Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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September 18, 2017

Make a statement against cancer and support the Isabella Santos Foundation (and don’t forget to register for the ISF 5k or 10k)


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and you’ve probably seen those super-cute “Cancer Messed With” shirts popping up all over town. Those are the brainchild of the amazing people at the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF), one of our favorite nonprofits. Erin Santos, Isabella’s mom, and her team launched the “Cancer Messed With…” apparel line to allow people to show support for someone they know fighting cancer. The best part about this online shopping purchase? It supports pediatric cancer research AND shows your support for every single child, mom, dad, sibling, and family going through a cancer diagnosis.

For every shirt purchased, “Cancer Messed With” will donate a portion of the proceeds to pediatric cancer research through ISF. ISF supports leading childhood cancer hospital and organizations across the US, and their recently-announced 1 million dollar investment with Levine Children’s Hospital to build a new innovate MIBG treatment room for kids with Neuroblastoma makes us so, so proud. The project will help fund this room for local Charlotte children and is scheduled to be complete in 2018. Read More →

September 17, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Former Patient Becomes Nurse to Help Others with Childhood Cancer

CSP Team Note: This interview and its follow-up was originally published on Carolinas HealthCare System’s blog. We thank them for letting us share this incredible story with you in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Sarah Sadler (Fruendt), once a patient at Levine Children’s Hospital, is now a nurse in the same unit where she was treated, and even works alongside some of the same nurses who provided her care.


In September 2016, we shared the story of former patient, Sarah Fruendt, who was working at Levine Cancer Institute – more than a decade after being treated for cancer herself at Levine Children’s Hospital. Fast forward a year later, Sarah, who recently got married and now goes by Sarah Sadler, is now working at Levine Children’s Hospital, alongside the nurse who once cared for her. Sarah says this is her dream job and something she was wanted to do since she was a patient at LCH.

“It is amazing to back now working in the same atmosphere I grew up in as a child battling cancer,” Sadler said. “A lot has changed since I was undergoing treatment – everything used to be on the 7th Foor of the main hospital back then so it’s so encouraging to see how things have grown with the Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Transplant Clinic – and how Levine Children’s Hospital has a more kid-friendly environment. It brings me so much joy and is truly a pleasure being able to take care of these children and their families because I was taken care of so well when I was in their shoes over 15 years ago. Some of the providers and nurses who helped with my treatment are still working here today and their dedication to this field is inspiring. I am so privileged to work alongside them. Every day I love coming to work aspiring to provide as excellent and extraordinary service to my patients and those surrounding me as I received in the past.” Read More →

September 14, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Eating? Allergies? What’s causing the older generation to have runny noses?

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

While our children may find themselves with runny noses during allergy season, it’s important to remember our older parents might have runny noses, too. In fact, they might even be developing allergies.

What is causing those runny noses?

Typically, allergies tend to decrease in people as they get older because their immune systems naturally get weaker and no longer react to allergens. OldwomanallergyblowingnoseWeb

If they have a runny nose, what they likely have is a symptom of a condition called nonallergic rhinitis. This can be caused by things like weather changes, air quality, and strong smells. Runny noses can also be stimulated by eating. In fact, 90 percent of the men who see CEENTA ENT doctor Hunter Hoover, MD, complain about runny noses when eating.

“Runny noses in elderly patients are very common and usually not due to allergies,” Dr. Hoover said. “Fortunately, there are prescription nasal sprays available to help with that runny nose that do not have the side effects associated with many over-the-counter medicines.” Read More →

August 31, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Autumn allergies are around the corner

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

August will soon turn into September, and not only are your children back at school, but they might also start dealing with fall allergies. What causes them and how should you have your children treated?GirlAllergiesFallWeb

Charlotte’s pollen
Fall allergy season is generally from mid-August to mid- to late September. Late August and early September are peak pollen time. The most common causes of allergies are ragweed and pigweed, although grass counts are still high from the summer.

Allergies in southeast America are strong this time of year. The mild climate means the area has a long grass season – March to September – and mold stays for most of the year because the region does not have hard freezes. Read More →

August 21, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Signature Pediatrics: Preparing for the first day of Kindergarten

By Smarty Guest Blogger Holly G. Smith, MD FAAP, Signature Pediatrics

Ready or not – here it comes, the first day of school! No need to worry about what your kindergartener knows or doesn’t know. Kindergarten is the great equalizer for bringing children with different backgrounds up to speed and ready for first grade. But let’s talk about getting your child ready for the first few days of kindergarten.Kindergarten ready

Some simple preparation can help smooth the transition to school. First of all, discuss kindergarten with your child. Talk positively about what will happen at school, the fun things she will do, and about meeting new friends. If you can, explain briefly what the daily schedule will be like. Don’t overdo it – if your child seems uninterested or anxious when talking about school back off a bit and do not force the conversation. The goal is for kindergarten to sound like something to look forward to rather than fear. If possible, visit the school and meet the teacher prior to the start of school so your child will be a little bit familiar with the surroundings on the first day.

Self-reliance for daily tasks is important. For instance, a child should be able to manage his or her own clothing when using the bathroom. If you are packing lunch, make sure your child can open food containers and packages. Prepare your child for transportation to and from school. Let them know who will be picking them up or meeting them at the bus.
One of the biggest concerns for parents is handling drop-off. In general, it is best to make drop-off a brief, positive, reassuring experience. A quick hug and a light “see you later” often works best. Children may cry, and prolonging drop-off by staying with your child often only makes this worse. Do follow the teacher’s lead however, and be prepared to stay for a few minutes if the teacher feels this will be helpful. Some children like to have a token from home to help them feel secure, such as a familiar small toy, sticker or other item. We used a small glass heart that my daughter could keep in her pocket and hold if she needed reassurance. Read More →

August 20, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

It’s August now and school is around the corner. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and now is the perfect time to review all the things you can do to help keep your children’s eyes safe and healthy.

