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Learning about Celiac

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.  The protein gluten can trigger an immune response in your small intestine damaging the lining.  With the loss of proper small intestinal lining,  this can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and anemia. Why does Celiac […]

4 Need to Know Sun Safety Tips

Now that spring has officially sprung (and summer is just around the corner) I thought it would be a good time to talk about sun safety and sunscreen. In social media lately sunscreen has gotten a bad rap. People are worried about the chemicals in the lotions we use and causing harm to their child […]

Sports physicals: Schedule and score

The drone of a lawn mower, the warmth of the noonday sun, the smell of sunscreen and fresh cut grass – summer is here and now is the best time to schedule your child’s sports physical.  Completing the exam early in the summer allows plenty of time to follow up with a specialist, if needed, […]

Diet Therapy for IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and complex disease that occurs in patients with recurring abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. The disease can be debilitating on a person’s quality of life. We still do not understand the root cause of the disease, but I believe there are many factors. Common treatments of IBS include […]

Colonoscopy: Have No Fear

Colonoscopy is a test use to examine the lining of large bowel or colon. The instrument has a light source, and a lens attached to a video monitor. The test is used for colon cancer screening and for diagnosis of various other diseases involving the colon in patients who may have bowel symptoms like bleeding […]

Snow Much Fun: Shovel Safe

This winter has been a long one for Midwesterners. Between the ice, snow, and bitter cold it seems to be never ending. But at last February is here although, it doesn’t look like the snow is over yet. Here are some things to remember before heading out to shovel this winter. Warm up properly Shoveling […]

Put on your coat

Sparkling snow. Christmas lights. Hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. Winter can be a magical time for both adults and children alike. That is, until you have to try to convince a three year old to wear his puffy winter coat at 7 in the morning. You plead, you beg, you tell him about how he […]

Flu – The “Hulk” Version of a Cold

The seasons are changing – warm summer days at the pool will turn into cool fall days. As a pediatrician, I can tell the seasons have changed as my appointments go from nearly all school physicals to sick visits. This also means flu season is almost here. The flu, or influenza, is “the Hulk” version […]

Kidney Stones: This too shall pass

More than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems each year and one in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives. Learn more about how to identify the symptoms and treat this common health problem.    

Weird Things the Body Does – and Why!

The human body is a wonder in its design, a complex machine capable of everything from rational thought to fending off disease. It’s also capable of some pretty strange things – some of them forewarning disease, while others are just plain involuntary oddities with no conceivable purpose (except to leave us scratching our heads). Rush […]

Mental Health – We’re Only Human

May is mental health awareness month. Given that spring is upon us which is a season of change, it is a good time for self-evaluation. With the chaotic world we live in it is necessary to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize that we are all connected by being innately human. […]

Exercise to Prevent Heart Failure

Every January millions of Americans make a New Year’s resolution to exercise. The scientific evidence of the health benefits of exercise has been clear. Heart disease, diabetes and even cancer risk decreasing significantly with increasing exercise. Add one more disease to the list of those improved with exercise: Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Congestive heart failure […]

Screening is Key to Fight Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common and lethal disease. CRC is the fourth common cancer in the United States and second leading cause of cancer death. It is estimated that approximately 135,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. About 50,000 Americans are expected to die of CRC each year. […]

What should I eat Doc?

Have you ever asked your doctor, what should I eat?  For example, many patients want to know what they should eat to lose weight: High fat, low fat?  Are carbs good for you or bad for you?  I think this exact question represents the dilemma that physicians face when advising their patients about diet. Generally, […]

Preventing “Flat Head” in Infants

Every day I spend a good portion of my day examining babies head shapes and sizes. In recent years, as pediatricians, we have seen an increase in flattened heads. The biggest reason there is an increase in head flattening is due to the recommendation for babies to sleep on their backs. Most of the time […]

To Circ or not, that is the question…

“Should we have our son circumcised?” For parents of newborn boys, that is the question. Up until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) did not have an official policy on circumcision. There is still no official policy, but the AAP will state that there is a slight benefit to being circumcised. The benefits are: […]

The Beat on Bronchiolitis

Hello again! I just returned from maternity leave in the thick of cold and flu season. But in addition to the common cold and that nasty influenza bug, there is another illness that is roaring through the pediatric population at the moment – bronchiolitis! This is a big scary word and in my blog I’d […]

Second child…we get it!

