Posts Tagged ‘ flu vaccine ’

The ONE thing James Van Der Beek Would Do With 45 Minutes of Free Time

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Flu season is coming up and actor James Van Der Beek is not taking any chances with his growing brood. The longtime TV star (Dawson’s Creek anyone?) and father of three, Olivia, 4, Joshua, 2, and Annabel, nearly 9 months, is spreading the word on fighting influenza with FluMist Quadrivalent, a needle-free flu vaccineParents took some one-on-one time with James to talk TLC, how being a dad to daughters has changed him, and the one thing he would do if he had 45 minutes to himself.

P: We’re here for FluMist. Vaccines have been a big buzz topic. What is your take on vaccines and what do you say to parents who might not be with you?

JVDB: I totally understand the debate about vaccines. They certainly have a utility. My wife and I went back and forth on the whole vaccine issue, quite a bit, but when it came to the flu vaccine specifically it was something we decided to do. Initially I was afraid you could get the flu from a flu vaccine. You actually can’t. It’s impossible. That was new to me. When I found that out, I realized there are a lot of myths about the flu that even I had—as health-conscious as I am. When I found out that it hospitalized 200,000 people a year and that it’s responsible for the hospitalization of more children than any other vaccine-preventable disease, that’s when I thought this is something that I can really get behind and help spread the word. And [FluMist] is needle free. Kids don’t like when you stick needles in them. Go figure. My 4-year-old did it and didn’t cry and was really proud of herself. We did not vaccinate our kids last year and I had two kids with the flu and my wife was pregnant. And G-d forbid it can lead to some bad complications.

Click here for Parents recommended vaccine schedule.

P: With vaccinations your home will be flu free, but there are always the typical coughs and colds. What is your go-to thing as a dad to make your kids feel better on a sick day?

JVDB: We take a very holistic approach to it. We make them some special tea with some good homeopathics in there. We give it to them with a lot of love. I think that counts for a lot.

P: You have two girls and a boy. There’s been a lot of talk about how having a daughter, specifically, changes a man. Is that something you feel?

JVDB: Well my first kid was a daughter, yeah you do start to be more concerned with the world in general knowing your kids are going to go out in it. You start to really look at other people’s attitudes towards women especially, and you’re a lot more hyperaware.

P: Have you seen the YouTube videos of the daddy-daughter dates? Would you take Olivia or Annabel on a father-daughter first date?

JVDB: I feel I do that all the time. It’s tricky with three, but I really do try to make sure they all have some good one-on-one time because that’s when you really get to see who they are outside of siblings and outside of the environment that they’re usually in. You get some really great clues into their personality. And they just love it. It’s a really big priority for me to take those moments.

P: Speaking of personality is there anything that any of your three do that makes you think “That’s just like when I was a kid?”

JVDB: All the time. Whenever they make goofy faces or love to dress up in their Halloween costumes or tell me a story that’s a complete fallacy that they’re making up but they’re doing it so well.

P: Were you a little fibber?

JVDB: I just loved stories. I loved to have a story to tell and my kids will tell me a story and the only way I’ll know that they’re making it up is that there’s a dragon in it. Everything else is really believable until a dragon makes an appearance and I say, “Oh ok you’re making this up.” I turn to my wife and go, “Sorry…my bad.”

P: You’re three kids in, what do you think you’ve learned and you’re doing better with the third than the first?

JVDB: I’ve come to just realize how important it is to embrace the chaos. There might be parents out there who are able to manage everything neat and tidy, but that’s certainly not us. Fighting to really find that appreciation in all of those moments is so important because it really does go by so quickly. It’s a big cliché and it’s so true. There are those times when you’re just so frustrated and you just think to yourself “Really?!” Especially those moments: sit there and think I’m gonna miss this when it’s not happening.

P: What still continues to baffle you? Is there anything you wish someone would tell you the secret to?

JVDB: How do kids have that much energy?

P: I think we should institute adult naptime.

JVDB: I would LOVE adult naptime. I would endorse that in two seconds.

P: You recently had 45 minutes to yourself and you didn’t know what to do. If you had 45 minutes again, do you know what you would do?

