For pediatricians and parents, one of the most important tools is decidedly low tech. The growth chart, a simple graph of the trajectory of the normal range of height, weight, and head circumference across age, is a vital tool for detecting problems in development. Even when a child is in the normal range, identifying a change from the 80 th percentile at age 6 to the 20 th percentile at age 8 can indicate a problem.

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My four-year-old grandson has a near photographic memory for outings we took a year ago, for people he met six months ago, and for books he has not seen in weeks.  Soon that will all disappear.  By the time he is eight, he will remember almost nothing of his first four years.  And by the time he is eighteen, he will remember details going back to age four and he will retain language and habits acquired before age four, but in terms of autobiographical or episodic memories, the earliest years will be almost a complete blank.  This normal loss of early memories is called infantile amnesia. Freud, a source not cited often in this space, was one of the first to write about infantile amnesia.  He attributed the loss of early memories to repression, an active forgetting of early experiences because of their heavily charged psychosexual content.  Others have explained infantile amnesia as due to the absence of language, since words seem important for encoding certain kinds of memory.   Still others have cited the need for a sense of self to provide a reference for early memory.

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Importance Several studies report an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring conduct disorder. However, past research evidences difficulty in disaggregating prenatal environmental influences from genetic and postnatal environmental influences.

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Abstract: Objective: Members of the US armed forces have been heavily deployed in support of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This study examined the affect of a parent’s deployment to war on the rate of psychiatric hospitalization among their children.Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. Records of children of active duty personnel during fiscal years 2007 through 2009 were linked with their parent’s deployment records.

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