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To Mask or Not to Mask? Good Question.

To Mask or Not to Mask? Good Question.

Across the country, states are beginning to lift universal mask mandates, including in schools. However, COVID-19 still poses a risk for many families, especially for children too young to be vaccinated. What is a parent to do? Dr. Salwa Sulieman, an infectious disease specialist at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware and a mom of three suggests looking to the numbers to help you make a decision about whether to continue wearing a mask, despite the lifted mandates. Look at the Numbers “I base masking recommendations on what the numbers in the community are doing. I tend to think about incidence of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 persons, which you can find on most state health department websites,” says Dr. Sulieman. Dr. Sulieman recommends considering optional masking when your state begins reporting an incidence rate of 50-100 cases per 100,000 persons. When your state gets to less than 10 per 100,000, there’s very […]

A Heart to Remember: Vea’s Story

For the Tsoflias family, the past year has been a roller coaster of emotion, disbelief, heartbreak and ultimately, hope. It all began when a routine 20-week ultrasound revealed an abnormality. Brittany, an expectant first-time mom, was referred to Nemours Children’s fetal cardiologist, Shubhika Srivastava for a fetal echo and soon learned that her baby had a very rare congenital heart defect called Ebstein’s Anomaly.  The defect is linked to an abnormality in the tricuspid valve, causing it to leak and if left unchecked, would result in heart failure. To correct the defect, surgery would be required.  Knowing that her baby would need highly specialized heart care immediately after birth, Brittany delivered Vea through the Advanced Delivery Program at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. “What an amazing experience. I felt special, says Brittany, because everyone went above and beyond for me.” Recognized as a surgical expert in this type of complex heart […]

The Emotional Rollercoaster of a Cleft Lip and Palate Diagnosis: Fred’s Story

It was a wonderful yet traumatic time in our lives.  Even with the support and love from our families and friends, we still felt alone and confused. Who could possibly know what it’s like to be told that your beautiful baby boy will be born with a cleft lip and palate?   We were referred to Dr. E.J. Caterson, Chief, Plastic Surgery at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. During our first visit, Dr. Caterson shared with us that his passion for craniofacial surgery had been influenced by his youngest son who had been born with a cleft lip.  We immediately felt heard and understood on so many levels. His soft-spoken and kind demeanor, along with his genuine concern calmed our fears. His detailed surgical plan inspired confidence.  We trusted him.  Fred had his first corrective surgery at 4 months. He also had a GPP, which is not done at many institutions. The GPP […]

Advocating for Maternal and Child Health – Why It’s Essential

Advocating for Maternal and Child Health – Why It’s Essential

About 700 mothers die each year from pregnancy-related causes in this country, with about 60% of these deaths considered to be preventable. Black mothers are 3-4x more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women, and are at higher risk of giving birth to pre-term babies. Black babies are 2x more likely to die as infants than White babies. The Nemours National Office is advocating on Capitol Hill to address these disparities to help give all moms and babies the opportunity to be healthy. Along with March of Dimes (MOD), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, we are partnering on the Hot Topics in Neonatology: 2021 Cindy Pellegrini Maternal & Child Health Advocacy Event. This virtual event honors Cindy Pellegrini who passed away in 2019, leaving behind a legacy as a tireless advocate for maternal and child health. It […]

Ashley's Epilepsy Story -- From Fear to Fearless

Ashley’s Epilepsy Story — From Fear to Fearless

It was like any other ordinary day for 13-year-old Ashley. In eighth grade at the time, Ashley, from Washington Township, New Jersey, came home after a long day at school, hoping for a quick nap before heading to youth group that night. She headed to her fridge to grab a drink, and the next thing she remembers is waking up with paramedics surrounding her. “I was placed on oxygen and had an IV in my arm,” says Ashley, now 24. “The only thing that came to my mind was fear.” Ashley learned from doctors at her local hospital that 1 in 26 people may have a seizure within their lifespan, epilepsy related or not. After her electroencephalographs (EEGs) and an electrocardiography (EKG) results came back normal, Ashley and her family waited to see if she had any more seizures to determine if it might be epilepsy. “I had so much […]

Nathan's Story

Nathan’s Story of Determination

This post was written by Nathan’s mom Kim Silpath “It’s not about me anymore, it’s about the other kids”- Nathan Every day, 43 parents have to hear the same words we heard a few years ago, “your child has cancer.” I still remember that moment, and the reaction from my son, Nathan. He was ready to fight it. Not just for himself, but fight and help other children with cancer too. I could not have been more proud. Nathan was an incredible child that had a passion for school, sports, and most importantly helping others.  He loved meteorology, biology, hiking, soccer, sled hockey, and football! Nathan’s cancer battle started in 2010 when he was at soccer practice and started mentioning how his leg was bothering him. Nathan noticed a bump on his leg, but like most kids, didn’t think much of it and continued playing soccer. As his pain increased, […]

