1004 Carondelet Drive, Suite 310
Kansas City, Missouri 64114

icon phone816.942.KIDS (5437)childrens health network

“It’s just vapor!” said her son. “Everyone does it and it’s safer than smoking. And you smoke. Do you want me to smoke?” “Of course, not”, responded the mother, knowing the dangers involved.

This conversation goes on every day around the world. Are you ready for it? Let’s break it down.

What is Vaping?

The use of a hand-held device that uses batteries to produce an aerosol that contains nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals. The vapor is not the same as water vapor. It is aerosol, and there is nothing safe about breathing in aerosol.

(And Why A Sports Physical Is Not Enough) 

Most families have full schedules, making it difficult to get into the doctor’s office for an annual check-up. It seems so much more convenient to just go to the quick/convenient care down the street and have them fill out the required sports physical form for school. Be aware of the pitfalls of this decision.  

Sports physicals are very different than annual check-ups. In a sports physical, the provider will screen for sports-related health problems, like previous injuries, possible heart problems, vision/hearing concerns, and anything that could put your health at risk during a sports activity.

At Cradle thru College Care Pediatrics we firmly believe in the importance of vaccines.  Watch this video which presents some vaccine facts in an entertaining format. 


Mary Jo Flint, MD

At Cradle Thru College Care our focus is not just the pediatric population but the entire family as a whole. Some parents might be first-time parents while others are more seasoned. During pregnancy and thru delivery the majority of the focus is on the newborn and the mother. While this focus is justified, the fathers are sometimes forgotten.

The family unit experiences major changes before and after the baby is delivered. These changes are not limited to financial but emotional changes as well. As a father to a soon-to-be 4 year old, and a newborn on the way, this topic was of interest to me. I was surprised to learn that postpartum depression not only applies to mothers, but fathers are also susceptible to postpartum depression. In fact about 10% of all fathers fall into this category. It is called paternal postpartum depression (PPPD).

Checking your child’s vision is an important part of a well child visit.  We always want to identify children who need glasses as early as possible.  However, did you know there is an eye disease that can cause permanent vision loss if not caught and treated as early as possible?  That disease is called amblyopia.

Amblyopia is a disease where the eye fails to work properly with the brain.  Treatment requires the brain to be trained to work effectively with the eye.  Once a child reaches the age of five it is more difficult to treat and can make the vision loss permanent. 

The challenge is working with younger kids to assess vision problems.  It can be tough and time consuming.  Children do not always follow instruction enough to tell us if they can see the pictures or not during a routine eye chart exam.  Therefore, identifying vision problems in very young children can be a hit or miss.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an infant. SIDS age range is from birth to 1 year of age. Approximately 2500 infants die from SIDS per year in the United States.

We do not know the cause of SIDS, but we have been able to associate certain risk factors. Babies at highest risk include preterm infants, infants exposed to cigarette smoke while in the womb, twin infants, infants in the first 4 month of life, just to name a few.

The following calculator has been developed to explore the different risk factors, as well as factors that decrease the risk for SIDS, and how they pertain to your baby and household. Check it out to keep your baby as safe as possible!  - Dr. Isham

SIDS Risk Calculator< Click here to use the SIDS Risk Calculator

Our pediatric practice has always had a focus on reading.  Not only is it important to encourage your children to read age-appropriate books, but it is also very important to start reading to your children as soon as birth.  By listening to the stories you read, children hear a wide variety of words and this helps kids begin to formulate their own vocabularies.
I found this interesting study that was conducted by Dr. John Hutton, who is a  researcher and pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a special interest in "emergent literacy" — the process of learning to read.  This research is very exciting and it proves what we have known all along.  When it comes to activating a child’s imagination and learning centers in the brain,  there simply is no substitute for reading to children. 
Dr. Ellen Glotzbach

On November 4, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement about spanking children. They stated that spanking children is an ineffective method of discipline and harmful for the children. When I first started practice we had a billing system that allowed a small statement about pediatrics to be put on the bill. I did this monthly, and when I said one month that spanking is not for children, I got a huge negative response. The main retort was “spare the rod and spoil the child!” Now the Academy has published this new policy which was picked up as a story by many newspapers, including front page coverage in the Kansas City Star. The study was done and the results were spanking is harmful for children. If you have any questions on this, ask your provider next time you come into the office. The Academy accompanied this policy with a statement about effective discipline to raise healthy children by Dr. Robert Sege, whose abstract I am about to include here:

“Pediatricians are a source of advice for parents and guardians concerning the management of child behavior, including discipline strategies that are used to teach appropriate behavior and protect their children and others from the adverse effects of challenging behavior. Aversive disciplinary strategies including all forms of hitting and yelling at or shaming children are minimally effective in the short term and not affective in the long term. New evidence has linked corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative cognitive, psychosocial and emotional behavior. It is better to develop strategies of discipline for children at different stages of their development. This new statement supports the need for adults to avoid physical punishment and verbal abuse and shaming of children.”

You may find more information at AAP.org.   I hope you have found this information helpful!  Dr. Metzl

From the National Fire Protection Association –

Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays. However, they are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:

  • Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
  • Do not use consumer fireworks.
  • Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.

See the complete NFPA flyer here

Kurt Metzl Blog
When I walked out of the office in mid-December 2017, after 52 years of practicing pediatrics with the same group, it was certainly with mixed emotions.  I felt great satisfaction and pride for having taken care of thousands of babies, children, adolescents and young adults and interacted with thousands of families during that time, and I was thankful that these children and families trusted me to take care of their most prized possessions. I was thankful that I was given the opportunity to do this wonderful job, that I walked in every morning looking forward to the day, and that the families trusted me to do this.

Since then I have heard from many of you by phone or email and love the interactions and satisfaction that those missives gave to me. Dr. Glotzbach and her staff have given me the opportunity to continue these interactions, by providing thoughts from retirement about child care on our website blog.  In the meantime, retirement has not been all that bad, I’m able to bicycle more, ski occasionally, and now interact with you by blog.

Bike safety is a very important topic at this time of year. As many as 25 injuries an hour are seen in ERs across the country due to bicycle injuries. Wearing a helmet can drastically decrease the risk of head injury.

How can you encourage your children to wear their helmets? Start requiring that they wear it from the very beginning, with tricycles. Also, let them pick it out at the store themselves. They will be more likely to wear it if they get to select it. Lastly, if they see other adults (especially their parents and family members) wearing their helmets, children will be more likely to wear their own.
Click here for more information regarding how to buy a helmet and make sure it fits properly.

Children’s Mercy – Cradle Thru College Care
1004 Carondelet Drive, Suite 310  •  Kansas City, Missouri 64114  •  816-942-KIDS (5437)  •  Fax 816-942-4830