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Happy & Healthy: Advice from Arkansas Children's Hospital is a weekly column covering a variety of kids' medical concerns as discussed by our physicians. If you have a topic you'd like him to consider addressing, email Browse the topics below for more information about topics that are important to you.

Summer Sun Safety Q & A with Dr. Megan Evans

Warmer weather and longer days mean more time for kids to be playing outside! But if you and your family are going to be out in the sun, especially on a hot day, you need to stay safe. We asked our new ACH Dermatologist Dr. Megan Evans common summer safety questions.
» More about Summer Sun Safety

High-Profile Virus May be Worrisome for Kids with Asthma, but Not Unlike Other Childhood Illnesses

If you've spent any time in front of a TV or on social media lately, you couldn't miss the reports about enterovirus 68. Everyone is talking about it, and some outlets are referring to it as a "mystery illness."
» More about Enterovirus

The Whole Family Has to Work for Sandman to Make a Regular Appearance

From the moment children enter our lives, sleep becomes a primary focus for the entire family.
» Learn more about Sleep

Plenty of Water & Getting Used to Heat Protects Athletes from Heat Stroke

The relatively mild summer we've had this year may have meant more pleasant days and fewer sunburns, but don't let those cooler temps fool you: Kids are still at risk for heat illness.
» More about Heat Illness

Parents Aren't the Only Ones who Need to Think About Childproofing

It's easy to think about childproofing when you have little ones under foot all the time. It's easy to forget about it when you don't.
» Learn more about Accidental Poisoning

Misaligned Eyes Common in Newborns, Time to See the Doctor for Older Kids

We focus so much on babies' eyes when they're born. Right after parents share the name, weight and length details on their new bundle of joy, the next questions from friends are usually about the infant's eyes. What color are they? Are they open and alert? Closed tight and sleepy? Do they look like Mom's or Dad's?
» More about Strabismus

Right Size, Right Place, Right Helmet: Ride On!

I couldn’t even begin to count the number of children I have seen critically injured in all-terrain vehicle crashes in my 20-plus years as a surgeon at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. But I can tell you what I almost always hear from their parents: They wish the child had been wearing the right helmet or been better educated on how to ride the vehicle safely.
» Learn about ATV Safety

Though Delightful, Fireworks Can Spark Injury

Kids are drawn to fireworks like a moth to a flame. It makes sense; they’re colorful, bright, loud and only available on special occasions. Growing up, plenty of us had easy access to fireworks. Sparklers, bottle rockets and firecrackers were a source of curiosity and wonder. Now that I see children each summer with injuries caused by the very same items, I feel incredibly lucky that I never had an accident.
» Get fireworks safety tips!

100 Deadliest Days for Kids

Did you know that kids are more likely to die or be critically injured between now and Labor Day? I realize just how terrifying that sounds, but it's absolutely true.
» More about 100 Deadliest Days

Brain Infection from Swimming is Rare, but Surviving Patient is a Miracle

It was almost impossible to miss the headlines about a very special ACH patient last summer. Kali Hardig of Benton became only the third person known to have survived a very rare form of meningitis caused by an ameba she contracted while swimming in lake water.
» Read more about Kali

Simple Reminders May Save a Child from Being Left in a Hot Car This Summer

No parent wants to believe they could accidentally leave their kid in a hot car during the summer. But it happens every year, and it happens to good parents who love their children very much.
» Learn more about Hot Cars

Bugging Out: Protecting Your Kids from Creepy Crawlers This Summer

It's tick season. And mosquito season. And chigger season. Is there any bug that isn't causing us trouble these days? If we're soaking up the summer sun, we're also easy targets for all sorts of disease-carrying insects.
» More about Bug Spray

As Kids Age, Bedwetting Can be a Challenge for the Entire Family

Take a moment to think about the average kindergarten classroom, probably 20 to 25 kids, right? At least two or three of those kindergartners – so about 15 percent – face a medical issue that causes their families plenty of anxiety and likely affects the children's confidence: bedwetting.
» More about Bedwetting

