Sex Education, Anti-Billying, Eye Rolling – PediaCast 099

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  • Sex Education
  • Anti-Bullying Laws
  • Eye Rolling
  • Scary Nights
  • Plastic Bottles



Dr. Mike Patrick: Bandwidth for PediaCast is provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital, for every child, for every reason.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Welcome to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents.  And now direct from Birdhouse Studios, here's your host, Dr. Mike.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Hello everyone and welcome to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for moms and dads, this is Dr. Mike, coming to you from Birdhouse Studio, and I'd like to welcome everyone to the program.  It is episode 99 for Wednesday, January 9, 2008.


We're calling this one, sex education, bullying, and scary nights. Of course we've got more coming up than just those three topics; we're going to fill in entire half an hour here for you with news and information for moms and dads.  I'm going to answer some of your questions, and all that all that jazz, like we usually do.  Now if I sound a little chipper, it's only because I'm doing this for you guys, today was a bad for any Ohio State football fan.  

I can be chipper because we're together but you can ask my office staff, I was not a happy trooper today.  Listen to me, I'm laughing about it, it was not a good thing, and I'm really beginning to feel like Ohio State is the Susan Lucci of college sports, runner up in the National Championship Football Game last year.


Runner up in the national championship basketball game last year, runner up in the national championship football game, again this year, and now congratulations to LSU.  You did a fine job but you deserve to win, I'm not going to blame the officiating, although there were a couple of questionable calls, but there is in any game.  

But Ohio State just did not play to the calibre that LSU did, so hats off to LSU, and hopefully we'll get a third chance, not that we deserve it.  I can see the big picture and there's this whole SCC versus Big Ten, versus Pack Ten debate that will continue.  All right, well enough with this sports talk; we're here to talk about kids and parenting, so we'll move on.


Once again, my voice probably did not sound much better, I feel a lot better, but on the other hand, my voice still sounds terrible, I still got that little tickle in the back, so if I have to take quick break for a drink or sip of water, you'll understand.  I'm in the midst of a virus, there's a lot of it going around this time of year, I'm at somewhere like day 10 to day 12 of this thing.  I'm at about the point when a lot of people go see the doctor because they're just sick of it.

But most of this virus just last about two weeks, and I haven't had any fevers, and it's just a drainage, I'll keep you posted if I end up getting on in antibiotic, I'll let you know.  But right now I'm still sticking it out because most of this virus just last about two weeks.  The only reason I bring that up is because we talked about this kind of thing all the time.  When do you start in antibiotic?  When do you go from calling it a virus, to calling it bronchitis, or sinus infection, or something to that nature.  


There's no right and wrong answer for that, it's sort of a grey area, I preached that with viruses, that we should not be treating them with antibiotics and a lot of sinus infections and so called bronchitis are over kill in terms of diagnosis and really there're a lot of viruses that just last a couple of weeks and we put kids in antibiotics for it because everyone's tired of waiting for the virus to go away.

If I preached that here and I get myself on antibiotic within five days, seven days, even ten days of having symptoms, and yet I wouldn't do that for the kids that I'm seeing that we call it a virus, then that's not right.  I'm toughening it out and it is relevant to this program because we talked about these things all the time.


All right, it's kind of like this whole sort of snafu right now with Huckabee.  Apparently he has this book out about weight loss as I understand it.  I have not read the book , but my wife has read some of it , and now there's sort of some claims that perhaps he had a gastric bypass type surgery, and that the things that he recommends for other people are sort of the things he bypassed himself and went to surgical route and isn't telling anyone about it.  

If that's the case, hopefully he'll come clean and just let us know what's happened in the past, and if there is in congruency between what he preaches and what he practices, then we should know about that.  By the way, I'm not going to get political on this program, I'm not going to tell you if I'm a Republican or Democrat, that's not the point here, the point here is not to support one political party over another, it's to support parents, and if you're new listener this is called a tangent.


All right, so we're going to talk about today, sex education, anti-bullying laws, that's in the news segment, and then we'll switch over to the answering listener questions.  We're going to talk about eye rolling, scary nights and plastic bottles.  We can't get away from the plastic bottle talk, so we're going to dig that up one more time.  

Don't forget, if there's a topic that you would like us to discuss on PediaCast, it is easy to get a hold of us, all you have to do is go to, click on the contact link, or you can email, or call the voice line at 347404-KIDS, and you can contact us with questions, with comments, with rants, whatever you like, just let us know and we'll deal with it.  

Don't forget the information presented in every episode of this program is for general educational purposes only; we do not diagnose medical conditions or formulate treatment plans for specific individual.  If you have a concern about your child's health, call your doctor and arrange a face to face interview and hands on physical examination.


