Monthly Archives: July 2011

Unveiling our new PICU in St. Paul

St. Paul PICU Grand Opening

Guests attending the open house for our new PICU in St. Paul.

Today we hosted an open house for our new pediatric intensive care unit in St. Paul. We’re very excited about this new 17,000-square-foot unit, which features 12 private patient rooms and opens in early August.

The Children’s Hospital Association PICU provides care for some of the most critically ill children in the region. In 2010, nearly 500 patients from 10 different states were treated at the Children’s-St. Paul PICU.

The rooms, which were designed with input from Children’s patient families and staff, feature pull-out sofas, in-room refrigerators, spacious closets, and private bathrooms to make it easier for families to stay with their child. The new PICU space also offers four family sleep rooms, private consult space, a family lounge, and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop garden. The PICU has been fully funded through a generous $1 million gift from the Children’s Hospital Association.

Dr. Goldbloom and Blake Amundson at the PICU open house.

Dr. Alan Goldbloom, MD, president and CEO at Children's, and Blake Amundson at the St.Paul PICU open house.

The new PICU marks the completion of another milestone in Children’s multi-year $300 million expansion. Construction and renovation of the Minneapolis hospital was completed last year.  Other projects scheduled for St. Paul’s campus include a 30,000-square-foot surgery center, an emergency department featuring updated trauma rooms, and a new welcome area scheduled to be completed later this year.

Bid on items to help fight pediatric cancer

Our new Facebook auction lets you bid on items to help fight pediatric cancer, right from Facebook.

Our new eBay-powered Facebook auction feature lets our fans support our fight against pediatric cancer by bidding on cool items in one easy spot.

Our first round of items features an American Girl doll, a $100 Kincaid’s gift card, a signed NBA jersey and the Cities 97 sampler. We’ll offer new items each month and the auctions will support different causes throughout the year.

You can also donate items for upcoming auctions to help support kids’ health!

Bid on an item in the auction.

Five tips to avoid sunburns

With all the time kids spend in the sun during the summer, it’s important to know how to protect them from sunburns. At Children’s, we believe in Making Safe Simple — so we’ve put together five tips to help you and your kids avoid sunburn this summer (and what to do if you do happen to get one!).

  • Apply one ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the entire body 30 minutes before going outside. This gives skin a chance to absorb it. Reapply every two hours, or immediately after sweating heavily.
  • Make your own shade with a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap. Protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses (the bigger, the better). Just make sure the sunglasses have 90 to 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Don’t forget to protect areas that are often missed, such as: your chin, nose, ears, scalp, under eyes, shoulders, and on top of your hands. Also apply lip balm with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to keep your lips safe.
  • Look for “broad spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher that includes ingredients that protect you from both UVA and UVB (Ultraviolet A and B) rays. You can also look for the “Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation” to help you find the right sunscreen.
  • Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day at the fair. The sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate through clouds and even a thick fog.
  • If you do get sunburn, aloe vera gel is extremely soothing, nontoxic, and helps heal the skin.

Need more sun-safety tips? Here’s how to protect your kids from dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Julia throws the first pitch at a Twins game

Julia Olejar, 4, one of our cardiovascular patients, got to throw the first pitch at a Twins game Monday night.

One of our cardiovascular patients, 4-year-old Julia Olejar, got to throw out the first pitch at Monday night’s Twins game! Julia’s parents, Kelly and Tim, and little brother, Anthony, watched proudly as she threw the ball to T.C. Bear, the Twins’ mascot.

Julia’s time in the spotlight was part of a check presentation for the HeartBeat 5000, an annual 5K run/walk that has raised nearly $1.5 million for cardiovascular services at Children’s over the last nine years. Before the game, Children’s received a check for $75,000 from the three presenting sponsors of HeartBeat 5000: Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical Inc. and Medtronic.

Julia talks to T.C. Bear before she throws the first pitch of the game to him.

Julia with her family before the game.

