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General Health

  • Broken Bones

    Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here's what to expect.

  • Buckle Fractures

    A buckle or torus fracture is a type of broken bone. One side of the bone bends, raising a little buckle, without breaking the other side of the bone.

  • Canker Sores

    Many people regularly get bothersome canker sores in their mouths. Here's how to help prevent them - and make a kid who has one more comfortable.

  • Comminuted Fractures

    A comminuted fracture is a type of broken bone. The bone is broken into more than two pieces.

  • Concussions

    Concussions are serious injuries that can be even more serious if kids don't get the time and rest needed to heal them completely.

  • Fainting

    Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness. Someone who has fainted will usually recover quickly.

  • Fevers

    Fevers happen when the body's internal "thermostat" raises the body temperature above normal. This is often the body's way of fighting infections.

  • Functional Abdominal Pain

    Functional abdominal pain is lasting belly pain that doesn't respond to treatment. Many school-age kids have it at some point, but get better without lasting problems.

  • Going to the Emergency Room

    Knowing what to expect when you need to take your child to the emergency room can help make it a little less stressful.

  • Greenstick Fractures

    A greenstick fracture is a type of broken bone. The bone cracks on one side only, not all the way through the bone.

  • Growing Pains

    Growing pains are leg pains and soreness that happen to kids at night, usually when they're 3 to 12 years old.

  • Headaches

    Headaches affect kids as well as adults. Learn about common causes and when to talk to a doctor.

  • How Broken Bones Heal

    Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in kids. Full healing can take time, but new bone usually forms a few weeks after an injury.

  • How to Take Your Child's Temperature

    All kids get a fever from time to time. Here's how to take your child's temperature, safely and accurately.

  • Inflammation

    Inflammation is one way the body reacts to infection, injury, or other medical conditions. Many things can cause it.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal problem that can cause cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Certain foods can trigger these problems. So can anxiety, stress, and infections.

  • Migraine Headaches

    Migraine headaches can cause severe pain and other symptoms. Read about migraine causes, treatments, prevention tips, and lots more.

  • Occupational Therapy

    Occupational therapy can help improve kids' cognitive, physical, and motor skills and build their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease

    Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents. It's really not a disease, but an overuse injury.

  • Physical Therapy

    Doctors often recommend physical therapy for kids who have been injured or have movement problems from an illness, disease, or disability. Learn more about PT.

  • Splints

    A splint is a support device that keeps an injured area from moving. Doctors often use splints to hold bones and joints in place so they can heal after a fracture.

  • Stress Fractures

    A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone. They usually happen from repeating the same movement over and over.

  • When and Where to Get Medical Care

    Should you head to the ER when your child is hurt or ill? What about an urgent care center? Different problems need different levels of care, and you have many options.

  • About Body Basics

    Remember the biology class you had in high school? Well, maybe you don't or maybe now that you have a child, your interest in how the body works has grown.

  • Blood

    Here are the basics about the life-sustaining fluid called blood.

  • Blood Types

    Categorizing blood according to type helps prevent reactions when someone gets a blood transfusion. Find out how blood types work.

  • Bones, Muscles, and Joints

    Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn't stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.

  • Brain and Nervous System

    The brain controls everything we do, and is often likened to the central computer within a vast, complicated communication network, working at lightning speed.

  • Digestive System

    The digestive process starts even before the first bite of food. Find out more about the digestive system and how our bodies break down and absorb the food we eat.

  • Ears

    Hearing may be the ears' main job, but it's not all they do. Learn all about the ears in this Body Basics article.

  • Endocrine System

    The glands of the endocrine system and the hormones they release affect almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies.

  • Eyes

    The eyes are small compared with most of the body's other organs, but their structure is incredibly complex. Learn more about eyes, vision, and common problems with both.

  • Female Reproductive System

    Learning about the female reproductive system, what it does, and the problems that can affect it can help you better understand your daughter's reproductive health.

  • Heart and Circulatory System

    The heart and circulatory system are our body's lifeline, delivering blood to the body's tissues. Brush up on your ticker with this body basics article.

  • Immune System

    The immune system, composed of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that protect against germs and microorganisms, is the body's defense against disease.

  • Kidneys and Urinary Tract

    The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.

  • Lungs and Respiratory System

    By the time we're 70 years old, we will have taken at least 600 million breaths. All of this breathing couldn't happen without the respiratory system.

  • Male Reproductive System

    Understanding the male reproductive system and what it does can help you better understand your son's reproductive health.

  • Metabolism

    Brush up on metabolism, the chemical reactions in the body's cells that change food into energy, in this article.

  • Mouth and Teeth

    Our mouth and teeth play an important role in our daily lives. Here's a course on the basics - including common problems of the mouth and teeth.

  • Quick Summary: How the Ears Work

    The ears gather sounds from our environment and turn them into messages for the brain to decode. Learn more in this video about the ears.

  • Skin, Hair, and Nails

    Our skin protects the network of tissues, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else inside our bodies. Hair and nails are actually modified types of skin.

  • The Lymphatic System

    The lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections.

