Blog Posts

Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, and Honoring Life

Welcome to the Blog page of the American College of Pediatricians, which we call Scribit Veritas.  Each issue of the Blog is intended to assist parents, encourage children, and enrich the family.  Read our most recent issue below, and scroll to the bottom of this page to read earlier issues.


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Helping Your Child Make Friends

Our brains are hard-wired to develop social relationships, and infants as young as 4 – 6 weeks demonstrate social skills with their smiling and cooing. Research consistently demonstrates the importance of our social relationships, including friendships, in our overall health.

However, the social skills necessary to develop friendships must be learned and reinforced in childhood to assure lifelong skills. This is even more important in today’s environment, filled with social media in which friends are more virtual than real. Below we’ve provided some practical information for parents on helping children develop and maintain healthy friendships.


Approaching the New Year: Handling change

This time of year brings about a great deal of change, even if it is as simple as change in routine. Children are home for Winter break and are setting back into normalcy following the holiday season. If there was a loss in the family over the last year, the holidays are a time when their absence is emphasized. On the other hand, the holidays are also a time when children are around many family members. This could be something they are not accustomed to. It is important to know that these familial situations impact children, too. Then, soon enough, they will be preparing to return to school, changing their pace once again. Parents should know how these shifts affect a child as their response to this change can be represented by challenging behaviors. As we dismiss the holiday season and merge into the new year, consider the following topics dealing with children and handling change.


The Holidays: A Time to Nourish Healthy Eating Habits

Food brings people together, creates an atmosphere of comfort as the smells of a favorite meal waft through the air, and supports family traditions as recipes are handed down year after year. While the holidays are often a time to indulge, they can provide parents with a unique opportunity to teach their children healthy eating habits. Here are some helpful tips to remember as we enter a season of holidays and celebration:


Guidelines and Concerns about Adolescent Social Media Use

Only two decades ago, it would have been unheard of for a thirteen-year-old to have their own cell-phone. Now over 2/3 of today’s teenagers use phones to text their friends daily! Social media use is nearly universal for today’s teenagers in the United States, with Facebook being the most commonly used social media website. All these new connections available to teens pose important questions for parents. Thankfully, social media websites can provide teenagers with many positive benefits. However, research shows that there are many concerns for parents to be aware of when their child begins using social media accounts and gets their first cellphone.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that professionals be aware of the following issues and facts when working with adolescents and young adults, regarding social media use:


Protecting Your Kids from Pornography

This fall as I walked around Walmart, I noticed some fun changes. In addition to all things pumpkin spice (which is probably the best part of fall if you ask me), I saw football cupcakes, game day snacks, and more. Football season is here, and people are stoked and ready to go!

Professional football has become a big part of American culture. And as of 2016, the NFL generated about $13 billion (1). That’s a lot of money.

But there’s another part of our culture that has become even bigger. And unfortunately, it doesn’t bring game day snacks or cheering fans.

As of 2015, the pornography industry worldwide made an estimated $97 billion dollars (2), over 7 times what the NFL makes in a year. Not only is it raking in a lot of money, but in the United States, about 107 million people view pornography at least monthly (3).

Unfortunately, this culture of pornography is seeping down to our kids. One study found that the average age of first exposure for boys is somewhere between ages 11 and 13 (4). It’s become not so much a question of if our kids will be exposed, but when.

With pornography becoming a bigger and bigger part of our society today, what damage is it causing? And how can we protect our kids from those damages?


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How to Keep Your Kids Safe #ChildSafetyandProtectionMonth

When you’re a parent of young kids, life suddenly becomes more dangerous. The stairs, electric outlets, the stove, and more are all disasters waiting to happen!

In the Walt Disney film Lilo & Stitch (1), Nani struggles to keep her little sister Lilo safe from the many hazards of life. In this clip (2) she sheepishly tries to explain herself to the social worker:

Thankfully, Lilo turns out okay in spite of being left home alone with pots boiling over on the stove. But if we aren’t careful and don’t provide appropriate supervision, our kids can really get hurt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. But most child injuries can be prevented” (3). This November in honor of Child Safety and Protection Month, take some time to learn how you can help your children stay safe, whether at home or on the go.


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3 Reasons Why You Should Read With Your Kids

I still remember fondly the days when my dad read the Harry Potter series to me and my siblings. His silly voices made the fantastic world seem all the more magical! As I grew older, my mom would sometimes read her book club books aloud to me, and we’d discuss the stories and ideas. Those times reading with my parents are probably some of my favorite childhood memories.

Perhaps you also have fond memories of being read to. Or maybe you now enjoy being on the other end, reading aloud to your own children!

Reading books with your kids can be fun, but it’s much more than just a good idea. In fact, “reading aloud to . . . children is crucial” (1). But what is it that makes reading with your children so very important? In honor of National Family Literacy Month this November, here are just a few of the research-based reasons why you should read with your kids.


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4 Ways to Scare Away Cavities This Halloween

When I was just three years old, I discovered the joy of Halloween. After tentatively approaching a couple of doors with my parents, I suddenly realized what was happening: people were giving me candy!

I soon began to run with my little toddler legs, gasping out, “Huwwy! Huwwy!” I was not going to let these free treats pass me by, and my parents were not going to slow me down.

Halloween can be a lot of fun for kids as they get to dress up, go to parties, and eat treats. Unfortunately, that abundance of Halloween candy can cause problems — especially for your children’s teeth.  

At Halloween or any time of the year, it’s important to help your kids develop good dental hygiene habits so they can keep those cavities away. In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, we want to share the Daily 4 of dental hygiene to help you and your kids have healthy teeth.


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The Great Outdoors

Childhood memories of climbing trees, squelching through mud, and carrying out fantastical role-playing games with neighborhood children are memories that many adults treasure from their youth. These adults may not realize that, for a large portion of today’s children, these experiences are nearing extinction.  Many parents are aware of the national lack of active play outdoors, which some have come to call “Nature Deficit Disorder”. There exists an increasing trend of sedentary lifestyles in America. Along with this, parents today often feel unsafe in their neighborhoods and hesitate to let children play outside. In addition, availability of outdoor play areas near children’s homes is decreasing while daily hours spent watching TV, and video games are as plentiful as ever.


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Antibiotics 101: Fighting Bacteria the Right Way (International Infection Prevention Week)

*This week is International Infection Prevention Week*

When you’re sick and miserable, all you want to do is get better — and fast! You go to the doctor in hopes that he can give you some magical medicine to make your headache, sore throat, runny nose, or aches and pains disappear overnight.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always a magic medicine. Especially with viral infections, the doctor will likely tell you to rest and push the fluids. But that can be hard to hear, especially when your symptoms are making you feel downright wretched.

While antibiotics can be really helpful in treating bacterial infections, the overprescribing and improper use of antibiotics has actually made some strains of bacteria stronger — which makes all of us more susceptible to hard-to-treat illnesses.


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