Sunrise Children's Hospital
For more than three decades, Sunrise Children’s Hospital has been Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital.
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How will a brain injury affect your child's development?

Posted on 4/6/2018

Brain injuries can have serious impacts for people of all ages, but for children, they can be especially devastating. Because children’s brains are still developing, the implications of a brain injury can be more severe. If you think your child has suffered a brain injury, getting emergency care at a children’s hospital as soon as possible is critical. Here is what you need to know about brain injuries in kids and the potential long-term impacts for development.

How common are brain injuries in kids?
Children face a serious risk of brain injuries. These injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children and teens in the US, with the age groups of 0-4 and 15-19 being most at risk. Approximately 62,000 kids between birth to age 19 are diagnosed with a brain injury annually, while 564,000 seek emergency care for potential brain injuries.

Car accidents, sports injuries, and falls are the most common causes of brain injuries in kids. Physical abuse also plays a role in the prevalence of brain injuries in kids.

How is development affected after a brain injury?
It is difficult to predict exactly how a brain injury will affect a child. Several factors can influence the kinds of impacts an injury causes, including:

  • Which part of the brain is injured
  • Cause of the injury
  • Severity of the injury

Often, the impacts of a brain injury are not immediately apparent and can take years to appear. Some of the developmental impairments that can occur affect:

  • Concentration/attention span
  • Communication skills
  • Motor coordination
  • Sensory issues (such as visual or hearing impairments)
  • Reading skills
  • Socially appropriate behavior

Can developmental impacts be prevented?
Although developmental impacts can be hard to prevent after a brain injury, since there is no clear way to determine how an injury will affect a child, there are things parents can do to mitigate the risk and limit the severity of developmental issues:

  • Get emergency treatment as soon as possible after an injury
  • Participate in ongoing therapeutic treatment
  • Arrange support for developmental issues, such as classroom help and therapy
The children’s emergency room in Las Vegas at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is equipped to provide fast diagnosis and critical care to kids facing brain injuries. To learn more about all of our pediatrics services, please call (702) 233-5437.

How much sleep do kids need?

Posted on 3/30/2018

Just was with adults, sleep is the cornerstone of good health for kids. At your child’s check-ups with his or her pediatrics specialist, be sure to discuss sleep habits and healthy sleep amounts with the doctor, so you can ensure your child is getting the shuteye he or she needs for good health. Here is a look at the recommended sleep amounts for kids at different ages of their development.

Newborns, infants and toddlers
It’s not surprising that newborns, infants and toddlers require more sleep than any other age group. For these ages, aim for these amounts of sleep:

  • Newborn to three months of age: Between 14 and 17 hours is recommended. As little as 11 and as much as 19 may be appropriate, but not less or more than those amounts.
  • Infants between four to 11 months of age: Between 12 and 15 hours is ideal, but anywhere between 10 to 18 hours may be acceptable.
  • Toddler between one to two years of age: Between 11 and 14 hours is recommended, but anywhere from nine to 16 may be healthy.

Preschoolers and school-aged kids
Kids in this age range still need a significant amount of sleep, as they grow and adjust to a new schedule. These are healthy targets for this age group:

  • Preschoolers between three and five years of age: Between 10 and 13 hours is a good goal, but as a little as eight hours and as much as 14 may be healthy
  • School-aged kids between six and 13 years old: Between nine and 11 hours is recommended. Some kids may need as little as seven or as much as 12.

Teens and young adults
During these years, kids transition to having similar sleep needs as adults. Teens are frequently at risk of getting too little sleep, so keep these ranges in mind:

  • Teens between 14 and 17 years: Between 8 and 10 hours, though some teens may need as little as seven or as much as 11 hours of sleep to be healthy.
  • Young adults between 18 and 25 years: Between seven and nine hours, with as little as six and as much as 11 being appropriate.
Let the pediatrics specialists in Las Vegas at Sunrise Children’s Hospital keep your kids healthy at all stages of life. Get a referral to a physician by calling (702) 233-5437.

When to take your child to an orthopedic specialist

Posted on 3/26/2018

If your child has an orthopedic injury or symptoms of a chronic orthopedic issue, how do you know when it is time to see a specialist? There are several reasons treatment by a pediatric orthopedic specialist may be appropriate for your child. Here are some of the reasons your child may need a referral to an orthopedist.

Your pediatrician can’t treat the problem.
In some cases, your pediatrician may start out treating your child’s orthopedic issue but eventually decide that more complex care is needed. In other instances, you may see a pediatrician for an acute problem, and he or she may determine you need a different level of care.

