Pediatrics Now for Parents

News from top medical experts isn’t just for pediatricians. Pediatrics Now for Parents is where you’ll hear health news in small bites for your family from our Pediatrics Now Podcast for clinician experts.

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Wednesday Jun 05, 2024

In this eye-opening episode, Holly welcomes Dr. Jennifer Sharp ePotter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center and director of the Be Well Institute, to discuss the critical issue of youth substance use.
Dr. Potter sheds light on the alarming trend of decreasing ages for first-time alcohol and drug use in the United States, with children as young as 12 being exposed. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing warning signs and initiating conversations about substance use to create a supportive environment for young people.
The discussion delves into the stigma surrounding substance use and the historical perspective of addiction treatment, highlighting the evolution from viewing it as a moral failure to recognizing it as a medical issue. Dr. Potter also addresses the dangers of sharing medications and the rising threat of fentanyl contamination in illicit drugs.
Additionally, the episode explores the misconceptions about marijuana, its increased potency, and the risks it poses to young people, particularly those with mental health conditions. Dr. Potter underscores the need for proper education and the importance of modeling healthy behaviors for children.
The conversation concludes with a look at the resources available through the Be Well Institute, including outpatient treatment programs, recovery support services, and housing programs for young adults. Dr. Potter provides valuable information on how to access these services and the critical role of naloxone in reversing opioid overdoses.
Join us for this vital discussion on addressing youth substance use and the steps we can take to protect our children and communities.

Monday May 20, 2024

Host Holly Wayment talks with the esteemed Dr. Karen Hentschel-Franks, a fellow at the Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, for a candid discussion on the rampant use of melatonin as a sleep aid. Drawing attention to the shocking 11,000 recorded incidents of children visiting the ER due to accidental overdoses, this episode serves as a crucial wakeup call for parents everywhere.
Despite being a naturally-occurring hormone, melatonin's usage as an over-the-counter supplement for inducing sleep gives rise to challenges due to its lack of FDA regulation. This leads to potential inconsistencies in composition, dosage recommendations, and possible overdose symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and irritability.
Dr. Franks highlights a significant knowledge gap amongst parents regarding melatonin's proper dosage, given the absence of standard guidelines for different ages and weights. This could result in unintentional overdoses in children, hence she suggests parents to specifically seek ‘USP Verified’ Melatonin products for safety and accuracy.
Our conversation also touches upon the critical aspect of long-term effects and the importance of ‘sleep hygiene,’ which are beneficial habits designed to encourage healthier sleep patterns. She details her approach in practice, which emphasizes on behavioral interventions and sleep hygiene over medication. She provides compelling advice and alternatives for combating dependence on melatonin while promoting a more relaxed bedtime mindset.
In addition to providing insights into melatonin use and misuse, Dr. Franks underscores the importance of a positive pre-sleep routine for children. She uses real-life examples to reveal the value of positive reinforcement and the caregiver’s role in creating a healthy bedtime routine.
The episode concludes with practical advice for parents implemented by Dr. Franks herself, focusing on promoting natural sleep over relying on sleep aids like melatonin. This inspiring conversation provides a valuable perspective on improving children's sleep through behavioral measures and healthier lifestyle habits.

Thursday May 09, 2024

Welcome to “Pediatrics Now”. In this podcast episode, Host Holly Wayment talks to Dr. Kenneth Nwosa, a renowned sports medicine specialist and head doctor for UTSA athletics. Our discussion revolves around the widely-unacknowledged issue of sports-related concussions, extending beyond contact sports like football, to include cheerleading and soccer, unveiling the real threat of these injuries to athletes.
Underscoring the immediate need for effective protocols, we delve into the consequences, prevention measures and recovery strategies for sports-induced concussions. We signal the key signs indicating severe conditions like potential brain bleed or spinal cord injury, emphasizing on the need for an athletic trainer on site for immediate evaluation and treatment.
Culminating with a talk about “Heads Up”, a CDC initiative aimed at educating parents, coaches, and athletes about prevention and management of concussions, we stress the urgency of this issue and the crucial responsibility of schools, universities, and sports organizations in ensuring the safety of their athletes.
Our guest, Dr. Ken Nwosa, offers expert insights into the far-reaching implications of concussions on an athletes' career, and underlines the growing focus on educating and staffing at sports events. While sharing his concerns on pressures faced by young athletes, he fosters the importance of enjoyment, various physical activities and valuable education.
In a blend of personal anecdotes and professional wisdom, Dr. Nwosa connects athletic discipline to life's focus and energy, inspiring athletes to remember to enjoy the game and prioritize education. Explore this enlightening episode to understand the evolving perceptions of sports-related concussions and their impact on healthcare.

