Here are some HOT tips to avoid frostbite

Here are some HOT tips to avoid frostbiteThis being Wisconsin, we still have more cold weather ahead of us, so it’s important for parents to understand the risk of frostbite during Winter weather.

Frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Even a short period of the skin being exposed to subfreezing temperatures can have long-term consequences such …Continue reading →

Is your child’s sore throat really strep throat?

How to know the difference between a sore throat and strep throatStrep throat is a common childhood illness, but parents often are frustrated with the number of times their kids get it. It’s important to understand a few important differences, especially the difference between a sore throat and strep throat.

Not all sore throats are strep throats. Most sore throats, which often come with a runny nose, cough and hoarseness, are caused by viruses and usually clear up on their …Continue reading →

How parents can help children avoid scald burns

How parents can help children avoid scald burnsBrrrr — it’s cold out there. It’s February in Wisconsin, and I expect this weather, but I have to admit, it’s starting to wear me down. I’ve been trying different things to keep warm, like hot chocolate, or my favorite comfort food, macaroni and cheese. And there’s nothing like a hot shower after shoveling snow!

As a nurse in the Burn Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I want you to know that serious scald burns can be caused by wet heat, like steam or boiling water. Sadly, I’m …Continue reading →

My experience as a nurse and the parent of a sick child


7-year-old Elliot

I was a nurse at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for almost 10 years before I truly understood what it’s like to be “on the other side.” Yes, that’s what we call it.

It’s much easier being a nurse for a patient than it is being the parent of a patient. When we leave the hospital, our life gets back to normal. A parent does not get that same luxury.

This is an amazing place, filled with amazing people, but as a nurse I never wanted to be one of the parents on the other …Continue reading →

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 →

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 →