I had my second child about five months ago and have now returned to my life as a working mom. Once again, being the parent of a newborn is a humbling experience. It reminds me that every baby is different. It reminds me what I thought I had figured out about parenting one child has […]

AAP New Safe Sleep Recommendations

Approximately 3,500 infants die each year in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS, deaths without a certain cause, and accidental choking/strangulation. Just last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new “safe sleep” recommendations to protect against SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). These are the first updates to the recommendations since […]

Helping Kids Digital Detox

A recent article published in The New York Post addressed screen time and kids. It compared screen time to a drug for children (“digital heroin” is the phrase they used). I suppose in many ways, screens can be as addicting and enticing as a drug – scary! Whether we like it or not, in recent years, […]

Don’t Kiss the Girl

In the Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid,” a crab named Sebastian sings “Kiss the Girl” to the Prince. It’s a good thing he didn’t succeed, or else he may have caught mono! Mono, also known as the “kissing disease,” is a virus that is spread through contaminated saliva, hence the nickname. Once the virus enters […]

Safety First

Keeping our kids healthy, growing and developing well and safe are major goals for parents. We discuss their health a lot on this blog and at their doctor’s visits. Their growth and development are key points to most well visits. So, for this blog, I’d like to talk about basic safety that might get overlooked […]

There’s a Fungus Among Us!

With the hot, humid summer upon us, kids are more susceptible to fungal infections especially “athletes foot” and ringworm. Here is a little more about the “fungus among us!” Fungal infections of the feet are commonly known as “athlete’s foot.” The skin of the feet is red and scaly; sometimes the skin cracks, especially between […]

Flaming Hot No-No’s!

Crunchy junk foods have always been tempting “treats” among young and old alike, and let’s be honest…we all indulge every now and then even though we know that these processed, fried, crunchy snacks are terrible for us. Over the past few years, however, there has been an evolution of this genre of foods that now […]

Wait to ‘Just Keep Swimming!’

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear canal. It’s often caused by water that remains in your ear after swimming, creating a moist environment that leads to overgrowth of bacteria. The risk factors for getting swimmer’s ear include: Having a very narrow or hairy ear canal Living in a warm, humid climate Having little […]

Fever Seizures

Seizures can be very scary for parents. About four out of 100 children ages six months to five years can have seizure because of a fever. The most common age range is 12 to 18 months of age. A seizure can happen at any temperature, but the most common temperature is 104°F. The seizure usually […]

Spring into Allergy Season

Hello spring! It is so nice to finally get some nice weather and be able to get outside. I hope you are all enjoying the break in the cold as well. Even so, while the weather is nicer, this brings a whole new slew of seasonal allergies to deal with. I’m going to take this […]

Managing vomiting in kids

At some point, every child is going to vomit. Here are some tips to help you and your child at home and help prevent him from getting dehydrated. Less than 12 months of age and formula fed Give 5 ml of Pedialyte (preferred) or water every 10 minutes. After one hour, if baby does not vomit, […]

No milk until 1 year of age (no matter what your favorite celebrity says)

I recently read an article about Kristin Cavallari, former reality star, wife of Chicago Bears Jay Cutler, and mother of three adorable kids. She is also anti-vaccine and has written a book with parenting tips (this already is not sounding good to my pediatrician ears). According to her, she chose to put her children on […]

Safe Sleep – Getting babies to bed

One of the most common questions I get asked about as a pediatrician is infant sleep. Infant and childhood sleep is a huge topic and there are lots of books about it. I am going to focus on just one aspect of sleep though — getting your baby to sleep in their crib or bassinet. I […]

A Rose by Any Other Name…Roseola

Kids get rashes all the time. Some rashes can be tricky to figure out; some are straightforward. Roseola is one of those rashes. Roseola is caused by a virus. It generally happens in children less than two years of age, but the range is six months to three years of age. The child has a […]

Do Tween and Teen Athletes Need Supplements?

