Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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October 5, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: The Importance of the HPV Vaccine – A Smarty Podcast


CSP Team Note: Welcome to our Smarty Podcast Series where we talk to experts from all over Charlotte on relevant parenting topics from health to education and everything in between! Feel free to listen while you’re commuting to work, making dinner, folding laundry, exercising, or any other multi-tasking endeavor! We LOVE the podcast flexibility! We’ve partnered with Southeast Psych’s Shrink Tank and Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. for this podcast – enjoy!

In this week’s podcast, we talk to Dr. Douglas Villaret of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. about something you might not associate with eye, ear, noses, and throats – the HPV vaccine. While at first glance, you might think these things don’t go together, we encourage you to take a listen to this podcast. HPV can affect many different areas of the body in different ways, and Dr. Villaret is great at bringing this real-life issue into the forefront.

Dr. Villaret is an ENT doctor and head & neck cancer specialist who practices in CEENTA’s SouthPark and Pineville offices. He graduated from Stanford University and earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. He is fellowship-trained in head and neck cancer treatment and has cared for patients in both North and South Carolina.

A big thanks to Dr. Villaret for his time. Hope you enjoy the podcast, and make sure to share, share, share!

Read More →

October 3, 2017

Smarty Save the Date: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Charlotte Walk

Smarties, save the date and consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) annual Out of the Darkness Charlotte community walk on October 28 in Romare Beardon Park. The Out of the Darkness Walk is the only fundraiser in Charlotte that promotes hope and healing for survivors who have lost loved ones to suicide. It is also a way to bring awareness and funding for suicide prevention activities in our community and brings mental health issues to the fore front.2017.CW.Flyer.CUSTOM.Charlotte

Like last year, this year’s walk has special Smarty ties – our 2015 Smarty Mom of the Year Nikki Warren is co-chair of the event and is leading her own team, Team Gregg, in honor of her late brother, Gregg Doule, who died from suicide just over three years ago at the age of 35.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Out of the Darkness Charlotte walk. We are so proud of Nikki and all of the other families who work to bring suicide out of the dark. It’s time to start talking about suicide and mental health so we don’t lose another friend or family member. Here’s a great video from AFSP site that gives you a feel for this amazing event and cause. Help spread the word #OutoftheDarkness and hope to see you there! Read More →

September 29, 2017

My Child Has Head Lice…Now What?!

By Sheila Fassler, RN – Owner of Pediatric Hair Solutions

Lice Pediatric Hair Solutions Pic

School is in full swing and some of you have already received the dreaded ‘lice letter’ with news that a case of head lice has been discovered in your child’s classroom. If that’s followed by the discovery that your own child has head lice, make sure you know the facts before making your next move. There is A LOT misinformation on the internet that can lead to all-out panic, ineffective treatments and over the top cleaning that’s not necessary.

Here’s a helpful list of DO’s and DON’Ts that will help you get your child lice-free and keep your sanity in the process.

1. Don’t panic. Head lice are a nuisance but they are not harmful. Also remember that lice do not discriminate! They like all heads (of all ages) and often prefer clean hair.

2. Do get all household members checked by professionals. Head lice is very contagious. If one child in your family has lice there is a good chance someone else in the household is positive, so it’s important to have everyone checked. Read More →

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Conversations on aging healthily

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

We’re all getting older, and all of us, our parents included, want to age healthily and gracefully. There is a lot of information out there about healthy living, and at times it can be overwhelming. So, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of a few lifestyle changes you can talk with your parents about that could have significant impacts on their health.YoungwomanoldermantalkWeb

Eating right

Most people think that a healthy diet is just good for weight and blood pressure, but it can be good for your eyes, too. Macular degeneration and cataracts are two of the leading causes of vision loss in America, but a good diet may help prevent them. Studies show that vitamins like zinc, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and antioxidants can protect your eyes’ light receptors and potentially reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Vitamin A, C, E, and zinc can protect the cornea and may slow the development of cataracts. Also, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin A have been shown to protect against dry eye. Talking to your parents about eating foods with these vitamins – like green leafy vegetables, oranges, berries, flax seeds, and walnuts – could help them find delicious ways to protect their eyes. Read More →

September 23, 2017

Smarty Mom: Dr. Amii Steele

Steele, Amii family2

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so I am so honored to highlight this week’s Smarty Mom, Dr. Amii Steele. Dr. Steele is a pediatric psychologist with Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) in Charlotte. In short, her job is to help children and their families with the psychological aspects of their medical diagnosis and treatment. But the huge fact is this: what she is doing for the patients and families at LCH and for our community as a whole is simply amazing. She’s a mom, wife, and doctor making a big difference to many. Thank you to Dr. Steele for sitting down for this interview! Smarties, I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.

Smarty Mom: Dr. Amii Steele

Married to: Walt Steele, 7 years
Mom to: Charlotte, 15 months
Years in Charlotte: 5.5 years
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Part of Charlotte you call home: Lake Norman
Alma Mater: Clemson University, Go Tigers!!
Occupation: Pediatric Psychologist, Levine Children’s Hospital

Tell us what you do for Levine Children’s Hospital.

I am a pediatric psychologist and psychosocial manager for LCH’s Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Center. I provide psychological care for children and families affected by cancer and blood disorders. I also manage our wonderful psychosocial support team.

What brought you into this role?

I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in working with patients with medical illness. My clinical training focused on working with patients and families affected by cancer and blood disorders. After completing fellowship I moved back to the Charlotte area and started working at LCH.

What’s the best part of your job?

The patients and families that I get to meet. It is truly a privilege to share in a family’s journey. Read More →

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 →

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