Today marks the one-year anniversary of Thrive! It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 365 days since Children’s Hospital Boston launched this blog as a platform to share patient stories and expert insight about current pediatric health topics as they relate to parents everyday.
In that year, we’ve had over half a million views, won a few awards and even spawned @Thrivechildrens, a Twitter account that lets readers get daily updates about what’s happening on the blog, as well as in the pediatric world at large.
Looking ahead to year two, we’re planning a site relaunch that will change our format and better allow us to provide our readers with factual, relevant and interesting blog posts from all over the pediatric world. Though we’re excited for the future, it’s sometimes hard not to get nostalgic on birthdays and anniversaries; as such, here’s some of Thrive’s first year highlights.
- H1N1 was by far the most popular topic on Thrive. We posted 44 different articles on the subject. Our most read H1N1 blog asked the question, “Should my child get the swine flu (H1N1) shot?” This post triggered an outpouring of reader comments, from both hesitant parents weighing the pros and cons, and vocal vaccine proponents. To see a complete list of Thrive’s H1N1 stories, click here.
- Brett Nasuti, an 11-year-old Children’s patient, was born allergic to 15 foods. Thrive readers got to tag along as he went through a milk exposure desensitization trial to cure his milk allergy—the first of its kind in the country— by watching this video series. Will Brett ever get to eat pizza and drink milk with his cookies? Watch the first of Brett’s video series here.
- First person accounts written by Children’s families offer readers a personal account of how pediatric illness and treatment can affect kids and their families. Pieces written by real life patients/family members on topics like shaken baby syndrome, strep throat, Pentalogy of Cantrell and advice for exhausted care givers resonated deeply with our audience.
- The disaster in Haiti earlier this year left thousands of people hurt, sick and homeless. Many Children’s staff members were among the first medical professionals to travel to the island as part of a mass relief effort. The stories they shared with our readers were equally inspirational and heartbreaking and demonstrated the true power of the human sprit from both sides of the operating table.
- Claire McCarthy, MD, and Michael Rich, MD, MPH, are Children’s doctors who have taken to the web to provide insight and advice to readers about a wide range of topics. McCarthy, a pediatrician and mother of five, shared her thoughts on hot topics like parental favoritism, what Twilight teaches young people about possessive relationships and bullying. Rich is Children’s resident media expert and discusses how things like violent video games, suggestive music and videos and other media can effect children.
- The importance of vaccinations for children is a much debated topic on Thrive, and advocates on both sides of the issue are very passionate and vocal about their position. A Thrive post easily explaining the difference between live virus vaccines and kill virus vaccination received a great deal of attention.
- According to statistics, cases of autism are on the rise and growing steadily. But is autism really more prevalent in today’s youth or is this a case of data manipulation? It’s a tough question, without a seemingly obvious answer. A Thrive post on the subject, and similar autism related debates, has generated a lot of interesting posts and responses over the past year.