What We Wish Parents Knew (Winter 2013)

What do pediatricians wish Arizona parents knew about kids’ health and well being? Cecil Michael, M.D., a Banner-affiliated pediatrician in Glendale, has two items on his list, and the first one concerns fever. 
“Most parents’ perception toward fever has not changed since I started practicing about 30 years ago,” he says, “and the perception is that fever is a disease that must be gotten rid of.” 
The truth is, he says, is fever is a symptom. It’s a body’s normal response to a trigger such as a cold virus or an ear or sinus infection. As long as the child’s temperature is not over 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the child isn’t listless and is responding normally, it’s best to make the child as comfortable as possible and allow the fever to battle the infection. As for medicine, Michael recommends either Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), but since ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory agent, he says it tends to be better for pain relief. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen may also be used in an alternating fashion, but check with a doctor for dosing amounts and schedules. 
The other matter Michael wishes parents knew more about is vaccines, which lately is an especially controversial topic. The fact is, he says, there is no evidence that vaccines used by pediatricians cause autism or other serious developmental problems. 
“I feel sorry for parents, because there is a lot of information out there and it is a complex issue and difficult to understand,” he says. “The best advice, therefore, is to talk with your pediatrician about any concerns.”

Additional Comments

"Toddlers should not be allowed to play with any object small enough to fit through a toilet-paper roll tube. Those items become a serious choking hazard."

-Alan Graham, M.D., Pediatric Critical Care