Parenting

The vaccine low-down: Protecting your children against chickenpox, meningitis and more

This article was written by Katelyn Best and originally appeared in the Portland Monthly 2017 Kids’ Health Annual magazine. From DTap to measles, mumps and rubella, the list of vaccinations children are advised to get can seem overwhelming. And with fears about side effects, allergic reactions and even autism on the wind, it might seem better to cut down on those shots or skip them altogether. But is that hesitation justified? In short, no. Dawn Nolt, … Read More

Raising a reader in digital days: Comics galore!

Following up on his blog post about summer reading, Dr. Craigan Usher extols the benefits of reading comic books and makes some recommendations for families looking to dive into the world of comics. Connecting with (and through) comics For reluctant readers, comics (also called sequential art) can be read in bite-size pieces, rather than whole chapter meals. Because they’re less text dense, comics can be read in one sitting or over the course of a … Read More

Five ways to bring books back into your family’s summer

The benefits of early exposure to reading, of parents reading to their children, and kids being surrounded by books have been well-studied. Researchers emphasize that early reading stimulates important language centers and emotion recognition areas of the brain, specifically in the left temporal lobe. They also note that reading enhances academic performance, increases children’s confidence and inspires the life-long skill of curiosity. Hence, if your child is puzzled by a phrase you read together and … Read More

Four water safety tips everyone should know

Drowning occurs with shocking frequency. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children ages 1-4 in the U.S., and it’s second only to motor vehicle crashes in preventable deaths for kids over 4 years. Sadly, the problem is getting worse over time, as drowning deaths in pools in children ages 5-9 have increased 18 percent in the last 10 years. In Portland, we are blessed with proximity to water, … Read More

Meeting Julia: Representing autism in the media

Beloved children’s television program “Sesame Street” recently welcomed a new Muppet on the air. The character’s name is Julia, and she has autism. We sat down with Lark Huang-Storms, Ph.D., to get her take on Julia’s addition to the cast and what this means for families in the autism community. As a mother and as a provider who cares for patients who have autism spectrum disorder, how important is it to you that “Sesame Street” … Read More

Meet ‘Candlelighters for Children with Cancer’

This year, Candlelighters for Children with Cancer marks its 40th anniversary. Below, Candlelighters Executive Director Jackie Groah shares how the organization got started and who it serves. Candlelighters’ beginning  In 1977, five families who spent months living in OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital while caring for their children with cancer realized that there were few services that supported the whole family – their shared experiences helped shape our organization, which supports patients’ entire families. Candlelighters founder … Read More

Using your head

This article was written by Scott Henjum and originally appeared in the Portland Monthly 2017 Kids’ Health Annual magazine. Your child doesn’t need to be a high school football star to be at risk of a concussion. Also called mild traumatic brain injuries, concussions can be caused by any serious impact to the head, most commonly during a high-contact sport, a fall or a bike or car accident. Jim Chesnutt, M.D., a sports medicine physician … Read More

Spring forward, fall back: time change tips

Adjusting to a new sleep schedule can be tricky, but a little help and a few days of preparation can make all the difference. Elizabeth Super, M.D., pediatrician and children’s sleep specialist with the Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, provides some tips to make sleep transitions easier on the whole family.   Establish a routine Bedtime and wake-time routines help anchor a child’s day and reduce anxiety. In the evening: Keep … Read More

2016 in review: Doernbecher’s top stories

Safety first! Tips and tricks to keep kids safe and healthy reigned supreme on our blog this year – from Pokémon GO to laundry detergent packets. At OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, we are committed to giving parents and caregivers the resources they need to make informed decisions about their children’s well-being. Here are this year’s most-read blog posts. Enjoy! 1. Laundry detergent packets: convenient or catastrophic? Ever since laundry packets were introduced to the U.S. … Read More

Bedtime basics

This article was written by Margaret Seiler and originally appeared in the Portland Monthly 2016 Kids’ Health Annual magazine. While anything from caffeine to a chronic illness to the excitement of household visitors can make it tough for kids to sleep, one of the most common sleep disruptors for children – and adults – is simply stress. “It’s when we’re stressed and hyperaroused, physiologically, that it’s hard to initiate sleep,” says Kyle P. Johnson, M.D., a … Read More

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