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The Informed Parent

What’s Up Doc?

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Mar. 01, 2016
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The publication INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN CHILDREN, February 2016 edition has several very informative and distressing articles.

Susanna N. Visser, DrPH, MS penned an article on page 1 that was alarming to me. “Psychotropic prescriptions for toddlers increase as ADHD cases, psychiatric conditions rise”. Our practice at Pediatric Medical Center provides care for many patients with ADHD and learning disabilities.

To read that about 1% of 2-to-3-year olds had a diagnosis of ADHD was shocking. If you apply the criterion for ADHD appropriate for over 6-year-olds, most if not all 2-year-olds have “ADHD”. You don’t see many 2-year-olds with the focus and attention of a 6 year old.

To read that some of these toddlers are on psychotropic medications is more than distressing. As a parent, if your 2-to-3-year old is given a diagnosis of ADHD get another opinion before starting any medication. Be an informed parent and be cautious of agreeing to starting psychotropic medication in your toddler.


An article by William T. Gerson, MD about chickenpox parties, page 6 is entitled “‘Pox parties’ still pose risk for severe chickenpox complications”. Upon reading this I found it hard to believe that parents were exposing their children to an active case of chickenpox in lieu of receiving the vaccine. I thought the practice had departed many years ago.   

Remember one thing, naturally acquired chickenpox can be marked by severe complications; i.e. encephalitis, pneumonia, and aseptic meningitis. Do not support this archaic and dangerous practice.


Lastly, on page 24 there is an FDA warning regarding eye and skin injuries associated with inappropriate use of laser pointers. It is entitled “FDA warns that laser pointer misuse can cause eye, skin injuries”.

The beams from these devices can cause serious eye damage and skin burns. It is amazing to me what well-meaning parents allow their children to be subjected to.

I would recommend that you do not let your children attend a chickenpox party for 2-to-3-year old ADHD patients where laser pointers are given as swag!  Really, can you believe how good parents can be so misguided or careless?




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