The Kidfixer Newsletter

A quarterly newsletter from Doctors Mesibov, Altman, Jacobs & Rubinos            Summer 2018


Electronic Cigarettes and Future Marijuana Use

From Pediatrics May, 2018

Although the prevalence of current cigarette smoking among youth declined from 28% in 1996 to 8% in 2016, electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is gaining popularity. Although e-cigarettes are marketed as less harmful alternatives to smoking, most youth are not using e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Instead, youth are attracted by the novelty of e-cigarettes and a wide variety of flavors specifically designed to appeal to the youth market. Among teenagers, the use of e-cigarettes has outpaced the use of traditional cigarettes, especially among young adolescents. Also, while tobacco smoking has declined, marijuana use is on the rise. Marijuana is now the substance with the highest prevalence of use among youth; current use among high school seniors is nearly double that of current cigarette use. Moreover, teenagers’ attitudes are moving toward greater acceptance of marijuana. For instance, the percentage of high school seniors who perceived the occasional use of marijuana as harmful dropped from 27.4% in 2009 to 17.1% in 2016.

Recent studies show the following: Not only are e-cigarette users more likely to smoke real cigarettes in the future, but they are also more likely to start using marijuana through these very same flavored e-cigarettes and the newly popular “juul” cigarettes.

If youth e-cigarette use follows the same pattern as cigarette smoking, widespread use could expose youth to social environments that encourage substance use, thereby accelerating youths’ transitions to the use of other substances with more adverse health effects.

Ah nuts! The health benefits of nuts

From the Tufts Nutrition Newsletter

Nuts are good for you!

Nuts are a source of unsaturated (“good”) fats and fiber as well as protein. They’re also a good source of vitamin E and magnesium—which most Americans don’t get enough of— and other essential vitamins and minerals. Nuts also contain a variety of plant chemicals which some research has linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases. In short, nuts deliver a lot of nutrition in a small package.

But there is more to the health benefits of nuts and nut butters than simply the effects of individual nutrients. You get higher dietary quality and the most benefit from eating nuts if you consume them instead of unhealthy choices like chips, pretzels, crackers or cereals made with refined carbohydrates.

Here’s some information about how to make a “nuttier” diet.

Health benefits:

Much evidence for the health benefits of nuts comes from observational studies that link moderate nut consumption to lower rates of chronic diseases, particularly heart disease. One possible explanation is that people improve their diet quality from eating nuts (and their healthy fats, fiber and protein) in place of less healthy foods. Alternatively, people who live healthier lifestyles are more likely to consume nuts than less-health conscious people. However, nuts are not just healthy because they’re a better choice than “junk food,” and they’re not just seen as healthy because healthier people now select them. Nuts have some actual health-promoting effects.

Here are the major benefits associated with nut consumption:

  1. Heart Health: Studies in the 1990s drew the connection between eating nuts and lower rates of heart disease. People who eat nuts regularly have lower blood levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (particles that transport fats through the body), effects that have been confirmed in trials.

  2. Diabetes: People who eat nuts regularly are less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. The reasons are not completely understood, but some research suggests that the fiber in nuts could help the body control blood sugar levels.

  3. Healthy Weight: Nuts are rich in healthy oils, but that also means they are dense in calories. Depending on the type, nuts contain roughly 160 to 200 calories per ounce, although research has shown that up to 20% of nut calories may not be absorbed because some small nut particles pass through the gut undigested. In analyses of clinical trials, people who were assigned to eat nuts regularly, and were provided these nuts for free, did not gain weight compared to controls. In fact, some research shows that nut-eaters tend to gain less weight as they age. is may be because nuts are filling, and therefore people may eat less of other foods over the course of the day. It could also be due to other complex effects of the nutrients, fiber and healthy fats on your body’s weight control.

How To Eat Them:

For most people, 1 to 2 one-ounce servings of nuts per day is a reasonable goal, especially when used to replace less healthy foods. While the nutrient profiles of nuts vary by type, they are more similar than

different, so you can just eat the kinds you like. Be mindful of additives like salt and sugar that producers o en include in processed nuts.

Nuts can serve as a between-meal snack or incorporated into meals like breakfast (add to yogurt or cereals), salads, stir-fries, or sauces with pasta. In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, one-half ounce of nuts or seeds counts as 1 ounce-equivalent of other protein foods, like meat.

Do you know about “Mommy Poppins”?

Our doctors are always looking for fun activities to share with our kids and grandchildren. Summer time is a great time to try out some of the great recreational opportunities that Long Island provides. Where do we learn about these fun activities? One place is a web site called Mommy Poppins. Try googling “Long Island Summer Activities for Kids” and you’ll most likely find that one of the first few sites will be this one:

Try it!

Keeping Safe at the Beach

From the Women’s and Children’s Health Network

What’s the number one reason to live on Long Island? No, not the excellent seafood at the Shack in Centerport (although that’s a close second). It’s the fantastic beaches on the north and south shores. Make sure each trip is a safe one.

Keeping safe at the beach

Where to swim

Many are patrolled beaches, which means that there are lifeguards and surf rescue crews around in case anyone gets into trouble. These are the best places for kids to swim.

Of course it helps if you can actually swim!

Whether you are a beginner or working your way through all the levels of swimming, it is a great idea to go to swimming lessons and learn how to keep yourself safe in water, as well as to have fun.

Safe swimming at the beach

To keep safe you need to remember a few rules:

  1. 1Always swim between the red and yellow flags if it is a patrolled beach.

  1. 2Never swim alone in case you get into difficulty. No, I'm not just talking about sharks and other possibly dangerous sea creatures. Getting cramp, or being caught by a strong current, or getting washed off rocks cause a lot of people to get into trouble.

  1. 3If you think the sea is too rough, do not go in. You know how good a swimmer you are, and it is being sensible, not chicken, to know when you could be putting yourself and others in danger.

  1. 4If you are doing a longer swim, then swim along the shore line, not out to sea and back - then if you get tired or into difficulty, you have a chance of getting back to shore, or the lifeguard can see you and help you if you need it.

  1. 5Don't swim after dark, as no one can see you if you need help.

  1. 6If the lifeguards tell you to get out of the water, GET OUT AT ONCE. They know what they are doing and they give their time to keep you safe.

  7 Floating around on a tyre or a blow up mattress can be fun in a swimming pool but isn't a good idea at the beach where you could be dumped by waves or carried out further than you are able to swim back.

 If you want to paddle a canoe or sail a boat, sign up for lessons to make sure you know how to keep safe.

On the water 

Always wear a life jacket (personal flotation device) if you are water skiing or paddling on a board, or a canoe, or out in a boat. Accidents don't only happen to other people. They could happen to you!!! Wearing a life jacket will keep you afloat until help comes.

What else you can do

Remember the jingle:

Let's add a couple more things to it:

Drink lots of water


Sit in the shade - stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm (daylight saving hours)


Rest for half an hour after eating


Slop on more sunscreen after you have been in the water


Put on thongs when you are walking on the sand - sand can be hot enough to burn your feet. Sometimes there may be sharp stones, broken glass or even needles buried in the sand. 

Never go fishing by yourself, especially from rocks.


So be safe.