If Your Child Can’t Sleep, This Type of Study Might Be What Your Family Needs

Dora doll for pediatric sleep study

The doll used at the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center shows children what to expect during a sleep study.

You’ve tried everything to get your child to sleep. You’ve darkened the bedroom, instituted a specific sleep schedule, and even employed old-school relaxation strategies such as a hot bath or some bedtime reading before bed. Nothing has worked. So now your primary care physician believes it’s time to see what the sleep specialists have to say. Your doctor orders a sleep study.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers two locations for pediatric sleep disorder studies – one at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street in Allentown, the other at the Health Center at Bethlehem Township. After receiving your primary care physician’s referral, LVHN’s trained sleep disorders professionals take it from there.

Here’s a look at what families can expect when a child enters a sleep study at LVHN: Read More »

Vote for Your Favorite Artwork From Our 2015 Children’s Hospital Community Canvas Event

Adonnis Arvelo at Community Canvas

The art of Washington Elementary School fourth-grader Adonnis Arvelo was chosen as the best by the audience at Thursday’s Community Canvas event.

There’s a fourth-grader at Spring Garden Elementary School named Miya Williams who proudly wears the title of the first grand champion of Community Canvas, the arts competition where local elementary school children display their talents interpreting health and wellness themes. On Thursday night, the journey to find her successor began at the Allentown Art Museum.

Students from Allentown’s Washington Elementary School each received a lunchbox full of art supplies and 45 minutes to create their artwork. After time had expired, the art of fourth-grader Adonnis Arvelo was chosen as the best by the audience.

But that’s not the end of the initial preliminary round in this year’s Community Canvas.  There’s more voting to do.

We’d like you to go to Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Facebook page to view the artwork and vote to determine which artist advances to the final round with Arvelo. Voting will end on Friday, Jan. 23. Read More »

Debra Esernio-Jenssen, MD, Takes Child Advocacy to a New Level at Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital

Debra Esernio-Jenssen, MD, has devoted her medical career to what she calls “the most vulnerable children in America” – the victims of child abuse. Last summer, she brought that career passion to Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital to work for child advocacy in the Children’s Clinic at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street.

“From the time I got involved with child abuse victims early on in my career, I felt that these were children who needed a voice,” Esernio-Jenssen says.  “A child has cancer or pneumonia or a broken bone, everybody wants to do something to help.  But with child abuse, the common reaction is that people don’t want to believe it’s happening. That mindset is the single biggest obstacle we face.”

Esernio-Jenssen is the medical expert on the team of multidisciplinary professionals who advocate for children and provide education about child abuse at the Child Advocacy Center. Future plans for the Child Advocacy Center include locating the entire child abuse team at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th StreetRead More »

Check In: Could Your Child Have Diabetes?

Diabetes - Check It, Share ItRanita Kuryan, MD, helps families and children learn to live with diabetes, but it’s not easy news to share. “It’s hard to tell a 10- or 12-year-old child and his or her family that their child has diabetes,” Kuryan says. “Whether a child is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2, diabetes is a chronic condition that he or she must learn to manage for the long term.”

Ranita Kuryan, MD

Ranita Kuryan, MD
Pediatric endocrinology
Watch a video to learn more about her.

Kuryan, a board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric endocrinologist who practices at Pediatric Specialists of the Lehigh Valley, affiliated with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, has noticed an increase in the number of diabetes diagnoses among children – an observation confirmed in published research. “Researchers with the ‘SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth’ study reported that the number of diabetes cases among children between 2001 and 2009 increased dramatically. They found a 21 percent increase in type 1 diabetes diagnoses and a 30.5 percent increase in type 2 diabetes diagnoses among children ages 0 through 19.”

It isn’t clear why the number of children with diabetes increased.  For type 1 diabetes, environmental factors are under investigation, including whether exposure to some viruses can trigger an immune system attack against insulin-producing cells. Vitamin D deficiency has also been hypothesized. To date, there is no conclusive evidence to support these theories. It has been suggested that the increase in type 2 diabetes in youth is a result of an increase in the frequency of obesity in pediatric populations.Obesity in youth has been increasing since the 1960s. Read More »

Urinary Puzzles: Minding Your Child’s ‘Pees’ and ‘Qs’

Urine for a SurpriseIf you’ve ever taken a child for a pediatric exam, it’s a sure thing that your child’s bathroom habits have come up in conversation. Routine elimination of urine and feces is a part of life, but if things aren’t going well in that world, then not much else matters until it’s resolved.

Pediatrician Becky Thomas-Creskoff, MD, with ABC Family Pediatricians–Trexlertown, knows how tricky it is to talk to children about sensitive topics. “Kids can feel embarrassed about toileting issues or concerns about genitalia development,” she says. “But it’s important to discuss and ask those related questions then children and their caregivers become more aware of their normal health and recognize when they need to seek medical care.” Read More »