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Narcolepsy is my sleepy superpower
My talent is almost more like a superpower. I have the ability to fall asleep wherever and whenever. Now I know you’re probably thinking all teenagers have this power, but trust me, I’m a little different. At any time or place, I have the ability to take a nap. Intrigued by my power, experts and doctors conducted multiple tests and studies on me. When the results came back, it was clear I wasn’t normal. One doctor even admitted, “These are numbers I’ve never seen before.” Developing my superpower I first began developing my sleepy superpower in the fall of my junior year after transferring to Middlesex School. ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 22, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jake Shusterman Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Kiran Maski Narcolepsy Sleep Center Source Type: news

Fighting for Kennedy: Coping with moyamoya disease
If you happen to be waiting in line at the supermarket with Kennedy Grace Cheshire, you’ll likely leave the store with a whole new group of friends. This outgoing five-year-old can’t resist introducing herself to her fellow shoppers — and then introducing them to each other. “She’s never met a stranger,” says her mother, Amber. Kennedy, who lives in Texas, brought that playful attitude to the East Coast last year when she and her family arrived at Boston Children’s Hospital for evaluation and treatment. At age two, she had been diagnosed with neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), a genetic condition that causes symptoms...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 21, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Edward Smith moyamoya Moyamoya Disease Program Source Type: news

Dealing with nosebleeds in children
Though they’re not usually a serious medical concern, nosebleeds in children can be frightening and socially disabling. Nosebleeds at school, friends’ houses or birthday parties can be quite disruptive, as many people are scared of blood and often nobody really knows what to do about it. What causes nosebleeds?  Almost all nosebleeds are caused by a drying of the nasal mucosa. The inside of our noses is lined by mucosa — the same moist tissue that lines our mouth — and just like in our mouths, constant airflow around that mucosa can dry and irritate it. Considering the fact that we breathe through our nose all day...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 16, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Dr. David Roberson Tags: Kids' Safety Parenting David Roberson General Pediatric Otolaryngology Program nosebleeds in children Sports & exercise Source Type: news

Paying it 26.2 miles forward
There is a spot on the Boston Marathon route called “The Liver Mile.” It’s where the grind begins, where the storied course starts to tests runners and where legs often weary from pounding 16.8 miles of punishing roads. Yet, it’s also where 21-year-old Tom Williams, a liver transplant recipient from Dracut, Massachusetts, first fell in love with the idea of running the Boston Marathon. “I wasn’t thinking about the difficulty of it,” he says. “I was just thinking, I want to run for other people who are sick.” Located in front of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, “The Liver Mile” is where volunteers hand ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 15, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Boston Marathon Dr. Heung-Bae Kim Dr. Khashavar Vakili Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) primary sclerosing cholangitis Source Type: news

Second opinion for midaortic syndrome gives Cameron a second chance
Cameron Grubb likes to shoot Nerf guns, and even his own doctors aren’t immune from his aim — in fact, they often fire back. It’s a playful act that everyone welcomes, however, particularly since this 6-year-old has defied the odds multiple times in his young life. Just three years ago, Cameron was struggling to survive after being diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure — so elevated, in fact, that his clinicians in Kansas thought the monitor must be broken. When they eventually confirmed the reading, it was 170/140, a dangerous level that sent him to the local intensive care unit for nine days. It wasn’t u...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 14, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Heung-Bae Kim Dr. Khashavar Vakili Dr. Michael Ferguson midaortic syndrome Midaortic Syndrome and Renovascular Hypertension (MAS/RVH) Program TESLA Source Type: news

Five things you might not know about epilepsy
The classic image of epilepsy is of someone falling to the ground and shaking uncontrollably — but that stereotype isn’t always accurate, particularly in kids. Children are usually diagnosed after two or more unprovoked seizures, or after a single seizure if there’s a high chance of further ones. Yet this isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition, and seizure activity can change over time as young brains develop. We asked Dr. Phillip Pearl, director of the Epilepsy Center at Boston Children’s Hospital to share some more surprising facts about this condition. Childhood epilepsy is on the rise. Epilepsy isn’t just fo...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 9, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Dr. Phillip Pearl epilepsy epilepsy center seizures Source Type: news

