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    Making Sure Your Teen Is Getting Enough Exercise

    Last updated 3 months ago

    As a child grows older physical activity is likely to be replaced by videogames and text messaging. The next time you take your teen to the children’s hospital for a wellness exam, talk to a pediatrics specialist about his or her physical activity needs. In general, kids need at least an hour of physical activity every day to promote physical health and emotional wellness.

    Discuss the Benefits

    Teens may not realize just how beneficial exercise is for them. By explaining the many benefits of physical activity, your teen may be more likely to stay active. A pediatrician can explain to your teen that exercise can help him or her maintain a healthy weight, which contributes to a better body image and enhanced self-esteem. Fitness promotes emotional wellness by reducing stress and improving self-confidence. Of course, it’s also beneficial for your teen’s physical health – including his or her energy level.

    Provide Fitness Opportunities

    Teens are more likely to engage in physical activity when they can choose their preferred exercise. Provide an array of opportunities and let your teen select the ones he or she likes best. This might mean giving your teen a gym membership or providing transportation to nearby recreational parks. If your child enjoys group activities, encourage him or her to join a school sports team and provide the necessary equipment.

    Set a Positive Example

    Incorporate fitness activities into your family’s daily routine. Go for a walk with your teen after dinner or go for a family bike ride on the weekend. Your teen might be more apt to enjoy exercise with you if you ask him or her to teach you something. For example, ask your teen to show you what he or she has been learning in karate class.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, you’ll find all the information you need to keep your child or teen healthy. Our pediatrics staff is always happy to offer tips on lifestyle adjustments to promote health. Families in the Las Vegas area can call our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437 or take a virtual tour of our pediatrics departments on our website.

    A Look at High Cholesterol in Children

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Although high cholesterol has long been a problem for adults, pediatric specialists are increasingly diagnosing this health concern in children. In fact, children as young as nine have been found to have high cholesterol. Pediatricians are alarmed at this trend because high cholesterol in childhood sets the stage for serious health conditions later in life. Consider bringing your youngster to a local children’s hospital to ask about a cholesterol screening test.

    Understanding the Problem

    High cholesterol in children may often go undiagnosed because it isn’t commonly thought to be a problem for little ones. And while parents of overweight or obese children may be more likely to bring them to a children’s hospital for a cholesterol test, pediatric experts warn that even children of a healthy weight can be at risk of high cholesterol. High cholesterol in childhood contributes to atherosclerosis, a condition that can develop over many years. This significantly increases the risk of a child suffering a heart attack or other problem in adulthood.

    Identifying the Causes

    Being overweight or obese does indeed contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. However, children who spend two or more hours a day in front of a screen are at a particularly high risk. These lifestyle habits not only take the place of physical activity; they also contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

    Implementing Healthy Changes

    Fortunately, a few simple lifestyle modifications can restore your child or teen to health. Encourage your youngster to get at least one hour of exercise each day, whether that involves running around with his or her friends, or joining an exercise class. Replace the unhealthy fats in your child’s diet with monounsaturated fats from sources such as olive oil. Examples of unhealthy fats include butter and other fats that stay solid at room temperature. Additionally, restrict your child’s intake of commercially prepared foods whenever possible.

    Talk to a pediatric specialist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital to determine whether your child might benefit from a cholesterol test. If your child does have high cholesterol, the friendly staff at our children’s hospital can help you learn of healthy lifestyle changes to improve your child’s wellness. We encourage families in the Las Vegas area to call (702) 233-5437 to speak with a registered nurse about dietary matters.

    Starting Off the School Year with Better Eating Habits

    Last updated 3 months ago

    It’s all too common for children and teens to skip breakfast and choose junk food for lunch. Not only does this contribute to obesity; it also increases your child’s risk of serious health problems later in life. When children follow healthy eating habits early in life, they’re more likely to continue them into adulthood. Before the school year begins, consider bringing your youngster to your local children’s hospital and asking his or her pediatrician for nutritional guidance.