Five things to know about heat exhaustion

As an incredible heat wave continues in Minnesota, we thought it was a good time to talk about ways to keep kids safe in the heat. In addition to our quick tips for protecting your kids from dehydration, here are tips on avoiding heat exhaustion. We believe in Making Safe Simple, so take a few moments to review these tips!

  1. Children adjust more slowly than adults do to changes in environmental heat. They also produce more heat with activity than adults, and sweat less. Sweating is one of the body’s normal cooling mechanisms. Children often do not think to rest when having fun and may not drink enough fluids when playing or exercising.
  2. Heat exhaustion results from a loss of water and salt in the body due to excessive sweating. It occurs when the body is unable to cool itself properly and, if left untreated, can progress to heat stroke.
  3. Signs of heat exhaustion in children are: profuse sweating, pale skin that’s cool and damp to the touch, rapid and shallow breathing, headache, nausea, normal or below-normal body temperature, vomiting or diarrhea, dizziness, weakness or fainting, and muscle cramps.
  4. If your child is experiencing heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place right away and let them rest. You should remove extra clothing and apply cool cloths (towels with cold water) and fan their skin. Give them cool sports drinks containing salt and sugar such as Gatorade (if they don’t feel nauseous).
  5. Call your doctor or go to the emergency department if their condition hasn’t improved or they are unable to take fluids within an hour.

Staying safe and avoiding dehydration in hot weather

Follow these quick tips to keep your kids safe from dehydration when they're out playing in hot temperatures.

Summertime is definitely here, and what kid can’t wait to get outside and play? But staying safe in the sun, and avoiding dehydration, is important.

We believe in Making Safe Simple. Here are some quick tips to help your kids avoid dehydration:

  • On hot days, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The human body requires at least one liter of water daily.
  • Dehydration means that a child’s body doesn’t have enough fluid. Dehydration can result from not drinking, vomiting, diarrhea, or any combination of these conditions. Sweating or urinating too much rarely causes it.
  • Thirst is not a good early indicator of dehydration. By the time a child feels thirsty, he or she may already be dehydrated. And thirst can be quenched before the necessary body fluids have been replaced.
  • Signs of dehydration in children include the following: sticky or dry mouth, few or no tears when crying, eyes that look sunken into the head, lack of urine or wet diapers for six to eight hours in an infant (or only a very small amount of dark yellow urine), lack of urine for 12 hours in an older child (or only a very small amount of dark yellow urine), dry cool skin, irritability, and fatigue or dizziness in an older child.
  • If you suspect your child is dehydrated, start by replenishing their body with fluids. Plain water is the best option for the first hour or two. They can drink as much as they want. After this, the child might need drinks containing sugar and electrolytes (salts) or regular food. Also, the child should rest in a cool, shaded environment until the lost fluid has been replaced.
  • Call your doctor immediately or take your child to the nearest emergency department if there is no improvement or condition is worsening.

Children’s rides with Bike Cops for Kids

Children's CEO Alan Goldbloom helps a child put on a helmet as part of a Bike Cops for Kids event.

Children’s CEO Alan Goldbloom and members of Children’s Trauma Care team joined officers from the Bike Cops for Kids program to give away bike helmets to children in Minneapolis.  Children’s donated 720 bike helmets and 56 bikes to the program this year to encourage kids to wear helmets whenever they are riding.  Officers who see children wearing helmets featuring the “Bike Cops for Kids” sticker will be eligible to win a new bike.

Dr. Goldbloom was joined by Children’s co-medical director of trauma, Dr. David Hirschman, director of trauma services, Malea Anderson, and program manager for injury prevention, Kristi Moline.  They rode alongside Bike Cops, Mark Klukow and Michael Kirchen.  Bike Cops for Kids is a program that encourages safe bike riding, and also helps police officers build positive relations with young people in the community.

Speaking of helmets, make sure your kids know how to wear theirs correctly! Take 30 seconds to review our video on helmet safety.