ABCs of DDH: What moms and dads need to know
A family’s journey with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) typically starts when a baby’s pediatrician hears a click in her hips. The next steps often include an ultrasound and a follow-up with an orthopedic surgeon, perhaps a pediatric hip specialist. College friends Tosha LoSurdo and Jessica Rohrick recently re-connected after their babies were both diagnosed with and treated for DDH at the Boston Children’s Hospital Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program. Tosha’s daughter, Carmela, and Jessica’s daughter, Phallon, were treated with a Pavlik harness and are on a regular fo...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 8, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Parenting Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program DDH Dr. Eduardo Novais Dr. Travis Matheney hip dysplasia Pavlik harness Source Type: news

Ask the Mediatrician: Is it OK for my baby to video chat with his grandparents?
I’d like to video chat with my 3-month-old grandson on my phone. His parents are concerned that the video emitted from the screen will affect his brain development and eyes. Any advice will be helpful! ~ Nana, New York, NY Dear Nana, This is a great question and one many of today’s parents face when thinking about sharing their children’s lives with faraway friends and relatives. Here are five things you may not know about video chatting and young children. A smartphone is OK — a laptop or desktop is even better. Today’s flat screens do not emit any radiation other than light. Smartphones do emit some electro...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 7, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Michael Rich MD MPH Tags: Ask the Expert Parenting Ask the Mediatrician screen time Source Type: news

First a birthmark, then a rare disease diagnosis
Brielle plays near her home in Rhode Island. Two-year-old Brielle Coutu loves listening to music, dancing and eating enough cheese that her mother, Heather, often wonders aloud, “Are you a mouse?” Brielle loves to play outside and is usually a chatty, happy-go-lucky little girl. But, sometimes, she can be overwhelmed by the excitement of gathering with family and friends. “We think she has some sensory sensitivities related to her Sturge-Weber syndrome,” says Heather. Brielle was born with what’s known as a port-wine birthmark on her face. It is aptly named for its dark reddish color. Port-wine birthmarks can ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 1, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Anna Pinto epilepsy neurology rare disease seizures Sturge-Weber syndrome Sturge-Weber Syndrome Clinic Source Type: news

Grabbing the reins her own way
Chloe Neff, a rodeo rider with brachial plexus birth palsy, will compete in barrel racing world championships.  Barrel racing isn’t for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. In this rodeo event, horses and riders whip around barrels at lightning speeds. Tails flourish in the air and muscles ripple. Powerful horses are coaxed by their riders to spin around each barrel as quickly as possible. One such duo, 16-year-old Chloe Neff and her horse, Raise a Glass Dancer, will soon be on their way to barrel racing’s world championships. “If you keep trying and working at it, you can do anything you want to,” says Chloe. He...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 28, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Katherine McAlpine Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories athletes brachial plexus Dr. Peter Waters nerve injury orthopedics physical therapy rehabilitation Source Type: news

Experience Journal: Coping with a child ’s congenital heart disease
At 16 months old, Avery was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect — a hole in the wall between the heart’s upper chambers that required open-heart surgery to repair. ​ Shock, fear and pride were just a few of the emotions Avery’s parents Jessica and Andrew experienced throughout their journey coping with their daughter’s congenital heart defect (CHD). The couple found it helpful to talk through their questions and feelings with other parents of children with a CHD, as well as with Avery’s caregivers from the Heart Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. Now with two years of recovery behind th...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 27, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories atrial septal defect Dr. Pedro del Nido Experience Journal Heart Center Source Type: news

Four things you might not know about fever
Of everything we pediatricians get called about, I think that fever is the most common. Which isn’t surprising, given that fever can be a sign of illness. But despite the fact that it is so common, fever is often misunderstood — and often frightens people more than it should. Here are four things all parents should know about fever. Fever is a symptom, not a problem. We doctors are always going to be more concerned with what is causing the fever than with the fever itself. We are going to ask a whole lot of questions about other symptoms, like pain, cough, vomiting or rash. If the answers to those questions (and what w...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 23, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Claire McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Health & Wellness Claire McCarthy MD fever Source Type: news

