jocelyn R. Lebow, Ph.D., L.P., a clinical psychologist at Mayo Clinic in…
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    Autism: Diagnosis before kindergarten has therapy benefits

    Nick Johnstone
    Jessica M. Davis, M.D., is often the first stop for parents of children under 5 who are suspected of having autism spectrum disorder. Deciding which kids to recommend for further assessment is a complex task. Autism is difficult to diagnose in anyone, and even more so in the very young.
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    Raising your kids to be healthy cooks

    1:34
    Watch expert tips for raising your kids to be healthy cooks Relevant reading Cook Smart, Eat Well Shop Now…
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    Vitamins, nutritional supplements and special diets for children

    29:19
    Commercials and advertisements often target parents, suggesting they should give their kids vitamins and supplements to help them grow strong and stay healthy. But is it true? The short answer is no.  “By and large, when kids are generally healthy, when they’re growing well, when there is no big concern,…
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    Taking a temperature when your baby, toddler or child has a fever

    If your child feels warm or seems sick, taking his or her temperature can help you tell if he or she has a fever. In very young infants — under 2 months — a fever is cause to see your child’s health care provider right away. This is because your…
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    A guide to starting your baby on solid food

    So when are babies ready for solid foods? It varies a bit, based on a child’s development. Signs that your baby might be ready include being able to sit in a high chair or booster chair, hold his or her head upright, show an interest in food and open his…
    Podcast |

    Navigating a new epilepsy diagnosis

    27:15
    Epilepsy is a neurologic central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness. Seizure symptoms can vary widely. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while…
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    Quick guide to your infant’s first pediatrician visits

    Frequent checkups with a health care provider are an important part of your baby’s first few years. These checkups — often called well-child visits — are a way for you and your child’s health care provider to keep tabs on your child’s health and development, as well as spot any…
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    Questions to ask when choosing a pediatrician for your child

    An important role as a parent is keeping your growing son or daughter as strong and healthy as possible. As a parent, you do a lot of the heavy lifting in this area — you provide nutritious meals, allow plenty of time for play and activity, wipe runny noses, encourage…
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    After miscarriage: How to tell your child about pregnancy loss

    Nick Johnstone
    Losing a pregnancy to miscarriage or stillbirth is a traumatic event — not just for the involved mother or couple, but for the whole family. If you already have one or more children and they‘ve been involved in the excitement of pregnancy and preparations for a new sibling, breaking the…
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    So your kid won’t sleep — addressing common childhood sleep problems

    24:35
    The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, there are general guidelines for different age groups. For kids, getting the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis is linked with better health, including improved attention, behavior,…
    Article |

    Baby poop: color, consistency & sometimes surprises!

    New parents often wonder what’s normal when it comes to their baby’s urination and bowel movements. For newborns especially, there’s a range of what’s considered normal for color, consistency and frequency. Guidelines can help you know what to expect and what’s cause for concern. Urine In a healthy infant, urine…
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    When to start talking about sexual health with your child: Earlier than you think.

    Nick Johnstone
    No matter how sophisticated parental controls for internet access are, research shows the average age children are now exposed to pornography is 13, with some children being exposed by age 7. Digging deeper, 60% of 11- to 13-year-olds are exposed to adult content by accident. And 93% of males and…
    Podcast |

    Talking to kids about racism

    31:26
    Children learn about racial differences and racial bias from an early age, and parents and caregivers are their first teachers. It’s important for parents and other adults to be role models for inclusive behaviors early in the lives of children life to decrease racial bias and improve cultural understanding. Experts…
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    Choosing an infant formula

    A wide variety of infant formulas are on the market. The majority of them are based on cow’s milk. However, never use regular cow’s milk as a substitute for formula. In processing formula, the milk has been changed dramatically to make it safe for babies. This processing includes treating formula…
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    Newborn screening tests

    Your baby can be screened for many conditions before leaving the hospital, including cystic fibrosis, hearing loss and a congenital heart defect. The tests can alert you to any problems or risks early so your baby can get care and treatment, if necessary.
    Podcast |

    Tumor type, grade determine treatment for pediatric brain tumors

    31:30
    Treatment for brain tumors in children can differ from treatment for brain tumors in adults, so it is important to seek care from specialists in pediatric cancer and neurology. Pediatric brain tumors are masses or growths of abnormal cells that occur in a child’s brain, or the…
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    Feeding your baby: Breast milk or formula?

    Some families know right from the start what they’ll feed their babies — breast milk or formula — while others struggle. Most child health organizations advocate breastfeeding, and “Breast is best” is a commonly used phrase. There’s no doubt, breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nourish a newborn — breast…
    Podcast |

    Ear Tubes

    23:04
    An ear infection is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring…
    Podcast |

    Back-to-school Q&A

    29:58
    Getting ready for a new school year can be exciting for children, parents and caregivers. But it also can be stressful and scary. Whether kids are heading to school for the first time or moving to a new school, it is common to be nervous when facing change. “It’s important…
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    Managing childhood asthma

    23:19
    Asthma is a lung condition that causes swelling of the airways. It can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It’s the most common chronic disease among children, although it affects adults, as well. More than 262 million people globally are affected by asthma, and more than…
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    Getting kids involved in the kitchen

    27:07
    If your child is a picky eater, the battle over healthy foods can be a challenge. Being fussy about food is common in toddlers and small children, but parents can try some tips and tricks to introduce new foods. One approach to improving eating habits is to get kids…
    Podcast |

    How exercise benefits the body and mind

    30:50
    The amount of physical activity children need depends on their age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 3 through 5 years need to be active throughout the day while children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 need to be active for 60…
    Article |