Devastating Tornadoes Remind us to Prepare Now for Severe Weather

The weekend's tragic storms have brought to the forefront a reminder that we all need: It is essential to be prepared for tornados and other natural disasters. We can't change the fact that nature can cause mass destruction, but we can do everything possible to be ready when it happens.
» Read more on Storms

Parents Can Help Make Teens' Prom a Night to Remember for the Right Reasons

It's prom season across Arkansas, and teens in every corner of our state are starting to plan out that special night. Their thoughts are filled with questions about the occasion: What will they wear? Who will they go with? Where will they dine beforehand?
» Learn more about Prom

Staying up to Date on Recalls will Help Keep Your Kid and Family Safe

With every passing year, we learn about products that can be unintentionally dangerous or harmful to children such as disc batteries or single-load liquid laundry packets that look like candy. Many families are surprised to learn that even the equipment they buy to comfort or protect their children sometimes develops defects or creates unsafe risks.
» More about Recalls

It's Messy, but Parents Can Relax about Reflux

Babies are pure joy – but boy can they be a mess! All expectant parents know they’ll encounter spit-up during that first year, but many are surprised by how much and how often spit-up dribbles from their little one’s mouth. Moms and dads can relax, though, because reflux is completely normal in young infants.
» Learn more about Reflux

Germs Pose Biggest Risk when Pets Bite Kids

Some of our happiest childhood memories tend to include family pets. Whether a sweet dog that belonged to Mom and Dad before the addition of children or a hamster that joined the household years later, pets often become treasured friends for kids.
» More about Pet Bites

Lumps, Skin Lesions, Though Scary, Shouldn't be Cause for Worry

You notice a lump on your child's neck. Was it there yesterday? Did your spouse notice it before now? Where did it come from? The average parent's mind begins to race and it isn't long before they're consulting Dr. Google.
» More about Lumps

Kids' Vitamins & Supplements May Offer Little Something Extra, but Mostly Unnecessary

Most parents today grew up taking some kind of vitamin – maybe a chewable shaped like a favorite cartoon character. They were often billed – and still are – as part of a healthy childhood.
» Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements

Quick & Queasy: Food Poisoning Comes On Fast but Recovery Isn't Far Off

It's ruined many a favorite restaurant and forced even the biggest foodies to eliminate beloved dishes from their diets. I'm talking about a topic that's especially hard to stomach: food poisoning.
» More about Food Poisoning

Bumbos, Boosters and Highchairs: Oh My! Injuries from Falls on the Rise

When my kids were growing up, a highchair was about as sophisticated as a feeding seat got! Nowadays, parents have more options, including Bumbo seats, to make feeding little ones more convenient.
» Read More on Falls

What Parents Should Know About Heart Defects

When a newborn enters the world, that first shrill cry is a welcomed sound by parents. But after weeks or even months of excessive crying, parents can wear thin of that ear-piercing, heart-wrenching noise.
» More on Heart Defects

Colic Can Make Even the Toughest New Parents Want to Cry

When a newborn enters the world, that first shrill cry is a welcomed sound by parents. But after weeks or even months of excessive crying, parents can wear thin of that ear-piercing, heart-wrenching noise.
» Learn more about Colic

RSV: Three Little Letters Can Mean Big Trouble for Wee Ones

To hear a baby struggling to breathe is one of the worst sounds a parent can hear. It breaks your heart to see your child experiencing troubled breathing; I know it saddens me to see a little one with these issues in clinic.
» Learn more about RSV

Whooping Cough Rise Underscores the Need for Up-to-Date Vaccines

When I first graduated medical school, it was hard to imagine that the United States would see a resurgence of some of the diseases we had nearly stamped out thanks to the modern miracle of vaccines. Think polio, measles and whooping cough.
» More on Whooping Cough

License Restrictions Making Big Strides toward Saving Lives of Teen Drivers

As parents, is there any moment when we feel quite as vulnerable as when we turn over the keys to a newly licensed teen driver for the first time? I’ve done it twice – with sons who are now in college – and the memories are still fresh in my mind.
» Learn more about License Restrictions

Commit to a Fit Family in 2014

The statistics on childhood obesity are alarming: according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Unfortunately, I don't have to search for data to see the increase in childhood obesity; I see its rise firsthand in our clinics every day. Also evident from my day-to-day patient care are the many detrimental health effects of obesity in children and teens.
» 2014 Get fit tips!

