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    Taking a Closer Look at the Child Life Department at Sunrise Children's Hospital

    Last updated 6 months ago

    The hospital can be a scary and stressful place for kids, which may cause complications in the healing process for young patients. Sunrise Children’s Hospital works to provide a more welcoming environment for pediatric care with help from our Child Life Department, which is dedicated to assisting patients and their families through their hospital stays.

    The Child Life Department offers services that include age-appropriate games and activities, holiday celebrations, emotional support, pain management, and sibling preparation for hospital visitation. They also welcome special visitors like therapy dogs, volunteers, storytellers, and Dr. Magic, who puts on performances for the hospital’s young patients and their families. With this extra care and attention, children in the hospital for any number of conditions may feel more comfortable and cared for, which results in a smoother transition back home.

    To learn more about the extra care you can expect for your child at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, visit our website or call us at (702) 731-5437. Our Las Vegas hospital provides neonatal intensive care, pediatric cardiac services, and dedicated pediatric oncology to ensure the highest level of care in the region. 

    Knowing the Signs of Pediatric Heart Defects

    Last updated 6 months ago

    About one in 100 babies are born with some type of congenital heart disease, and most of these cases will present during infancy or even during gestation. In these stages, physicians will be able to clearly identify heart defects and begin planning treatment. However, there are some signs that may arise as children grow a little older and begin to present symptoms of congenital heart disease. In some rare cases, congenital cardiac defects will not be diagnosed until adulthood, but this is not likely for most patients. Parents should remember that pediatric heart defects are highly treatable, so the following signs should be immediately brought to the attention of a pediatrician to minimize the potential for complications.

    Feeding Problems

    Sometimes infants with heart defects will have trouble feeding or gaining weight, and these are both issues that your pediatrician may ask about during routine visits. When defects do not present symptoms until later on in a child’s life, the child may still be below the average height and weight for his or her age group.

    Breathing Difficulties

    Cardiac and respiratory issues are often interconnected, so a child might have trouble breathing with a heart defect. In very young infants, the only sign may be blue skin, which can indicate that a baby is not getting enough oxygen in his or her body.

    Immune Disorders

    Congenital heart defects may be isolated problems, or they can be the result of immune disorders such as DiGeorge syndrome. Disorders of this nature are frequently diagnosed at birth through infant screenings performed at the hospital.

    Heart Murmurs

    Most often, congenital heart defects not identified during infancy are diagnosed due to heart murmurs. During a physical exam, the pediatrician will listen to your child’s heart to note any abnormalities in the heart beat. Heart murmurs are commonly heard in children, but they are typically not a sign of something serious. Your child’s pediatrician will determine whether or not further testing is needed to diagnose a potential heart murmur.

    With Sunrise Children’s Hospital in your community, you can feel confident that your child is receiving excellent cardiac care through one of the largest pediatric heart care programs in the western U.S. To learn what sets us apart, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437. 

    Handling the Flu When Your Child Has Asthma

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Did you know that Asthma is the leading cause for flu complications that can lead to hospitalization among kids during flu season? Parents of children who have asthma should be particularly cautious when it comes to flu prevention and treatment. Here are a few steps you should take if your child has asthma so that the flu does not cause a medical emergency in your household.

    Become a Stickler for Immunization

    Not only should your child have the flu shot (not the nasal spray), but the whole family should be immunized to reduce the spread of the virus. If possible, you might also encourage your child’s friends and their families to have the flu shot too, since higher rates of vaccination can further inhibit the spread of the flu throughout your community.

    Ask Your Child’s Pediatrician about Anti-Viral Treatment

    You should learn to identify flu symptoms right away, since anti-viral treatment can be effective when symptoms are spotted quickly and medication is prescribed immediately. Anti-viral treatment may not cure the flu completely, but it can significantly reduce symptoms and shorten the life of the illness.

