Dell Children’s to add 24 bed mental health unit with $3 million matching grant

Kate Peoples, Nyle Maxwell and Dr. Sonia Krishna announced the new The Grace Grego Maxwell Mental Health Unit at Dell Children s. Peoples, 26, needed better coordinated care for anorexia treatment when she was 15 and couldn't find it in Austin. Nyle Maxwell and his family have given a $3 million challenge grant to the project. Krishna is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Dell Children's. SETON
Kate Peoples, Nyle Maxwell and Dr. Sonia Krishna announced the new The Grace Grego Maxwell Mental Health Unit at Dell Children s. Peoples, 26, needed better coordinated care for anorexia treatment when she was 15 and couldn’t find it in Austin. Nyle Maxwell and his family have given a $3 million challenge grant to the project. Krishna is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Dell Children’s.
SETON

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas announced on Monday it will add a mental health unit to the hospital. The unit will include a 24-bed inpatient unit as well as an intensive outpatient program. It also plans to bring Texas Child Study Center, a Dell Children’s outpatient clinic that is a partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, within the Dell Children’s building.

The project is being led by a $3 million matching challenge grant by Nyle Maxwell and his family.  The new unit will renovate the second floor of south wing of the hospital, and be called The Grace Grego Maxwell Mental Health Unit at Dell Children’s. The renovations are expected to cost about $7 million. Construction is expected to begin in the next six to nine months and be completed by spring 2018.

Including this gift, the Maxwell family has given more than $10 million to the hospital, which opened in 2007, and its predecessor.  “As with most families who are challenged with raising children in this complicated environment we have today, mental health is a challenge,” said Nyle Maxwell, former Round Rock Mayor and owner of the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships. “My family is not immune to this.”

Maxwell said his hope is that this gift and this unit will help remove the stigma of mental health and that more families will see it as a disease, not a weakness, and seek treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 1 in 5 children experience a mental health disorder and only about half receive treatment. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents ages 12 to 17, according to Integral Care, which serves Travis County.

The new unit will allow Dell Children’s to coordinate different levels of care. Right now, patients in mental health crisis come into the emergency room at Dell Children’s, where they stay until they are moved to the 24-bed pediatric unit at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital or another local hospital. Then their care is moved to somewhere else for partial hospitalization or residential treatment or outpatient care.

“Right now, there is very little continuity of care once you leave Dell Children’s,” said Dr. Sonia Krishna, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

While the new unit will not provide partial hospitalization and residential treatment when it opens, the hope is that eventually it expand to be able to. What it will be able to do is give patients in the psychiatric unit access to medical care without having to be transported back to Dell Children’s for care because they will already be at Dell Children’s. They also will have access to other Dell Children’s programs such as its school.

Once the pediatric unit opens, if a patient is already being seen by a Dell Children’s doctor on an outpatient basis, they can be admitted to the inpatient program without having to go through the emergency room. Or they can start at the emergency room, be admitted to the inpatient unit and then continue on an outpatient basis under the same roof.

Krishna says the hope is that care will be coordinated more closely and actually decrease the number of inpatient hospitalizations needed. The new unit doesn’t add any existing pediatric psychiatric beds; instead it moves the beds from Seton Shoal Creek to Dell Children’s. Shoal Creek is an older facility and plans are being considered with nothing definitive about where to move the adult beds there.

Eventually Dell Children’s psychiatric unit will focus on general acute psychiatric, substance abuse, eating disorders, and autism and other developmental disorders.

Coordinated care would have made a difference in Kate Peoples’ teenage years. The Austin 26-year-old, was diagnosed with anorexia as a 15-year-old and had to be treated in Dallas and then New Orleans and eventually Miami. Her family, she says, had to piece together care for her because there wasn’t one place she could go. “It’s really exciting to see Dell Children’s step forward and give the continuum of care that I didn’t get,” she says.

She’s now getting her master’s degree in social work at University of Texas.

 

Is it a cold, the flu, allergies or an infection? How can you tell what your child’s cough or sneeze means

Look for signs of RSV such as wheezing and cough. photos.com 2007
How the cough sounds and whether there’s a fever is important signs when determining whether it’s a cold or an upper respiratory infection or something more.
photos.com 2007

What’s going around right now? A lot: strep, some flu, but also a lot of cold viruses with an upper respiratory infection and of course, RSV.

How do you know if it’s a cold versus something more?  Dr. Rachel Osborne, a pediatrician and internist at Baylor Scott & White Health — Georgetown, says often a cold or upper respiratory infection has these symptoms:

  • A wet sounding cough
  • A runny nose with clear to yellow fluid
  • No fever to a low-grade fever of 99 to 100

And it’s highly contagious, spreading to multiple family members easily. Wash your hands frequently. Give Tylenol or Motrin if there is a fever and try to do some nasal spray or drops to flush everything out, and use a bulb syringe on kids that are too young to blow their nose. (Yes, we know, kids love that! Osborne suggests doing that when they are asleep if you can.)

