September is Sepsis Awareness Month

By Dr. David Newby
Emergency Medicine Physician

Sepsis takes the lives of over 18 children each day in the U.S. yet many Americans are unaware of this serious condition that can result in fatal complications.

Sepsis Alliance’s annual sepsis awareness survey reveals awareness of sepsis reached a new high with 65 percent of U.S. adults reporting they have heard the term sepsis, compared to 44 percent four years ago. Unfortunately, the survey results also show that sepsis symptoms are not well known, with only 12 percent of those surveyed knowing the symptoms of sepsis. And there is a lack of urgency in seeking medical attention, despite sepsis taking more than 270,000 lives a year in the U.S.

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Eight reasons you should take your child to a children’s ER

By Maria Perez-Johnson, D.O.
Emergency Physician

As a pediatric emergency physician, I am often asked by family and friends when they should go to the emergency room. As a caveat, I often reply whenever you feel you need to go – whether for reassurance of a minor ailment or for a more major emergency.  That’s why The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has three emergency centers just for children that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all weekends and all holidays. We never close!

We understand that children are not just little adults. In an emergency, they need to see a doctor who treats children. We treat newborns all the way up to age 17. Adults and children can experience the same symptoms, but for children they could indicate a different or more serious condition. Here are some major and minor instances where you must go directly to your nearest emergency room:

  1. Any newborn with a fever. This is a special and worrisome time for new babies. Any infant less than 28 days old with a temperature of 100.4 degrees needs medical attention. No matter how you take the baby’s temperature (armpit, forehead, frontal sensors, or rectally), a temperature of 100.4 warrants a complete and emergent assessment by a physician. Continue reading “Eight reasons you should take your child to a children’s ER”

August 24: Mental Health Awareness Day

Mental health and our youth: bringing awareness to an under-reported issue

Blog provided by the following Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric Residents at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio: Dr. Nga Tang, PGY1; Dr. Alyssa Estes, PGY1; Dr. Matthew Sattler, PGY1; Dr. Christian Molony, PGY1; Dr. Ashley Gabriel, PGY2; Dr. Andrew Milera, PGY2; Dr. Cody Clary, PGY2; Dr. Amanda Scully, PGY2; Dr. Lauren Kjolhede, PGY3; Dr. Ann Marie Mojica, PGY3; Dr. Pedro Zavala, PGY3

Children’s mental health is an important part of their well-being and overall health as they grow and develop into adults. Anxiety, depression, bullying, suicide, social media exposure, addiction, and even school shootings are all issues that our children face today.

A common denominator is that all are related to mental health. But how often do we truly address mental health on a daily basis? What if we discover that our children need help? It can seem a daunting task, but we hope we can shed light on this day set aside to reflect on mental health and share resources to help our children and families when they need it most.

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Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good

This is the third in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this final blog in my series, let’s explore ways that you can maintain your child’s good behavior through positive comments and by making the most of the time you spend with each other.

1. Praising versus rewarding
2. Special time
3. Modeling

Continue reading “Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good”

Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad

This is the second in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this blog, we will explore how you can focus on positive reinforcement and avoid placing attention on negative behaviors by:

1. Eliminating the “Nos,” the “don’ts,” and the “can’ts”
2. Focusing on what they should do
3. Picking your battles
4. Addressing the emotions not the behavior

Continue reading “Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad”

How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good, de-emphasizing the bad, and preventing the ugly

This is the first in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Part 1: Preventing the Ugly

By ugly, I mean the uncontrollable tantrums, the fighting, the hitting, and the angry outbursts. When we can prevent our child’s ugly behavior, we as parents are preserving our own sanity every day. Here are some guidelines to help prevent these episodes; however, this will not eliminate these behaviors completely since your children are human after all.

