Latest stories: Family & Kids

Tips to keep your child’s trip to the ER from being too traumatic

A trip to the emergency room is never on the agenda. If you ever find yourself taking your child for emergency medical care, you need to know what to expect and how to be prepared. Read more

Insect bites can do much more than bug you

Bug bites are an itchy nuisance, but they are also potentially life threatening – especially for people with damaged immune systems, children and the elderly. This is not just a problem in other countries where there is malaria. Mosquitoes here in the Northwest can carry West Nile virus, western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis. All of these can cause brain swelling, confusion and fevers. Additional diseases carried by mosquitoes in other regions of the United States include eastern equine encephalitis, California encephalitis and (rarely) malaria. In Yosemite Valley in California, you also need to protect yourself from flea bites, which can carry the bubonic plague. Read more

Why do children die? New Idaho team searches for links

BURLEY, Idaho – The death of any child warrants a closer look to search for ways to keep Idaho’s children safer. And there are many, the new Idaho Child Fatality Review Team concluded this spring. Read more

Seeking solutions to allergy symptoms

Stuffy nose? Itchy eyes? Mucus going down the back of the throat? If you’re prone to wheezing, perhaps you’re experiencing a wheeze or two? Or three? Or four? Or maybe you’re just tired and miserable all the time at this time of year? Of course, you know what I’m talking about: allergies. They come with the season, just like mosquitoes and those pesky flies. Read more

House Call: Umbilical cord blood may be worth banking

Stem cells are amazing. They have the ability to become any other cell. Adults have a few of these cells, but newborns have many. These stem cells can be harvested from the blood in an infant’s umbilical cord, from the umbilical cord itself, and from the placenta. Stem cells have been the focus of a lot of research, and most of that research has been done on stem cells from umbilical cord blood. If you are pregnant, you may have heard about freezing your child’s umbilical cord blood after birth. Some parents choose to do this as a form of family health insurance. That’s because stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used to treat 80 conditions (a big leap from 1998 when they were used for only one). This includes 10 kinds of cancer, mostly leukemias and lymphomas; 16 kinds of bone marrow failure syndrome; 8 blood disorders; 17 metabolic disorders; 19 types of immunodeficiency; and four other conditions. More therapeutic possibilities are on the horizon. Be aware, though, that treatment does not always work. Read more