  Today I’m going to discuss a topic for tweens and teens, especially the athletes. Being active and involved in sports is a great way to stay healthy. But sometimes, the stress to do well in sports can encourage teens, coaches and parents to turn to supplements to optimize performance. Supplements can be part of […]

Life with a baby and toddler – A personal update

Some of you may remember that I posted a blog entry when I was six months pregnant with my second child. I had expressed my anxieties and excitement about having another baby when my older daughter was three years old. Well, now the baby is seven months old, and it’s hard to believe that a […]

The Good Night Routine

Recently I’ve had a lot of families come to the office with sleep woes. Whether it is the six-month old who is still waking up every 2 to 3 hours, the nine-month old with sleep regression, or the toddler who doesn’t want to stay asleep, all of these situations can run a family ragged! I […]

Winter Indoor Fun for Kids

By Megan Muscia, DO, FAAP Its that time again in Chicago, winter is here! With winter comes a lot of time indoors, and that means finding creative ways to keep your kids entertained. Its easy to resort to using the television to entertain kids, but too much TV reinforces a sedentary lifestyle. Television is also […]

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Although winter officially begins today, it currently isn’t feeling very much like winter (though I am not complaining!. But, being Illinois, our weather can go from 60 to 0 at the drop of a hat. So, in preparation for the inevitable cold, here are some winter weather tips to help you safely enjoy the snowy […]

Puffy Paint Non-Skid Socks

And now for something completely different. We have talked a lot about different diseases, situations, development and expectations. We have also discussed safety. How many times has your child slid across your slippery floor and fell while wearing socks?  Probably too many times to count.  You can make your child his own non-skid socks using […]

Food Fights – Satisfying Picky Eaters

I often have moms tell me their kid is picky or they can’t get them to eat their vegetables. Getting kids to eat healthy is really hard these days.  Picky eaters become the center of the meal.  We start pleading with our children – “just one more carrot,” “are you sure you don’t want more?,” […]

Mommy Update – Toddler Time!

My little man turned one year old last month! An entire year has gone by with lots of adventures. When I look back on the year I feel pretty proud for getting through it. There were some tough times but I think with the help of my husband (who is amazing), my family (my side […]

Amber Teething Necklaces: Risks Versus Benefits

A growing trend for non-medicinal approaches to pain control and teething in children are becoming more popular. Teething is a fairly long process which can start as early as 3 to 4 months and last as long as two years when children are getting their two-year molars. Some kids do great with teething and exhibit […]

The Value of Story Time

Hi everyone! I want to take a minute to introduce myself and tell you how excited I am to be joining Rush-Copley Medical Group! I am thrilled and honored to care for children in this community. First, a little bit about myself. I went to college and medical school at Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) […]

The Vaccine Debate

It’s getting to be the middle of the night. The last time I wrote a blog post in the middle of the night was when measles was going around. This time, I find my mind circling the same subject secondary to the recent remarks made by politicians. So, here I am again – writing about […]

Buckle Up! Car Seat Safety

Tomorrow is National Seat Check Saturday.  More than 80 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly.  Some of the most common questions pediatricians get during an office visit are about car seats.  Here are some tips to help you understand the basics of keeping kids safe in the car. The safest place for car seat […]

iCan’t Hear – 7 Tips to Avoid iPod Hearing Loss

Our children, and many of us,  are part of the “plugged in” generation with our ears listening to music, movies or books on iPods or similar devices.  To help avoid hearing loss, keep in mind these seven tips to help protect your ears from permanent damage. Don’t Listen So Loud – Most researchers agree that […]

Head Back to School Healthy

This time of year we are bombarded by back to school sales and shopping for school supplies. The end of summer signifies that it is time to pack the backpacks and pick out clothes for the first day of school! There are plenty of things to overwhelm a parent’s mind this time of year, but […]

Back to Sleep – Preventing SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, is the leading cause of death in infants one to 12 months of age and most common in the one to four months age group. It is not known exactly what causes SIDS, but it is not because of vaccinations or choking/vomiting. It is thought that babies who die from SIDS […]

Dental Care: Brushing Up on Healthy Teeth

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying safe and healthy! Something I’ve been talking to parents a lot about recently is dental care. There is a lot of confusion about when to start brushing your child’s teeth, when to use a fluoride toothpaste and when to go to the dentist. As a first […]

Blister in the Sun: Hand Foot and Mouth

It’s summertime, even though the outside temperature may not reflect it!  Even in summer, kids can get sick.  A common summertime illness is Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM).  It has no relation to Hoof and Mouth.  HFM is caused by a virus, usually Coxsackie A-16. Children age 6 months to 4 years old are most […]

Fight the Bite – Mosquito Bites

Summer is here and that means a lot of outdoor fun for everyone. Fight the bite this summer by following these simple steps for to help prevent mosquito bites on your little ones: Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes or hairsprays Avoid areas were insects are (standing water, gardens with blooming flowers) Avoid combination sunscreen/insect repellant because […]