    Nutritional Breakfasts

    Help your child get into the habit of waking up early enough to eat a nutritious breakfast before school. By eating breakfast every day, your child will have more energy and be able to concentrate on his or her schoolwork. Additionally, kids who eat breakfast may be more likely to choose healthier foods for lunch. Avoid sugary kids’ cereals and instead offer your child a whole grain cereal topped with fresh fruit. Or, make a healthy breakfast burrito with a whole grain wrap filled with scrambled eggs and a little low-fat cheese.

    Healthy Lunches

    Now that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has been passed, schools are offering kids healthier lunches. If you’re packing your child’s lunch this year, aim for a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce. For example, instead of packing an applesauce cup, pack a container of fresh berries or melon cubes. If your child is bored of sandwiches, try making a turkey and melon wrap by spreading a flatbread with horseradish sauce. Then, add some turkey slices, lettuce, and cantaloupe cubes, and roll up.

    Smart Snacks

    Pediatrics experts recommend keeping a variety of healthy snacks in your home for your child when he or she returns from school. If you pre-slice apples, carrots, or other fruits and vegetables, your child may be less likely to reach for the chip bag.

    For more information about the specific nutritional needs of your child or teen, consult the pediatrics staff at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our children’s hospital in Las Vegas is devoted to helping area families improve quality of life with better health habits. Visit our children’s hospital on the Web to learn more or give us a call at (702) 233-5437.

    Could Your Child Have Sickle Cell Anemia?

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Sickle cell anemia is a serious type of inherited disorder. An individual with sickle cell anemia will manufacture crescent-shaped red blood cells, rather than disc-shaped red blood cells. The abnormally shaped blood cells tend to obstruct the flow of blood, causing a wide range of symptoms and complications. If your child displays some of the potential signs of sickle cell anemia, bring him or her to a children’s hospital promptly. At the children’s hospital, your child’s pediatric specialist will discuss treatment options that can minimize symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

    Anemia

    Sickle cell anemia involves abnormal hemoglobin in the red blood cells. As a result, your child will feel symptoms related to anemia, such as fatigue. Anemia can also cause dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, and jaundice. You may notice that your child’s skin is paler than usual or your child may report abnormal coldness in the hands and feet.

    Pain

    Sudden, severe pain can cause your child to end up in the pediatric emergency department. Abrupt, systemic pain with sickle cell anemia is referred to as a sickle cell crisis. It happens when the abnormal red blood cells block blood flow, which causes both pain and organ damage. Acute pain with a sickle cell crisis may persist for several hours or perhaps over a week, while chronic pain may persist for months. Sometimes, a sickle cell crisis may be triggered by cold weather, second-hand smoke, dehydration, overexertion, and infections.

    Complications

    Children with sickle cell anemia are at a high risk of certain complications, including life-threatening infections. They may also develop pulmonary hypertension, a condition that involves increased blood pressure in the lungs. Acute chest syndrome is another possibility; it involves symptoms such as chest pain, fever, and shortness of breath.

    If you suspect your child could have sickle cell anemia, bring him or her to Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas right away. Our children’s emergency department is available for children who experience severe or otherwise urgent symptoms from this disease. You can reach the Consult-A-Nurse referral line for our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437 to obtain a referral to a pediatric specialist.

    What Is CMV?

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is the leading congenital viral infection in the United States. It affects about one in 150 births in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More children have disabilities relating to CMV than other, better-known conditions, including Down Syndrome, pediatric HIV/AIDS, and spina bidifda. The good news is that congenital CMV is preventable with a few steps.

    Moms-to-be should pay close attention to germ prevention. They should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for about 15 to 20 seconds. Many pregnant women pick up CMV via contacts with kids’ saliva or urine, especially if they are already mothers or work in schools. Report symptoms of CMV infection, such as fever, fatigue, and aches, to the doctor right away. Babies born to mothers with CMV can experience developmental difficulties, so reacting to expected infections quickly is important.

    The Level III NICU at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas is available to treat babies born with CMV infections or any other medical emergency. Call our pediatric hospital at (702) 233-5437 to get answers to your questions about our Mother & Baby services and more. 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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