How do you know if it’s reached infection stage where antibiotics would be needed? When it doubt, of course, see your doctor, Osborne says. “I don’t think it’s ever wrong to have parents bring their child in to be seen,” Osborne says. She’d rather give reassurance and education about signs to look for if a cold progresses rather than miss something potentially serious.

Upper respiratory infections aren’t fun, but doctors really worry about lower airways infections like bronchitis or pneumonia. Many of the symptoms are similar as the ones above, but some other symptoms might be:

  • A fever of 100.4 or more
  • Possibly a wheezing sound like they have asthma
  • It’s lasted a week or more.
  • Fatigue.
  • Not eating.

Kids that get frequent infections can develop reactive airway disease and eventually asthma. Doctors give an inhaler for that.

Know these warning signs that your child need to be treated immediately (it’s all about the breathing):

  • If they are breathing fast.
  • If the skin between their ribs is going in and out
  • If there are other signs of struggling for breath like lips turning blue
  • If they are extremely lethargic

Doctors will do a chest X-ray to look for infection as well as swab the nose. They might give fluids and oxygen.

Other signs to look for that mean it’s not just a cold:

  • A fever of 102 or greater.
  • Anything lasting more than 10 days.
  • Severe facial pain or pain in the gums that’s lasted three days or more (sinus infection).
  • A really bad sore throat that makes it extremely painful to swallow and that doesn’t usually come with nasal congestion (strep).
  • A barking cough (croup)
  • A high-pitched or whistling sound when they breath (croup).

If you suspect croup, try to keep kids calm and get seen by a doctor. Croup typically happens in kids 6 months to 5 years old and they might need steroids or an epinephrine shot to open up the airways.

Of course, with cedar fever and other allergies, symptoms can look and feel a lot like a cold. Those symptoms are:

  • Constant running nose that is clear
  • Post nasal drip
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Pressure in their face and ears
  • Sneezing
  • Can have a low-grade fever

With colds and infections, follow the rule that you keep kids home from school and daycare for 24 hours after a fever of 100.4 or more. And, of course, if they are miserable and wouldn’t be able to participate, Osborne recommends a sick day as well.

She’ll be speaking more about respiratory illness on Feb. 17.

 

Managing respiratory Illness

Join Dr. Rachel Osborne, MD, pediatrician from Baylor Scott & White Health for a free discussion on managing respiratory infections and illnesses in children. Learn how to tell the difference between the common cold, allergies, croup, asthma, and winter-time “crud.”

When: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 17

Where: Baby Earth – Round Rock, 106 E. Old Settlers Blvd., D-100, Round Rock, Texas  78664

Information: RSVP requested. Please call 844. BSW.DOCS to register. Learn more at healthspeak.sw.org.

When nursing moms want to work, IBM makes it easier to pump with Mother’s Rooms, shipping service

Working breast-feeding mothers of Austin, get ready to be jealous.

img_6896
Carlie Bower sits in one of the individual rooms in a Mother’s Room at IBM. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman photos


Last week, we visited one of two Mother’s Rooms at IBM’s Austin offices and met with Carlie Bower, who is program director for cloud platform development. When she returned to work, Bower pumped breast milk for her son Elian, who is now 19 months old, as well as milk she donated to Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin. She plans to do the same for her daughter, who is due in July.

The Affordable Care Act requires any company that is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide a place, not a bathroom, for new mothers to pump breast milk and the time to do it. The room had to be “shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

A refrigerator with lockable bins provides safe milk storage.
A refrigerator with lockable bins provides safe milk storage.

Before the act, we had mothers like myself pumping in nasty bathrooms, or makeshift spaces in conference rooms or closets. The room I pumped in after both of my pregnancies was a single bathroom with a shower across from the photo department. I would stand in the hallway outside of the room waiting for the room to be free. When it finally was, it smelled, and then I got to hear my male co-workers pounding on the door while I pumped. They couldn’t understand why anyone would take that long to use a bathroom.

Now offices have dedicated spaces, though many not as nice as the ones at IBM. The new Mother’s Rooms in Austin opened last fall as part of a renovation of the Austin offices, but the company has them at it’s other locations, too.

Each mom gets a locker to store her supplies.
Each mom gets a locker to store her supplies.

Before the Mother’s Rooms opened, Bower used her office to pump, because she’s lucky to have an office with a door. But she didn’t have a sink for cleaning pump parts and washing her hands. She also would have to kick people out of her office to pump, which made for some awkward situations: like having to announce that  “we need to continue this meeting by conference call.”

