Kids Health 101: What you should know if your child is bitten

We’re kicking off a new series of videos tackling topics parents often ask doctors about. You’ll get straight answers to these “frequently asked questions” from our own pediatric specialists.

Our children’s emergency department is one place we’ll turn to for answers, as the doctors and nurses here specialize exclusively in providing emergency care for children – whether the need is a traumatic injury or a mild illness that can’t wait until your doctor’s normal business hours.

It’s important to turn to a pediatric emergency department when your child needs emergency care because the specialists here focus just on children, their special needs, the way illnesses present themselves differently in kids vs. adults, unique treatments that work better for their small bodies and developing systems, and – very importantly – the extra care and sensitivity they and their families need.

Without further ado…here’s Dr. Nicole Sroufe to fill us in on what parents’ need to know when their child is bitten.

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What parents should know before heading to the cider mill

By Stephanie Goodson, MD

Jared, Elizabeth and Sean Goodson at a local orchard

It’s a beloved tradition in my family to visit the cider mill or you-pick fruit orchard every fall. With the cool weather upon us, it’s always nice to get my three kids out for some fresh air, fun times and healthy, fruity treats.  We are fortunate to have so many orchards and farms close by here in southeast Michigan and it’s always such a pleasure to come home with bags full of goodies.   It is important for me to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables always available for my family.   I love seeing my three-year-old son open the crisper drawer of our refrigerator, grab an apple and declare that he picked “that one!”

While there are awesome benefits to visiting the cider mill or orchard – especially spending quality time with your family – there are also a few cautions you should be aware of.

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Two families linked by one heart

Tommy Schomaker, recipient of a heart transplant at Mott Children's Hospital

This week we’re featuring a guest blog post by Colleen Schomaker, the mother of one of our “little victors.”  The Schomaker family’s story has recently been featured in several television news segments as well as a popular blog, and we’re honored she was willing to share her thoughts with us as we celebrate the kick off to U-M’s Wolverines for Life donor drive.

My name is Colleen Schomaker and I’m proud to be a ‘Mott Mom’. Our son, Tommy is ten years old and was born at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in December of 2000 with a serious heart defect. Since that day, Mott has been our second home. Like many Mott parents and patients, words cannot fully describe our gratitude and admiration for the wonderful staff we’ve seen over the years at Mott. (Now we get to watch this new hospital take shape, and it’s something we as patients and families feel such pride and excitement over.)

Over the last ten years, our son has endured many hospital stays, countless procedures and 5 open heart surgeries before the age of 5. Our story is long and winding, but we are blessed to have always been surrounded by a great medical team, along with amazing friends, family and a strong faith to lean on. We are also blessed that our son is still with us and presently doing quite well. On this journey we have also met countless other patients, some who have become dear friends, and we’ve watched them courageously fight their battles, but in the end have had to say goodbye to their child much too soon.

Tommy went into severe heart failure in early 2008 at the age of 8. He could not attend school, slept a lot, used a wheelchair, had to be carried up steps, and couldn’t keep food down. It was then that our cardiology team at Mott decided that, unfortunately, it was time to list him for a heart transplant. We were devastated as we tried to wrap our minds around this new reality and quickly moved into the next phase of our journey. Tommy’s chances of finding a match were low but he endured more medical therapies, 24 hour home infusions and lots of prayers and love. One year after being listed for a transplant, Tommy’s heart didn’t have much time left and the call we thought would never come…came. In the middle of the night on June 3, 2009, Tommy’s ‘gift of life’ was on its way.

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Protecting the student body by protecting students’ hearts

By Mark Russell, MD, Pediatric Cardiologist

As millions of kids hit the court, field and rink this fall sports season, a lot of media attention has been placed on the dangers of cardiac arrest and sudden death among student athletes.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. If not treated within minutes, it can be fatal.

Unfortunately, sudden cardiac arrest and even sudden death can happen in a seemingly healthy child. It is a rare and tragic event that sends shock waves through the community and inspires the almost unanswerable questions of “Why?” and “What could have been done to prevent this?”

The good news is that there are a number of ways to minimize how often these events will happen.

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Getting serious about getting back to school

Tips for helping your family tackle “back to school” with ease, from pediatrician Stephanie Goodson

Last night, as I negotiated the terms of bedtime with my fourth grader (who has managed to push his bedtime back by almost an hour and a half over the course of the summer) I had a moment of panic when I realized the school year, and the early mornings that accompany it, were almost upon us. 

No longer will I be able to give into his pleas for one more TV show, book or snuggle session. Unless I was prepared to handle the crankiness of a sleep-deprived kid come the first week of school, I was going to have to get serious.

Unfortunately, it’s time to face the facts. Summer is winding down and it’s time to prepare our kids for the beginning of the school year. 

As a pediatrician, I know that preparation is key for making sure kids start the school year right, but just like any mom, I, too, struggle to make sure both me and my three kids have all the tools needed to tackle the school year with ease. 

I thought I would share some tips that make it easier for my family to snap into the school-year mindset. 

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All-star inspiration

NHL star and former U-M hockey player Steven Kampfer with his sister, Kristen.

Born with multiple heart defects and severe scoliosis, Kristin Kampfer, 25, has undergone more than 20 surgeries at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Now a healthy, happy young woman with a blossoming career, Kristin will be honored this Thursday by her all-star brother, Steven Kampfer, a former U-M ice hockey player and current Stanley Cup champion with the Boston Bruins.  Stanley Cup in hand, Steven will be visiting the U-M Yost Icea Arena, posing for pictures and signing autographs.  Inspired by his sister’s humble attitude, Steven has elected to donate the proceeds from photo sales to Mott.

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