Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis is a spinal disorder that causes an abnormal spine curvature, in which the spine resembles the letters “S” or “C”.

The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which means the cause is unknown but is thought to be genetic. There are three types of idiopathic scoliosis:

  • Infantile idiopathic scoliosis- occurs from birth to three years old.
  • Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis- occurs from three to nine years old.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis- occurs from 10 to 18 years old.

Some other forms of scoliosis include:

  • Congenital scoliosis- when scoliosis is present at birth.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis- when scoliosis is caused by an underlying systemic condition such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord tumors, or paralysis.
  • Syndromic scoliosis- when a unique group of spine conditions causes scoliosis. The most common diseases that cause syndromic scoliosis are:
    • Marfan’s syndrome
    • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
    • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
    • Neurofibromatosis
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
    • Arthrogryposis
    • Riley-Day syndrome

There are a wide range of causes and ages for when scoliosis can occur. However, scoliosis may appear during the main growth years for children (years 10 to 12), which is the growth spurt period for children before puberty.

During this time, scoliosis will often present with the following symptoms:

  • One of the child’s shoulder blades is higher than the other.
  • The appearance of the child’s head is not centered with the rest of the body.
  • Uneven hips or one hip sticks out more than the other.
  • Pushed-out ribs
  • Difficulty breathing due to a reduced area for lung expansion.
  • Back pain and discomfort
  • When the child bends forward, it appears that the two sides of the back are different heights.

The main goal for patients with scoliosis is to get an early diagnosis. Scoliosis is diagnosed when a pediatric orthopedist uses a physical exam and X-rays to diagnose early-onset scoliosis.

Scoliosis can be treated non-surgically and surgically. Some non-surgical treatments for scoliosis include:

  • Observation
  • Bracing
  • The Risser cast

Some surgical treatments for scoliosis include:

  • Spinal fusion surgery
  • The growing rod technique

Scoliosis is treatable. The sooner a child is diagnosed, the less likely they will need surgery and the healthier they will be.

If you think your child may have an abnormal spine curvature, consult your pediatrician about an evaluation. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Urielle Marseille Shares Facts About Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Now that we are approaching the colder seasons, one of the most common rashes to occur in younger children around this time of year is hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection often caused by coxsackieviruses or other enteroviruses. As the name suggests, this rash tends to appear on children’s hands, feet, and mouths; however, it can also appear on other parts of their bodies. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease typically occurs in children younger than 10 years old during the fall and winter seasons. 

Symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease include:

  • Low-grade fever -typically a temperature around 100.4 F
  • Rash- usually multiple pimples with some redness.  A rash may present on the palms of children’s hands and the soles of their feet. A rash can also appear on their torsos and legs.
  • Ulcers in the back of the mouth, resulting in a sore throat which may keep your child from drinking and eating.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease does not pose any immediate danger to your child. It is self-limiting, meaning it usually resolves on its own.  However, parents need to know that the infection is contagious. It can spread to other children and adults. The most contagious period is in the first week.  The virus spreads by contact with contaminated feces, saliva or respiratory droplets. 

Here are a few things you can do to prevent transmission:

  • Keep your child home from school for at least a week
  • Isolate children who are infected
  • Have everyone at home wash their hands before eating or drinking
  • Do not share cups and utensils
  • Parents must wash their hands after every diaper change. Also, be sure to wipe changing table surfaces

As soon as you notice a rash, take your child to see a doctor.  Treatment will be focused on making your child feel comfortable.  Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce fevers and alleviate other symptoms.  Make sure that your child is eating and drinking,

There are rarely severe complications associated with hand-foot-and-mouth disease; however, if your child experiences vomiting, trouble breathing, a fever is higher than 101 F or difficulty standing; you should take them to the emergency room right away.

If you have questions about hand-foot-and-mouth disease and would like to schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine doctor, please call 718- 206-6942.

Urielle Marseille M.D.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Tracey Kunj-Ramen

This month Jamaica Hospital Medical Center shines its employee spotlight on one of our newest employees, Tracey Kunj-Ramen, the Certified Child Life Specialist for Pediatrics. Tracey joined our staff two weeks ago but is very familiar with Jamaica Hospital. She had been a volunteer on 2 South since 2007 while she was still a student. Tracey also spent some time doing an internship at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Tracey was born in Guyana, and grew up in Queens where she spent most of her life living, and continues to reside. She attended elementary, middle and began high school at Thomas Edison H.S. before moving for a short while to Connecticut. After she completed high school, she graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology and received a Master’s of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University specializing in Child and Adolescent Development.

Tracey has two sons, ages five and two, who she loves spending time with. One of the things she and her husband enjoy doing is taking the boys on spontaneous road trips on the weekends. They enjoy discovering new places and having quality family time together. She also enjoys reading, dancing and eating Italian food whether at home or going out to her favorite restaurants.

Tracey enjoys working with the children who come to the hospital as patients. She understands how important it is to make not only the children feel comfortable and less anxious, but also how important it is to be reassuring to the parents. Tracey takes pride in her duties as a Child Life Specialist because she feels that people who have a positive experience at the hospital will feel confident about recommending their friends, family and neighbors.

We welcome Tracey to Jamaica Hospital and look forward to her contributions to our team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who provide care to our youngest patients.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Ear Infections and Your Child

Ear infections are among the most common health conditions in young children and babies. However, some children are too young to tell you that they have ear pain. How can you tell if your child has an ear infection?

Look for the following symptoms, which are all signs of ear infections:

 

  • ear drainage
  • fever
  • trouble hearing
  • tugging on the ear, fussiness, or excessive crying
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty eating or chewing

While ear infections are not always preventable, you can help minimize your child’s risk of developing them by keeping him or her away from second hand smoke and people with colds whenever possible. Frequent hand washing also helps. If your child has frequent ear infections it is advisable to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a complete evaluation.

Originating from germs found in the nose or throat, ear infections are easily treated. Over-the-counter pain medications can be given as needed for temporary relief.  Ear infections may resolve by themselves, however depending on the severity, antibiotics may be needed. It is best to speak to your physician to determine the proper treatment.

If you suspect your child has an ear infection, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.