Building the Foundation for a Healthy Adult



Has your child ever asked, "Where do healthy adults come from?" Probably not. Yet it's a relevant point of discussion in a child's life. Healthy development and disease prevention are key to fostering adults who are physically and emotionally fit.

Often, parents put all of their focus on ensuring that their child is receiving a good education, yet it is equally important that parents recognize that their child's nutrition and early development are also critical factors in future success.

Decisions parents make for a child can have far-reaching implications, and it is up to parents to learn what's best for themselves and their children.

Did you know that a simple newborn hearing test can have a profound impact on a child's lifelong ability to comprehend and produce speech? Or that a visit to an orthodontist when the first permanent teeth are visible can help a child save their teeth, and help parents save thousands of dollars? Where do you turn when you just don't think your child is getting the health care attention he or she deserves?

In this children's health section, Hour Detroit introduces medical and dental professionals whose goal is to help children become healthy adults. They aren't afraid to challenge popular opinion if they believe it's best for your child. When it comes to questions regarding a child's health, the answers are out there. You just have to find the right people to talk to, and know that your reward for making good decisions will be a child who grows to be a happy, healthy adult.

Crittenton Hospital Medical Center

Q: How does Crittenton Hospital Medical Center support families beyond the hospital experience?
Many hospitals offer prenatal support and educational programs. At Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, the Parent Navigator program is available to aid parents before and after the birth of their child. In partnership with the family's physician, the Parent Navigator provides education, resources, and support throughout the pregnancy and parenting years. Understanding that learning what to expect prior to the birth of your baby will help prepare you and your family during pregnancy and after delivery, the Parent Navigator is available to help with the transitions of pregnancy and beyond. Laura Mulligan, R.N., B.S.N., I.B.C.L.C., likens her role to that of a personal assistant for families, offering education and support. By building a trusting relationship between the physician, the family, and the Parent Navigator, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center is delivering a program that will grow with the needs of your family.


Crittenton Hospital Medical Center

Laura S. Mulligan, R.N., B.S.N., I.B.C.L.C.
Lactation Consultant/Maternal-Child Coordinator Women & Children's Services
Address: 1101 W University Dr., Rochester Hills, MI 48307
Phone: 248-652-5919


Cutler Integrative Medicine

Q: Why visit a licensed naturopathic physician?
Known as the experts in natural medicine, naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) integrate the ancient wisdom of nature with the modern research of science. N.D.s undergo medical training that is similar in structure and scope to that of medical and osteopathic doctors.
The difference is that instead of tearing off a prescription for a pharmaceutical to suppress a specific symptom, N.D.s explore the big picture: the physical, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental, and social factors that affect overall health. N.D.s take a holistic approach and often work to prevent illness by focusing on the human body's ability to self-heal. N.D.s don't just treat the diagnosis; they treat the individual.


Cutler Integrative Medicine

Doug Cutler, N.D.
Naturopathic Medicine, Botanical Medicine, Environmental Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Homeopathy and More
Address: 29350 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield, MI 48034
Phone: 248-663-0165
Fax: 248-352-4748


Nick Palmer, D.D.S., M.S., P.C.

Q: What is the best age for your child to see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists ( recommends children visit an orthodontists after a few permanent teeth have erupted, or if there are issues such as mouth-breathing, speech difficulty, or trouble chewing. While it is common to think that waiting until the teen years is fine, treatment for a cross-bite or skeletal issues need to be addressed at an early stage. Parents need to look at their child's bite, not just the teeth, and if something doesn't look right, don't wait. Does it mean getting braces at 8? Probably not. The benefit of seeing an orthodontist early is that there is an optimum time for treatment to begin. In some cases, waiting until the teen years is best for braces, but waiting too long will close the window of opportunity when the palate is most flexible. Also, make sure that you see a board-certified and licensed orthodontist whenever your child may need braces. Orthodontists have trained three years beyond a general dentist to master the art and science of perfecting your child's smile for years to come.


Nick S. Palmer, D.D.S., M.S., P.C.

Address: 39242 Dequindre, Ste. 102
Sterling Heights, MI 48310
Phone: 248-528-3300 or 586-978-0300
Fax: 586-795-8940


Birmingham Bloomfield Audiology

Q: My child seems to be having trouble in school. Should I suspect a hearing problem?
Every newborn should have a hearing screening because early detection is key to speech and language development and overall learning. If you suspect your child at any age has a hearing problem, a pediatric audiologist can determine what kind of hearing test is best based on your child's age, and make appropriate referrals to an otolaryngologist or speech-language pathologist for further treatment. Possible signs of hearing loss in school-aged children include turning their head toward the person who is speaking, frequently asking someone to repeat what they said or constantly asking ‘What?', a history of chronic ear infections, turning up the volume on the television or radio, or reports from teachers about a child's misbehavior or inability to pay attention. Parents should discuss these concerns with their pediatrician and ask for a referral to a pediatric audiologist if they suspect that their child may be having trouble with hearing.


Birmingham Bloomfield Audiology

Eileen Bessega, Au.D.; Kristin Hinderliter, Au.D.; Laurie Long, M.A.; Marianne Fortino, M.A.
Audiology Services
Address: 3500 West Maple Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Phone: 248-203-9760
Fax: 248-203-6690


The Children's Center

Q: How do we recognize and treat mental health problems in children?
A: According to Cecilia Astorga-Switzer, M.D., chief medical officer at the Children's Center in Detroit, children's mental health issues are real, common, and treatable. One in five children can have some form of mental health diagnosis, yet fewer than two out of three receive proper treatment. Untreated, these issues can lead to disruptions in the home, school, and community. When a child's behavior is disrupting their environment, an evaluation with a mental health professional may provide needed insight. Signs that a child may be experiencing difficulty include a decrease in school performance, poor grades, nightmares, difficulty paying attention, depression and sadness, and unusually aggressive behaviors toward themselves or others. Early identification can help a child get back on track toward reaching his or her full potential. The Children's Center, a Detroit fixture for nearly 85 years, has caring professionals who can evaluate children, and provide testing and appropriate evidence-based mental and behavioral health treatment. In addition, they make referrals to appropriate medical, dental, and mental health specialists through collaborative partnerships throughout greater Detroit. The Children's Center works to empower more than 7,500 children and families annually to shape their own futures.


The Children's Center of Wayne County

Cecilia Astorga-Switzer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Address: 79 W. Alexandrine, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: 313-262-0993
Fax: 313-831-4651


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