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Our February Q&A

My sister-in-law has recommended that I save my baby’s umbilical cord blood. Could banking his cord blood help my other child, age 2 years, if needed?

A. Yes! A full sibling has a 25 percent chance of being a perfect match and parents are considered a half match to their child because they received half of their genetic information from each parent. The blood in the umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells and other important cells. The blood that is left over after the cord is cut can be collected by your healthcare provider in the minutes following birth and stored in cryogenic storage at a cord blood bank for future use by your child or possibly other family members. Stem cells have the capacity to correct inherited enzyme deficiencies in children, and stem cell transplants are used on patients following chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Learn more at www.CariCord.com 

Q. When my child falls and hits their head, how do I know if I need to take him/her to the emergency room?

A. With blows to the head, the key to knowing when to seek medical care is watching your child closely. When they hit their head, did they lose consciousness or go limp briefly? Did they soon start vomiting or seem uncoordinated and off balance? These are signs that they need to immediately be seen by their primary care doctor or an ER physician. It’s also important to remember that signs of a concussion may not appear for several days after the blow, so keep a close eye on them and when in doubt, seek medical care. With head injuries, you can never be too careful.

Dr. Marco Coppola | Board Certified in Emergency Medicine | Family ER + Urgent Care in Irving

Q. My child is in 2nd grade and keeps asking if she can go to camp. Her best friend will be attending an away camp and I’m just not ready for that.

A. It’s okay. This is a family decision and everyone needs to be onboard. There are so many great local camps that your 2nd grader can enjoy. Camps have a special type of community where kids come together to have fun. Even at day camps your child will develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures. She will also learn new social skills, like conflict resolution, communication, a feeling of connectedness to others. Campers also receive positive feedback from counselors and new friends when they achieve an accomplishment. Take a look at the camps that are featured in our publication and our online Summer Camp Directory!

Mary Ellen, RDNYour Favorite Editor

Q. Is it true that it’s important to bring an infant to swim lessons?

A. Yes! Newborns are fresh from the aquatic environment of the womb and don’t yet know they are land animals, so this is a perfect time to introduce them to the water! As they become more mobile, and more independent, their safety around water becomes increasingly important. Tragically, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death of children (1-5 yrs) in this Country. A 2009 study by the Institute of Child Health & Human Development found that participation in formal swimming lessons showed an 88 percent reduction in the risk of drowning in 1-4 year-old children. It’s recommended to teach your child early water safety along with infant swimming lessons. Not only will they become safer around water, but they’ll also begin to develop a life-long love for swimming!

Emily Smith | DirectorEmler Swim School