Diagnosing and Treating Common Thyroid Problems in Kids

Although a thyroid test is conducted during newborn screenings in California, symptoms of endocrine disorders may not appear until closer to puberty. The endocrinology team at CHOC Children’s is regionally recognized for patient care and provides comprehensive diagnoses and treatments for endocrine disorders.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, Sandy Preasmyer, a nurse practitioner on CHOC’s Endocrinology team, discusses:

  • Warning signs parents can look for that may reflect a possible thyroid issue
  • The most common thyroid problems in kids, and how CHOC’s endocrinology specialists treat them
  • How CHOC’s endocrinology specialty programs enhance quality of life for patients

Hear more from Sandy in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

Preventing and Treating Concussions

CHOC Children’s multidisciplinary team of concussion experts can help prevent and treat concussions, as well as help patients ease back in to school and sports. Careful supervision is essential for young persons with concussions, since their brains are still developing.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, Dr. Sharief Taraman, a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Jonathan Minor, a sports medicine specialist, Jenn Ahlswede, a speech language pathologist, and Mollee Oh, a physical therapist and rehabilitation supervisor, discuss:

  • SCAT3, an assessment tool parents and coaches can use immediately after an incident occurs
  • The film “Concussion,” and how concussions affect kids and teens differently than adults
  • Recommendations for cognizant and physical rest periods after sustaining a concussion

Hear more from CHOC experts in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

When Do I Take My Child to the Emergency Department?

Sometimes, deciding to take a child to the emergency department (ED) isn’t a clear-cut choice for parents.

In podcast No. 46, Amy Waunch, a trauma program manager at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department, helps clarify this question.

When considering an ED trip, Amy says parents should look for the ABCDs: an airway blockage; noisy high-pitched breathing; circulation problems, such as blood loss and extreme dehydration; or sudden disability, such as seizures or loss of consciousness.

Listen to the podcast to learn more about the ABCD concept, as well as other elements of an ED visit:

  • common reasons for an ED trip;
  • what ailments can wait until the pediatrician’s office opens;
  • what to expect at the ED; and
  • what to bring to the ED – and what to leave at home.

Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend

Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings (BTF), which are real foods that are blended into a consistency similar to formula.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, registered dietitian Katherine Bennett explains:

  • The reasons families and dietitians are choosing blenderized meals over formulas
  • Concerns to keep in mind when preparing blenderized tube feedings, including food safety and how to balance the nutrients that a child needs
  • How CHOC supports families who are interested in trying this method for their children.

Hear more from Katherine in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

Navigating the NICU

No expectant mom wants to imagine bonding with her newborn in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) instead of a home nursery.  Diana Bullman was faced with that reality when her daughter Juliet was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation.  In this CHOC Radio segment, she and Dana Sperling, a CHOC social worker, offer tips to parents who suddenly find themselves and their little one in the NICU.  Some of the advice includes:

  • Rallying friends and family for support, from making meals to babysitting siblings
  • Openly communicating to your spouse and acknowledging difficult moments
  • Educating yourself on the NICU, from understanding the different monitors to knowing shift changes

Hear more from Diana and Dana in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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Ensuring Safe Sleep for Babies

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, but parents should remember two things year-round to keep babies safe during sleep: babies should sleep alone and on their backs, a CHOC Children’s community educator tells CHOC Radio.

In podcast No. 36, Amy Frias outlines tips for parents to ensure their child stays safe while sleeping:

  • How to create a safe sleeping environment
  • What to do if the baby rolls onto their tummy

Printable tip sheets with information to keep children safe while sleeping are also available on CHOC’s website.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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  • Keeping Kids Safe as They Walk to School
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Preparing your child for surgery

Surgery is scary for kids and parents, alike, but not talking about an upcoming surgical procedure can create more fear and anxiety in children. In episode number 29, Child Life Specialist Brianne Ortiz offers tips for preparing children, from toddlers to teens, for surgery.

The amount of information, in addition to how and when it’s presented, depends on the emotional and cognitive age of the child. Brianne recommends parents speak to children, ages 3 to 5, approximately three to five days before the scheduled surgery. These younger-aged children often think they’ve done something wrong, so it’s important to reassure them that’s not the case and to present information in concrete terms they understand. She reminds parents that toddlers don’t have a concept of time. Instead of saying a procedure will last an hour, for example, explain that it will be over in about the same time as their favorite TV show.

Adolescents most often worry about waking up during surgery and about pain. Brianne educates teens on the role of the anesthesiologist and the hospital’s pain scale. She encourages teens to engage with their care team and not be afraid to speak up.

Listen to the episode for more helpful tips, including resources offered by CHOC.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

Related posts:

  • Will Your Newborn Need Surgery? Plan Now
    The news comes as a shock, usually during the first prenatal ultrasound between the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy. Treatment planning, however, cannot begin too soon when a developing ...
  • Ear Troubles in Children with Cleft Palates
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Tips for coping with hospitalization with Chloe Krikac

From pet therapy to Seacrest Studios, CHOC Children’s offers a host of amenities to help children cope with their hospitalization. The child life department plays a key role in normalizing the hospital environment by making things like medical equipment and procedures feel less strange.

In this CHOC Radio segment, Child Life Specialist Chloe Krikac shares a little about the support provided to patients and families, in addition to offering tips to parents. Bringing comfort items, such as a favorite pillowcase or stuffed animal, and family photos is one suggestion Chloe offers parents and caregivers to help children feel more “at home” in the hospital. Although developmental age and health condition impact what information is provided to a child, the approach is the same: making sure patients understand why they are in the hospital and how the doctors and nurses are going to help them get better.

For more tips, listen to episode number 31 of CHOC Radio.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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Keeping Kids Safe as They Walk to School

With the fall semester back in session, kids are out walking to and from school. To ensure safe journeys, it’s key that children and teens eliminate distractions, a CHOC Children’s community educator tells CHOC Radio.

In podcast No. 35, Amy Frias reminds parents that children should not play with phones or video games while walking to school, and also covers some other safety tips:

  • How to cross streets safely
  • When children can cross streets alone
  • Reminders for drivers

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

Related posts:

  • Keeping Children Safe During the Holidays
    The holidays are a wonderful time for family and fun, but they also pose some additional safety hazards, a CHOC Children’s community educator tells CHOC Radio. In podcast No. 37, Amy ...
  • Ensuring Safe Sleep for Babies
    October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, but parents should remember two things year-round to keep babies safe during sleep: babies should sleep alone and on their backs, ...
  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Sept. 26
    With prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication abuse remaining one of the fastest growing problems among teens and young adults, it’s important to ensure unwanted, unused and expired medications are removed ...