For a parent of a child diagnosed with a chronic illness like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the future can be scary and overwhelming. Resources are available to help families make sense of many diseases and ailments, and some of these organizations even offer tools specifically designed to help support the care of a child patient
Understanding Pediatric Chronic Illnesses
How families can manage inflammatory bowel diseases
(Family Features) For a parent of a child diagnosed with a chronic illness, the future can be scary and overwhelming. Assembling a medical team and beginning to formulate a treatment plan, even becoming familiar with a glossary of new terminology, can be taxing.
Resources are available to help families make sense of many diseases and ailments, and some of these organizations even offer tools specifically designed to help support the care of a child patient. For example, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is a leading resource for families navigating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
What is IBD?
Crohn’s disease may occur in any part of the large intestine (also called the colon). In fact, it can happen anywhere in the entire digestive system. However, it most commonly develops right where the small and large intestine meet. In ulcerative colitis, only the colon and rectum are affected.
No one knows for sure what causes Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but experts believe several factors may lead to the development of the diseases, including genes, environmental elements like viruses and bacteria, and inappropriate immune reactions.
What are the symptoms?
“It is critical that if you suspect your child has inflammatory bowel disease, you seek care with a qualified pediatric gastroenterologist who can carefully and efficiently help determine the diagnosis and begin a treatment plan to help your child feel better, thrive, and maximize quality of life,” said Andrew Grossman, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist and chair of the pediatric affairs committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
How does it affect children?
They are often overwhelmed by the emotional and psychological side effects of the disease.
Learning how to manage the disease is not always easy for children. Parents play an important role in educating their children about IBD, including teaching them they need to take their health seriously and take responsibility for caring for themselves.
How can IBD be managed?
Maintaining your child’s health may also involve lifestyle accommodations, like organizing your schedule for ample bathroom breaks when away from home. You may also need to work closely with your child’s school to manage absences and academic performance along with any medical care that needs to take place during school hours.
Many families also find value in building a network of supportive friends and loved ones. One example, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation offers Camp Oasis – a co-ed residential camp program that allows children to meet others like them in a safe and enriching environment.
Another resource is justlikemeibd.org , a website featuring stories and videos from teens with IBD as well as information on school, dating, managing stress and diet, research updates, and resources for parents.
Is your child ready to manage his or her own care?
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
As a parent, you want to be sure your child gets the best and safest care. Anesthesia’s effect on the developing brain is being researched continually, and you’ll be comforted to know that anesthesia provided during one brief surgery is considered safe by the experts at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
(BPT) - When surgery is necessary, anesthesia ensures your child can safely receive life-saving or corrective treatment while managing the pain and discomfort of the procedure. Anesthesia’s effect on the developing brain is being researched continually, and you’ll be comforted to know that anesthesia provided during one brief surgery is considered safe by the experts at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“Parents should rest assured that surgery is only recommended when necessary and your child will be monitored during every minute of the procedure to ensure the safest and most effective care,” said Linda Mason, M.D., ASA president-elect and a pediatric physician anesthesiologist. “In an effort to continually improve anesthesia, physician anesthesiologists have been at the forefront of research on the effects of anesthesia on children — and adults — and continue to study this important issue.”
As a parent, you want to be sure your child gets the best and safest care. To that end, ASA offers the following guidance:
1. Don’t delay or avoid surgery: Work closely with your child’s surgeon and other physicians to determine if surgery is the right choice. In most cases, delaying or avoiding surgery may mean the child does not receive much-needed care. For example, if your child’s doctor recommends placing tubes to drain fluid in the ears and prevent ongoing infection, not doing the procedure increases the risk of delayed speech and language development, which can affect social and academic success.
2. Talk to the physician anesthesiologist: Highly trained to ensure safe, high-quality care, the physician anesthesiologist will monitor your child through the entire surgery so he or she stays warm, gets enough oxygen, has stable blood pressure and receives necessary fluids. Depending on the location and type of surgery, your child may have more than one anesthesia option. Be sure to ask the physician anesthesiologist about those options as well as any other questions you have, such as:
* How can I ensure my child has a successful surgery?
* How can I help my child prepare?
* Is anesthesia safe for my child?