Also, your use of this audio program is subject to the PediaCast terms of use agreement which you can find at  And with all that in mind, we will be back with news parents can use right after this short break



Dr. Mike Patrick: OK we are going to see how long my voice holds out here, hopefully the entire episode, I can't guarantee it.  Don't forget our news parents can use is brought to you in conjunction with the news partner, Medical News Today, the largest independent health and medical news website, and you can visit them online at  

The sexual behavior of teenagers is linked to whether or not they have had formal school sex education.  That's according to a new study reported in the January 2008 edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.  Lead author Trisha Mueller from the Division of Reproductive Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC, said the purpose of sex education is to give young people information and skills to make healthy and informed decisions about sex.


Mueller and her colleagues look at data from a survey of teen agers to examine the link between exposure to formal sex education in school and three sexual behaviors.  Whether the young person that ever had sexual intercourse, how old they were when they first had sexual intercourse, and the method of birth control they use at the time of first intercourse.  

The data came from the nationally representative of 2002 national survey of family growth and covered 2019 never married, male and female participants who are aged 15-19 years old.  The researchers did not differentiate between sex educations to the advocates' abstinence in sex education that teaches about contraception.  Both approaches were classified as sex education.  
The results showed that receiving sex education was significantly linked with not having had sexual intercourse among males perceiving sex education was significantly linked with postponing sexual intercourse until the age of 15 among males and females.  


For males, this figure was 71% more likely to postpone, and for females, the figure was 59% more likely to postpone sex until the age of 15, if they have had formal sex education classes.  Males who had received sex education in schools were 2.77 times more likely to use birth control the first time they had sexual intercourse, and no links were found between receiving sex education and birth control use in females.  

Also these patterns differed by socio demographic group; for example, sex education was linked to a 91% reduced chance of African/American female students having sexual intercourse between age 15.  The author concluded that formal sex education may effectively reduce adolescent sexual risk factors and behaviors when provided before sexual initiation.  


The authors also concluded that sex education was found to be particularly important for sub groups that are traditionally high risk for early initiation of sex in for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.  Mueller went on to say, that sex education seems to be working, and it seems to be especially effective for populations that are usually at high risk.  

Mueller pointed out that earlier study had used data from the 1970's to the early 1990's and had not found a significant link between sex education and delaying sex in teenagers.  While the author speculate that perhaps sex education has caused the changes in sexual behavior reported in the survey, it is important to know that this study is not saying that sex education caused the changes in behavior, it only suggest a strong possible link.  

Claire Brindis, an interim director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a press statement, "Sex education is important, because children and teenagers still believe myths about sex, some still believe you can't get pregnant if you're standing up or doing it for the first time, or if your boyfriend is drinking a lot of mountain dew", said Brindis.  


She goes on to explain that a lot of sex education is about the plumbing, teaching them about anatomy and physiology, what a condom looks like, however she suggested that what young people really need help with is what to do in different situations.  For instance, in the back seat, or at a party, they need help with, "what do I do in that setting?… suggested Brindis.  
So, are you hearing these parents?  I just want to point out, sex education does not have to come from school, ultimately it's our job as parents to teach our children about sex and help them figure out the right thing to do in a host of situations before they find themselves in a position where confusion and hormones rain.  


School is supposed to be a safe haven for students, but 30% of US adolescents in grade 6-10 are involved in physical aggression, verbal harassment or other forms of mistreatment, whether as bullies, or as victims.  Bullying is everywhere, it happens not only in schools but also at home amongst siblings, in prisons, and in a work place.  It's a silent epidemic said Dr. Jorge Srabstein, a child psychiatrist at Children's National Medical Centre in Washington, DC.  

In another study, published in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, lead author Srabstein and colleagues looked at the content of current state status addressing school bullying.  So what's the good news?  Well before 2003 only 15 States had an acted anti bullying laws, but as of June, 2007, 35 states now have laws that address harassment, intimidation, and bullying at school, covering an estimated 77% of the 38 million students enrolled in public schools in the United States.  


Despite this progress the authors found that only 25 states have defined the terms bullying, harassment, or intimidation, and states do not always relay on the same concepts.  Anti-bullying law should provide an ambiguous and inclusive explanation of bullying based on an accepted evidence based definition of the problem, the authors say.  According to Srabstein, "A clear definition of bullying makes it easier to explain to students what specific behaviors are unacceptable, and why?  Additionally it makes clear to all adults involved what is meant by bullying, so they can educate and enforce an ambiguous standard s of conduct."  

