Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Talking to Kids and Teens about Risky Viral ‘Challenges’

As featured in Good Growing

It’s important for parents and kids to talk about the dangers of viral ‘challenges.’

These dangerous stunts can involve ingesting things, such as biting into a liquid laundry pod or eating an intensely hot pepper. Other challenges can include dares that urge kids to get high or faint by taking several antihistamines, hyperventilating or through choking.

Some challenges circulating in schools push kids to steal items such as the restroom soap dispenser or a teacher’s coffee cup. There are also dares that involve shoplifting specific items from a grocery store.

Not surprisingly, many of these challenges are designed to create sensational social media, urging kids to capture their stunts on video and share them online. These viral moments, however, have caused serious injury among youth, school suspension or even arrest and prosecution.

Social media often glamorizes these kinds of stunts, so tweens and teens can feel the temptation to try them. Youth do not always think through the real risks or consequences, and stunts that seem silly or fun can result in injury. This is true for games like the ‘duct tape challenge,’ which boasts the goal of escaping after being bound by friends in the super-sticky, heavy-duty tape.

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Pediatrician Discusses Steps Parents Can Take to Keep Kids Protected in Poor Air Quality Conditions

For several consecutive days this year, Seattle was ranked among the top major cities with the worst air quality in the world, according to data compiled by IQAir.

As the smoky air covered large portions of Western Washington due to weeks of wildfires, many parents wondered what they could do to keep their kids protected.

Breathing in wildfire smoke is unhealthy for everyone, however children are at extra risk for negative health effects. Infants and children under age 18, whose lungs and airways are still developing, breathe more air per pound of body weight compared to adults.

Dr. Jonathan Cogen, an attending physician in Seattle Children’s Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, spoke with KUOW’s Soundside to share key safety measures families can take to stay as healthy as possible during poor air quality conditions.

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What Parents Should Know About RSV

You may be hearing about a respiratory infection that’s hitting babies and young children particularly hard this year, sometimes resulting in hospital stays. The current headlines are referring to RSV, which is short for respiratory syncytial virus.

On the Pulse asked Dr. Tony Woodward, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s, to share information about RSV in an effort to help parents and caregivers keep their families as healthy as possible through this viral season which also includes flu and COVID-19.

What is RSV?

RSV is a virus passed from person to person that affects the nose, throat and lungs. People of any age can get RSV, but it’s most serious for young children and older adults. Most kids are infected with RSV at least once before they’re 2 years old. For healthy people, RSV usually results in a cold, but some people get very sick, developing bronchiolitis, wheezing/asthma or pneumonia.

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Spider Bites, Bee Stings and Bed Bugs, Oh My! Creepy Crawler Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out for All Year

Across the country, children both young and old are preparing to celebrate another evening of Halloween, filled with costumes, activities, sweet treats and fun with friends. In fact, in 2021 alone, over 42 million kids between the ages of 5 and 14 went trick-or-treating, according to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

But beyond the one night that adults will undoubtedly spot child-sized creepy crawlers scurrying along the sidewalks and near brightly decorated homes and in doorways, many actual insects and arachnids are also lurking all year long.

Parents and caregivers often have questions about what to do if their child gets bit or stung, and when to watch for signs of infection. On the Pulse compiled some resources below to help families stay safe and healthy.

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How to Discuss Your Child’s Health Condition at School

Back-to-school is in full swing and with each new school year often comes new questions for many parents about their child’s health. For children with health conditions, understanding when and how to best communicate with teachers and school staff about a child’s medical needs, determining the proper amount of information to disclose, and identifying the right programs and services for students who need specially designed instruction or accommodation plans is important but can sometimes be puzzling.

Dr. Ashley Moss, a pediatric psychologist at Seattle Children’s, shares some key advice on how parents and caregivers can talk about their child’s health conditions at school.

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What You Should Know About the Flu Vaccine This Year

Flu season is here. Dr. Annika Hofstetter, whose research focuses on pediatric and adolescent vaccination, especially in high-risk populations, answered a few questions parents may have about the flu vaccine this year for On the Pulse.

Hofstetter is co-leader of the Maintenance of Certification Influenza Vaccination Project at Seattle Children’s and is a member of the Seattle Children’s Influenza Steering Committee.

Beginning Oct. 3, patients can get a flu vaccine during their visit at Seattle Children’s, including at a clinic appointment, urgent care or emergency department visit, or during hospitalization.

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How to Start a Conversation About Suicide with Children and Teens, According to Experts

Every year, people around the country observe September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to shine a light on mental health care and bring awareness to suicide, a topic many find difficult to discuss.

Dr. Alysha Thompson, the clinical director and psychologist on the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) at Seattle Children’s, shares ways that parents and caretakers can support children and teens, and enable families to engage in meaningful and supportive discussions about suicide together.

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New Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shots Are Now Available at Seattle Children’s

Beginning today, Seattle Children’s is offering the new Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster. It will be available to patients, community members and workforce members.

We will begin offering the new bivalent Moderna vaccine booster later this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.

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What Parents Should Know About Monkeypox

With cases of the monkeypox virus (MPV) being reported across the country, many parents have questions about how to keep their kids as safe as possible.

The MPV infection can cause an illness that includes rashes and other symptoms like fever, chills, headache and exhaustion, among others, and is passed by close, prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Pediatric cases are among a very small number of cases in the country and in general, children are at very low risk of getting monkeypox in their normal daily interactions, including at school.

Dr. Sara Vora, an infectious disease expert at Seattle Children’s, shares what parents should know about MPV and the measures they can take to reduce the risk of infection in children.

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Summer Heat Wave: Four Things Parents Should Always Keep in Mind

With a heat wave expected to impact Washington this week, many families across the state have health questions and concerns in mind.

Dr. Tony Woodward, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s, provides the following advice for parents and caregivers about how to beat the heat as well as keep their kids safe this summer.

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