Latest Updates

Healing Little Hearts: Helping Babies With Cardiac Defects


There may be nothing more frightening to new parents than sitting down with a doctor and hearing this sentence: “Your baby was born with a heart defect.” However, every year in the United States, about 40,000 children are born with a heart that didn’t develop perfectly in the womb—it might have a hole between its different chambers, a missing or malformed valve, thickened muscles on one side, or more. “When your baby is diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, the most…

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Child Life Corner: An Inside Look at Riley’s Child Life Zone


As one of 24 Certified Child Life Specialists at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, I am often involved when a child is struggling with their illness.  My name is Kathleen Odinga and I am the Child Life Specialist for the Child Life Zone (CLZ). Currently, there are 11 Child Life Zones at children’s hospitals throughout the nation, and our CLZ is the newest.  Child Life Zones are therapeutic play spaces.  As a new parent myself, and someone who has worked…

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Food Before Bed: What to Offer Kids and When to Hold Back


What your child eats before lights out and when she has a snack can sometimes affect how well she sleeps. This is important: The National Sleep Foundation says school-age kids need between 9 and 11 hours of quality sleep each night, preschoolers should log 10 to 13 hours, and toddlers thrive best when they get between 11 and 14 hours of shut-eye. Too little sleep can have an impact on a child’s physical and mental development, her mood, her behavior, and how well she’s able to learn in…

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What To Do If Your Child Has a Seizure: Triggers and Tactics To Help You Cope


Watching your child have a seizure is one of the scariest things a parent can witness. But seizures are actually quite common. “Seizures happen when the brain has a sudden disruption of electrical activity in which cells are misfiring too much at the same time,” explains Stephanie Jackson, M.D., a pediatric neurologist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. This can cause uncontrollable shaking—either all over the body or just in one part of the body. One seizure…

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Families, start your engines!

04/15/2016 | Family CarePrimary Care

What better way to celebrate the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 than to fill the month of May with 500-themed activities the whole family can enjoy? May in Indiana promises beautiful weather, early summer blooms, and lots of opportunities for enjoying the outdoors with your whole family. Going on picnics or simply grilling out at home can refresh your outlook and renew your spirit. But this year provides an additional bonus: the 100th Running of the Indy 500. For generations, the Indy 500…

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