“Breast-feeding is wonderful, but it’s a huge commitment for any mom, but once you add working mom dynamic, it adds that much more challenge and complexity,” Bower says.

What does IBM’s Mother’s Room have that makes me so jealous?

• Three different smaller rooms with an outlet, dimable lights,  a comfortable chair, side table, and a lockable door. One of the rooms also has a desk for working.

The Mother's Room at IBM provides a refrigerator, microwave, locker, storage bins, a desk and chair and comfortable chairs in separate offices so three women can pump at the same time. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman
One of the three separate spaces in the Mother’s Room at IBM has a desk for working while pumping.

• Lockers for storing pumps and larger supplies.

• A refrigerator with individual bins for storing milk. Each bin has a combination lock.

• More bins with locks for storing extra pump supplies in the cabinets.

• A sink and counter for keeping everything clean.

Some of the IBM Mother’s Rooms at other locations also have provided breast pumps. Workers just have to store their pump parts like hoses, bottles and suction attachments on site. Some even have extra parts employees can use if they forget theirs. IBM’s health insurance also pays for a pump for each new breast-feeding mom.

More storage bins with combination locks are available for storing supplies.
More storage bins with combination locks are available for storing supplies.

Not all the Mother’s Rooms have multiple rooms inside, but when it’s just one big room, employees can use the conference room reservation system to reserve time.

Bower, who has had to travel for work, has used the rooms at other locations as well. She’s also been able to take advantage of IBM’s concierge-style breast milk shipping system.

Traveling IBM employees can use an app to arrange for the breast milk they pump to be shipped home. IBM sends a cooler and shipping materials to an employee’s hotel, one cooler for every day she will be at that location. With the push of a button, the coolers keep the milk cold for up to five days.

All an employee has to do once she gets to a location is pick up the boxes when she checks into her hotel, fill the coolers with milk, and then give the labeled boxes to the hotel’s business office to be overnighted to her house.

Before IBM began the concierge service, breast-feeding moms either didn’t travel, or they would need to bring Baby and a caretaker with them, or they would have to figure out how to keep milk cool and travel with it through airport security or how to keep it cool and shipped home.

IBM also has a program to reward people who volunteer in the community. Bower and two other IBM employees were able to turn their time pumping and donating milk for Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin into a volunteer team. IBM rewarded their volunteer hours with a $2,000 donation to the bank.

Do you have a Mother’s Room you love? Send pictures and a little bit about it to nvillalpando@statesman.com.

 

 

 

 

Gorgeous weekend ahead for family fun in Austin, Jan. 27-29

It’s going to be a beautiful end of January weekend, with sunny skies and highs in the 60s. Hooray!

Here are some fun things to do this weekend with your kids:

Friday

Wildflower Center. Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Friday.Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.

Tinkering Tots: Let’s Create a Soundscape. 9:45 a.m. Fridays for 2-year-olds; 10:45 a.m. Friday for 3-year-olds. $20 a class. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Saturday

Enjoy the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Enjoy the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Wildflower Center. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Winter Tree Fest. Celebrate trees and climb one in the arboretum. There will be s’mores. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.

Baby Bloomers for kids infant to 3. Study light this month. 9 a.m. Saturday. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

BookPeople events. Cynthia Levinson reads “The Youngest Marcher.” 2 p.m. Saturday. Story times. Paramount Theatre. 11:30 a.m. Saturday.BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: “I’ll Never Let You Go,” Saturday.

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" began the book and movie series.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” began the book and movie series.

Harry Potter Party. 2 p.m. Saturday, Howson Branch of the Austin Public Library.

Saturday and Sunday

“The Thing in Grandma’s Closet.” Pollyanna Theater presents this story of two siblings finding something mysterious in their grandmother’s closet. Best for third- to fifth-graders. 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10.50-$13.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

Hill Country Science Mill. Fact or Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Gather your team for the ultimate scavenger hunt at the Science Mill. At least one person in the group will need a smartphone to participate. Free with admission. Saturday and Sunday. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org.

Plush Pillows. Sew a pillow. For ages 8 and up. 11:15 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8. Digital Bling. For ages 8 and up. Sew a creation with bling. 1:15 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

It also will be a great weekend to take the kids on a hike or for a picnic. We recommend:

Brian K. Diggs/AMERICAN-STATESMAN - From left, Briana So-Morris, 5, Alec Blondin, 13, and his sister, Ashley Randall, 5, (all cq) uncover a Mastadon at the Dino Pit at the Austin Nature and Science Center Sunday. Sunday was the 7th Annual Austin Museum Day on which people could visit any museum in the Austin area for free. 9.12.04
From left, Briana So-Morris, 5, Alec Blondin, 13, and his sister, Ashley Randall, 5, uncover a Mastadon at the Dino Pit at the Austin Nature and Science Center Sunday. American-Statesman 2004

Stop in at the Austin Nature & Science Center and hike along the trails behind the aviary.