  • The Spleen

    The spleen is a fist-sized organ in the upper left part of the belly under the ribcage. It helps protect the body by clearing worn-out red blood cells and other foreign bodies (such as germs) from the bloodstream.

  • What Is Collagen?

    Collagen is a protein in the body that helps make bones strong.

  • Basic Blood Chemistry Tests

    Doctors order basic blood chemistry tests to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs.

  • Blood Culture

    A blood culture is a test that looks for germs (such as bacteria or fungi) in the blood.

  • Blood Test: Complete Blood Count

    The complete blood count (CBC) is the most common blood test. It analyzes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

  • Blood Test: Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel

    Liver function tests can help doctors see if the liver has been damaged. They also can help diagnose infections and monitor medications that can cause liver-related side effects.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disease. It's a physical condition that also can also affect a person emotionally.

  • Constipation

    Constipation is a very common problem among kids, and it usually occurs because a child's diet doesn't include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, simple changes can help kids go.

  • Coughing

    Coughs are a common symptom, but most aren't a sign of a serious condition. Learn about different coughs, how to help your child feel better, and when to call your doctor.

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Chloride Sweat Test

    Is your child scheduled to have a sweat test? Find out how this test is performed and how it's used to diagnose cystic fibrosis.

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram)

    Is your child scheduled to have an ECG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.

  • EEG (Electroencephalogram)

    Is your child scheduled to have an EEG? Find out how this test is done and when you can expect the results.

  • EMG (Electromyogram)

    Is your child scheduled to have an EMG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.

  • Febrile Seizures

    Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems.

  • Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Protozoa

    Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.

  • Giving Opioid Prescription Pain Medicine: What Parents Need to Know

    If your child’s health care provider prescribed a prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid, you probably have many questions about how to use it safely. Get answers here.

  • Hand Washing: Why It's So Important

    Washing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.

  • How to Take Your Child's Pulse

    Need to check your child's heart rate? Follow our guide and check with your doctor if you have questions.

  • Is It a Cold, the Flu, or COVID-19?

    The flu usually makes kids feel worse than if they have a cold. But it's not always easy to tell the difference. Here are tips on what to look for — and what to do.

  • Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?

    It can be hard to know if kids are well enough to go to school or childcare. Here are some guidelines.

  • Mumps

    Mumps is a viral infection that causes telltale swelling and pain in the salivary glands. With the help of the mumps vaccine, it's preventable.

  • Soiling (Encopresis)

    If your child has bowel movements in places other than the toilet, you know how frustrating it can be. Many kids who soil beyond the years of toilet teaching have a condition known as encopresis.

  • Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture)

    Find out how and why doctors perform lumbar punctures (spinal taps).

  • Stool Tests

    Your child's doctor may order a stool collection test to check for blood, bacteria, ova, or parasites. Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.

  • Strep Test: Throat Culture

    Is your child having a strep test or a throat culture? Find out how these swab tests are performed.

  • Talking to the Pharmacist

    If your child is sick, you'll probably have many questions to ask your doctor. But have you made a list of questions and concerns to share with your pharmacist?

  • Talking to Your Child's Doctor

    Building a relationship with your child's doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.

  • Too Late for the Flu Vaccine?

    It's best to get the flu vaccine early in flu season, so the body can make antibodies that protect it from the flu. But getting it later is better than not getting it at all.

  • Urine Tests

    Is your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them.

  • Amblyopia

    Amblyopia interferes with the way the eye and the brain work together. The result is poor vision. Treatment may involve glasses, patches, eye drops, or surgery.

  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)

    Some kids have hearing loss due to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), a problem in the transmission of sound from the inner ear to the brain.

  • Black Eyes

    A black eye is bruising around the eyes that can look purple, black, or dark blue. Usually, they get better in a week or so.

  • Corneal Abrasions

    Corneal abrasions, which are common among kids, happen when something gets into the eye. Though sometimes painful, they're rarely serious and usually heal within a few days.

  • Dealing With Earwax

    Earwax helps protect the eardrum and fight infection. Parents shouldn't attempt to remove earwax at home, as doing so risks damage to the ear canal and, possibly, a child's hearing.

  • Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

    Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a vision problem that makes it hard to see nearby objects clearly.

  • Flying and Your Child's Ears

    That weird ear-popping sensation is a normal part of air travel. Here's how to help equalize the air pressure in your child's ears to prevent or decrease ear pain.

  • Marfan Syndrome

    Marfan syndrome affects the body's connective tissue and can cause problems in the eyes, joints, and heart. Even though the disease has no cure, doctors can successfully treat just about all of its symptoms.

  • Nearsightedness (Myopia)

    Nearsightedness (myopia) is a vision problem that makes it hard to see distant objects clearly.

  • Quick Summary: How the Ears Work

    The ears gather sounds from our environment and turn them into messages for the brain to decode. Learn more in this video about the ears.

  • Quick Summary: Treating Tear-Duct Blockage (Tear Duct Massage)

    Blocked tear ducts are a fairly common problem in infants. If your child has a blocked tear duct, your doctor may show you how to massage the eye several times a day at home for a few months. Massaging can help open the blockage.