Beware the Button Battery: Tiny Discs can Lead to Big-Time Health Scare

Parents sometimes dismiss the occasional swallowed item as a rite of "passage" in young kids. They often assume that the ingested object will, indeed, pass through their bodies quickly, and they'll see it again at a diaper change. While this may be true with older babies and some items like coins, there is a swallowing hazard that parents need to know about and stay on top of: the button battery.
» More about Battery Safety

Red Bump Causing Little One Pain? Don't Blame the Itsy Bitsy Spider

In the Emergency Department at Arkansas Children's Hospital, we see this scene replay over and over: A mom comes to us concerned about a spider bite on her infant's groin or upper leg. She first noticed it a few hours earlier during a diaper change. It's red, raised and hot. She checks it again in a couple of hours and finds it's nearly doubled in size and looks even angrier. Now it's time to load baby up and head to the ER.
» Learn more about Staph Infections

Headed to the Duck Blinds or Deer Stand? Time for a Safety Refresher

No matter the season, if families are hunting in our state’s beautiful wilderness, the Emergency Department at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is treating injuries associated with guns, ATVs or basic slips and falls.
» 10 Tips for Gun Safety

Is that a Fracture? After-School Fun Can Lead to Emergency Room Visit

It's true that emergency rooms across the nation consider summer to be their peak injury season. When kids are out of school, there are more opportunities for the kind of unruly fun that leads to falls and crashes.
» Read More

Bullying’s Evolution Amplifies its Effects

As a kid, I was smaller than most of my classmates and was definitely considered bookish. I had a late August birthday, which meant I was also a good bit younger than some of the other kids. Not only did these traits set me apart, but they also made me a target for bullying.
» Learn how to protect your child from bullying.

Touch Screens Can Lead to Parents who are Out of Touch with Kids

There's no question that the rise of touch screens has made our lives just a little bit easier. Need a quick recipe while scanning the pantry for ingredients? Easy to pull up on the tablet. Want to check the weather to see if you need an umbrella on the way out the door? Your smart phone has the forecast at the ready. Looking for a quick way to distract your toddler? Well, maybe not so fast.
» Read more about childhood development and touchscreen devices.

Fighting the Flu Starts with Not Just You, But Your Entire Community

Just about every child I visit with at Arkansas Children's Hospital has the same question: "Am I gonna get a shot today?" It doesn't matter if I'm looking at a bump on their arm or a sore behind the ear, the conversation nearly always starts this way. Usually, I'm able to say no and the child brightens up. I can definitely sympathize with these kiddos because I would do anything to get out of a shot when I was younger.
» Learn how to fight the flu!

Early Detection & Treatment Can Prevent a Concussion from Sidelining Young Athletes for Long

Who doesn’t love the drama of fall football? When the chill is in the air and the players take the field, it’s hard not to embrace that team spirit! But at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, we also know that with those pep rallies and thrilling plays comes the risk of additional injury to our young athletes. We want to be cautious about concussions in all children, and especially those active in sports.
» Get concussion prevention tips.

Appendicitis Can be Overwhelming, but Recovery is Usually Quick

It begins with a simple complaint: "Mom, my belly hurts." Kids come to parents with all sorts of minor tummy troubles, so the parent decides to wait and see. Within just a few hours, the child seems to be hurting even more, so much so that he doesn't want to play videogames on the phone or do much of anything other than lounge on the sofa. He is not hungry, and he's not going to the bathroom much, either. So Mom begins to wonder, "Could this be appendicitis?"
» Read more about appendicitis.

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1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

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