• Which Vaccinations Does Your Child Need to Start School?


    Immunization is an essential component of pediatric care , because vaccines protect children from a wide range of diseases that may be potentially fatal or cause permanent disabilities. Before school starts, it is important to check in with your child’s pediatrician to make sure that all immunizations are up to date. Below you’ll see which vaccinations are necessary for enrollment in school and those that are recommended to promote good health in your child.

    Required immunizations

    Nevada state law requires that children attending public schools be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis with the DTap vaccine; polio with the IPV vaccine; and measles, mumps, and rubella with the MMR vaccine. Each of these immunizations will generally be a part of your child’s regular visits to the pediatrician, though boosters might be necessary for children entering middle school.

    Recommended vaccinations

    Though not required, there are several immunizations that can benefit your child’s health and reduce the spread of illnesses at school. The annual flu shot is often recommended for school-aged children, and this may be given through an injection or with a nasal spray. The HPV vaccine is recommended at ages 11-12, since early immunization will offer the most complete protection. The meningococcal vaccine can protect from two of the three most common causes of meningococcal disease, which is potentially life threatening. This vaccine is also recommended at the ages of 11-12.

    Catch-up immunizations

    If your child has not been on the recommended vaccination schedule that your pediatrician has provided, it is possible to catch up with immunizations . It is never too late to get on a catch-up schedule, which you can discuss with your pediatrician should the need arise.

    For answers to all of your questions about pediatric medicine and the resources you need to raise a healthy child, connect with Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 233-5437. We provide a complete continuum of care for infants, adolescents, and teens with services including pediatric emergency care, child life services , and neonatal intensive care. 

  • What is Cystic Fibrosis?

    6-25-2015 10-57-08 AM

    Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease affecting the mucous and sweat glands; it is caused by a genetic mutation and is the most common inherited genetic disease seen in infants. If your child is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), you may have a number of questions about what types of symptoms your child may experience and how those will impact your child’s life. This article offers some answers to basic questions about CF to help you get on the right track with your child’s care .

    How common is CF?

    As Dr. Craig Nakamura explains in this short video, there are about 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis each year. In families with a history of CF, genetic testing prior to conception is recommended to assess the risk of having a child with this disease.

    What symptoms does CF cause?

    The very early signs of CF are salty skin, which may be noticeable when you kiss your baby. Babies may also not pass stool when they are first born. As the disease progresses, it can lead to blocked ducts in the liver and pancreas along with intestinal problems that limit the absorption of nutrients in the body. Reproductive complications may occur, and respiratory issues are very common. In patients with CF, mucous builds up in the lungs causing frequent bacterial infection and breathing difficulties.

    What is the prognosis with CF?

    As recently as three decades ago, the life expectancy of an individual with CF was about 20 years. With modern advances in medicine and a better understanding of the disease today, the median lifespan of patients with cystic fibrosis is about 40 years old.

    Which treatments are used?

    Finding appropriate care for cystic fibrosis early on is essential to managing this condition. While there is no cure, it is possible to manage symptoms through new medications, respiratory therapies, dietary counseling, and the use of nutritional supplements. Care may continue to evolve as new treatments are discovered and the condition evolves through the aging process.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you cope with a CF diagnosis in your child and facilitate a path to managing this disease with a dynamic approach to pediatric care. To get to know more about our services in Las Vegas, call us at (702) 233-5437. 

  • Identifying a Breathing Problem in Your Infant


    Breathing problems that may arise during infancy include cystic fibrosis, chronic lung disease, or acute lung infections. In many cases, parents will easily be able to identify that something is wrong, because their children may behave differently than other babies, showing the more specific signs discussed below. When you do suspect that a breathing problem is present, you should not hesitate to seek care with a pediatric pulmonologist like Dr. Craig Nakamura of Sunrise Children’s Hospital , who is featured in this video.

    Labored breathing

    Infants who do not have healthy lung function may appear to use more muscles to breathe while they are relaxed. You might notice that your child sucks in around the collar bone or uses more of the rib muscles, which may a sign that the muscles in the diaphragm are not strong enough to sustain normal breathing. Fast or abnormally paced breathing can also be symptoms of chronic lung problems.

    Blue face and lips

    When your child is not getting enough oxygen, he or she might have blue or chalky lips. If the whole face is blue or you notice this type of skin discoloration very early on in your child, you should speak to your child’s pediatrician right away.

    Abnormal noises while breathing

    Your baby may have more audible breathing than other infants with exhalation that is accompanied by grunting or wheezing while inhaling. These noises can indicate that there is a blockage in the airways or that liquid is present in the lungs.

    With the extensive pediatric pulmonology and rehabilitative services available at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, your child will have the dedicated attention and care needed to get a healthier start. To get a physician referral or find answers to your questions about our services, call (702) 233-5437 and speak with one of our registered nurses. 

  • Summer Sports Safety Tips for Kids


    When school is out, playing sports is a great way to pass the time while getting healthy physical activity and enjoying fresh air. If your child is part of a sports team or summer camp this season, you will want to encourage these good habits for reducing the chances of injury and heat illness .

    Take plenty of water breaks

    The Las Vegas heat can quickly cause dehydration and over-exhaustion, so it is important to have breaks every 30 minutes to spend some time in the shade and drink plenty of water. Avoid offering sugary juice and sports drinks, and provide cool water along with fruit slices or veggie sticks with peanut butter instead. Fresh produce is an excellent summer snack for active kids, since it provides longer lasting energy and extra hydration.

    Wear fitted safety gear

    Appropriate safety gear like pads and helmets is essential for sports played in any season. Because children can grow out of their gear quickly, you will want to make sure that all protective clothing and helmets are properly fitted for your child. When safety gear is too big or too small, it may not work effectively in protecting from injuries, and it may even be the cause of some injuries.

    Let injuries heal fully

    If your child does get hurt, make sure that he or she has enough time to rest and recover before returning to play. Cuts and bruises will not need much time to heal, but more serious injuries like fractures and sprains can be made much worse by getting back on the field too soon.

    In the event of sports injuries or other summertime accidents, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your reliable community healthcare provider for emergency and orthopedic care just for kids and teens. We can also provide you with helpful resources to improve your child’s health and safety in any season through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5437.