Nemours Blog - Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

On May 30th, 2021, Chloe was having a typical night playing with her toys. She was smiling and giggling like always, and suddenly she stopped her energetic pacing between toys and randomly fell to the floor. She became limp and stopped breathing. Her lips and feet turned purple right before she became conscious again. No one knew why this happened because she’d never experienced anything like it before. An ambulance arrived, and Chloe was taken to Nemours, where she was diagnosed with epilepsy following a second episode that occurred in the hospital. Despite a quick diagnosis, there was still a long road ahead to gain seizure control. Chloe’s days went from cheerful playing and adventures to constant seizures, which made her feel sick and exhausted. She was unmotivated to do anything. Her toys were barely touched, and she couldn’t sleep through the night without multiple seizures. Eating food became a […]

Little One’s Got the Sniffles? Watch for Breathing Trouble

You’ve probably heard about respiratory syncytial virus or RSV a lot lately. That’s because cases of this illness have increased since last year. RSV mainly causes cold symptoms, and most people who get it get better on their own. But when babies or toddlers get RSV, it can turn into something more serious called bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis causes the lung’s tiny airways (bronchioles) to swell and fill with mucus. This makes it hard to breathe. Bronchiolitis usually gets better on its own, but sometimes kids need treatment in the hospital. With the winter season upon us, it’s good to know what to look for — and when to get help — the next time your child comes down with a nasty cold. Why are RSV cases on the rise?  Doctors aren’t exactly sure why, but it may be because fewer people are wearing masks now. RSV is a common childhood illness, […]

Microtia Awareness Day — Axel’s Story

You’d never know it today, but 10-year-old Axel was born with an absent right ear, which was noticed at birth. His condition is defined as microtia, and refers to a missing or an abnormal ear, and can involve one or both ears. Newborn hearing tests revealed that, besides missing his outer ear, Axel did not have a normal hearing ability on the right side. Fortunately, Axel didn’t have any other medical conditions that required early treatment. As he grew up, it became increasingly hard to deal with the appearance of having a missing ear. “Sometimes kids at school would bully him for not having a full ear,” says his mother, Juana. “It made him feel like he wasn’t a normal kid.” In addition to being seen by Nemours Children’s Audiology and Otolaryngology teams, Axel was referred to Plastic Surgery to discuss options for treating his ear difference. A staged ear […]

Six Steps to a Safe Halloween Night

October is here and kids are brewing up their Halloween costumes and getting excited for their spooky night out. Whether your ghosts, superheroes, or fairies are trick-or-treating by your side or going door to door with friends, keep safety in mind so things go smoothly. Always follow your area’s COVID-19 guidelines. Kids should stay home if they’re sick with COVID-19 or any other illness. Here’s six ways to help make the night a great one for kids of all ages. Step 1: Keep Safety in Mind When Choosing Costumes Trips and falls are a main safety concern on Halloween. Kids should wear costumes that are easy to move around in and that don’t obstruct their vision or impede walking or breathing. Tips to follow: Masks should fit correctly over the eyes so your child can see clearly. It’s best to avoid full facial masks, but if your child wears one, make […]

10 Years Later — Max’s Story

Max Paul turned 18 in July this year. But several months after he was born at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 2004, he vomited blood and went to the emergency room there. Max was admitted, but they didn’t have a bed for him, so he and his mom spent the night in the ER at Arnold Palmer, sleeping on a stretcher. Mom Lori remembers a geneticist from Nemours was added to Max’s care team, and Max was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. He joined the CF clinic at Nemours.  Around that time, mom remembered Nemours was applying to build the hospital in Orlando, and so when the question would arise, “Does Central Florida need another children’s hospital?,” the answer in her mind was a resounding, “Yes!”   “We were at the right place, at the right time to become part of Nemours,” said Lori.  When it came time for the groundbreaking ceremony […]

