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No gluten, no problem
Twelve years ago – at ages 5 and 3 – we were diagnosed with celiac disease. This means for the rest of our lives, we can’t eat any gluten whatsoever because it damages our intestines and we become really sick. Celiac disease is a lifelong intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats contaminated with gluten from other products. In people with celiac disease, gluten damages the lining of the intestines. This can prevent them from absorbing nutrients and cause a variety of other symptoms. CD is always treatable by changes in diet. Some people don’t eat gluten by choice, but for us, there is ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 26, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emma and Abby Frank Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories celiac disease Dr. Dascha Weir Source Type: news

A new life for Lynkin after encephalocele surgery
When you meet Lynkin Bell, the first things you notice are her big personality and chubby cheeks. You might also see how she adores her brother Lukis and hamming it up for the camera. But you’d never guess that this playful 14-month-old from Texas wasn’t expected to survive, never mind talk, stand or play peekaboo like a pro. And yet, thanks to her parents’ faith and persistence — and surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital — Lynkin can do all those things, and lots more, with the gusto befitting any toddler her age. “It’s a miracle,” says Kaylen Gaston, Lynkin’s mom. “We were told so many times she wou...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 24, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Craniofacial Program Dr. John Meara Dr. Mark Proctor encephalocele Source Type: news

Ask the expert: What is the female athlete triad and how can it be prevented?
The spring athletics season is in full swing and for those at the high school and college level, practices and game schedules can be intense. When you blend this physical commitment with the demands of a hectic academic schedule, sometimes maintaining healthy eating habits and positive energy balance can be challenging. Dr. Kathryn Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, shares important information about a condition called the female athlete triad and offers tools to keep young athletes healthy, energized and at the top of their game. What is the female athlete triad?  The female ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 21, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Female Athlete Program female athlete triad Kathryn Ackerman Source Type: news

He lost his sight to cancer, but not his vision of a full life
When Tim Conners collected his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012 at the age of 18, he was blind from childhood leukemia that had spread to his optic nerve and craving inspiration to transcend his disability. A football player and wrestler who’d never been an outdoorsman, he asked to meet Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on seven continents. Tim’s wish came true. He had 2½ terrifying but transformative days of outdoor adventures in Colorado with Erik, who lost his sight to a degenerative eye disorder at 13. Now Tim is training to climb Mount Kili...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 20, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Irene Sege Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center stem cell transplant Source Type: news

A life taken. A life given. A life shared.
Kaitlyn and Hannah When she read the article in the Cape Cod Times about the 11-year-old girl who underwent a life-saving liver transplant, Melissa Dunphe knew. “Too many pieces fit for it not to be.” She knew that the child, who was at the same hospital on the same floor on the same day, had to be the one who received her five-year-old daughter Kaitlyn’s liver. Five years earlier, at eight months old, Kaitlyn was in a car accident that left her without the use of her limbs and unable to breathe on her own. During her short life, her parents made moments matter. “She was a very happy child,” her mom Melissa says....
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 19, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Donate life Donate life month Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program National Donate Life Month organ donation organ donor Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Source Type: news

Trusting their instincts: Family finds help for laryngeal cleft
For some kids, the hospital can be a scary place, where even doctors with the best intentions poke, prod and serve up yucky-tasting medication. But for three-year-old Jack Steinberg, a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital is worth the trip from his home in Great Neck, New York. “No, it’s really fun,” Jack’s mother, Jessica, recently overheard him telling his older brother, Henry, who isn’t a fan of doctor visits. “They give you toys and stickers there!” Jack’s cheerful attitude seems at odds with his recent health challenges. In fact, says his father, Noah, “If you saw him walking down the street, you’...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 18, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Airway Disorders Dr. Reza Rahbar laryngeal cleft Source Type: news

Ask the expert: What is the best way to correct my child ’s crossed eye?
Dr. David Hunter is experienced in using traditional strabismus surgery and Botox injection to correct a child’s crossed eye. If you see that your child’s eye has become crossed, or he or she complains of having double vision, you may be struggling to find clear answers about what caused this to happen and the best way to get your child’s eyes working together again. When the sudden onset of an inward-turning crossed eye doesn’t respond to glasses and isn’t associated with other systemic or structural disease, it’s known as acute comitant esotropia. This condition is quite rare and usually require...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 14, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Ask the Expert Research and Innovation Botox Dr. David Hunter esotropia strabismus Source Type: news

