Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Gets ‘Thank You’ From March of Dimes, Families During Prematurity Awareness Month

Denise Keeler with former NICU moms and children

Denise Keeler, left, director of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s neonatal intensive care unit, holds a plaque from the March of Dimes along with former NICU mothers and their children, from left to right: Regina Wagner and son Riley, Wendy Marraccini and son Tavian, and Michenelle Groller and daughter Hannah.

The children visiting the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) inside Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital on Monday have come a long way since they’d first been there. They returned with their mothers this week to thank the caregivers there for nurturing premature babies.

The March of Dimes also visited Monday to present a plaque to the NICU to recognize its important work for babies born too soon and their families. The organization raises money to fund research to find the causes of premature birth and to provide comfort and information to families.

Among the visitors to the NICU was the Wagner family. Riley Wagner was born 13 weeks early, weighing just 1 pound, 4 ounces, and suffered from respiratory distress, a heart defect, retinopathy of prematurity and a hernia surgery during his first 12 weeks of life. He went home after 87 days. Today, the 1-year-old loves to chase the family cat, go for walks with Mom and Dad and play with his favorite toys. Riley and his parents, Cullin and Regina, are the March of Dimes’ Lehigh Valley Ambassador Family this year, sharing their story to help raise awareness about prematurity. Read More »

Trick-or-Treat Tips: Protect Children With Food Allergies and Prevent Cavities

Later this week, children will don their costumes and candy bags for some trick-or-treat fun. And surely they’ll want to devour the Halloween candy they collect in the days (or hours) that follow.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) doctors encourage kids to enjoy their treats safely this holiday season. Two of them shared some helpful tips in the news media today.

Alvaro Reymunde, MD, an LVHN pediatrician in the Hazleton area, spoke to The Standard Speaker for an article about how to make trick-or-treating safe for children with food allergiesJacquline Owens, DMD, was featured on WFMZ-TV this morning about keeping healthy teeth while still enjoying sweets. Read More »

‘Normalizing’ Life for a Child With Cancer: Our Expert Discusses Ways to Help

Philip Monteleone, MD

Philip Monteleone, MD
Pediatric hematology oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

Our expert: Pediatric hematologist oncologist Philip Monteleone, MD, with Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital 

Q: How can I best help my child if I learn he or she has cancer?
A: Learning your child has cancer will make you feel like your world has turned upside-down. Once you process those natural feelings, it’s important to get your family on the same page. It will be helpful as you learn about your child’s medication needs, nutritional requirements and overall treatment plan to ask questions to make sure you understand. In our practice, we have a team of doctors, nurses and social workers who will work with the family before the child goes home. Be sure to use these people as resources.

Q: After a diagnosis, how do I make my child’s life as “normal” as possible?
A: Dealing with cancer is stressful. Yet keeping life as normal as possible for your child – and the entire family – is vital. Studies show that if parents treat the child with cancer the same way they’ve  always treated all their children, the child will be emotionally stronger approaching the disease, and it will create a better recovery. Your child will pick up on the concern if you as parents act differently. Acting normally reassures your child he or she is still a regular kid. Read More »

First-Time Grandparents, Get Pointers About Caring for Grandchildren During Workshop

grandparent feeding babyBabies haven’t changed much over the years, but raising children today is very different from generations ago.

There are new guidelines, laws and approaches about sleeping, cribs, car seats, feeding and discipline, to name a few.

If your first grandchild is on the way, we can help you prepare for your journey as a grandparent in this new world. Soon-to-be parents and grandparents are encouraged to attend a two-hour workshop next week that will help you make caring for your grandkids safe, fulfulling and memorable.

The workshop is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center, 1240 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., in conference room A.

The cost is $10 per couple. To register, call 610-402-CARE.

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Breast Cancer Awareness, Events for Children Set for Saturday at Lehigh Valley Mall

Kidsville News Fun Festival 2014If you’re planning to start your holiday shopping ritual at the Lehigh Valley Mall, this Saturday, Oct. 18, might be an ideal time to do so. The popular shopping destination will host a pair of health-related promotions, both courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).

The first event Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. is all about children. Representatives from Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Kidsville News – a fun, family-focused newspaper for school-aged children – will provide free activities and entertainment for kids of all ages. Read More »