On the move: Lilith ’s dramatic recovery from arteriovenous fistula
It began like any typical late summer day. Lilith Borden and her mom, Victoria, had stopped by a farm near their Concord, New Hampshire, home where the 3-year-old could enjoy an ice cream cone — and burn off some energy playing in a nearby field. “We were running through the grass, when Lilith suddenly grabbed the back of her neck and screamed that she had a boo-boo,” Victoria remembers. Within seconds, she seemed to have trouble moving. As Victoria called for help, the little girl collapsed to the ground. At first, the cause of Lilith’s emergency seemed apparent. A small red mark on her neck, combined with a near...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 22, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories arteriovenous fistula AVF Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center Dr. Darren Orbach endovascular embolization Source Type: news

Looking back and ahead: The heart that made history
In the early morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Jennifer Miller was preparing to make history. She lay in pre-op, ready for the Boston Children’s Hospital Fetal Cardiology team to perform the world’s first fetal cardiac intervention on her unborn son. Two weeks earlier, at her 18-week screening ultrasound, Jennifer and her husband Henry were told their son would be born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a life-threatening heart defect where the left ventricle is small and underdeveloped. If born with HLHS, their son would immediately undergo multiple open-heart surgeries to repair his heart and, later, may need a h...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 21, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Audrey Marshall Dr. James Lock Dr. Wayne Tworetsky Fetal Cardiac Imaging Fetal Cardiology Program fetal surgery Heart Center hypoplastic left heart syndrome Source Type: news

Sledding, ice skating and more: Top tips for winter sports safety
Winter school vacation week is officially here. If you aren’t traveling to a warmer climate, outdoor winter activities — sledding, skiing, snowboarding and more, are likely part of your family’s vacation plans. Dr. Michael O’Brien, director of Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Concussion Clinic, says when it comes to winter sports, fun and exercise outweigh the risk. But you do need to be careful. So what is a parent to do? Sledding safety In Boston, we’ve seen a lot of snow over the past week, so sledding may be a great option. Helmets are recommended for any winter sport, says O’Brien. Snowboa...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 17, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat Powers Tags: Kids' Safety Dr. Michael O'brien Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic Sports Concussion Clinic Sports Medicine Division Source Type: news

Worth every mile: Short bowel syndrome brings family to Boston
During his most recent visit to Boston Children’s Hospital, 3-year-old Konrad Schienke resembles a tiny tornado, gleefully scampering around the room as he mugged for the camera and shouted, “Cheese!” Later, he smiles as a doctor gently felt his abdomen, giggling as if he was being tickled. “It’s hard to believe what a sick little kid he has been,” says his father, Erich. Yet, just a few years ago, this energetic boy resided in the neonatal intensive care unit at his local hospital in Pennsylvania, struggling with a diagnosis of short bowel syndrome. This rare but serious condition can occur when a child eith...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 16, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation Mark Puder short bowel syndrome (SBS). Source Type: news

When your sons are both diagnosed with cancer
One day, our 2-year-old son Javon complained about a bit of pain at daycare. It seemed harmless enough. But after a visit to the pediatrician, we ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. There, they discovered that a mass in his body was causing the pain. “Cancer?” we feared, but it was too early to confirm. As young, first-time parents, their father and I were unsure where to turn for help. There’s no manual on how to be a parent when you hear the news that your son has been diagnosed with cancer. Our doctor referred us to Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and for two years...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 13, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ebony Glass Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Source Type: news

Why it ’s important to ask about your baby’s heart during an ultrasound
Did you know that at least half of all babies born with a heart condition are not diagnosed during pregnancy? Heart defects can seriously impact a child’s health, but knowing ahead of time will allow you to find the right people who can help. In some cases, prenatal detection can lead to earlier treatment for the baby. Watch this short video to learn what to ask at your 18- to 22-week screening ultrasound to make sure your baby’s heart is healthy. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the questions yourself, download the questions and share them with the person performing your ultrasound. Taking a few extra moments at...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 8, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Health & Wellness Fetal Cardiology Program fetal testing for heart defects Heart Center ultrasound Source Type: news

Our son ’s journey with CSWS epilepsy
Our son Joshua was born in 2010, a happy and healthy 9 pounds. At the age of 2, he was a loving and sweet little boy who loved books, trains, puzzles and playing with his older siblings and friends. He was highly intelligent, speaking in clear four-word sentences. He was curious about the world and loved to learn. At the age of four, Joshua began to decline in his social skills, becoming anxious, withdrawn and easily angered. He developed a stutter and had difficulty finding words to express himself. He often would not answer when spoken to and began exhibiting autism-like symptoms. Within a year, Joshua began having fac...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 7, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Vinez Campbell Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories epilepsy epilepsy center Source Type: news

