Sunrise Children's Hospital
For more than three decades, Sunrise Children’s Hospital has been Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital.

Which toys present the biggest choking hazards for kids?

Posted on 12/11/2017

The holiday season is exciting for parents who are looking forward to seeing the delight on their children’s faces when they open their gifts. Unfortunately, not all toys are safe for kids. Even if your baby or toddler receives a toy that is indicated for his or her age range, you should check it for possible choking hazards. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our children’s emergency care providers encourage all parents to learn how to administer infant CPR and the pediatric Heimlich maneuver.

Toys with small parts

Babies and toddlers are incredibly curious, and they like to explore objects by putting them in their mouths. It’s all too easy for a toy with small parts—or with parts that are easily broken off—to choke a child. Test each toy your child receives to ensure its safety.

Children’s emergency care physicians recommend purchasing a choking hazard tester. Try to put all sides and parts of the toy through this cylinder, and if any of them fit, the toy is a choking hazard. Alternatively, you could use a depleted toilet paper roll.

Compressible toys

Some objects, such as toy balls, might seem perfectly safe for kids. However, some of these are compressible, which would allow a curious child to fit the object into the mouth. Keep these toys away from your child.

Impromptu toys

Often, the most dangerous toys aren’t toys at all. Emergency care doctors recommend crawling through each room of your home to examine potential threats from your baby’s perspective. Ensure that the floor and easily reached areas are free of hazards like the following:

  • Coins
  • Pen caps
  • Bottle caps
  • Buttons
  • Batteries

Toy packaging

Toy packaging is often overlooked as a choking hazard. Before giving your child any new toy, inspect it carefully for plastic wrap and foam padding.

It’s common for toy manufacturers to add a nearly invisible layer of film to the mirrors on children’s toys to guard against scratches. This film is a documented choking hazard.


Balloons are recognized as a major choking hazard by ER physicians. Never leave a young child unattended with a latex balloon or a deflated balloon. Even older children may choke on the broken pieces of a popped balloon, and it’s possible for them to inhale a balloon that they’re trying to inflate.

At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’re committed to healthcare excellence because we believe families in our community deserve the best of care. You can rely on our children’s emergency care team in Las Vegas if your child suffers a medical problem. For non-emergent inquiries only, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.

Why your child should have a flu shot instead of the FluMist vaccine this year

Posted on 11/30/2017

When kids contract flu viruses, they miss school, feel cranky and suffer from unpleasant symptoms. And sometimes, they can develop serious complications, such as dehydration or febrile seizures. That’s why informed parents get their kids vaccinated against the flu each year. For the 2017 to 2018 flu season, vaccine experts recommend that kids get the flu shot, instead of the inhaled FluMist vaccine. If you have any questions, a pediatric provider at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is here to help.

Why the FluMist vaccine isn’t recommended this year

The FluMist vaccine has been a popular option for parents of young children, since their kids don’t have to endure the brief pinch of a needle. But to give your child maximum protection this flu season, the CDC is advising against the use of FluMist because of concerns about its effectiveness in protecting patients against a subtype of influenza A.

Who should receive a flu vaccine

Public health experts recommend that everyone ages six months and older receive a flu shot every year—as long as they do not have any contraindications. A contraindication is something that might make it less safe for a patient to receive a particular treatment. In the case of flu vaccines, one possible contraindication is a life-threatening allergy to chicken eggs.

The flu shot is particularly important for:

  • Young children
  • Relatives of young children
  • Daycare workers
  • Teachers
  • Children’s librarians
  • Hospital staff

Anyone who regularly interacts with kids at home, in the community or on the job should get vaccinated, because doing so protects the kids close to them.

How you can comfort your child during injections

It’s never easy for parents to watch their kids get shots, but the discomfort is temporary. Comfort your child by distracting him or her with a story or song. Hold your child on your lap, and keep your own demeanor and tone of voice positive.

Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’re on a mission to support the health of children throughout our Las Vegas community. Our pediatric specialists strongly encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated according to their pediatrician’s recommendations, as vaccines are the most effective way to protect vulnerable children from serious illnesses. If you would like a physician referral, you can contact our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

Quit smoking to protect your child's lung health

Posted on 11/27/2017

Your child’s lungs are precious, but their health can be compromised very early in life. Pediatric specialists strongly encourage parents to quit smoking as the most effective way to protect children from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’re committed to supporting healthy families because we live and work in the same Las Vegas communities as our patients.

Your child’s risk of acute lung problems
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. If someone in the family smokes, the child is more likely to develop acute respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Bronchitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. Children with bronchitis may have a lingering cough could last for weeks, along with these symptoms:

  • Coughing up mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs may become filled with pus or fluid. Pneumonia can cause:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Life-threatening complications, especially in infants and young children

Your child’s risk of long-term lung problems
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways. It’s characterized by wheezing and shortness of breath, especially during an asthma attack.

