Advancing Children's Health

Emotional health: Promote self-expression through art journaling

Jan 31 2016

Scared? Stressed? Sad? Emotions can be overwhelming when faced with life-changing events like illness, death of a loved one or trauma, or even the ups and downs of daily life. For a young person, emotions are a relatively new experience and can be intense. Channeling these feelings can be tough and even viewed as something to avoid. Among other benefits, art journaling can help children and teens better understand their emotions and help them de-stress (or let go of intense emotions). The act of creating has been proven to reduce physical and emotional effects of illnesses and to encourage self-expression, communication, social interactions and self-discovery. Pablo Picasso once said: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life... View Article

Kids Come First Files:
The other side of the stethoscope

Jan 25 2016

The latest addition to the Kids Come First files comes from two physicians who recently found themselves on the other side of the stethoscope when their daughter needed comprehensive care from a team of pediatric immunology experts. Dear Dr. Rubin, One of the burdens of your job must be to receive complaints and critiques regarding organizational problems and patient care concerns. Thankfully, this letter contains neither. Rather, we are writing to thank you for the excellent care our daughter has received from Drs. Ward and Irani in the pediatric immunology clinic, and the deep gratitude we feel for having access to the professional and caring staff at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. We have been impressed not only with... View Article

Start the New Year on the right note:
Renew your parent-child communication habits

Jan 18 2016

The start of a new year is a natural time to renew – or start – healthy habits, and here’s one that affects many aspects of a child’s life: positive parent-child communication. How adults interact with children is so important in showing children they matter and are loved. Teaching children they are cared for and appreciated builds self-esteem and self-confidence, helps children learn to love themselves and others, and makes every day a bit more joyful for all. Consider these tips for positive parent-child communication as you start the coming year. The importance of honest praise Children pay attention to positive parent interactions. When praise is incorporated as part of daily parent-child interactions, children respond with improved compliance and learn... View Article

Research study checklist: answers to have before enrolling

check mark
Jan 12 2016

As a parent, it is very likely that at some point you’ll receive information about the opportunity to enroll your child in a clinical trial or research study. Clinical trials study new and promising treatments for serious illnesses like cancer or chronic conditions like allergies, while research studies focus on gathering information for analysis. Whether you have a child experiencing a medical issue and your child’s doctor approaches you about participating a trial, or information comes home in your child’s backpack about a study on a general health topic like childhood nutrition here are some important things to consider from Dr. Henry Rozycki, CHoR’s Vice Chair for Research, before agreeing to allow your child to participate. Understanding trials and research... View Article

Research studies, clinical trials and how to learn more

research blog
Dec 12 2015

Making new discoveries that improve understanding and treatment of childhood diseases is an important part of CHoR’s mission. Dr. Henry Rozycki, CHoR’s Vice Chair for Research, answers some common questions about research studies and how research affects health care. What are research studies and why are they important to pediatric care? Research is the process of gathering and analyzing information to answer a question. A research study is the process of analyzing this information, or data, with the purpose of providing results that can be useful for a larger group. Studying how well a doctor’s patients do after a visit is only considered to be a “study” when the results are analyzed and presented to an audience beyond the doctor’s... View Article

When the holidays hurt
Missing loved ones this time of year

Dec 9 2015

Holidays or special days like birthdays and anniversaries can be difficult days for people who are grieving the loss of something or someone very meaningful in their lives. Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa and Thanksgiving are often the most difficult as more than any other, these days mean family togetherness. It is at these times that we are acutely aware of the void in our lives. For many, particularly at Christmas, we just want to skip it and go from December 24th to 27th. We continually hear carols being sung and people saying Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays when we may not be feeling so happy inside. Doing our holiday gift shopping, we see the perfect gift for our loved one who has died... View Article

#VCUHealthChat: Diabetes Awareness Month

Dr Edmonds Wickham_peds internal med
Nov 25 2015

Follow @ChildrensRVA and @VCUHealth to participate in upcoming Twitter chats using #VCUHealthChat. [View the story “#VCUHealthChat: Diabetes Awareness Month ” on Storify]

Well-managed asthma care = active life

Nov 20 2015

More than 23 million Americans have asthma and more than one-quarter are children younger than age 18. In recent years, better ways to diagnose and treat asthma, even in young children, have significantly improved daily life for children living with asthma. With proper medication, severe flare-ups can be minimized – even prevented – and children with well-managed asthma care can lead active lives with minimal restrictions. Dr. Michael Schechter, a pediatric pulmonologist with extensive experience working with children with asthma, shares more about asthma care in today’s world, managing care for a full and active life, and a new community program that can help. What is asthma? Asthma is a condition that affects a person’s breathing. Inside the lungs are airways called... View Article

Controlling those candy cravings – Halloween edition

Oct 29 2015

by Kelli George, Dietetic Intern Reviewed by Ashley Cappel, Registered Dietitian, CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center Quick – name the first three things that come to mind when you think of Halloween! Candy, pumpkins, and……candy. Our kids look forward to Halloween each year because they get to dress up in a fun costume and eat all of the candy they can find within arm’s reach. No one enjoys saying no to their little one, but candy is just, well, not good for us! So when they come home with that plastic pumpkin full of candy, what do we do? Here are a few great tips to get you started: Feed your kids a nice dinner before trick or treating. That way... View Article

Scary fact: 2X more fatal car accidents on Halloween night

Oct 26 2015

It’s a scary fact: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. The fun of this special night often leads to distraction. “Halloween is an exciting time,” Dr. Jeffrey Haynes, Director of CHoR’s Children’s Trauma Center, explains. “When the natural impulse to get quickly to the next treat is coupled with the poor visibility at dusk and later evening, pedestrian safety is at risk.” Halloween should be about frightful fun – not serious scares – and there are several things parents can do to ensure trick or treating is as safe as possible. Top safety tips based on information from Safe Kids Worldwide are... View Article