Wednesday, June 18, 2014


This is going to be the repository for our Pregnancy, Infants and Children Research Projects.  This is an experiment to see if we can get a common blog working as a class by adding many authors to a single blog.

The assignment was for each student to select a topic relating to pregnancy, infants, or children.  No two topics can be the same and topics must include research with sources.  Students will log in to the blog individually and post their articles with at least one picture.

Students: Before posting your page, please wait for instructions.  I will ask you to add specific "Tags" to your story which will be how people will locate your page from Internet searches or from the main page.

Instructor: Robert Griffith
Kelseyville High School
Kelseyville, CA

Friday, April 11, 2014

Children and MRSA


Children And MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus also known as MRSA, is a common bacteria found in the nose, throat or skin.  MRSA is a concern today because it can be harder to treat than other infections and it's infecting healthy people, including children -- not just those with weakened immune system, as in the past. This type of MRSA is called community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). That's because it affects people in the community, outside of hospitals and nursing homes. And, with more people infected with community-associated MRSA, more children with MRSA have been admitted to hospitals.

Who's most at risk of getting MRSA? Children  who come into close contact with other people in places like:

·         day care centers

·         playgrounds

·         locker rooms

·         classrooms and other school settings

·         Gymnasiums

·         workout facilities

In these kinds of settings, MRSA is more likely because kids have skin-to-skin contact and may share equipment or toys that have not been cleaned. Children are also more likely to have frequent scrapes or bug bites -- potential entryways for infection.

It can be severe or deadly for those with compromised immune systems, like young children and babies, and it is resistant to many antibiotics currently used to treat bacteria. Signs of MRSA in infants include fever and a boil, wound, or skin infection that does not heal with normal treatment. MRSA can compromise nearly every system of the body, and an infant infected with the MRSA bacteria can present a multitude of symptoms common with any bacterial illness. General pain and lethargy, coughing, and difficulty breathing.


The first sign of MRSA in infants is often a pimple-like sore that resembles an insect bite and includes drainage or pus. Redness, pain, or tenderness often accompanies the sore or sores, and a fever might also be noted. Impetigo, a common skin disease in infants, can also be caused by the MRSA bacteria. The signs of impetigo include fluid filled blisters that most commonly present on the diaper area, buttocks, and face. When an infant or child possesses a skin infection, rash, or blemish that does not respond to treatment, the child's caregiver should consult a physician.

Although MRSA is an alarming prospect, the steps to prevent it are simple and affordable. Here are tips on how you and your children can protect yourselves:

Wash hands often. Teaching your children to wash their hands, and washing your own hands with soap and water will help stop all kinds of infections, including MRSA, from spreading. When soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer especially when handling a new born baby.

Use bandages when needed. Keep sores and cuts covered and clean until they heal.

·         Don't touch sores. Teach children not to touch or play with sores and scabs—theirs or other children's. Also, don't let children scratch their skin so much that they create tiny breaks in it; use an anti-itch cream on some areas if necessary. This is particularly important if they get chickenpox or another itchy disease.

·         Don't share personal items. Teach children not to share personal items such as towels, just as adults shouldn't share razors or other skin care items.

·         Be careful around hospitalized individuals. When visiting loved ones in the hospital or a residential care facility, practice good personal hygiene and avoid touching catheters, ports, and IVs where they enter the skin. Wash your hands with soap after you leave the room. Teach children to do the same.

·         Teach prevention tips for athletes. Student athletes may need to take additional steps to prevent infection, including:

·         Shower immediately after competition or practice, especially after contact sports. Always shower before getting into a whirlpool with other athletes.

·         Keep equipment and supplies clean, and wash uniforms after each use.

·         Make sure sanitizing products are available for cleaning mats and other shared sports equipment. Check with coaches and other adults to be sure that these are used.

