May 01

May is Mental Health Month

During Mental Health Month, we will shine a spotlight on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Thursday, May 5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 5 children in the U.S. experiences a mental illness and half of all lifetime cases begin by age fourteen. Despite advances in care coordination, parents are primarily responsible for navigating the complex world of mental health. While coping with the daily challenges of raising a child with a mental or behavioral health need, parents must juggle multiple roles as caregiver, treatment locator, care coordinator, crisis manager and at-home interventionist, among others.

Apr 25

Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays -- Maisy

 Every Monday for the rest of the year, Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays with posts highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we revisit Maisy Martindale who represented Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota at the 2015 Speak Now for Kids' Family Advocacy Day.

Maisy_2.jpgMaisy is a smart, beautiful 8-year-old. She is articulate and will win you over instantly with her outgoing personality, extraordinary imagination and dance moves.

But this wasn’t always the case. Maisy came to her adopted family when she was only 18-months-old. She was born with multiple medical complications and needed a ventilator to breathe. To date she has had over 33 surgeries including open heart surgeries, pacemaker placement and skull reconstructions.

Apr 11

Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays Update -- Osvaldo

 Every Monday for the rest of the year, Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays with posts highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we revisit Osvaldo Sanchez who represented HSC Pediatric Center at the 2012 Speak Now for Kids' Family Advocacy Day.

Osvaldo represented the HSC Pediatric Center in Washington, DC, at the 2012 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day. When Osvaldo was just 10-months-old, he was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, a severe form of cerebral palsy that affects muscles in his core and in all four limbs. At age 5 he had bilateral distal tibia, fibula osteotomy and medial hamstring lengthening surgery all to correct the bones in his legs and to stretch his muscles. The surgery was successful and his ability to walk was greatly improved, though he still relies on a few devices to help him get around.

Apr 01

The Day I Told the World I Have Autism

Some of the biggest fears I’ve ever had in my life are the fear of the unexpected, fear of change, and the fear that I would be looked at differently. This all came into focus my first year of college at Seton Hall University. Before college, I had only told a few people that I was on the spectrum since I didn’t really know what that meant or how it affected me I didn’t feel the need to tell people.

Autism_1.jpgI attended the private schools Community Lower School and Community High School in Teaneck, N.J. for most of my academic career; both are for students with learning disabilities; so I never felt the need to tell anyone I had autism. There was a certain comfort that I enjoyed knowing that I was with others I could relate to. We all had something with some letters so it wasn’t a big deal.

Mar 28

Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays Update -- Bryce

Every Monday for the rest of the year, Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays with posts highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we revisit Bryce Williams who represented Wolfson Children’s Hospital at the 2013 Speak Now for Kids' Family Advocacy Day.

Michelle and Shane Williams knew something was wrong the day they took their eight-year-old son Bryce to Disney World in 2009, and he complained of leg pain so excruciating that he could no longer walk. He’d had some discomfort in his left leg for just a few weeks beforehand, but his parents thought it was normal growing pains. “When we got the diagnosis that he had a rare, aggressive form of bone cancer, it was a whirlwind,” recalls Michelle.  

Mar 25

The Importance of Cheerleading Safety

March is National Cheerleading Safety Month. Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of cheerleading in recent years has led to an increased number of injuries. Karen M. Lew from USA Cheer has some tips for parents with children interested in participating in this competitive and demanding sport.

Game_Day1.jpgWith over 3 million participants involved in all levels of cheerleading, you can expect there to be a number of injuries just as with any other sport or activity. The emphasis being placed on the injuries should truly be spent educating coach, parents and participants. In recent injury studies conducted by the groups like the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators and the High School RIO (Reporting Information Online) internet-based injury surveillance system, the data clearly shows that the risks associated with cheerleading are in line with other male and female school sports, and in many cases the rate of injury in cheerleading is less.

Cheerleading is an activity that has proven to be beneficial for participants of all ages. The benefits of exercise, activity, strength training, and over physical improvement far outweigh the risk of injury. As long as the child is physically capable of the demands of cheerleading and mentally prepared, the potential for injury should not factor into the decision of participation. Cheerleading is available for all ages and levels of participants. As a parent, selecting the right group is necessary.

Mar 17

Solutions for Patient Safety

National Patient Safety Awareness Week—United for Patient Safety—takes place from March 13 to March 19, 2016. Children’s hospitals around the country are affirming the critical role patient families play in making hospital stays as safe as possible for their children. A national learning network of children’s hospitals— Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) is working to offer impactful and easy-to-implement safety tips for families to follow when visiting the hospital with their child.

“The family is the most critical part of a patient’s caregiving team, and there are things that families and patients can do to help us,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and chair of SPS. “So, we are encouraging patients and their families to follow some simple, yet potentially life-saving tips during National Patient Safety Awareness Week and each time that they visit a children’s hospital.”

Mar 14

Medicaid Matters For Kids Mondays -- Zion T.

Every Monday for the rest of the year, Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays with posts highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we revisit Zion Thomas who represented MUSC Children's Hospital at the 2014 Speak Now for Kids' Family Advocacy Day.

Affectionately known as “The Mayor,” 15-year-old Zion has had to undergo numerous hospital visits and surgeries because of having sickle cell anemia, a disorder where the red blood cells are shaped like sickles, or crescents, making it harder for the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. However, he hasn’t let that affect his positive attitude and infectious spirit.

Mar 02

Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Advances Children’s Health Care

P2252215.JPGOn Thursday, Feb. 25, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled, ”Training Tomorrow's Pediatricians: CHGME.” House and Senate staff in attendance heard physician and patient perspectives about the value of CHGME in supporting the missions of children's hospitals and advancing children's health.

Mar 01

March is National Nutrition Month

Led by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in March each year, National Nutrition Month highlights the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

SNFK_march16-nutrition.jpgThis year’s awareness month focuses on "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." People are encouraged to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences healthy foods can add to our lives.

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