Parenting & Safety

Sports Safety 101

In 2012, more than 1.35 million children under age 19 were seen in emergency departments for injuries related to commonly played sports. While sports can be a great way for children to get exercise and learn about teamwork, there are things parents and coaches need to know to keep kids safe before practice starts.

Jennifer Brey, M.D., is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Children’s Orthopaedics of Louisville. She treats kids from as young as age 6 to as old as age 18 who have sustained sports-related injuries.

Street Smarts

Pedestrian accidents have become the most common cause of serious injury and death among children age 5 to 9, and each year, more than 1,300 children under age 14 die in pedestrian-related incidents. In all your back-to-school preparations, have you talked with your children about the importance of bus and pedestrian safety? Going over these tips can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of gathering school supplies, but it is an important topic for parents to address.

Could it be a concussion?

Every year in the United States, millions of sports players suffer concussions during play. In fact, for athletes ages 15 to 24, sports injuries are the second leading cause of acquired brain injury, behind only motor vehicle accidents.

Football season is just around corner, and these players suffer the most brain injuries of any sport. Approximately 67,000 concussions are diagnosed in high school football every year, and at least 50 youth football players have died on the field since 1997.

Football player Christopher Dinwiddie, who completed his sophomore year at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2012, feels lucky he was not one of those 50 players after he suffered a concussion during a tackle in fall 2011.

Steps for school day success

It’s that time of year again! School is either starting soon or has just started, and we all know how hard it is to get your kids back into a routine. It’s important for parents to know the steps to success in order to get their children off on the right foot in school, according to Therese Sirles, R.N., director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Kids and Cars: Summer heat can be deadly

It happens every summer, a baby or child dies after being left in a car on a warm day.  On average, 38 children die from heatstroke after being left in a car every year.  What many parents don't realize a child's body temperature can rise five times faster than an adult's.  I talked to Jill Howell-Berg, MD, pediatrician, Kosair Children’s Hospital Medical Associates – Clarksville about the dangers of leaving children in cars in the summer heat and what to do to help prevent heat-related deaths. 

Social Media Depression

Although social media users have reaped numerous benefits, they also have been faced with a major drawback — increased anxiety and depression. How can a tool that was meant to bring people together also be a stimulus for negative feelings?

One word: stress. Being constantly on alert for new messages and updates can cause the body to continuously release the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, excess cortisol can damage the gastrointestinal tract and cause an inflammatory response in the body and brain that leads to depression and anxiety.

Bye-Bye Blues

Have you noticed that your child is especially attached to you or becomes worried and uneasy when away from you or when you say goodbye? Why are goodbyes with your child so much more emotional than you imagined? It’s possible that your child is experiencing separation anxiety.

About 4 to 5 percent of children between ages 7 and 11 are affected by separation anxiety, although it normally starts at a much younger age and progresses with time if not dealt with properly.

Communication is key to healthy family relationships

Let’s face it – it’s a tough world out there. And kids are exposed to it at a younger and younger age. This came as a bit of a reality check for Elicia Newcom Gregory when her oldest daughter, Molly, age 9, started asking some tough questions.

“I knew it was inevitable, but I was surprised to learn that children Molly’s age seemed to already be worried by their appearances,” Elicia said. “Even with her going to a small school and living in a home with limited television, Molly’s self esteem seemed at risk of being challenged at a much younger age than I expected.”