·         Don't compete in contact sports if you have a wound that is open or bleeding. Keep all cuts and scrapes covered


        ABCD syndrome or as it is defined by many other names such as, albinism, block lock, cell migration disorder of the neurocytes of the gut, or deafness. The effects of this syndrome and signs can be, "snow white hair in patches, distinct black locks of hair, skin white except brown macules, deafness, irises gray to blue, nystagmus, photophobia, poor visual activity normal melqanocytes in pigmented hair and skin, and absent melanocytes in areas of leukoderma." Eventually the individuals that inherit this disease have a blue/ gray irises and typically leads to blindness.
     Today the ABCD Syndrome is counted for a variation of Shah- Waardenburg type 4. The Waardenburg Syndrome is described as "the combination of sensorinerual hearing loss, hypopigmentation of skin and hair, and pigmentary disturbances of the irides." The hair, hearing loss and pigmentation of the irises is the only similarity that Waardenburg  Syndrome and ABCD Syndrome have in common.
      This syndrome has  no cure and no prevention of the disease. Only one in 45,000 people and children are diagnosed in Europe. The Syndrome can be discovered by ultrasounds, through phenotype displaying pigmentary disturbances, facial abnormalities, and other developmental defects. 


Imagine having your 1 month old infant to 1 year old be okay and the next you are rushing your child to the hospital because your child has lost all vital signs for no apparent reason. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which is exactly what it sounds like when all of a sudden your child has gone into cardiac arrest, it is still a very unexplainable event that takes the life of an infant for no apparent reason despite all the research that has been done for it. SIDS claims the lives of about 2,500 each year in the United States alone.

There are several different things that you could do to help protect your child from the risks of becoming a SIDS case:

1. Put your baby to sleep on their backs.

2. Make sure your babies bedding is on a flat mattress and there are no big pillows around.

3. Sleep in the same room as your child.

4. Avoid overheating the child while sleeping.

5. Make sure you are using good prenatal care.

6. Do not smoke, drink, or use any other illegal drugs while pregnant.

7. Ensure that your baby gets all of its vaccinations.

8. Breastfeed.

9. When putting your child to sleep offer them a pacifier.

Following these few steps will not completely refrain your child for becoming a SIDS case but it will greatly reduce the chances.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Heart Disease in Young Children and Onwards

         Heart Disease also called "Cardiovascular disease"  is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, mostly effected by heart disease is older humans, though the process begins in early life, it can be controlled. There is many different types of heart diseases, which then have subcategories of those. Some of these types include, Coronary artery disease, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertensive heart disease, Cardiac dysrhythmias, as well, Valvular heart disease. There is many risk factors behind heart disease, your diet, obesity, family history, smoking , alcohol, (excessive). All these are factors, contribute into heart disease, and while some are able to change, some are born with it, age, gender, family history, these all are factors that you can't change.  I'm going to go into  the factors of those, age, family history, and gender. More about  heart disease in young children and babies, and ways to prevent it, or realizing that you may have a baby with heart disease which takes steps into genetics, as well  inherited heart diseases, along with personally caused diseases.

     Heart disease is actually more vibrant in older people and to that, older men even more. With 82 percent of people dying of (coronary) heart disease, are at the age of 65 and older, and on top of that, men are more vulnerable to heart disease. For kids, it is said, for Congenital heart defects about 1 in 100 newborn are affected by some type of heart defect. Though now in recent times,  most of these heart defects, in the early stages of life, can be successful, in curing and making it better, such operations include, cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterizations. These are now common in infants, and newborns. Hopefully leading to a good, healthy life.

    There is causes outside of just genetics, like i said before, diet, exercises, other health problems. Drug use, excessive alcohol, and exposure to chemicals, is all a risk during pregnancy, as it increases the malformations. Smoking increases the build ups in arteries and lung problems, and overall increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Drinking while pregnant should be completely avoided, and as drinking later, it can cause high blood pressure and heart failure, and include cardio problems, sudden cardiac deaths, and arrhythymias.

