With the start of 2012 , Nemours’ KidsHealth.org, the #1 website devoted to children’s health and development, looks ahead with its annual list of “Kids’ Health Issues to Watch.” As they do each year, the physicians and editors at KidsHealth sifted through health issues affecting children and families to choose a few important trends to keep tabs on in 2012. Of course, these are not the only important issues affecting children’s health — far from it — but the physicians and editors at KidsHealth feel that in the midst of many, these are notable:
Established in 1893, The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh is an independent non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the health and well-being of infants and children through services which establish and strengthen the family. The Children’s Home has three programs: a licensed infant Adoption program, Child’s Way® day care for medically fragile children, birth to age 8, and a 24-bed Pediatric Specialty Hospital, providing acute care for children ages birth to 21, transitioning from hospital to home. Additionally, our Family Living Area provides families with amenities to help make our hospital feel more like home, allowing them to stay overnight with their child.
With more than 53 years of experience, The Early Learning Institute is a leading provider of early intervention and early childhood education programs in Allegheny County. Serving over 1,400 infants,toddlers and children across Allegheny County annually , we provide a powerful range of early intervention services that go above and beyond to help children realize their fullest potential.
A new database to track cases of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) is being tested, with hopes of determining whether a large drop in such cases is due to care improvement or differences in how the incidents are recorded, according to an article published today in the journal Pediatrics. Read more..
“Too many parents today are ‘crystoppers,’ or parents who make important decisions regarding their child’s care, health and well being based solely on their desire to make their child happy and appease them immediately,” says Y. Aaron Kaweblum, MD, FAAP. “As a result, parents are creating an unhealthy relationship with their child – which leads to children today being misbehaved, obese and socially incapable of adapting to the demands of the adult world.”
Based on his practice and research as a pediatrician for more than 30 years, Dr. Kaweblum has seen firsthand what happens when parents regularly give their children what they want when they cry. He wrote Crystoppers: A Play by Play Guide for Wise Parenting to educate parents on the importance of parenting correctly from day one.
“From the first few weeks of life until adulthood, it is the parents’ responsibility to create a healthful environment for their child,” Dr. Kaweblum says. “Crystoppers offers a practical guide to assist parents in making wise, well-informed and healthful decisions for their children.”
Crystoppers focuses on three spheres of total parenting control: nocturnal sleeping, behavioral / temperamental and nutritional. His bottom line for parents is through three main philosophies:
- If something is bad for your child, don’t do it.
- If something is good for your child, do it.
- Never say, “I will try.”
“If parents learn to value and understand a child’s intelligence and capabilities from birth, they will begin to expect more from their children and, with the proper reinforcement, their children will expect more from themselves,” Kaweblum says.
Having diabetes can carry many health consequences, but a new study in the January issue of Health Affairs shows that it also highly influences a young person’s ability to complete high school, be employed, and earn a living wage. High school dropout rates among young people with diabetes are six percentage points higher than for young people without the disease. What’s more, young adults with diabetes can expect to earn $160,000 less in wages over their working lives compared to peers without diabetes.
“Diabetes has a marked effect on schooling and earnings early in life, yet these are relatively unexamined implications of this disease,” says the study’s lead author, Jason M. Fletcher, an associate professor of public health at Yale University. (Fletcher conducted the study as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University.)
Fletcher and coauthor Michael R. Richards, a physician researcher also at Yale, based their findings on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a national school-based study of teen health behaviors and their effects into young adulthood. Because the survey followed 15,000 teenagers well into their adulthood, it offers a unique window into the potential economic burden of disease over time.
House Bill 1960 Vulakovich – (PN 2674) Amends the Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Centers Act changing the age limit from eight years to 21 years of age effective immediately. HB 1960 moves to the PA Senate Committee on Appropriations in January 2012.
Parents of medically fragile children need options. As the first Pediatric Extended Care Center (PECC) in Pennsylvania, Child’s Way®, a program of The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center, gives families an alternative and supplement to home nursing and therapeutic care, which medically fragile children require. Child’s Way is dually licensed by the Department of Health as a PECC and by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as a day care center.
Unfortunately, current law restricts the care of children in PECCs to the age of eight; leaving no options for parents whose children age-out—children like A.J.
On December 16, 2011, A.J., who has attended Child’s Way since he was just five-months-old, turned nine. A.J. has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, chronic lung disease, scoliosis and seizures. He is ventilator dependent, requires a feeding tube, and receives special liquid feedings to allow him to thrive and control seizure activity. A.J. is administered four medications for seizures, aerosol treatments for his lung disease, and several other life-sustaining medications and treatments every day. While at Child’s Way, A.J. has consistent nursing care, which has aided in evaluating and preventing many healthcare complications.
With emergencies such as flooding and power outages happening in the Pittsburgh region all of the time, we are continually reminded that disasters can strike anyone, anywhere. “Children are especially vulnerable in these situations so it is important that parents do as much as they can to plan ahead and prepare their families for possible disasters,” explains Dr. Bruce Hyde, a board-certified pediatrician who specializes in community health issues at Pediatric Alliance’s North Hills Division.
Dr. Hyde recommends parents take the following steps to keep their family safe and well-prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster.