Victoria Millard, left, and Linda Severt, right, captivate patient Karsten Hendricks, 2, with music and bubbles (courtesy of John Curry Photography)
If you happen to stroll through Seattle Children’s Hospital’s medical or surgical unit on a Tuesday, you’ll notice something’s a little different – the air feels a little lighter. You’ll likely hear sounds of music and laughter flowing through the halls, and you may even encounter a juggling act.
The spirits of patients, families and staff are a little brighter on this day because of a couple of clowns. No really – a few actual clowns that are a part of the Room Circus Medical Clowning group.
Hanging out with the clown posse
I was recently lucky enough to get a chance to tag along with a few of the clowns during their visit at the hospital. In spending the day with Victoria Millard (aka Dr. LaFoo), who is executive artistic director of the group, and Linda Severt (aka Dr. Hamsterfuzz), who is the program manager, I witnessed firsthand the joy they brought to everyone they encountered – patients, parents and staff alike.
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Big changes could soon be coming to grocery stores across the U.S., but for those who don’t pay attention to the black and white nutrition label located on the back of food and beverage packages, the change might not seem very drastic.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed giving Nutrition Facts labels a makeover, a change Michelle Obama, an advocate for preventing childhood obesity, says “will make a big difference for families all across this country.” The tweaks are intended to help consumers make more informed decisions about what they put into their bodies. The proposed Nutrition Facts label, if approved, will be the first new look the label has received in over 20 years. Read full post »
From left: Christina, Lance and Justin Hughes.
As a child, Christina Hughes had trouble paying attention in school. She was criticized for her outbursts in the classroom and constantly forgot her homework. Doctors diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but her symptoms were never relieved by therapy. Her academics and social life suffered.
“It was always hard for me to make friends, and the ones I did make weren’t the best influence,” Hughes says.
Thirty years later, Hughes is raising two sons with similar behavioral challenges. Justin, 9, is especially impulsive and emotional. Two years ago, he had a fit and began punching himself in the face. He has been bullied and suspended from school for fighting.
Justin was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2012. Read full post »
Courtesy of Paul Joseph Brown/GAPPS
Globally, 15 million babies are born preterm each year, and more than 1 million of those do not survive their first month of life. Here in Washington, more than one in every 10 babies will be born preterm – before 37 weeks gestation – increasing the chance of birth complications, developmental disabilities, and lifelong health issues like cerebral palsy, asthma, and vision and hearing problems.
Today the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), an initiative of Seattle Children’s, has announced that it’s granting a total of $2.8 million to two international pregnancy research sites as part of its Preventing Preterm Birth initiative (PPB). The international sites, located in Zambia and Bangladesh, will mirror similar sites GAPPS has developed in the U.S., and will enroll women early in pregnancy and collect information and biological specimens during their pregnancies and deliveries.
The data and specimens collected for the research will be used to identify the causes of preterm birth as well as novel strategies for prevention. For more information, please refer to the press release.
Games, hands-on activities, contests, crafts, music and much more will be featured at the Seattle Children’s Annual Health Fair, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 8.
Geared toward children 3 to 8 years old, the health fair will provide an opportunity for kids and caregivers to develop positive attitudes about hospitals and health care, and learn about staying healthy and safe through a variety of fun activities. This event also gives parents/guardians a chance to ask some of our health experts their health-related questions as well as receive a variety of health and safety resources.
Kids should bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll for a check-up at the Teddy Bear Clinic!
For more information, please visit: www.seattlechildrens.org/healthfair