Advancing Children's Health

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

Heatstroke Happens Faster in Children: Know the Facts, Keep Children Safe

May 22 2015

May 23 is National Heat Awareness Day. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. Safety specialist, registered nurse and mom Corri Miller-Hobbs of Safe Kids Virginia wants to be sure all are aware of the following facts about this dangerous condition and committed to following the expert-recommended safety tips listed below to keep children safe. The facts about heatstroke Heatstroke is a serious medical condition that can occur when the body’s temperature rises too high as a result of excessive heat exposure and the body loses its ability to cool itself and overheats., a National Highway Safety Transportation Association website focused on children’s car safety, shares some eye-opening facts about heatstroke risks for children left... View Article

Dr. Gary Francis Leads International Task Force to Develop Treatment Guidelines for Children with Thyroid Cancer

Dr. Gary Francis  Pediatrics
May 20 2015

As chief of endocrinology and metabolism at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) and a research collaborator with VCU Massey Cancer Center, Gary Francis, MD, PhD, practices both the art and science of caring for children. He is known among his patients and families for his child-friendly, upbeat and inquisitive bedside manner – while his international endocrine peers know him as a thought leader, researcher and educator. Dr. Francis recently led a task force commissioned by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to develop a set of guidelines for evaluating and treating children with thyroid nodules and cancer. The newly issued guidelines are the first and only set of recommendations that provide best practice standards for diagnosing and treating thyroid... View Article

#Shift4Health – Small Shifts – Big Benefits

May 14 2015

Shift for Health is the theme for VCU Medical Center’s exclusive medical sponsorship of Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships. Our participation in this important international event is a clear reflection of the world-class health care that we provide. Shift for Health will carry on long after the race is over by encouraging team members, their families and members of our community to make small shifts in their exercise, diet and lifestyle habits that will add up to big differences in their health and well-being. Meet Shift Champion – Lauren Pagac, certified pediatric nurse Lauren had a very compelling reason to improve her health—she wanted to set a good example for her 18-month-old daughter and be able to keep up... View Article

Lightning Safety – When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

May 8 2015

Each year, more than 400 people are struck by lightning in the United States and the lightning strike that occurred earlier this week at a Henrico middle school soccer game brings this safety issue close to home. The Safety and Preparedness Fact Sheet, Weather Safety – Lightning, prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross, recommends the following to be safe from lightning: Avoid the lightning threat Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for safety and how much time it takes to get there. Make sure your plan allows enough time to reach safety. Postpone activities. Before going outdoors, check the forecast for thunderstorms. Consider postponing activities to avoid... View Article

Distracted Driving – It’s More than Just Texting

mascara car
Apr 30 2015

While as a society we’re becoming more aware of the dangers associated with texting and driving, it’s also important to keep in mind the many other distractions that can affect a driver’s concentration. For teen drivers especially, distractions are a major safety issue. Research shows that the “Under-20” age group has the greatest amount of distracted drivers. A March 2015 CNN special report also shared some surprising facts about habits common among teen drivers, including this: More than one fourth of the participants said they had changed their clothes or shoes while driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We encourage you to review the information below with the teen drivers – and teen passengers – in your lives so... View Article