AAP American Academy of Pediatrics, the official organization for all licensed pediatricians in the United States. It makes official recommendations for pediatricians and parents on how to take care of children in sickness and in health.
ADHD (or ADD) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A condition in which the affected individual cannot focus attention on a single task for a prolonged period of time.
albuterol A medication used to treat asthma. It works fast by relaxing the muscles inside the lungs.
allergen Anything that can trigger an allergic reaction in an individual.
AMA American Medical Association, the official organization for all licensed physicians in the United States.
anal fissure A tear to the skin around the anus, caused by passing a stool that stretches the skin a little too much.
anaphylaxis A severe allergic reaction that involves the entire body. It causes widespread swelling and can potentially be fatal.
anemia A condition in which the concentration of red blood cells in the body is low.
antihistamines A group of medications that are typically used to alleviate symptoms of allergy.
asthma An inflammatory condition affecting the lungs. Common symptoms include chronic nighttime coughing or coughing during exercise.
autism A neurological condition characterized by the inability to engage in normal social interactions.
baby walker An extremely dangerous contraption that can cause serious bodily harm to your child.
Benadryl A common brand-name antihistamine medication used to relieve allergic symptoms. The generic version is called diphenhydramine.
benzoyl peroxide A popular initial treatment for mild acne (pimples).
BMI Body mass index, a calculated ratio between weight and height. It helps health professionals in determining whether your child is underweight or overweight.
BRAT Bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast. This is the old-school dietary recommendation for treating diarrhea. This is no longer recommended by pediatricians.
bronchiolitis A viral infection of the lungs that causes wheezing, which can mimic an asthma attack.
CDC Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention), the principal U.S. government agency for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services.
colic Excessive crying in babies for no apparent reason. It is crying that is not the result of any medical problem, pain, gas, or constipation.
corneal abrasion When the surface of the eye is scratched by a hard object. This can be a very painful condition.
costochondritis A type of growing pain in children. It's often described as a sudden, sharp pain in the chest.
cryotherapy When doctors use extreme cold to induce localized frostbite on the skin and destroy warts.
DDAVP A medication used to manage bed-wetting.
dehydration Excessive loss of bodily fluid, either due to inadequate fluid intake or continual fluid loss from vomiting or diarrhea.
developmental hip dysplasia An orthopedic condition in which the thighbone becomes dislocated from the hipbone.
DTaP Diptheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine, a combination that protects children from serious illness.
dyslexia A disorder in which symbol recognition and reading comprehension are impaired.
eczema A term used for chronic skin allergy, although the proper medical terminology for this condition is “atopic dermatitis.”
Eustachian tube A small tube that connects the middle ear and the throat. It helps equalize the pressure between the space inside the middle ear and the outside environment. A plugged Eustachian tube can trigger an ear infection.
FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. government agency that monitors drug and food safety in the United States.
fluoride A chemical that is commonly added to the public water supply to protect teeth from cavities.
folic acid A type of vitamin B. It is an important supplement that prevents birth defects.
granulation tissue During the process of healing, this yellowish sticky substance appears on the wound.
hair tourniquet When a strand of hair wraps itself tightly around a finger, a toe, or even the penis of a very young child. This can cause excruciating pain to the child.
hepatitis Irritation of the liver by an infection or a chemical.
hydrogen peroxide A colorless and odorless liquid that destroys healthy tissue. It is no longer recommended to clean cuts and wounds with this chemical.
jaundice Accumulation of a yellow pigment in the body. This is most commonly seen in newborns. Extremely high levels of the pigment can cause hearing loss and brain damage.
ligament A tough and fibrous structure that connects bones together. An injury to a ligament is called a sprain.
MMR Measles, mumps, rubella. A combination childhood vaccine that protects your child from these diseases.
molluscum A contagious variant of the typical wart.
mucus A semi-medical term for snot or a wet booger.
non-REM Deep stages of sleep where dreaming does not occur and the individual is difficult to arouse.
nursemaid's elbow Partial dislocation of the elbow, a condition that mostly affects children under the age of five.
pneumococcus A bacterium that is the most common cause of bacterial ear infections and pneumonia in children.
polio A once-common infection that can cause paralysis and death. Widespread childhood immunization has wiped out this disease in the United States.
pyloric stenosis A condition in which a baby's stomach muscle is too tight, preventing food from passing through the stomach into the intestines. The baby usually has projectile vomiting.
reflux Regurgitation of food from the stomach back into the mouth or out.
REM Rapid eye movement, the stage of sleep where dreaming occurs.
Rubella Commonly known as German measles. If a pregnant woman contracts this infection, the illness can cause birth defects. Vaccination is the only way to prevent this infection.
scabies A parasitic infection caused by an eight-legged bug. This skin infestation causes intense itching.
SIDS Sudden infant death syndrome. It describes the situation in which healthy babies less than one year old die in their sleep for no apparent reason.
spacer A plastic tube that is connected to an asthma inhaler. This device helps the asthma medication penetrate deep into the lungs. It is expensive and not a disposable device.
sprain An injury to a ligament, which is a tough tissue connecting two bones.
strain An injury to a muscle or the part of the muscle that attaches to a bone.
swimmer's ear An external ear infection that is caused by residual moisture in the ear after swimming or showering.
tetanus An infection that is contracted by wound contamination. It is usually fatal once the infection is established. Vaccination is the only way to protect your child from this infection.
umbilicus Medical term for the bellybutton.
whooping cough (pertussis) A life-threatening infection that can strike people of all ages. Childhood immunization is the only protection against this dangerous infection.