Articles Posted in Medical Care & Health Issues

spinal%20injury%2C%20xray.jpgAlthough spinal cord injuries are a very rare occurrence among children (about 1000 incidences per year), the child personal injuries can be the worst kind of tragedy. For parents or guardians with a child who has spinal cord injuries it is important to know the typical mechanisms of injury and the child’s special treatment needs.

In children under 8-years-old most spinal injuries are located in the neck region – this is because of the unique anatomy of children in this age group. Some warning signs are a disproportionately large heard, underdeveloped neck musculature and a much more flexible spinal column.

The spinal cord injury itself happens in two phases: the first, is the irrevocable force that actually injures the spinal cord; the second, is what happens afterward. The injury itself triggers a cascade of events that can cause further damage within the body. Types of further damage include but are not limited to: severe inflammation, shock, and changes in the immune system.

State%20Map%20Florida.jpgFlorida is a warm weather State. Better stated, Florida is a hot weather State that offers many attractions like beaches and theme parks. Florida’s hot weather also presents dangers to children left in hot vehicles during all times of the year especially Summer months. The death of Haley Brockington who was left in a day care center van illustrated the dangers of Florida’s weather combined with the inattention of staff along with the lack of policies and procedures or the failure to follow adequate policies and procedures. See Why Did Haley Brockington (Age 2 1/2 Years Old) Die in Katie’s Kids Learning Center Van? Legal Rights and Responsibilties See also See also Leave a Child Alone in a Car Can Lead to Serious Personal Injuries, Death, and Prison Time in Florida.

Here are some general tips for Florida day care centers and all other transporters of children to consider to make sure that a child is not left unattended in a hot car in Florida:

1. Never leave a child alone in a hot vehicle. A 5 minute visit to the store can easily turn into a 25 minute visit which an mean the difference between life and death for some children.

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In Florida, children are at risk for hyperthermia type of injuries year round due to the warm weather throughout the State. There have been a number of reported incidents of personal injuries, death, and prison time resulting from hyperthermia incidents in Florida. Michael J. Mooney wrote an excellent article posted in the Broward – Palm Beach – New Times Blog titled For Parents Who Leave Children to Die in Hot Cars in Florida – Punishments Vary Widely. Prison time and punishment varied across the State of the Florida for these type of incidents. For instance, Miami Dade County reportedly prosecuted every case while counties like Sarasota County did not. Each case and incident should be evaluated on its own facts.

Parents, babysitters, and other child care providers should read this articles and others to learn about the terrible dangers and tragic deaths that have resulted from leaving a child in a hot car in the State of Florida. The safety and welfare of a child should always take precedence over convenience and other pursuits. See also Death Results from Leaving Children in Cars in Florida. and Don’t Leave Children in Vehicles to Go Grocery Shopping – It Is Dangerous to Children and Can Get You Arrested.

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In Florida, boating is an activity and hobby enjoyed by many people. Unfortunately with many outdoor activities like boating, there are dangers and risks that can lead to serious personal injuries, and in come cases death. One risk associated with boating activies is related to carbon monoxide poisoning. Boats with cabins and sleeping quarters are often times equipped with a generator to power the boats electricity and air conditioning unit. A properly maintained and installed generator that is positioned correctly on the boat can provide boat owners and guests with the comforts and convenience provided by electricity and air conditioning while docked or anchored offshore. An improperly installed and/or malfunctioning generator can actually cause personal injuries and, in fact, can lead to the death of an unknowing occupant of the boat. The Associated Press reported that a couple (Sandra Lupton and Howard Lupton) died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in the sleeping quarters/cabin of a Baja Cruiser (29 foot). The couple’s boat was anchored offshore at Ponce Inlet (disappearing island). Tragically, the couple was discovered by their son. You can read more about this story at Florida Medical Examiner reports that Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Caused Death of Boaters from Palatka Florida.

It is expected that an investigation will be conducted as to the equipment and maintenance on this boat and what steps, if any, could have been taken to avoid this most unfortunate tragedy. this story shows the importance of boating safety as to all aspects of the boat, including but not limited to, the generator and electrical system.

pediatrician.jpgDealing with a possible situation of child abuse or child neglect presents physicians with many ethical dilemmas: How should the doctor properly screen the child for child abuse or child neglect? How does the doctor confront the parents when the doctor suspects signs of child abuse? Does the physician inform the parents of his or her obligation to report the suspected abuse to authorities?

