Q: Is it normal for a teen-aged girl to have severe cramping, nausea and vomiting during her menstrual period? Can anything be done about it?
A: In a previous column, we wrote that within one to two yearausea and vomiting can also be symptoms.
There are some excellent medications to prevent these symptoms or make them less severe. These include ibuprofen (available in 200 milligrams without a prescription or stronger with a prescription), naproxen or mefenamic acid (both of which require a prescription).
If these medications do not work for your daughter, ask your doctor about prescribing birth control pills. They work by stopping ovulation and have the side effect of reducing the menstrual flow.
Q: Our son is almost 12. Is it all right for him to go to an afternoon Orioles game with a friend? Please don't say "it depends." We really need an informed opinion.
A: At 12, your son is already an adolescent. Just like the baserunner, he will succeed in some pursuits for more freedom and fail with others. But, it is important that he try.
For these reasons, we support his desire to attend a game with a friend alone. An afternoon Orioles game seems like a safe opportunity for him to gain a measure of independence and the sense that you trust him. Perhaps you could drive them to the game and meet them afterward.
Part of his demonstrating that he is ready to handle this responsibility would be for him to tell you how much money he'll need, what he would do if he became separated from his friend, what time he needs to leave and what time he expects to be home.
Dr. Wilson is director of pediatric primary care of the Johns
Hopkins Children's Center; Dr. Joffe is director of adolescent medicine.