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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
My daughter, Leeana, has plenty of charming quirks, like her little sweaty feet, and the way that she breathes through her mouth when she’s really focused. But these little nuances became a big worry, when she began snoring.
This wasn’t the cute purring that some kids do in their sleep. Leeana’s snoring actually woke her father up in the middle of the night. It made me uneasy, so I brought her into our bed so that I could monitor her sleeping, and what I saw shook me to my core.
My daughter stopped breathing in her sleep at least 6 times while I watched. She would jerk herself awake, gasp for air, and continue snoring until she stopped breathing again.
When I took her to her pediatrician the next morning, she told me that Leeana has sleep apnea. An estimated 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, according to SleepApnea.org, many of them being between 2 and 8 years old.
Our pediatrician also explained to us that her sweating and heavy breathing were symptoms of her condition. She said that, while it wasn’t something to run to the emergency room for, sleep apnea does have several long-term side effects.
“As many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep,” reports SleepApnea.org. “Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, other hormonal and metabolic problems, even failure to thrive can be related to sleep apnea. Some researchers have charted a specific impact of sleep disordered breathing on ‘executive functions’ of the brain: cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal.”
Our pediatrician said that sleep apnea could be a result of oversized tonsils or adenoids. She also mentioned that a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine might help keep the airways open during sleep. The machine delivers pressurized air through a mask to hold the airways in the throat open.
I looked into these machines and found that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a study on them last year. Researchers found that kids who used PAP machines had significant improvements after three months, even if the kids didn’t use it all the time. Although I’m worried about how comfortable she will be wearing it to sleep, if we do have to go that route, hopefully Leeana won’t need to use it for longer than a few months.
If your child is snoring, or has symptoms such as heavy breathing and sweating, be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician. It may also be worth it to stay up one night and monitor their sleep.
Leeana has an appointment with her ENT later this week. Hopefully a good night’s sleep is in her near future.
Categories: GoodyBlog | Tags: children, ENT, heavy breathing, kids, PAP machine, pediatrician, positive airway pressure machine, snoring, Speel apnea, study, sweat
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
New Autism-Related Gene Variants Discovered
Genetics researchers have identified 25 additional copy number variations (CNVs) — missing or duplicated stretches of DNA — that occur in some patients with autism. These CNVs, say the researchers, are “high impact”: although individually rare, each has a strong effect in raising an individual’s risk for autism. (via Science Daily)
Colicky Babies May Have Wrong Bacteria
Doctors don’t clearly understand why some babies cry excessively and others don’t, but a new study suggests abnormal gut bacteria could play a role. (via My Health News Daily)
Fast Food Linked to Asthma and Allergies in Kids
Obesity isn’t the only potential toll that dinner from the drive-thru may have on your health. It’s not just your waistline that may pay a price for eating fast food meals three or more times a week, but your immune system as well. (via TIME)
Docs Should Know About Kids and Alternative Medicine
Your child’s pediatrician isn’t likely to ask whether you are giving your youngsters herbs or treating them to acupuncture. But enough children are now using alternative therapies that physicians should be inquiring about it, and parents need to volunteer information about any complementary medicine approaches their children are using to avoid any potential harmful interactions with conventional treatments. (via TIME)
Parents Television Council Blasts Torture Scene in ABC’s Scandal-Group Calls for Reform In TV Rating System
ABC could have had better timing. On the same night the entertainment industry was meeting with VP Joe Biden to discuss media violence, the network aired an episode of Scandal that included a graphic, three-minute torture scene.
The coincidence didn’t get by the Parents Television Council, which pointed to the episode as another example of a “failed [TV] ratings system.” (via Adweek)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: allergies, alternative medicine, asthma, autism, baby colic, colic, fast food, genetics, media violence, obesity, Parents Television Council, pediatrician, TV violence
Monday, December 17th, 2012
The Nation Heads Back to School With New Worries About Safety
Officials and parents spent the weekend anxious about how to talk to students about Friday’s shooting and how best to discourage something like it from happening again. (via New York Times)
‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: When Parents Are Afraid of Their Children
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting on Monday, one mother of a mentally ill boy stepped forward with an eloquent, wrenching cry for help that has echoed across the Web. In a blog post republished on the Blue Review titled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” Liza Long writes about living in fear of the son she loves. (via Time)
A New Leash on Infections: Dog that Sniffs Out a Deadly Superbug
Dutch doctors are training beagles’ famously sensitive sense of smell to sniff out Clostridium difficile, stubborn bacteria that cause severe, hard-to-treat diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening colitis. Cases of C. difficile have reached historical highs in recent years, claiming 14,000 lives in the U.S. each year, primarily in hospital or long-term care settings. (via Time)
Brain Imaging Identifies Bipolar Disorder Risk in Adolescents
Researchers from the Black Dog Institute and University of NSW have used brain imaging technology to show that young people with a known genetic risk of bipolar but no clinical signs of the condition have clear and quantifiable differences in brain activity when compared to controls. (via ScienceDaily)
Genetic Defect in Sex Cells May Predispose to Childhood Leukemia
Researchers at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and the University of Montreal have found a possible heredity mechanism that predisposes children to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of blood cancer in children. (via ScienceDaily)
Keep Thimerosal in Vaccines: Pediatricians
A mercury-containing preservative should not be banned as an ingredient in vaccines, U.S. pediatricians said Monday, in a move that may be controversial. (via Reuters)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: bipolar disorder, childhood leukemia, clostridium difficile, genetic defect, Newtown, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, pediatrician, sandy hook elementary school, school safety, vaccines
Monday, September 19th, 2011
Doctor, My Child and I Need More Time with You
Experts say doctors are being asked to do more in less time and though they would like to provide more care, they can’t make it happen.