As stated in the video, your pediatrician may refer you to an orthopedic specialist if your child needs a procedure or has a problem that is too complex to be treated by a generalist.

Your child has scoliosis.
Scoliosis refers to a curvature of the spine that can cause pain and mobility issues if left untreated. Because scoliosis is a chronic condition without a cure, a pediatric orthopedic specialist should monitor your child’s spine and the impact of treatment.

An orthopedic specialist may treat your child first with a brace to try to straighten the spine, and if that is not effective, surgery may be necessary.

Your child has flat feet.
All kids have flat feet at birth, but if your child doesn’t develop foot arches as he or she grows, then flat feet could cause pain and make walking difficult. You may notice that your child has flat feet if his or her ankles turn inward while walking.

A pediatric orthopedic specialist may recommend surgery to correct the arch in kids with flat feet, so walking is no longer painful.

For orthopedic care designed with kids in mind, choose Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our children’s hospital in Las Vegas offers a comprehensive range of pediatrics treatments, including orthopedic care and surgical services . Contact us at (702) 233-5437 to request a referral.

How to treat common childhood allergies

Posted on 3/16/2018

Kids often sniffle and sneeze, but prolonged periods of cold-like symptoms may not be a cold, but could instead be allergies. Allergies can happen any time of the year, but they are most common in the spring and fall. If you suspect your child has allergies, consult with your pediatrics specialist for diagnosis and treatments to help your child feel better.

Common allergy triggers
Although a number of different things can trigger allergy symptoms, in most cases, seasonal allergic rhinitis is to blame. About 40% of kids suffer from these kinds of allergies, also called hay fever. Common triggers of seasonal allergic rhinitis include:

  • Ragweed pollen
  • Grass pollen
  • Mold, such as leaf mold

The time of year your child experiences the worst allergy symptoms will give your pediatrics specialist clues about what is triggering them. For example, if your child suffers from spring and summer allergies, then grass pollen is likely to blame.

Treatment options
If your child’s allergy symptoms are mild, your pediatrician may recommend that your try over-the-counter medications, such as children’s antihistamines. If those are not effective, prescription allergy medications may be helpful.

If these medications don’t work, your child may be referred to a pediatrics allergy specialist for immunotherapy. Allergy immunotherapy, also sometimes called allergy shots, works by introducing small amounts of the allergy trigger into the patient’s system, gradually building up the body’s tolerance. Once tolerance is increased and the body stops having an immune response to the trigger, your child should no longer experience symptoms.

Lifestyle changes
If your child has allergies, there are a few things you can do at home to reduce symptoms. Resist opening windows in your home or car, which will increase exposure to the allergen. Installing higher quality air filters in your home’s HVAC system may also help.

If your child spends time outside when allergen levels are high, he or she should take a shower or bath before going to bed. This will remove traces of pollen and other allergens from skin and hair.

If your child is suffering from allergy symptoms, the pediatricians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are here to help. Contact our children’s hospital for a referral to a pediatrics specialist by calling (702) 233-5437.

What are the signs of appendicitis?

Posted on 3/5/2018

It isn’t yet known exactly why humans have an appendix, but it can certainly cause problems when it becomes inflamed. The appendix is a small structure located in the lower right-hand quadrant of the abdomen. Appendicitis is most likely to affect people between the ages of 10 and 30, but it can happen at any age. It’s essential to get your child emergency care if you think he or she might have an inflamed appendix. In Las Vegas, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is open day and night to administer superior children’s emergency care.

Abdominal pain
Appendicitis causes abdominal pain that may be very severe. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a pediatric surgeon explain that the pain might be located in the right-hand part of the abdomen. However, nearby areas may also become painful.

The pain of appendicitis tends to have a rapid onset. It may worsen if the child walks or coughs, and so you may notice your child trying to shuffle in a hunched-over position, perhaps while grasping the belly.

Gastrointestinal distress
In addition to abdominal pain, appendicitis can result in the following digestive issues:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Inability to relieve gas

Typically, children with appendicitis don’t want to eat anything. One major concern is the potential for dehydration. Let the emergency care doctor know if your child has been unable to keep fluids down.

Ruptured appendix
If appendicitis isn’t treated right away, usually with emergency surgery, then the appendix may rupture—a potentially life-threatening complication. Call 911 if you think your child might have a ruptured appendix.

A ruptured appendix can cause the same symptoms as appendicitis. It can also cause:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Feeling of rectal fullness
Call 911 or take your child to the children’s emergency care team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital if you think he or she is having a serious health issue. Our highly trained team of pediatric specialists understands the unique needs of our young patients, and can help your child feel well again quickly. For general information about our children’s hospital in Las Vegas, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.

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