The researchers found that 21 states have legislation that addresses the link between bullying and serious adverse health effects on individuals in communities.  23 states prohibit bullying and 24 states have indicated their local school board should have the opportunity or requirement to develop bullying prevention programs.  


Only 16 states covering about 32%of public school students have legislation that includes basic anti-bullying public health principles, such as a clear definition of bullying and its link to health risks.  The prohibition of bullying and the need for anti-bullying prevention programs are also a clearly defined by these states.  It's clearly important to understand the fact that states can do more, said Dr. Gilman, a child and adolescent psychologist in Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre, who is not affiliated with the study.  

Coleman goes on to say, that just because some states don't fit within the parameters of what the authors are specifying, it doesn't mean they aren't working toward anti-bullying efforts and just because the state has something on the books, it doesn't mean it's effective.  If you're interested in seeing how your state stacks up, check out the show notes for a link to, it's actually a good site, and they break it down state by state and lets you know exactly what the laws are in your neck of the woods.  


All right that concludes news parents can use for this Wednesday and we're going to take a short break, and we'll be back to answer your questions right after this.



Dr. Mike Patrick: Welcome back to the program, first up in our listener's segment is Becky from West Lothian, Indiana, and Becky says, "I have a 10 month old son who is recently started closing his eyes for a few seconds or rolls his eyes like a teenager would when he is frustrated, concentrating, or angry.  I was just wondering if this is normal or should I be worried?"  

It's a good question Becky and it's actually a tough one to answer without knowing a little bit more information and doing a physical examination.  The fact that this behavior is associated with certain instances, for instance, when he's frustrated, or concentrating, or angry makes me feel better about it, makes it seem like it's more of a learned behavior.  


What happens intermittently at times out of the blue, then you're little bit more worried about it.  But how do you really know when a ten month old is frustrated, concentrating, or angry?  I suppose if this fuzzy behavior in eye rolling only happen in response to certain situations like having a toy taken away, or not being able to reach for something that they want, then again I feel better about it.  

On the other hand, if these episodes of fuzziness and eye rolling happen out of the blue and not in response to anything in particular, then I'm more concerned.  The thing about this, is that, you say that they're frustrated, or you say they're concentrating or that they're angry but are they really feeling those things, or is something going on in their brain that is making them act that way and making their eyes roll or close?  That's the question, and it's a difficult one to answer without taking a look at them.  


Because you do want to know, are there any abnormal neurological findings on the physical exam, or is there any family history of seizures, or metabolic disorders and if that's the case with either of those of their abnormalities on the physical exam, particularly when you're examining their neurological system, or if there's a family history of seizures or metabolic disorders, then I am worried about this.  

Being worried doesn't mean there's an actual problem; it just means we should look into it a little bit further.  I'm not telling you here what I would do, because again I think what you need to do, Becky, is talk to your doctor about this and let them do get a more detailed history about the problem and do physical exam.  

But if there was something worried me on the physical exam or with family history, or once I got more history out of you.  What would I do about it?  I was thinking I'd be inclined probably to check an EEG to make sure that there's no seizure pattern in the brain waves, and probably check a head CAT scan, to look at the brain structure.  


At least for starters, and if those were normal, and the episodes continue and they were unprovoked or if there were issues on the neurological exam or family history, then I would consider doing something like an MRI possibly some blood and urine tests and possibly referral to a pediatric neurologist.  Now I'm not trying to scare you here Becky, all I'm doing is taking you through my thought of process, so I definitely talk to your doctor about this one.  
And again if these episodes are always provoked by a specific situation and the physical exam is normal and the rest of the history is not exciting and family history is not significant for any neurological related problems then I don't think I'd be too worried about it. But again talk to your doctor.

 All right, next is Shannon from Gardener, Kansa, and Shannon says, "Dear Dr. Mike, I've just found your podcast, thank you to the Manic Mommies, I cannot thank you enough for the information you have provided for me….  


"I'm the mother of an eight year old and a two year old.  I'm having an issue with my eight year old, ever since my son was four, he's been sleeping on the floor in my bed room because he's too scared to sleep in his own room, his bedroom is upstairs, and our bedroom is on the main floor.  When asked why he's scared?  He says, he hears noises and footsteps and door knobs turning.  

I've asked his pediatrician, and she suggests, he's making this up to sleep with us, or maybe it could be an early sign of a psychiatric issue due to the fact that I am bipolar myself.  I think that's ridiculous, and as far as making it up, a child cannot possibly cry or shakes so hard, he shakes the bed or makes his heart beat as fast as it does when he wakes up and hears the noises….  


