• Why your child should have a flu shot instead of the FluMist vaccine this year

    When kids contract flu viruses , they miss school, feel cranky and suffer from unpleasant symptoms. And sometimes, they can develop serious complications, such as dehydration or febrile seizures. That’s why informed parents get their kids vaccinated against the flu each year. For the 2017 to 2018 flu season, vaccine experts recommend that kids get the flu shot, instead of the inhaled FluMist vaccine. If you have any questions, a pediatric provider at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is here to help.

    Why the FluMist vaccine isn’t recommended this year

    The FluMist vaccine has been a popular option for parents of young children, since their kids don’t have to endure the brief pinch of a needle. But to give your child maximum protection this flu season, the CDC is advising against the use of FluMist because of concerns about its effectiveness in protecting patients against a subtype of influenza A.

    Who should receive a flu vaccine

    Public health experts recommend that everyone ages six months and older receive a flu shot every year—as long as they do not have any contraindications. A contraindication is something that might make it less safe for a patient to receive a particular treatment. In the case of flu vaccines, one possible contraindication is a life-threatening allergy to chicken eggs.

    The flu shot is particularly important for:

    • Young children
    • Relatives of young children
    • Daycare workers
    • Teachers
    • Children’s librarians
    • Hospital staff

    Anyone who regularly interacts with kids at home, in the community or on the job should get vaccinated, because doing so protects the kids close to them.

    How you can comfort your child during injections

    It’s never easy for parents to watch their kids get shots, but the discomfort is temporary. Comfort your child by distracting him or her with a story or song. Hold your child on your lap, and keep your own demeanor and tone of voice positive.

    Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital , we’re on a mission to support the health of children throughout our Las Vegas community. Our pediatric specialists strongly encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated according to their pediatrician’s recommendations, as vaccines are the most effective way to protect vulnerable children from serious illnesses. If you would like a physician referral, you can contact our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

  • Quit smoking to protect your child’s lung health

    Your child’s lungs are precious, but their health can be compromised very early in life. Pediatric specialists strongly encourage parents to quit smoking as the most effective way to protect children from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’re committed to supporting healthy families because we live and work in the same Las Vegas communities as our patients.

    Your child’s risk of acute lung problems
    There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. If someone in the family smokes, the child is more likely to develop acute respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

    Bronchitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. Children with bronchitis may have a lingering cough could last for weeks, along with these symptoms:

    • Coughing up mucus
    • Wheezing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest discomfort

    Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs may become filled with pus or fluid. Pneumonia can cause:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Life-threatening complications, especially in infants and young children

    Your child’s risk of long-term lung problems
    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways. It’s characterized by wheezing and shortness of breath, especially during an asthma attack.

    A severe asthma attack can be life-threatening—and it can be triggered by secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is the cigarette residue that gets on clothes, hair, carpeting, upholstery and car seats. It’s impossible to wash off, and it can compromise the health of a child who is exposed to it.

    In addition to an increased risk of asthma and asthma attacks, children of smokers are more likely to have poor lung development and, later in life, lung cancer. Adding to their lifetime risk is the fact that children of smokers are more likely to become smokers themselves.

    Your plan to protect your child
    You have the ability to protect your child from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Quitting isn’t easy, but your child needs you to take action. Consider talking to your physician about ways of quitting smoking.

    In the meantime, protect your child by:

    • Never smoking inside the house
    • Never smoking near the house outdoors
    • Never smoking in the car, not even with the windows down
    • Never smoking near your child or other children
    • Finding a babysitter who doesn’t smoke

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in health. Our pediatric specialists provide compassionate, high-quality medical services to families throughout the greater Las Vegas area. You can request a referral by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Exploring the link between pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes

    A child’s health is always a top priority for parents. The choices you make for your child every day can make a big difference in his or her health over time. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, we’ve made it our life’s work to empower parents to make health-conscious decisions for their family. If you have any questions about your child’s nutrition or physical activity, or need diabetes education, our friendly pediatric specialists are here to help.

    How obesity contributes to diabetes

    The accompanying video features a pediatric specialist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. He discusses the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes . Type 2 diabetes is sometimes referred to as adult-onset diabetes.

    About half of all children who are overweight or obese will have some type of glucose intolerance, according to our pediatric doctor. Glucose intolerance includes prediabetes, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance.

    Research is ongoing, but doctors have identified a couple of ways in which obesity may contribute to the risk of glucose intolerance and diabetes. Obesity can cause:

    • Changes in metabolism

    • Systemic inflammation that disrupts insulin responsive cells

    Why diabetes is a serious disease

    Type 2 diabetes was once diagnosed most commonly in older adults. Now, it’s a problem that is increasingly affecting children. Even if an overweight or obese child doesn’t develop diabetes in childhood, he or she may have a higher risk of developing it later in life.

    Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to life-threatening complications, especially if it’s poorly managed. Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of:

    • Heart disease

    • Nerve damage

    • Kidney disease

    • Loss of vision

    • Hearing impairment

    • Alzheimer’s disease

    • Foot amputation

    How childhood obesity can be treated

    As troubling as the effects of diabetes and obesity are, these diseases are treatable and preventable. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight or nutrition, you can rely on a pediatrician to provide trustworthy, practical guidance. Here are a few easy suggestions that may help.

    • Give your child water and milk instead of soda and fruit juice

    • Never reward good behavior with food

    • Ask your child to help you plan and prepare healthy meals

    • Go for walks or bike rides as a family

    • Increase your child’s intake of fiber

    Young patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital receive personalized attention from our clinical dietitians. We offer comprehensive nutrition and diabetes education for our patients and their parents. Get in touch with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • How will cancer treatment shape your child’s future health?

    Cancer affects children differently than adults. Fortunately, survival rates have gone up, thanks to the tireless work of pediatric cancer researchers and the cancer care specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Because of those increased survival rates, more attention is being given to the way in which cancer treatments may affect children in the years to come.

    The late effects of cancer treatment
    Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cancer surgery can all cause side effects and complications. When these issues arise months or years after the patient is done receiving treatment, they are called late effects. Not all pediatric cancer patients will experience the same late effects, or the same severity of symptoms.

    The late effects of the eyes
    The children who experience late effects of the eyes are most often those who were treated for retinoblastomas, which is a cancer of the retina. The cancer itself has the potential to eliminate vision in an eye, which isn’t reversible. Depending on the specific treatment, the late effects of the eyes can include the following:

    • Cataracts
    • Blurry or double vision
    • Glaucoma
    • Dry, watery or irritated eyes
    • Poor vision or poor night vision
    • Drooping eyelid
    • Sensitivity to light

    The late effects of the brain
    Late effects of the brain can affect children who were treated for brain tumors or other cancers, such as acute lymphocytic leukemia. It’s possible for chemotherapy and radiation therapy targeted at the head area to adversely affect brain development. This can contribute to learning impairments, such as:

    • Inhibited memory and attention
    • Lower academic achievement
    • Lower IQ scores

    These late effects are more common in children who received both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

    The late effects of muscle and bone
    Radiation therapy can delay the development of a child’s muscles and bones, especially if the child is going through a growth spurt at the time of the treatment. The late effects can include:

    • Stunted bone growth
    • Bone pain
    • Joint stiffness
    • Weakened bones
    • Higher risk of fractures
    • Changes in gait
    • Asymmetrical growth

    Pediatric Oncology and Special Services at Sunrise Children’s Hospital offer high-tech solutions and high-touch care for families in Las Vegas when they need it most. Nothing is more important to us than the health and happiness of your child, which is why we provide superior, family-centered care that works for you. Call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437 to request a referral.

  • What are the risk factors for pediatric stroke?

    Stroke can affect anyone, regardless of age. In older adults, a stroke is often linked to risk factors like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and tobacco use. Very young stroke patients haven’t had time yet to acquire lifestyle risk factors like smoking, and so pediatric specialists will look for other possible risk factors. Regardless of the cause, pediatric stroke always requires emergency care, and the team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is here 24/7, every day of the year to save the lives of our young patients.

    Maternal health risk factors
    It’s possible for some maternal health issues to increase the risk of ischemic stroke in pediatric patients, either before or after birth. These include:

    • Diabetes
    • Substance abuse
    • Infections
    • Preeclampsia

    Placental abruption and the premature rupture of the membranes are other risk factors for pediatric stroke .

    Genetic and congenital risk factors
    Children can inherit genetic medical conditions from their parents. A congenital problem is one that is present at birth. Some risk factors that fall into one of these categories include the following:

    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Congenital heart defects
    • Hemophilia
    • Immune disorders

    Acquired health risk factors
    Infants and young children are susceptible to a range of medical issues, including some that may increase the risk of pediatric stroke. However, parents should know that just because their child has one or more risk factors, stroke isn’t inevitable. These risk factors include the following:

    • Meningitis
    • Chickenpox
    • Dehydration
    • Arterial injuries
    • Head injury that causes trauma to a blood vessel
    • Aneurysm

    Pediatric stroke signs and symptoms
    Knowing the risk factors of pediatric stroke is only the first step toward safeguarding a child’s health. Parents of children who may be at an elevated risk should know the warning signs to watch out for, which are different from stroke symptoms in adults.

    Newborns and infants may display:

    • Excessive sleepiness
    • Use of only one side of the body
    • Seizures

    Older children and teens may have:

    • Vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Unusual sleepiness
    • Severe headache
    • Loss of coordination and balance

    A suspicion of pediatric stroke warrants an immediate call to a 911 dispatcher.

    The Las Vegas area’s largest children’s Emergency Room is located at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our emergency care doctors, nurses and specialists are specially trained to meet the unique needs of pediatric patients. Call 911 if your child is having a medical emergency, or, for non-emergent inquiries, call a friendly nurse at (702) 233-5437.