• Helping Your Child Develop Good Habits for Heart Health

    It’s never too soon to start thinking about heart health. Specialists in pediatrics recommend that families begin teaching children about healthy lifestyle choices very early in life. Children learn by watching the people around them. You can encourage your child to develop heart-healthy habits by being a role model regarding dietary choices and physical activity. And if your family is ever in need of medical care in the Las Vegas area, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is here to help. From children’s emergency care to pediatric heart procedures, our children’s hospital is dedicated to healthcare excellence.

    Embrace an Active Lifestyle

    A physically active family may have a lower risk of heart disease. Encourage your children to join in regular exercise with you by making it seem like fun, rather than a chore. Go for a family bike ride, explore a nature trail, or practice some soccer moves in the backyard.

    Limit Screen Time

    Children who spend too much time in front of a TV, tablet, or other electronic devices are less likely to be physically active. They may also be more likely to snack excessively on unhealthy foods. Consider setting limits on your children’s screen time.

    Practice Food Label Awareness

    It’s difficult for children and adolescents to make healthy choices if they aren’t sure which foods are healthy. Teach your kids that labels such as “all natural” on packaged food products do not necessarily mean the item is healthy. While at the supermarket with your kids, make a game out of seeing who can find the healthiest food label based on calories, sugar, fat, and fiber per serving.

    Enjoy Meals Together

    Research has demonstrated that family dinnertime offers many benefits that encompass a family’s physical, emotional, and behavioral health. Enjoying meals together as a family can make it easier for you to encourage your kids to make healthy food choices while limiting junk foods. For some tips on getting your kids to eat a green vegetable with breakfast, watch this featured video.

    For general pediatrics health information, parents in the greater Las Vegas area can speak with a registered nurse at a NICU hospital by calling (702) 233-5437. Sunrise Children’s Hospital provides a comprehensive range of medical services to help families live life well. Parents are encouraged to browse our website for informative articles on heart health.

  • What Are Some Common Types of Heart Disease in Children?

    Specialists in pediatrics recognize three types of heart disease in children . Children may have congenital heart defects, heart rhythm disturbances, or acquired heart disease. Many different heart conditions fall into these three main categories. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, our specialists in pediatrics can treat all of them.

    Congenital Heart Defects

    A congenital condition is one that is present at birth. In the U.S., eight of every 1,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect. These are the most common type of heart disease to affect pediatric patients. There are many different types of heart defects that a specialist in pediatrics may diagnose, including atrial or ventricular septal defect, which refers to holes in the heart. Children may have heart valve conditions such as mitral valve prolapse or aortic stenosis. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a congenital defect in which the left side of the heart has not fully developed. About a quarter of children with congenital heart defects will require surgery.

    Heart Rhythm Disturbances

    Some children may be born with heart rhythm disturbances, also known as arrhythmias while others may acquire the condition. Arrhythmias are characterized by abnormal electrical impulses in the heart. Children with an arrhythmia may have a rapid, slow, or irregular heart rate. When this condition is acquired, it may be as a result of drug exposures or infections.

    Acquired Heart Disease

    Acquired heart disease that affects pediatric patients often develops as a result of an infection. An infection may damage the heart valves, which is known as endocarditis, or the heart muscle, which is referred to as myocarditis. Kawasaki disease can damage the coronary arteries. Occasionally, acquired pediatric heart disease may be the result of chemotherapy or untreated high blood pressure.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our heart health team understands the unique challenges associated with caring for a child with heart disease. Our specialists in pediatrics work closely with each family to guide them toward the support services and medical interventions they need. If you’re a Las Vegas parent with a child diagnosed with heart disease, you can call our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437 to ask a registered nurse about our Heart Care Program and child life specialists .

  • A Look at Heart Failure in Children

    Heart failure is often thought of as being a problem that only affects older adults. But in fact, the youngest of patients can also suffer from heart problems. At a children’s hospital , a pediatric heart health team can diagnose and treat children whose heart muscle cannot pump enough blood. Parents of children with heart conditions will find the solutions they’re looking for at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

    Causes of Heart Failure

    In adults, risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and malfunctioning heart valves can lead to heart failure. In children, this condition may result from over circulation failure because of structural abnormalities. Overcirculation failure refers to a disruption in the normal flow of blood. For example, a child may have a hole in the wall that separates the chambers of the heart or the child may have malformed blood vessels outside the heart. Heart failure in children may also be caused by pump failure, which is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently . Pump failure may be caused by a viral infection, muscular dystrophy, or heart valve problems.

    Symptoms of Heart Failure

    Parents may observe that children with heart failure display poor feeding, poor growth, and rapid heart rate. Children may experience difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, and low blood pressure. At a children’s hospital, a suspected heart failure patient can undergo chest X-rays, an EKG, and other tests to diagnose heart failure.

    Treatment for Heart Failure

    Each pediatric heart failure patient will receive a personalized treatment plan. This may include medications such as diuretics, along with nutritional supplements to compensate for poor growth. Some children may need to undergo surgery to receive a pacemaker, repair a heart defect, or have a heart transplant.

    The Heart Care Program at Sunrise Children’s Hospital combines state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated interventions with the compassionate touch of our specially trained heart health providers. Families in Las Vegas and beyond can turn to our children’s hospital for personalized pediatrics treatment plans for heart failure. For children’s emergency care, please call 911 right away; otherwise, you can reach our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

  • Heart Health Tips for New Moms

    For new moms, the health, safety, and happiness of their babies are the utmost priorities. Yet, self-care is also crucial for mothers. If you choose to breastfeed, you can improve your baby’s health and your own health simultaneously. Consider exploring breastfeeding support services available at a children’s hospital such as Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.

    Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Diseases

    You may already know that breastfeeding your child supports his or her immune system and it can reduce your own risk of breast and ovarian cancers. But did you know that breastfeeding can strengthen your heart health? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women—and your baby will need you in his or her life for a long time. Research suggests that new moms who breastfeed for at least seven to 12 months have a reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which can contribute to deadly cardiac events. Breastfeeding may also lower your risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor of heart disease.

    Restoring Your Healthy Shape

    It isn’t advisable to go on a fad diet or otherwise significantly restrict your calories while breastfeeding; you and your baby need proper nutrition. However, if you choose to breastfeed, you may find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy body weight. Breastfeeding by itself can burn up to 500 calories per day. By reducing your risk of being overweight or obese, you’re also reducing your risk of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease.

    Exercising with Your Baby

    Newborns require very careful, gentle handling. Your healthcare team at the children’s hospital can help you learn how to properly hold your child. Despite the fragility of your little one, it is still possible to begin exercising once you return home from the children’s hospital. Consider wearing your baby safely in a specially made sling while you walk around your home or complete errands. Or, place your baby securely in a jogging stroller and take a daily walk around your neighborhood.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you and your baby get off to a healthy start with our Sunny Babies program and breastfeeding classes. Our children’s hospital is pleased to provide compassionate high-risk pregnancy care and children’s emergency care. Families throughout the Las Vegas area can speak with a registered nurse at our NICU hospital by calling (702) 233-5437.