Swallowing tiny magnets: A big concern for children

Swallowing tiny magnets: A big concern for childrenPowerful, rare-earth (neodymium) magnets can cause serious injury and death if swallowed. They are up to ten times more powerful than traditional magnets and attract each other even if they are in different areas of the digestive system.

In the past, swallowed magnets generally could be treated with a wait-and-see approach, relying on them to pass without incident. With the proliferation of these small rare-earth …Continue reading →

How to make safety a priority for kids playing outside this winter

How to make safety a priority for kids playing outside this winter
Did you know that each winter 24,500 kids are injured in sledding accidents? About 3,000 of these kids suffer a serious brain injury as a result. Winter activities don’t have to be dangerous or have tragic consequences if safety is a top priority.

Following these tips to keep your kids safe while playing in the snow: …Continue reading →

Children and sleepwalking: What parents need to know

Children and sleepwalking: What parents need to knowYour 5 year old has been in bed and asleep since 8 p.m. At 10 p.m. you’re in the kitchen cleaning up and you see your child walk into the living room. You call out to him and he does not respond.

You then recall a similar event the night before when he wandered into your bedroom and urinated in your closet. You run over to him as he is about to “water the plants” and redirect …Continue reading →

How child life specialists helped my kids during their emergency room visits

My daughter's dog bite to her face

A dog bit Paeton’s face.

As a mom, I like having a plan and checking things off my list. I also like to see my plans coming to fruition. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since being a mom, it’s that nothing goes as planned.

Since August, I’ve found myself sitting in the emergency room of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin not once, but twice with two of my three children. Both situations were not in my plan.

I sat there both times feeling anxious and worried, but forcing a brave face for the sake of my hurting children. Even though I didn’t have a plan, I knew Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin did — thanks to their amazing …Continue reading →

Growing up with a new heart, a new life

Vincent gets a new heartMy name is Vincent, and I am 14 years old. One week before my seventh birthday, I had a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. People made a big deal about it, because I was the first kid in the upper Midwest to receive a Berlin heart.

A Berlin heart is a fake heart that you wear on the outside of your body. It keeps you alive while you wait for a transplant. I was out of the hospital in just 10 days! Now, I get to …Continue reading →

Tips for transitioning your child out of a booster seat and into a seat belt

Tips for transitioning your child out of a booster seat and into a seat beltWe take time when we purchase our children’s shoes and clothes to make sure they fit correctly. We would never dress them in adult clothing. But do we take the same amount of time checking to make sure that the life saving system in our car (the seat belt) fits them correctly? We should — because it could save your child’s life.

Making the decision to put your child into the seat belt is a huge decision and you want to make sure that it fits before you use it without a booster seat. Seat belts are designed to …Continue reading →

The flu can be fatal to children, even healthy kids

The flu can be fatal to children, even healthy kidsA recent CDC study pointed out that even healthy children can develop complications from influenza, such as severe pneumonia or death. Young infants, children with other illnesses, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk for severe cases of the flu.

Many parents mistakenly refer to a stomach illness with vomiting and diarrhea as the flu. Actually, the flu is a respiratory illness with high fever, headaches, body aches, chills, cough …Continue reading →

Lack of sleep is shown to worsen ADHD symptoms in children

Lack of sleep is shown to worsen ADHD symptomsAttention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. It may persist into adolescence and adulthood. A diagnosis of ADHD is dependent on symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Many of the most common behaviors linked to inadequate or disrupted sleep in children are similar to the symptoms of ADHD, including problems with attention and focusing, …Continue reading →

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 …Continue reading →

Working together for kids and families

Today we experienced a frightening situation at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

We are still waiting for all the details to emerge. What we do know is that a man who was visiting our hospital was involved in an altercation with police and was shot.

My heart goes out to the family involved, to all of our patients and families who were here at the time, and to all of our employees who worked together to relieve patients and families of their fears. As the news broke, I know that friends and family were worried as they waited …Continue reading →