Category: Children’s Health

young child and mother playing with building blocks

Autism: what’s behind the numbers

Categories: Children's Health

Scary autism stats – what to do for help It can be stressful enough to have a new baby. Then someone shares some scary stats about rising autism rates (now estimated at one in 59, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the tired new parent is suddenly faced with fear. Take a slow breath. Ask a professional. Dr. James Phalen, a specialist in developmental pediatrics at University Health System, said there are specific recommended steps to diagnosing autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. In the case of ASD, early diagnosis and intervention (18 to 24 months) is …Read More >

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Mother holding child with measles

Measles, Mumps, Rubella – Oh My!

Categories: Children's Health

Why should we vaccinate? From a growing  2019 measles outbreak in Seattle, the Centers for Disease Control now reports outbreaks in Washington and New York states, with more reported cases in Texas so far this month. While measles are caused by a virus – as is the mumps and rubella, whooping cough is caused by bacteria. What is the first sign of measles, mumps, rubella or whooping cough? Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. …Read More >

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Mother and father with their two sons

Don’t let your child lose sleep over sleep apnea

Categories: Children's Health

If your child is restless or snores during the night, and then is also extra tired during the day, it might be time for an overnight sleep study. These symptoms point to sleep apnea, which occurs when a person’s breathing pauses off and on all night, waking him or her up dozens or even hundreds of times every night—and leaving the person exhausted the next morning without knowing why. And without treatment, the symptoms will only get worse. “They might have trouble getting up in the morning or want to take naps as elementary school kids,” says Dr. Karen Hentschel-Franks, …Read More >

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children playing

Teach kids to stop and go—to prevent urinary tract infections

Categories: Children's Health

If your child starts doing the not-so-discreet “gotta pee” dance, you might worry he’ll wet your carpet. But there’s something else you should know—your little one could end up with a urinary tract infection from waiting too long to go. “A lot of kids tend to hold it because they are having fun and don’t want to stop,” says Dr. Jessica Goetz, D.O., assistant professor in the UT Health San Antonio’s Division of Pediatric Urology. “It’s like a swamp in the bladder, and bacteria is going to grow.” She says kids should use the bathroom frequently, about every three to four …Read More >

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Girl in uniform is sitting at school desk. Her head is down and she is holding it.

Survive school stress! Part II

Categories: Children's Health  /  News

We continue our series on how to help kids (and parents) cope with stress. In middle school and high school, expectations rise. Dr. Ellen Shrouf, psychologist at the University Health System Behavioral Health Clinic, has some suggestions to help everyone stay cool – even if the PSAT or ACT are looming around the corner. Middle school: Too big for routines (no, really, they aren’t) Middle schoolers think they do not need help and routines. They do. Help them by planning: walk the halls of the new school after hours to make this age comfortable getting everywhere on time AND with …Read More >

Children have backpacks on and are walking off a school bus.

Survive school stress at any age

Categories: Children's Health  /  News

School has started, progress reports are coming in, and stress levels for parents and kids are rising. No matter what ages your children – or you – are, stress can cause a massive meltdown. Dr. Ellen Shrouf, psychologist at the University Health System Behavioral Health Clinic, has some suggestions to help everyone stay cool – even if there’s a test tomorrow and a project that needs construction paper ASAP at 7 p.m. First, remember some basic tips: Develop routines Learn to read your child: predict when they will be overwhelmed Balance social, emotional and academic concerns Model good stress management …Read More >

boy makes a face before boarding a school bus.

Back to school!?!

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

The summer break zipped right by — although it seems to have left the near-100 degree heat behind as a reminder. Area school districts have either started classes or will soon. University Health System teamed up with KSAT and other local partners to provide last-minute vaccinations at the Alamodome earlier today. If you still need back-to-school vaccinations, here’s a handy list of locations and times from San Antonio Metropolitan Health District — including the schedule of University Health System’s healthyUexpress mobile clinic. In honor of families rounding up the kids and scooting them out the door to school, we’re resurrecting …Read More >


Not just a bump on the head

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  rehabilitation

Whether it’s from football, soccer or even cheerleading, the number of concussions in student athletes is on the rise. So, what can you do to protect your kids from getting brain injuries while playing sports? How dangerous are concussions? Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that are caused by a blow or bump to the head or body resulting in the brain moving back and forth rapidly in the skull. Concussions can have long-term negative health effects including: Memory problems Sleep disturbances Emotional or mood changes Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks And in some cases, especially when multiple concussions occur, …Read More >

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Your kids and meningitis: What you need to know

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

Their backpacks are packed and their pencils are sharpened, but without the meningitis vaccination, your teenager may not be ready for school this fall. What do parents need to know about meningitis? Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective tissues surrounding the brain and part of the spinal cord. It’s usually caused by a very contagious bacteria or virus. Meningitis can be very serious with long-term negative health effects including: Memory loss Coordination problems or clumsiness Epilepsy/seizures Loss of vision Speech problems Paralysis And in some cases, meningitis can even be deadly. Because meningitis is so contagious, it’s important that …Read More >

Young girl getting a vaccination

The risk of opting out

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

It’s a growing trend that worries doctors, educators and public health officials — parents declining to vaccinate their children. Vaccine refusal rates have been on the rise in Texas. The number of unvaccinated children has reached an alarming 45,000-plus, putting them — and others around them — at risk for several serious diseases, including diphtheria and measles, experts warn. And the trend line is getting steeper. “We have seen a nearly 20-fold increase in the past 10 to 15 years,” said Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, a UT Health San Antonio pediatrician. “It’s one of the public health concerns that I …Read More >

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