As a newborn Andrew was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, a type of blood and bone marrow cancer. Treatment at CHOC Children’s saved his life. Read his story and find out how you can send a message of hope to patients like Andrew this holiday season: http://www.choc.org/giving/index.cfm?id=P00520&wt.mc_id=andrew_blog
Thanks to the Orange Coast Harley Owners Group and Orange County Harley-Davidson, who are organizing a community toy drive to benefit CHOC Children’s, patients will be sure to have a holiday season filled with cheer!
Anyone interested in donating new, unwrapped toys or gift cards to the patients at CHOC, can deliver them from December 11 to December 23, to the Orange County Harley-Davidson dealership, located at 8677 Research Dr., in Irvine. On Saturday, December 12, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., the dealership will provide a pancake breakfast to anyone who drops off donations that day!
Individuals and groups who have donated to CHOC during the holiday season are encouraged to join efforts with the Harley Owners Group and drop off their toys at the Orange County Harley-Davidson dealership instead of the hospital, due to campus construction.
For questions about the Harley Toy Drive, please email the Orange Coast Harley Owners Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the hospital’s “wish list,” please visit www.choc.org and click on “Give to CHOC,” followed by “Ways to Help.”
CHOC Children’s Hospital is one of 45 hospitals – and one of only eight children’s hospitals across the nation- named to the “Leapfrog 2009 Top Hospitals” list, based on results from The Leapfrog Hospital Survey. CHOC’s survey score was 97.2 points out of 100 possible points, as compared to an average score of 72.4 for children’s hospitals across the country. The survey (found at www.leapfroggroup.org) is the only national, public comparison of hospitals on key issues including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices and measures of efficiency.
According to The Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder, “This year’s class of Top Hospitals not only hits the mark in areas such as medication error prevention and ICU deaths, but they also use their resources wisely, providing excellent and efficient outcomes for patients. Regardless of what happens to healthcare reform, these hospitals are the future.”
For more details, please check out our press release at http://www.choc.org/pressroom/news.cfm?nid=542
‘Tis the season to be jolly! To keep your holidays festive – and safe – this year, CHOC Children’s recommends these simple precautions to enjoy a magical season with your children:
- Wash hands before, during and after food preparation.
- Keep baking ingredients such as vanilla and almond extract out of your children’s reach.
- Use soap, water and a paper towel to clean surfaces that have touched raw meat, fish or poultry.
- Keep alcoholic beverages and containers out of your children’s reach.
- Watch for holly and mistletoe berries that could fall into your child’s path — they are poisonous.
Christmas Trees and Decorations
- If your family purchases a real tree, make sure to check the tree’s freshness. Keep it away from fireplaces or other heating sources.
- Turn off the tree lights before leaving the tree in an unattended room.
- Keep small ornaments and tinsel out of reach. Avoid ornaments that look like food or candy.
- Keep burning candles, matches and lighters out of your children’s reach.
- Once gifts are opened, remove all bags, gift wraps and bows from tree and fireplace areas. These items can pose suffocation, a choking or fire hazard, to small children.
- Inspect lights for exposed or frayed cords.
- Select age-appropriate toys. Keep in mind the child’s abilities and developmental stage. Avoid those with small, removable parts that may pose a choking risk for young children.
- When buying bicycles, scooters, skateboards or skates, remember to include helmets and appropriate protective equipment.
- Be aware of recalls on toys, furniture and jewelry.
The holidays are an enjoyable time of the year for most families; hopefully, with these easy-to-follow tips, your family can enjoy a truly memorable season.
CHOC Children’s encourages parents and caregivers to log onto www.choc.org for critical information about the H1N1 and seasonal flu, including symptoms, when to seek treatment, a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other valuable resources.
Be sure to check out “H1N1 Influenza – What the Public Should Know,” a must-see video, presented by Jasjit Singh, M.D., CHOC pediatric infectious disease subspecialist.
Also, don’t forget to talk to your children about practicing good respiratory etiquette and proper hand washing techniques to help avoid the spread of germs. Remember, prevention is the key to fighting many infectious diseases.
The most important part of the holiday meal is not the turkey, stuffing and pie; it’s spending time with your family. Sitting down together at the dinner table this holiday season is a wonderful way to strengthen the family bond and create lasting memories.
In addition to building a stronger family, studies show that time spent around the dinner table has significant benefits for children and teens’ health. It can:
• Improve their self-esteem
• Increase their intake of fruits and vegetables so they get the nutrients their growing bodies need
• Teach them to enjoy a variety of foods
• Reduce the risk for eating disorders, especially among adolescent girls
• Lead to better grades
• Make them less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs
Think that your kids might not appreciate time at the table? Think again. In a survey of more than 900 adolescents, 63 percent said that eating together as a family is important and 64 percent agreed that sharing meals brings their family closer together.
Holiday parties. Shopping. Even just an hour away to de-stress. All are reasons you may need a baby sitter this season. Here are a few, easy tips for your baby sitter to ensure a safe holiday season:
- Leave emergency phone numbers by the phone. Write down your cell phone number, as well as the contact information of a nearby neighbor.
- Show the baby sitter where your first-aid kit is located.
- Discuss how to handle common emergencies.
- If you are going to be gone for the evening, include your child’s schedule, including dinner and bedtimes.
The holiday season is a fun, yet busy time of the year for most families. Hopefully, by planning in advance with these easy tips, you can rest assured your little ones will be safe at home, while you take some time for yourself to enjoy the holiday spirit.
Get the teens in your life moving this holiday season and in the New Year by giving them fun, active gifts. CHOC pediatricians remind parents – and teen patients – that physical activity is good for the body and mind! Here are a few gift ideas to encourage the adolescents in your life to avoid too much time on the couch:
• Introduce a new activity, like tennis, with a gift certificate for a one-on-one lesson.
• Outfit your teens with athletic wear to provide additional inspiration. If your tastes for style differ, how about a gift card to a local athletic store?
• Consider giving sports equipment, like racquets, balls or bikes, versus a video game about the sport.
• If your teen is hooked on video games, look for active ones, like Wii Sports for the Nintendo Wii and EyeToy: Kinetic for PlayStation 2.
• Give the adolescents on your holiday shopping list gift certificates to a local bowling alley, ice skating ring or yoga studio.
Getting teens to be active can be a challenge at times; hopefully, selecting the right gift this holiday season can encourage them to “get moving.”