Advancing Children's Health

Kids Come First Files:
A Caring Culture

Aug 21 2015

  The team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) includes members from all disciplines — from surgery, social work and nursing — to physical therapy, environmental services and child life. While team members fill different roles in the care of children and families, they all have something in common — a desire to make sure that Kids Come First at CHoR. The latest letter from the Kids Come First files is from a military leader who was touched by the team members he and his family interacted with during a recent hospitalization. Letter of appreciation from one leader to another Dr. Rubin, My son was recently treated and operated on by your department. We arrived via ambulance to... View Article

Kids Come First Files:
Care Spans Across the Globe

Aug 18 2015

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) provides care across Central Virginia, with locations from Stafford to Petersburg, but our caring arms also extend across the globe. While living abroad in China, a local Virginia family found themselves returning to the U.S. to receive a higher level of care and to develop a comprehensive plan to better manage their son’s epilepsy (a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures). Enter Dr. David Jaffe, a board certified pediatric neurologist at CHoR. Dr. Jaffe met with the family and reviewed the child’s electroencephalograms (EEG) that were conducted abroad, adjusted his medications, and developed a plan to monitor his epilepsy from afar so that the family could safely return to their home in China.... View Article

Planning for a Delicious (and Nutritious!) School Year

Aug 5 2015

August is Kids Eat Right Month. Kids Eat Right is a nutrition education, information-sharing and action campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, its Foundation and the Kids Eat Right Program. CHoR Dietitian Mary Henck recommends their informational website,, as a helpful (free!) resource for families and a great resource to check out as you start planning for the new school year. This Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ award-winning website brings consumers the latest science-based nutrition information. The site features resources and tools to help with smart shopping, healthy cooking and eating right, along with innovative tips and recipes specific to childhood ages and stages, from infancy to the teen years. With the first day of school... View Article

Tips for Breastfeeding Success

150805 Breastfeeding Infographic
Aug 1 2015

Babies who are breastfed are at a reduced risk of hospitalizations, ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, obesity, diabetes, asthma, eczema, sudden infant death syndrome and leukemia. There are many benefits for mom too: mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, postpartum depression and heart disease. They also burn 300-500 extra calories each day. The American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and United States Surgeon General all recommend breastfeeding as the superior choice for feeding infants. In support of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, CHoR pediatrician Dr. Gauri Gulati put together the following list of recommendations outlining the important steps to follow, both before and after a baby is born, for breastfeeding success. CHoR is proud to be... View Article

Q&A: Screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
CHoR Selected as Virginia’s Screening Site

Brant Ward
Aug 1 2015

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU was recently chosen as the single site in Virginia for severe combined immunodeficiency screening. What does this mean for families in Virginia? Dr. Brant Ward provides the answers in this SCID Q&A. What is SCID? Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), also known as “bubble boy disease”, is an inherited syndrome characterized by failure of the immune system to develop. Infants are born without crucial cells that coordinate the immune responses to bacteria, viruses, and other infections. As a result, affected infants are at significant risk of contracting life-threatening infections. Without treatment, children with SCID will die within the first two years of life due to overwhelming infection. How is SCID treated? Treatment of SCID requires... View Article

Skin Care 101: Tips for Minimizing Scars

Jul 21 2015

Our skin is our body’s largest organ and it has many functions. It helps us to maintain our body temperature, keeps out germs, and allows us to be comfortable in different environments such as water or air. Scars develop where the skin heals itself, and it is important to be aware that these areas can more easily be damaged by sun exposure. Here’s what you need to know about minimizing scarring, caring for scars in the sun, and treatment options that are currently available to help reduce scars. This article is part of a series on skin care by Dr. Laurie Shinn, a pediatric dermatologist. What is a scar? Scarring occurs when collagen, the thick fibrous-like tissue that gives our... View Article

A Better Tomorrow for Joshua

Jul 1 2015

Dawn McCoy vividly remembers crying on the shoulder of the nurse during her son’s first meeting with CHoR gastroenterologist Dr. Martin Graham. She was overwhelmed with frustration, having just learned that much of what Joshua had been eating was causing his medical issues to worsen. At the time, 18-month-old Joshua was “in crisis.” He was unable to keep food down and was very small for his age. His skin was inflamed with hives and eczema – “literally falling off,” Dawn says – and he constantly scratched his head and body with such force that he’d developed bald patches on his head. Dawn had taken Joshua to a number of skin and allergy specialists, but had not seen significant improvement. Wondering... View Article

Paper Plate Birds: Hands-On Craft for Fine Motor Skill Development

Jun 26 2015

With the school year coming to a close, we encourage you to find some time to get creative! Crafts can be a great way to spend time together – they provide a special opportunity for creative fun, the chance to develop new skills, and the satisfaction that comes with completing a project. Here’s a crafty idea from CHoR Occupational Therapist Jessica Z. Lynn with details about the specific skills this simple activity can help develop and how to use an activity like this to further enhance fine motor skill development. The benefits of gluing, tearing and folding The Paper Plate Bird Craft described below offers an opportunity to work on a variety of valuable fine motor skills that are often... View Article

Take Gun Safety Precautions: Preparation = Protection

Jun 24 2015

Due to a rise in gunshot-related injuries and fatalities seen in our trauma center and hospitals across the country, CHoR’s Children’s Trauma Center has identified gun safety as an area of special focus for children in Virginia. Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that about one-third of households with children under age 17 have a gun in the home, so it is highly likely that at some point your child will visit a home where guns are present. All children – whether they live in a home where guns are present or not – need to be prepared and know what to do should they encounter a gun. Talking to children about this important safety issue is critical to keeping them safe.... View Article

VA Peaches are in Season from July to August

Jun 18 2015

July and August are peak months for fresh peaches in Virginia and summer is great time to enjoy this heart-healthy fruit. The peachy tips and recipes below can help your family get started!   Peaches provide a heart-healthy punch Peaches are sometimes called the queen of fruits.1 One cup of sliced fresh peaches contains about 293 milligrams of potassium and 60 calories. Potassium is an electrolyte essential for a healthy heart. Peaches are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and flavonoids. Some studies suggest that higher flavonoid intakes may significantly reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Tips for selecting and storing peaches Fresh peaches will have a rich color and may still have a slight whitish color.... View Article