Sledding Safely

sledding with helmetAll that fluffy white snow just calls children of all ages out to the sledding hill. While sledding can be a great way to enjoy some fresh air and physical activity in the middle of winter, taking some safety precautions can help keep you on the sledding hill and out of the emergency department.

Since sledding season began this year, we’ve seen an uptick in sledding-related injuries in the ED. We typically see sledding-related head injuries, but we also see broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Follow these tips to keep your family sledding safely.

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What you need to know about measles

mott blog - measles symptoms preventionMeasles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, but in recent years we have seen measles reappear primarily as a result of people bringing the virus to the U.S. from other countries. During the last decade, we have seen approximately 100 cases of measles per year in the U.S. However, in 2014, there were 644 cases reported, and already this year there have been over 100 cases.  Many of this year’s cases are connected to a large, multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. To date, there has been one case in Michigan (an adult). With all the news stories about measles, it’s easy to be concerned, but knowing the facts can ease your mind.

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Secure your television and furniture to prevent tip-over accidents

Prevent TV and furniture tipoversAs you get ready for the big game on Sunday, take some time to walk around your house evaluating your furniture, televisions and appliances for tip-over risks — if a young child pulls or climbs on the object, is it secure or will it fall on top of the child? Every three weeks a child dies when a television tips over onto him or her and every 45 minutes a child is taken to the ER because of a television tip over accident. Scary statistics, but you can prevent these accidents from happening.

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Is Miralax safe for kids?

Is Miralax safe for children?A recent New York Times article about the safety of Miralax and similar generic products used to treat children with constipation has struck an alarming chord with many parents.

Miralax and its generic equivalents are one of our first-line-of-defense tools for managing chronic, severe constipation. The ingredient called into question is polyethylene glycol 3350, or PEG 3350. There has been a tremendous amount of investigation into the safety of PEG 3350. In fact, it’s probably one of the most thoroughly studied molecules in our field. The available research provides a strong justification for PEG 3350 as a treatment for childhood constipation, considering both the safety and efficacy of this molecule relative to other medicines sometimes prescribed for severe constipation.

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Newborn screening: racing against time

Grant will fund research in speeding up screening results for tiniest patients

newborn screeningNewborn screening is a complicated system in a race against time. And if we lose the race, children can die from these disorders. If we can find affordable ways to make the system of newborn screening run the race faster, we can help save lives. With the help of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and experts across the University in health services, engineering and health policy, my research team is working to find a way to help us run a faster race.

What is newborn screening? Well, shortly after birth, every baby in the US is tested for a variety of inherited diseases. If babies who have these diseases are not found and started on treatment, they can become seriously ill, and, in some cases, die. This process of testing and treating children at birth for inherited diseases is called newborn screening. It is a 50 year-old public health program that is conducted in every state across the US. Continue reading

Empowering young adults to own their healthcare

Teen transition to adult healthcareFrom the day your child was born, you’ve most likely been managing every aspect of his or her healthcare — scheduling appointments, filling prescriptions, making sure immunizations are current. As your children get older, it’s important that we as parents play a role in empowering young adults to own their healthcare.

Start early

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the University of Michigan Health System recommend that young adults transition to adult care between the ages of 18 and 21 years old. Start preparing for this transition when your child is 14 or 15. Help your child understand his personal and your family’s health history. Have him fill out any health history forms under your supervision so you can discuss any health history.

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