Controlling Seizures with the Ketogenic Diet

Some children who have uncontrolled seizures may benefit from a special way of eating called the ketogenic diet. The diet consists of foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, a combination that helps the body produce ketones which can help minimize seizures. The treatment is very specific and carries some risks, so a child should be monitored closely by a dietitian while on the ketogenic diet.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, clinical dietitians Jessica Brown and Lindsay Rypkema explain:

  • How the ketogenic diet works and who may benefit from it
  • Ways to maintain adequate nutrition while on the diet
  • Sample recipes and ways to alter favorite meals to the plan
  • Current research that considers whether other conditions, like tumors, could be managed by the ketogenic diet
  • How CHOC is assisting families in adapting the ketogenic diet for their child.

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Overcoming the Struggles of Picky Eating

Picky eating is very normal for children, particularly in toddlers who have a natural fear of new foods. In fact, research shows that most kids get appropriate nutrition regardless of their eating habits. But that may not ease the minds of parents who struggle daily with a picky eater or who worry their child isn’t getting the right nutrition.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, clinical dietitian Jessica Brown and social worker Leigh Volker explain:

  • When picky eating is normal and when it is cause for concern
  • How parents can make sure their children are meeting their nutritional needs
  • Techniques for getting kids to try new foods
  • How to make meal times less of a struggle
  • Ways to overcome eating problems that remain after a related medical condition is resolved.

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    Parents encourage their children to develop healthy eating habits, but extreme changes in a child’s behavior or attitude towards food could be a warning sign of an eating disorder. In this ...
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What Parents Need to Know About Patient Safety

8054-0182-Award-Logos_TH-CHILDCHOC Children’s is one of only 12 children’s hospitals in the nation and just two in the state to be named a 2015 Leapfrog Top Hospital. In episode No. 48 of CHOC Radio, Dr. James Cappon, CHOC’s chief quality and patient safety officer, offers insight about the coveted award and the hospital’s ongoing commitment to the highest standards of patient safety and care. In addition, he addresses the importance of parents and patients partnering with the care team.

The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is considered the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performances in the areas of safety, quality and efficiency. It’s focused on a nationally standardized and endorsed set of measures by which participants benchmark each other. In this poadcast, Dr. Cappon shares CHOC’s reasons for participating in the rigorous survey, as well as CHOC’s organizational-wide commitment to patient safety.

In addition, Dr. Cappon helps parents understand how safety is part of the fabric at CHOC; what drives physicians and staff to continue to push the limits of what is possible; and what parents can do to partner with their child’s care team to advance safe, quality care. He also lets parents know what questions they should never be afraid to ask. Hear more about how parents can be safety advocates for their children by listening to episode No. 48.

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Warning Signs of Eating Disorders

Parents encourage their children to develop healthy eating habits, but extreme changes in a child’s behavior or attitude towards food could be a warning sign of an eating disorder.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, Dr. Wayne Nguyen, director of psychiatry at CHOC Children’s, and Dr. Alexandra Roche, a pediatrician in CHOC’s Eating Disorder Clinic, discuss:

  • Warning signs of eating disorders
  • What to do if you suspect a family member or friend has an eating disorder
  • How CHOC Children’s multidisciplinary team approach to treating eating disorders benefits CHOC patients and their families
  • How CHOC’s Mental Health Initiative will further support adolescents who are struggling with an eating disorder

Hear more from Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Roche in this podcast.

If you have concerns regarding your child’s eating habits and/or weight, talk to your pediatrician. Ask about the possibility of an eating disorder, and request a referral to a psychologist. CHOC partners with a number of organizations to make sure all our patients’ and families’ needs are met.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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.