3. Rest assured that limited exposure is considered safe: Experts note that a single, relatively short exposure to anesthesia and surgery is unlikely to have negative effects on behavior or learning. And most common surgeries in children require anesthesia for less than two hours. Research continues regarding the use of anesthesia in repeated or longer surgeries. But parents should be confident that physicians are aware of the concerns and will only recommend a surgery or procedure if necessary.
“ASA is committed to advancing research regarding this issue and its physician scientist members are active in cutting-edge research both in the laboratory and at the patient’s bedside,” said Dr. Mason. “Through the SmartTots program, ASA partners with the International Anesthesia Research Society and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support funding to investigate the safety of anesthesia for infants and young children.”
Learn about preparing your child for surgery and questions to ask about anesthesia safety for your young child at asahq.org/kidschecklist. Additionally, download ASA’s companion coloring book for children who are about to undergo anesthesia and surgery.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
(BPT) - Your toddler sits in unusually quiet concentration as you smile and give two thumbs up, the universal sign of encouragement between parent and child. After what seems like an eternity, when you're about to give up hope, you suddenly hear the long-awaited sound of victory - that little tinkle that signifies potty training success!
Before having kids, most parents would never imagine they'd be so excited for another person to go to the bathroom. While potty training is an eagerly anticipated milestone for toddlers and parents alike, it is important to note there will be victories and setbacks along the way. This is why both parents and toddlers need to stay encouraged throughout the journey.
Dr. Laura Jana - pediatric, parenting and early childhood expert - encourages parents to always keep in mind that potty training is a learning experience unique to each child. Even when things don't go as planned, you can be your child's best coach.
"Parents want potty training to be a positive experience for their toddlers, but leaks, accidents and less-than-successful attempts to switch from training pants to diapers can often feel like setbacks," says Jana. "By shifting our thinking and focusing efforts on helping them overcome these common obstacles, we can best help our little ones ultimately achieve and celebrate potty training success."
As many parents begin the potty training journey in anticipation of summer fun and the start of preschool in the next school year, Jana shares her top tips for keeping the experience as simple and positive as possible.
Tip 1: Promote potty "learning."
Learning how to use the potty takes plenty of time and patience. It's more than just training; it is a learning opportunity for toddlers and parents alike that should be enjoyable. After all, mastering this concept of "potty learning" with your little one is a big accomplishment and milestone.
Tip 2: Be prepared.
Stock up on practical supplies that foster your child's interest and independence - from a potty seat or toilet ring and step stool to training pants that all help potty-training toddlers proudly set aside their diapers and make the diaper-to-underwear transition. The fact that Pampers Easy Ups offer an toddlers an underwear-like look and feel while containing accidental leaks and messes at home, on-the-go or overnight, makes them an effective option for facilitating the potty training process. Learn more at www.pampers.com.
Tip 3: Watch for signs of readiness.
Keep an eye out for subtle (and some not-so-subtle) signs that children are ready for potty training such as:
* Verbal expressions about having to go or a desire to use the "big potty."
* Able to toddle to the bathroom and pull down their own pants independently.
* Awareness of the sensation of peeing or pooping, characteristically noticeable when young children suddenly stop what they're doing as they feel themselves start to go.
* Bothered by poopy and/or wet diapers.
Tip 4: Start making connections.
You can do a lot to help your child prepare for using the potty long before your toddler actually begins. Making up a fun song or reading engaging children's books about potty training, such as "You and Me Against the Pee!," can help make the idea of potty learning fun. Additionally, you can help make the potty routine familiar by letting your toddler accompany you in to the bathroom when you need to go.
Tip 5: Proudly promote team spirit.
It is important to keep in mind that "teamwork makes the dream work," especially in the case of potty training. You get to be your child's biggest fan, teammate, and potty training coach. In all these roles, remember to stay calm in the face of potty accidents and encourage your little one to rise above and try again.
Tip 6: Celebrate every win.
As with any experience, young children can learn a lot from both their potty successes and setbacks. While potty accidents are an inevitable aspect of potty learning, they shouldn't dominate your day-to-day discussions. Instead, simply help your child learn to cope with and clean up any messes, and focus your attention on celebrating your child's efforts and successes with plenty of hugs and words of encouragement.
No one said potty training would be easy, but it can be fun! Every day is a step toward victory.
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