Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Doctor Offers Tips to Prevent Overuse Injuries

ThinkstockPhotos-166214839Spring has sprung and spring sports are underway. Children and teens are back on the baseball mound, track and soccer field, and while playing sports is a great source of exercise for kids, they can also cause injury and pain if children try to spring back too fast. To help keep kids healthy and active this season, Dr. Thomas Jinguji, a sports medicine doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents and coaches to make sure pain isn’t a part of a child’s season.

With more children and teens participating in recreational sports and organized activities, it’s not surprising that overuse injuries, or damage to a bone, muscle, ligament or tendon caused by stress from repetitive actions, are common. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), half of all sports medicine injuries in children and teens are from overuse. And with longer seasons, more intensity during practices and games and more pressure to succeed, it’s no wonder Seattle Children’s is seeing an increase in these types of injuries. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Encourages Community to Help End Child Abuse

Positive Parenting - PhotoVisit or drive by Seattle Children’s during the month of April and you might notice something whimsical spinning in the wind: pinwheels, thousands of them, serving as symbols of hope and support in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The pinwheel planting is a yearly tradition at Seattle Children’s, a sentiment which began to inspire the community to support parents and caregivers in a positive way. And as the tradition grew, so did the ways in which the community could show their support – not only through pinwheels, but by making positive parenting pledges as well.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parental feelings of isolation, stress and frustration are major causes of child abuse and mistreatment in the U.S. Abusers are commonly a person the child knows, such as a parent, caregiver, neighbor or family member. Nearly 80% of reported child fatalities that are a result of abuse and neglect are caused by one or more of the victim’s parents. Read full post »

New Research Shows Link Between SIDS and Inner Ear Damage

Dr. Daniel Rubens, Seattle Children's Hospital Anesthesiologist

Dr. Daniel Rubens, Seattle Children’s Hospital Anesthesiologist

Two Seattle Children’s Hospital doctors have teamed up as an unlikely pair working to find an answer to one of the most elusive pediatric mysteries: what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? One is a pediatric anesthesiologist, Dr. Daniel Rubens, the other is the Director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research, Nino Ramirez, Ph.D. With help from Travis Allen, a nurse anesthetist at Seattle Children’s, the two researchers are hoping to provide answers to families who have lost babies to SIDS and help medical professionals better understand the risk factors.

On the Pulse caught up with Rubens recently to answer a few of the most common questions about SIDS and his research.

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Seattle Children’s Opens New Onsite Bicycle Service Center for Staff, Encourages Alternative Transportation

Featureblog1It’s no secret that traffic congestion is a problem in Seattle. If it feels like it has gotten worse lately, it’s not just you. A new study released last week by the Puget Sound Regional Council found that delays on regional freeways have gone up by more than 52% since 2010.

Seattle already has the fourth worst traffic in the nation, and with more and more new residents moving into the Puget Sound, leaders in the community and employers alike are working to find innovative commuting solutions.

Seattle Children’s Hospital has long been on the forefront of this movement, having provided bonuses to incentivize staff to leave their cars at home while commuting, as well as more recently serving as the first business sponsoring Seattle’s bike share system, Pronto Cycle Share. In addition to these ongoing initiatives, on March 19, Seattle Children’s will host the grand opening of Seattle Children’s Staff Bicycle Service Center, an on-site bike shop for employees with free maintenance and discounted cycling gear open three days per week, year-round.

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Video Game Addiction: How Much Is Too Much

Last month, TIME reporteCommon_Signs_of_Video_Game_Addictiond on the death of a 32-year-old Taiwanese man who suffered heart failure after an apparent three-day video game binge. Over the past several years similar stories have come to light, and as the scientific research into the effects of video games on the brain continues to increase, many parents may be wondering just how concerned they should be about video game addiction.

Though the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not definitively classify compulsive gaming as a disorder, according to Dr. Cora Breuner, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, this doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t worry.

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The Sick Day Guessing Game: Cold or Flu?

Your child wakes up not feeling well and says they can’t go to school. You make your assessment by taking their temperature or noticing that they aren’t acting or looking normal, call school to report the absence, and then start the process of figuring out how to help your child feel more comfortable. Sound familiar?

As cold and flu season have ramped up, this scenario has been playing out in many homes. The tricky thing is that it’s not always easy to know how to help your child feel better. Read full post »

Doctor Explains Why Osteoporosis is a Pediatric Disorder, the Importance of Vitamin D

When people think of osteoporosis, most likely, they wouldn’t think about kids and teens. However, Dr. Michael Goldberg, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Skeletal Health Program, says osteoporosis is actually a pediatric disorder and childhood is the best time to think about bone health. By thinking about bone health at an early age, individuals can ensure they have strong bones later in life.

“Bones are very much alive,” said Goldberg. “From birth until age 35 you make more bone than you dissolve. From age 35 on, you dissolve more bone than you make. Think of it like needing a bone bank account. You need to make a lot of bone deposits early on; otherwise there won’t be much left when you’re old.”

And the best way to strengthen and build bone is with calcium and vitamin D. Read full post »

Give the Gift of Health: Toys that Benefit Your Child’s Development

blocksEditor’s note: Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, offers parents the following advice when choosing toys for their children during the holiday season and throughout the year.

In the midst of the holiday shopping season, parents are faced with a plethora of toy options for their children. They must decide between the latest and greatest tech gadgets and old favorites that they may remember playing with as a child. Here are a few key principles for parents to keep in mind when considering what’s best for your child’s development.

Interaction is key

No matter what toy your child plays with, the best way to foster their development is to be an active participant in their play. Try to give your children toys that encourage interaction with other children or adult caregivers. Toys should not be viewed as a tool to occupy your child while he or she is left alone, but instead should provide opportunities for them to play with others.

You have to like it too

Give your child toys that make both of you happy and you will be more likely to play together. Avoid games with flashing lights or loud noises if you find them annoying. Instead, select toys you would enjoy playing with, such as your favorite children’s book or that barn toy you remember fondly. Your child will appreciate playing with you and their social skills will benefit from the interaction. Read full post »

Study: Half of Children with Abusive Head Injuries Will Die Before Adulthood

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Children are at greatest risk for abusive head injuries between about 2 weeks and 4 months of age, when they cry the most and cannot always be soothed.

It’s well understood that head injuries are harmful to children, but just how serious are the effects?

A new study published in Pediatrics reports half of children who experience a severe abusive head trauma before the age of 5 will die before their 21st birthday. The study, led by Ted Miller of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, also reports the quality of life of children who survive severe head injuries is cut in half.

Dr. Kenneth Feldman, a primary care doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital and former chair of the hospital’s Child Protection Program, was not surprised by the results of the study.

“These findings are in line with what we’ve experienced in clinical care,” said Feldman, who is also an investigator with the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “Abusive head injuries have devastating affects. We know that of the infants that survive these kinds of head injuries, about a third develop life-threatening neurological disorders, another third have moderate dysfunction and the remainder appear healthy, but may experience significant problems in school.” Read full post »

Act Now to Protect Your Family From the Seasonal Flu

Child with fluIf you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about seasonal influenza, or the flu, and the important steps you should take to protect your child. Flu season can range from October through May, but most cases of the flu in the U.S. occur between December and February.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu complications. And there is not only the threat of hospitalization; in some rare cases the flu can become fatal. During the 2013-2014 flu season, the CDC reported more than 100 flu-related deaths in children.

With this in mind, it’s time to consider a very important safety measure: vaccination. Read full post »