How to stay safe on the football field: Learning from the NCAA
Even with the known risk of injury, football is as popular as ever among kids and teens. How can parents encourage their QBs-in-training to enjoy playing the game while staying safe? Dr. William Meehan, Boston Children’s Sports Medicine physician and director of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention says the answer is clear: Follow the rules. Meehan participated in the development of a new policy released in January by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) limiting contact in year-round college football practice. He says, these regulations “should translate to a decreased incidence o...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 3, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: In the News Kids' Safety concussion Division of Sports Medicine Dr. William Meehan Micheli Center Source Type: news

Coming together from worlds apart for spina bifida care
.twentytwenty-before-label:before {content: "2014" !important; }.twentytwenty-after-label:before {content: "2016" !important; } Molly Gotbeter giggles impishly as she accepts a sugar cookie and frosting from a nurse. She’s sitting patiently on an exam table waiting to see one of her favorite people in the world — Benjamin Warf, MD, director of Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. For this visit to the spina bifida clinic, Molly has traveled from her home in Charleston, South Carolina. But her journey to Dr. Warf and Boston Children’s has been much longer. Molly was born in a ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 2, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Benjamin Warf Dr. Terry Buchmiller neonatal and congenital anomaly neurosurgery spina bifida Spina Bifida Center Spina Bifida Clinic tethered cord Source Type: news

Francesca ’s story: Beating a heart tumor
Although her parents were warned she might not breathe when she was born, the moment Francesca Durkos came into this world, she let out a gutsy cry. “It was music to our ears,” says her mom. Michelle Carino Durkos was 40 weeks pregnant when she learned there was a tumor attached to her unborn daughter’s heart — a tumor so large that doctors near her home in Pensacola, Florida, were unsure if the baby would live. “It was a shock, because at 20 weeks everything was normal,” says Michelle. “We had a wonderful ultrasound; we saw all four chambers.” Yet, call it a mother’s intuition, Michelle knew something wa...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - February 1, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories cardiac fibroma cardiac tumor Department of Cardiac Surgery Department of Cardiology Dr. Pedro del Nido Dr. Tal Geva echocardiogram ECMO Fetal Cardiology Program heart tumor neona ultrasound Source Type: news

Winter safety goes beyond ice and freezing temps: tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Old Man Winter has been kind to New England this year. Less snow and warmer temperatures have been the norm in recent weeks. But don’t let moderate snow fall and unseasonable temperatures fool you. Protecting your family from carbon monoxide (also known as CO) poisoning is of utmost importance, experts say. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide often called the silent killer, is responsible for more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, making leaks and buildups difficult to notice. S...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 31, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Kids' Safety carbon monoxide poisoning Source Type: news

Getting back into the swing of things: Jake ’s journey with Crohn’s disease
It was a cloudy, September day at the Country Club of Miami in South Florida. Jake Goodstat, a high school sophomore and varsity golf player, approached the ninth green. He walked up to his ball with putter in hand, took a deep breath and gently tapped the ball to make the putt. He says this was the hole where he cinched second place in the 2016 South Florida Junior Golf Tournament. “It was the greatest feeling in the world to know that I placed,” recalls Jake, a Florida teen who underwent surgery two months prior to treat his Crohn’s disease. “Before my surgery, I would register for a tournament, end up in ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 26, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Athos Bousvaros Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Crohn's disease Robert Shamberger Source Type: news

The gift of grandmothers
Nancy and Susan with Sophie at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nancy sits in a tiny hospital room in New York City, reading to Sophie, her infant granddaughter who is quarantined while she battles a respiratory virus. She keeps vigil over Sophie so her daughter, Katie, can safely spend time with Sophie’s twin sister, Maddie, and her son-in-law can work to support the family. “There was no one to talk to and nothing to do,” remembers Nancy, “So for days, I just sat with Sophie and read her the A.A. Milne poems my mother used to read to me.” Nancy wit...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 25, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Parenting neonatal intensive care unit Source Type: news

