• What you can do to end bullying

    Bullying is more than a few kids not getting along on the playground. It is a public health crisis for young people, and everyone in the community has a role to play in ending it. Pediatricians and other healthcare providers can help by paying attention to the signs of bullying when they are providing care for young patients and by proactively discussing the issue with both kids and their parents during appointments. There are also many things that parents can do in the fight against bullying, including taking these steps.

Know what bullying is
Bullying is sometimes such as hot button issue for parents that they don’t really stop to consider what exactly it means. There are a few key identifiers of bullying:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Power imbalance between the parties involved. This imbalance may be real, such as older children bullying a young child, or it may be perceived.
  • Repeated behavior

Bullying can take several different forms, including verbal, social, and physical aggression. There are other kinds of aggression besides bullying that children can experience, so it’s important to know what bullying is and isn’t, so you can get the right kind of help for your child’s specific needs.

Learn the warning signs
Parents need to learn the warning signs that their child is being bullied and that their child is taking part in bullying. If your child is being bullied, you may notice these signs:

  • Lost possessions, or possessions that have been damaged
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Change in grades, friends, or eating habits
  • Faking illnesses to avoid school
  • Unexplained injuries

If your child is engaging in bullying, you may see these signs:

  • Increased aggression
  • Unexplained new possessions or money
  • Refusing to take responsibility for actions
  • Frequent detentions or other in-school punishments
  • Worried about popularity and reputation

Take action
If bullying is happening at your child’s school, talk to the school administration and work with them on a plan for addressing the situation. Keep records of incidents, and keep the lines of communication open.

You should also keep the communication going with your child. Whether he or she is being bullied or is bullying, your help and guidance in a critical part of the solution.

Your child’s pediatrics specialist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is also available to help you and your family deal with issues of bullying. Find out more about our resources for kids or get a referral to a pediatrician in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Symptoms your child may experience with juvenile arthritis

    Several types of arthritis can affect children. These include juvenile rheumatoid arthritis , polyarticular arthritis and oligoarthritis, just to name a few. The specific symptoms a child may experience can vary, depending on which type of arthritis he or she has. It’s possible for a disease to cause symptoms that seem to be unrelated to the disease itself, so be sure to tell the pediatric specialist about all symptoms you’ve noticed. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our doctors and nurses emphasize the importance of involving the whole family in the child’s care.

    Symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    This is the most common type of juvenile arthritis. It’s defined as swelling that lasts at least six weeks , affecting one or more joints. The word “idiopathic” simply means that the cause is unknown.

    The typical symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis are:

    • Warm, swollen and tender joints
    • Fever
    • Rash
    • Painful, stiff joints
    • Inability to completely straighten or bend a joint

    Symptoms of oligoarthritis
    Children with oligoarthritis have fewer than five joints affected. Most often, kids will experience pain and swelling of the knee, wrist or ankle.

    It’s also possible for oligoarthritis to cause uveitis, which is a type of eye inflammation. Uveitis may cause these symptoms:

    • Eye pain
    • Eye redness
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Blurry vision
    • Decreased vision
    • Floaters

    Children should receive emergency care if they suffer from eye pain or decreased vision. If left untreated, it’s possible for uveitis to lead to permanent vision complications.

    Symptoms of polyarticular arthritis
    Like oligoarthritis, polyarticular arthritis is a subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Children with this type have five or more joints affected. Joints on both sides of the body may be affected, and both large and small joints can become painful.

    The joints of the jaw, neck, knees, hips, ankles, hands or feet may become painful, swollen and stiff. Children with polyarticular arthritis may also experience excessive fatigue, low fever and poor appetite.

    The pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are committed to healthcare excellence. Our hospital in Las Vegas is known for our family-centered approach, compassionate providers and exceptional family support services. You can request a referral to a pediatric specialist by calling our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

  • Prioritizing safety in kids’ sports

    Youth sports can bring communities together. They teach kids about teamwork, good sportsmanship and resiliency, and they promote physical health. But there’s always a potential for injuries to occur, including serious injuries like concussions . Parents are encouraged to consult a pediatrician at Sunrise Children’s Hospital about the specific safety concerns associated with their children’s chosen sports. And although we sincerely hope you’ll never need it, our children’s emergency care is available 24/7 in Las Vegas.

    Balancing activity with rest
    Physical activity helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases later in life, in part by promoting healthy weight management. But it’s true that there can be too much of a good thing. Kids also need to rest and allow their bodies to recover after a training session or game.

    You can consult the pediatrician if you’re concerned that your child might not be getting enough rest between high-intensity games. Your child’s doctor can help you strike the right balance between rest and activity.

