Healthy Children-logo

Healthy Children


Produced in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and their consumer site,, Healthy Children is hosted by our favorite Mom: Melanie Cole, MS. Join Melanie as she interviews expert pediatricians and discusses all aspects of your children’s health and well-being. From infants to teens, potty training to bullying, to prom safety – this is your ultimate audio parenting guide available On Demand 24/7!


Rolling Meadows, IL


Produced in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and their consumer site,, Healthy Children is hosted by our favorite Mom: Melanie Cole, MS. Join Melanie as she interviews expert pediatricians and discusses all aspects of your children’s health and well-being. From infants to teens, potty training to bullying, to prom safety – this is your ultimate audio parenting guide available On Demand 24/7!






The American Academy of Pediatrics 141 Northwest Point Boulevard Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098 847/434-4000

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

How to Survive Temper Tantrums

It’s your worst nightmare. Your child throws a tantrum in a public place. You’re stressed out and are ready to have a tantrum of your own. How can you deal? The most difficult -- yet most important -- thing to do is to ignore your child during the temper tantrum. See if the tantrum dies down. If that doesn’t work, divert your child’s attention. Remove him from the environment. This may be tough because you’re pressed for time and are in a public place for a purpose. Leaving that environment shows him that you mean business. You may have to physically move your child. There could be thrashing and resistance. Try hugging him to calm him down. Talking to him might not work until he is calm. Don’t make false promises or threats. Uphold your rewards and consequences so your child knows your promises have integrity. Maintain your composure. Enlist the help of your spouse or partner. Make sure you’re both on the same page with rewards and consequences. The good news is that kids tend to outgrow the tantrum phase. If the tantrums are greatly stressful for you as a parent, speak with a professional. Listen as Dr. Naveen Mehrotra joins Melanie Cole, MS, to advise on dealing with temper tantrums in this encore episode from March 2017.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

What to Do if Your Child Has Lice

Even the cleanest children get lice. Those little bugs tend to nest in certain colors and textures of hair, which is why some people get repeat visits. Lice are bugs that crawl from one scalp to another. They can crawl from combs, brushes, and clothing onto a fresh scalp. The bugs look like sesame seeds, and their eggs stick to the hair shaft. A louse will only live one to two days when not on a scalp. Eggs don’t hatch if they aren’t in a warm environment. Of course, you should still vacuum and clean linens. It can take up to two weeks for eggs to hatch. It’s better to be cautious. It takes four to six weeks for itching to start because of the lice saliva. When the note comes home with your child, the lice have had plenty of time and opportunity to spread. You can check your child for lice at home with a couple of sticks, sifting through the hair. Your pediatrician can also check the scalp, make recommendations, and provide prescriptions as needed. Lice are treated with over-the-counter medications like Nix (permethrin) and Rid (pyrethrum). Nix is used on wet hair and can kill eggs. Be sure not to use a conditioner before application. Rid is used on dry hair but doesn’t kill eggs. Consider the life cycle of the eggs. You should repeat treatment on day nine, and perhaps once more. Follow your pediatrician’s recommendation for the right medication. In this encore episode from March 2017, Listen as Dr. Corinn Cross joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share how to get rid of lice.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Importance of Father Figures

A recent report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics proves the importance of fathers in the development of young children. Engaged fathers are associated with better academic success, health, social skills, and confidence. Their children also have less delinquency and reduced likelihood of substance abuse. It really matters to get dads involved with children. They don't have to serve the same functions as mothers. It's great when fathers will jump in and change diapers and rock babies to sleep, but they can be involved in other ways. Daddies tend to be more playful with babies and tend to get more belly laughs. Fathers encourage their littles to climb to the top of the monkey bars and take risks on the playgrounds. Encouraging all fathers to get involved with children will improve those children's lives. Giving fathers paid parental leave will help with this. If your child's father is unavailable, this role can be filled by any male or person identifying as male in the child's life. Grandfathers, uncles, adopted fathers or males who are committed to the child's well-being can assist in the positive development of children. Listen in to this encore episode from June 2016 as Dr. Michael Yogman shares the importance of fathers (or father figures).
Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)

ACES or Adverse Childhood Experiences is a broad term for a number of stressful and negative events that can happen in a child's life and affect them for years to come. Well today, we are going to discuss what exactly this phrase means. We are joined by Andrew S. Garner, MD, Ph.D., FAAP, who is a pediatrician with Partners in Pediatrics in Westlake, Ohio, and is a member of the UH Rainbow Care Network, the region’s largest coordinated group of medical professionals providing care to children. He is also the Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In this encore episode from July 2022, Dr. Garner & Melanie Cole cover the different types of ACES, toxic stress, and the differences between ACES & trauma.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Children, Seasonal Depression, and Staying Busy in the Winter

