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Health Library A to Z

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  • 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome in Children
  • 22q11.2 deletion syndrome is a genetic disorder that can cause many health problems. These problems may range from heart defects and developmental delays to seizures.

  • Brown Recluse and Black Widow Spider Bites in Children
  • All spiders in the U.S. are poisonous. The fangs of most spiders are too short or too fragile to break through human skin. Or their poison (venom) is too weak to cause damage. Most spider bites cause only minor, local reactions. But some spider bites can be deadly.

  • Epilepsy and Seizures in Children
  • Epilepsy is a brain condition that causes a child to have seizures. It is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system.

  • Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
  • The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open -- the more you talk to your children, the better chance you have of staying close when things get tough or when important issues like smoking arise.

  • Healthy Sleep Habits
  • The normal amount of sleep varies depending on the age of your child. A 2-year-old needs 10 to 12 hours a night, plus naps during the day. By age 6, a child usually has dropped naps, but still needs 10 hours at night.

  • Hospital Visit/Preoperative Clinic
  • Touring the hospital before surgery can help your child see the sights, sounds, and events he or she will experience the day of surgery. It is a nonthreatening, often reassuring, way to learn about the hospital.

  • Infant Sleep
  • If you know anything about your baby’s sleeping pattern, it’s probably that it doesn’t coincide with yours. But learning more about your baby’s nighttime and daytime sleep needs can help you recognize what’s normal—and what’s not.

  • Informed Consent
  • You will be asked to sign an informed consent form. It states in detail that you understand the risks and benefits of your child's surgery.

  • Installing and Using Child Safety Seats and Booster Seats
  • As part of your preparation for your new baby, you probably got an infant safety seat for the car. But do you know how to make sure it’s installed properly? And when do you switch to a child safety seat? Learn the ins and outs of safe car travel for your little one.

  • Intensive Care
  • Intensive care is needed for children who have had certain types of major surgery: heart operations, organ transplants, or neurosurgery.

  • Newborn Senses
  • Babies are born with all 5 senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Some of the senses are not fully developed.

  • Newborn Sleep Patterns
  • New parents are often unsure how long and how often a newborn should sleep. Read on to learn about general newborn sleep patterns, the quiet alert phases, and how to help your baby fall asleep.

  • Nursemaid’s Elbow in Children
  • Nursemaid’s elbow is a type of elbow injury. It’s when a forearm bone (radius) slips out of place from where it normally attaches to the elbow joint.

  • Preoperative Visit with the Surgeon
  • This is the time to ask questions: What are the expected results? What are the possible risks and complications? How long will the surgery take?

  • Preparing Siblings for Surgery
  • When your child goes to the hospital, brothers and sisters may feel afraid, worried, or confused. They are often afraid simply because they do not know what to expect, and they may imagine the worst.

  • Preparing the Preschooler for Surgery
  • One of the major fears preschoolers have is fear of the unknown. Tell your child about the surgery several days before the procedure and perhaps even visit the hospital for a tour.

  • Preparing the Teenager for Surgery
  • Allow your teen to be part of the decision-making process. Encourage him or her to make a list of questions to ask the healthcare providers.

  • Roseola in Children
  • Roseola is a contagious viral illness. It causes a high fever and then a rash that develops as the fever goes away.

  • Safer Sex Guidelines for Adolescents
  • The only safe sex is no sex, most health care providers say. But certain precautions and safe behaviors can minimize a person's risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

  • Safety for You and Your Child
  • You can help your child by being prepared and preventing injuries from happening. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.

  • Scabies in Children
  • Scabies is an infestation of tiny bugs called mites on the skin. It causes a small red rash and intense itching. This infection is very contagious. It often spreads from child to child while children are sleeping together in the same bed or have close personal contact.

  • Scarlet Fever in Children
  • Scarlet fever is an infectious disease that causes a rash. It is caused by the same kind of bacteria that cause strep throat.

  • Schizophrenia in Children
  • Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. It is a long-lasting and disabling problem of the brain. A child with this disorder has unusual behavior and strange feelings.

  • School Refusal
  • School phobia can be seen in young children going to school for the first time, in older children who fear a bully or mean teacher, and in children who are anxious about leaving their parents.

  • School-Aged Child Nutrition
  • Eating healthy after-school snacks is important at this age, as these snacks may contribute up to one-third of the total calorie intake for the day.

  • Scoliosis in Children
  • Scoliosis is a deformity of the backbone (spine). It’s when the spine has a side-to-side curve. The curve of the spine measures 10 degrees or more.

  • Sealants
  • Dental sealants are thin, plastic films painted on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They are highly effective in preventing tooth decay.

  • Second-Degree Burn in Children
  • A burn is damage to tissues of the body caused by contact with things such as heat, radiation, or chemicals. A second-degree burn affects the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and part of the inner layer of skin (dermis).

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Separation anxiety usually begins around 6 months of age. Babies may suddenly be afraid of familiar people, such as babysitters or grandparents.

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children
  • A child with SAD worries a lot about being apart from family members or other close people. The child has a fear of being lost from their family or of something bad occurring to a family member if he or she is not with the person.

  • Sepsis in the Newborn
  • Newborn sepsis is a severe infection in an infant less than 28 days old. The infection is in your baby’s blood, but it may affect any body system or the whole body.

  • Septoplasty for Children
  • Septoplasty is surgery to fix a septum. The septum is the wall that divides your child's nose into two sides. It is made of soft cartilage and bone and is covered with a mucous membrane. A deviated septum is when the septum is not in the middle.

