Changes in Pediatrics: June 5, 2013

Now 25, Jere Marvin made it into adulthood, with her medical needs cared for by the family pediatrician.

“My entire life, I’ve been with Dr. Kash since I was born,” says Jere Marvin, patient. 

And now....It’s her daughter’s turn.

“Pandora is 10 months and I don't know what to do without Dr. Kash; he’s part of our family,” says Marvin.

Dr. Irwin Kash is retiring, after more than four decades as a doctor in Southwest Florida. His career chronicles the changes in pediatrics.

“I haven’t done a spinal tap in multiple years and I’d say I use to do overall three a week as opposed to none in years. And it’s because the immunizations preventing the common causes of meningitis,” says Dr. Irwin Kash, pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.

Many ailments that used to plague the pediatric population are all but gone. Including chicken pox, measles, whooping cough and diphtheria... provided children get their vaccinations.

“There’s been a tremendous growth in the amount of immunizations. And some parents are upset, why so many? Well, we prevent disease,” says Dr. Kash.

Despite the huge leap in medical advancements that are keeping our children disease free, its own lifestyles that might be making them sick.

“There’s been an explosion of obesity and obesity has many complications. You start with disease of the arteries of the heart as young as two years of age. And that can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, sleep problems and that can in turn lead to not doing well in school,” says Dr. Kash.

The obesity epidemic is setting up a generational shift. For the first time ever, our children may not live as long as we do.

“This has been looked at by epidemiologist and endocrinologist and that’s the prognostication. People may not be making it to their 60’s,” says Dr. Kash.

There is hope for little ones like Pandora. They can right the course by taking a healthy path. Eating right, exercising.

“Let’s see that smile,” says Dr. Kash.

And building a relationship with their doctor.

“He always knew what was happening and he was always compassionate about it. Thinking about it makes me want to cry,” says Marvin.