Reading to teach and heal: Best books for 8-12 year olds
Books are great tools for teaching empathy to children. They can help kids understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes — someone with a physical or mental disability, chronic illness or learning difference. They can also help kids with medical issues see how other kids cope — which can be validating or even help spark new ideas. And books help younger generations recognize that no matter what obstacle they may face, they’re still just kids, and they’re not alone. Today, many children’s book authors are weaving characters with medical conditions into their stories with appropriate sensiti...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 13, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Patty Lenz Bovie Tags: Parenting autism cerebral palsy craniofacial anomaly scoliosis Source Type: news

A father ’s hope for his son’s life
Juan and Fredy in 2017. Juan was looking forward to having his son, Fredy, 14, finally come home to live with him. The teenager had been living under the care of his grandmother since he was a toddler. But on that long-awaited homecoming day, Juan was quickly jarred from feeling great joy to grave concern. “When I saw his face, one side looked very different from the other and his lip was swollen,” says Juan. “He admitted right away that his face had been hurting.” Juan remembered that the last time he’d seen his son — more than one year ago — Fredy’s face had looked slightly different then too. But whateve...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 12, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Cameron Trenor Dr. Carolyn Rogers Dr. Darren Orbach Dr. Reza Rahbar Dr. Salim Afshar interventional radiology juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma tumor Source Type: news

My blue-eyed boy: The decision to donate life
Hot, humid air arrived that last week in June 2014. Our family was looking forward to a summer of entertaining, barbecuing and sharing our newly built patio with friends. Spending time as a family hiking, traveling or just hanging out at home was important to us. Aidan was ready to head off to a three-day goalie lacrosse camp. It was something he had begged to do all winter long. Aidan loved life and he lived it with passion. Aidan or AJ, depending on who you asked, had his future completely planned. He played basketball, swam and skied. As a Boy Scout, he had spent many days camping and hiking throughout New England and h...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 11, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Krista Skinner Tags: Parenting Donate life month National Donate Life Month organ donation Source Type: news

The Boston Marathon: Brave and beyond
Brave. It’s the word inscribed on the simple band Mary Tremper wears on her left wrist. The band is a reminder from her son Shane that she possesses the strength and courage to bravely face the future. When Mary, a Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles runner, found the band in the hospital gift shop she knew it was from Shane. And as Mary has shared her son’s story with her teammates and listened to theirs, they have redefined brave, together. A few of their stories, including the Tremper’s, follow. Brave: Remembering Shane Shane in the Boston Children’s NICU. “I run for Shane. I run because he...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 10, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Liver transplant NICU RSV Source Type: news

Spring health cheat sheet
As the spring weather approaches, many common winter infections recede. However, warmer temperatures can introduce a new set of health challenges. As trees and flowers bloom and grass grows, susceptible children will start to display symptoms of seasonal allergies, triggering flares of asthma and eczema. And, As children spend more time outdoors, parents also need to watch for exposure to ticks, poison ivy and excess sun. Here are a few tips to keeping your child healthy this spring. Seasonal allergies: What can you do? During allergy season: have your child bathe after spending time outdoors to remove allergens fro...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 7, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Carolyn Sax Tags: Health & Wellness Parenting allergies asthma Carolyn Sax conjunctivitis lyme disease sunburn Source Type: news

Focus on: Autism spectrum disorder
April is Autism Awareness Month and there is a lot in the news about autism. More and more children — up to one out of 68 — are diagnosed with autism. Sesame Street even has a new character, Julia, who has autism. But what exactly is this condition, how does it affect children and what can you do to help? What is autism? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of very early brain development that is approximately four times more common in boys than girls. Autism spectrum disorder was previously recognized as several separate disorders — including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 6, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Carolyn Bridgemohan and Sarah Spence Tags: Diseases & Conditions Parenting autism Autism Spectrum Center autism spectrum disorder Dr. Carolyn Bridgemohan Dr. Sarah Spence Source Type: news

