Advancing Children's Health

Meet Eleanor, our August Calendar Kid

eleanor-small
Aug 31 2016

Despite what she faces on a daily basis, Eleanor Brooks finds time for childhood fun. She likes to read, do embroidery, make jewelry, draw and paint. She also loves music and dancing, and when she’s physically able to, she takes piano and ice skating lessons. At home, you’ll likely find her doing yoga, baking or playing with her little brother Mark and little sister Marianna. “She’s a silly, normal 8-year-old girl,” her mom Aronne says, “and no matter what she’s going through, or how she feels, Eleanor usually always has a smile on her face.” Eleanor’s familiar smile was one of the many reasons Dr. Gita Massey, Eleanor’s primary oncologist in the ASK Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic, nominated her for... View Article

Coming soon to a grocery store near you! New Nutrition Facts label

labels
Aug 9 2016

The Nutrition Facts panel is getting a new look! Many consumers find that they are able to use the information on this panel to make informed decisions about food. By July 2018, most food manufacturers will be required to follow new FDA labeling standards, which are intended to give consumers more relevant nutrition information in an easy-to-understand panel format.  The labels may be popping up on grocery store shelves ahead of schedule, so here’s an advance look at what you can expect to see at a store near you, and how you can use this information! Q: Why is some of the information on the Nutrition Facts panel in bigger, bolder print? The following pieces of information will be in... View Article

Sensory play: A fun developmental tool for all kids

sensory
Aug 3 2016

While all children can seem particular about their likes and dislikes, children with sensory processing disorder (also called sensory integration dysfunction) will be so severely affected by their sensory preferences that it interferes with their normal, everyday functioning. Treatment for sensory processing disorder is a fun, play-based intervention that takes place in a sensory-rich environment typically under the guidance of an occupational therapist. Many families have requested more information about this topic and we thought summer was ideal time to share some therapist-recommended and kid-approved sensory activities that can be a fun way for any child to develop sensory processing skills.   What is sensory processing? Remember those five senses you learned about in elementary school – sight, sound, touch,... View Article

Healthy eating strategies:
How to win the veggie wars

veggies
Aug 2 2016

For optimal health, it is recommended that children eat at least FIVE SERVINGS of vegetables and fruits per day. Filling HALF of your child’s plate with veggies and fruits – not chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese, but broccoli, green beans or Brussels sprouts – will help your child reach this goal.  Providing the veggies, however, is only half the battle. Getting your little ones to choose to eat these foods is the real victory. Luckily, there are strategies and recipes that can help. Here are a few recommendations from dietitians at CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center and a quick and easy way to measure the recommended five daily servings: Make a schedule and stick to it. Children need... View Article

Meet Jada, our July Calendar Kid

july craft
Jul 29 2016

Nearly four years after her kidney transplant, 10-year-old Jada Jackson continues to share a special bond with her pediatric nephrology team at CHoR. She describes her kidney transplant and years of continued transplant care with Dr. Bunchman, Dr. Lo, nurse Jules and other team members as a special experience. Jada was born with a kidney condition (multicystic dysplastic kidney) that can worsen over time to where there is little to no normal kidney function. “She received a preemptive living donor kidney transplant in October 2012 and has done very well since her transplant,” said Shirley Alexander-Das, clinical social worker for CHoR’s nephrology team. Jada will start 5th grade this fall. Her “big smile” and “sweetness” were among the reasons why... View Article

Helping little hands develop…
Celery stamping offers a fun way to develop finger skills

fish
Jul 27 2016

Looking for a fun summer craft? You don’t need to look far! Occupational therapist Jessica Lynn shares suggestions for a special painting technique that involves an item that’s likely already in your fridge – celery! How to make a celery stamp rainbow fish Hidden behind this multi-medium fish craft is a wealth of fine and visual motor integration practice! The project offers the “just right challenge” for a wide range of ages and ability levels, and a variety of ways to create a final product.  Materials Outline of a fish on paper or cardstock Celery Variety of paint colors Googly eye (optional) Directions – Cut a stalk of celery into several pieces and set out a dab of each color... View Article

How an aquarium pet became a scientific star in childhood cancer research

fish
Jul 7 2016

Q&A with Seth Corey, new chief of hematology and oncology, on the role of zebrafish in medical research and more Seth Corey, MD, MPH, joined Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) and VCU Massey Cancer Center in October 2015 as the chief of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. He is also the inaugural Children’s Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research, which is funded by a large grant from Children’s Hospital Foundation and a gift from Connor’s Heroes. Additionally, he is the co-leader of Massey’s Cancer Molecular Genetics research program and a professor of pediatrics and microbiology/immunology at the VCU School of Medicine. A board-certified pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher, Corey specializes in leukemias, bone... View Article

Kids Come First Files:
Caring for the whole family

ER family
Jul 3 2016

Our latest Kids Come First Files post comes from Heather, a mom who remembers her daughter’s most recent hospital stay as a “scary, yet comforting time because of the staff members who were involved” in the care of her entire family. While Heather’s oldest daughter Layla was receiving care for kidney complications, her youngest was celebrating her third birthday. Dear Dr. Rubin, I had called and left you a message, but wanted to put in writing, my utmost compliments to Dr. Bunchman, his nurses (Jan and Jules), and the pediatric department inpatient staff at wonderful Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. My family and I are used to receiving care from a teaching hospital as we are natives of Morgantown. Before our move to Virginia we were always patients at WVU Hospital where we always received... View Article

Baby, you’re a firework

beautiful colorful firework
Jul 1 2016

By Dr. Evan Silverstein, CHoR pediatric eye expert July 4th is just a few days away… and that means, FIREWORKS! Attending professional fireworks is a great way to celebrate our nation’s independence, but setting off fireworks at home can be dangerous. As a pediatric ophthalmologist, I see eye injuries in children and adults every year from fireworks, and most of them are very preventable. Some injuries can be as devastating as a ruptured globe of the eye, which can cause lifelong blindness. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s 2014 report about injuries from fireworks estimated 10,500 fireworks injuries were treated in US hospitals. Nearly 35 percent of these injuries occurred in children younger than 15 years and 19 percent of all injuries involved the eyes. Prevent... View Article

Meet Liam, our June Calendar Kid

cape crop
Jun 24 2016

“Even when he’s not feeling his best, Liam still manages to smile or say something to make those around him smile,” says Tamara Neiderer, the CHoR team member who nominated Liam for our 2016 TidBits Calendar. Tamara is a certified occupational therapy assistant and part of the Feeding Program team that helped Liam develop the skills he needed to eat by mouth. Liam was a micro preemie and, because of many medical complications, he developed an aversion to anything or anyone coming near his mouth including food. According to his mom Shannon, when Liam began day patient feeding therapy last summer he was completely dependent on his feeding tube for nutrition. “Liam spent two months with the fabulous Feeding Program... View Article