The slowness of winter and the stress of the holidays can be a lot, even for our children. Hilary Bowers, MD, is the Director of Behavioral and Mental Health Services and a board-certified pediatrician providing care through the Children's Primary Care Medical Group (CPCMG). She is also a member of the UC San Diego Health Physician Network, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). She chats with Melanie Cole, MS, about the continued trends in mental health issues we've been seeing since the COVID-19 pandemic started, red flags parents can look out for in their kids in the wintertime, and how we get our kids up and moving in the cold, dark days of winter.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Setting Goals in the New Year

The beginning of a new year is always a time of resolutions and resetting your goals and intentions. So today we're chatting with Dr. Lanre Falusi in this encore episode from January 2022 about action vs. avoidance goals, reward systems, and good resolutions for our kids, such as drinking more water, looking out for bullying, making new friends, and getting more sleep. Dr. Falusi is a primary care pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her work as a pediatrician for over 15 years has focused on ensuring that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. She and her husband are the parents of 3 energetic little girls. She is also the co-host -- along with another doctor- mom -- of a podcast called “Health and Home with the Hippocratic Hosts” about parenting, health, and finding balance in life.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Fostering Healthy Goals & Attitudes

Everyone craves a fresh start sometimes, even our children. Whether it's a brand new year, or just wanting to try something new at any point in the year, it's important to be realistic and healthy when it comes to setting goals. Joining us for this conversation is Nicole Cifra, MD, MPH, MHPEd, an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her main area of interest is eating disorders, and she currently serves on the Medical Care Standards Committee of the Academy for Eating Disorders. How to set achievable and holistic goals with focus, harness gratitude, and avoid focusing on things like weight loss and physical appearance.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Eliminating Race-Based Medicine

In a powerful new call to action, the American Academy of Pediatrics is demanding critical self-evaluation and fundamental changes in the practice of medicine to end long-standing inequities in health care. In a new policy statement, “Eliminating Race-Based Medicine,” the AAP observes that race is a historically derived social construct that has no place as a biological proxy. Over the years, the medical field has inaccurately applied race correction or race adjustment factors in its work, resulting in differential approaches to disease management and disparate clinical outcomes. Dr. Tiffani J. Johnson, MD, MSc, FAAP is a board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physician at UC Davis, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, and a scholar on race, racism, and its impact on child health. Her research portfolio reflects her commitment to improving the quality of care for underserved children. She is currently exploring the root causes of inequities in the healthcare and early childhood education settings, including research on bias and discrimination and their impact on the health and well-being of children. She is also the co-author of the AAP policy statement and joins Melanie in this encore episode from June 2022 to break down what it means, what critical changes need to be made, and what providers can do.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Preventing Winter Injuries: Indoors & Outdoors

When we're out of our routines, that is the best time for chaos to enter the home. And with the holidays and winter breaks, all kinds of crazy injuries can happen. Even in the depths of winter. So today we're talking about the most common injuries doctors see this season (a lot of injuries in the kitchen), keeping kids out of medications, fireplace safety, and staying warm and safe when playing outside. Dr. Christina Johns is our guest for this episode. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After completing her pediatric residency at Hopkins, she moved to Washington, D.C. for a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Children’s National Medical Center. She continued on the faculty at the George Washington University School of Medicine working as an attending physician and assistant division chief in the Emergency Medicine and Trauma Center at Children’s National for 15 years. During that time Dr. Johns obtained a master’s degree in education from the George Washington University School of Education. She is board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

The Dangers of Marijuana Edibles to Small Children

Marijuana is now legal for medical or recreational use in many U.S. states, with its use on the rise. Unfortunately, so is the unintentional THC poisoning risk these products pose to kids who get a hold of them. Kevin Osterhoudt, MD, MSCE, FAAP, FACMT, serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. He is an attending physician in the Emergency Department and Medical Director of The Poison Control Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In this encore episode, learn more about accidental overdose, what to do if kids do get into your edible stash, and how to talk to teens about marijuana.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Flu & Virus Prevention

Between the seasonal flu, COVID-19, and the rising number of kids with RSV, it's time to talk about this triple-demic. Today we'll talk about the slight differences between these 3 big illnesses hitting us this winter, what kind of symptoms to look for, and what to expect for the rest of the year's flu season. Our guest for this conversation is Dr. Upma Suneja. Dr. Suneja is a Board-certified Pediatric Physician currently working as a part-time General Pediatrician at USF, Tampa. She graduated from Government Medical College in India after which she moved to the United States to pursue her Residency training in Pediatrics at Lincoln Hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Organized Sports Participation

Watching your child play sports is exciting. You can support your child as an organized sports participant both emotionally and physically. Benefits of Organized Sports Listen to this encore episode from September 2019 as Dr. Kelsey Logan joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how all children can participate and benefit from organized sports.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

When Should I Get My Child A Cell Phone?

