Kids' Health & Wellness

Helping Kids Be Happy & Healthy

You play a lot of roles as a parent. “Caregiver” is one of those roles that can have odd or even round-the-clock hours, especially if your child is sick or hurt. At Banner Children’s, we have services to help when you need to juggle more than one job:

“Protector” is another important role you play as a parent. You always want to prevent your child from getting hurt or sick in the first place. Our team of specialists at Banner Children’s can lend plenty of support in that role as well.

How Can I Keep My Child Healthy?

We have many different programs that focus on kids’ health and wellness, including:

Riding a bike is a childhood rite of passage. It’s also a great source of fun and exercise for kids. But they can also be dangerous, too. Bike crashes are second only to car accidents when it comes to sending kids to the emergency room.

One of the best ways you can help make sure your child is safe on his or her bike is to insist on a bike helmet. Every time. Helmets can help your child avoid serious injury from a bike accident, like broken bones, brain damage and paralysis.

We focus on 3 major areas of bike safety here at Banner Children’s:

Perfect Helmet

Review these bike helmet safety tips to keep kids safe:

  • Choose bike helmets that meet current safety standards.
  • Choose a helmet that fits your child well. Helmets should be level on the rider’s head. If the rider wears glasses, the helmet should sit just above the frame of the rider’s glasses.
  • Make sure your child wears his or her helmet every time he or she is on a bike.
  • Wear your own bike helmet when you ride.

Perfect Bike

Review these bike safety tips before your child rides:

  • Bikes that are too large are difficult for kids to control. Make sure your child’s bicycle is a good fit.
  • While sitting on the bike, your child should just about be able to extend his or her legs to reach the pedals when the pedals are at the lowest point.
  • When your child stands over the crossbar of the bike with his or her feet flat on either side, there should be 1 to 2 inches of space between your child’s crotch and the crossbar for a road bike and 3 to 4 inches of space for a mountain bike.
  • Make sure growing kids have bikes with adjustable seat posts and handlebars.

Perfect Bike Rider

Review these rider tips to help your child avoid accidents:

  • Teach your child to stop and look left, right and left again before he or she crosses the street, leaves the driveway or an alley.
  • Make sure your child knows to ride on the right side of traffic in the same direction as the traffic.
  • Multiple bike riders should ride single-file.
  • Kids who are 10 and younger should ride on sidewalks if possible. You should check out where it’s safe for your child to ride, including parks, bike trails, your neighborhood’s sidewalks, etc.
  • Don’t let your child ride at night or while wearing headphones.
  • There should only be 1 person on 1 bike. Your child shouldn’t let others ride on his or her bike’s handlebars or stand on the back wheel’s axle.

Bullying is a serious problem. Every child, no matter what their size, could potentially experience bullying in their life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 4 U.S. kids (28%) in grades 6 through 12 reported a bullying incident during a 2014 study, and more than 7 in 10 kids (70.6%) reported seeing bullying in their schools.

Bullying is something every parent should take seriously. Kids who are bullied – and even kids who are bullies – can have serious, lasting problems. If your child reports being bullied, ask him or her the following questions to determine if he or she is being bullied or teased:

  • Does the bully do it repeatedly on purpose?
  • Does the bully say hurtful things to you when you can’t defend yourself?
  • Does it make you uncomfortable to be around the bully all the time?
  • Does the bully repeatedly take your things or often hit or bump into you?

How Can I Help My Child with Bullying?

You can help reduce the risk of bullying by taking the following steps:

  • Be aware of what happens to your child. Talk to him or her about how the day went. Ask about your child’s friends, classes and routine.
  • Pay attention to changes in your child’s mood or normal activities, such as suddenly wanting to stay home from school or miss extracurricular activities.
  • Watch for physical symptoms from your child like vomiting before it’s time to go to school, abdominal pain and bedwetting, along with other behavioral changes.

You can also share our special comic books about bullying — Be Strong, Speak UP! and Proud to Be ME — with kids to help them learn more about bullying and how to address it.

Our free Injury Prevention program provides information to kids and parents on preventable injuries. Our safety advocates visit schools, church and community groups, and health and safety fairs throughout Arizona’s East Valley.

Safety Programs for Kids & Adults

We offer safety programs geared toward children that cover:

We also offer safety programs for parents that cover:

  • Child safety seats
  • General safety
  • Infant CPR/first aid
  • Injury prevention tips for adults

Our Pediatric Outpatient Nutrition program at Banner Children’s brings nutrition therapy to kids and their families. During medical nutrition therapy, we:

  • Assess and evaluate your child’s overall nutritional status
  • Assess your family’s understanding and educational needs
  • Customize a treatment plan

Many insurance companies now cover medical nutrition therapy, but you should confirm your coverage with your insurance provider.

Can My Child’s Condition Improve with Better Nutrition?

Pediatricians commonly refer kids with these and other conditions to our Pediatric Outpatient Nutrition program:

  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dyslipidemias (high cholesterol and triglycerides)
  • Enteral nutritional support requirements
  • Failure to thrive
  • Food allergies
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Infant feeding concerns
  • Obesity
  • Patients requiring NICU graduate follow-up
  • Renal disease
  • Vegetarian diets

As part of our focus on keeping kids healthy, we bring health services to uninsured kids in the Phoenix metropolitan area. We do this through our School-based Clinics and our Banner Children’s Healthmobile.

Pediatric Outreach Services

Services available include:

  • Health assessment and health history
  • Well child checks
  • Health promotion
  • Diagnosis and treatment of episodic illness
  • Sports and camp physicals
  • Referral to appropriate specialty care (Please note: the cost of specialty services are not covered by Banner School-Based Health Centers)

Our clinics do not provide emergency care, hospitalization or trauma care. We also do not provide dental care, reproductive health care or mental health care, but can provide more information on resources available.

Learn more about our Pediatric Outreach Care including the locations for our School-based Clinics and Banner Children’s Healthmobile.

We provide routine sports physicals and specialized sports medicine services. We also offer wellness-focused services to keep young athletes healthy while they enjoy the sports they love. These services include:

  • Anatomical structure assessment and treatment
  • Exercise prescription
  • Injury prevention
  • Medical imaging
  • Performance and strength training
  • Sports nutrition

There’s no vaccination that prevents drowning, just a lot of caution around water. Sadly, most drownings happen in home swimming pools or in bathtubs.

How Can I Lower My Child’s Risk of Drowning?

Take these water safety precautions and help protect your child from the risks of drownings:

  • Consider swimming lessons for your child at an early age
  • Fence off home swimming pools to prevent any unsupervised access
  • Have your child wear a life jacket when swimming
  • Keep lids down on toilets and/or use childproof toilet locks for very small children
  • Learn and practice CPR, and take refresher courses every other year
  • Never let your child swim alone
  • Never let your child swim without adult supervision
  • Never leave a young child alone in a bathtub for even a minute
  • Store buckets and other large containers empty and upside down