Stories about: Caregivers

Epilepsy: Top tips and tricks from our staff

In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, some of the nurses and social workers who support the Boston Children’s Hospital Epilepsy Center share their top epilepsy tips.

Chris, a social worker in the Epilpsy Center

Chris’s tip: Get support!

Chris Ryan, LCSW, recommends that you consider therapy for your child or family — or both. Kids with epilepsy are at higher risk for behavioral and mental health conditions, like anxiety, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They may also struggle with the lifestyle restrictions epilepsy can cause. A therapist can help your child learn to cope with these conditions.

Chris says joining a support group can also help kids with epilepsy — and their families — learn how to adjust to living with epilepsy.

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Tummy talk: Treating stomach aches and pains


Stomach aches and pains

It’s the same morning ritual. You rush around to get your child dressed, make her breakfast and try to get her off to school on time.

But one morning, your daughter refuses to eat her breakfast and complains that her tummy hurts. Is it something she ate? Constipation?

Stomach aches are very common. Almost 25 percent of school age kids complain of intermittent (on and off) stomach pain that lasts more than two months.

Rest assured, while stomach pain can happen for any number of reasons, the discomfort is usually short term, and children continue to maintain their overall good health.

“Often, a stomach ache is not cause for concern,” says Dr. Lori Zimmerman, a gastroenterologist with Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. “More often, it might mean a child is constipated or withholding her stool, is sensitive to a certain food (possibly lactose intolerance), is too hungry or too full or is worried and feeling the stress in her stomach.”

Dr. Zimmerman offers the following tips and home remedies to help alleviate stomach pain and discomfort.

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Video: Inspired by patients

We are thrilled that U.S News & World Report has ranked Boston Children’s Hospital the #1 pediatric hospital in the nation. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for inspiring us.

Learn more about the kids who inspire us. Read some of the greatest children’s stories ever told.

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‘I try to draw the music out of people.’

Music therapy, James Danna
(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

James Danna

Music Therapist

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I’ve been a music therapist at Boston Children’s for two years now. I always wanted to do philanthropic work my whole life, so this is an opportunity where I can use my musical talents for good. It’s a blessing to be here.

Music therapy is the utilization of music to achieve a non-musical goal — that might be bringing family members together, preparing a child for surgery or regulating a heart rate.

Every one of us is musical, so I try to draw the music out of people. I’ve seen kids speak their first words and move their arms and legs for the first time in music therapy sessions. It’s phenomenal.

I work with children all across the hospital and our satellites. It’s been wonderful seeing patients like Joy who show remarkable response to the therapeutic medium of music. I speak for all four music therapists here when I say that the person we’re working with is — in that moment — the most important person in the whole world.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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