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'kids' posts

Seattle rain? You can still play inside!

In the last few years, I’ve taken note of various national campaigns encouraging improved health and wellness in children. Some aim to inspire at least an hour of play daily. Others focus on movement in conjunction with eating nutritious food to help fight childhood obesity. All of these campaigns share a common important message: regular physical activity improves a child’s overall health.

With the winter months upon us, my patients and families are concerned how to maintain activity levels when it’s cold, rainy, and gets dark outside too early. Even in the warmest months, there may be reasons a child might be inside more than out – including safety concerns. Fortunately, there are many fun ways children CAN stay active indoors when playgrounds are cold, ball fields are icy, yards are soggy, or the sun goes down too early.

Here are some ways kids can play inside while also working on strength, balance, flexibility, or coordination:

Circumcision: Yes or No?

On December 2, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a draft of its proposed recommendation that doctors should counsel all males (including parents of all male children) on the benefits and risks of circumcision.  This comes after a policy statement was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2012, stating that the benefits of infant circumcision outweigh the risks. 

The federal regulation has sparked a national debate, which I thought would be a good time to remind families about the pros and cons of the procedure.  

Support siblings when a child is in the hospital

Anytime a child is admitted to the hospital, it’s a scary and stressful experience for the entire family, including siblings. Siblings may have a vast range of different reactions and feelings so it’s just as important to support the siblings through this difficult time as it is for the patient.

No “window of opportunity” for celiac disease prevention

As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I’m often asked whether there is any way to prevent a child from developing celiac disease. Based on what I knew regarding how food allergies develop, I used to counsel families that there might be a “window of opportunity”, between four and six months, when it’s possible to introduce grains and other gluten-containing foods that could potentially “teach” the immune system to tolerate gluten and thus lower the risk of developing celiac disease.

However, my “window theory” recently got thrown out the window when the results of two important scientific studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Renovated Level II Nursery Swedish Issaquah Now Open!

The Swedish Issaquah Women, Infants and Children’s team is excited to announce the opening of our Level II Nursery, helping us provide specialized, around-the-clock care to premature babies born as early as 32 weeks gestational age.

The nursery is staffed by highly skilled neonatal advance practice registered nurses, with support by neonatologists. These nurses and physicians are part of the Pediatrix Medical Group, the same group of clinicians who staff Swedish’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the First Hill campus and the special-care nurseries at Swedish’s Ballard and Edmonds campuses.

Our nursery features:

  • Six private, state-of-the-art hospital rooms offering the latest in neonatal technology and space for parents to sleep.

  • A multidisciplinary medical team trained to take care of premature newborns. The care team includes advanced practice registered nurses and physicians who specialize in neonatology, plus registered nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, care managers, dietitians, lactation consultants, child life specialists, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists and more.

  • A family-centered environment where newborns and their parents receive tender, loving support they deserve. The Robin’s Nest lounge provides families a place to relax, while staying close to their little ones.

  • A location in close proximity to other related services. The Level II Nursery is located on the second floor of the hospital near the Labor & Delivery, Post Partum and Pediatric Units.  

In  ..

Parents: talk to your kids about e-cigarettes

Do you know what an e-cigarette is?  Does your child?  You may be surprised.  In 2012, 1.78 million U.S. students reported having used e-cigarettes.  And that number has only continued to increase.  Our communities have been slow to realize the impact of electronic cigarettes on our children, but this is an issue parents and pediatricians need to tackle head-on ...

What to do if your child swallows something

With the holiday season fast approaching, the environments around us are about to change. Glitter, lights, tinsel, ornaments, decorations, new toys and many other exciting trimmings are bound to be a part of daily life for a while. It’s no doubt that kiddos will be curious about all of this new shiny stuff!

Many kids will likely explore these things with their mouths. Exploring the world by mouth is a normal part of development for babies, but what should you do if your baby or child swallows an object? The answer: stay calm and think! There are some situations in which your child will require the help of a doctor, however many situations can be managed from home. Many items are small enough to pass through the digestive tract and out in a bowel movement, and in this instance your child will likely have no symptoms.

Here are the red flags to look for if your child swallows a foreign object. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, seek medical help.
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