See the peacocks at the Mayfield Park and then hike a trail along the lake.

Try out the disc golf course and the playground at Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park.

Walk along Lake Pflugerville at Lake Pflugerville Park.

Play in the Family Garden at the Wildflower Center, explore the trees in the arbor and hike along the meadow trails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pregnant women and children, FDA, EPA want you to eat more fish, but the right kinds

fishchartThis month the U.S.  Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encouraged pregnant women, breast-feeding women and children to eat more fish, with the caveat that it be the right kind of fish.

The released a handy chart that identifies which fish are best choices, good choices and choices to avoid. It’s all about the mercury levels in the fish.

The new recommendations:

  • Eat two to three servings a week of the best choice fish or one serving of the good choice fish.
  • Eat a variety of fish.
  • Children should eat one to two servings a week beginning at age 2 (though there’s no reason to avoid fish or shellfish before age 2).
  • If you eat fish you caught or fish that is caught by a friend or family member, look for fish advisories. If there’s no advisory, have only one serving of that that week, and no other fish.
  • And what’s a serving? 4 ounces for adults, 2 ounces for children.

What fish are on the best choices list? 

Anchovy
Atlantic croaker
Atlantic mackerel
Black sea bass
Butterfish
Catfish
Clam
Cod
Crab
Crawfish
Flounder
Haddock
Hake
Scallop
Shad
Shrimp
Skate
Smelt
Sole
Squid
Tilapia
Trout, freshwater
Tuna, canned light
(includes skipjack)
Whitefish
Whiting
Herring
Lobster, American and spiny
Mullet
Oyster
Pacific chub mackerel
Perch, freshwater and ocean
Pickerel
Plaice
Pollock
Salmon
Sardine

What’s a good choice but not the best?

Bluefish
Buffalofish
Carp
Chilean sea bass/Patagonian toothfish
Grouper
Halibut
Mahi mahi/dolphin fish
Monkfish
Rockfish
Sablefish
Sheepshead
Snapper
Spanish mackerel
Striped bass (ocean)

Tilefish (Atlantic Ocean)
Tuna, albacore/white tuna, canned and fresh/frozen
Tuna, yellowfin
Weakfish/seatrout
White croaker/
Pacific croaker

What should you avoid? 

King mackerel
Marlin
Orange roughy
Shark
Swordfish

Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico)
Tuna, bigeye

Where the fish comes from matters as well as what variety of a species, too. The rule of thumb is those larger predator fish tend to have more mercury because all the mercury from the fish they have eaten has built up in their tissue.

Why is mercury such a worry? It can cause neurological problems. When a doctor suspects that something might be happening neurologically with a child or baby, they often will do a blood test to rule out high levels of mercury and for lead.

Dr. Albert Gros
Dr. Albert Gros

Dr. Albert Gros, the chief medical officer at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center who is also an obstetrician/gynecologist, warns that even with this list, pregnant women should still not eat sushi. “Eating raw fish can make you susceptible to parasites and bacterial infections,” he says. He’s seen that with raw oysters and Hepatitis A.

But they should eat cooked fish because fish are a great source of protein and Omega 3, which is important for brain development. “There was a concern about pregnant women not eating as much fish as they should or sometimes children as well,” he says.

The new recommendations help people know how to safely eat fish, and the good news for kids: the fish in fish sticks are on the best choices list. Eat up!

 

 

New book by Austin author encourages kids to “Dream Big”

"Dream Big by Kat Kronenberg
“Dream Big by Kat Kronenberg

Austinite Kat Kronenberg’s new children’s book “Dream Big” (Greenleaf Book Group Press, $15.95) takes us to Africa, where Baboon sets out to crush the dreams of all the animals around him. The caterpillar dreams he can fly. The tadpole dreams he can dance. The flamingo chick dreams she will be beautiful. The termite dreams of a home with friends and family.

Of course, all these dreams come true and more as the animals wish upon a star and grow.

Kronenberg will read and sign her book on Sunday at 4 p.m. at BookPeople. 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

“Dream Big” is the first of three books Kronenberg has planned. On katkronenberg.com, she also has activities such as making a drum and a Catch-M to catch a star.

That pacifier your child loved in the hospital is now available

with-teal-jollypop

JollyPop pacifies sell for $4.99 for two.
JollyPop pacifies sell for $4.99 for two.

If you’ve been searching far and wide for the pacifier that your child used in the hospital, you can now actually buy them. JollyPops, which are BPA-free and made of hospital-grade silicone are now  available at Target, Babies “R” Us and CVS and at myrazbaby.com. They sell for $4.99 for a pack of two and come in newborn and 3 months an older sizes.

 

 

What are you doing in February? Check out our family calendar for Austin

Bryce Hohertz, 7, of Dripping Springs, and his brother Cole, 5, look through spectroscopes to observe the spectrum of light at WeatherFest at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on Saturday, February 7, 2016. The event, which is part of the museum's Free First Sunday program, featured hands-on science experiments and weather-related educational programs. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Bryce Hohertz, 7, of Dripping Springs, and his brother Cole, 5, look through spectroscopes to observe the spectrum of light at WeatherFest at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2016

Here are FIVE not to miss events for kids in February, plus many more to choose from.

H-E-B Free First Sunday: Weather Fest.

Learn how weather is made, ask a meteorogist your weather questions, catch a cloud in a jar with GirlStart and more. Free. Noon-4 p.m. Feb. 5. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Kite Workshop.

Make a homemade kite to fly in the Zilker Kite Festival in March. 1-3 p.m. Feb. 11. Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane. 1-3 p.m. Feb. 25, Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Drive.

TedXYouth@Austin.

This year’s theme is Common Threads. Learn more about reality augmentation, exploring Mars and surviving Hollywood. Free for middle schoolers and high schoolers and teachers, $50 adults. Noon-6 p.m. Feb. 11. Westlake High School Performing Arts Center, 4100 Westbank Drive. www.tedxyouthaustin.com.

Black History Month Kids’ Day.

Women in Jazz Association presents art, filmmaking, song and more. 8-4 p.m. Feb. 20. Free, but must register. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. http://austintexas.gov/department/george-washington-carver-museum-and-cultural-center.

02.11.12 Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN Aurora Lindsey, 7 and her father, Jake Lindsey made kites at the Austin Parks and Recreation annual kite workshop for kids on Saturday at Dove Springs Recreation Center. After making the kites, they headed outside into the windy weather to fly their kites. There are two remaining kite workshops before the Zilker Kite Festival. They will be on February 18th at the South Austin Recreation Center and February 25th at the Northwest Recreation Center.
Aurora Lindsey, 7 and her father, Jake Lindsey made kites at the Austin Parks and Recreation annual kite workshop for kids. American-Statesman 2012

“Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play!”

The Mo Willems story comes to the stage. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Feb. 18 through April 30 (except March 11). 11 a.m. Saturdays April 15, 22, 29. Sensory-friendly and sign-language interpreted, 2 p.m. March. 4. $16-$21. Zach Theatre’s Kleberg Theatre, 1421 W. Riverside Drive. zachtheatre.org.

Other events

Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. Free. 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 1. domainnorthside.com

Father Daughter Dance. 6 p.m. Feb. 4, Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st St.

Valentine’s Day Card Making. Make cards for Austin Children’s Shelter, Dell Children’s Medical Center and more. 5-7 p.m. Feb. 7. Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road.

Community Health Fair. Make Valentine’s Day crafts, learn about resources and get a free healthy meal. 4-6 p.m. Feb. 14. Montopolis Recreation Center, 1200 Montopolis Drive.

Parents’ Night Out. For kids ages 5-12. 6-10 p.m. Feb. 14. $10. Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st St.

ATX Youth Summit. Crafts, African drumming, story time and more. Noon-4 p.m. Feb. 18. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. http://austintexas.gov/department/george-washington-carver-museum-and-cultural-center.

Pollyanna Theatre Company presents "The Thing in Grandma's Closet" Chase Brewer and Uyen-Anh Dang at the Long Center.
Pollyanna Theatre Company presents “The Thing in Grandma’s Closet” Chase Brewer and Uyen-Anh Dang at the Long Center.

Theater

Ballet Austin’s Stories & Music in Motion —Valentine Fun. For preschoolers and parents. $15. 11 a.m. Feb. 8. Ballet Austin’, 501 W. Third St. balletaustin.org.

“The World According to Snoopy.” See Snoopy and the Peanuts gang on the stage. $18-$8. Patti Strickel Harrison Theater, Texas State Univeristy, San Marcos. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-18, 2 p.m. Feb. 18-19. txstatepresents.com

“The Ugly Duckling.” Lightwire Theater aka Dino Light tells the story in neon light. $17. Paramount, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.

“The Thing in Grandma’s Closet.” Pollyanna Theater presents this story of two siblings finding something mysterious in their grandmother’s closet. Best for third- to fifth-graders. 2 p.m. Feb. 4-5. $10.50-$13.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org

“Skippyjon Jones Snow What.” This twist on “Snow White” comes to life. $15-$12. Noon Feb. 11. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Cave Road. oneworldtheatre.org

“Puff, the Magic Dragon.” You know the songs and the story. $12-$18. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org

Museums

The Lightwire Theater Company gives a new spin on the classic fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling. 10 a.m. Saturday, at the Kravis Center.
The Lightwire Theater Company gives a new spin on the classic fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling.

