Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana says there are thousands of chemicals used in products that are consumed by the public, but there is little information about how most of them impact human health.
Babies and children are exposed to chemicals when they play, eat and go outside, and a $157 million new initiative launched by the National Institutes of Health aims to create a comprehensive understanding of how chemicals and environmental factors like air pollution impact childhood development.
Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a pediatric environmental health researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, was selected as one of the principle investigators whose focus is chemical exposures.
“We have very little data about how most chemicals impact fetal and childhood development,” Sathyanarayana said. “This national study will give us a clearer understanding of how chemical exposures impact child health and what researchers, policymakers and parents should be most concerned about.” Read full post »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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, 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 »