Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

What Do Teens Think About Online Privacy?

Dr. Megan Moreno.

Dr. Megan Moreno, investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development and adolescent medicine expert at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Today’s teens are the first “digital natives” who have grown up with the internet. So much of what they learn about online safety comes from their peers, but what lessons are they teaching one another? To find out, Dr. Megan Moreno, an investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development and adolescent medicine expert at Seattle Children’s Hospital, led a study to discover what teens felt were key safety issues and what messages they could be sharing with their peers. She shares her findings here:

Most teens today, including those I see in clinic each week, spend time on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While these sites provide adolescents with numerous benefits, including social support and exposure to new ideas, there are also risks of internet use, such as cyberbullying and invasion of privacy. Educating adolescents about how to protect their privacy and use the internet safely may prevent many risks. However, there aren’t any widespread, tested and comprehensive resources available to teach these skills to teens because the internet is still a relatively new phenomenon. Most teens say they learn about internet safety from their peers, but it’s unclear what lessons they may be learning in this way.  Our research team led a study to discover what teens felt were key safety issues and what messages they could be sharing with their peers. Read full post »

A Recipe for Better Health: 7-5-2-1-0

75210Obesity is a health problem that affects 15% of children and teens in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), obesity is a national health emergency. However, Victoria Garcia, manager of Community Benefit at Seattle Children’s Hospital, says there are small, simple steps families can take to reduce the risk of obesity.

“Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S., but making healthy lifestyle choices is about more than just obesity prevention,” said Garcia. “When children are healthy, they are also happy. We want families to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Being active and eating well is a positive message that can apply to anyone and everyone.”

Garcia advises parents to set children up for success by incorporating a simple formula into everyday life: 7-5-2-1-0. Below, Garcia decodes what each number means. Read full post »

Doctor Explains the Truth about Drowning: “It’s a Silent Killer”

lifejacket imageTemperatures are on the rise, which has families flocking to pools, lakes, rivers and oceans to beat the sweltering heat.

While a cool dip may sound like the perfect summertime activity for a family, it can also be a dangerous one. More than 1,500 children and teens die every year in the U.S. from drowning. In Washington state alone, an average of 25 children and teens drown every year, higher than the national average.

Fortunately, most water related injuries and deaths are preventable, if proper safety measures are taken. One important hurdle to overcome, however, is deciphering the difference between drowning fact and myth. Read full post »

Never Leave a Child Alone in the Car, Physician Warns

Child Passenger SafetyLeaving a child alone in the car can have deadly consequences, even on just a warm day and only for a few minutes. It’s a preventable scenario that can happen to anyone – after a busy morning getting ready for work a parent could easily forget their baby in the backseat of a car, or while running a few quick errands it may seem easier to leave a restless 5-year-old in the backseat, or a sleeping toddler in their car seat.

However, a child should never be left alone in a car, not even for a couple of minutes, says Dr. Tony Woodward, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. On average in the U.S., 38 children die each year from heatstroke in hot cars, according to Some of the children are forgotten, some are intentionally left there, and others gain access accidentally. Read full post »

Babies Likely Consuming Unsafe Levels of Dangerous Chemicals

baby eating

new study reports infants eating a typical diet consume unsafe levels of phthalates, man-made chemicals used in plastics that can interfere with growth and brain development.

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a Seattle Children’s Research Institute environmental medicine expert, co-authored a study that compiled data from 17 international studies measuring phthalate (pronounced thall-eight) exposure in different foods. Diet is believed to be the greatest source of phthalate exposure. Foods are likely contaminated with these chemicals through packaging and processing materials, Sathyanarayana said.

The study, published in Environmental Health, found the typical diet of infants over 6 months old who are eating solid foods contains an unsafe level of phthalates. In contrast, the typical diets consumed by women of a childbearing age and adolescents did not contain unsafe levels of these toxins. Read full post »

HPV Research Could Decrease Cancer Risk for Millions


Seattle Children’s Research Institute adolescent medicine expert Dr. Rachel Katzenellenbogen.

Nearly all men and women in the United States are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) during their lives, putting them at greater risk of developing life-threatening cervical, anal, vaginal, penile, throat and tongue cancers. But, what if it was possible to stop these cancers from developing?

The National Cancer Institute has awarded Seattle Children’s Research Institute adolescent medicine expert Dr. Rachel Katzenellenbogen more than $2 million to research that possibility. She is studying what happens in the body between the time of HPV infection and cancer development in search of opportunities to intervene and prevent malignant disease.

“There are generations of people who did not get the HPV vaccine or got vaccinated after they were already exposed to HPV,” Katzenellenbogen said. “Those people could still develop cancer. We need to understand their disease process if we are going to help them.” Read full post »

10 Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

Summer is right around the corner and summer camps provide much-needed structure to kids’ schedules by giving them opportunities to further develop cognitive and social skills outside of the school year. However, there’s often a lot of time and anxiety that goes into preparing your child for summer camp—especially if it’s their first time.

Here are 10 tips to parents looking for advice on how to prepare for camp: Read full post »

A Journey to Recovery: Pepper Inspires Others Battling an Eating Disorder

At 12 years old, Pepper Snider knew something wasn’t quite right. After a bout of Mononucleosis (mono), Snider began feeling a sense of enjoyment from hunger and started to purposely restrict herself. Years later, a comment from an eighth grade classmate would put everything into focus.

“Look at that roll.”

It was the beginning of a very dangerous journey for Snider, one that would take years to diagnose as anorexia nervosa. Now, at 25 years old, Snider is fully recovered and wants others to know they are not alone in their struggle. Her mission is to help build a community of support and let other people know it is okay to ask for help. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Takes Bike Month Challenge to Heart

Throughout the month of May, people across the country strapped on their helmets and put the pedal to the metal, of sorts. It was national Bike Month, and in recognition, Seattle Children’s Hospital’s employees showcased their love of biking in a very big way.

Each year, Cascade Bicycle Club celebrates Bike Month with a challenge to see who can get the most people to bike to work throughout the month of May. Consistently ranked among the top organizations in the region for embracing alternate forms of transportation, Seattle Children’s employees took the competition seriously.

Ask Andrew Hansen about his daily commute to Seattle Children’s, and he’ll do more than explain his route, he’ll give you a front row show, using a YouTube video he created. As seen in the video below, biking is about more than the destination; it’s a journey, even if it is just to work.

Read full post »

Kids, teens more likely to wear life jackets if adults wear them too

lifejacket imageNew studies from researchers at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center have found that the use of life jackets among adults can significantly influence whether kids wear them too, and help prevent half of boating-related deaths. Yet use of life jackets by adults on boats remains low, researchers say.

About 85 percent of recreational boating-related drowning victims in the United States in 2012 did not wear a life jacket, but researchers also found that that teens were 20 times more likely to wear a life jacket if at least one adult was wearing a life jacket. This fact is especially timely with Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, as open-water drowning remains an important public health problem in the U.S., and impacts many adults as well as children.

To learn more about the studies, please visit:


Life Jackets for Children and Teens