Bullock Museum. Living History Day. Texas historicla figures wander the museum. 10 a.m. Feb. 2. Little Texans. Drop in and play for ages 2 to 5. 10 a.m. Jan. 12. Science Thursdays. Hands-on activities from Central Texas Discover Engineering including boat races. 10 a.m. Feb. 16. Story time. For ages 2 to 5. Learn about the new year. 10 a.m. Feb. 23. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com

Neill-Cochran House Museum. Sunday Funday: The Pop-Up Book. Make what was considered multimedia before the tablet. 1-4 p.m. Feb. 5. Free. Neill-Cochran House, 2310 San Gabriel St. nchmuseum.org

Thinkery. Early Learner’s Workshops: Silly Science. Make materials that bubble and foam and change color. 9:45 a.m. Feb. 20 (1-year-olds); 10:45 a.m. Feb. 20 (2-year-olds); and 11:45 a.m. Feb. 20 (3-year-olds). $20. Little Thinkers Club: Art Start: My Many Colors. 9:45 a.m. Wednesdays for 1-year-olds, 10:45 a.m. Wednesdays for 2-year-olds Feb. 8-March 29. $20 per class. Tinkering Tots: Build the City! 9:45 a.m. Fridays for 2-year-olds; 10:45 a.m. Fridays for 3-year-olds Feb. 10-March 31. $20 a class. Baby Bloomers for kids infant to 3. Study the garden this month. 9 a.m. . Special guests throughout the month. $5. Soap Making. For ages 4 and up. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. Feb. 4-5, Feb. 18-20. $8. Art Bots. Make recycled robots. For ages 4 and up. 11:15 a.m. Feb. 11-12, Feb. 25-26. $8. For ages 8 and up. 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Feb. 11-12, Feb. 25-26. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Contemporary Austin. Families Create! A-MAZE-Ing Paper. Find your way through a temporary maze and make three-dimensional paper art. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 11. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org.

Hill Country Science Mill. Dr. Kold’s Freezing Science Experiments. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 11. Grandparent’s Day. Grandparent’s get 50 percent off. Feb. 19. Homeschool Day. See special demonstraations. Feb. 8. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City. sciencemill.org.

Texas Museum of Science & Technology. Wee-Searchers for children 5 and younger. Learn about Astronauts Feb. 8 and Fabulous Fossil Finds Feb. 22 through song, play and stories. 9 a.m. Feb. 8 and Feb. 22. Science Saturday: Ancient Tech. Noon-4 p.m. Feb. 22. Texas Museum of Science & Technology, 1220 Toro Grande Drive, Cedar Park. txmost.org

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. Family Day. Make art, hear a story and more. Noon-4 p.m. Feb. 12. Free. Kids Kraft Clay Creations. 9 a.m. Feb. 18 kindergarten-second grades; 11 a.m. Feb. 18 third-fifth grades. $15. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org

Wildflower Center. Sprouts. Hands-on preschool program. 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Families Down Under Cave Tour. 9:30 a.m. Feb. 4. $10-$15. Children’s Book Fair. Meet authors and celebrate books. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 18-19. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.

Movies

PBS Kids at the Alamo Valentine’s Mix. 10:40 a.m. Feb. 12. Lakeline, 10 am. Feb. 12 Slaughter Lane. drafthouse.com

Books

Caption: LEGO(r) minifigure Batman (voiced by WILL ARNETT) in the 3D computer animated adventure "The LEGO(r) Batman Movie," from Warner Bros. Pictures and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment. A Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Lego minifigure Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) stars in “The Lego Batman Movie.” Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

BookPeople events. Ellen Hopkins read “The You I’ve Never Known.” 7 p.m. Feb. 3. Write Like An Animal Workshop for ages 5-9. 10 a.m. Feb. 20. Natalie Grigson reads “Just Call Me Is.” 2 p.m. Feb. 25. Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser read “Grow Happy,” 2 p.m. Feb. 26. Story times. Baby signs, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 1; Giveaway story time, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 4; Dogs vs. Cats, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 7; Ms. Staci, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 8; Love is in the Air, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 11; Milly McSilly, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 14; Tiny Tails to You, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15; Dream a Little Dream, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 18; Armstrong Community Music School, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 21; Preposterous Puppet Show Players, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22; I Can Do Anything, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 25; I’m Not Afraid of the Dark, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com

Barnes & Noble Events: “The Lego Batman Movie Event,” 2 p.m. Feb. 25, Sunset Valley, Round Rock. Saturday story times at all locations: Disney Reads Day, Feb. 4; Valentine’s Day, Feb. 11; “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site,” Feb. 18; Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, Feb. 25.