       Genetic heart disease, is heart diseases passed down from the parent, to the kid. If you know that your family has heart disease, then you can be more careful, and find ways to avoid giving the kid the disease, or if you so wish to have your own kid, you take the risk of giving the kid the disease, obviously the chances are mostly 50%, as to if one parent has it, and the other doesn't. Even if the kid is born with it, does not necessarily mean you need to take action on it. Some symptoms never come out, as well some times the heart disease never truly comes out and effects them.               

     Signs and symptoms to heart disease can be shown after birth with a heart murmur, though heart murmurs don't indicate a heart disease, it helps in to figuring out if there is one present or not. After birth children can get EKGs , and x-rays to help determine if they have a heart problem.  Some times symptoms may be there but nothing serious, and so no reason to do anything about it. Some serious ones though they can be cured with certain surgeries. Some other symptoms is breathing troubles, or a condition that is "cyanosis" where the baby has blue skin because of the lack of oxygen in the blood.

     Treating heart defects in babies can be easily fixed with an operation. Others that are more serious might need more than one operation. Then lastly if very serious, there will be countless visits to the doctors, and making sure everything stays silent for the time. There is also operation balloon angioplasty, and valvuloplasty, "In these procedures, a pediatric cardiologist inserts a catheter, a thin plastic tube with a special balloon attached, into a blood vessel. The balloon is then inflated to stretch open the narrow area of the blood vessel or heart valve. "Other procedures include closing holes, or blood vessels. Some even cure themselves as the child grows up. Along with these heart defects can come with infection, a problem called bacterial endocarditis, "an infection of the tissue that lines the heart and blood vessels."  Which becomes a very serious problem in itself, and the child will need treatment for that. It is also recommended to keep good care of their teeth.

Suspecting anything of heart defects and caring for your child after they are diagnosed is crucial for them growing up, if you see any signs of an event of anything related to their heart you should notify the doctor soon, these include, "loss of color, difficult breathing, bad appetite, sweating while feeding, decreased energy, or prolonged fever". As for caring for the child you should learn about feeding, giving the medicines on time, and make sure you're not just babying them, and let them get comfortable with caring for themselves. They may have scars, they may have have to take medicine, and visit the cardiologist, it is recommended to when they are old enough to understand talk to them about what they had to go through as a kid they may not remember, and make sure they have a role for their care. Make sure they do some participation in some activities, though they will be limited in some sports, and rigorous activities. Just make sure not to hover over like a hawk, make sure they live as normal of a life as possible.

Sources ;

Marijuana While Pregnant

Marijuana While Pregnant
Is smoking marijuana while pregnant bad for the baby? I've been doing some research on this topic and yes smoking marijuana while being pregnant is bad for the baby. It kills the baby's brain cells. Researchers studied marijuana effects on mice and brain tissue from human fetuses, and found that the active ingredient in marijuana,THC, interferes with the formation of connections between nerve cells in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking skills and forming memories.

Effects of prenatal marijuana exposure could even last into adulthood. The drug could have direct effects, or it could sensitize the brain to future drug exposure or neuropsychiatric illnesses.Previous long-term studies have shown that children exposed to marijuana in the womb may have an increased risk of showing cognitive effects, seeking out drugs, or having attention deficit disorder, anxiety or depression, according to the study.

Would you like to see your baby born with a disorder? I know I wouldn't, this could affect your baby in many ways, they would have problems learning and maybe even give the teachers a hard time. Also when they get older one wouldn't want to see their children smoking pot or being out of control.


Kids Left Inside Cars

Leaving your kid in a car has many negative effects on children. From neglect to death there is nothing positive about leaving your child in a car.

Being left in a car is another form of neglect especially a kid that does not know what is going on or one that resents being in the car. Many people think that they will be gone for only a little while. But for the child, sitting in a hot car feels like forever. there is barely anything for them to do and they become bored after a while.