    Using appropriate protective gear
    Most sports call for protective gear . Your pediatrician can provide guidance specific to your child’s chosen sport. Some common examples of protective gear in sports are:

    • Helmets
    • Safety pads and guards
    • Mouth guards
    • Athletic shoes
    • Sports goggles
    • Face masks

    Some kids may need extra equipment if they’ve previously had a sports injury. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a doctor at Sunrise Children’s Hospital explain when it’s a good idea for kids to wear a brace during sports activity.

    Identifying injuries promptly
    Children should never try to keep playing or training after suffering an injury, even if their NFL heroes do it. Parents, coaches and student athletes can take a collaborative and cooperative approach toward quickly identifying and treating pediatric sports injuries.

    Talk to your child about the importance of notifying the coach when an injury has occurred. Explain that injuries can get worse if they aren’t treated promptly, and especially if the child continues to play.

    If your child requires emergency care , please call 911 now. Otherwise, you can direct general healthcare questions to a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437. Sunrise Children’s Hospital brings together leading pediatric specialists, all of whom genuinely care about each young patient’s health and quality of life.

  • Which mental illnesses tend to show signs during childhood?

    Mental illnesses are typically chronic conditions that require a lifetime of management. Pediatricians are learning more about how these illnesses present themselves during childhood, making earlier diagnoses more possible than ever before. By diagnosing mental illnesses early, it is possible to delay the onset of some symptoms and prevent complications, while making the disease easier to manage for life. These are some of the mental illnesses that may show symptoms during childhood.

    Depression and bipolar disorder
    Depression and bipolar disorder can occur in young children and teens, often causing many of the same symptoms that they do in adults. Children who are suffering from depression may experience:

    • Sleeping more or less than normal
    • Changes in weight or appetite
    • Withdrawal from normal activities
    • Falling grades in school

    Children who have bipolar disorder may experience both episodes of depressive symptoms and manic episodes, during which kids may be extremely active and may seem suddenly and disproportionately happy or excited. These symptoms can cycle back and forth over an extended period, or they may change very quickly.

    Schizophrenia was once thought to only appear in late adolescence and early adulthood, but pediatricians now know that it can appear earlier. With this condition, kids may complain of hearing or seeing things or having confused thoughts. Parents may notice behaviors that seem unusual or that kids seem sensitive to light and sound and feel persecuted.

    Sometimes, kids experience symptoms of schizophrenia before they actually develop the condition, including hallucinations, anxiety, and slow language and motor development. Starting treatment at this stage can reduce the risk of more intense episodes of psychosis later in life.

    Anxiety disorders
    Like depression, kids with anxiety disorders have many of the same symptoms as adults. These symptoms include:

    • Irritability
    • Restlessness
    • Panic attacks
    • Sleeplessness

    Sometimes, anxiety disorder symptoms can be confused for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Your pediatrician will consider a wide range of symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis.

    Kids with mental illnesses can thrive with pediatric care to manage their conditions. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our pediatricians can help kids get the right diagnosis when they have a mental illness and find the right combination of therapies and medications to help. Contact us today at (702) 233-5437 to make an appointment with a pediatrics specialist in Las Vegas .

  • How is surgery different for children and adults?

    When it comes to surgery, one size does not fit all. Children and adults have different needs before, during, and after surgery, even if they are being treated for the same conditions. Pediatric surgeons have special training that allows them to work specifically on young patients to ensure the best possible outcomes. Here is a closer look at how surgery in children’s hospitals differs from adult surgical procedures.

    Prepping patients and families
    For kids, surgery is a family affair. Before a pediatric surgery, the doctors and surgeons involved in the case will spending time explaining what to expect to the patient in an age-appropriate way and helping parents and siblings understand the procedure.

    It’s important for parents to have a complete understanding of their children’s surgery, so they feel as comfortable as possible about the treatment plan and are equipped for the recovery period. It is equally important for the pediatric patient to have age-appropriate knowledge of the procedure so that he or she is relaxed rather than fearful.

    Using kid-friendly surgical equipment
    Kids have different needs in terms of anesthesia and surgical equipment. Pediatric anesthesiologists are trained to provide safe and effective anesthesia to young patients, adjusting medications as necessary for a child’s weight and to account for children’s small airways.

    Pediatric surgeons are able to perform minimally invasive procedures on children thanks to equipment that has been manufactured to be kid-sized. As the video states, pediatric surgical equipment is small and precise, so that kids can reap the benefits of faster recovery times that are associated with minimally invasive procedures. Open surgeries, when necessary, are also performed with kid-friendly equipment.

    Managing post-operative pain
    Kids often struggle to accurately describe pain levels after surgery, which can make pain management more complex. Child Life specialists are healthcare associates in children’s hospitals who help kids learn to describe their pain levels and assist in ensuring young patients’ post-operative pain is being adequately and safely controlled.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital , our team of pediatrics specialists in Las Vegas is highly skilled in childhood surgeries and dedicated to keeping patients and their families at ease during a scary time. To request a referral to a provider at our children’s hospital, please call (702) 233-5437.

