Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Animal Safety: Teach Kids Smart Habits Around Animals

Supervision is key to preventing injuries to children around animals.

Summer equals outdoor time for many families, and that often means more face time with animals as well.

Dr. Tony Woodward, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, has seen children who have been injured by or become ill after contact with animals throughout his career in the emergency department. He offers advice and tips to families about keeping kids safe around animals.

“Most animals don’t understand humans and how we operate,” Woodward said. “Combine that with an excited or inquisitive young child who has no concept of harm, and we see kids get hurt.” Read full post »

Just Ask: Are Your Firearms Stored Safely?

The first day of summer marks a season when kids often spend more time at the homes of friends and other family members. Before children head off for playdates or childcare in another home, parents often ask common safety questions about the house their child will be visiting like “Who else will be home?” “Are there pets in the house?” Or, “Can I install the car seat in your car before I leave?” There’s one other important question parents should add to the list: “Is there an unlocked firearm in your house?” Read full post »

Dr. Jeff Sperring Reacts to Orlando Tragedy: Encourages Community to Celebrate Diversity

Jeff Sperring

Dr. Jeff Sperring, Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Children’s, reacts to the Orlando tragedy. 

Like all of you, I was heartbroken this weekend to hear about the tragedy that happened in Orlando. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to the families, friends and communities who were so deeply affected in Florida and well beyond.

Hate can never be a part of our actions. Equally, hate should never be a part of our reactions. In the midst of this senseless act by a single person, we must use this time to reaffirm our commitment to each other. Our diversity, unity and tolerance create a light that cannot be overshadowed by anything that would aim to divide us.

At Seattle Children’s, we are a better team because we are different. We are a stronger team and a stronger community because we celebrate our differences and allow them to bring us together. I am proud to be part of the Seattle Children’s team that welcomes, includes and respects all of our patients, families and team members — for who we are, where we’re from and how we live and worship. Read full post »

Layers of Protection for Safe Water Fun

On the heels of the opening day of fishing season in late April, came the opening day of boating season and the start of the swimming season in May. With all of these water activities under way, it’s important that families understand how to keep their children safe.

In honor of National Water Safety Month, On The Pulse is shining the spotlight on water safety because every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of those that pass away, about two are children. In Washington state, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and teens age 1 to 17.

“Staying safe while in, on or around the water requires using layers of protection,” said Dr. Linda Quan, an emergency physician and drowning expert at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “It’s not enough to have your child take a series or two of swim lessons when they’re in preschool. More skills and more attention are needed to help make your family’s time around the water safe and fun.”

Read full post »

The Dangers of Home Renovation: Keep Kids Safe During Repairs

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Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana says home renovations can expose mold, lead, asbestos and fumes, and families should take precautions to protect pregnant women and children.

Families planning home renovations should be aware that the walls they plan to tear down could contain hidden dangers that can hurt the developing fetus and children’s growing bodies.

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana is a pediatric environmental health specialist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and she says that people considering home renovations, especially in older homes, should take extra precautions if they are pregnant or have children.

“Home renovations can bring out things like dust, mold and fumes that are harmful to children and pregnant women,” Sathyanarayana said. “With a little extra planning, families can keep renovations safe for everyone in the home.” Read full post »

Bullying Report Describes Effects On Child Development, Need For Cyberbullying Monitoring

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A new report on bullying describes its effects on childhood development and calls for better monitoring and understanding of cyberbullying.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine describes the effects of bullying on childhood development and calls for a better understanding of cyberbullying. Dr. Frederick Rivara, Seattle Children’s Guild Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, chaired the report committee, and Dr. Megan Moreno, principal investigator of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, was a committee member. On the Pulse sat down with them to discuss the new findings and what families can do to protect their children from bullying.

What new information or findings does this report offer about bullying? What are the key takeaways?

Moreno: While bullying has been around for decades, there are many misconceptions about bullying. This report describes and synthesizes the current scientific evidence so that we can have a shared understanding of the current state of the science on bullying.

The first takeaway is that bullying experiences can lead to biological changes for the target of bullying, including stress response and brain activity alterations. Read full post »

Vaccines Save Lives

Mother and Her Daughter

Mother and Her Daughter

Vaccines save lives. According to the World Health Organization, aside from clean water, the development of vaccines is the most influential public health intervention for improving the world’s health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes immunizations among the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century. It’s clear that diseases that once made children ill, and all-too-often took their lives, have been eliminated or greatly reduced thanks to the emergence of safe and effective vaccines.

“Vaccines are one of the most impactful public health successes of our time,” said Dr. Danielle Zerr, head of Infectious Disease at Seattle Children’s. “In the beginning of the 20th century, infectious diseases took an enormous toll on the population. Now, we can protect our children and the community with safe vaccines, and we’ve seen incredible benefits like the eradication of smallpox, the near elimination of polio and a substantial reduction in the rates of bacterial meningitis.” Read full post »

5 Ways to Practice Positive Parenting in April

Parenting is often described as the most challenging and rewarding experiences of a person’s life. Parents and non-parents are bombarded with opinions on how to raise children, yet so many parents end up feeling alone and isolated, striving for perfection.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and sadly we could pack 10 football stadiums each year with the number of children that are victims of maltreatment. We know that a family history of abuse, mental illness and substance abuse play a significant role in these cases. There are also some simple, straightforward things we can do to navigate the bumpy road of parenting and promote positive parenting. Check out our April calendar for daily suggestions for incorporating positive parenting into your own life. Read full post »

Sleepy Time: Researcher and New Mom Explains Why Good Sleep Habits Are Important for Child Development

Dr. Michelle Garrison is a new mom and public health researcher the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute where she studies sleep.

I’m a new mom of a 4-month-old boy, and it’s giving me a new perspective on my work. Some new parents might be surprised to know that we are both getting pretty good sleep these days. I have researched child sleep, health and development for years, and now with my baby I am putting what I’ve learned into practice, especially when it comes to helping my son develop healthy sleep skills.

I study sleep issues in infants all the way to adolescents. As my son grows, I will help him as a preschooler through night terrors, change bedtime routines to meet the needs of an elementary school boy, and deal with the growing independence of the teenage years and the bedtime struggles that smartphones and tablets can bring. Read full post »

Up and Away: Storing Medicines Safely

In honor of National Poison Prevention Week, Dr. Suzan Mazor shares advice for parents about how to give and store medicines safely.

A well-known substance often found in plain sight, on nightstands, bathroom counters, and in women’s purses, is causing parents to place frantic phone calls to poison centers around the country. The culprit: acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer used to treat many conditions. The most recognized brand name is Tylenol, but there are more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medicines that contain acetaminophen.

With 50 million Americans using medicines that contain this ingredient each week, poison centers and emergency rooms are regularly called upon to address preventable poisonings.

“Most people think poison centers only answer calls about children who accidentally drink bleach, but really, over 50% of our calls are related to medicines,” said Whitney Pennington, education and communications specialist with the Washington Poison Center. Read full post »