    Good sleep habits in infants and young children

    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    A question that new parents often get from friends and family is, “Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?” But honestly, no one “sleeps through the night.” Everyone experiences nighttime arousals, but most of the time people go right back to sleep after these brief awakenings. Babies experience the…
    Podcast |

    Fueling the young athlete

    27:29
    When it comes to sports and activities, what a child eats can affect performance. Sports nutrition focuses on not only on good eating habits, but also on what an athlete might need before exercising and after as a part of recovery. Of course, sports nutrition goes beyond simply what you eat. When…
    Podcast |

    Practical approaches to breastfeeding

    21:15
    Breastfeeding can be challenging, but help is available for new mothers. Lactation consultants, either at the hospital or through organizations like La Leche League, can help with learning the positions that work best mom and baby, and offer tips that can help with learning this new skill of breastfeeding. While breastfeeding…
    Article |

    Support group buoys young adults with cancer

    Nicole Brudos Ferrara
    Social Worker Melody Griffith joined Mayo Clinic in 2016 to support the Lymphoma Care team in Arizona. She found herself working with many young adults with cancer. “I quickly realized that it is much different to have a cancer diagnosis as a young person than as an older person,” she…
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    Surgical options to repair pectus excavatum

    22:43
    Pectus excavatum is a condition where a person’s breastbone is sunken into the chest. While the sunken breastbone is often noticeable shortly after birth, the severity of pectus excavatum typically worsens during the adolescent growth spurt. “The initial diagnosis is often based on appearance,” explains Dr. Denise Klinkner, a pediatric surgeon at Mayo Clinic…
    Until long-haul COVID emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) was seen as a challenging, backwater diagnosis and a strange bedfellow of another vague, outsider medical condition, chronic fatigue. Now, Mayo Clinic’s Philip R. Fischer, M.D. — a leading pediatric chronic fatigue and POTS expert for two…
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    How older siblings may react to a new baby

    The experience of bringing a newborn home is a little different the second time around. With your first child, you were probably focused on the transition to parenting and figuring out how to care for a baby. With the second — or third or fourth — baby, you’re more likely…
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    The baby’s here! Nipunie’s delivery story and first months as a parent

    25:27
    The baby’s finally here, and she’s adorable! Six months after Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D., gave birth to her new baby girl, we’re catching up with her for a candid conversation about how the first few months of parenthood have gone, including: * Nipunie’s delivery story * Her recovery after her C-section…
    Podcast |

    Managing heavy menstrual cycles and demystifying treatment options

    31:35
    The menstrual cycles for adolescents vary significantly, including the age at which the first period begins. Frequency, length of period, and amount of bleeding also vary widely. “The factors that define when you’re going to get your first period really is when did mom get her first period, so genetic…
    Podcast |

    The importance of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

    28:45
    COVID-19 vaccine recommendations in the U.S. have been expanded to include children ages 6 months to 5 years. The new vaccine recommendations mean children in the under-5 age group can receive a three-dose primary series of the Pfizer vaccine or a two-dose primary series of the Moderna vaccine.
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    Dads, daughters and talking about menstruation — Advice from an expert.

    Nick Johnstone
    When it comes to dads, daughters and menstruation, some dads keep their distance and let a wife or a female friend or family member handle the task of education and support. Other dads can be found navigating the feminine hygiene section of the supermarket or pharmacy — some sheepishly, some…
    Article |

    Adoption: Bonding with your child or baby

    Some parents bond immediately with their baby the first time they meet their son or daughter. It seems as if the family they’ve established was always meant to be. But for others it takes a little longer. Don’t fret too much if the first time you meet your baby, both…
    Your children have been fussier than usual, running low-grade fevers and refusing to eat breakfast. So you check them out, and find sores on their tongue and some red, blister-like bumps on the soles of their feet. What could this be? You may be seeing signs of hand, foot and…
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    Tips for new parents: Living on less sleep

    Kelsey M. Klaas, M.D.,
    Walter J. Cook, M.D.,
    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    If there’s any issue to which all parents can nod their heads and say, “I’ve been there,” it’s the fatigue that comes with caring for a baby. You’re up at all hours feeding, diapering and otherwise tending to your newborn, who needs time to develop regular sleep-wake cycles. Parents’ sleep…
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    Safety in the kitchen, during feedings, near bodies of water and around burn hazards

    Kelsey M. Klaas, M.D.,
    Walter J. Cook, M.D.,
    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    As your baby becomes more mobile, exploration will become the name of the game. Rocking, rolling and sitting will give way to crawling, climbing and cruising along the furniture. And then, walking and running. Your child’s budding curiosity and inexperience, however, can prove to be a dangerous mix. Power cords,…
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    Advice for parents during the baby formula shortage

    Infant caregivers are finding empty store shelves where baby formula was once stocked. They may be turning to online searches and even alternative solutions, such as making homemade baby formula. While it may sound like a good idea, Kelsey Klaas, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, says feeding your baby homemade formula…
    Article |

    Helping children feel safe in the aftermath of gun violence

    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…
    Article |

    Constipation in your kids

    Nick Johnstone,
    Sara Hassan, M.D.,
    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    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…
    Article |

    Parents and Children’s Athletics: Are You a Spoilsport or Wise Mentor?

    Kalia Doner,
    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    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…
    Article |

    From biting to tantrums, how to diffuse disruptive behavior

    Andy Nellis,
    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    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…
    Article |

    Taking flight with Mayo Clinic’s peregrine falcon friends

    Mayo Clinic Press Editors
    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…
    Podcast |

    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…