Some parents accidentally leave there kids, its not that uncommon. You may think how could someone do this and what terrible parents but sometimes it just comes down to being a mistake. 
 "News organizations are reporting that Kyrese was left in the car while his parents Robert Anderson, 29, and Amanda Jo Anderson, 30, were at a funeral. Before the funeral, the parents took two cars to drop their children off with a babysitter at 1 p.m. The parents delivered their two older children but they forgot Kyrese in the back of the vehicle that they left parked at the babysitter’s house. (It sounds as if one parent thought the other had brought Kyrese into the house.) The couple drove the other car to the funeral, thinking all three of their kids were playing happily at the sitter’s.

When they returned after the funeral at 4 p.m., the babysitter said she assumed Kyrese was with his parents.

The Andersons rushed to the car they’d left at the house and confronted the worst possible nightmare. Their beloved son was dead."
(The Mommy Files)

Especially in black or leather interior cars if you don't  have windows that are tinted the car will start to heat up even more then the outside of the car. Just think if you were left in a car, all alone in a hot summer’s day. Now think of it as a kid in that position, many kids are left in a car every year. Many things happen when a kid is left in a car; it could be kidnapped, have medical problems and a number of other things. The end result of a kid being left in a hot car for too long is heatstroke.
Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures or by doing physical activity in hot weather. High humidity, certain health problems and some medications increase your risk of heatstroke. So does being a young child or older adult. Heatstroke is the progression of two worsening heat-related conditions. When your body overheats, you first may develop heat cramps. If you don't cool down, you may progress to symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as heavy sweating, nausea, lightheaded and feeling faint. Heatstroke occurs if your body temperature continues to rise. Untreated heatstroke can cause damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. These injuries get worse the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death. (

Places to check out 

"Fact Sheet - Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles." Fact Sheet - Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Heatstroke." Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <>.

"The Mommy Files." The Mommy Files. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <>.

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

      Down syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is a common condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. It affects about 1 in every 800 babies born in the United States. The physical features and medical problems associated with Down syndrome can vary widely from child to child. While some kids with DS need a lot of medical attention, others lead healthy lives. Though Down syndrome can't be prevented, it can be detected before a child is born. The health problems that may go along with DS can be treated, and many resources are available to help kids and their families who are living with the condition.

           Normally, at the time of conception a baby inherits genetic information from its parents in the form of 46 chromosomes: 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. In most cases of Down syndrome, a child gets an extra chromosome 21 — for a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46. It's this extra genetic material that causes the physical features and developmental delays associated with DS. Although no one knows for sure why DS occurs and there's no way to prevent the chromosomal error that causes it, scientists do know that women age 35 and older have a significantly higher risk of having a child with the condition. At age 30, for example, a woman has about a 1 in 1,000 chance of conceiving a child with DS. Those odds increase to about 1 in 400 by age 35. By 40 the risk rises to about 1 in 100.

There are many body shapes and sizes for example:

·         Short stature (height). A child often grows slowly and is shorter than average as an adult.

·         Weak muscles (hypotonia) throughout the body. Weak belly muscles also make the stomach stick out.

·         A short, wide neck. The neck may have excess fat and skin.

·         Short, stocky arms and legs. Some children also have a wide space between the big toe and second toe.
Face shape and features

·         Slanted eyes. Tissue may also build up on the colored part of the eye (iris). But the child's vision is not affected by this buildup.

·         A nasal bridge that looks pushed in. The nasal bridge is the flat area between the nose and eyes.

·         Small ears. And they may be set low on the head.

·         Irregularly shaped mouth and tongue. The child's tongue may partly stick out. The roof of the mouth (palate) may be narrow and high with a downward curve.

·         Irregular and crooked teeth. Teeth often come in late and not in the same order that other children's teeth come in.