A Woman and Her Toddler Fight Dual Cancers
Five months after Kezia Fitzgerald received a cancer diagnosis, so did her little girl.
Doctor’s Orders: Read to Baby
Reach Out and Read program encourages early literacy and school readiness.
Family Pioneers in Exploration of the Genome
A group of researchers said that by examining the whole genome of a family of four, they were able to make unusually specific findings, including the daughter’s risk of blood clots.
Cancer Testing Lags in Latinos with Family History
Latinos were less likely than whites to get screened for colon cancer in a new study from California — and much less likely when both groups had a family history of the disease.
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
When Deborah Copaken Kogan snapped a photo of her 4-year-old son, Leo, in the pediatrician’s office on Mother’s Day and uploaded it to Facebook, she was looking for a few laughs (and probably some sympathy). The photo’s caption was, “Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day quite like a Sunday morning at the pediatrician’s.”
According to Slate.com, Kogan brought Leo to the doctor because he had a rash and a fever, and she feared strep. Leo was sent home with antibiotics, but the next day he was sicker and Kogan was back at the doctor. His new diagnosis was scarlet fever. Kogan continued posting pictures of Leo on Facebook to share with friends.
On the third day, Leo woke up so swollen and puffy that he was almost unrecognizable. Kogan sent pictures of her son to the doctor and posted one on Facebook. Before she heard from the doctor, Kogan got a call from Stephanie, a former neighbor and actress. Stephanie urged Kogan to bring Leo to the hospital; her own son had similar symptoms a few years earlier and was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, a rare and sometimes fatal auto-immune disorder.
After receiving more comments and messages on Facebook from friends with the same suspicions, including a pediatrician and a pediatric cardiologist, Kogan brought Leo to the hospital. They were right: Leo had Kawasaki disease.
He will need tests on his heart every year for the rest of his life, but he is recovering and doing well.
Kogan, who originally joined Facebook to monitor the cyber-bullying of her oldest child, is grateful for how being part of a larger network of friends helped “diagnose” her son in a timely matter and also offered support during a difficult time. She recently wrote, “Thanks to my Facebook friends and their continuing support, I do not feel so alone.”
Do you have your own story about Kawasaki disease? Share your experience here.
Photograph by Deborah Copaken Kogan. Originally featured on Slate.
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Report cards on kids’ weight don’t make a difference
Schools in California notified parents about unhealthy weight, but it didn’t have an impact, study finds.
6 ways to keep your kid from cursing
Eighty-six percent of parents agree that children ages 2 to 12 are cursing more today than when they themselves were children, according to a national survey commissioned by Care.com.
Secondhand Smoke Tied To Mental Health Problems In Kids: Study
Estimates suggest that anywhere between 4.8 and 5.5 million children in the U.S. live in households where they are exposed to secondhand smoke, putting them at greater risk for multiple health problems. Now, new research suggests that secondhand smoke exposure can increase the odds of developing certain mental and behavioral disorders by 50 percent.
100 Dead, Many Children, in Boat Sinking in Russia
More than 100 people, including many children, drowned when a riverboat filled with families cruising the Volga River sank over the weekend, rescue officials said Monday, conceding little hope remained of finding survivors.
How to talk to your kids’ doctor
Studies show you get only about 15 minutes of face time with your pediatrician during an average well visit, so you’ll want to make every second count.
Texas Woman Welcomes 16-Pound Baby Boy
A Texas mother possibly set a new state record after giving birth to a baby boy weighing more than 16 pounds, according to the Longview News-Journal.
Monday, January 31st, 2011
When you take your child for her well visit, do you leave the pediatrician’s office feeling like you got all the answers you’d hoped for?
Not always, right?
This was the basis for a story we published in our February issue, called “Make the Most of Your Child’s Checkup.” In it, we offer seven strategies every parent should consider before the appointment. They include:
Speak up right away. I know that I’ve been tempted to wait until the very end of the visit to bring up the things I’m concerned about (like the time my then 17-month-old seemed to be particularly preoccupied with specks on the ground). But the doctors we interviewed said that’s not the way to go. Kick off your visit with your questions and worries, and your doc will have the entire visit to keep an eye out for any problems, or to quell your fears altogether.
Show up as a team. Of course, it’s not always possible for you and your partner to come to a doctor’s visit. But when you can, do—pediatricians like getting input and perspective from both of you.
Bring your backup. Did you read or see something that made you worry about your child? Print out the article or study or TV transcript and show it to your doc. Simply saying “I heard that you’re not supposed to [common action here] anymore because [scary outcome here]” won’t help. Your doctor can only intelligently comment on something if you’ve provided the source.
Check out our story for more ideas. And good luck at your next appointment!
Image: Aimee Herring