Child, Parenting, and Healthcare Provider Issues

Teachable Moments: Starting the Conversation About Driving With Teens

Last week I had an opportunity to talk with fellow nurses at the 11th Annual Conference for Pediatric Surgical and Trauma Nursing at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on teen driving safety. I spoke with nurses working in emergency departments, intensive care units, trauma clinics and surgical units about teen crash prevention. While clinical care for a teen injured in a motor vehicle crash is an important topic to address, I instead took the opportunity to highlight how we as nurses can play a critical role in educating teens and their families about teen driver safety so that further tragedies can be prevented.

Improving Outcomes for Seriously Injured Children

When we think about trauma and prevention we often focus on death as the outcome. However, functional disability from trauma is far more common than death and can cause long-term physical and cognitive impairment despite inpatient rehabilitation. In fact, 95 percent of children and young adults survive moderate to severe trauma. How can we best measure these impairments in a standardized manner? What happens to these patients when they leave the hospital and inpatient rehabilitation? Are we doing all we can to ensure these children recover to reach their fullest potential?

Posttraumatic Stress After Pediatric Injury: What Practitioners Should Know

As a pediatric nurse, I know that the impact of injury for children and parents can sometimes go beyond the physical wound and that a full recovery can require more than the excellent medical care we now know how to provide. According to a recent research review in JAMA: Pediatrics by my colleague, Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD, a substantial body of research shows that posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms are common after pediatric injury and that these symptoms can affect a child’s physical and functional recovery. As pediatric health practitioners, we play a crucial role in recognizing and addressing PTS reactions in our injured patients.Here's what you can do.

Trends in Child Injury: An Article Review

I recently came across a new review article on child injury prevention by Drs. Brian Johnston and Beth Ebel at University of Washington. In it, they describe that although overall unintentional injury death among US children aged 0-19 years in 2000-2009 fell by 30%, there is still much work to be done.

Plan in Advance for Traveling With a Car Seat

I recently read an interesting article from TODAY about whether parents should bring their own car seats when traveling with children, or rely on rental car companies to supply them. While the article recommends it may be best to always bring your own seat, the decision may not always be straightforward, and planning in advance for travel with a car seat is key.

A Perfect Storm

There is convincing evidence that individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at heightened risk for unsafe driving behaviors, including teens. Despite a “perfect storm” of inexperience, adolescence and ADHD that increases crash risk, only emerging research about potential interventions exists for these teens. This can be frustrating for both parents and clinicians, like myself, who frequently discuss the risk of driving with teens with ADHD but have little information to offer about specific ways to keep them safe. In an editorial published today in JAMA Pediatrics, my CIRP@CHOP colleagues Flaura Winston and Catherine McDonald address this need head-on.

Assessing Your Teen’s Readiness to Drive

I recently heard Pam Fisher from the NJ Teen Safe Driving Coalition on Radio Times discuss, among other things, texting and driving among teens, the importance of practice, and following Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) to enhance teen driving safety. This made me think about other conversations I've had regarding readiness to drive among teens in general. It can be easy to forget that teens who appear physically ready to drive may not be mentally ready to drive. We’ve created some questions that can help to guide a discussion between parents and pediatricians regarding driving readiness.

Practical Policies to Prevent Injury & Manage Acute Care

In a recent study from CIRP@CHOP, we examined the potential impact on the healthcare system associated with increases in the number of young people with health insurance. We found a potential for more than 730,000 additional medically attended injuries annually, or a 6.1 percent increase, if all currently uninsured children and young adults become insured and if these newly insured youth access medical care in ways similar to those who already have insurance.

A Lesson in Royal Car Seat Safety

On Tuesday, July 23, the world watched as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduced us to their first child, Prince George. For those of us in the child passenger safety community, the happy occasion was soon mixed with concern as the new parents strapped their son into a child safety seat and drove off. As many blogs, forums, and national news outlets have reported, it appeared that although Prince George was rear-facing he was not properly restrained in his child safety seat.

Minimizing Risk of Unintentional Injury For Children with Disabilities- Part Two

Last week we discussed why children with developmental disabilities are at risk for unintentional injury. Today I'll share some tips and resources on keeping kids with developmental disabilities safe, especially in the summer.

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