A Local Partnership With Global Impact

How did two children’s healthcare organizations in Jacksonville, Florida care for kids 7,000 miles away? Jonathan Soud was a 12-year-old patient at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, being treated for leukemia. During his treatments, his doctors and family spent a lot of time talking to him about his interests in travel and other cultures, especially the country of Mongolia. Eric Sandler, MD, is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and chair of the department of pediatrics at Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville. He developed a special bond with Jonathan during treatments, sharing his own fascination with distant lands. Dr. Sandler also discovered that Jonathan had an interest in serving others. “After he passed away, his parents came to me and said they wanted to figure out a way to honor Jonathan’s memory,” said Dr. Sandler. “Since we had had all those conversations regarding Mongolia, his family decided to […]

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know

For parents whose children live with an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts, avoiding the ingredients can become a matter of cautious routine. It’s never easy, but parents grow accustomed to avoiding certain foods and contaminants, watching for symptoms, and carrying the necessary supplies in case of an accidental exposure. But what about friends, friends’ parents, or other family members? It can be hard to give a simple overview of the dangers and limitations that come with a peanut or tree nut allergy – especially when you’re trying to allow your child to live a life that’s as close to normal as possible. Here’s what friends and family members should know about caring for or spending time with a child who has a nut allergy – whether it’s a sleepover, family vacation, or a babysitting gig. It’s a real thing. No matter what your own experiences with peanut or tree nut […]

Expert Question and Answer

Live Q&A: Spine & Scoliosis

In this video, recorded on June 28, 2021, Suken Shah, MD Chief, Spine & Scoliosis Center and Brett Shannon, MD, orthopedic surgeon, discuss and answer questions about scoliosis. Learn more about: When and why your child may need surgery. What surgery is like. Life with spinal fusion surgery. Complications and risks. If you have questions for Dr. Shah and Dr. Shannon, post them in the comments section on Facebook. Q: When a pediatrician first discovers a small curve in a young child, what is the best way to approach the new diagnosis? A: Kids under age 10 are more likely than older kids to need further monitoring, or even sometimes intervention from an orthopedic surgery team. If you detect any asymmetry of the back, or trunk, or shoulders, it’s important to have them come in and see us for a further evaluation. This includes the child’s history and a physical […]

When Your Child Complains of Chest Pain by Thomas Craig Edwards, MD | Promise, powered by Nemours Children's Health

When Your Child Has Chest Pain

When your child complains of chest pain, it’s natural to jump to heart-related conclusions. But most cases of chest pain in children aren’t caused by cardiac conditions. It can sometimes be hard to get a clear description of your child’s chest pain, but symptoms usually include: Tightness. Discomfort. Burning sensation. Pain when taking deep breaths. Coughing. Wheezing. So what should you do? Make an appointment with your child’s primary care physician, and keep in mind that chest pain in children is usually not heart-related. Chest pain can often be attributed to one or more of the following: Gastroesophogeal reflux disease, or ongoing heartburn Pain or inflammation in the chest wall Asthma Pneumonia Stress or anxiety Injury Viral illness Heading to the hospital is absolutely necessary in some situations. Seek emergency care if: Exercise brings about chest pain, or makes it worse. Chest pain occurs with rapid or irregular heartbeat. Fainting or […]

CHA Family Advocacy Week

Family Advocacy Week: Nemours Patients Share Their Stories

This past year and a half has been tough on all of us, especially our children and youth. For so many, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. But for Nemours patients Kate and Sebastian, the pandemic is just one of many life-changing events they’ve faced. And that’s why they are both sharing their medical journeys to members of Congress during the 2021 Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) “Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Week,” to increase awareness about the ongoing and essential care provided by children’s hospitals. Kate’s Story When she was just 2 years old, Kate McKinery was diagnosed with optic pathway glioma, a brain tumor that interferes with her optic nerve and impacts her sight. The tumor also causes hormone deficiencies, resulting in abnormal liver function, type 2 diabetes and a full height potential of around 4’2. Kate has undergone multiple procedures, tests and appointments […]

Celebrating Each Moment with Cancer in the Rearview

This blog post is written by Larry, the father of Maddie, a medulloblastoma patient who survived a brain tumor at the age of 2. Larry inspires us by sharing his daughter’s story. “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”      George F. Kennan In the fall of 2008, at the age of two, our daughter Maddie was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor that arises at the base of the brain and often spreads down through the spine via the spinal fluid. Over the course of the next ten months, Maddie underwent multiple brain and spine surgeries and intense chemotherapy protocols at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. After six cycles of chemo treatment, she had made amazing progress, knocking out 90% of her original disease. Because her scans were not completely cancer-free, she then went through an additional six weeks of radiation therapy. Conquering Cancer The effects of radiation on a 3-year-old can […]

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