Children’s allergy risk linked to antibiotic exposure, study says

2325108_lResearchers at the University of South Carolina say their recent study suggests children treated with antibiotics before age 1 are at significantly higher risk for developing a food allergy.  This is yet another reason to be conservative with use of antibiotics especially during the first year of life.

Children with ADHD have shorter sleep duration, study finds


Here is another research demonstrating that sleep problems may be contributing to the ADHD, and that the hyperactivity aspect of the disorder might be the brain’s way of compensating for not being able to doze off during school.

Can parents do anything to help their children with ADHD sleep better?

Pay attention to good “sleep hygiene,” or the rituals and habits kids engage in before bed.   Parents need to tell children to turn off all electronics — including TVs, computers, cellphones and video games — a couple of hours before bedtime. These devices can keep kids stimulated and worsen sleep.

Here is the link to the article:


Study: Anxiety, depression tied to eating problems in children

Sam PEjhamChildren who had either moderate or severe selective eating habits had increased symptoms of social and generalized anxiety and depression, compared with those who were not picky eaters, according to a study in Pediatrics. The findings, based on 917 children between the ages of 24 months to 71 months, revealed that symptoms of depression and anxiety worsened as selective eating became more severe.

Can Drinking bottled water during pregnancy lead to increase risk of Asthma in the newborn?


Sam PEjham

According to a new study from Columbia University, exposure in the womb to household chemicals known as phthalates might increase a child’s future risk of developing asthma. Children had nearly an 80 percent increased risk of developing asthma between age 5 and 11 if their mothers were exposed during pregnancy to high levels of two phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), the researchers found. The two phthalates were butylbenzyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate, according to the study.

“The prenatal period tends to be when the child is most vulnerable, and in our study we did see a significant increase in asthma risk with prenatal exposure,” said lead author Robin Whyatt, a professor of environmental health sciences.

Phthalates are a type of chemical used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Phthalates are everywhere. They are in an amazing number of products. You name it, you’re going to find them,” said Dr. Patricia Vuguin, a pediatric endocrinologist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “That’s why their potential impact is kind of scary.”

There has been other studies which raised concerns about Phthalates. Prior research has linked phthalates to other allergic diseases, such as eczema, according to Vuguin. Other research, including two studies recently presented at the International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting, has found an association between phthalates and reproductive difficulties.

Whyatt suggested that pregnant women avoid storing and microwaving food in recyclable plastic containers. They also should avoid using scented products, which use phthalates to help “stick” the scent to the air freshener or laundry detergent. It is also important to limit drinking from plastic bottle water, specially if left in heat (inside the car in a hot day) to reduce the Phthalate intake.

TV may be making your baby cranky!

Sam PEjham




Infants who had problems with sleeping, calming themselves, and waiting for food or toys spent more time in front of the TV or computer each day than those without such self-regulation problems, a study in the journal Pediatrics showed. The average screen time for fussier infants was two hours and 29 minutes a day, about nine minutes longer than their calmer counterparts, researchers said.

When will my child outgrow his asthma?

In a recent article published in Lancet, researchers evaluated 880 patients with asthma and determined those with certain genetic predisposition were much more likely to have more severe asthma which lasted into adulthood.  An additional interesting finding was that this genetic predisposition was independent of family history of asthma.  So just because there is family history of severe asthma, it doesn’t mean that your child would have the same and vice versa.

James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D., answering a question for the Mayo Clinic about children outgrowing asthma, said, “In some children, asthma improves during adolescence and young adulthood. For others, symptoms go away only to return a few years later. Many children with asthma never outgrow it.”

Based on the debilitating effect of asthma, parents should take all the precautions to manage their child’s asthma and not count on them to outgrow it.  This generally means to follow an asthma action plan provided by your physician and track your asthma by using tools such as free AsthmaMD mobile app.

Can Asthma make your child fail in school?

Sam PEjham





A: “Yes, if it is not well controlled” was the answer found by a new study at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I.  Researchers found the more asthma symptoms in a child, the lower his or her quality of schoolwork.  After measuring the children’s asthma severity using spirometry and following their peak flow measurements over time, they found that those who poorly managed the symptoms of asthma had lower grades than children who had their asthma under control.

When it came to sleep, children experiencing bad asthma symptoms couldn’t get enough sleep and their academics consequently suffered.

The frequent struggles with asthma were higher in urban children from low socioeconomic backgrounds primarily because they reside closer to risky environmental pollutants that may contribute to asthma and poor health. Children from these families are also at risk if they don’t visit parks for cleaner air.

The Natural Resources Defense Council found that pollutants such as smog, sulfur dioxide from burning coal, and diesel exhaust could trigger asthma.

The researchers hope that controlling asthma symptoms and gaining better sleep through interventions could significantly improve children’s school performances especially in these populations.

One of the easiest methods to track asthma symptoms and peak flow measurements is by using the FREE AsthmaMD mobile application and sharing your data with your physician for better asthma control and better school performance.

Can a Tick bite make you vegetarian?


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Sam PEjham




The answer may be a surprise YES! according to Joshua L. Kennedy, M.D., from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville who along with his colleagues have investigated delayed severe allergic reaction that occurs several hours after eating beef, pork, or lamb in children 4-17 years old

LoneStarDrawing tick.  They also found that the majority of these cases had a history of tick bites that itched and persisted within the previous year. 


The tick in question is most commonly the Lone Star Tick (see photo) which is prevalent in Eastern half of US (see map).    The challenge is making the connection of an allergic reaction to ingestion of meet since the ingestion may have happened 4-6 hours prior (Delayed Allergic Reaction)

If you or your child have an undiagnosed allergic reaction (idiopathic Urticaria) , you have noted a possible pattern of such reaction after ingestion of meat (could be up to 4-6 hours after ingestion), and a possible history of a tick bite; be sure you have your blood tested.

The testing is done by looking for evidence of antibody against mammalian meat, also known as testing for IgE specific for alpha-Gal, beef, pork, etc.   For those individuals who test positive, a vegetarian diet (or at lease a mammalian meat free diet) will be the answer for their condition.

This Article is written by Dr. Sam Pejham.