  • Quick Summary: Treating Tear-Duct Blockage (Tear Duct Probe)

    Blocked tear ducts are a fairly common problem in infants. A common procedure called a tear duct probe can open the blockage.

  • Strabismus

    Strabismus causes eyes to wander or cross. Treatment may include glasses, patches, eye drops, or surgery.

  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

    A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a red spot on the white of the eye. It can look scary, but is usually harmless, doesn’t hurt, and won’t affect vision.

  • Surgery for Tear Duct Blockage

    Blocked tear ducts are a fairly common problem in infants. Sometimes surgery is done to treat them.

  • TMJ Disorders

    Kids with these jaw disorders often have difficulty chewing or talking due to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Symptoms can resolve on their own, or with treatment.

  • Your Child's Vision

    It's important for kids to have their eyes examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.

  • Bed-Sharing

    Bed-sharing increases the risk of sleep-related deaths, including SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing for the safest sleep environment.

  • Bedwetting

    Bedwetting is an issue that millions of families face every night. Most of the time it's not a sign of any deeper medical or emotional issues and kids eventually grow out of it.

  • Breastfeeding FAQs: Sleep - Yours and Your Baby's

    Here are answers to some common questions about breastfed babies and sleep - from where they should snooze to when they'll finally start sleeping through the night.

  • Bruxism (Teeth Grinding or Clenching)

    Gnashing and grinding teeth, called bruxism, is common in kids, and often happens during deep sleep or while a child is under stress.

  • Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly)

    Babies can develop a flat spot on the back of their heads, usually from sleeping in the same position too long. Alternating your baby's sleep position and providing lots of "tummy time" can help.

  • Helping Your Toddler Sleep (Video)

    Many parents struggle to get their toddlers to sleep. Get advice on how you can encourage sleep and promote habits that last a lifetime.

  • How Can I Be Sure My Baby Stays on Her Back While She Sleeps?

    Find out what the experts have to say.

  • Kids and Sleep

    Getting enough sleep can be a problem for children of any age. Here's how to know if your kids get enough sleep.

  • Night Terrors

    A night terror seems similar to a nightmare, but it's far more dramatic. Night terrors can be alarming, but aren't usually cause for concern or a sign of a medical issue.

  • Nightmares

    Nightmares aren't totally preventable, but parents can help kids feel better when they have one and ease their transition back to sleep.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Brief pauses in breathing during sleep can be normal. But when breathing stops often or for longer periods, it can be a cause for concern.

  • Sleep and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old

    Nighttime feedings may be a thing of the past, but in this second year of life your tot might be rising for other reasons. Learn more.

  • Sleep and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old

    At this age, babies generally have their days and nights straightened out. Many infants even "sleep through the night," which means 5 or 6 hours at a time.

  • Sleep and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old

    By this age, your baby should be on the way to having a regular sleep pattern, sleeping longer at night, and taking 2 or 3 naps during the day.

  • Sleep and Your 8- to 12-Month-Old

    Sleep problems are common in the second half of a baby's first year. It's best to respond to your baby's needs with the right balance of concern and consistency.

  • Sleep and Your Newborn

    Newborn babies don’t yet have a sense of day and night. They wake often to eat – no matter what time it is.

  • Sleep and Your Preschooler

    Preschoolers sleep about 10 to 13 hours during each 24-hour period, and it's important to help them develop good habits for getting to sleep.

  • Sleep and Your School-Aged Child

    School-age kids need 9–12 hours of sleep a night. If they don't get it, they may be cranky or moody, hyper, and have behavior problems.

  • Sleep and Your Teen

    Teens need about 8–10 hours of sleep a night, but many don't get it. Keeping these tips in mind can help your teen get a good night’s sleep.

  • Sleepwalking

    Although it can be unnerving to see, sleepwalking is actually very common in kids. Here's how to keep your young sleepwalker safe.

  • Bruxism (Teeth Grinding or Clenching)

    Gnashing and grinding teeth, called bruxism, is common in kids, and often happens during deep sleep or while a child is under stress.

  • Caring for Your Child's Teeth (Video)

    Good oral health starts even before your child's first tooth comes in. Learn how to instill good habits that will last a lifetime.

  • Fluoride

    Keeping kids' teeth healthy requires more than just daily brushing. Learn about fluoride, a substance found naturally in water that plays an important role in healthy teeth.

  • Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy

    Here are the basics about how to care for your child's teeth - and when.

  • Teething Tots

    Teething can be a tough time for babies and parents. Here are the facts on teething, including tips for baby teeth hygiene and relieving pain.

  • The Basics of Braces

    Does your child need braces? Find out when braces are necessary, what's involved in caring for them, and how to find low-cost orthodontic care in your area.

  • TMJ Disorders

    Kids with these jaw disorders often have difficulty chewing or talking due to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Symptoms can resolve on their own, or with treatment.

  • Tongue Tie

    Tongue tie is when a band of tissue connects the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, which keeps it from moving freely.

What next?