Patients are sometimes confused when doctors differentiate the terms pain and tenderness. The reason we use these words differently is because they mean different things when it comes to making a diagnosis. If something is painful, that means it hurts. If something is tender, that means it hurts when it is touched or moved. A good example of how we use these terms relates to abdominal pain. I could have a horrible stomachache, but if it doesn’t hurt more when someone pushes on my abdomen, I am not tender. Appendicitis always causes a tender abdomen. Similarly, migraine headaches cause severe pain in addition to nausea and photophobia (it hurts to look at lights), but patients with migraine usually don’t have scalp tenderness. If someone has a bad headache associated with scalp tenderness, it’s often due to muscle tension that’s brought on by psychological or physical stress such as carrying a heavy backpack or keyboarding for long periods of time.
- What’s a strawberry hemangioma?Strawberry hemangiomas are a collection of tiny capillaries located on the skin. Most resolve without treatment by the time a child is 5 to 10 years.
- What are the incubation periods of some common childhood illnesses?There is a lag time between being exposed to an infection and coming down with the disease. This time frame is called the incubation period.
- What’s in a teaspoon?Nowadays, doctors and parents need to be more precise in the way they give medicine to kids.
- Are febrile seizures dangerous?Febrile seizures occur in 3 percent of children between 6 months and 5 years. The seizure is triggered by the rapid rise in temperature that accompanies an illness.
- It’s common for fathers to bond with their babies after mothersI have made a point of telling new fathers that it’s “normal” for moms to bond to babies before they do.
- Kids eating too many Halloween treats? Try this trickDespite my confession, it used to drive me crazy to watch my kids gobble up pounds of candy every fall. My wife came up with a perfect solution to our dilemma.
- Limit visitors the first week you are home with your babyWhile it helps to have friends or relatives assist you in taking care of the baby, what begins as a 5-minute visit can easily stretch to an hour or more.
- How to make tummy time easierOnce parents start tummy time, lots of questions come up. How long should it last? How many times a day should we do it?
- How to clean a newborn’s vaginaCleaning this area often makes parents nervous. I recommend two things to make this easier.
- Why newborns poop when they’re nursingWhen a person’s stomach fills with food, it triggers a reflex that stimulates peristalsis.