A brief guide to pediatric eye exams

During a pediatric eye exam, an ophthalmic technician will ask you and your child questions about their vision, their medical background, and, if applicable, if they are wearing their glasses regularly. The technician will then perform vision, depth perception, and color vision tests. They will then use a small light to make sure you child’s pupils react normally, and then they’ll check your child’s eye pressure. Additional testing may be necessary if your child has strabismus – misaligned or “crossed” eyes – in order to measure the misalignment.Eye exam girl

After these tests, the technician will put eye drops in your child’s eyes to dilate them. These give the doctor the best opportunity to examine the interior parts of your child’s eye and determine the focusing power of their eyes.

Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors that have completed an ophthalmology residency and a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship. They treat all eye conditions found in children including, but not limited to, blocked tear ducts, strabismus, cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, and uveitis. Read More →

August 17, 2017

Etiquette for Visiting a New Mother

By Smarty Guest Blogger, Laura N Sinai MD MSCE FAAP, Signature Pediatrics

I hear congratulations are in order! Your friend, sister, co-worker, or even an acquaintance just had a baby. Beautiful pictures are already making the rounds on Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even in an old-fashioned paper announcement. The whole family is smiling and fresh faced in those professional images. They look well rested and happy.

No matter how great those photos look, I can promise you the family is experiencing stress and significant sleep deprivation. It may be a fine time to visit, but here are some rules to make the visit a positive one for everybody, especially for the new mom.

1) First, do not visit a newborn if you are sick.Newborn 2016

2) Wash your hands when you arrive. Please.

3) Leave your children home. As wonderful as your children are, new moms do not benefit from added toddler whining, teenage attitude, or more infants crying. There is plenty of time for playdates in the future. Make this visit about her.

4) Don’t ask to hold the baby. Especially if he/she is sleeping. Many moms feel very protective and uncomfortable with others holding her newborn. Wait for her to offer. Read More →

August 15, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Safely see the solar eclipse

CSP Note: This article was originally posted on CEENTA’s blog. A big thank you to CEENTA for letting us share with our Smarty readers! Happy eclipse day on August 21!

A total solar eclipse is a rare and exciting event, and on August 21, 2017, this part of the country will be lucky enough to experience one. However, even the smallest view of the sun’s rays can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. So before you go out to watch it, make sure you follow a few important steps to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

What happens to the sun?

A solar eclipse is when the moon comes between the sun and the Earth, creating a shadow and blocking light from the sun. A solar eclipse happens every 18 months. A total solar eclipse – when the center of the moon’s shadow hits the Earth when the sun, moon, and Earth are directly in line – is much rarer. Read More →

August 5, 2017

Smarty Mom: Ekta Shah

I am SO excited to introduce you to this week’s ultra-Smarty Mom, Ekta Shah! Ekta and I met lift-tone-burning at Pure Barre Ballantyne a few years ago. I didn’t even know she was an allergy doctor until CSP posted a couple of articles from our friends at Levine Children’s Hospital featuring Ekta (love it when my two worlds collide!). I immediately stopped her at Pure Barre after the second article posted and peppered her with questions about her life and upbringing. She was nice enough to meet me for coffee one morning so I could get more in-depth. :-)

She’s originally from India, but was raised in the US. She’s a busy mama to beautiful twin girls, has such great perspective, and embodies everything I love about our melting-pot city. A big thank you to Ekta for not only being a Smarty Mom, but for being willing to be interrogated at Starbucks by this Charlotte native (Ekta – next time let’s make our interview at one of your fave Indian restaurants in town! Yum!!) ;-).

Smarties, meet Etka Shah! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!

Smarty Mom: Ekta Shah

Married to: Ameesh Shah; married 11 years
Children: Anya and Sahana; age 7 1/2
Hometown: Germantown, TN
Years in Charlotte: 7
Occupation: Allergist
‘Hood: Marvin/Waxhaw

You’re a mom of twins! What’s surprised you the most about having twins?

Finding out that we were having twins was a BIG surprise. We went out for dinner after but were in such a state of shock that we sat there in silence. I think we were in disbelief for several weeks after finding out the news.

Has it gotten easier or harder as they’ve gotten older?

Definitely has gotten easier as they have gotten older. The first 2 years were very exhausting, but now it’s easier as they have gotten older and become more independent. They share many of the same activities and always have someone to play with.

You are originally from India. Tell us what brought you to the US.

My dad came to the US in the 1970s to get his masters in engineering and ended up staying for a job opportunity. My mom and I immigrated a few years later when I was three years. Read More →

August 1, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Meet Ella Kate – full of laughter after rare heart transplant.

Consistently named a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Levine Children’s Hospital pays tribute to the incredible patients who helped us earn that title. Meet Ella Kate.View More:

Rare Heart Transplant Surgery Gives Newborn a Second Chance at Life

As a parent, your child’s laughter can make all of your worries vanish in an instant.

So when 8-month-old Ella Kate broke out into tender giggles just days after a rare heart transplant surgery, it was a welcomed sign of hope for her family and all the doctors and nurses who helped save her life.

Rough Start, Happy Ending

When Ella Kate was born, she didn’t breathe for eight minutes and was quickly airlifted to Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital.

Hours later, her parents learned their newborn daughter might not survive because of tumors found throughout her tiny, walnut-sized heart. Read More →

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