Stories about: Meaghan O’Keefe

8 common child health myths busted

Meaghan O’Keeffe, RN, BSN, is a mother, writer and nurse. She worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for nearly a decade, in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pre-op Clinic.  She is a regular contributor to Thriving.

Meaghan_OKeeffe_1From fever to flu to vaccines and enterovirus, there’s so much health information out there. It’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. Some commonly circulating health myths might confuse even the most well-intentioned parent. Sort out the truth from the myth, and you’re on your way to making the best, informed health care decisions for your child.

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The Nurse’s Throw-Up Guide

Meaghan O’Keeffe, RN, BSN, is a mother, writer and nurse. She worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for nearly a decade, in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pre-op Clinic.  She is a regular contributor to Thriving.

Meaghan_OKeeffe_1When it comes to common childhood illnesses, few wreak havoc on the entire household like the dreaded stomach bug (or viral gastroenteritis).

No parent likes it. Most siblings can’t take even the slightest thought of it. And often, the last person to get sick is the poor caretaker.

But there’s some hope. With these nurse-approved throw-up tips, you might get through this unscathed. Even if you don’t, it can be less disastrous than you might have initially imagined.

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Not into team sports? Self-esteem boosting physical activities for kids

Meaghan O’Keeffe, RN, BSN, is a mother, writer and nurse. She worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for nearly a decade, in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pre-op Clinic.  She is a regular contributor to Thriving.

Meaghan_OKeeffe_1We all know that physical activity is an important aspect of our family’s health. An active lifestyle is linked with a number of benefits including:

  • increased bone strength
  • increased lean muscle mass
  • healthy weight
  • reduced anxiety and depression
  • improved mood
  • improved sleep
  • decreased risk of illness, such as cardiac disease and diabetes

But not every child is cut out for team or competitive sports. And that’s okay!

Your child can have fun, develop greater confidence and enjoy socialization without throwing a ball or running the 500-meter dash. Focus on variety and enjoyment to keep your child motivated to stay active long-term.

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How can I ease my child’s back-to-school jitters?

Meaghan O’Keeffe, RN, BSN, is a mother, writer and nurse. She worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for nearly a decade, in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pre-op Clinic.  She is a regular contributor to Thriving.

Meaghan_OKeeffe_1Back-to-school season is rolling in. Many things, like the smell of erasers, the feel of a new notebook, the packing of that first lunch, spark excitement. A fresh school year is the promise of new beginnings.

But your child may be experiencing more than excitement. A different classroom, new teacher and unknown expectations can cause the annual return of back-to-school jitters.

Kids show worry in a variety of ways. Your child may verbally express that she’s feeling nervous or afraid, but for some, anxiety might show up in the form of bellyaches or headaches. Still, with others, you may just notice a slight change in behavior, like becoming more emotional, more withdrawn or more defiant. Even if your child gives no hint that she is experiencing a case of nerves, it never hurts to be prepared in the event that she does. You can even bring it up on your own, focusing on statements like, “A lot of times, kids and even grownups can feel nervous before starting something new. Have you ever felt that way?”

Whether you know or just suspect that your child is experiencing a case of back-to-school nerves, here are a few tips to help ease her into a new school year.

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