  • How juvenile arthritis may affect your child’s growth

    Arthritis isn’t just an adult’s disease. Kids can and do get arthritis, and it can affect their health in many ways. If your pediatrics specialist has diagnosed your child with arthritis, it’s important to follow his or her treatment plan closely, including having regular visits with the doctor so that your child’s condition can be monitored. Here is what you need to know about juvenile arthritis and how it may affect your child’s growth.

    Juvenile arthritis 101
    Juvenile arthritis is not a disease but is instead an umbrella term that refers to multiple forms of arthritis that can affect kids. Some of the forms of arthritis that fall into the category of juvenile arthritis are:

    • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    • Juvenile lupus
    • Juvenile scleroderma
    • Juvenile dermatomyositis

    All forms of juvenile arthritis can cause different symptoms, and some forms of the disease cause little joint pain at all but instead affect the eyes, muscles, skin, or gastrointestinal tract.

    Juvenile arthritis and growth
    Whether juvenile arthritis affects growth depends on many different factors, including:

    • Type of disease
    • Severity of disease
    • Effectiveness of treatments

    Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which itself contains multiple subsets of the arthritis, is the most common form of the disease to interfere with growth. In addition to joint pain and swelling, this form of arthritis can affect the way that bones grow. Kids with this form of arthritis who experience changes to their bone growth may have bones that grow too slowly. When the lower extremities are affected, height can be impacted.

    Growth can also be affected by treatments for juvenile arthritis. Often, kids with arthritis take corticosteroids to control their symptoms. Long-term use of steroids is associated with delayed growth that may be permanent.

    Working closely with your child’s doctor at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is essential after a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. With the right treatments, symptoms can be controlled and the risk of complications can be reduced. Call our children’s hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5437 for more information or a referral to a pediatrics specialist.

  • Will food allergies go away in adulthood?

    Food allergies are scary for parents and kids alike. In addition to the caution that families need to take in their own homes to prevent exposure to trigger foods, parents have to worry about their kids coming into contact with off-limit foods at school and friends’ houses. Kids with food allergies are often no stranger to the ER in their children’s hospital and frequently need emergency care for severe allergic reactions. One question parents often have when their kids have food allergies is if the allergies will go away later in life. Here’s what is what you need to know.

    Allergies that may go away during adulthood
    There is no guarantee that any food allergy will go away during adulthood. However, some food allergies are more likely to clear up than others. Food allergies that kids commonly grow out of are:

    • Milk
    • Wheat
    • Soy
    • Egg

    Kids who outgrow these allergies sometimes do so later in their childhoods and during their teen years. In other cases, kids don’t outgrow them until they reach adulthood. Your pediatrics specialist will monitor the progression of your child’s allergies and help you determine if he or she is overcoming an allergic reaction to a specific trigger.

    Allergies that do not go away during adulthood
    Some food allergies are more likely to remain for life. These allergies include:

    • Peanut
    • Tree nut
    • Fish
    • Shellfish

    Although occasionally these allergies do go away, they linger for life for most people. Keep in mind that the severity of the reaction is not a reliable indicator of whether or not an allergy will go away.

    Determining if your child still has an allergy
    If you suspect that your child has outgrown an allergy, don’t feed him or her the trigger food to test the idea. Instead, allow your child’s pediatric allergist to perform in-office testing. Testing at home could lead to anaphylaxis and the need for emergency care.

    If your child does suffer a serious food allergy reaction, choose Sunrise Children’s Hospital for children’s emergency care in Las Vegas that caters to young patients. You can learn more about our emergency room and all of our pediatric services by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Which health conditions are more common in children with autism?

    If your child is diagnosed with autism, it’s not surprising that your initial focus is working with his or her pediatrician to learn everything you can about managing this disorder. One thing that often gets overlooked is the fact that autism also increases the risk of other health conditions in kids . By knowing the conditions that your child has a greater risk of developing, you can be vigilant about spotting the symptoms and reporting them to his or her pediatrician as soon as possible. Although your pediatrician is the best source of information about your child’s specific health risks, here are some of the conditions that occur more frequently in kids with autism.

    Gastrointestinal disorders
    Gastrointestinal—or GI—disorders are among the most common co-occurring conditions with autism. Kids who have autism are more likely than other kids to suffer from a range of GI symptoms, including:

    • Chronic constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • IBS
    • GERD

    As with most conditions, researchers are not sure why there is an increased risk of GI disorders with autism. Your pediatrician can recommend many different treatment options, depending on the nature of your child’s symptoms. The discomfort of GI disorders can impact your child’s behavior, so finding effective treatments is important.

