Stories about: Ask the Expert

Reflux in babies: Four things to know

mother holding baby with reflux
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

Most adults are familiar with gastroesophageal reflux, or the movement of stomach contents up into the esophagus. For us, reflux is usually caused by lifestyle choices, such as eating heavy, fatty foods, smoking or drinking too much coffee. In grownups, unmistakable symptoms like heartburn and burping are signs of acid reflux.

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Medical marijuana: What’s all the buzz?

PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

Is medical marijuana safe for children and teens? Depending on who you ask, you may get very different answers.

On one side, pro-marijuana websites, marijuana companies and dispensaries are keen to promote the numerous (often unproven) benefits of using marijuana for medical reasons. On the other side, many public health agencies, community organizations and pediatric providers warn about the risks of marijuana use during childhood and adolescence, making it quite challenging to form an unbiased opinion. 

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Surgery for cerebral palsy

Drs. Shore and Stone discuss cerebral palsy surgery
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: FAWN GRACEY/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

When it comes to cerebral palsy (CP) — injury to the developing brain that can affect muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture and balance — parents have a lot of questions about surgical approaches. In fact, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a hot topic among physicians and parents alike. This minimally invasive spinal operation can permanently reduce leg spasticity and encourage independent walking in properly selected children with CP. It may be a complementary option along with other therapies, such as physical therapy, systemic medications, Botox injections and orthopedic procedures.

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Ask the Mediatrician: Should my eighth grader see ‘Eighth Grade’?

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PATRICK BIBBINS/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about the new movie, “Eighth Grade” and my daughter, who is an eighth grader this school year, has been asking to see it. I’d like to take her, but am worried and a bit confused by the movie’s R-rating. Is it OK for her to see it?

~ Middle School Muddled, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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