Helping kids feel safe when they are scared

All of us at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin have learned how to talk to kids about scary things — from common medical procedures to complex surgery.

When violence occurs, we’re usually the experts about communication: use the right words, watch for signs of fear and offer distractions to make things easier.

Yesterday, Children’s Hospital was in the middle of the frightening incident. Our hospital …Click here to continue reading

Beware of disturbing trend: Candy laced with prescription or illicit drugs

Beware of disturbing trend: Candy laced with prescription or illicit drugs

Marijuana can be hidden in food products.

Wisconsin Poison Center wants parents to be aware of a new trend spreading across Wisconsin that’s all trick and no treat.

Suckers and toffee are being melted down purposely and laced with crushed prescription drugs or powdered illicit drugs. In particular, stimulants such as amphetamines have been discovered in these “treats.”

The intent is to mimic an ordinary candy sucker so it’s hard to detect. Lacing candy …Click here to continue reading

Try these alternatives to candy for trick-or-treaters on Halloween

As a mom, I know handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is both fun and expected. But as a pediatrician, I want to remind parents to pay attention to how much candy your kids are consuming and to consider mixing in alternatives to candy for the …Click here to continue reading

Help your child minimize headaches this school year

How to help your child minimize headaches this school year

Stress at school can trigger a headache.

The new school year brings a lot of fun things — excitement, new friends, new teachers, after-school activities … but it can also bring about stress and headaches as homework piles up and tests loom around the corner.

Starting the year off right can help minimize a child’s stress levels throughout the year, which could lead to fewer …Click here to continue reading

Why storms and power outages increase your family’s chances for carbon monoxide poisoning

Why storms and power outages increase your family’s chances for carbon monoxide poisoning

Breathing in high levels of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death.

Severe storms — such as tornados and thunderstorms — strike most often in Wisconsin during the summer months when temperatures are warm. It’s important to know the danger isn’t over once the storm blows through — especially if power is knocked out.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the most common poison-related cause of hospitalization and death in the wake of …Click here to continue reading

5 steps to eliminating common outdoor poisonings

5 steps to eliminating common outdoor poisonings

Keep chemicals away from children.

If your kids enjoy playing outside, they could get into some dangerous situations with outdoor poisons. Many family garages and sheds are home to lawn chemicals, fluids, paints and pesticides.

Here are some basic tips to help keep your children — and yourself — safe: …Click here to continue reading

Join our Aug. 30 Twitter chat focused on safe teen driving

Join our Aug. 30 Twitter chat focused on safe teen driving

Join our Twitter chat to discuss safe teen driving during back-to-school season.

I am excited to announce Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is hosting a live Twitter chat Aug. 30 to discuss safe teen driving during back-to-school season.

Parents and teens are encouraged to join our motor vehicle safety experts and medical professionals to discuss:

  • How to talk to your teen about distracted driving
  • Tips to help your teen avoid texting and driving
  • The effectiveness of safe driving pledges …Click here to continue reading

Why energy drinks may be a health hazard

Why energy drinks may be a health hazard

Because of the way energy drinks are labeled, it can be difficult to know how much caffeine is in a drink.

They’re fruity, they taste good and they give you that boost of energy you need to get through the day. But energy drinks can be harmful. Toxicologists at Wisconsin Poison Center urge parents to use caution and common sense when using energy drink products — for yourself and especially for your children.

From Jan. 1 through April 30 this year, poison centers across the country received reports of 1,060 individual cases …Click here to continue reading

Fireworks on the 4th of July: 9 ways to keep your kids safe

Fireworks on the 4th of July: 9 ways to keep your kids safe

Sparklers can burn at more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a nurse in the Burn Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I’ve cared for kids who have suffered serious burns to their hands, feet, faces and bodies as a result of the careless use of fireworks.

Many people think sparklers are safe, but I know all too well that sparklers can be just as dangerous as larger fireworks, …Click here to continue reading

10 ways to prepare your teen for the responsibility of driving

Preparing teens for the responsibility of driving

Look who’s driving now: Your teen!

Very soon my second teenage daughter will be behind the wheel. (Gasp!) Recently, a friend who has a daughter enrolled in the classroom portion of driver’s education asked some of us more experienced parents how we prepared ourselves and our teens for the responsibility of driving. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Make a contract to emphasize driving is a privilege, not a right. Use the parent-teen driving contract found on the …Click here to continue reading