Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Preventing Obesity with Mindful Eating

Traditional advice for helping families ensure their children and teens maintain a healthy weight begins with a focus on balancing calories consumed from food and beverages with calories used through physical activity and growth. Dr. Lenna Liu, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Child Wellness Clinic, uses a slightly different approach to support families with the complex issue of weight management. She starts by encouraging families to adopt a mindful approach to eating. Read full post »

Preventing Tragedy by Empowering Teens to React to Troubling Social Media Posts From Peers

Researchers in Seattle and Portland believe web and mobile tools could be used by young people to respond effectively to concerning social media content they see from their peers.

What if a text message could prevent the next violent tragedy, or prevent a despondent teen from dying due to suicide? Two research teams hope that new mobile and web tools could do exactly that.

Distraught young people often turn to social media as an outlet and write posts about having thoughts of self-harm, violence or other concerning issues. The audience for these posts is often a troubled teen’s young peers who are left to grapple with the content and what to do about it.

Dr. Megan Moreno, a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital and researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, studies how young people use social media. A shared interest in adolescent health and social media sparked a collaboration between Moreno and Dr. Stephanie Craig Rushing, a researcher at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board’s Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, that aimed to empower young people to react to troubling social media content. Read full post »

Study Links Chemical in Plastics to Genital Abnormalities in Baby Boys

A new study shows that pregnant women’s exposure to a chemical commonly found in plastic is directly linked to abnormalities in newborn boys’ reproductive organs.

Doctors and researchers know that man-made chemicals commonly found in plastics, foods, personal care products and building materials can interfere with how hormones like estrogen and testosterone work in the body.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research now shows that pregnant women’s exposure to a particular endocrine-disrupting chemical called diethylhexyl pthalate (DEHP) is directly linked to abnormalities in newborn boys’ reproductive organs.

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a pediatric environmental health researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute who led the study, sat down with On the Pulse to answer some questions about the findings. Read full post »

Lights Out: Sleep for Health, Safety and Success this School Year

It’s that time of year again – time to prepare for the new school year. Soon-to-be kindergarteners are getting familiar with their new playground and are shopping for crayons. Older grade schoolers are guessing what teacher they’ll have and hoping their best friend will be in their class. Middle schoolers and high schoolers are anxiously awaiting their class schedule and are picking out an outfit for the first day. Meanwhile, parents are planning for the fall schedule and thinking about how to best set their child up for success in the new school year.

“Before parents get too far down the road of scheduling the carpool or adjusting their work schedule, take a minute to know what time your child’s school day starts. Some school districts have made significant changes to their bell schedule in a move to align the school day with the time of day that kids are the most alert and focused,” said Dr. Maida Chen, director of Seattle Children’s Sleep Disorders Program.

She shared more on the reason some districts are making changes to start times and provides tips for helping your child get enough sleep. Read full post »

Keeping Mosquitoes Away: Insect Repellent and Children

Summer is here and backyard barbecues, camping trips and youth camp sessions are in full swing. Amidst all of these fun activities is often a far less welcoming sign of summer: mosquitoes.

While the Pacific Northwest is not home to the type of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, on very rare occasions, mosquitoes here can carry the West Nile virus. Most often, however, mosquitoes simply leave people with uncomfortable, itchy bites. To help protect your family from mosquitoes as you enjoy the outdoors, Dr. Suzan Mazor, medical director of Toxicology at Seattle Children’s, shares the following advice. Read full post »

How Violence in Video Games and Media Harm Child Development

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for action to reduce children’s exposure to violent video games and media. The report also calls on the gaming and media industries to create shows and games for children that do not contain violence.

“Children are not only viewing violence, but with virtual reality games they are actively engaging in a realistic and immersive violent experience,” said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and lead author of the new AAP policy. “A media diet is as important as a food diet. Pediatricians and families need to have thoughtful conversations about a child’s media intake.” Read full post »

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.”

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