• Talk to your teen about healthy relationships

    The thought that one’s teen is being mistreated or abused is horrifying for any parent. If you have suspicions that your teen may be in a relationship that involves emotional, physical or sexual abuse, talk to a pediatric specialist right away. Or, call the police department if your teen might be in danger. The pediatricians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are always here to listen, and to help parents learn how to help their teens build healthy, respectful relationships.

    Understand the risks
    Every parent and child wants to believe that mistreatment and abuse will never affect their family. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , about one in every 10 teens who have dated have also experienced physical or sexual abuse.

    Abusive relationships can affect anyone, but teens may be at a higher risk if they:

    • Struggle with depression
    • Have experienced violence previously
    • Have abused drugs or alcohol
    • Have academic problems at school

    Teach your teen to recognize unhealthy relationships
    It can be tough to have serious conversations with teens. Know that even if your teen appears to not be taking what you say to heart, he or she will still remember it.

    An indirect approach may be helpful as an icebreaker. Watch movies with your teen that feature both healthy and unhealthy relationships. Talk about the movies, and point out that a healthy relationship is characterized by:

    • Mutual respect and support
    • Shared decision-making
    • Honest, open conversation

    Additionally, both partners should feel free to have friends and enjoy activities outside the company of each other.

    Point out the characteristics of unhealthy relationships, such as the following:

    • Decisions are made by just one person
    • There is pressure to withdraw socially from friends and outside interests
    • One partner controls the other’s time and interests
    • There is verbal abuse or threats
    • There is physical abuse, including objects being thrown
    • One partner requires the other to constantly check in with texts or calls

    Your teen should also know that unhealthy relationships usually don’t begin that way. At first, the partner may seem caring and loving, but then become gradually more controlling and abusive. Let your teen know that he or she can always come to you for non-judgmental help.

    Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in health. We’re here to provide superior care to your children at every stage of their lives, and to support their developmental, psychosocial and medical needs. You can speak with one of our registered nurses in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Signs that your child has low vision

    No parent wants to hear that their child has a chronic medical condition or impairment. But the sooner an issue is diagnosed, the sooner pediatric specialists can help the child and the entire family. If you think your child may be struggling with low vision , you should know that the specialists and nurses at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are here to help you. Our multidisciplinary team is uniquely qualified to care for the sensitive physical and emotional needs of our young patients.

    Understanding low vision
    Refractive errors are quite common. These are eye disorders such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Low vision is different.

    Whereas refractive errors can be corrected with contact lenses or eyeglasses, low vision refers to impairment that can’t be adequately addressed with these devices.

    Children with low vision may have problems with one or more of the following areas:

    • Contrast sensitivity

    • Central vision

    • Clear vision

    • Peripheral vision

    • Depth perception

    • Ability to process visual information

    Identifying the challenges of diagnosing low vision
    It isn’t always easy to detect pediatric impairments, since young children may be unable to communicate their challenges. Other kids might simply assume that their vision is just like everyone else’s.

    Avoid relying on school screenings to adequately assess your child’s vision. Instead, take him or her to a pediatric expert who can perform a comprehensive vision exam . Every child needs an eye exam annually—or more often if you notice possible problems.

    Signs of pediatric low vision
    Any of the following signs may indicate that it’s time for your child to have another comprehensive vision exam. Some of them are behavioral in nature:

    • Frequent blinking

    • Frequent eye rubbing

    • Habit of covering one eye

    • Tilting the head

    Other possible signs of low vision in kids are academic in nature:

    • Losing one’s place often while reading

    • Trying to avoid reading and other close work

    • Failing to copy down notes or assignments from the chalkboard

    • Having trouble remembering written information

    • Holding books close to the face

    • Having a short attention span

    The developmental, psychosocial and medical needs of your child are our top priorities here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . We provide comprehensive pediatric care and family support services to help our neighbors in Las Vegas cope with acute and chronic health issues. To speak with a friendly member of our nursing staff, give us a call at (702) 233-5437.

  • How donating blood can save a child’s life

    Just like adults, pediatric patients need blood transfusions for a variety of reasons. Usually, donor blood is used because the child has lost too much blood, can’t make enough blood or has a bleeding disorder. Every time you decide to donate blood at a children’s hospital or Red Cross blood drive, you’re making a positive difference in your community that could save lives. During National Blood Donor Month this January, Sunrise Children’s Hospital would like to thank all blood donors throughout Las Vegas who have given the gift of life.

    The loss of blood
    Children’s emergency care teams may need donor blood to save the lives of children who have suffered severe burn injuries, traumatic wounds or internal bleeding.

    Children who need surgery may also need blood transfusions. Occasionally, children and teens are able to donate their own blood, before the procedure, or a family member will donate blood. However, children who undergo surgery may lose more blood than expected, in which case, emergency blood transfusions are needed.

    The inability to make enough blood
    Inside some bones, like the hips, lies a spongy tissue called bone marrow. This tissue is responsible for producing new blood cells.

    Some pediatric patients are affected by bone marrow diseases that prevent this tissue from making enough blood cells or from making normal blood cells. For example, the tissue produces abnormal white blood cells because of leukemia, a type of cancer. In children with aplastic anemia, the bone marrow doesn’t produce red blood cells.

    Sometimes, a medical treatment can affect the ability of the bone marrow to make blood, such as chemotherapy. This is why pediatric cancer patients may require blood transfusions.

    The complications caused by a bleeding disorder
    Blood or bleeding disorders are another reason why children need blood. When you choose to donate blood , your gift may be used to help children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia, von Willebrand disease or thalassemia.

    Pediatric patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital need blood every day. Your donation can save the life of a child in our Trauma Center, Emergency Room, surgery wing or oncology unit. A friendly nurse is available to take your call at (702) 233-5437.