How to talk to your kid about not being perfect
Twelve years into this whole parenting thing, with my daughter barreling full tilt into her teen years, my wife and I have gotten a little bit lazy on certain aspects of the parenting game. Specifically, we’ve started to slack off when it comes to defending our personal reputations as paragons of parenting perfection in our daughter’s eyes. Early on in your child’s development, you may find yourself fully and wholeheartedly committed to being the ultimate role model for every aspect of their lives. But as time goes on, it just gets tiring trying to cover up the mistakes of your past, and honestly, you might find it...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 23, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Steve Coldwell Tags: Parenting Source Type: news

Superheros, specialists and sidekicks
Sporting a Superman sock on her left foot and Batman on her right, Bella Burton, a 12-year-old from Woburn, Massachusetts, listens intently to her orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Karlin. Lots of people mix up their socks, he tells her. “You should really stand out from the crowd. Wear unmatched shoes.” She chuckles and pretends to ponder his advice. Ultimately, Bella decides against Karlin’s fashion tips. The exchange is typical of Bella and Karlin, says her mother Rachel. The pair first met in 2007 at the Boston Children’s Hospital Orthopedic Center when Bella was just a toddler. Genetic experts suspected Bella ha...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 19, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Lawrence Karlin Morquio syndrome Orthopedic Center rare disease Source Type: news

Trusting your instincts: One mom ’s story
Serena with Julia and Sebastian Serena Hadsell has no medical training. But when her 4-year-old daughter Julia got sick a few days after Christmas in 2013, something else kicked in – her mother’s intuition. “Julia had a stomach bug and was having trouble keeping anything down,” recalls Serena. “It was very late and I was trying to go to sleep, but I got the sense that something was wrong: Her breathing wasn’t quite right.” A frightening late-night hospital trip Serena considered waiting out the night at home and calling their pediatrician in the morning, but she couldn’t stop watching Julia. So, despite th...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 18, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories ECMO emergency department Family Advisory Council ICU RSV Source Type: news

A new option for kids with severe allergies
(image credit: CVS) For parents of children with severe allergies, keeping our kids safe in the event of an allergic reaction is a priority. We rid our houses of allergens, we write detailed allergy plans for caretakers and we stock up on Epinephrine, the medication that will save our kids if they ever experience anaphylaxis. Epinephrine auto-injectors are expensive, they expire every year even if unused, and we have to purchase multiples for home, school, and elsewhere. Which is why we’re thrilled that CVS now offers a generic Epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 per two-pack — that’s about a sixth of the...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 17, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions In the News allergies anaphylaxis Dr. John Lee Source Type: news

From strep throat to RSV: Winter health cheat sheet
According to this study published in Pediatrics, vapor rub can be effective in decreasing nighttime cough. Please note that some children may experience skin irritation. Vapor rub is not recommended for children under the age of 2. Keep the nasal passages as clear of excess mucous as you can. Elevate the head when sleeping to help support comfortable breathing. Keep a close eye on your child’s breathing. Notify your pediatric health care providers of any changes in your child’s condition. You should notify your pediatrician or call 911 immediately if your child displays signs of respiratory distress such as: rapid br...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 12, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Meaghan O'Keeffe Tags: Health & Wellness Parenting Croup RSV strep throat whooping cough Source Type: news

Parenting in the age of fake news: 5 things you can start doing today
When I was in 7th grade, we did a unit in English class about how to read the newspaper. We learned where the most important stories were placed (to the right) and about how the stories were written so that the most important points were covered first (before the reader lost interest). They didn’t teach us how to figure out if the stories were true, because back then it just didn’t occur to us that anyone would publish fake news. Now, it happens all the time. It’s not that there have never been untrue stories published. But with the rise of the Internet, where anybody can post anything — and in an age when, in the ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 9, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Claire McCarthy Tags: Health & Wellness Parenting Teen Health Adolescent Medicine Claire McCarthy Source Type: news

