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Healthcare Advice For College-Bound Kids

Sending a child off to college? Call your lawyer first. From the Weekend Wall Street Journal:

After a few clients ran into difficulty getting information about adult children who were ill, Sheila Benninger, an attorney in Chapel Hill, N.C., began recommending that clients’ children designate a health-care power of attorney after they turn 18 to identify who can speak for them if they can’t.

She also includes a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, release form that allows patients to determine who can receive information about their medical care and whether information about treatment for substance abuse, mental health or sexually transmitted diseases can be disclosed.

You don’t have to use a lawyer. Generic health-care power-of-attorney forms can be found online. If the school has a HIPAA release online, it’s best to use that more-tailored document.

Parents should keep a copy in an email folder, where it can be easily accessed in an emergency. And students should designate a general power of attorney so someone can pay bills or handle other issues if they go abroad.

It’s good advice for those of us shipping one more child back to college this week.

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

Hat tip: Instapundit

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Overmedicated Teenagers

Teen stressIt is summer camp season for kids and well-run camps require a medical history and record of prescription medications that the child is taking. One prestigious camp for teens (ages 11 to 19 — average camper is 16) in Southern California recently had 153 residential teenagers. These kids come from California and other states across the U.S. Fifty percent come from out of state and a number of campers each week are international.

Okay, so far so good. Healthy teens getting together for a week of learning and fun. Here is the shocker! I was amazed to learn that almost 25 percent of these kids are on prescription medication. Can it be that we are overmedicating teens?

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*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

WAY2GO: New Online Health Assessment For Teens

WAY2GO logo

The Wellness Assessment for Youth to Get Organized! (WAY2GO!) is an online survey for teens that asks questions about their nutrition, exercise, sexual, safety, substance use, emotional and social health, and provides an immediate individually-tailored report with resources.

The report also links teens to free Vive health coaching that teens can use to develop a personal wellness plan that includes regular messages sent to their computer or cellphone to support their health goals (e.g., remembering medication, packing a lunch, not using the computer for more than an hour at a time, etc.) Read more »

This post, WAY2GO: New Online Health Assessment For Teens, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Talking To Teens About Social Media And Sexting

Being the first group of parents to have to have to parent an all digital generation of kids, it’s no wonder our brains go on overload trying to sort out not only how to use all things digital but keep our developing kids safe and thriving in their ever digital lives.

I talked about these issues today on Fox25 Boston and highlighted the new social media and sexting tips out from the American Academy of Pediatrics in honor of Internet safety month. Here’s the clip of the segment with all the details:

To remember the key points of the new AAP tips, I came up with the mnemonic “TECH”:

T: talk to your kids about their technology use and what they think of technology and the issues they hear about online.

E: educate yourself about the technology your kids are using, your kids about the issues, and your community about the need for youth education programs in schools as support for the issues

C: check your kids online profiles and logs often, and sometimes without warning

H: have a family tech use plan and follow-through when violations occur.

We know how to parent off line. We know how to create consequences when curfews are broken and expectations for social rules and proper behavior are not met. What we have to do now is modify our already great parenting skills to the online world. These tips are the first step!

Plus, keep in mind, you are not alone. Not only are all the parents around you in the same boat but you have experts like me here to help answer your questions about the high tech lives of kids.

I had a great chat after the segment with many FoxNews25 viewers and will post what we talked about soon so everyone can benefit. In the meantime, if you have questions about your own “Networked Family” or a story to share from your own “Networked Family” archives, email me at ideas@pediatricsnow.com.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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