Mommy, Daddy, and Me Book Club. 11:30 a.m. Feb. 18. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

At the library

Lego Lab. 5 p.m. Feb. 1, Ruiz Branch, 4 p.m. Feb. 3, North Village Branch; 3 p.m. Feb. 8, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Yarborough Branch; 4 p.m. Feb. 9, Cepeda Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Hampton Branch; 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Twin Oaks Branch; 4 p.m. Feb. 14, Windsor Park Branch; 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 4:30 p.m Feb. 21, Manchaca Road Branch.

Music and Movement. 11 a.m. Feb. 2, Howson Branch; 11 a.m. Feb. 3, Milwood Branch; 11:30 a.m. Feb. 8, Manchaca Road Branch; 11 a.m. Feb. 9 , Howson Branch; 11 a.m. Feb. 23, Howson Branch.

Texas Family Storytime. 2 p.m. Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 16; Feb. 23 St. John Branch.

Art Workshops: Shaping Spaces. 4 p.m. Feb. 3, Feb. 10, Feb. 17, Feb. 24 Southeast Branch; 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 25 Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18 Feb. 25 Little Walnut Creek Branch.

Saturday Family Movie: “The Secret Life of Pets.” 2 p.m. Feb. 4, Windsor Park Branch.

Crafternoon. 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6, Manchaca Road Branch; 4 p.m. Feb. 7, Cepeda Branch; 4 p.m. Feb. 9, Twin Oaks Branch; 3 p.m. Feb. 15, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Howson Branch; 4 p.m. Feb. 28, Windsor Park Branch.

Book Circle. 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6, Feb. 21 Twin Oaks Branch.

Sew Happy. 5 p.m. Feb. 7, Manchaca Road Branch.

Tabletop Tuesday: Family Boardgame Night. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28 Faulk Central Library.

Art Smart: Chinese New Year Dragon. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; Heart Collage. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Willie Mae Kirk Branch. Echoes of Africa. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; Pet Rocks. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Willie Mae Kirk Branch.

Free Play Gaming. 3 p.m. Feb. 9, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Feb. 23 Twin Oaks Branch.

Teen Book Club “Snow White.” 7 p.m. Feb. 9, Yarborough Branch. “Burn Baby Born,” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Spicewood Springs.

Eat! A Feast in Four Courses: Soup and Salad. Noon Feb. 11, University Hills Branch. Entree. Noon, Feb. 18, University Hills Branch. Dessert. Noon, Feb. 25, University Hills Branch.

Fix it Clinic. Bring your broken stuff and learn how to fix it. Noon Feb. 11, Austin Habitat for the Humanity ReStore.

Austin Ukestra Ukelele Group. 1 p.m. Feb. 12, Recycled Reads.

Storybook Dance Making, 2 p.m. Feb. 12, Recycled Reads.

Family Movie Night “The Secret Life of Pets.” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Twin Oaks Branch.

Literature Live! Presents: “Little Bo Peep.” 11 a.m. Feb. 15, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Yarborough Branch; 10:15 a.m. Feb. 22, Southeast Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 23, Old Quarry Branch; 3:30 p.m. Feb. 24, Hampton Branch.

Mother Daughter Book Club “Dealing with Dragons.” 6 p.m. Feb. 15, Hampton Branch.

NBTween Book Club “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.” 6 p.m. Feb. 15, Yarborough Branch. “Key to the Extraordinary.” 6 p.m. Feb. 16, Twin Oaks Branch.

Friday Movie Matinee “The Devil Wears Prada.” 2 p.m. Feb. 17, Old Quarry Branch.

Perler Bead Palooza, 3 p.m. Feb. 26, Faulk Central Library.

When is a kid too sick to go to school? It’s a tough call

Look for signs of RSV such as wheezing and cough. photos.com 2007
Not sure if your child should go to school? Consult a doctor.
photos.com 2007

A University of Michigan poll of parents found that there are many differing views about when a child should stay home from school because of illness. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that 75 percent of the parents they asked had kept kids home from school at least one day in the last year. Most cited their child’s health as the reason, though about half worried about their child infecting another child.

They also weighed other non-illness related worries when deciding whether to keep a kid home from school or day care: 37 percent of parents worried about what their child would be missing if she didn’t go to school, though that was typically parents of older children. 11 percent of parents worried about missing work and 18 percent worried about not having someone to watch their sick child.

When it came to illness, parents said they would not send a child to school with these symptoms:

Diarrhea (80 percent agreed)

Threw up once (58 percent)

Slight fever (49 percent)

Red watery eyes, no fever (16 percent)

Runny nose, dry cough, no fever (12 percent)

So, what are good rules of thumb about when kids are too sick to attend school?