All in the family: Returning to the dance floor
Kristina Peitzch jokes that with four daughters her family keeps the local dance school in business. It started with Jessica, now 13. Jessica fell in love with ballet when she was 3. A few years later, Danielle followed, then Madison and finally Abigail. Going to the studio on a nearly daily basis is a family affair. But when Jessica was 9, she started experiencing mysterious ankle pain. Dancing felt a little less enjoyable. “It was random at first and seemed to happen more with activities like gym class or ballet,” says Kristina. The pain would disappear for a few weeks, so Kristina attributed it to growing pains. Ove...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 5, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Boston Children's at Lexington Dr. Dennis Kramer Dr. Gregory Melkonian Lower Extremity Program Orthopedic Center osteochondritis dissecans Source Type: news

All in the family: A big sister returns to the dance floor
Kristina Peitzch jokes that with four daughters her family keeps the local dance school in business. It started with Jessica, now 13. Jessica fell in love with ballet when she was 3. A few years later, Danielle followed, then Madison and finally Abigail. Going to the studio on a nearly daily basis is a family affair. But when Jessica was 9, she started experiencing mysterious ankle pain. Dancing felt a little less enjoyable. “It was random at first and seemed to happen more with activities like gym class or ballet,” says Kristina. The pain would disappear for a few weeks, so Kristina attributed it to growing pains. Ove...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 5, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Boston Children's at Lexington Dr. Dennis Kramer Dr. Gregory Melkonian Lower Extremity Program Orthopedic Center osteochondritis dissecans Source Type: news

4 things you and your teen may not know about marijuana — but should
Massachusetts is now among eight U.S. states to legalize marijuana for adult (21+) recreational use, a decision that’s created a relaxed stance on use of the drug and left many parents worried. The simple, clear and empowering message we suggest parents share with teens is that avoidance of marijuana is best and here’s why. Marijuana is harmful to adolescents. Repeated use of marijuana during the critical windows of brain growth and development of adolescence is associated with anatomic changes in the brain, drops in IQ, serious mental-health disorders and overall poorer functioning. While these harms are dose depende...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 4, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Sharon Levy Tags: Health & Wellness Kids' Safety Teen Health Adolescent Substance Abuse Program adoloscent substance abuse Dr. Sharon Levy marijuana medical marijuana Source Type: news

Post-transplant tips & tricks from families who ’ve been through it
Transplant recipients typically feel stronger and more energetic following transplant recovery. But returning to regular activities, sports and travel can be challenging. A few “transplant moms,” who’ve already been through the experience, share their wisdom and advice. Charlene, mom to Brent, 19, liver transplant recipient Planning a first vacation post-transplant is easier said than done. Charlene Newhall knows. And, she has a handful of advice, following a family summer trip to Arizona from their home in Maine: Work with your pharmacy to ensure you have enough medications. Research the closest major hospitals. ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - January 3, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Health & Wellness Parenting heart transplant Heart transplant program kidney transplant Kidney Transplant Program Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Source Type: news

Year in review: Our most popular Thriving stories
As the year comes to a close, we look back on some of the most popular stories — from basic tips to second chances to ground-breaking surgeries. Thank you to the many families and patients who kindly contributed to the success of Thriving in 2016. As always, you inspire us. Happy New Year! You’ve heard that the hormone melatonin can help kids sleep. But is melatonin for children safe? Does it work? Learn more from sleep expert Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Sleep Center. Actress Jennifer Garner portrayed Anna Beam’s mother in the movie “Miracles from Heaven.” R...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 30, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Diseases & Conditions Health & Wellness Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation ACL reconstruction ACL repair ACL surgery ACL tear Bridge-Enhanced ACL Repair encephalocele melatonin pseudo-obstruction sleep Source Type: news

New FDA-approved drug is offering hope in spinal muscular atrophy
Sofia, now almost 3, was not predicted to live to age 2, let alone stand or walk. All signs were positive when Sofia Wylie was born: normal term delivery, great Apgar scores. “But at her two-month checkup with the pediatrician, she wasn’t lifting her head well, and her reflexes were weak,” says her mother Natalia. “She was like a rag doll.” The pediatrician referred the New Hampshire family to a neurologist. Sofia received genetic testing, and the news wasn’t good: she had spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare paralyzing disease. Even worse, she had the most severe form, SMA Type 1, which starts in infancy. Usu...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 28, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Nancy Fliesler Source Type: news

