One in three American children are overweight, and a third of those are obese. That amounts to 12.7 million obese children in America according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Why should you be concerned?  Because these children are projected to have shorter lifespans. Obesity is linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), joint problems, sleep apnea, respiratory issues and even cardiovascular (heart) related problems.

Is your child overweight or obese?  Be sure to check their Body Mass Index percentile (BMI%) at your child’s next well visit.

If the BMI% is less than the 5th%: they are underweight.

If the BMI% is between the 5th% and the 85th%: they are at a healthy weight for their height. 

If the BMI% is between the 85th% and 95th%: they are overweight. 

If the BMI% is over the 95th%: they are obese.

What can you do to help prevent pediatric obesity?  Read my article in this month’s Tidewater Family Magazine here:

There’s still time to get your child a flushot.  The CDC (Center for Disease) reported that 80% of the children who died from influenza during the 2017-2018 season had NOT received their flushot. A study in Pediatrics showed that influenza vaccination (flushot) was effective in preventing flu-related deaths in children.   The CDC notes that flu activity is elevated nationally.  It is recommended for everyone six months and older get an annual flushot.  The flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your child’s risk of influenza (the flu). The flumist is NOT recommended this year. Read more about the flushot in this article from the Tidewater family magazine: Don’t forget the flu shot.

Join me on Tuesday January 15, 19 at 10:00 am EST on Channel 3 WTKR as I join hosts Cheryl Nelson and April Woodard on The Coast Live.  I’ll be premiering the Second Edition of Raising Today’s Baby and demonstrating the proper way to burp a baby. I’m looking forward to meeting April and Cheryl. I am thrilled that they have invited me to share my book with their lovely audience. 

You can get your own copy of the Second Edition of Raising Today’s Baby on amazon for $15.95.  It makes a great baby shower gift.  If you already have a copy and love it, please take a few minutes to review it on Amazon. Buy Book Here!  See you Tuesday!

Many parents ask me if the HPV vaccine is right for their child. 79 million people currently are infected with HPV.  Wek know that over 30,000 Americans get a cancer caused by HPV.  Why wouldn’t we want to protect our children from this?

Here are three things you NEED TO KNOW:

  1. The HPV vaccine is recommended at age 11 (with a booster dose in 6-12 months) and works extremely well. 
  2. The HPV vaccine is the BEST way to protect your child from cancer. 
  3. The HPV vaccine is reducing HPV infection.

I gave this vaccine to my child.  You can protect your child as well!  Read more here:

Are you like me: you’re sitting in a restaurant noticing that everyone around you is on a phone or a tablet of some kind?  Parents not talking to children.  Children not talking to parents.  Parents not talking to each other.  Ever wonder why we have a communication crisis?  This holiday season, consider taking some electronic breaks….times or places where you put the devices away.  Try the dinner table for example.  Have a real conversation with laughing.

Read more about ways to unplug your kids at:

Happy holidays!


I’m thrilled to announce that the second edition of Raising Today’s Baby has released on Amazon. This update includes the latest recommendations on the early introduction of peanut products to infants as well as updates in sleep safety to protect against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  To find the book on amazon, please search for Raising Today’s Baby: Second Edition. It’s my joy to be able to help so many new parents raise healthy, happy children.

Happy fall y’all!  I can’t believe it’s fall….mostly because it’s still in the mid 80s here and the a/c is still on.  Still, I am drawn to make pumpkin bread, plant mums, and carve pumpkins.

To prepare for fall, don’t forget to get those flu shots.  I had a tradition with my children that we would go and get our flushots, then go for lunch.  After lunch we would go shopping for their Halloween costume.  It seemed to help to pair the uncomfortable activity (getting a flu shot) with something that they would enjoy (lunch and costumes). Give it a try with your kiddos. Click here to read more about the flushot.

Speaking of costumes, take a moment to read my October column in the Tidewater Family magazine, called Treats not Tricks, about how to choose a safe costume for your little trick-or-treater.

Read article here: Treats not Tricks!

Have a safe and festive fall season.

Every day in my pediatric office I am asked the same question: “Are vaccines safe?”

I wanted to dispell some myths about vaccines and explain how they work.  I hope you will take a few moments to read this month’s article in the Tidewater Family magazine entitled: “Are vaccines safe?”

Spoiler alert: they are! Perhaps a friend you know struggles with decisions related to vaccine safety.  This may be helpful information to share.  I explain how vaccines work, how and why they were developed and why you as a parent can feel comfortable protecting your children from deadly diseases.  Remember: diseases are deadly, vaccines are safe.

Read more:

As CNN reported just this morning: an average of 37 children die in hot cars annually in the United States. Children either are forgotten in the back seat or they may crawl in on their own and get trapped. Some are intentionally left to die. Just a few minutes in a car can be deadly, as the car temperature can increase rapidly in the heat. Don’t let this happen to your child: put your purse, cell phone or lunch bag in the back seat with the child as a reminder. Ask your daycare to call you anytime your child is more than 10 minutes late to daycare. Sit a teddy bear in the front seat as well.
Look before you lock.

I love to swim.  Some of my fondest family memories revolve around the water.  I grew up in Ohio rather than a beach town, but my love of water (and a Navy helicopter minesweeping flyboy) led me to Virginia Beach.  Water seems to have always been a part of my life from the small pond near my childhoood home where I learned to swim, to Bowling Green State University where I was a lifeguard, to days on the beach with my children….water has surrounded and influenced my life. I can see many happy days in my memory where my family was on a beach in “one particular harbor” in St John USVI. I cannot imagine a 4th of July not surrounded by family and friends in a pool. Water has been a complete joy in my life.

For some, water is no longer a joy because they have lost a family member to drowning. From 2005 to 2014 there were approximately 3,500 fatal drownings annually in the U.S.  Drowning is the leading cause of death for chidren between the ages of 1 and 4 years. One in every five people who drown is under 14 years of age.

Drowning deaths in children are preventable.  There are measures you can take this summer to protect your children. To learn how, please read my article in this month’s Tidewater Family Magazine:

Have a wonderful and safe summer in and around water.  I pray that you too can have only happy memories of your family around water. Keep your kids safe around water.  Enjoy your summer!