Child, Parenting, and Healthcare Provider Issues

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

A couple of summers ago, I awoke to the sound of the doorbell ringing at 7AM. Puzzled, I looked through the window and saw a young girl with Down syndrome standing on our front step. She said that she was lost and didn’t know where her mom was. We quickly called the police, and thankfully, her mother found us within a short period of time, explaining that her daughter had run out of the house while they were preparing for a move. Thankfully, no one was hurt during that experience, but it was a dangerous situation. With the recent buzz of excitement in my clinical practice about summer’s increased outdoor time, I thought it would be helpful to discuss why children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk of unintentional injury when the weather’s warm. And in a future post, to share prevention tools that are available.

#TeenSummer! Twitter Chat on Adolescent Summer Safety

CIRP@CHOP's Flaura Winston MD, PhD and Mark Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE (@safetymd) will be special guests for an upcoming Twitter Chat on Adolescent Summer Safety! For many teens, summer is just getting underway. But increased time spent outdoors also comes with increased safety concerns: Sun exposure, swimming, biking, and hiking can all increase the risk of various adolescent injuries. 

Autism and Flying

With the upcoming summer vacations, I'm fielding a lot of questions in my developmental pediatrics clinic about flying. Flying can generally be a stressful experience for any traveler but especially so for some of my patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. The crowds, changes in routine, and unpredictable events can have a way of triggering anxieties and possibly behavioral difficulties for children with ASD (along with other developmental disabilities).

Repair the World or Stop It From Breaking?

The three-year old boy had a low grade fever and runny nose. Mom was sleeping in the corner of the room when I came in and barely awakened when I knocked on the door. Our conversation was short and to the point as I went through my routine “it’s a virus, tincture of time” talk. Leaving the room, the mom asked me for a taxi voucher. She did not want to call Freddie’s father for a ride back. With one more question, easily skipped, I learned that she and the child’s father had been fighting about their son’s cough keeping him awake. Freddie’s father had kicked them out of the house to find a doctor to “fix him or I will fix him, and you.” Turns out that Freddie and his mom were living in a house of fear and uncertainty. We see kids like Freddie each day. Sometimes we can sense that something is off but are afraid to ask that next question. Oftentimes, we cannot see the problem until we ask the right questions. Emergency medical providers may not feel that learning about these issues is their role. The first part of addressing a “chronic illness” is recognizing it. The next time you get “that feeling” see what a few straightforward, respectful questions can reveal.

Ending the School Year With Safety

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™ (GYTSM) and the perfect time to remind parents and teens to promote safe driving and passenger behaviors during prom, graduation, and other special events that mark the end of the school year.

Helping Children Cope With the Tragedy in Boston

In the wake of yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. Today, as we are left with more questions than answers, we may be asking ourselves, “How do we handle this in our family? How do we talk to our children about what happened?” Here at CIRP@CHOP, we turn to our colleagues that have experience in communicating with children about these very sensitive topics.

One Man’s Tragedy Saves Many Lives

For the past two weeks, I was the guest of Chairman Avi Na’or, CEO Shmuel Aboav, Dr. Tsippy Lotan and other road safety heroes at the Or Yarok, the leading road safety organization in Israel. What an amazing experience and an honor. My trip included a speaking engagement at the Or Yarok national road safety conference and involved meetings with Or Yarok researchers, academics, entrepeneurs and others from around Israel and leaders in governmental agencies (including the Israel National Road Safety Authority and the Israel Institute for Health Policy).

Youth Concussions: Medical & School Teams on the Same Team

The primary vocation for children and adolescents is school, in order to prepare for meaningful, full adult lives. Toward the goal of better communication and support for kids recovering from concussion, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, CHOP will host the first annual Continuing Medical Education concussion course, “Diagnosis and Management of Child and Adolescent Concussion: A Primer for Primary Care Providers and Educators.” In addition, we have just added substantial new content to our Concussion Care for Kids website and organized the content to make it easy for the different types people who support a child's recovery to get the customized information they need-- whether you need to increase your concussion knowledge as a parent, school administrator, teacher, coach or health care provider.

Backover Crash Prevention in Israel

By guest contributor Sharon Levi, Beterem. Backover crashes are common in the Arab community in Israel; in the years 2007-2010, 38 children died in backover crashes in this community. This is due to a lack of play areas away from vehicles, children playing near vehicles without supervision, and a lack of knowledge regarding the methods to prevent these crashes.

Road Safety Work in Action in Israel

Last week I blogged about Beterem, a national child safety organization in Israel, and its successful research-to-action model. As a I traveled about Israel over the past two weeks, I captured some of Israel's road safety work in action as well as daily life unfolding.

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