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

Common Sinus Problems in Children

Posted on 3/22/2012

Child Sinus Problems

The sinuses are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. Healthy sinuses contain no viruses or bacteria, allow air to circulate freely, and enable mucous to drain out as needed. When the sinuses become backed up with mucous and air does not circulate freely, germs are able to grow and cause inflammation. 

A child’s sinuses are not fully developed until late in their teenage years, so younger children are especially prone to infections and sinusitis. Sinus problems in children are most commonly caused by viral infections, such as colds and the flu, and may also be triggered by seasonal allergies. A child with sinusitis may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Thick, yellowish-green nasal drainage
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or irritability
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Cold symptoms that last more than the usual week to ten days, sometimes with a low-grade fever
  • Sore throat, cough, nausea caused by post-nasal drip

If your child is exhibiting the above symptoms, consider seeking treatment from your local pediatrician. Once diagnosed with sinusitis, children generally respond well to treatment with antibiotics. The small percentage of children who do not respond to antibiotic therapy will often benefit from surgery to make narrow sinus drainage pathways wider. Depending on the underlying cause of the symptoms, your pediatrician may also recommend the surgical removal of adenoid tissue. While the inflammation of this tissue does not directly block the sinuses, it can cause many symptoms that are very similar to a sinus infection. 

You can reduce your child’s risk of developing sinus infections by preventing exposure to air pollutants, such as tobacco smoke, and reducing his or her time at day care. If you still have questions about your child’s risk for sinus infections, let Sunrise Children’s Hospital be your resource for further information. Contact our staff of experienced pediatric specialists by calling (702) 731-5437 at any time.

Learn More About Keeping Your Family Healthy!

Posted on 3/21/2012

Healthy Family

Do you still have questions regarding hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or any of the other conditions discussed in our recent blog posts? Find out more by clicking through the links below or contacting Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437.

  • This guide found on The Cardiomyopathy Association website provides more information regarding cardiomyopathy in children.
  • You can read about other types of heart disease by visiting the American Heart Association website. 
  • Approximately 75% of children will suffer from an ear infection before their third birthday. Read more statistics associated with disorders of the ear from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website.
  • Visit the American Academy of Otolaryngology website to learn about swimmer’s ear and its causes.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture website contains a large amount of helpful information regarding a healthy diet for your growing child.
  • Proper nutrition is essential for children and their parents. This article from outlines healthy eating habits for the whole family.
  • This article from the American Pregnancy Association describes the importance of good nutrition during your pregnancy.
  • Neutropenia is a rare disease that can be hereditary (passed from parent to child). Find out more about neutropenia from the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
  • Autoimmune disorders can affect adults and children—visit this article from MedlinePlus to read more about them.
  • Learn more about how to prepare your child for surgery by reading this article found on

A Look at Neutropenia

Posted on 3/16/2012

White Blood Cells

White blood cells, which are produced in the bone marrow, are essential in fighting disease and foreign substances that invade the body. Neutropenia, also called agranulocytosis, is a rare condition in which white blood cells are not produced by the bone marrow in adequate amounts or they are destroyed at an abnormally high rate. As a result of this condition, the levels of white blood cells circulating through the body are too low, increasing a child’s likelihood for infection. 

Neutropenia can be the result of medications or treatments, such as chemotherapy, or inherited and present at birth. Tumors, infections, aplastic anemia, autoimmune diseases, or fibrosis of the bone marrow can also cause this condition. Your child may be at risk for developing neutropenia if he or she:

  • Is taking certain medications
  • Is exposed to certain chemicals or radiation
  • Has a family history of certain genetic conditions
  • Is suffering from any autoimmune disorders
  • Has an enlarged spleen
  • Has a vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency
  • Has leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes

If your child experiences the symptoms associated with neutropenia, consider seeking the advice of his or her pediatrician. The signs of this condition can be caused by many different illnesses, so do not immediately assume that neutropenia is the culprit. The symptoms may include bacterial pneumonia; bleeding gums; low white blood cell count; sudden fever, jaundice, chills, or sore throat; or infection.

Treatment for this condition depends on many different factors. With the help of an experienced pediatric specialist, you can decide the best treatment plan for your child. Treatments include transfusion of white blood cells, antibiotic treatment, white blood cell-stimulating factors, or the removal of potential causative agents (toxin or medication).

If your child must undergo a white blood cell-reducing therapy, such as chemotherapy, consult with your pediatrician to learn about possible preventive measures that you can take to help avoid this condition. If you have any further questions, contact the healthcare team of Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437.

Preparing for Surgery at Sunrise Children's Hospital

Posted on 3/15/2012

Has your child recently been scheduled for surgery at Sunrise Children’s Hospital? Although surgery can be stressful and frightening for your child and yourself, learning as much as you can about what to do before, during, and after the procedure can help to alleviate these negative emotions. In this video, you can view a step-by-step description of your child’s surgery day and what you and your child are likely to experience.

If you have any other questions regarding your child’s surgery day, do not hesitate to call the staff of Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 731-5437. You can also receive assistance and support through our Child Life Department.

Taking Care of Your Child's Ears

Posted on 3/12/2012

Children's Ear Health

From hearing to balance, your child’s ears are essential in helping him or her interact safely with the environment. Although ears do not typically require too much cleaning and attention (just to be washed regularly), there are a few things that every parent and child should know to keep them healthy. Read on to learn more about taking good care of your child’s ears.

  • Regular cleaning:
    While many people may think of earwax as an unnecessary and even gross product of the ear, this substance actually serves an important purpose. It is secreted to lubricate, clean, and protect the skin of the ear canal. As it is produced and makes its way to the opening of the canal, you can gently clean it out of your child’s ear with a damp washcloth. Cotton-tipped swabs are not recommended for cleaning, as they can cause earwax to become impacted in the ear canal, which can result in impaired hearing.  
  • For pierced ears:
    If your child has recently had her ears pierced, be sure to allow the piercings to fully heal before the earrings are removed. As it is healing, use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean the piercing thoroughly while the earring is still in place to help prevent infection. 
  • While in the pool:
    Many children can suffer from a condition called swimmer’s ear after swimming in a pool for a certain period of time. To prevent this painful infection, dry your child’s ears thoroughly after each swim. A few drops of rubbing alcohol may help to dry out any remaining moisture left in the ear canal.
  • In hot and cold weather:
    Make sure that you apply sunscreen onto your child’s ears (and yours too!) before any prolonged sun exposure to avoid sunburn. When it is cold outside, keep his or her ears covered and warm with a hat or headband to avoid frostbite.

If your child experiences pain or other symptoms associated with his or her ears, consider seeking treatment at Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas. Contact our friendly staff at (702) 731-5437 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

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