Archive for 2014

Q: How can I help my child prepare for surgery?

A: Although specific details will depend on your child’s age and the surgical procedure, it’s always best to be clear and honest, as well as reassuring. In other words, don’t baby your child — explain what the surgery is for, what’s going to happen during it, and how he or she might feel after waking up. You don’t need to explain every potential complication, but you do need to be truthful so your child knows … Read More

The healing power of the Blue Butterfly provides hope to children with leukemia

It was the phone call that no parent wants to get: “Max has leukemia and we think it’s a rare form,” said the doctor. I was getting a haircut and had to leave the salon immediately, not sure if I would vomit on the sidewalk or pass out. I was in a fog the whole drive home, tears flooding my eyes. The normally short drive home took forever. I needed to hug my boy. Max … Read More

NEVER leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute

The Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Worldwide would like to remind families that Thursday, July 31, is National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Together, we can reduce the number of deaths by heatstroke by remembering to ACT: A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And be sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it … Read More

The childless pediatrician: A parent’s worst nightmare?

“Do you have any children?”  I am asked this almost daily by families and parents of my patients, often as a means of small talk at the beginning of the visit, but more so at the end of an in-depth discussion, whether it be etiology of disease, prognosis, further lab tests, imaging, or suggested treatment. I would be lying if I stated this question does not trouble me, usually producing strong feelings of inadequacy and … Read More

Water, water everywhere: How to reduce your child’s risk of drowning

Although summer swimming season is upon us, drowning is a risk in any weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 or younger, with children from 1 to 4 having the highest drowning rates. Water-related accidents don’t just happen around the pool: They can occur even inside your house. Drownings can be fatal, or near fatal. A common location in the … Read More

Predicting whether children with ADHD will get better over time

ADHD is a controversial condition for several reasons: It is widespread and costly, so it attracts interest. It is treated with stimulant medication, and medication use has skyrocketed, raising questions about how diagnosis is conducted. Most crucially, over time, some children naturally get better while others have very poor outcomes, and we cannot yet predict which are which. A major scientific focus is to identify biologically sound subtypes that will add to clinical prediction. In … Read More

‘Doernbecher is the place where the good guys help defeat the bad guys’

I was asked to be a part of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Amazing Storybook campaign, along with five other illustrators, by the Portland creative agency Sockeye. They developed a children’s picture book concept and language to help tell Doernbecher’s story. It seems like such an obvious fit for a children’s hospital, but you have to acknowledge that there are a million ways of telling a story — with charts and graphs and photographs — and I have total respect … Read More

Weight management most effective way to prevent type 2 diabetes in kids

The most common type of diabetes seen in children used to be type 1 diabetes, also known as ”juvenile diabetes,” a condition caused by autoimmune reaction that leads to destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. But since the mid-1990’s, we have noticed a new pattern emerging – more children and adolescents are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition that used to be the disease of adults only. Type 2 diabetes … Read More

10 home safety tips from Doernbecher’s Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center

Following are 10 things you can do to help ensure your active child is safe and healthy at home. 1) Think about the 10-second rule – If you would not trust your child alone with an item for 10 seconds, then he/she should never be able to get to it. Crawl around the rooms to identify hazards. Pay special attention to medicines, poisons and cleaning supplies. 2) Best vacuum cleaner – For infants and toddlers, everything … Read More

Hospital School Program helps young patients maintain normal routines

School is the work of children, and at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, we work hard to maintain that truth as children heal and recover. We believe that children have better long-term educational outcomes if they are able to maintain normal routines during their hospitalization. For the school-age child or teen, a key way to achieve this is by participating in the Hospital School Program. During their stay, children will be introduced to the program by … Read More

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