Worth the Wait — Edwin’s Story

Edwin was born with Pierre Robin sequence, a rare and serious condition where a baby’s jaw is so small that the tongue blocks the airway.  Because of the complexity of his case, Edwin was monitored closely in the NICU until our craniofacial airway team, including a plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, were able to open his airway by bringing his jaw forward. “My initial goal, after making sure Edwin was safe, was to reassure his parents that everything was going to be okay. We had many discussions about the options and decided that mandibular distraction—bringing the jaw forward slowly over time—was the right option for Edwin and his family,” explains Dr. Brian Kellogg, division chief of plastic surgery, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida. “Using a customized computer model, I was able to carefully plan Edwin’s surgery and the movements of his jaw bone.”  Because Edwin had been in the NICU since the day he was […]

The Primmer Family Story

Karalyn first came to Nemours after she was suffering from some abdominal pain, which led to a visit at an ER in their hometown of Titusville. Something didn’t satisfy her parents about that visit, and they were concerned that something else was wrong.   They immediately sought help at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida. There, an ultrasound found a tumor associated with a genetic disease called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) that was in her adrenal gland. In 2020, the 8-year-old she had an 8-hour surgery and stayed for a few days afterward for observation.   It turned out Karalyn was the first one in her family to be diagnosed with VHL. Later, younger brother Westin had a similar issue when he was 6, and also required surgery with the same surgeon at Nemours. Then, dad got a diagnosis, but had to have an adult surgeon at a hospital for adults, lamented mom. […]

Tips for Getting the Most Out of School Breakfast & Lunch

As back to school mode goes into full swing, purchasing school meals is a great way to help you save time and money. It’s also a great way for kids to get the nutrients they need. According to the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program website, about 60 percent of schoolchildren in the U.S. receive school-provided meals each day through these programs. (1) With the majority of kids buying school meals, let’s talk more about what goes into them followed by specific tips and tricks you can use to promote healthy eating at school. About School Meals School meals have to meet specific nutritional guidelines. Both breakfast and lunch are required to have fruits and/or vegetables and one cup of fat-free or 1% milk. Half of grains provided must be whole grains, and there are limits on certain nutrients, such as sodium (salt). Lunches must include a protein source (called […]

Jay on his wakeboard

In the Wake of Injury, A National Champion Triumphs — Jay’s Story

Jay loves wakeboarding—in fact, he’s a wakeboarding national champion! But when he fractured his right femur in June 2020 during a wakeboarding accident, he was brought emergently to Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida to see Dr. Zachary Stinson, who specializes in pediatric orthopedic trauma and sports medicine surgery. Jay had his femur surgically repaired with a metal rod, and he began the gradual journey to walking, running, and wakeboarding again.  Following his surgery, Jay was determined every single day in therapy, and he was cleared to start running just months following surgery, and eventually to full wakeboarding activities by six months!  Jay had the metal rod removed 18 months following his initial surgery, and he was completely cleared by Dr. Stinson a few weeks later.   Jay’s mom Ashley credits Nemours doctors, physical therapists, and nurses for being comforting not only to their patients, but also patient families. “The nurses and doctors explained treatments to Jay and me,” she said. “They would also […]

Your Child’s Flu Vaccine: Now Is the Time

Your family’s fall calendar may be packed with sports activities, pumpkin picking, and school events, but don’t forget to make time for one very important appointment: your child’s flu vaccine. Experts say now is the best time to get the flu vaccine. Getting it at the start of flu season — which runs from October to May — gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the flu. For the last couple of years, flu rates have been lower than usual, in part due to the precautions taken to prevent COVID-19. But now kids are returning to school with fewer precautions and resuming pre-pandemic activities. The flu will start to spread again, which is why families should get their flu shots as soon as possible. Why Is the Flu Vaccine Recommended? While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly lowers a person’s chances of catching […]

Keto Diet: Ending Common Misconceptions

The Ketogenic “keto” Diet has become popular over the last few years, growing in its popularity as a weight loss diet. The keto diet works by switching the body’s primary energy source from carbohydrates to fat. When enough fat is used for energy in the body, our bodies enter what is known as “ketosis.” There are many misconceptions about the ketogenic diet that we hope to debunk! Myth 1: The Keto Diet is for Weight Loss The keto diet has been used for weight loss in recent years. The common understanding of why this works is through increased satiety from eating a higher fat diet (and less simple carbohydrates) and the breakdown of stored fats in the body from lower calorie intake. While weight loss is possible when following a keto diet, it should be monitored by a knowledgeable registered dietitian and physician to make sure you stay healthy while […]

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