Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Importance of Play

Play is so important even if your child is ill. It is difficult when your child doesn't feel well to include play during part of the day. However, if your child can sit up in  bed with a doll, match box cars, or even crayons or play dough, it can distract from the pain and discomfort of being ill.

Things to consider when you child is playing in bed.     

*Portable bed tables make a good surface for drawing.
*Use a clip board if a tray table is not available.
* Plastic place mats make an easy surface to do clay and play dough projects because they are portable and clean easily.
*Keep books, crayons, plastic scissors, and glue sticks in a tote bag for easy reach and organization. They are easy to carry to the hospital or bedside for a quick art and craft playtime.
* Play music or music videos in place of television. Music can be soothing and comforting during playtime.
* Offer opportunities for your child to pretend and use their imagination. Playing and pretending is a form of guided imagery allowing your child to forget for a moment pain or treatment that may be part of the day.
* Make sure that after playtime is over that toys and choking hazards are removed from the bed. It is important that your child is not lying on something that could cause skin breakdown.

Ideas for playing in bed:
  • Dressing up with silly hats or PJ's and playing with stuffed animals
  • Making cards, posters, or door decorations to spruce up the "sick" room.
  • Making forts, mountains, and roadways with blankets, pillows, and towels to use with small cars or trucks.
  • Board games or card games
  • Hand held electronic games
  • Portable crafts specific for boys or girls. Boys can paint wooden toys or dinosaurs, Girls love to paint wooden frames or pictures.
  • Felt, foam, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and glue... all kinds of crafts can be dreamed up with these items.
  • Decorate hats, aprons, or bags with paint, jewels, or fabric and buttons.
The ideas are endless. When you your child is ill for a day or two these ideas may seem unimportant.  If your child is seriously ill for months and even years, making time for play is invaluable. Helping children play in an age appropriate way is priceless.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why is a Urinalysis so Important?

Your child is being examined by the doctor and routine tests have been ordered. Maybe he is not feeling well. Maybe the child is running a  low grade fever, maybe the fever has been over 100.4 for several days. Could be the child has many other symptoms: cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or maybe no symptoms at all. The infant is cranky, the toddler won't pee, the elementary age child refuses to go in the cup, the teen thinks this is all ridiculous and you are beginning to think so too.

 So why when your child is being evaluated by the family doctor or emergency room physician  for whatever reason, is a routine urinalysis so important?

Here is why. The urine is inspected for blood, particles, or pus. It is inspected for microscopic ingredients like proteins, white blood cells, sodium, bilirubin, and glucose. It is analyzed for osmolality or how dilute it is. It can contain certain hormones that are only excreted when pregnancy, tumors, or other serious conditions are present so analyzing the urine during a diagnostic workup becomes valuable. All of these results are part of the bigger picture of your child's overall health.

The results of a urinalysis can tell the physician if the kidneys are working to filter correctly. A urinalysis can tell if there is an infection in the kidneys or bladder, if the child is hydrated, dehydrated, or has sustained an injury to the bladder or kidney. A urinalysis can indicate a possible concern for diabetes, kidney disease, kidney stones, abdominal trauma, and muscle breakdown from too much exercise or trauma.

A urinalysis can also tell the physician that an illness is benign, the child is adequately hydrated, and the virus will pass. It is hard to believe that all that information can come from less than a tablespoon of urine. Understanding of the importance of this data will make obtaining the specimen all the more important and helps you to help your child cooperate with the procedure.

Normal Urine values:

Appearance: clear, yellow,
PH 4.5-8
Bilirubin - Negative
Colony count- less than 1000 in an infant
                       less than 10,000 for children
Glucose- Negative
White blood Cells- 0-4
Blood- none to rare cell
Osmolality- 50-1,200 mOsm per kilogram of body weight

A urinalysis can be an important diagnostic tool to help the health care provider determine the direction of care that your child might need. It can also be a confirmation of good health. So be happy and just pee in the cup please.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review: Little Shepherd

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review: Little Shepherd: " Little ShepherdCheryl C. MalandrinosAUGUST 2010Print ISBN 13: 978-161633-085-9$12.95Ages 4 to 8Rating: 5 starsReviewed by Irene S. Ro..."

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year- New Chances

I got word this week that one of my cousins passed away. He was 10 years older than I and I have many good memories from when we were kids but the sad truth is he died alone and empty. Years of poor choices and bad things happening hardened him to life and love. It makes my heart hurt.

Which brings me to my point today. It is a New Year and a new opportunity for all of us to let those we love know it. Do the people around you know how much they mean to you? Have you shared with an estranged family member lately...even if it is not acknowledged? A note or email might plant a seed.

In my case, I have sent cards and even a few phone calls in the past several years. I don't think it made a difference in how empty he felt or how sad the end of his last years became, but only God really knows. Maybe I could have done more, maybe not. I will probably never know. But I can trust that God has a plan for each of us including me and that has to be enough for a New Year. What new chances will I have for 2011?

Blessings for new chances for all of you,  a new chance at health, recovery, remission, or relationships. What ever your new chance might be, God Bless You in 2011. And may my cousin be in peace with his eternity. Love you G.

Monday, January 3, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review: Amazing Cows plus a giveaway.

Visit the Stories for Children blog for a book review of Amazing Cows and a chance to win a free copy of the book. It is a fun book that may provide the distraction a child needs especially if undergoing medical tests and treatments this new year.

Humor can be the best medicine and this book will be a laugh. Check it out.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review: Amazing Cows plus a giveaway.: "Enjoy this review of Amazing Cows by author Sandra Boynton. Leave a comment and an email contact for a chance to win a free copy of this fun..."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wishing You Health and Happiness in 2011

As the first day of 2011 comes to a close, I want to wish all of you health and happiness for the New Year. It may be that 2010 wasn't your best year, or maybe it was. and for that I am thankful.

 As a whole, the economy was not encouraging, politics were disturbing, and moods seemed to be less than happy for a good part of the year for many of you. Add illness or poor health to the mix and most of the friends I know are saying farewell with a level of enthusiasm not seen in other years. Good bye to ......... fill in the blank.

Looking forward, I want to offer encouragement, resources, health related information, and tons of new material here for those who will be encountering an illness or a health related problem in the new year. I hope to use the blog as a jump start to a better year for both adults and kids who have had to battle some really tough stuff the past year.

Topics we will cover here over the course of the next year will include grieving, rejoicing, prevention, cures, and treatments for many of the illnesses that plague American children and also adults. I hope to encourage and give tips that will be helpful when a new and stressful health issue develops. Keep tuned in for not only posts about topics you want info on but also products you may need.

Here is to a great 2011 for all of you. Please email me for questions, suggestions, or needs. Blessings for a better, happier, and healthier new year.