Archive Posts

Archive for the ‘ adolescents’ Category

Sleep problems among children are common, sometimes avoidable

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Zafer Soultan, MD

Up to half of children have poor sleeping habits and behaviors, with about 10 percent having an actual disorder, says Zafer Soultan, MD, director of pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine at Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. Sometimes these issues stem from physical problems, but often they involve youngsters who never learn to sleep alone, says Soultan, who also describes how disorders such as apnea can be diagnosed in Upstate’s pediatric sleep lab and how teens can display sleep problems as their body’s rhythms clash with school schedules.


Most teens avoid alcohol, but a quarter of underage youth still drink, sometimes bingeing

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Host Linda Cohen with Philip Rose

Even though the message that alcohol can harm young people is getting through, a quarter of those under the legal age still drink alcohol. Among them, binge drinking and a rise in female drinking have been noted, according to Philip Rose, program coordinator for underage drinking for the Prevention Network of Central New York. Bad decisions, risky behaviors and harm to the still-developing adolescent brain are all consequences of alcohol use, and peer and other pressures glamorize alcohol, Rose says. Still, he says, parents, teachers and other adults can wield influence by modeling good behavior, developing a trusting relationship with their children and talking frankly about alcohol.



Help is available to recognize, report suspected child abuse

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Although it’s often difficult to detect, child abuse does leave signs – odd bruises, sudden emotional changes – and concerned adults have both a state hotline and local organizations that offer help, says pediatrician Ann Botash, MD of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.


Pediatrician warns of dangers of not vaccinating children

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Illness and even death can result when children go unvaccinated, says Jana Shaw, MD, MPH, an associate professor of pediatrics and an infectious disease specialist at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Modern vaccines are extremely safe – they do not cause autism — and are designed to be given on a certain schedule, she says, explaining how unvaccinated children contributed to a measles outbreak in California. Shaw advises parents to follow reliable medical advice and to check with their doctor or school about children’s required vaccines.


Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital adds integrative medicine to pediatric rheumatology division

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Alternative or integrative therapies — from homeopathy and nutritional counseling to yoga and deep breathing — can enhance conventional Western medicine, explains Caitlin Sgarlat Deluca, DO, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Upstate who works in the recently created Division of Pediatric Rheumatology and Integrative Medicine in the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The marriage of the two approaches to medicine aims to treat the whole child, says Sgarlat Deluca, who tells how nutritional supplements or acupuncture, for example, helps the arthritis and lupus patients she often sees as a pediatric rheumatologist.


Pediatric expert tells how to detect child abuse, sexual abuse

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Child abuse can take many, often hidden, forms, and overcoming it requires victims to learn how to trust and not to blame themselves, according to Ann Botash, MD, professor of pediatrics at Upstate, co-director of the Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation Program and medical director of the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. She describes the signs of neglect and physical, emotional and sexual abuse and shares a five-point guideline: learn the facts, minimize opportunities, talk about it, recognize the signs and react responsibly. She recently appeared in a TLC program about child sexual abuse called “Breaking the Silence.” 


Corporal punishment can inflict lasting damage, pediatric resident finds

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Meghan Jacobs, MDCorporal punishment of children, such as spanking, is common around the world, says Meghan Jacobs, MD, a pediatric resident physician at Upstate who has analyzed research on the topic. Studies show negative lifelong effects from corporal punishment, including aggression, anxiety, delinquency and a poor parent-child relationship, said Jacobs, who advocates nonviolent alternatives that focus on solutions rather than punishment and are mindful of a child’s developmental level.


Gifted children’s behaviors can lead to mislabeling, misdiagnoses

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

George Starr, MDThe stereotype of the gifted child is one who does well in school but in reality can have a hard time and be mislabeled or misdiagnosed because their behaviors unsettle adults, says George Starr, MD, emeritus clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Upstate. A gifted child might be socially awkward, intense and sensitive, and Starr advises doctors, parents and teachers to view the whole child, not just the unsettling behaviors, to avoid marginalization.


Teens who exercise gain lifetime benefits, new study concludes

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Carol Sames, PhDRegular exercise in one’s teen years lays the foundation for a longer, healthier life, says a newly released long-term study. Exercise physiologist Carol Sames, PhD, director of Upstate’s Vitality Fitness Program, helps explain the massive study of Chinese women, cites its drawbacks and agrees with the idea that people should be encouraged to establish healthy exercise and other habits when young.


Trauma nurses caution teens about safe driving

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Trauma Team Nursing Staff

Nursing staff from Upstate's Trauma Team.

Teen drivers are nearly twice as likely as other motorists to be involved in a fatal car wreck. Even though they have quicker reflexes than older drivers, teens are inexperienced behind the wheel. In addition, they may be driving distracted, said Kimberly Nasby, RN, trauma injury prevention coordinator, and Jerome Morrison, RN, trauma outreach and education coordinator. They said 60 percent of teens involved in driving accidents are found to be distracted, often by music playlists or texting features on cell phones. Nasby, Morrison and their colleagues team up for a 1½-hour program called “Let’s Not Meet by Accident” offered to high school students throughout the Central New York region. The program illustrates the role of distractions, alcohol and seat belts in auto accidents. 


Hysteria, or conversion reaction, in children is dramatic but not as exotic as it seems

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

George Starr, MDConversion disorder, or hysteria, in children can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms — pains, tics, numbness — appear real, according to George Starr, MD, an emeritus clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Upstate. This disorder is not all that exotic among kids, however, and can be considered as a reaction to stress or anxiety, like an adult’s migraine headache, says Starr, who describes noted mass hysteria outbreaks in Upstate New York and in Atlanta


Social media’s power can overwhelm at-risk individuals, especially teens

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Mirabelle Mattar, MDTheresa Blatchford, MDAlthough social media offers unprecedented opportunities for positive communication, it can also be associated with bullying, depression and even suicide. Upstate’s Mirabelle Mattar, MD, a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry, and Theresa Blatchford, MD, a fourth-year psychiatry resident, found in their research that teens are especially at risk for these negative effects.