Dr. Danielle Glade is the medical director at St. David's Children's Hospital.
Dr. Danielle Glade is the medical director at St. David’s Children’s Hospital.

We asked Dr. Danielle Glade, the medical director at St. David’s Children’s Hospital when you should keep kids home.

The three biggest factors are:

  1. Fever
  2. Whether or not your child is contagious
  3.  Whether or not he can participate

We’ve all heard that we should never send a child with a fever to school. Where does that come from? Viruses are most contagious when there is a fever. “Also a fever is miserable,” Glade says. “It’s hard on the kids to do anything with a fever.”

Don’t give your kid with a fever Ibuprofen or Tylenol and then send him to school when the fever is gone. He probably is still contagious and the fever will come back.

If your child has thicker nasal secretions, it could be a sinus infection. That would be a reason to see a doctor, but often nasal secretions or cough is not a reason to miss school unless it is severe. Don’t forget to teach kids how to cough into their sleeve, though.

What about a rash? Well, that depends on what is causing it. If it’s poison ivy, then yes, it’s spreadable, and you’ll want to get that under control to not share it. Often a rash is an indication of an illness and it’s the illness to worry about, not the rash itself. Now is also the time that kids get a lot of eczema. That is not a reason to stay at home.

And lice? Treat it immediately, to lessen the chance of spreading it, but chances are, your child has already shared it. See you at school.

With all symptoms, you’re looking at the big picture, Glade says. “Does the kid have a reason to have a nervous stomach? Was there a disagreement with friends? It’s about context and severity.

“If anything, parents feel the need to keep kids out of school longer than necessary,” Glade says.

If your kid is fever-free for 24 hours, send them. Don’t wait for the cough and runny nose to go away because that could take weeks.

Right now Glade is seeing a lot of respiratory viruses, rhinovirus, coronaviruses and parainfluenza (but not the flu itself). They all are similar: runny nose and cough.

 

 

Great weekend to do fun things with your kids, Jan. 20-22

At last, a beautiful weekend in Austin. Yes, it might rain a bit on Saturday morning and it will be windy on Sunday, but this is the kind of January weekend we love.

Here are a few things you can do:

Friday

Friday Movie Matinee, “The Goonies,” 2 p.m. Friday, Old Quarry Branch.

Saturday

USE THIS PHOTO LEDE Jessica Gonzales, from the Oak Hill YMCA, is outnumbered as her camp kids spray her with water guns as part of the festivities in the summer camp Olympics. The YMCA of Austin is hosting its 2015 Summer Camp Olympics Friday, July 24, at the Texas School for the Deaf. The Summer Camp Olympics is designed to engage children in good old fashioned fun and to get a little wet on a hot day. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Jessica Gonzales, from the Oak Hill YMCA, is outnumbered as her camp kids spray her with water guns as part of the festivities in the summer camp Olympics in 2015. If you’re looking for a camp, head to the Summer Camp Fair.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin Family Magazine’s Summer Camp Fair. Check out hundreds of summer camps. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Palmer Events Center. 900 Barton Springs Road. austinfamily.com/camp-fair-2017/

Baby Bloomers for kids infant to 3. Study light this month. 9 a.m. Saturday. Special guests throughout the month. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Bianca Serra, 4, visited the Umlauf Sculpture Garden with her family where she prayed with a bronze statue of a nun. LAURA SKELDING / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Bianca Serra, 4, visited the Umlauf Sculpture Garden with her family where she prayed with a bronze statue of a nun. LAURA SKELDING / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Umlauf Kids Kraft. Learn about portraits. 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday. grades kindergarten-second and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. grades third-fifth. $15. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road. umlaufsculpture.org.

BookPeople events. Pascal Simon, Bake Austin Kids. 2 p.m. Saturday. Story time Color Me Crazy. 11:30 a.m. Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com.

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturday story times at all locations: “Nanette’s Baguette,” (with sign-language interpretation, Sunset Valley), Saturday.

Juntos Online Scavenger Hunt. 1 p.m. Saturday, Ruiz Branch.

Mommy, Daddy & Me Book Club, “Rosa,” by Nikki Giovanni. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Carver Museum.

Nature Play Hour. Play in the Family Garden. 11 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org.

Saturday and Sunday

Petri Dish Art. For ages 4 and up. 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org

Sunday

Family programs at Zilker Botanical Garden include fairy landscaping and tea parties, learning about pioneer days and exploring plants. Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden
Family programs at Zilker Botanical Garden include fairy landscaping and tea parties, learning about pioneer days and exploring plants.
Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden. Faerie Luminaries. Create glass luminaries. $16. 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Zilker Botanical Garden: Auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.