Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Seattle Mama Doc helps parents find calm and confidence

Ever wondered when and why a baby’s soft spot closes, exactly how much crying is normal for a 1-month-old, how to foster generosity in kids or are looking for ways to increase your family’s health? “Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Child Health, Parenting, and Work-Life Balance,” the new book from Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, better known as Seattle Mama Doc, officially launches today and is a great resource to help navigate those questions and much more in the parenting jungle.

“More than anything, I wrote Mama Doc Medicine to connect parents and families with science and story,” said Swanson, who is also executive director of digital health at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “The book has offered up a flurry of opportunity to talk about health and prevention, vaccine science, and my journey as a digital and public physician.”

Seattle Children’s creates Youth Concussion Research Program

concussionphotoSeattle Children’s clinicians do everything they can to accurately diagnose concussions and recommend the most appropriate treatment. But those tasks are difficult without definitive diagnostic tools to determine when concussions have occurred or objective evidence to prove which treatments are best.

To provide better care, physicians need better research. That is why Seattle Children’s Research Institute has created the Youth Concussion Research Program.

The new program, made possible by a generous $5 million gift from The Satterberg Foundation, is designed to develop new concussion diagnostic tools; measure sports impacts using real-time sensors; and begin clinical trials to determine which concussion treatments are most effective.

“There are so many people who want to know how to prevent concussions and long-term effects,” said Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, who will lead the Youth Concussion Research Program. “I hope we will soon be able to answer a lot of their questions.” Read full post »

How to keep kids safe with the legalization of marijuana

The legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington, along with the impending legalization of marijuana sales this spring, has sparked concern among many parents who have questions on what this means for their children.

Leslie Walker, MD, division chief of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, recently co-authored a guide for parents about preventing underage marijuana use. Walker says that it’s important for parents to know the facts, learn how to talk about marijuana and be aware of the messages that their children may see.

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Staying safe during the big game

iStock_000034004550SmallWith the big game quickly approaching, the collective excitement and Seahawks pride in Seattle is reaching epic proportions – and the thrilling success of the team has brought the city together.

As fans stock up on blue and green garb and prep for their game-day celebrations, it’s important to remember that large events like this can bring a variety of safety concerns for families and children.

“Large sporting events present the same dangers for kids as New Year’s and similar holidays,” said Tony Woodward, MD, MBA, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “A lot of this stems from the fact that generally, decisions about these events are not made with children in mind.”

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Seattle Children’s treats 125 patients in January who lost contracted access through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange

Seattle Children’s Hospital announced today that it has treated approximately 125 patients who lost contracted access to Seattle Children’s when new plans on Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange became effective at the beginning of the year.

Those patients, whose ailments range from craniofacial disorders to a neck mass, were all treated by Seattle Children’s regardless of their Exchange plan coverage, but continued access to the hospital remains in question.

“This is a dire situation for our patients,” said Dr. Sandy Melzer, senior vice president and Chief Strategy Officer, Seattle Children’s. “We can’t continue providing services to these patients without reimbursement from their insurance companies.  Eventually, these patients will have to seek care elsewhere, and for the treatment of many conditions, there is nowhere else to go in the region.”

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Study: Parents key in treating depressed teens

depression_teensDepression occurs in up to 14 percent of kids ages 13 to 17 and can lead to risky sexual behaviors, substance abuse or even suicide. Unfortunately, few teens utilize mental health services that can help manage depression symptoms. But a study by Seattle Children’s Research Institute suggests parents play a strong role in helping teens receive mental health care.

To find out why some depressed adolescents get help from mental health services and others do not, Seattle Children’s researchers studied 113 teens who screened positive for depression within non-profit health system Group Health. Despite the fact that all of the patients had insurance and access to mental health care, just 52 percent used mental health services. Read full post »

Making SMART New Year’s resolutions as a family

As the New Year approaches, we’re taking a look back at a post from last year to help families make SMART resolutions. Seattle Children’s Dr. Mollie Grow offers advice for making resolutions with your family that will last well into 2015.

Adorable ten month old baby boy wearing a Happy New Year hat.

The new year marks a time for reflection and change, a time for new beginnings and resolutions. Each year, people boldly step forward into the future with goals in mind to make the new year even better than the one before, making resolutions to lose weight, to be more organized or to be more successful, but not every resolution is a good one.

Resolutions can be a great way for people and families to stay on track in the new year, and to set goals together, but Mollie Grow, MD, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s, says resolutions need to be attainable.

Making resolutions as a family can be a wonderful activity, but it’s important to think them through first before setting them in stone.

“Don’t set your family up for failure when making resolutions,” said Grow. “Make SMART resolutions.” Read full post »

Remembering the Sandy Hook tragedy, protecting kids from gun violence

On Dec. 14 of last year, 20 children and seven adults lost their lives in the senseless tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. As we approach the anniversary of this horrific event, we remember and mourn the victims and the families who have been affected by this tragedy.

No parent should ever have to suffer through the pain of losing a child to gun violence. And with guns in more than one third of all U.S. households, firearms present a real, everyday danger to children, especially when improper safety techniques are followed.

Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, division chief of general pediatrics and vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, offer the following tips and advice for parents looking to keep kids safe from firearms, and to help reduce their exposure to gun violence in the media.

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Doctor offers tips to keep kids safe this holiday season

Holiday Dangers‘Tis the season for mistletoe, gingerbread and carefully strung lights. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also a potentially dangerous one for children. And although festivities, candles and garland may make the holiday season more cheerful, with them come some serious safety concerns.

Tony Woodward, MD, MBA, medical director of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, says the most important thing to remember this holiday season is supervision.

“The holidays are a fun and exciting time, but there are a few more things inserted into the environment, like holiday plants, electrical cables, new toys and festive beverages, which are potentially dangerous,” says Woodward. Read full post »

How a Purple Knitted Cap Can Protect a Baby’s Brain

For months, Amy Owens has been seeing purple.

Little, hand-knitted purple caps are overflowing from giant bags in the Protection, Advocacy and Outreach Program office at Seattle Children’s, where she is senior program coordinator. Hats are spilling out of cabinets, covering her keyboard and peeking out of overstuffed envelopes under her desk.

By the end of November, each of these 3,600-plus purple hats will be cradling the head of a newborn at a birthing hospital in Washington state.

The hats will remind their parents that it’s normal for babies to cry – and often, there is nothing a parent can do to stop it.

Research shows that prolonged, unrelenting crying is the number one reason parents (and other caregivers) shake a baby. Research also shows that simply understanding the normal pattern of infant crying and learning a few coping skills significantly reduces the likelihood that a child will be shaken or abused.

Thanks to the Protection, Advocacy and Outreach Program team at Children’s, parents of newborns in Washington are learning about crying and coping before they leave the hospital through a video-based training program called “Period of PURPLE Crying.”

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