Sports Safety: Concussions and Kids

Summer sports season is in full swing for many young athletes.  With sports, also comes injuries – scrapes, cuts, bumps and bruises are common.  Sometimes after a fall or bump, injuries are not visible to parents and coaches.  One such injury is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that changes the way […]

New Mom Update

This month, instead of writing something medical, I thought I’d write from my other side…my mommy side! I have now been a new mom for almost 8 months. My little Leo is growing up so fast! Every day I finish work and am so excited to get home to see him. It has been hard […]

Lawnmower Safety Tips for Kids

Now that nice weather is here (and hopefully stays!), it is time to get outside and cut that green grass. Here are some lawnmower safety tips to keep your children and family safe: Keep children indoors or at a safe distance from the area being mowed. Clear your lawn of anything that could be thrown […]

Eczema 101: Do You Have the Itch?

Eczema is a general term used to describe an inflammation of the skin with can cause itching, oozing, weeping, crusting or scaling. Even though there are several different kinds of eczema, in a pediatrician’s office, you will often hear the terms “eczema” and “atopic dermatitis” used interchangeably. The symptoms of eczema are caused by a […]

‘Tis the Season to be Sneezin’ – Allergies

Springtime is finally here! We made it! For some, spring is not a fun time of the year. They are the allergy sufferers among us. Pollen from trees is the most common springtime allergen. Grasses cause summer/fall allergies and weeds cause fall allergies. Some have symptoms all year round; these are caused by indoor allergens, […]

New Pediatrician Recos – Out with the Old

Medicine is an ever changing topic. We are constantly learning new things that make us change our old recommendations. I’m sure to parents with multiple kids, it may seem frustrating to have been told one thing with your first child and then given a new piece of advice with the next. We promise we’re not […]

The Scarlet Letter – Strep Throat

During the cold months, a common illness is strep throat. Strep throat is caused by a bacteria and is most common in children aged two years and older. Don’t be fooled though: Strep can happen anytime of the year and at any age. It is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact, such as sharing […]

Pluggin’ Away

Binky, paci, pluggie, nuk, dummy…no matter what you call it, there has been some controversy over using pacifiers. Probably the major concerns are nipple confusion for breastfed babies and dental issues in the future. Let’s face it – babies love to suck. It is their primary way of getting food in the first 4 to 6 […]

Measles is Here

It is 12:31 a.m. I just finished nursing my son and I can’t turn my racing mind off. All I can think about are the families who tonight are “nursing” their children who have contracted measles. I can’t imagine the fear and sadness they are feeling as their child battles this preventable illness. I’m thinking […]

Mommy “Hood”

Hello parents! Has anyone seen The Mother ‘Hood Official Video being circulated on social media? It is a really heartwarming ‘welcome to parenthood’ skit expressed in a unique way. In the video it shows groups of moms (and dads) who have different beliefs all meeting on a playground getting ready to “brawl” over their different beliefs […]

Rethink Your Drink

Happy New Year everyone! I know we are well into 2015, but, I am still feeling the aftershocks of the holiday season. Boy can all those holiday gatherings impact your life! I don’t know about you all, but my little guy (who is now just over 4 months old) had a hard time sleeping after […]

What to Expect When Expecting Baby #2? I Have No Idea!

One thing I have humbly realized in the past two years and 10 months of being a parent, is that medical school and a pediatric residency do NOT fully prepare you for the role of “mommy.” It turns out most babies/kids don’t read the same textbooks we read (imagine that). I never thought I would […]

Tis’ the Season to be Wheezin’

A diagnosis that we make a lot during the winter months is Bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is an infection or inflammation of the smaller airways in our lungs, called bronchioles.  It usually caused by a virus.  Any virus can cause bronchiolitis, but the most common is RSV.  Bronchiolitis occurs in the Northern Illinois area between November and […]

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

The Christmas season is here, and that can mean a lot of toys under the tree.  Here are 10 tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you choose safe and appropriate toys for your child. Read the label.  Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the […]

Buckling up Baby

I’m back! Maternity leave is over (so sad!) and I am back in the pediatrician saddle, so to speak. It was really hard leaving my little guy for the first few days but it is getting better every day. As a new mom I have been faced with all the struggles of lack of sleep, […]

Welcome to Parenthood

On September 11, 2014 at 9:14 p.m. my life as I knew it changed forever. After 40 weeks and 5 days of waiting, I welcomed my first child, a son who we named Leo. Just like that, I was a parent. It has been almost 4 weeks since that day and this blog post is […]

