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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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.

Talk to your teen about healthy relationships

Posted on 2/26/2018

The thought that one’s teen is being mistreated or abused is horrifying for any parent. If you have suspicions that your teen may be in a relationship that involves emotional, physical or sexual abuse, talk to a pediatric specialist right away. Or, call the police department if your teen might be in danger. The pediatricians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are always here to listen, and to help parents learn how to help their teens build healthy, respectful relationships.

Understand the risks
Every parent and child wants to believe that mistreatment and abuse will never affect their family. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one in every 10 teens who have dated have also experienced physical or sexual abuse.

Abusive relationships can affect anyone, but teens may be at a higher risk if they:

  • Struggle with depression
  • Have experienced violence previously
  • Have abused drugs or alcohol
  • Have academic problems at school

Teach your teen to recognize unhealthy relationships
It can be tough to have serious conversations with teens. Know that even if your teen appears to not be taking what you say to heart, he or she will still remember it.

An indirect approach may be helpful as an icebreaker. Watch movies with your teen that feature both healthy and unhealthy relationships. Talk about the movies, and point out that a healthy relationship is characterized by:

  • Mutual respect and support
  • Shared decision-making
  • Honest, open conversation

Additionally, both partners should feel free to have friends and enjoy activities outside the company of each other.

Point out the characteristics of unhealthy relationships, such as the following:

  • Decisions are made by just one person
  • There is pressure to withdraw socially from friends and outside interests
  • One partner controls the other’s time and interests
  • There is verbal abuse or threats
  • There is physical abuse, including objects being thrown
  • One partner requires the other to constantly check in with texts or calls

Your teen should also know that unhealthy relationships usually don’t begin that way. At first, the partner may seem caring and loving, but then become gradually more controlling and abusive. Let your teen know that he or she can always come to you for non-judgmental help.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in health. We’re here to provide superior care to your children at every stage of their lives, and to support their developmental, psychosocial and medical needs. You can speak with one of our registered nurses in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

Signs that your child has low vision

Posted on 2/20/2018

No parent wants to hear that their child has a chronic medical condition or impairment. But the sooner an issue is diagnosed, the sooner pediatric specialists can help the child and the entire family. If you think your child may be struggling with low vision, you should know that the specialists and nurses at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are here to help you. Our multidisciplinary team is uniquely qualified to care for the sensitive physical and emotional needs of our young patients.

Understanding low vision
Refractive errors are quite common. These are eye disorders such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Low vision is different.

Whereas refractive errors can be corrected with contact lenses or eyeglasses, low vision refers to impairment that can’t be adequately addressed with these devices.

Children with low vision may have problems with one or more of the following areas:

  • Contrast sensitivity

  • Central vision

  • Clear vision

  • Peripheral vision

  • Depth perception

  • Ability to process visual information

Identifying the challenges of diagnosing low vision
It isn’t always easy to detect pediatric impairments, since young children may be unable to communicate their challenges. Other kids might simply assume that their vision is just like everyone else’s.

Avoid relying on school screenings to adequately assess your child’s vision. Instead, take him or her to a pediatric expert who can perform a comprehensive vision exam. Every child needs an eye exam annually—or more often if you notice possible problems.

Signs of pediatric low vision
Any of the following signs may indicate that it’s time for your child to have another comprehensive vision exam. Some of them are behavioral in nature:

  • Frequent blinking

  • Frequent eye rubbing

  • Habit of covering one eye

  • Tilting the head

Other possible signs of low vision in kids are academic in nature:

  • Losing one’s place often while reading

  • Trying to avoid reading and other close work

  • Failing to copy down notes or assignments from the chalkboard

  • Having trouble remembering written information

  • Holding books close to the face

  • Having a short attention span

The developmental, psychosocial and medical needs of your child are our top priorities here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . We provide comprehensive pediatric care and family support services to help our neighbors in Las Vegas cope with acute and chronic health issues. To speak with a friendly member of our nursing staff, give us a call at (702) 233-5437.

How donating blood can save a child's life

Posted on 2/5/2018

Just like adults, pediatric patients need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons. Usually, donor blood is used because the child has lost too much blood, can’t make enough blood or has a bleeding disorder. Every time you decide to donate blood at a children’s hospital or Red Cross blood drive, you’re making a positive difference in your community that could save lives. During National Blood Donor Month this January, Sunrise Children’s Hospital would like to thank all blood donors throughout Las Vegas who have given the gift of life.

The loss of blood
Children’s emergency care teams may need donor blood to save the lives of children who have suffered severe burn injuries, traumatic wounds or internal bleeding.

Children who need surgery may also need blood transfusions. Occasionally, children and teens are able to donate their own blood, before the procedure, or a family member will donate blood. However, children who undergo surgery may lose more blood than expected, in which case, emergency blood transfusions are needed.

The inability to make enough blood
Inside some bones, like the hips, lies a spongy tissue called bone marrow. This tissue is responsible for producing new blood cells.

Some pediatric patients are affected by bone marrow diseases that prevent this tissue from making enough blood cells or from making normal blood cells. For example, the tissue produces abnormal white blood cells because of leukemia, a type of cancer. In children with aplastic anemia, the bone marrow doesn’t produce red blood cells.

Sometimes, a medical treatment can affect the ability of the bone marrow to make blood, such as chemotherapy. This is why pediatric cancer patients may require blood transfusions.

The complications caused by a bleeding disorder
Blood or bleeding disorders are another reason why children need blood. When you choose to donate blood, your gift may be used to help children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia, von Willebrand disease or thalassemia.

Pediatric patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital need blood every day. Your donation can save the life of a child in our Trauma Center, Emergency Room, surgery wing or oncology unit. A friendly nurse is available to take your call at (702) 233-5437.


Celebrating Give Kids a Smile Day

Posted on 1/29/2018

Dental health is an important part of your child’s overall health. In 2003, the American Dental Association launched the Give Kids a Smile program to help disadvantaged kids receive free dental care, and to teach parents how vital oral care is to overall health. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank these volunteer dentists, and to encourage parents to celebrate Give Kids a Smile Day by learning more about their kids’ oral health needs.

Oral issues in babies and toddlers
Your baby needs oral care from day one. Although he or she won’t start teething for a while, it’s important to take good care of the gum tissue and their teeth as they begin to appear.

When your child is bottle-feeding, avoid giving them sugary liquids or milk between meals. Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by this liquid sitting on their gums and teeth. If they fall asleep with the bottle, it’s even more important to give them water instead, as it can sit in their mouth overnight.

Once your baby is done eating, make sure to wipe your child’s gums or teeth. This will prevent the excess sugar from building up on their gums or teeth as plaque.

Oral issues with elementary aged children
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, or no later than the first birthday, your child needs to see the dentist. Your dentist will help you learn how to gently brush your child’s baby teeth, and as they age, how to teach them to brush themselves.

Without proper dental care, a child can develop tooth decay in both baby and adult teeth. Tooth decay can be painful and cause issues with eating (and lead to poor nutrition), self-confidence, and even speech.

Oral care for adolescents
As your children age and become adults, tooth decay and damage can cause serious conditions like cardiovascular infections, or cause complications to current conditions like diabetes. Helping your child develop thorough oral hygiene early will set them up for success as they grow up.

Whatever your family’s health challenges , the pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help. We’re proud to be a leading provider of specialized pediatric healthcare for Las Vegas-area families. You can request a physician referral by calling a trusted member of our nursing team at (702) 233-5437.

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