Best of To Your Health 2018: Children's health

December 31, 2018 Providence Health Team

Providence St. Joseph Health is a leader in caring for children at every stage of their lives, from babies to tweens and teens. We've gathered some of our best pediatric insights from the blog to share with you from the past year.

As the holidays approach, bringing a pet into a household may be that special gift that some families have considered. With any pet, however, comes the possibility of consequences that extend beyond mere fur allergies. in the case of reptiles — turtles, frogs, fish and lizards — it's best to be aware of zoonotic disease.

The teen years are a time for growth, as a child begins to experience change and discovery in their lives. Navigating through the years from 13 to 19 is fraught with challenges for the child and parents. Openness to communication is one of the keys to helping ensure healthy decisions are made along the way. Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with a teen may be one of the best means to detect whether they are experiencing a mood swing or something else, such as symptom of depression.

Proper teeth brushing may be one of the first lessons about healthy living that a parent may teach a child. But for some children, getting them to brush their teeth may be as challenging as convincing them that vegetables are good for them. (More on that below.) So, it may take a strategy to get children to jump into the teeth-brushing habit.

Maintaining a healthy heart is every bit as important for a child as an adult, but perhaps it's taken for granted that a child, by virtue of youth, will almost always have a healthy heart. Not necessarily. Some of the heart healthy guidelines for children mimic those for an adult, but are every bit as applicable. 

Your child won't eat this and won't eat that, and sometimes you may think they'll never eat anything again except crayons. Anything that's healthy, that is. Just as a strategy may do the trick in bringing young ones into the teeth-brushing fold (see above), a game plan may be needed to ensure success at the dining table. One tip: From the grocery aisles to the kitchen, create opportunities for a child to make choices about eating healthfully.

Research published in the journal Pediatrics has linked the increasing number of trampoline parks to a spike in injuries to children. Part of the reason for that is simple: Jumping on a trampoline is great fun. But if it's to be done without injury to a child, parents should insist on following these basic rules of trampoline safety, especially at trampoline parks.

Parents often make crucial decisions about their child's immediate and future health well before they arrive in the delivery room. One of those decisions is about whether to harvest cord blood. Cord blood banking preserves vital stem cells that can be used to help treat a range of diseases. But knowing how the blood will be collected and ultimately stored are important considerations for the choices made well in advance of the baby's arrival.

Instead of an elaborate allergy test, there often is a surefire method to figuring out the source of wheezing, coughing and sneezing for a child. That would be talking to their parents. There is a genetic component to allergies as the sensitivities have a tendency to run in the family. So, if a parent has an allergy, there is a greater chance that his or her child may have that same allergy.

Download the Circle by Providence app, which offers tips, to-do lists and health tracking tools to guide your through every stage of pregnancy and parenthood.

If you’re looking for a pediatrician, find one near you in our physician directory. or visit:

AK: Children’s Hospital at Providence

CA: Providence Pediatrics; St. Joseph Health Pediatrics, Northern California; St. Joseph & St. Jude Heritage Medical Group

MT: Grant Creek Family Medicine

OR: Providence Children’s Health

WA: Pacific Medical Centers – Pediatrics; Providence Pediatrics; Providence Pediatric Associates – Spokane, Northpointe

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.


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