• Raising Awareness for Pediatric Stroke

    When most people think of stroke, they imagine older patients, but it is possible to have a stroke at any age, even during infancy. Pediatric stroke occurs in about 11 in 100,000 children annually, and many of these children are under the age of 2. This condition is among the top ten causes of death in children, so it is important to recognize the risks and signs to ensure proper care when pediatric stroke occurs.

    Pediatric stroke risk factors

    In adults, the risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, but these conditions are not often seen in children. With pediatric stroke, risk factors are related to existing conditions such as head or neck trauma, preeclampsia during pregnancy, arterial diseases, congenital heart defects, and immune disorders.

    Signs and symptoms

    Common symptoms of stroke like drooping of the face or extremities on one side of the body, slurred speech, and confusion may be seen in children who are suffering from stroke, but these symptoms may not be as apparent in infants who are unable to communicate. Other signs that may be clearer include seizures, excessive sleepiness, and favoring one side of the body. In older kids and teens, stroke may cause severe headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of coordination.

    Recovery from pediatric stroke

    Because children’s brains are still developing, stroke tends to have less of a lifelong impact on pediatric patients. Even still, it is important to seek immediate care when you suspect a stroke in your child or infant, since emergency care for stroke can have a strong impact on long-term rehabilitation.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, you will find a dedicated pediatric ER where your child will have the care he or she needs in the fact of any emergency. Our campus also features a neonatal intensive care unit and a wide range of pediatric care sub-specialists to provide the right care for the youngest members of your family. To learn more about our hospital or check current ER wait times, call us at (702) 233-5437.

  • A Closer Look at Underage Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning

    Underage drinking is a high-risk activity, but it occurs in a large percentage of adolescents and teens who are often unaware of all of the risks that can come with alcohol use. Aside from the long-term issues that can come from underage drinking—including changes in brain development—drinking among teens and adolescents often results in emergency room visits for alcohol poisoning. This article will offer a more detailed look at the facts about underage drinking that will help you talk to your child to prevent this dangerous activity.

    Underage drinking is very common

    About 35% of 15 year olds report having had at least one alcoholic drink in their lives, and 27% of people between the ages of 12 and 20 report drinking within the past month. Because the chances of drinking in this age group is so high, you should discuss the potential risks of underage drinking with your child, such as impaired judgment, increased risk of assault, and serious injuries.

    Teens and young adults are more likely to binge drink

    While any amount of alcohol is dangerous for adolescents and adults whose brains are still in a critical period of development, the excessive amounts in which teens drink are a particular concern. Underage drinkers are much more likely to binge drink, meaning that they drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period.

    Teens do not recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning

    Binge drinking can easily lead to alcohol poisoning, and many teens are not aware of the signs for this emergency situation. Informing your teen of these signs, which include excessive vomiting, unconsciousness, and mental confusion, will help reduce the chances of fatal complications of alcohol poisoning. Recognizing the signs will allow your teen to use better judgment and call 911 when a peer is suffering from alcohol poisoning.

    For tips on talking to your teen about alcohol use and other health risks that may arise in middle and high school, call Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5437 to speak with one of our registered nurses.

  • Why Antibiotics and the Flu Don’t Mix

    When your child has the flu, medication might be prescribed if you bring your child to the doctor shortly after symptoms begin . This medication, however, will not be an antibiotic, which might cause more harm than good when you are trying to treat the flu. Below, you can see why antibiotics are not a suitable treatment for the flu, which is one of the most frequently diagnosed illnesses in children.

    Flu is a viral infection

    Antibiotics are highly effective drugs in the treatment of bacterial infections, but they will do little to treat the flu , which is caused by a virus rather than bacteria. Antiviral drugs are appropriate for the flu, but they should not be used unless they have been specifically prescribed by your child’s pediatrician.

    Unnecessary antibiotic use can lead to resistance

    If antibiotics are used when they aren’t needed, a patient can build up a resistance to these drugs, meaning that they won’t work when prescribed for a bacterial infection. This is particularly problematic with the flu since bacterial infections are a common complication of the flu virus. Over time, the antibiotic resistance across a large population can lead to the formation of a super-bug that will not be manageable with existing antibiotic drugs.

    Antibiotics can have negative side effects

    When giving your child any medication, it is important to remember that all medications can have potential side effects. That means that giving your child antibiotics for the flu will not only fail to resolve flu symptoms, but it might also cause new symptoms to arise.

    To learn more about the basics of treating the flu at home, connect with the Consult-A-Nurse line at Sunrise Children’s Hospital by dialing (702) 233-5437. We offer a wealth of resources to manage your child’s health along with a wide range of hospital services to deliver dedicated pediatric care to the Las Vegas community.

  • Setting Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family

    New Year’s resolutions can inspire you and your family to get healthier in 2016, but it is easy to make resolutions that do not stick and are forgotten by February. With the tips in this article, you can make smarter resolutions that will pay off for years to come with improved health and wellness for all members of your family.

    Schedule preventive check-ups for the family

    Before setting any specific goals, it might be a good idea to schedule visits to the pediatrician for your kids so that you can learn about any specific health risks they face. It’s a good idea to schedule a checkup for yourself as well with your primary physician so that you can get on track with personalized goals for the family.

    Set goals you can accomplish together

    Working together is a great way to stay on track and accomplish your goals. Therefore, you might resolve to get exercise together with daily walks, a fitness class, or a family gym membership. Along with increased physical activity, goals related to healthy eating, stress relief, and family bonding are all great choices for your health.

    Start small with big changes

    A common pitfall of New Year’s resolutions is a lack of specificity in setting goals. Breaking down your larger resolution into a series of smaller changes can help you avoid this trap and achieve better health for your family. If, for example, you want your family to eat healthier, you might begin by having more homemade meals at home. Once you get the family gathering around the dinner table, you might introduce healthier options and new foods that you have not tried before. Building better eating habits together can help your child establish lifelong habits of good nutrition.

    If you are looking for pediatric care for your child in Las Vegas to get a healthy start in 2016, call Sunrise Children’s Hospital at (702) 233-5437 for a physician referral. You can also count on us for emergency care, health events and classes , and family-focused care in a wide range of pediatric sub-specialties to help you raise healthy children.