Feb 01

The Start of Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays

Starting February 1, and continuing every Monday for the rest of the year, Speak Now for Kids will share facts and personal stories about Medicaid and how this program impacts children’s health.

Throughout 2016, you will learn about new kids and get an update on some former Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day participants.

Jan 05

January is National Birth Defects Awareness Month

SNFK_January15-slider.jpgJanuary is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects affect about one in 33 newborns in the United States.

This year’s awareness month will focus on how expecting and existing mothers can make healthy choices, in order to help prevent birth defects. Below you will find hyperlinks for more information:

Dec 23

Festivus for the Rest of Us

It’s a Festivus miracle! With your help this year, support for children’s health care stood taller than an aluminum pole. Thanks for speaking up for kids in 2015 and shining a light on their unique health needs.

Your Feats of Strength include:

Dec 15

Tips for Families Considering Private Coverage Through the Marketplaces

Millions of Americans have enrolled in private coverage through the health insurance Marketplace over the last two years. We’re nearing the mid-point of the third open enrollment period, when even more are expected to enroll. Most of these enrollees are adults, since children often qualify for coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But the Marketplace is still an important source of health coverage information and a door to enrollment for families with children.

Dec 04

Parents, Open Enrollment Is Time to Check Provider Networks

The last thing any parent of a sick child wants to learn is that the doctor or hospital best able to help is not in your health plan network. Open enrollment is an opportunity for parents to make sure they select a plan ensuring adequate access to pediatricians, pediatric specialists and children’s hospitals.

Even within the same plan, coverage networks can change every year and sometimes during the year. So, while cost sharing (deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance) are extremely important factors in choosing a plan, the plan’s provider network (“network adequacy”) will determine whether you will have timely access to the most appropriate and qualified health care providers, specialists and facilities your child may need.

Oct 30

Teal pumpkins to signal safe treats for kids with food allergies

Tick-or-treating can be really scary for those with severe food allergies. One bite of the wrong tempting treat could be fatal.

As a parent of a child with a severe peanut allergy, I must be vigilant about everything my son eats. I scrutinize every label to avoid anything containing nuts or processed in a facility that also processes nut products. Just a trace amount can cause a reaction.

Oct 22

Encouraging Parents to Seek Help For Stuttering – Going With Your Gut

By Voon Pang
The Stuttering Foundation

We all live in a world where lives have become busier, social media is part of the norm and we get to access new information quicker than ever before. I believe that this has made us more prone to skipping over important details and not trusting our instincts with what we feel is right for us or for our patients.

Sep 16

Why It's Important to Know About Sepsis

By: Orlaith Staunton

Staunton_Family.jpgSeptember is Sepsis Awareness Month. Although sepsis is the leading cause of children’s deaths globally, the majority of Americans have never heard the word. In the Unites States alone, sepsis kills more than 250,000 annually. For that reason, it is imperative that people, particularly parents, know about sepsis and its signs.

Sep 14

Looking back on Family Advocacy Day with Kate Pecora

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Above, Kate Pecora (left) and her family pose for a photo with  U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Kate was one of two Boston Children's patients who travelled to Washington D.C. this summer to represent the hospital at Family Advocacy Day. This piece was originally published on Boston Children’s Today.

by Kate Pecora

This past June, my family and I were asked by Boston Children's Hospital to attend Family Advocacy Day in Washington DC, sponsored by the National Children’s Hospital Association. The main purpose of making the trip to Congress was to speak about the excellent level of care that I have received and what can be done to make every child have equal access to the same care. Though speaking to the members of Congress was an important part of the trip, there were many other moments that I will be able to take with me and hopefully pass on to other children’s health advocates.

Sep 14

Pediatric Sepsis: A First-Hand Account with Two Different Outcomes

Matthew Wright is the Director of Advocacy and Mobilization with the Children’s Hospital Association. He oversees the Speak Now for Kids community.

baby_picture.jpgI was an unplanned baby. My birth mother was a teenager who hid the pregnancy from her parents to the point where she stayed with friends to avoid potential condemnation from family members. Despite her circumstances, my birth mother was committed to proceed with the pregnancy and offer me for adoption.

With no health insurance and limited access to prenatal care, my birth mother didn’t receive timely treatment for a number of health issues throughout her pregnancy. One of her most serious health conditions was sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.

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