    Sleep disorders
    Autism is closely linked with disrupted sleep, and most kids with autism will experience problems with sleeping at least sporadically. For some kids, sleep problems become chronic, leading to ongoing problems with falling and staying asleep. Disrupted sleep can cause a range of symptoms for kids with autism, including:

    • Daytime drowsiness
    • Hyperactivity
    • Inattentiveness

    Sleep disorders in kids with autism can also affect the rest of the family’s sleep. Your pediatrician will try to determine if there are underlying causes for your child’s disrupted sleep, such as medication side effects, and recommend bedtime strategies that can help.

    Seizure disorders
    There is a close link between seizure disorders and autism. Kids with autism have a dramatically increased risk of developing a seizure disorder, while kids who have seizure disorders are more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

    Treating seizure disorders is important for the overall wellness of kids with autism. Your pediatrician may recommend medications and dietary changes.

    Finding out that your child has autism can be overwhelming, but the Las Vegas pediatricians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are here to help you every step of the way. Call our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

  • Provide your kids the tools they need to say no to alcohol

    Parents don’t like to think about their kids experimenting with alcohol, but the truth is that by the time kids reach high school, most of them will. Talking to your kids early, often, and truthfully about alcohol is the best way to protect them from the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking and to give them the tools they need to make smart decisions. If you are concerned that your child is abusing alcohol, talk to his or her pediatrician about steps you can take. This advice will help you get the conversation about alcohol started with your kids in a way that it will sink in.

    Be a good example
    Your kids watch everything you do closely, so set a good example by the way you use alcohol. Don’t reach for a drink at every social occasion, so kids understand that drinking isn’t necessary to have fun.

    Living a healthy lifestyle that involves physical activity, healthy eating, and not drinking to excess will teach your kids that these are normal, smart decisions that you make and expect them to make, too.

    Don’t wait to bring it up
    It’s never too early to start talking about alcohol in an age-appropriate way. For young children, talking about how alcohol can make you feel sick can be a good lesson, while slightly older kids might be interested in hearing about the ways that alcohol affects the body.

    When kids reach middle school and high school, they are likely to encounter kids who are experimenting with alcohol. Talk to them about peer pressure and their right to say no to things that they don’t want to do. Focus on the health and legal consequences of drinking for kids in their age groups.

    Open the lines of communication
    Be open to kids asking questions about alcohol at any age, and answer them truthfully and without judgment. Resist the urge to lecture. Kids who feel respected are more likely to come to you for advice.

    Remind teens that they can call you if they find themselves in a risky situation, and that you will help them without asking questions.

    Talk to your physician at Sunrise Children’s Hospital for more advice for helping your kids navigate topics like alcohol and drug use. Contact our children’s hospital in Las Vegas to learn more about all of our services or to request a referral to a physician by calling (702) 233-5437.

  • Can children have IBS?

    Irritable bowel disease, or IBS, doesn’t only affect adults. Kids are also vulnerable to this uncomfortable condition, and it can have an impact on their everyday lives. If your child is experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal problem, make an appointment with a children’s hospital pediatrician to determine if IBS could be to blame.

    What exactly is IBS?
    IBS is not actually a disease but is rather a group of symptoms that occur together and affect the gastrointestinal, or GI, tract. People of all ages with IBS experience symptoms including:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea

    For some people, these symptoms only show up occasionally, while others only experience a certain set of symptoms—such as only constipation or only diarrhea—and experience them on an ongoing basis.

    How common is IBS in kids?
    Doctors aren’t sure exactly how many kids are affected by IBS, but some studies have indicated that up to 14% of high school students have the condition. It appears to occur equally in boys and girls.

    IBS is most common in kids who have family members with the disease. Kids who suffer from depression or anxiety are also more prone to developing IBS. If your pediatrician suspects your child has IBS, he or she may order some medical tests to rule out other conditions before making a diagnosis.

    How is IBS treated?
    Treatment for IBS depends on the type of symptoms being experienced. For some kids, dietary changes are all that are needed. Kids may need to avoid common trigger foods, such as:

    • High-fat foods
    • Milk products
    • Caffeine
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Beans
    • Cabbage

    If symptoms aren’t improved by dietary changes, then medications may be necessary. Laxatives may help with chronic constipation, while antidiarrheal medicines can help with diarrhea. For chronic abdominal pain, antispasmodic medications may be used.

    Living with IBS can be a challenge, but at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our pediatricians can help your child find a treatment plan that effectively manages symptoms. For all of your child’s medical needs, trust our children’s hospital in Las Vegas. We’re here to answer your questions about our services and provide referrals to pediatricians. Call (702) 233-5437.

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