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Seeing the 'amazing' in every child!

November 30, 2015
“Sesame Street,” the beloved children’s show whose viewers stretch across generations and cultures, is making huge strides in bringing awareness to autism, inclusion and the celebration of differences in all of us. Pediatric Therapy Services at Swedish couldn’t be more thrilled.

Introducing solids to your baby

October 26, 2015
Being a pediatric dietitian, I had pretty lofty ideals when it came to my own son’s introduction to solid foods. I had dreams of making everything from scratch with my baby food steamer/processor using only organic foods. I also intended to introduce foods one at a time, with only one new food every 3 days. It quickly became apparent that my ideals were not practical or realistic to do 100% of the time as a full time working mom. Making food from scratch takes time. Also knowing that between 4-6 months old is a window of time to introduce foods to prevent allergies, I realized there are a lot more foods to introduce than can be fit into a 3 month window using that system. Easier said than done!

Here are a few things I learned from my own experience, combined with my expertise as a pediatric dietitian:

What do you know about Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)?

October 09, 2015
Unless your family has been touched by Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), it’s possible you’ve never heard of this rare genetic disorder. Here’s what you should know about TSC and how you can help raise money and awareness to find a cure.

Trying "medical play" at home

September 28, 2015
When a child hurts it is upsetting to everyone. It is natural for the first response to be alarm and fear. New pain in a child needs to be investigated with tests and examinations. There are times a clear reason for the pain is found. Other times, the reason for the pain is not well understood. In both cases, a child that is hurting is important and deserving of care.

One of the hardest elements of pediatric pain is to know how to support the child.

Why we're "walking now" for Autism Speaks

September 21, 2015
A team from the Pediatric Neuroscience Center will proudly represent Swedish at Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Saturday, September 26, at the Seattle Center. Our entire staff will be there – doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants and patient care coordinators.

We know we’ll see many familiar faces walking for a common cause: to improve the care and quality of life for children and families living with autism.

Update on the proposed changes to food labels by the FDA

August 24, 2015
In a previous blog post, I mentioned that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making changes to nutrition facts labels (originally introduced 20 years ago to help consumers make informed and healthy food choices).

On July 27, 2015, the FDA added a supplement to the initially proposed changes (originally published March 2015). It proposes that food manufacturers not only list the grams of added sugar, but also declare the percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars, which is a major step forward in aligning with international standards for sugar intake, and a totally novel concept in terms of food labelling in the U.S.

How to help kids prepare for surgery

August 17, 2015
Being scheduled for a surgical or sedated procedure can be a nerve wracking experience for children and their families. Knowing what to expect when you visit the hospital can help relieve many common fears and concerns. At Swedish, Child Life Specialists help children and families cope with the hospital process. Child Life Specialists are available to help educate and prepare children and families prior to surgery.

The pre-operative tour is a great place to start.

Using nitrous oxide to help pediatric patients

August 10, 2015

Although the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used in dentistry for over 150 years, its use in pediatrics for sedation and mild analgesia for procedures outside of the operating room has been gaining favor over the last several decades. Nitrous oxide’s inherent properties, including the induction of euphoria, amnesia, mild analgesia, quick onset of action and rapid removal from the body through exhalation, make it ideal for use in the pediatric population.

Here’s how we use nitrous oxide to help pediatric patients at Swedish:

Understanding fever in kids

August 05, 2015
As a Pediatric Emergency Physician in practice for 18 years, I have seen a great many children with fever. I also see a great many parents and other caregivers who are very concerned about fever, but are reassured when factual information about fever is provided to them.

Fever is a marker of illness and is very concerning in specific circumstances. Fever over 100.4 in any infant less than 60 days of age is reason to seek urgent medical evaluation. However, once children get beyond the newborn period, fever is much less concerning to medical professionals. The following information can help you better understand fever, and help you care for your child without unnecessary worrying. Fever myths lead to fever phobia while in fact, fevers are harmless and often helpful.

Let these facts help you better understand fever:

Screen Time Suggestions for Kids

July 27, 2015
Like everyone else, I like making resolutions from time to time. While some goals have been easier to attain than others, one resolution that has been frustratingly difficult to achieve has been “digital disconnection.” Especially in today’s hyper-connected world, it is almost impossible to “unplug.” While it may be desirable, and even necessary to be proficient at computers and technology, it is equally important that we also learn to be healthy “netizens”, and serve as smart examples for our kids. Children, even infants, are being exposed to a barrage of electronic devices. If smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions and video games weren’t enough, we now have toy versions of the same! In fact, the iPad has even become the go-to baby sitter for a lot of families. The negative effects of such unrestricted and early exposure are very wide ranging, and only of late has science been able to shed light on some of these.

What can we do to mitigate this epidemic? There is no one-size guidance for all, but here are some suggestions. Like anything else in life, common sense should be our guiding light. 
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