Thursday May 02, 2024

In this enlightening episode of 'Pediatrics Now', distinguished healthcare experts join us to delve deep into the intricate aspects of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1), a genetic condition affecting 1 in 3,000 children. We navigate through complex topics such as early detection, robust diagnosis, intricate neurological exams, and the impactful role of keen observation in identifying unspoken symptoms in children.
Our discussion explores the prevalent manifestations of NF1 from birth, the consequential implications if undiagnosed, and the integral part played by genetic counselors. The experts shed light on a multitude of associated conditions ranging from benign nerve tumors to more severe cases and how early detection can significantly improve the patient's quality of life.
Moreover, we delve into how social and developmental challenges can coincide with NF1, creating unique obstacles for children. Despite these challenges, personalized treatments and a multi-disciplinary approach can enhance the management of this disorder, reiterating the importance of a medical home.
The episode takes a closer look at the physical and psychosocial impacts of NF1 on patients and their families. It features constructive discussions around the complex nature and variability of NF1 manifestations, the importance of understanding family history, and the latest treatments available.
We wrap up the episode by discussing the crucial role of the Texas NF Medical Symposium and the professionals involved in addressing these complexities. Lastly, the experts share personal coping mechanisms outside of their professional sphere, emphasizing the importance of avoiding compassion fatigue and advocating for child patients. Unravel the challenging world of NF1 with us in this comprehensive episode of 'Pediatrics Now'.
Rachel's foccacia bread recipe.  Email address for NF1 inquiries: (

Wednesday Apr 03, 2024

In this episode of Pediatrics Now: We're joined by Dr. Ed Brooks, the Division Chief of Allergy, Immunology, and Infectious Disease at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. With 30 years of experience in his field, Dr. Brooks revisits our show to discuss the updates to the national asthma guidelines.
He explains the significant change in the guidelines – the recommendation to use inhaled corticosteroids as needed during certain situations, such as during viral infections in children with intermittent but severe episodes of asthma. The update also includes a call for SMART (Single Maintenance And Reliever Therapy), which involves the use of a combination inhaler, like budesonide plus formaterol for people with moderate persistent asthma.
According to the new guidelines, individuals can utilize this combination up to eight puffs a day for children under 12, and up to 12 puffs a day for those older than 12. The data showed that the overall exposure to corticosteroids was less using SMART therapy, which signifies a significant reduction in hospitalizations or the need for oral corticosteroids.
Dr. Brooks also addressed concerns about medication shortages, advising that all inhaled steroids are about equal, and in instances of shortages, it would be safe to revert to a two-inhaler system. Join us for more insights on the updated asthma control guidelines. Talk to your pediatrician for more information.

The Next Healthcare Crisis?

Tuesday Mar 26, 2024

Tuesday Mar 26, 2024

Join our host Holly Wayment on a riveting episode of "Pediatrics Now" featuring Dr. Will Border, a renowned professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. As the Chief Physician Wellness Officer and Director of Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. Border has a unique perspective on a widespread issue — healthcare worker burnout.In this episode, he sheds light on the scale of the burnout problem in the medical field, revealing that up to 60% of physicians experience at least one symptom of burnout. Not only does he delve into the reasons behind the higher prevalence of burnout among women healthcare providers, Dr.Border also explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis, especially for ER and critical care workers.Listen as Dr. Border shares his personal experiences and what motivates him to address this critical topic. He dives into the emotional challenges health practitioners face, the importance of support systems, and the urgency to better comprehend and effectively tackle burnout. He also discusses Brene Brown's work on perfectionism and self-compassion among physicians.Catch an insight-rich discussion filled with reflective moments, including an inspirational Nelson Mandela quote. Tune in to "Pediatrics Now" to gain a deeper understanding of healthcare worker burnout and the multilayered solutions needed to pull the medical field back from the brink of this crisis.

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

Welcome to Pediatrics Now for Parents. In this episode, Host Holly Wayment talks to  Dr. J.B. Cantey, a double board certified neonatologist and infectious disease expert with a Master's in public health. The measles outbreak across 15 states in the USA and its link to insufficient vaccination rates is the central topic of our discussion.
Dr. Cantey brings to light a crucial perspective, stating that the success of past vaccinations has led to a degree of out-of-sight, out-of-mind complacency. Diseases like polio, diphtheria, rubella, and measles, are now less of an immediate concern due to vaccination successes, which unfortunately leads to falling vaccination rates. However, failure to vaccinate children could potentially lead to the re-emergence of these diseases.
We also discuss the alarming decrease in contemporary vaccination rates and its causes, such as parent uncertainty, hesitation, and misinformation. Our focus then shifts to measles, as Dr. Cantey expounds the crucial role of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and emphasizes the importance of vaccinating children, irrespective of their age. We explore the potential severity of measles and the life-threatening complications it could lead to if left untreated.
Toward the end of the podcast, we provide detailed guidance for parents who have kids that missed their vaccines. Dr. Cantey strongly recommends seeking trusted healthcare advice and, unless a child is an exception, vaccinating them ASAP before potential exposure to infectious diseases. We round off our discussion by addressing concerns about areas with low vaccination rates and their implications on preventing outbreaks like measles.
Search for our episode titled 'Got Vaccines' in this Pediatrics Now for Parents newsfeed for more insights into the importance of vaccination for your child's health.