Double take: The special approach that corrected one child ’s vision overnight
Dr. David Hunter is a pioneer in detecting and treating children’s eye conditions with a range of new and tried-and-true technologies and techniques. “At school I was seeing double today, Mom,” said 9-year-old Eliza in May of 2015. Catherine hadn’t noticed her daughter’s eyes crossing and suspected that her fourth grader was simply tired. A few weeks later, however, Catherine and her husband were sitting in the front row at Eliza’s chorus concert, when suddenly they both noticed their daughter’s eye was crossed. It was Eliza’s 10th birthday. “She was fine one day, and then the next her eyes weren’...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 5, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Caregivers Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation david hunter Department of Ophthalmology lazy eye minimally invasive surgery strabismus Source Type: news

Superhero Joey: Five-year-old fights moyamoya disease
It’s been said that not all heroes wear capes — but Joey Gallagher owns several. The five-year-old has already amassed a collection of superhero gear, from a Superman Halloween costume to a t-shirt emblazoned with the Batman logo. Yet even the most diehard comic book fan would likely admit that feats like flying, leaping tall buildings and fighting bad guys don’t hold a candle to the challenges this little boy has already surmounted. Just last June, Joey was out of town with his family when he had what his parents, Leila and Scott, feared was a seizure. Clinicians in the emergency department dismissed the event as he...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 4, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories childhood stroke Dr. Edward Smith Dr. Michael Scott moyamoya Moyamoya Disease Program Source Type: news

6 ways to celebrate National Donate Life Month
Each year, during the month of April, National Donate Life Month draws attention to those who have saved and healed lives through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Here are six simple ways to participate, celebrate and educate. Become an organ donor. Register to be a donor at registerme.org. Designate “organ donor” on your driver’s license. Visit transplantliving.org to learn more about becoming a living donor. Spread the word. Inspire others to sign up for the donor registry by sharing information through social media: “Like” facebook.com/donatelife. “Follow” @donatelife B...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 3, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Diseases & Conditions Donate life month National Donate Life Month organ donation Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Social media and health care Source Type: news

Bella is back, thanks to a very special kidney
Bella received a kidney transplant from a living donor — her dad, Bill. When they boarded the flight to Hawaii, Nancie and Bill had no idea their 12-year-old daughter was days away from being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It was spring break and everyone was excited for the family adventure to begin. The day before the trip, Bella saw a local orthopedic specialist after feeling pain and weakness in her legs. She otherwise felt well, but with softball season approaching, she didn’t want to risk injury. The specialist drew blood and was hoping to have some answers for the family upon their return home to...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 30, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Nancy Rodig end-stage renal disease kidney transplant Kidney Transplant Program living donor Source Type: news

Spencer gets back on the court after cancer
For much of his 17 years, Spencer Riley has lived to play basketball. This winter, his favorite sport helped the teenager get back to life. Riley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016 and treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center that summer. He underwent an intensive three-month treatment cycle: one week of inpatient chemotherapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, two weeks of recuperation at home, and then back to Boston Children’s. While occasionally well enough to go on family outings, he was still too weak to shoot or even dribble a basketball. But the game was never far fr...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 29, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Saul Wisnia Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Dr. Dan Benedetti non-Hodgkin lymphoma Source Type: news

The show must go on: Teen overcomes motility disorder
In October 2016, we were spending a weekend in Minnesota for a family wedding. Little did we know we would be there longer than expected! During the rehearsal dinner, my 16-year-old daughter Sophie said she wasn’t hungry — a surprise because it had been a long day of travel and the rest of us were starving. She managed to force down some food but seemed lethargic and not herself. She later confessed that she had been feeling sick all day. Back at the hotel, I had just drifted off to sleep when my other daughter called me from their room. She said Sophie was sick and crying. I ran down the hall and when I saw her, I jus...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 28, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jennifer Shepherd Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Belinda Dickie Dr. Samuel Nurko Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center volvulus Source Type: news

The only kids who need vitamins (spoiler alert: there aren ’t many)
As a pediatrician, I get a lot of questions whether their children should take a multivitamin or other vitamin supplement. Parents think they will make their children healthier — and some think they will make them eat more (they don’t, sorry). Since our bodies need different vitamins to be healthy, they ask, Should I give my child a multivitamin? Not necessarily, actually. It turns out that most children don’t need them, making them an expensive waste of money. They can also be dangerous if children take too many, something that is very possible given that most chewable multivitamins for children taste like candy. An...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 23, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Claire McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Health & Wellness Claire McCarthy vitamins Source Type: news

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