• Tips for Caring for Your Child Following Surgery

    Going to a children’s hospital for surgery may seem overwhelming for both you and your child. However, at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, pediatric specialists provide extensive case management and discharge planning services to help you learn how to provide the care your child needs. Each child’s recovery from surgery is unique and is dependent upon the specific type of surgery he or she underwent. Specialists in pediatrics will provide you with detailed discharge instructions before you leave the children’s hospital.

    Follow the Discharge Instructions

    Your child’s discharge instructions will advise you as to how long your child must refrain from strenuous activities. If your child has been prescribed pain medication, be sure to follow all dosage instructions carefully. Avoid giving extra dosages if your child still complains of pain; instead, call a pediatrics provider. The discharge sheet may also provide instructions for feeding your child and caring for the incision site.

    Encourage Fluid Intake

    Your child may not feel like eating until much later in the day. However, he or she should consume clear fluids such as water, apple juice, ginger ale, or popsicles. Be sure to inform the nurse if your child appears dehydrated.

    Try Activities to Distract Your Child

    Distracting your child is one way to help him or her cope with discomfort. Watch your child’s favorite movie together, read a book, or listen to music. Your child may also enjoy coloring books or activity books.

    Offer a Comforting Touch

    A parent’s touch can reassure a child after surgery . However, it’s important to avoid touching the incision site. If your child is still in the children’s hospital, ask a nurse to help you hold your child so as to avoid disturbing any medical equipment.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas provides compassionate care for children of all ages, including sophisticated surgical services, emergency care, and outpatient care. If your child will undergo surgery at our children’s hospital, you’ll receive all the information, resources, and assistance your family needs to help your little one recover. If you have a question related to pediatrics, please call (702) 233-5437 to speak with one of our friendly registered nurses.

  • Getting the Facts About Celiac Disease in Children

    Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue, is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system. You can hear more about it by watching this video, which features a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. When a child with celiac disease consumes gluten, a type of protein, the villi of the small intestine sustain damage. Since the villi absorb nutrients from foods, untreated celiac disease can lead to malnourishment. If you suspect that your child has been displaying possible signs of celiac disease in the Las Vegas area, you can turn to Sunrise Children’s Hospital for help. Our children’s hospital provides advanced diagnostic and therapeutic options for a comprehensive range of pediatric conditions.


    At the children’s hospital, a specialist in pediatrics will ask you about any symptoms you may have noticed in your child. Some children may display the signs of celiac disease very early in life, while others can eat gluten for years before developing symptoms. When infants are first introduced to solid foods such as cereals that contain gluten, they may have slow weight gain and diarrhea. Other possible symptoms of celiac disease in children may include mouth sores, irritability, and skin rashes on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. Older children may have delayed puberty, short stature, diarrhea, or constipation.

    Gluten Sources

    The only way to manage celiac disease is to avoid the consumption of gluten. Foods that contain gluten include the following:

    • Wheat
    • Barley
    • Bulgur
    • Farina
    • Spelt
    • Triticale
    • Rye
    • Semolina
    • Malt
    • Graham flour
    • Durum

    Many prepared food products may contain gluten or traces of gluten. Some common culprits include bouillons, breading, caramel coloring, communion wafers, French fries, processed meats, and marinades, just to name a few. Since so many prepared food products may contain gluten or traces of gluten, you may wish to consider preparing all or most of your child’s meals without these products. When you do choose prepared food products, look for those that are certified to be gluten-free.

    If your child must follow a gluten-free diet , you can find the resources you need at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our specialists in pediatrics include clinical dietitians, who can help you learn how to plan a healthy, safe diet for your child. Families in the Las Vegas area can call (702) 233-5437 to speak with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital.

  • What Causes Constipation in Children?

    Young children who suffer from constipation may display unusual posturing, complain of abdominal pain, or have urinary incontinence that results in daytime or nighttime wetting. If constipation leads to fecal impaction, parents might observe soiled underwear, which may be mistaken for diarrhea. If your child’s symptoms are persistent or severe, consider bringing him or her to a children’s hospital. The caring staff at Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas can help your little one feel well again.

    Low-Fiber Diet

    A low-fiber diet is one of the most common causes of constipation in children , particularly those who are selective eaters. Some good sources of fiber include cooked kidney beans, bran cereal or muffins, apples with the skin, stewed prunes, squash, broccoli, and greens such as spinach. It’s also important to make sure children drink enough liquids to allow the fiber to work better. Water, clear soups, and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices are good options.

    Bowel Movement Delay

    Another common cause of constipation in children is the delay of bowel movements. Children may purposely try to hold in stool, which causes the stool to become hard and dry. Children may sometimes behave in this way if they are upset about potty training, unsure of using public bathrooms, or simply reluctant to stop playing when a bathroom break is necessary.

    Functional GI Disorders

    Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders occur when the muscles of the GI tract move stool too slowly. This does not inflict damage on the GI tract; however, it may result in constipation, known as functional constipation. Functional constipation is not uncommon during the transition from breast milk to formula, and from formula or breast milk to solid foods. It may also occur during potty training and when children begin going to school if they are reluctant to use the school bathrooms.

    The clinical dietitians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas can help your family learn about healthy eating habits that can reduce the risk of constipation. You’ll find a comprehensive range of pediatric healthcare services at our hospital, including care of high-risk pregnancy, children’s emergency care, and surgical services. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital, call (702) 233-5437.

  • Recognizing Appendicitis in Your Child

    It isn’t always easy to determine when a child has a serious medical condition that requires emergency care at a children’s hospital . Children often have difficulty articulating their symptoms. Fortunately, in many cases, stomachaches are minor and temporary. However, if your child suffers from severe or persistent stomach pain, it’s a good idea to consult a pediatric specialist because his or her symptoms may indicate appendicitis.

    Understanding Appendicitis

    Appendicitis refers to the inflammation of the appendix, which is a small structure located off the large intestine. Inflammation can develop when the appendix is blocked. And when an inflamed appendix isn’t surgically removed, it can rupture, causing life-threatening complications. This is why it’s important to learn how to recognize the possible symptoms of appendicitis and to rush your child to the emergency care department when necessary.

    Pinpointing Abdominal Pain

    Children may exhibit different symptoms than adults when they develop appendicitis. The hallmark symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. You can ask your child to point to the area where it hurts. With appendicitis, the pain tends to originate in the belly button area or the lower right part of the abdomen. The pain may come and go before it becomes persistent. If your child is able to describe the pain, he or she might say it feels sharp.

    Identifying the Other Symptoms of Appendicitis

    In addition to severe abdominal pain, children with appendicitis may have a low-grade fever. They may refuse to eat, and they may have nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea may occur. Appendicitis typically results in small amounts of diarrhea with mucus. Children under the age of two may develop a swollen or bloated abdomen, and they may vomit.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated facility for children’s emergency care in the Las Vegas area. At our emergency care department, our healthcare providers are highly trained in both pediatrics and emergency medicine. For emergency medical assistance in Las Vegas, please call 911 immediately. Non-emergency inquiries may be directed to a registered nurse at our children’s hospital by calling (702) 233-5437.