Health Notes

Giving Up the Nap

by Dr. Elizabeth Walenz on February 24, 2015

I was hauling laundry past the television last week, calling to my kids to brush their teeth, when I passed by Savannah Guthrie introducing a segment titled, “Do Toddlers Really Need a Nap?”


As a mother of three, the youngest 3 ½, there are times I, as a parent, needed my toddler to nap.  As a pediatrician I discuss sleep quite a bit, so I was intrigued.

New studies out of Australia looked at the value of the afternoon nap past the age of two. Up until now, it has been gradually accepted that a nap is needed for the health and well being of all toddlers. Leading up to kindergarten, children will gradually begin to give up their daytime nap.

As more and more is understood about sleep and the impact it has on behavior, concentration and overall health, the question arises – Is daytime sleep or overall nighttime sleep more important?

[click to continue…]


Nourishment for Sick Days

by Whitney Wright, MS, RD, LMNT, CNSC on February 17, 2015

Is it feed a cold and starve a fever, or feed a fever and starve a cold?

Either way, the flu season has been rough this year! I am sure many of you have had sick kiddos home at least once this season. At my house, even when they are sick they are still very busy!  My toddler can have a fever of 102 and still be up running in circles!

While I’m still not quite sure how to convince a child to actually “rest” on a sick day, I can provide you with the 4-1-1 on how to feed them.

Staying hydrated while ill is number one on the list. While children may not have much of an appetite when they are under the weather, it is important for them to still try to consume adequate amounts of fluid throughout the day.

[click to continue…]


Some Babies Born Without a Healthy Heart

Thumbnail image for Some Babies Born Without a Healthy Heart February 10, 2015

This is the week of Valentine’s Day. Kids across Omaha will be folding up and decorating paper hearts and Valentine’s boxes. This is also another kind of heart week: February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect for children – affecting one out of every 100 […]

Read the full article →

Have a Fireplace? Four Things Parents Need to Know

Thumbnail image for Have a Fireplace? Four Things Parents Need to Know January 27, 2015

It’s January in Omaha. One of the longest months is almost over. On those blustery cold days, it’s lovely to come home to a nice warm fire in the fireplace. Fireplaces are great in the winter time, but can pose a risk to young children and toddlers. The flames of the fire are colorful, warm […]

Read the full article →

Good Nutrition while Cooking on Slow

Thumbnail image for Good Nutrition while Cooking on <i>Slow </i> January 21, 2015

While it was fun, it’s kind of nice the holiday hustle and bustle is over. School is back in session (thank goodness), and we can start winding down to a more mellow daily routine. The days are still chilly and it’s still dark by the time dinner rolls around. There is nothing better than coming […]

Read the full article →

What to Do When Your Child has the Flu

Thumbnail image for What to Do When Your Child has the Flu January 13, 2015

When your child utters the words, “My tummy hurts!” it puts any parent on high alert. “Do you feel like you need to use the bathroom? Or… “Are you going to throw up???” Two weeks ago, we were driving home from school when my daughter uttered the dreaded phrase from the back of the car. […]

Read the full article →

13 (Last Minute) Christmas Ideas for Your Developing Child

Thumbnail image for 13 (Last Minute) Christmas Ideas for Your Developing Child December 23, 2014

In a few short days, it will be Christmas morning. The wrapping paper will fly. Gifts will be exchanged. It is easy to go overboard in the toy department for kids. What is the best way to make sure the toys you are buying for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew are age appropriate as […]

Read the full article →

Avoiding the Sugar Rush During this Season of Sweets

Thumbnail image for Avoiding the Sugar Rush During this Season of Sweets December 16, 2014

Tis’ the season to be jolly and eat a lot of sugar!!! Sugar is a carbohydrate and our bodies need 50-60 percent of our daily calories from carbohydrates to provide energy and proper brain functioning for kids and adults alike. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, […]

Read the full article →

What Every Parent Needs to Know for Kids Cough and Cold

Thumbnail image for What Every Parent Needs to Know for Kids Cough and Cold December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving night, the dishes were done. I went to put my feet up… then I heard it. “Cough, cough, cough.” I held my breath thinking maybe that was it. “Cough, cough, cough.” By 1 a.m., my three year old son was croupy. He was coughing, exhausted and trying to sleep through it. The cough was […]

Read the full article →

“And visions of sugarplums danced in their heads…”  Sleep Training for Success

Thumbnail image for <i>“And visions of sugarplums danced in their heads…”</i>  Sleep Training for Success November 25, 2014

The winter cold is here. It is time to tuck our sweet little ones into bed as the snow falls softly outside and sneak quietly out of their room…. “Waaaaah!!!” Shoot. Sleep training for babies can be tough. The task can be daunting, especially if a parent is working and sleep deprived. In the very […]

Read the full article →