Past meets present: Christmas at Boston Children ’s
.twentytwenty-before-label:before {content: "c.1940" !important; }.twentytwenty-after-label:before {content: "2016" !important; } More than 60 years ago, Boston Children’s Hospital welcomed children from around the world with wishes for a “Merry Christmas” from a chalk-board-drawn Santa Claus. Today, the elves from our Information Services Department use video-chat technology, so that Saint Nick can interact with children and their families all the way from the North Pole. The post Past meets present: Christmas at Boston Children’s appeared first on Thriving Blog. (Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston)
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 23, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Flashback Christmas Cisco Santa Source Type: news

Christmas with the Applebees: A story of loss, love and gratitude
From left, Marc, Ivy, Wyatt, Max and Nicki Applebee Marc and Nicki Applebee pull their rented, 12-passenger van up to the Boston Children’s Hospital main entrance. The couple, along with family friends and their three bundles of joy — Wyatt, 2, and twins Max and Ivy, 1, travel over five hours from their hometown in Surry, Maine, to deliver several hundred new and donated toys to the hospital. Their annual holiday visit, called “Christmas for Olive” is a labor of love, and one dedicated to the memory of their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Olive Hope, who passed away in July of 2013, due to complicat...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 22, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Hydronephrosis Richard Yu urology Source Type: news

Stronger together: Families of girls with SPG47 find support in each other
Imagine your child is diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. So rare that there are only a handful of reported cases, and those are from halfway around the world. This was the case for Chris and Kasey Edwards of Massachusetts and Kevin and Angela Duffy of Pennsylvania. Their daughters’, Robbie and Molly, are among only 11 children in the world to be diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder, called spastic parapalegia-47 (SPG47). “When they told us how rare this was, our minds were going in a thousand directions,” says Kasey, Robbie’s mom. “We didn’t know what to think.” The two families though...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 20, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Department of Neurology Dr. Basil Darras hereditary spastic parapalegia HSP type 47 living with rare disease SPG47 Source Type: news

Happy birthday to my heart
In the foyer of the Geraghty house in Bedford, New Hampshire, 20 red heart-shaped balloons and a wall-to-wall banner welcome Erin Geraghty home from college. It’s not her birthday — she’s 21. It’s not her graduation — she’s a first-semester University of New Hampshire senior. And it’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s her 20th year with the same heart. Born with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy — a condition that causes the heart to pump blood inefficiently — Erin received a heart transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital when she was just 1 year old. Her sister Katie, two years her senior, remembers Erin...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 19, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Elizabeth Blume heart transplant Heart transplant program idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Source Type: news

Beyond balloons: 6 ways to help a family in the hospital during the holidays
Sophie and Maddie pose with Santa There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. But for families with a child in the hospital, sometimes that’s just not possible. As a friend or family member, you may wonder what you can do to make the family’s holidays a little brighter. Some of the best advice comes from parents who have been there and know firsthand what can make a difference. Reach out “Don’t be afraid to let the family know you’re thinking of them,” says Boston Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council member Katie Litterer, who’s spent more than one holiday in the hospital with her twin daught...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 15, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Family Advisory Council Family Parnterships Source Type: news

Midaortic syndrome takes Arizona teen to Boston for innovative surgery
Justin with his father in Boston Justin Kibler is tall, strong and lean. At 18, he’s already a competitive rodeo star and an active member of Future Farmers of America (FFA).  Looking at him, “he’s the picture of health.” But what can’t be seen, just by looking, is that just four years ago, Justin developed an extremely rare and dangerous disease called midaortic syndrome (MAS). And he needed special care that no one in his entire home state of Arizona could provide. Midaortic syndrome is characterized by a narrowing of the parts of the aorta (the main artery that delivers oxygen-rich blood throughout ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 14, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Erin Horan Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Deborah Stein Heung Bae Kim Midaortic Syndrome and Renovascular Hypertension (MAS/RVH) Program Source Type: news

Too hip for dysplasia
Thirty-something moms Tosha LoSurdo and Jessica Rohrick have been friends since college, bonding over the typical trials and tribulations of young women. In 2015, both learned they were pregnant for the first time. They thought they might share similar sagas as new moms — diapers, sleepless nights and teething. They didn’t expect to bond over infant hip dysplasia. When Tosha’s daughter Carmela was born on Feb. 4 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the pediatrician noticed her hips were a little “clicky.” She was told the connection between the femoral head (top of her thigh bone) and hip socket wasn’t stable, a...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 12, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program developmental dysplasia of the hip Dr. Eduardo Novais Dr. Travis Matheney infant hip dysplasia Orthopedic Center Pavlik harness Rhino brace Source Type: news

