Author: Maureen McCarthy

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children: What parents need to know

UTIsWhen Lauren was just under two years old, she developed a fever of 103, was irritable and lost her appetite. Mom, who suspected her daughter’s condition was more than “just a bug,” scheduled an appointment with Lauren’s pediatrician.

Based on her symptoms and physical examination, Lauren was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). The tiny tot was treated and quickly felt better.

Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived. To mom’s surprise, the UTI returned.

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Caring for the female athlete: A guide for athletes, parents and coaches

Female-AthleteSince the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, the number of girls competing in high school sports has increased from 295,000 to nearly 3.2 million, and more women are playing collegiate sports than ever before. As these numbers continue to rise, and girls and young women become more empowered through sports, awareness of the health issues specific to female athletes has become increasingly important.

Dr. Kathryn Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, and the program’s sports dietitian, Laura Moretti, share need-to-know information and offer strategies to keep young athletes healthy, on and off the field.

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Faces of IBD: Celebrating our patients and their caregivers

Nurse practitioner Caitlin Dolan with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Boston Children's Hospital.
IBD nurse practitioner Caitlin Dolan educating her patient Jenna, 11

Some say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), our patients and their families depend on a “village” of caregivers — gastroenterologists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and more — to carry them through their journey.

In honor of World IBD Day, May 19, we are celebrating the patients who inspire us and the dedicated Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center team that diagnose, educate and treat nearly 1,500 patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis each year.

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Carrying Savanna through her journey with cloacal malformation

Savanna visits the Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center at Boston Children's Hospital.

When two-year-old Savanna Bluford enters Boston Children’s Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center, she quickly gravitates toward the waiting room’s interactive light board. Sporting pigtails, sparkly sneakers and an angelic smile, the playful toddler’s attention quickly turns to her doctor — the Center’s Co-Director Dr. Belinda Dickie. The two light up with smiles and exchange hugs as if old friends — and that, they are.

Savanna was born in South Carolina with a rare and complex birth defect affecting the gastrointestinal, urological and reproductive systems.

The condition, called covered cloacal malformation, occurs when the bladder, colon and vaginal channels are connected. This connection causes a mixing of stool and urine, which exit the body from the same location. The malformation also impacts the spinal cord.

In order to correct Savanna’s condition — which affects one in 250,000 children — she will undergo a multi-staged, multi-year reconstruction process to repair all three systems.

When it came time to find a pediatric surgeon that specializes in such complexities, Savanna’s parents searched the nation for an expert — and they found Dr. Dickie.

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