  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) in Children
  • SCID is a very rare disease that can be deadly. It causes a child to have a very weak immune system. As a result, the child is unable to fight off even mild infections. The disease is also known as the “boy in the bubble” syndrome because living in a normal environment can be fatal to a child who has it. This disease is passed down from parents to child (inherited).

  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in Children
  • Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash. It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.

  • Sickle Cell Disease in Children
  • Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that is present at birth. Children with SCD make an abnormal type of hemoglobin. This is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of the body.

  • Sinusitis in Children
  • Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. These infections usually happen after a cold or with allergies. There are 3 types of sinusitis: short term (acute), long-term (acute), and recurrent.

  • Skin Cancer in Children
  • Skin cancer is a type of cancer that grows in the cells of the skin. It can spread to and damage nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. Skin cancer is rare in children.

  • Sleep
  • Detailed information on healthy sleep habits of children, including information on nightmares and night terrors

  • Sleep and Your Child
  • Without enough shut-eye, children are more likely to struggle with their school studies, do poorly on the playing field, and suffer depression.

  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in Children
  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a condition of the hip joint that affects children. In SCFE, the ball of the thighbone (femoral head) slips off the neck of the thighbone.

  • Small for Gestational Age
  • Small for gestational age is a term used to describe babies that are smaller than usual for the number of weeks of pregnancy. These babies have birth weight below the 10th percentile. This means they are smaller than many other babies of the same gestational age.

  • Smoking
  • Ninety percent of new smokers are children and teenagers. In many cases, they are replacing the smokers who quit or died prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

  • Soy Allergy Diet for Children
  • Detailed information on soy allergy, a type of food allergy, including how to read a label for a soy-free diet and other potential sources of soy or soy product

  • Spina Bifida in Children
  • Spina bifida is a birth defect that causes problems with the spine, spinal cord, and the surrounding nerves.

  • Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture) for Children
  • A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) is a test that checks the health of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The test also measures the pressure in the spinal canal.

  • Splinters
  • A splinter is a sharp sliver of wood, glass, or other debris that is lodged underneath the skin. Removal of small, superficial splinters can usually be done at home.

  • Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
  • Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success.

  • Sports Injuries and Children
  • Detailed information on sports injuries in children, including overuse injuries, sprains, strains, and heat-related illnesses

  • Sports Safety for Children
  • Because they are still growing, children are more susceptible to sports injuries. Half of those injuries could be prevented with proper safety gear, safer playing environments, and established safety rules.

  • Sprains and Strains in Children
  • Sprains and strains are types of injuries. A sprain is an injury to a ligament while a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon.

  • Stages of Play
  • Children go through distinct stages of play as they grow. Each stage is critically important to the development of the next.

  • Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers in Children
  • An ulcer is an open sore (lesion). It’s normally found on the skin or mucous membranes. A peptic ulcer is in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. A gastric ulcer is in the stomach. A duodenal ulcer is in the duodenum.

  • Strabismus
  • Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes. The eyes (one or both) may turn inward, outward, up, or down. This condition is also called wandering eye or crossed eyes.

  • Stridor in Children
  • Stridor is a noisy or high-pitched sound with breathing. It is a sign that the upper airway is partially blocked. It may involve the nose, mouth, sinuses, voice box (larynx), or windpipe (trachea).

  • Stuttering in Children
  • Stuttering is a speech problem. The normal flow of speech is disrupted. A child who stutters repeats or prolongs sounds, syllables, or words. Stuttering is different from repeating words when learning to speak. Stuttering may make it difficult for a child to communicate with others.

  • Styes in Children
  • A stye is an inflammation or infection of the eyelid margin. This condition is also called a hordeolum.

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS is sometimes called crib death because the death may happen when a baby is sleeping in a crib. It’s one of the leading causes of death in babies from ages 1 month to 1 year. It happens most often between 2 and 4 months old.

  • Sunburn and Children
  • Protect your child from the sun. Up to 80% of total lifetime sun exposure occurs in the first 18 years of life.

  • Superficial Injuries Overview
  • During a child's day, minor injuries may happen during play and sports activities. The face and head are especially at risk for cuts and scrapes.

  • Swimmer’s Ear in Children
  • Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation of the external ear canal. Swimmer’s ear is caused by fungi or bacteria. Water that stays in the ear canal during swimming, for example, may let bacteria and fungi grow.

  • Syncope in Children
  • Syncope is a brief loss of consciousness and muscle tone caused when not enough blood gets to the brain. Syncope is commonly called fainting. In most children, it’s usually harmless. But in a few children, syncope is serious. This is usually because of a heart problem, or less often a neurological problem.

  • Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion in Children
  • SIADH is when the body makes too much antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This is a hormone that normally helps the kidneys conserve the correct amount of water in the body. SIADH causes the body to retain water. This lowers the level of sodium in the blood. SIADH is rare. It most often happens to children who are in the hospital.

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Thumb sucking is normal in infants and young children. It shouldn't cause any permanent problems if your child stops by age 5.

  • Trampoline Safety
  • Home trampolines are popular and seem like lots of fun, but they’re also dangerous. They cause thousands of injuries every year in the U.S.

  • Treatment for Skin Cancer in Children
  • Skin cancer in children can be treated in several ways. The best choice for your child depends on the size, place, and stage of the cancer, along with other factors.

  • Types of Surgery for Children
  • Surgery can be classified as major or minor, depending on the seriousness of the illness, the parts of the body affected, the complexity of the operation, and the expected recovery time.