Actor Dan Lauria of ‘The Wonder Years’ Fame Visits Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital

Dan Lauria reads to children

The children didn’t recognize him, but their parents did.

Actor Dan Lauria, perhaps best known as a star of the long-running ABC Sitcom “The Wonder Years (1988-93),” read from his new book “The Blue Hair Club: And Other Stories,” to patients in Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

The book is a compilation of three fun stories, including one about a boy with blue hair. While Lauria is best known for his portrayal of Jack Arnold, father of Kevin Arnold (played by actor Fred Savage) on “The Wonder Years,” other credits include the title role of “Lombardi” on Broadway in 2010, a role in the stage version of “A Christmas Story,” “One Life to Live,” “Independence Day,” “Stakeout,” “Party of Five” and the current TBS sitcom “Sullivan & Son.”

See a photo gallery capturing Lauria’s visit on lehighvalleylive.com.

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Stepping Stones Program Offers Support for Children Suffering from Loss

Children in Stepping StonesLosing a loved one is difficult. This is especially true for children, who do not process loss the same way as adults do. That’s why Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers Stepping Stones, a bereavement support group designed for children ages 4-15 who have had a death loss.

“Because children benefit from creative approaches to grieving, Stepping Stones utilizes art therapy projects, peer support and guidance by trained grief specialists,” says LVHN bereavement counselor Rhonda McMahon. “While the children meet, their parents or guardians meet separately with a staff member to discuss topics such as the grieving child and family dynamics in times of grief.”

Past program participants have said Stepping Stones offers comfort in knowing a family is not alone in this process. The program offers the opportunity to express feelings in a safe and constructive environment where children are surrounded by other children who understand what they are going through.

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Enterovirus D68 Indicated by Breathing Problems, LVHN Pediatric Specialist Says

Tibisay Villalobos-Fry, MD

Tibisay Villalobos-Fry, MD
Pediatric infectious diseases
Watch a video to learn more about her.

The respiratory illness enterovirus D68 that’s been making national headlines has infected people in Pennsylvania and New York over the past month. They’re among 130 people in 12 states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed were infected.

Pediatric infectious diseases physician Tibisay Villalobos-Fry, MD, with Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, told WFMZ-TV 69News for a report broadcast Monday that the illness starts with symptoms of the common cold (watch the video below). But infants and people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies could develop more severe problems, like wheezing.

Villalobos-Fry says to look for fever, rashes, gastrointestinal issues and breathing problems as signs your child might have enterovirus and not just a cold. Use the typical preventive measures to avoid spreading the virus, such as covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and washing your hands frequently. Read More »

Local Pediatrician Discusses Recent School Lunch Study and Tips to Help Your Child Pack a Healthier Lunch

Sanjeev Vasishtha, MD

Sanjeev Vasishtha, MD
Pediatrics
Watch a video to learn more about him.

On any given day of the school year, 41 percent of elementary school children bring their lunch to school. This summer, a group of physicians performed an analysis on data provided by GREEN (Growing Right: Eco-friendly Eating and Nutrition) to learn more about the food children bring to school and compared it to the five standards of National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These standards call for a half-cup of fruit (excluding juice), 3/4 cup of vegetables, 1 ounce of grains, 1 ounce of meat/protein and 1 cup of milk.

The study found that only 27 percent of lunches studied met three of the five NSLP standards. Of all the lunches, only one third included fruit, and only 11 percent included vegetables. This compares to 23 percent of lunches containing sugar-sweetened beverages and 42 percent with snack foods like chips, cookies and candy.

“It is not surprising that parents are making the wrong choices in packing a school lunch,” says pediatrician Sanjeev Vasishtha, MD, with ABC Family Pediatricians, affiliated with Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. “They are being bombarded by advertisements selling quick-fix lunches, which are well displayed in grocery stores.”

When 30 percent of children in the U.S. are overweight, making small changes in your child’s lunch box could have a big effect on their overall health. “Obesity puts children at risk for several diseases,” Vasishtha says. Read More »

Category: Wellness
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Pablove Shutterbugs Photography Program Coming to LVHN

pablove shutterbugChildren’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital’s pediatric hematology/oncology department is one of 13 health and community groups nationwide to be awarded a grant to implement a photography program for children and teenagers battling cancer.

Children’s Hospital earned the $12,595 grant by securing enough online votes to be selected as a LIVESTRONG Foundation Community Impact Project winner. Since 2010, LIVESTRONG has conducted voting for organizations looking to employ programming that supports people affected by cancer. These organizations present proposals touting their cancer efforts to LIVESTRONG, and those approved get on the Community Impact Project ballot, which is open to the public.

Of the three programs funded this year through LIVESTRONG’s E. Lee Walker Award for national expansion, Children’s Hospital’s pediatric hematology/oncology program is among the 13 organizations chosen to participate in the Pablove Foundation Shutterbugs photography program.  It’s conducted through a California foundation established in honor of Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, who lost his battle with kidney cancer at age 6.

“It’s really a hat’s off to our community for supporting us so well in the voting process,” says Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital pediatric hematologist/oncologist Philip Monteleone, MD. “This program is a great way to help kids learn to handle their cancer socially and emotionally. We’re honored to be part of this initiative.” Read More »

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