Speaking of Children’s Health Blog
 
  • Eczema 101

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    Sixty-five percent of eczema patients are diagnosed in the first year of life and 90 percent of patients with eczema experience it before age 5. It is estimated that atopic dermatitis, the most severe and long-lasting kind of eczema, affects over 30 million Americans. Dr. Laurie Shinn, a dermatologist at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, gives us a 101 course in identifying and treating this common condition. What is eczema? Eczema is a sensitivity of the skin to its surroundings. Many things that cause eczema to flare are irritants (items that cause skin irritation), but others are true allergens (items that cause an allergic reaction). If your child has eczema, it helps to talk with their doctor about…
  • Invasion of the Allergens

    Well if the watery eyes, sneezing kids and pollen covered cars didn’t clue you in… it’s officially allergy season and the allergens are out in full swing! To help us make it through the season without locking ourselves indoors, Dr. Santhosh Kumar, a specialist in the pediatric allergy and immunology division at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), gives us a lesson in the basics of nasal allergies. What does the term allergy mean? Allergy is a condition where the body over-responds to a harmless substance. There are different types of allergies, although the basic underlying process is the same. When substances trigger an allergic response in the nose, we have nasal allergies. Other common types include food, drug…
  • April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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    The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) founded Alcohol Awareness Month to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol and alcoholism. Held at the start of prom and graduation season, it provides a timely opportunity to address underage drinking. Here are a few facts from the NCADD to consider: In one study, 80 percent of teens said their parents were the largest influence on their decision whether or not to drink. About 10 percent of 12-year-olds, and half of 15-year-olds, have tried alcohol. Teens who experiment with alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent when they are older than those who wait until age 20. Parents should start talking with children about…
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

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    By Tiffany Kimbrough, MD, pediatric resident I recently had the pleasure of attending a career fair at Fairfield Middle School in Henrico, Virginia, where over 600 7th and 8th graders were eager to learn more about becoming a doctor. The fair was held in their gymnasium, with booth after booth of professionals touting the “awesomeness” of their jobs. From chef to pharmacist, lawyer to police officer, nurse to doctor, there were a lot of careers for the students to learn more about. While Dr. Michelle Russ (pediatric resident) and I were setting up for the event, I could not help thinking about the last time I was in a school gym. The bells ringing, signaling that you were running late to…
  • CHoR’s NICU Earns Beacon Award for Excellence

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    Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is the first NICU in Virginia to receive the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The Beacon Award recognizes individual units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care. As one of only five NICUs in the country to receive this honor, CHoR is proud to be among nationally-recognized providers like Children’s Hospital Boston and Miami Children’s Hospital. CHoR’s NICU achieved the highest designation possible, gold-level status. “It is an honor that our unit received this acknowledgement,” said Sharon Cone, PhD, nurse manager of CHoR’s NICU. “CHoR’s NICU staff is committed to excellence, always going above and beyond to ensure…
  • From Garden to Table: Growing Healthy Families

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    Vegetable gardens are popping up more and more in our schools and communities, and for good reason. Gardening is an enjoyable way to expose children to different types of vegetables. Plus, the more children are involved in the growing and harvesting of healthy foods, the more likely they are to choose them at mealtime. There are many possibilities for growing your own healthy foods right at home, even in a small space. Ashley Cappel, a registered dietician for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Health Lifestyles Center, shares some of her ideas. Container gardening is easy and cheap, and you don’t need to buy fancy pots. Try old coffee canisters or hanging baskets – just make sure there are holes…
  • Welcome to the Team, CHoR Residents of 2014!

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    Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) is proud to announce our new 2014 residents! This year’s applicant pool was extremely competitive with United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores at or above the national average. In fact, the 2014 resident matches broke the record for USMLE scores, marking an all-time high for CHoR’s program. "With every year, the pediatric residency match becomes even more competitive than the last,” said Dr. Suzanne Lavoie, pediatric residency program director and chief of infectious diseases at CHoR. “I am continually impressed by the success our residents have already achieved before they even have a chance to walk in our door. Already breaking records, the 2014 residents have proven they’re no exception. I know…
  • Career Day: Child Life Specialists

    While many young children dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, ballerinas and astronauts, those who encounter people like Heather Kinney, CCLS, CPST during their stay in the hospital often develop heroes of a different kind. During March, we celebrate heroes like Heather, a senior child life specialist at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) who spends her time helping children and their families cope with the different health challenges and experiences they’re facing. Her passion for children and inspiring dedication is the reason many of her patients have decided they want to grow up and be a child life specialist just like Heather.Heather’s own desire to become a child life specialist developed in high school when her youth group worked…
  • Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Dental Clinic

    When children and families enter the Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR’s) Brook Road Campus, they are immediately greeted by the receptionist peering out of the ‘submarine porthole’ window. The child-friendly Dental Clinic is specifically designed to make children feel as comfortable and safe as possible from the moment they enter, until to the moment they leave. “Our dental team works hard to calm children by explaining procedures in terms that they can understand,” said Donna Palmer, RN, dental services clinical coordinator on the Brook Road Campus. “Our little patients enjoy holding the ‘tooth mirror’ and learning the proper way to clean their teeth. Many of our patients have formed special bonds with the staff, and…
  • Virtual Tour: CHoR’s Bon Air Therapy Center

    From the big bright physical therapy gym filled with colorful balls and weights, to the ladders and plush mats children can “play” on during fun physical therapy sessions, the environment at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s (CHoR) Bon Air Therapy Center is welcoming, child-friendly and cheerful. The  Bon Air Therapy Center provides psychology services as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. Services range from voice therapy and the treatment of sports-related injuries to addressing gross motor skills. Children receive a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized treatment plan. “Treatment plans often require multiple therapy visits a week,” said Pat Stevens, Bon Air Therapy Center manager. “Community therapy centers like Bon Air provide a convenient neighborhood location for families. CHoR…