A severe asthma attack can be life-threatening—and it can be triggered by secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is the cigarette residue that gets on clothes, hair, carpeting, upholstery and car seats. It’s impossible to wash off, and it can compromise the health of a child who is exposed to it.

In addition to an increased risk of asthma and asthma attacks, children of smokers are more likely to have poor lung development and, later in life, lung cancer. Adding to their lifetime risk is the fact that children of smokers are more likely to become smokers themselves.

Your plan to protect your child
You have the ability to protect your child from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Quitting isn’t easy, but your child needs you to take action. Consider talking to your physician about ways of quitting smoking.

In the meantime, protect your child by:

  • Never smoking inside the house
  • Never smoking near the house outdoors
  • Never smoking in the car, not even with the windows down
  • Never smoking near your child or other children
  • Finding a babysitter who doesn’t smoke

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in health. Our pediatric specialists provide compassionate, high-quality medical services to families throughout the greater Las Vegas area. You can request a referral by calling (702) 233-5437.

Exploring the link between pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes

Posted on 11/19/2017

A child’s health is always a top priority for parents. The choices you make for your child every day can make a big difference in his or her health over time. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, we’ve made it our life’s work to empower parents to make health-conscious decisions for their family. If you have any questions about your child’s nutrition or physical activity, or need diabetes education, our friendly pediatric specialists are here to help.

How obesity contributes to diabetes

The accompanying video features a pediatric specialist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. He discusses the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is sometimes referred to as adult-onset diabetes.

About half of all children who are overweight or obese will have some type of glucose intolerance, according to our pediatric doctor. Glucose intolerance includes prediabetes, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance.

Research is ongoing, but doctors have identified a couple of ways in which obesity may contribute to the risk of glucose intolerance and diabetes. Obesity can cause:

  • Changes in metabolism

  • Systemic inflammation that disrupts insulin responsive cells

Why diabetes is a serious disease

Type 2 diabetes was once diagnosed most commonly in older adults. Now, it’s a problem that is increasingly affecting children. Even if an overweight or obese child doesn’t develop diabetes in childhood, he or she may have a higher risk of developing it later in life.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to life-threatening complications, especially if it’s poorly managed. Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of:

  • Heart disease

  • Nerve damage

  • Kidney disease

  • Loss of vision

  • Hearing impairment

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Foot amputation

How childhood obesity can be treated

As troubling as the effects of diabetes and obesity are, these diseases are treatable and preventable. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight or nutrition, you can rely on a pediatrician to provide trustworthy, practical guidance. Here are a few easy suggestions that may help.

  • Give your child water and milk instead of soda and fruit juice

  • Never reward good behavior with food

  • Ask your child to help you plan and prepare healthy meals

  • Go for walks or bike rides as a family

  • Increase your child’s intake of fiber

Young patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital receive personalized attention from our clinical dietitians. We offer comprehensive nutrition and diabetes education for our patients and their parents. Get in touch with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

How will cancer treatment shape your child's future health?

Posted on 11/10/2017

Cancer affects children differently than adults. Fortunately, survival rates have gone up, thanks to the tireless work of pediatric cancer researchers and the cancer care specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Because of those increased survival rates, more attention is being given to the way in which cancer treatments may affect children in the years to come.

The late effects of cancer treatment
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cancer surgery can all cause side effects and complications. When these issues arise months or years after the patient is done receiving treatment, they are called late effects. Not all pediatric cancer patients will experience the same late effects, or the same severity of symptoms.

The late effects of the eyes
The children who experience late effects of the eyes are most often those who were treated for retinoblastomas, which is a cancer of the retina. The cancer itself has the potential to eliminate vision in an eye, which isn’t reversible. Depending on the specific treatment, the late effects of the eyes can include the following:

  • Cataracts
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Glaucoma
  • Dry, watery or irritated eyes
  • Poor vision or poor night vision
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Sensitivity to light

The late effects of the brain
Late effects of the brain can affect children who were treated for brain tumors or other cancers, such as acute lymphocytic leukemia. It’s possible for chemotherapy and radiation therapy targeted at the head area to adversely affect brain development. This can contribute to learning impairments, such as:

  • Inhibited memory and attention
  • Lower academic achievement
  • Lower IQ scores

These late effects are more common in children who received both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The late effects of muscle and bone
Radiation therapy can delay the development of a child’s muscles and bones, especially if the child is going through a growth spurt at the time of the treatment. The late effects can include:

  • Stunted bone growth
  • Bone pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Weakened bones
  • Higher risk of fractures
  • Changes in gait
  • Asymmetrical growth
Pediatric Oncology and Special Services at Sunrise Children’s Hospital offer high-tech solutions and high-touch care for families in Las Vegas when they need it most. Nothing is more important to us than the health and happiness of your child, which is why we provide superior, family-centered care that works for you. Call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437 to request a referral.

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