Tis the Season for Flu

It’s flu season!  That means runny noses, body aches, fevers/chills, cough for seven to 10 days…ick!  Lucky for you, influenza shots are now available so you can be armed and ready for the next few months.  A lot of people wonder whether or not they should get the flu shot.  Well, let me share some statistics with […]

Boys to Men

Happy back to school!  Many schools have a program or a “talk” on puberty for both boys and girls.  However, many families still have a lot of questions. Puberty starts at 12 years old on average. It can start as early as age nine. T here are differences among ethnic groups, with African American males […]

All Ears

One of the more common childhood complaints we get in clinic has to do with ear pain. In fact, when I was little and dreamed about being a pediatrician, I always pictured myself treating children’s ear infections! That dream worked out pretty well for me!   At some point of your child’s life, there’s a […]

The Scoop on Poop

Before you became a parent, you probably never thought that you would fixate on the quality of another individual’s poop. Yet, here you are: My child’s poop is blue. My baby has loose, like diarrhea, poops. My toddler is passing poop that looks like balls. Is this ok? A newborn’s poop is called “meconium”: it […]

Teething: Can you handle the tooth?

Teething: Can you handle the tooth? The teething process generally begins between four to eight months of age.  Some babies will start earlier, and some babies won’t get their first tooth until after a year old. Usually (but not always), the two bottom middle teeth come first, then the two upper middle teeth, then the teeth to the […]

Dispelling Vaccine Myths

As pediatricians, one of the common topics of discussion we face is in regards to vaccinations. As a group, Dr. Ababio, Dr. Kumar, Dr. Alessia, Dr. Granoff and I whole-heartedly believe in the necessity, safety and effectiveness of vaccines. We want you as parents to have reliable, scientific, unbiased and ACCURATE information about how to […]

Get Moving this Summer

  In my last blog post I talked about healthy eating habits to start with you and your family.  To round out the discussion on leading a healthy lifestyle, I now want to discuss how to get your kids active and healthy along with the rest of the family. It is recommended to get 60 […]

Add This One Last Thing to Your Bringing Home Baby Checklist

As a parent-to-be you undoubtedly have done a ton of research on everything you need to complete your bringing home baby checklist. You have the adorable outfits, the safest car seat, the functional diaper bag, and much, much more.  But  there is just one more thing that would make your list fully complete… a Bringing […]

Water, water everywhere…

Finally, after the long, cold and snowy winter, summer is here!!! And what better way to cool down than a dip in the water. Families are heading to the pool, waterparks, lakes, rivers, etc to relax, have fun and get wet. Here are some tips to stay safe, so that your family outing does not […]

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Pediatrician

Last week, Dr. Alessia wrote a fantastic blog entry on why a child should have a pediatrician, and this week I’ll give you some tips on how to choose the RIGHT pediatrician for your family.  Notice I wrote “family” and not “child.”  This is because, in an ideal setting, a child, his/her parents, and the […]

Healthy eating, healthy lifestyle

Hello everyone! Yay for nicer weather – finally! This blog is going to be a two-parter – this week I’m going to offer you healthy eating tips and with my next blog I’ll follow-up with tips to stay fit and active.  Combine these two subjects and you’ll be well on your way to encouraging your […]

Why Choose a Pediatrician?

One quick thing before I get into this week’s post: In my last post, I mentioned when I wanted to be a doctor, but I never said why.  I was born with a “hole in my heart”; mine is a VSD. My “hole” was so big it would never close on its own. So, a […]

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Traveling with Kids

It’s my first blog entry, and I’m so excited to be sharing some useful information about making traveling with kids a little easier and keeping them as healthy as possible during the trip. First, a little about myself: I am first and foremost “Mommy” to my two-year-old daughter.  My husband and I live in Naperville, but […]

New baby, no worries!

  Welcome to my first blog post!  I’m so excited that the Rush-Copley pediatricians are able to offer you another resource to help you find reliable information on common child healthcare topics. We can’t wait to hear from you to see what topics you want discussed and what questions we can answer for you. Before […]

Kids Fevers – Keep Calm and Read On

Hi! Welcome to the inaugural post of the Kids Doc Blog, a collaborative effort of pediatricians (kids docs) of Rush-Copley Medical Group (RCMG). I am Dr. Eva Alessia, D.O., FAAP, your Madame of Ceremonies for this post. We are four lovely ladies (Drs. Ababio, Keller, Kumar and yours truly) and one distinguished gentleman (Dr. Granoff), […]