Pediatrician Q&A: Worried Sick

What do parents worry too much about? What should they worry about more?

Scott Bookner, MD, a pediatrician at Scarsdale Pediatric Associates, is dedicated to helping children stay healthy. Here, he offers some advice for parents. So, take a deep breath and read…

What worries parents too much?
“I think parents worry too much about germs. Kids should wash their hands—but some parents don’t even let their kids play outside.”

What should concern them more?
“Parents should pay more attention to a few things: vaccinations for preventable diseases, car safety, Internet safety, sexting, and cyber-bullying. Also, ensuring proper sleep. Sleep-deprivation is so pervasive.”

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What should all parents do to keep their kids healthy and safe?
“Practice car safety. Children should actually be in a booster seat until they’re 80 pounds or 4’9” tall. That’s usually 10 or 11 years old.”

What are some strategies for children who are fearful of seeing the doctor?
“If a child asks if he will be getting a shot, I don’t like to lie. Just say, ‘You might.’ But add that there are fun things to do, like play with the equipment, and get their eyes and ears checked.”

What’s the key thing to look for in a pediatrician?
“Availability. The doctor has to be available 24/7, in the middle of the night, and after hours. If your child isn’t feeling well, they should be seen the same day.”