  1. Bonding
  2. Emotions
  3. Routine
  4. Anticipation
  5. Meeting needs

Bonding.  First you must bond. Establishing a strong connection with your child is an important factor in changing negative behaviors and maintaining positive behaviors. With younger children, maintaining a positive warm tone through play and getting down at eye level can help with building connections. In older children, showing interest in their daily activities and being flexible (listening and negotiating) can serve the same purpose. Sharing in decision-making is helpful for understanding each other and empowering your child at any age.

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Diez razones por las cuales los pediatras dicen: “la leche materna es mejor”

Por Danielle Roberts, M.D.
Residente de Pediatría, PGY2
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

En la vida, darle la bienvenida a un bebé al mundo puede ser una de las experiencias más emocionantes y también aterradoras. Muchos padres planean la llegada de su hijo por meses, desde cómo anunciarán el embarazo a los familiares, cuándo será la licencia materna y paterna, preparar el cuarto del bebé…y la lista continúa. Llegará una boquita más para alimentar y es muy importante pensar en qué va a comer el nuevo bebé. Es posible que usted haya escuchado de los muchos beneficios de la leche materna; ¿sabía que hay docenas de maneras en la cuales la leche materna puede ayudar a los bebés y a sus padres?

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Ten reasons why pediatricians say, “Breast is best!”

August 1 – 7 is celebrated each year as World Breastfeeding Week.

By Danielle Roberts, M.D.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Welcoming a new baby can be one of the most exciting and sometimes scary experiences in a lifetime. Parents may plan for months, starting with pregnancy announcement ideas, scheduling maternity and paternity leave, preparing baby’s room… the list goes on. With one more precious mouth to feed, it’s also important to think about what the baby will eat. You may have heard about some of the benefits of breastfeeding—did you know there are dozens of reasons why breastfeeding is recommended over formula?

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March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day

Blog provided by the Genetics Section at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio:
Dr. Elizabeth Roeder
Dr. Scott McLean 
Rebecca Littlejohn, MS, CGC
Kimberly Nugent, MS, CGC

Did you know that one in 700 babies has Down syndrome, also called trisomy 21? This means about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States every year. Down syndrome is caused by having three copies of the 21st chromosome rather than two copies. That is why the date March 21 (3-21) was selected for World Down Syndrome Day.

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was first observed in 2006 and has been officially recognized by the United Nations since 2012. When we celebrate WDSD, we raise global awareness about what Down syndrome is, we encourage our friends and relatives to recognize WSDS, and we support those who advocate for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome. Anyone can be an advocate for a friend or family member with Down syndrome, and raising awareness and sharing correct information is one way to do this. Celebrating WDSD is a great way to recognize the uniqueness and value of every person with Down syndrome in communities all over the world.

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has many doctors, nurses, and associates who care for children with Down syndrome and their families. Please join The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in recognizing this special day!

Check out these local, national, and global websites about Down syndrome:
· http://www.dsastx.org/
· https://www.ndss.org/
· https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/
· https://lejeunefoundation.org/

If you need a physician specializing in Down syndrome or other genetic conditions, please visit our website at www.chofsa.org/findadoc.

5 steps to getting you and your medically fragile child home from the hospital

Complex Corner: This is the first in a series of blogs specifically written for parents of children who have complex conditions that require a variety of medical specialists.

By Ruchi Kaushik, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Director, ComP-CaN (Comprehensive Peds for Complex Needs)
Baylor College of Medicine

Taking a newborn home from the hospital can be anxiety-provoking for most families, so taking a medically fragile infant or child home after being in the hospital for several weeks is obviously daunting.

Families meet a variety of doctors, nurses, physical/occupational/speech therapists, respiratory staff, case managers, and social workers – it is impossible to remember everyone’s names, much less what they just advised you to do before leaving the room.  That said, I often tell caregivers that hospital staff have done a superb job of saving a child’s life; our next task, as a team, is to prepare a child for school.  In simple terms, going home is one transition to a new normal, until the next transition.

Continue reading “5 steps to getting you and your medically fragile child home from the hospital”