          It is important to remember that while children and adults with Down syndrome experience developmental delays, they also have many talents and gifts and should be given the opportunity and encouragement to develop them. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate impairments but it is important to note that they are more like other children than they are different.

The Benefits of Reading to Babies

The Benefits of Reading to Babies

            No parent would ever want their child to be dumb, right? You care, and want them to be smart, confident and successful. There are major changes going through a baby and small child’s head through their first 5 years. Those first 5 years are considered the most important. Many studies have shown the benefits of reading to children. Child development is defined as the changes that occur as a child develops and grows into the person they will be. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially are the ways that a child can develop. The first 5 years are the foundation for a child’s future. The brain is at a point where it will map out how the child will think throughout life based on the first 5 years.  So how can you make sure your baby is getting the most out of their first 5 years? Reading, although it’s a small task, can make all the difference.
            So when should you start reading to your baby? You can start reading to your baby when it’s in the womb.  “The new research suggests that babies began to absorb language when they are inside the womb during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy.” Studies suggest that just talking to your baby during those last two weeks can give them a basis for language.
By the time a baby reaches their first birthday, they will have heard almost all the sounds needed to start the basis of language. This is why most babies begin talking around 1-2 years of life. Even when babies don’t exactly know how to process the words when they are born and can see and focus on pictures, they can learn things from them. They can learn about patterns and faces and colors. Reading is also a soothing and bonding time for you and your baby. After about 5 months, your baby will become more interested in books. This is when buying books with rhyming text and bright colors are important, because they may realize the patterns. After 6 months, your baby will start to understand what pictures may represent and if a book makes sounds they will realize what they represent.
            Reading is a great thing because it only takes a book and you and your baby. So how can you make reading the best experience for your baby? 
When you read with expression by giving the different characters in the books different voices this can help your baby understand expressions and emotions.   You can ask your baby questions about the book while reading. Make your baby be observant by asking questions not about the text, but about the pictures. Reputation is always good and baby’s love and learn from it, so reading the same book twice is more than okay. Reading creates bonding time by cuddling and spending fun time with your baby. Make reading very fun for your baby by creating a safe, happy environment.
            So how does reading benefit your baby for a lifetime? Kids health brings up a good point, “But you wouldn't wait until your child could understand what you were saying before you started speaking to him or her, right?”  That is right! You want to speak to your child from the moment you see him or her. Reading is a very important part of early brain stimulation. It teaches a baby about the world around them and communication. It also introduces numbers, letter, colors, and shapes, and builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills. Also, the baby could learn various artistic skills from certain types of picture books which can be a valuable emotional tool.
    Babies want to learn, this is true. However, sometimes a baby may reject reading! in the parenting section on reading to your baby states, “Your infant may have seemed relaxed and ready to settle in to "read" with you, but after one page he starts squalling. Just put the book aside; he or she will have a better moment again soon.” Babies can be difficult, and I know some adults who still don’t like reading (probably because they weren’t read to as babies).  Know, that it is okay when your baby mouths or chews on books, eventually they will know what the book is actually for. For now, however, this is just how they explore things. Sometimes they may get distracted and crawl away when you’re reading but don’t feel bad. It’s normal for babies to get distracted with things and they will probably come back around and start listening again. Sometimes, reading to your baby takes a large amount of patience. Remember, even though he or she can’t show you everything she’s learned yet, you will certainly see the fruits of your labor in the future.
            I hope by reading this you have a better understanding of what kind of benefits await a child who has been read to throughout childhood.  The highly important reading comprehension and memory skills will prove a great asset to your child in the future of school, college, jobs, and life in general. I am a product of a baby that was read to. I have good reading comprehension skills and it has helped me a lot in college and beyond.  I remember being read the classic Whinnie the Pooh stories, Pat the Bunny, and Goodnight Moon.  And now I am very successful in subjects like English and Political Science. Reading however, is entirely useful in every subject, even math and especially science. You will not regret reading to your baby.