Observing the Perseid meteor shower

Perseid meteor shower viewingWatching a meteor shower is a great way to get started in astronomy. The only thing you need is a clear sky, though a dark sky is also helpful.

The Perseid meteor shower in August is one of the best ones to watch. It is a fairly active shower, and the August nights are some of the warmest, though you are still going to want a coat or sleeping bag.

Meteors tend to travel long distances across the sky, so using something like a telescope is actually a bad idea. Telescopes limit you to only a tiny piece of the sky, and you want to see as much as possible.

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Relay races, with a twist!

relay race activities for kidsRelay races are a camp classic – a fun activity most everyone enjoys. And, the great thing about relay races is that the variations are endless!

If you have more than five or six people together, you can divide into teams, otherwise you can work together as one team to complete the relay in the quickest amount of time. Enthusiasm and involvement from the adults/parents will set the tone for the kids’ participation, so don’t be afraid to play and be goofy with this!

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Backyard campout tips

backyard camping tipsGetting into the spirit of summer doesn’t require months of planning or have to cost a small fortune. Memories can be made in the comfort of your home and camping can be done right in your backyard (or living room)!

Have the kids help with the planning and let them choose some fun activities. A great way to commit to the idea of camping, while still at home, is to limit or eliminate the use of technology devices. I’m not talking about roughing it and not using indoor plumbing, but make a rule (one that all members of the family can abide by) that phones/TVs/iPads/etc. are not to be used during the campout.

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Protecting our Littlest Victors

NICU celebrates 365+ days without a CLABSI

NICU central lineThere was a time when central line blood stream infections (CLABSI) were historically accepted as inevitable and the source of significant medical morbidity and costs.

Today, though, staff, patients and families at Mott are celebrating a remarkable achievement. Thanks to a focused team effort, the Nick and Chris Brandon Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has gone more than one year without an infection.

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Slower can be better

Reducing radiation exposure during heart catheterization procedures

cardiac cath reducing radiationA cardiac catheterization is a procedure performed by a cardiologist to diagnose and often treat heart conditions. Many patients with congenital heart disease require cardiac catheterizations. During catheterization procedures, we use fluoroscopy to obtain real-time moving images of your heart.

Fluoroscopy is basically a series of x-rays that are played very quickly. It’s similar to how movies work – when the still images are played back quickly, they produces a moving image.

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3-stars for pediatric heart care

Mott Children’s Hospital awarded highest quality rating by our peers

3-star STS ratingWhen it comes to making decisions, the sad truth is it may seem easier for parents to choose a car seat, a refrigerator, even a house – than it is to feel like they’re making an informed decision about where to seek health care.

Making a decision about a hospital to literally entrust with your child’s heart can feel especially intimidating.

That’s why we’re particularly proud of having been awarded the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ highest designation for pediatric heart surgery programs – the prestigious 3-star rating.

What does the 3-star designation mean?

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