Stories about: Ask the Expert

Help your children succeed: Let them play

A child engages in lego play
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

If you want to make sure that your child succeeds, make sure that they … play.

The job of children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), is to play. In fact, the AAP has a policy statement about the importance and power of play — and encourages pediatricians to do everything they can to get children to play — even writing prescriptions for it.

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Talking with your child about suicide

Depressed teen sits against wall, covering her face with her arms, considering suicide
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

For three weeks in late spring of 2018, it seemed like suicide dominated the media. On May 18, the second season of the controversial series 13 Reasons Why began airing on Netflix. Eighteen days later, fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide, followed three days later by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

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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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