Today's children grow up immersed in digital media, which can have both positive and negative effects on healthy development. And it can be difficult to know when your child should have a phone of their own. Well, to help you out, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and AT&T have teamed up to launch a new, free PhoneReady Questionnaire and a free, enhanced Family Media Plan tool to help parents and caregivers create healthy digital habits for their families. Dr. Suzy Tomopoulos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media. She joins host Melanie Cole today to discuss cell phone use in children, monitoring what they use their devices for, and deciding the right time for your child to get a phone.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Teen Driving

Let’s face it, your child learning to drive can be very stressful for you as a parent. You want them to gain independence while still keeping them safe. The most important investment you can make in terms of the safety of your driving teen is giving them a structured experience behind the wheel. The biggest single risk factor for teens is their lack of driving experience. Introduce them to safe but stressful situations while you’re in the car, like interstate driving and country roads. Be clear about driving restrictions for the first few months your child has a license. Before that learner’s permit is in your child’s hand, you can be a good role model as a driver and avoid distractions. Consider implementing the Parent-Teen Driver Contract provided by the AAP. Listen as Dr. Brian Johnston joins Melanie Cole, MS, in this encore episode from July 2019 to discuss safe driving for teens.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Talking About Jaundice

You've probably heard the term jaundice before, and that it makes yellow babies, but you may not really understand what it is. New guidelines released recently say jaundice is not something that we consider to be pathologic, but more physiologic, and it's actually quite common in newborn babies. In this episode, we cover just what jaundice is and how our doctors treat it with Dr. Joanna Parga-Belinkie. She is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Gender Identity and Presentation: How To Support Your Child

Transgender, Gender Diverse, Non-Binary, Cisgender. There are a lot of words to describe sexual identity and presentation. And it can be difficult, especially if your child is figuring out who they are, and this may be new to you. So we've brought in Dr. Ilana Sherer to break down some of these terms and answer some common questions on gender and more in this encore episode from March 2022. Dr. Ilana Sherer has a general pediatrics practice in Dublin, California at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter Health with a specialty in caring for gender-nonconforming and transgender youth. She is also a member of the AAP Section on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health and Wellness.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Helping Children with Constipation

If you're a parent, you know that it can be incredibly frustrating and even scary at times when your kids are constipated. It's really common and it's something that so many parents go through, but we're gonna learn about it today and get all the information that you need so that you have informed decisions and you know what's really going on with your children. Joining us to discuss constipation in children is Dr. Patrick Reeves. He's an officer in the United States Army Medical Core with a clinical specialization in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition. He's an assistant professor of pediatrics adjunct to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He chats with Melanie about what causes constipation, how dangerous it could be, and some supplements and tips for frustrated parents.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Why School Attendance is Important

Now that our kids are back to in-person schooling, some of them don't always wanna go. But there are a number of reasons for that. So today we're talking to Dr. Heidi Schumacher. She's a practicing pediatrician and she also serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Health and Wellness at the DC office of the State Superintendent of Education. So she is seeing many sides of this attendance issue, the anxiety issue, the whole school avoidance, and also the health implications and benefits of really that routine, that school attendance. In this episode, Melanie and Dr. Schumacher look at the research on school attendance, why kids are missing school these days, dealing with technological distractions and sleep, and how parents fit in the mix.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Is Your Child Lagging Behind in School?

If your child is having trouble at school, your pediatrician may be able to help. Risk factors or difficulties during pregnancy or early life could contribute to a learning difficulty. First, speak with your child’s teacher and/or principal. Ask questions about what’s happening inside and outside the classroom. Get more information on your child’s school life. Next, speak with your pediatrician. As possible sources are eliminated, ask your pediatrician what else could be causing the difficulty. Then, ask your child what kind of help you can provide to assist in learning. They may prefer help from a tutor instead of your watchful eye. All children want to succeed. Listen as Dr. Laura McGuinn joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how your pediatrician can help with learning challenges.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Internet Challenges and TikTok Trends

The milk crate challenge, the blackout challenge, the sleepy chicken challenge, and of course the Tide pod challenge. These were all internet games based around the social media app TikTok. While social media can be good for children who want to learn about the world at large or find other kids with common interests outside their school, it can also be quite dangerous when these challenges get risky or even lethal. Dr. Nicole Baldwin is a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media and joins Melanie to talk about how these challenges come to be, the allure of going viral, and how to keep your kids from doing stunts for social media attention.