"I guess my question is what are your thoughts?  I want him to sleep in his room, but I do not want him crying all night or on constant guard in fear.  We've also tried having his two year old brother sleep in the room with him, but he waits until his brother goes to sleep, and then sneaks down into our bedroom and hides under a blanket on the floor.  

We have also tried to be firm with him, telling him he has no choice but to sleep in his room which he did but he pushed his dresser in front of his closet door and locked his bedroom door, and slept with the light and TV on.  Will he outgrows this?  What can I do to help him overcome this fear?  It only happens when he's home, when he spends the night at my parents, he sleeps in his own special room.  

I know this is lengthy especially for a newbie to your podcast, but I met my wits in, I just him to feel safe and happy, thank you for your time, Shannon."  All right Shannon, this is another tough one.  You guys are really testing me today I'll tell you .  


So let's talk about it, I would definitely get help with this one because I think you you're going to need it, I know that's not an easy fact to face, it makes you feel like parenting failure, you'd rather that this problem just disappeared or that it had never have happened, right?  But, look , parenting is not easy and though situation s come up, you can't fault yourself for not having taking care of it sooner because you are where you are and now it's time to deal with it, and this tough kind of situations call for tough actions.  

There's nothing wrong with getting the help that you need to deal with this stuff.  You owe it to yourself and more importantly you owe it to your son.  So I think I'd talk to your doctor and see about getting a referral to a pediatric psychologist, or psychiatrist, or counselor, depending again on what's available in your area, and I think that's going to take care of the problem, the quickest for you, I really do.


OK, and then finally, we have Liz from Auburn, Massachusetts, and Liz says, "Dear Dr. Mike, first I would like to say how lucky I am to have stumbled upon your podcast, I am new to the podcast world, and I've learned quickly that podcast's a valuable worthwhile content are hard to come by.  Your podcast is an absolutely fabulous resource for today's parents, please keep it up.  My question is in regard to the latest feud over polycarbonate baby bottles.  

I'm a mother of a 16 month old, who still drinks from the Avent bottles with a sippy cup spouts.  The recent warnings about polycarbonate plastics and bisphenol A release have me concerned for their safety.  From what I'm reading the FDA is still backing the safety of these bottles.  

I plan on having another baby in the near future, are glass bottles better option?  What are your thoughts on this controversy?  Thank you for your time."  Well you're in luck Liz, we discuss that very issue in lots of depth and detail in PediaCast episode number 35, so check up the show notes we'll put a link to that episode.  


I have not seen any new information on the great plastic debate since I put that show together, so I feel the information there is still up to date.  That was back when the show's where each and hour or more in plastic the discussion because they're only once a week folks, and the plastic discussion was the last one of that episode, so feel free to fast forward, you won't hurt my feelings.  

So PediaCast episode 35, you'll find all that you want to know and probably a little more than you really want or need to know on my feelings on that so that's where you'll look.  All right we're going to take one more quick break and then we'll come back and wrap up the show, right after this.



Dr. Mike Patrick: All right, as always thank you go out to Nationwide Children's Hospital for providing the bandwidth for PediaCast also thank you to Medical News Today for their help with the news segment, Vlad over at for providing the artwork for both the website and the feed, and of course thank you to all of you for stopping by and spending a little part of your day with us here at PediaCast and for contributing to the program with your questions and comments and rants and all of those things.  


Don't forget Pediascribe is the blogging arm of PediaCast and it's taken care of by my wife Karen.  You hear those stories about dog people versus cat people and few families are both.  We always wanted to be dog people in our early marriage and as it turns out cats have just always work better for our family.  

I mean they're not without their problems, of course, but dogs have just never ever worked out for us, even though we wanted them too.  But we finally come to the conclusion that we're not dog people, and we're appeased with that, our kids aren't but that's a different issue.  

Anyway I won't give any more of this away.  Checkout Pediascribe, the post in which Karen admit we are not dog people, and of course you'll find that link in the show notes at  


Don't forget we do have a poster page available at our website at, just click on the poster page, there's some PDF files that you can download, print out, and slap up on boards, walls, telephone poles, examination rooms, whatever it is that where you'd like to help us spread the word about PediaCast, you can do that by visiting the poster page at

 All right, more news and questions are on their way on Friday, unless my voice completely gives out but I'm hoping that they don't.  We're going to answer some questions that people have asked on the Skype line, that'll save my voice a little bit because I can play the questions instead of reading them to you.  So that's coming up hopefully on Friday, and until then.  This is Dr. Mike, saying, "Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay involved with your kids," so long everybody.



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