Safety Tips For Your Little Athlete

Before you head out to your little one’s game this weekend, check out these safety tips recommended by CHOC Children’s, in recognition of Youth Sports Safety Month:

• Make sure your child keeps hydrated.
• Have your child wear the proper gear for their sport.
• Don’t forget the sunscreen.
• Ensure that your child warms up before the game.
• Remind your son or daughter to treat other athletes and coaches with respect.
• Encourage good sportsmanship; emphasize learning and being part of a team are more important than winning.
• Check with coaches to make sure the team/program has emergency protocols in place.
• Most importantly, remind them to have fun!

Check out other sports safety guidelines. 

Learn more about the CHOC Children’s Sports Medicine Program.

CHOC Recommends Talking With Your Kids About Natural Disasters

As Japan continues to recover from an alarming, 9.0-magnitude earthquake last month, it faced yet another 7.1 aftershock today. While many adults in the U.S. may be wondering what the risks are to people here, children may also have their own concerns or fears.

CHOC Children’s recommends that you talk openly with your children about what they’ve heard and how they feel, and answer their questions honestly and in an age-appropriate manner. Assure them about their safety and let them know that your family and community have plans in place should a natural disaster like this ever happen.

In addition, teach your children easy tips for any emergency such as, how to call for help; when to use emergency numbers; who to contact if the family is separated; and where your disaster kit or supplies are stored.

For more tips recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, please click here:

Magnet Magic

Using magnets to treat babies and kids with hydrocephalus sounds like something from a science-fiction movie, but it’s happening here at CHOC Children’s.

Hydrocephalus (or water on the brain) is a condition where there is a lack of absorption, blockage of flow, or overproduction of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain.  This can lead to dangerous buildup of fluid, increasing pressure inside of the head.

Some hydrocephalus patients need surgery, which usually involves placing a shunt into the child’s head to help drain the extra fluid from around the brain.

CHOC neurosurgeon Michael Muhonen, MD, was a primary investigator for clinical trials of Medtronic’s Strata Valve—part of a shunt system now being used worldwide to treat hydrocephalus.

Dr. Muhonen

Once surgically implanted in the brain, the settings on adjustable valves like Strata can be easily customized as the patient grows and changes. Dr. Muhonen uses a special magnet to change pressure settings in the shunt from outside the head. It’s noninvasive and totally pain-free.

Want to learn more about hydrocephalous and treatment options? Visit the CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Institute web site.

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For Better Health, Take Aim At Sugar In Cereals

National Nutrition Month is almost over, but your family’s efforts on making informed food choices don’t have to stop here. We’ve all heard, for instance, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? But what your child eats is nearly as important as the time of day of the meal, especially when it comes to that all-time breakfast favorite – cereal.

Cereal can offer fiber-filled whole grains, vitamins and minerals. A lot of cereals however, include a high amount of sugar which can put a child at risk for tooth decay and obesity. Click here for more on this topic from our expert, Jill Nowak-Przygodzki, a CHOC Children’s certified diabetes educator:

Calling all hockey fans!


Want to be there when the Anaheim Ducks take on the Los Angeles Kings at home on April 8, 2011? The winner of the “Ducks Night Sweepstakes” will enjoy dinner at the Jack Daniel’s Club and game tickets for 10.

All you need to do is “like” CHOC Children’s Facebook page, then click  here (or on the CHOC Ducks Night tab on the left side of our Facebook page) to enter for a chance to win!