Physicians often experience feelings of reservation and hesitation about continuing a professional relationship with parents while simultaneously suspecting child mistreatment. All 50 states have laws that mandate physicians to report cases where suspicions of child abuse exist. A “suspicion” is not an accusation but merely a request for further investigation. On one hand, failure to report could result in charges being filed against the doctor. One the other hand, doctors are reluctant to report because they know the family well or do not want to make the parents angry. Also, some doctors are unwilling to believe that child abuse or neglect is present even though an estimated 2,000 deaths per year are caused by abuse or neglect.

Although it is often difficult, physicians should inform parents of their obligation to report suspicions of abuse or neglect. The American Board of Pediatrics has published methods for doctors faced with these issues to help ease the tensions. In November 2009, the Board offered its first certification examination in the pediatric sub-specialty, child abuse pediatrics. In addition to being leaders in education about violence, child abuse physicians are skilled in diagnosis, intervention, interdisciplinary evaluation and case management. Child abuse physicians are not the only resource available. There are many other qualified physicians whose expertise and experience are comparable to board certified physicians. These specialists are able to answer questions, provide consultation and manage and follow cases through the demanding legal process. To read more about this topic see Physicians face ethical dilemmas when dealing with suspected cases of child abuse.

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In Florida and other States, there is a health issue out there that affects every community. It is teen and child obesity. With a fast food restaurant and convenience store on every corner in commercial districts, it has been far too easy for parents and children alike to get to and eat unhealthy foods loaded with fat and carbohydrates. This combined with the inactivity involved with sedentary pursuits like video games, Facebook, Internet, texting, and watching television has led to teen and childhood obesity. Michelle Obama has been a spokesperson against teen obesity and a proponent of healthy eating and living for children. It is a tough issue to tackle and address since the problem is so widespread. You can read more about this topic at Michelle Obama Reveals Goals of Childhood Obesity Task Force.

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The Florida Board of Medicine suspended / revoked the license of Matthew Kachinas following an incident in which he aborted the wrong fetus during a procedure. The patient was pregnant with twins. Studies indicated that one of the twins had congenital defects. The other twin appeared normal. The woman was 16 weeks pregnant at the time of the procedure. Tragically, the doctor aborted the wrong fetus. You can read more about this story at Florida Doctor Terminated Wrong Fetus and Loses his Medical License.

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Holidays are a time for family run, recreation, and sports. . . . They are also a time in which child suffer injuries ranging from minor child personal injuries (cuts, scratches, and minor bruises) to significant child personal injuries (fractures, brain injury, and death). A study completed by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio studied data from approximately 100 emergency room departments to determine the number and frequency of injuries resulting in emergency room treatment during holiday time periods. The study reported 5.7 million child holiday related injuries during the time period from 1997 – 2006. You can read more about this study at Labor Day Tops List of Holiday Related Child Personal Injuries.

When children are out of school or formal supervised activities, parents should be diligent in their supervision of children. It is well known that many children lack safety awareness and often times have poor safety judgment when engaged in recreational and sports activities.

While not all child personal injuries can be avoided since accidents do happen, we should all do all part to supervise children and step in when there is a potentially dangerous situation or activity engaged in by children.

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In Florida, parents have a choice when it comes to pediatricians. It is important for a parent to do research and due diligence before selecting a pediatrician. Ask about the pediatrician’s background, training, and experience. Take a look at the pediatrician’s website. It is also helpful to review the Department of Health website located at www.doh.state.fl.us – This website provides background history and education for the pediatrician. Make sure that you are comfortable with your pediatrician. Your child’s health and welfare are paramount. As such, the selection of a solid pediatrician should be well thought out and researched. You can read more about this topic at Selecting a Pediatrician in Jacksonville, Florida.

medical%20health%20x%20ray%20of%20side%20of%20skull%20head.jpgA Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicates that children 4 and younger constitute a high risk group for traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can result from a sudden blow, trauma, or jolt to the brain. TBI injuries account for approximately 1/3 of all injury or accident related deaths in the United States. For teenagers ranging from the ages of 15 to 19, the mechanism of the injury or the TBI is an automobile accident. For small children, a TBI can result from a fall at home or on a playground. If a child has suffered a TBI, timely medical treatment and intervention is essential. Signs or symptoms that a child has suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) include the following:

drowsiness that is sudden;

problems being alert;