Wednesday Feb 28, 2024

Join Host and author Holly Wayment in a conversation with Dr. Alice Gong, a pediatrician with 40 years of experience and president of the Texas Pediatric Society. Our podcast discussion delves deep into the topic of early relational health: exploring how it affects a child’s entire life. Dr. Gong shares her experiences and insights as a doctor, grandmother, and advocate for nurturing children’s growth and development within a secure, stable, and fostering environment.
Dr. Gong emphasizes that meaningful, early relationships play a crucial role in brain development for children, and affect their abilities to learn, explore, and integrate within societal confines. She talks about how strong, caring bonds prevent behavioral issues such as tantrums, and stresses the importance of understanding and responding to a child's needs, reinforcing secure attachment.
Reflecting on the earliest signs of Autism, Dr. Gong emphasizes the importance of eye contact with newborn babies as a medium of communication. She provides an intimate account of her initial experiences as a mother and the impact of this discovery on her own parenting approach. Dr. Gong encourages parents to follow nature’s design, nurturing and responding to a baby’s needs for accomplishing optimal regulation of the autonomic nervous system, critical for healthy physiological functions in humans.
Bringing social issues into focus, Dr. Gong reflects on the need for maternity leave policies that facilitate a mother’s ample time with their newborns. She highlights the potential concerns of ignoring a child’s demands, understating the importance of an essential early relationship in the child’s mental health. Relating to the common parental practice of “time-outs”, Dr. Gong suggests healthier alternatives to calm your child that can foster a positive parent-child relationship.
Exploring the controversial topic of corporal punishment, Dr. Gong discusses its possible impact on a child’s emotional development. She encourages open conversations about feelings between parents and children, cultivating empathy in children and promoting non-violence.
In conclusion, Dr. Gong urges parents to allow children to express their full range of emotions and supports them in all situations.
Join us in this insightful podcast to understand early relational health, and gather valuable advice to ensure good mental health and healthy relationships for your children.

Saturday Feb 17, 2024

Join host Holly Wayment for an enlightening conversation with veteran pediatrician, Dr. Alice Gong, in the episode titled 'Raising Compassionate Children: A Pediatrician's Perspective'. In her 40 years of experience and having roles as a doctor, mother, grandmother, and the president of the Texas Pediatric Society, Dr. Gong shares invaluable insights on fostering early relational health for children.
In this enriching episode, Dr. Gong emphasizes the importance of creating a nurturing environment for newborns, where parents convey love, understanding, and guidance. She encourages parents to express all their emotions freely with their children, thus teaching them to handle various emotions and become compassionate beings.
The conversation also highlights the significance of establishing a strong connection with your child to substantially influence their brain development. The doctor's firm belief is that effective parental engagement during the early years can stave off developmental and mental health issues in the future.
Further, the discussion also brings forth the pressing need for paid maternity leaves, the impact of societal strains on parenting, and the importance of open emotional conversations. Dr. Gong's therapeutic advice to parents about sharing their range of emotions undoubtedly creates a robust emotional support system for children.
Stay tuned for the upcoming episode where the pros and cons of spanking and timeouts are deliberated. Parenting is an intricate balance of challenges and rewards, and this podcast aims to provide the support every parent needs in their journey.
Enjoy this enlightening conversation with Dr. Alice Gong and discover how to prepare your children for the world while nurturing their emotional intelligence. This episode of 'Pediatrics Now for Parents' is must-listen content for every parent or parent-to-be.

Saturday Feb 10, 2024

In this intriguing episode, Host Holly Wayment and our guest , Dr. Dina Tom, a wife, mother, and hospitalist at the University of Texas Health Science Center, vividly describes the challenges she faced managing time due to the unpredictable and demanding nature of her job.
Dr. Tom delves into how she overcame the metaphorical feeling of 'drowning' due to her jam-packed schedule. Her approach? Taking control of her life from personal experiences and transforming them into practical time management strategies. Also a workshop instructor, she believes in the significance of work-life balance and ground-breaking realization - modern-day individuals have more time than their ancestors.
The process of setting specific goals or "anchor words" for the year is underscored by Dr. Tom as a big help in prioritizing and managing tasks. She shares engaging accounts from her own life and that of her daughter's to demonstrate the effectiveness of this time management approach.
In a heart-to-heart discussion, Dr. Tom and our host Holly Wayment engage in an in-depth discussion on the value of time in different life stages – from parenting to professional growth. Dr. Tom emphasizes the importance of becoming intentional with your time and offers relatable advice from her personal experiences of dealing with distractions and achieving her set goals.
Concluding the episode, Dr. Tom shares her insights on creating and maintaining healthy habits. Whether it's exercising regularly or spending quality time with family, the key is intentionality and practice. Listen in for a dose of motivation and gain valuable insights into effective time management.


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