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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Cavities, allergies, and high blood pressure among children

IU School of Medicine • 7/2/14

INDIANAPOLIS — The “Sound Medicine” program for July 6 features our favorite kid-related shows from the past, including discussion of Amish children and allergies; cavities in preschoolers; and children’s hypertension.

What makes Amish children less susceptible to allergies? After studying children in northern Indiana Amish communities, Mark Holbreich, M.D., said he discovered a very low incidence of allergies and asthma in comparison to children who live in suburban or city areas. Dr. Holbreich speaks about the immune changes that occur when Amish children and pregnant women are exposed to barns, and when they drink raw milk. Dr. Holbreich is a specialist in the treatment of complex asthma and allergies at Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Indianapolis.

Why are more preschoolers developing cavities? For the first time in 40 years, an increased number of children have multiple cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jeffrey Dean, DDS, MSD, executive associate dean at IU School of Dentistry, discusses how the troubling trend began, and what parents can do to reduce the incidence of cavities in their children.

What should be done to prevent high blood pressure among children? According to a study by the University of Michigan, about 3 percent of American children have high blood pressure, putting them at a high risk of heart disease as adults. Joseph Flynn, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and chief of the division of nephrology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, talks about the study, what he believes caused the problem and what parents should be doing.

How can we help kids be resilient when encountering stress and trauma? Children learn how to become resilient from the adults in their lives, according to Steven M. Southwick, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Yale University and the author of “Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges.” Dr. Southwick explains how adults can help guide and soothe the emotions of children.