Holiday travel got you down? A parent ’s guide for planning
The holidays can be a stressful time for all families, especially when it comes to traveling. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Jessica Tsai offers some quick tips to keep your children healthy–and family stress to a minimum, during your holiday travels. Safety first Discuss travel safety with your children in advance of your trip. If they become separated from you, identify a specific meeting place they should go and a phone number they should contact. If they are carrying bags, these should remain closed and secure. Reinforce that they should stay with your family as you travel about. Eat well, plan well ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 8, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Health & Wellness Parenting Dr. Jessica Tsai Holiday travel Source Type: news

Post cancer, post rotationplasty, teen athlete continues to excel
The ball leaps off the metal bat with an unmistakable “ping” that denotes good contact. Miles Goldberg runs to first base, from which the 13-year-old will soon contemplate – and safely execute – a steal of second. Miles is used to transitioning naturally with the seasons from football to hockey to baseball. This year, however, has been different. Every hit, catch, and glide across the ice has had far more meaning to the eighth-grader, who recently completed osteosarcoma treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. His treatment included a wide resection of his right proximal tib...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 6, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Saul Wisnia Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center osteosarcoma rotationplasty Source Type: news

Catching up with Kenslie: Life after  midaortic syndrome surgery
We last saw Kenslie Shealy in the spring of 2015, as she was settling back into life at home in South Carolina after a long stay at Boston Children’s Hospital. Kenslie, now 4, had emergency surgery for midaortic syndrome (MAS), a rare condition that affects the heart and kidneys. Untreated, the condition can lead to damage in the brain, intestines and limbs. At Boston Children’s, Kenslie’s multi-disciplinary team included specialists in cardiology, interventional cardiology, nephrology, transplant and vascular surgery, interventional radiology, genetics and rheumatology. She recovered well after her f...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 5, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Erin Horan Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Deborah Stein Dr. Diego Porras Heung Bae Kim midaortic syndrome Midaortic Syndrome and Renovascular Hypertension (MAS/RVH) Program Source Type: news

Overcoming IBD:  ‘I am bigger than my Crohn’s disease.’
Like most high school seniors, Camden Vassallo of Norwell has a very busy schedule. The 17-year-old Thayer Academy student manages a heavy academic schedule, works at the local YMCA, is a two-sport, three-season athlete and is looking ahead to college. But like nearly 800,000 children and adults in the U.S., Camden is also managing Crohn’s disease — a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition causes intense stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, bloody stool and weight loss in severe cases. Although the disease has uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, Camden says Crohn’s hasn...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 1, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Athos Bousvaros Crohn's disease IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Source Type: news

Overcoming IBD:  “I am bigger than my Crohn’s disease.”
Like most high school seniors, Camden Vassallo of Norwell has a very busy schedule. The 17-year-old Thayer Academy student manages a heavy academic schedule, works at the local YMCA, is a two-sport, three-season athlete and is looking ahead to college. But like nearly 800,000 children and adults in the U.S., Camden is also managing Crohn’s disease — a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition causes intense stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, bloody stool and weight loss in severe cases. Although the disease has uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, Camden says Crohn’s hasn...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - December 1, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Athos Bousvaros Crohn's disease IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Source Type: news

Newborn screening and gene therapy save baby from ‘bubble boy’ disease
Levi with his Dad, Phillip, and Colton with his mom, Kala (photo by Amie Van Amberg) Happy to have given birth in January 2015 to two seemingly healthy boys, Levi and Colton, after an uneventful pregnancy, Kala Looks gave little thought to the routine heel prick of newborn screening. At 23 and 24, she and her husband, Phillip, were high school sweethearts starting a family. Two weeks later, a Michigan state health official called. Something came up on Levi’s screen. You need to bring him in right away. Three weeks and numerous blood draws later, the Looks had a diagnosis: Severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) — ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - November 30, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Irene Sege Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation bubble boy disease Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Dr. Sung-Yun Pai gene therapy SCID severe combined immune deficiency stem cell transplant Source Type: news