Stories about: Health & Wellness

Kids and blood pressure: What every parent should know

hypertension in children

We tend to associate hypertension with older age, but the truth is that anyone can develop high blood pressure — even kids. In fact, pediatric hypertension occurs in 2 to 5 percent of kids and is one of the top five chronic diseases in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. While an elevated blood pressure reading may seem alarming, it isn’t always a sign of a more serious disease. Here’s what every parent should know about blood pressure in kids.

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26.2 for three: A transplant nurse’s tribute to her patients

pediatric transplant
Desh and Lucas

Heartbreak Hill: It’s the notorious Boston Marathon landmark that runners both anticipate and dread. But when Deshanthi “Desh” Perera approaches that challenging climb on April 16, she’ll have special motivation propelling her uphill. Perera, a nurse working on the organ transplant inpatient unit of the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and first-time marathoner, isn’t just running for the glory of a personal best time or the satisfaction of completing the race. She’s running for all of the remarkable patients at Boston Children’s, including three of her own.

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Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health helps families thrive

shari nethersole, md
Dr. Shari Nethersole speaks at a community meeting.

Justin’s mom grabs him a fast food dinner because the nearest supermarket is two bus rides away. Mia is afraid to play outside because there was a recent shooting in her neighborhood. Janelle’s parents have trouble covering all their expenses each month and are worried the family will be evicted from their apartment. These scenarios are stressful for families in the short term, but they can also have lasting effects on health and well-being. Without access to affordable, fresh foods, stable housing and other supportive resources, families may struggle to provide the environment that both parents and kids need to thrive in the long term. “Good health depends on much more than access to healthcare,” explains Dr. Shari Nethersole, Executive Director for Community Health at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Housing, education, safety, access to food and physical activity all have a major influence on health and longevity.”

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Beyond the birds and the bees: What children really need to hear from their parents

Mother and teen daughter hugWhen most parents think about talking to their kids about sex, it makes them very uncomfortable. It’s not exactly easy to discuss the specifics of how babies are made — especially when you are hoping that your kid doesn’t have sex until they are, well, much older. Which makes you not want to discuss it with them until they are, well, much older.

The problem is that kids need to have conversations with their parents about sex and sexuality earlier rather than later, certainly by middle school.

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