    Maintain the Right Environment at Home

    Aside from the flu shot, cleanliness is the best method of prevention when it comes to influenza. Frequent hand washing and disinfecting surfaces throughout the home should be a regular part of your flu season routine. You might also consider having air ducts cleaned and doing some heavy-duty dusting to eliminate asthma triggers in the air at home.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital can be your partner for flu prevention this winter and provide reliable emergency care if flu complications become a problem in your household. Our Las Vegas pediatric ER is the largest in the area, providing care for more than 30,000 children each year. For flu prevention tips from our registered pediatric nurses, call our healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437 or visit us online. 

    What Are the Risk Factors for Childhood Cancer?

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Most people tend to associate cancer with lifestyle factors that contribute to a higher cancer risk later on in life. In the case of childhood cancers, however, the causes seem to be related to inherited genetic defects and early genetic mutations that take place in cell divisions that occur during fetal development or the first few years of life. Understanding the seemingly random pattern behind the development of childhood cancers can be helpful for parents and families, because cancer diagnoses are often accompanied by feelings of guilt. This article will take a closer look at the risks and causes of childhood cancer so that you are able to better understand your child’s disease and face the treatment process. 

    Inherited Genes

    Sometimes, childhood cancers may be caused by inherited genetic mutations from one or both parents. In some cases, parents may not even be aware of the DNA changes they are passing on to their children, because they are only identifiable through genetic testing. Still, it is important to remember that inherited genetic abnormalities only account for a small handful of childhood cancers. It is much more likely that the DNA changes are random and take place before the child is even born.

    Acquired Genetic Mutation

    When DNA mutations are not inherited, they are called acquired mutations, and they tend to happen very early in a child’s life, maybe even in gestation. During this period, cells are dividing at a rapid rate, and errors may occur, causing genetic mutation. From the point of mutation onward, all cells that come from that mutated cell will have changes to its DNA. Unfortunately, the likelihood for acquired mutations is very unpredictable.

    Environmental Causes

    Research has been conducted to explore environmental causes for childhood cancer, but these seem to be rarely, if at all, involved in the risk. Radiation exposure is the most commonly linked environmental factor with childhood cancers, though most of these cancers still appear to have no outside causes.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital can offer hope following a diagnosis of childhood cancer with the only dedicated pediatric oncology unit in the state of Nevada. You can explore our oncology services on our website or reach us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437. 

    Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy in the Holiday Season

    Last updated 7 months ago

    When you are expecting a bundle of joy during the holiday season, you may find that your normal busy holiday routine can be too much to handle both physically and mentally. Pregnancy can cause you to feel tired, sore, and drained, so you might plan your holidays a little differently this year to avoid putting extra stress on yourself and your baby. Below you will see some tips for staying healthy while still enjoying the holidays.

    Stay Close to Home

    Traveling can be particularly hard on expecting moms who are still experiencing morning sickness or are in the last trimester of pregnancy, so you might consider staying home even if you usually travel. If you do enjoy getting away for the holidays, you might consider picking a destination closer to home in later months of your pregnancy so that you can travel comfortably in the car.

    Be a Stickler about Food Safety

    Pregnancy can put you at an increased risk for food poisoning, which is prevalent around the holidays as large meals are prepared and cross-contamination is more likely. To play it safe, you should always wash your hands before eating and after handling raw food. You might also ask questions about how foods like cookies, Caesar salad dressing, mayonnaise, and egg nog were made to be sure that you don’t ingest raw eggs or alcohol.

    Keep Your To-Do List Limited

    Between decorating, shopping, and holiday cooking, you may have a high-stress routine for the holiday season. It may be helpful to cut down your typical holiday to-do list with help from friends and family so that you have time to breathe and de-stress.

    Limit Sugar Intake

    When you attend a holiday party and you are not enjoying the alcoholic refreshments, it can be easy to spend too much time at the dessert table filling up on holiday treats. You can limit the temptation and keep your sugar intake more moderate by eating a high-protein meal before any holiday event so that you stay full and have energy to get through the evening.

    For the personalized, detailed prenatal care and ideal delivery setting you will want during your pregnancy, choose Sunrise Children’s Hospital for your labor and delivery. You can schedule a tour of our maternity department by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437. 

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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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