JVDB: I should work out because that’s catch as catch can. What I would love to do is to see if I’ve got a football game recorded that nobody has ruined the score for me and just spend 45 minutes going through that. That would be something…. That’s so pathetic. Better than doing the dishes, which is what I think I did last time. I find myself doing dishes saying, “Why am I doing dishes right now? I could be doing anything.”

P: Despite the lack of free time, you seem to be very happy as a father. Was there one moment when you went “Wow. I’m a dad.”

JVDB: Yeah. First moment my first one was born. That was it. It was pretty instantaneous. I’d wanted that for a long time so when it did happen it felt like the resolution to a lot of unanswered questions in my life.

Photograph: Via Instagram with permission from James Van Der Beek

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What Pregnant Women Need to Know About Flu

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Pregnant woman with tissueYesterday we brought you flu advice for kids, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, we’re focusing on what pregnant women need to know, thanks to the March of Dimes. This post was written by Siobhan Dolan, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Dolan is the author of the upcoming Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide, to be published on January 29 by HarperOne.

Flu is back in the headlines again. Epidemics, Emergencies, Shortages ……… the publicity can scare folks, especially pregnant women. Flu is taking its toll in 2013 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting widespread illness reported in 47 states and 20 pediatric deaths.

The concerns for pregnant women are real: Flu increases their risk for respiratory complications, preterm labor and delivery, and ICU admission. Newborns are also at an increased risk of severe illness and even death from the flu.

But the message for pregnant women is really clear: Prevention with a flu shot and early treatment of women with influenza-like illness is the best course of action. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), March of Dimes, and CDC all endorse this message, so women should not feel uncertain.

The March of Dimes web site has practical information for women here.

The Immunization for Women website from ACOG reinforces the message:
“All women who will be pregnant during influenza (flu) season (October through May) should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine. The live attenuated influenza vaccine is contraindicated for pregnant women. The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their unborn children as well as postpartum and breast feeding women and can be given during any trimester. Immunizing pregnant and postpartum women against seasonal influenza can protect the mother and may help her baby by preventing the spread of the flu from mother to child following delivery. The seasonal flu vaccine has been given safely to millions of pregnant women over the past 45 years.”

Women are listening, with 47 percent of pregnant women surveyed by CDC in early 2012 reporting getting their flu shot, up from less than 30 percent four years ago.

So go get your flu shot. And tell your pregnant sister-in-law or co-worker to get hers, too. Let’s help keep pregnant women and newborns out of the headlines by spreading the word.

Photo: Pregnant with a cold via Shutterstock.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Teachers With Poor Ratings Clustered In NYC, Charter School Quality: Ed Today
The New York Daily News takes another look at the StudentsFirstNY teacher distribution report and finds something stunning: 20 percent of teachers are “bad” teachers in each of 14 Brooklyn schools. (via Huffington Post)

Light Exposure During Pregnancy Key to Normal Eye Development
New research in Nature concludes the eye — which depends on light to see — also needs light to develop normally during pregnancy. (via Science Daily)

Wow—Obese Kids’ Health Is Much Worse Than We Thought
The research looked at over 43,000 kids ages 10 to 17 around the country and asked about kids’ health issues like asthma, diabetes, and pain, as well as developmental and behavioral issues. (via TakePart)

Kids at Center Stage in Emotional Gun Debate
“Dear President Obama,” began a letter from 8-year-old Grant Fritz, with the shaky printing — missed words, spelling errors — of someone just learning how to put thoughts down on paper. (via Reuters)

Flu Vaccine Not Linked to Fetal Death
Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant does not increase the odds that the fetus will die in the womb, according to a new study of tens of thousands of women in Norway. (via Reuters)

Can Children ‘Grow Out’ of Autism?
New research has found that some children diagnosed with autism actually ‘grow out’ of their symptoms – as well as their diagnosis. (via Fox News)

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6 Things You Should Know About the Flu

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

This comes to us from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

As a parent, you always do everything you can to keep your family safe. With flu season starting early this year, have you taken the steps to protect yourself and your family from flu? Most of the country is now seeing high levels of flu activity, and this may continue for some time. Unfortunately, there is nothing that provides 100% protection against flu.  However, flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against seasonal flu and is especially important for children younger than 5 and children of any age with other health complications such as asthma, neurological disease or immune deficiencies. Here are six important things parents should know:

1. A flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu. If anyone in your family hasn’t gotten a flu vaccine yet, go get vaccinated now! With very few exceptions, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated each year, and it’s especially important for people at high risk to get vaccinated. If your child has a high risk condition or an egg allergy, ask your doctor which vaccine is best. Also, flu vaccine may be a little harder to find now than it was in the fall, so you may need to contact more than one provider (pharmacy, health department, or doctor) to find available vaccine. The flu vaccine locator may be helpful to you in your search.

2. Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu because they are made from killed or weakened influenza viruses. Unfortunately, there are a couple reasons why it’s still possible to get the flu even if you were vaccinated. First, people may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period (roughly two weeks) it takes the body to build its immune response after vaccination.  Second, there’s a possibility of catching a flu virus not included in the vaccine. And last, some people can get sick with a flu virus that’s in the vaccine even if they got vaccinated, partly due to health and age factors.

3. Stay away from sick people. Flu spreads mainly in the droplets of sick people who are coughing and sneezing, so have your family stay away from people who are sick as much as possible, and, if you are sick, stay away from people who are well. Both kids and parents should stay home during illness and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone unless medical care is needed. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

4. Ask your doctor about antiviral drugs. If your family does get sick with the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat the illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. If you or someone in your family has a high risk condition, antiviral drugs are especially important, and treatment should be started as soon as possible. A doctor will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed (you will need a prescription to get them), but you need to take the first step by asking the doctor about your illness.

5. “Everyday healthy habits” are still important. Make sure everyone in your family knows to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. And remember to wash hands with soap and water often. These last tips are good ones to live by during and outside of flu season and can help protect against the spread of other viruses too. Let’s all do our part to prevent the flu!

6. Know when to seek medical attention.  Parents should seek medical attention if their child is not drinking enough fluids, if there is persistent or severe vomiting, if flu-like symptoms linger or improves and returns, if there is difficulty breathing, or other health conditions that are accompanied by flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.  For infants, parents should watch for signs of inability to eat, trouble breathing, no tears when crying, and significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.

For more questions about influenza and ways to prevent it, visit: cdc.gov/flu or flu.gov.

Photo: Little girl is blowing her nose via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

FDA Approves Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the first seasonal flu vaccine made using animal cell technology, rather than the half-century egg method. (via USA Today)

Can Your Job Increase Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer?
A study explores the occupations with the strongest links to breast cancer. (via Time)

OB-GYN group: Birth Control Pill Should Be on Shelves
Birth control pills are so safe and important to women that they should be sold on drugstore shelves, without a doctor’s prescription, says a group representing many of the doctors who prescribe them. (via USA Today)

Behind the Black Friday Hot Toy Lists
Get ready to hear a lot about the Eagle Talon Castle, the LeapPad2 from LeapFrog and the reincarnation of Furby – all of which toy industry insiders predict will be hot sellers this year. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Hurricane Sandy School Closings: Thousands Shuttered For Storm Along East Coast
Thousands of schools along the Eastern Seaboard are closed Monday as Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall, attacking the coast with forceful winds, rain and possible snow. (Huffington Post)

ER Docs Learn Better Ways to Help Hurting Kids
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics instructs doctors, providers and EMTs on the best ways to treat children’s pain and anxiety in emergency settings — sometimes, without medication. (NBC News)

Scientists Move Closer to a Lasting Flu Vaccine
Thanks to a flurry of recent studies, flu experts foresee a time when seasonal flu shots are a thing of the past. (New York Times)

Higher-Math Skills Entwined With Lower-Order Magnitude Sense
The ability to learn complex, symbolic math is a uniquely human trait, but it is intricately connected to a primitive sense of magnitude that is shared by many animals, finds a study to be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (ScienceDaily)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

More Evidence Flu Shot is Safe for the Egg-Allergic
With flu season approaching, a new study offers more reassurance that kids with egg allergies can be safely vaccinated against the virus. (via Reuters)

Controversial Bone Product Often Used in Kids
Nearly one in ten U.S. children undergoing spine fusion surgery get injections with bioengineered bone-growth proteins that have not been green-lighted for that use by health regulators, researchers have found. (via Reuters)

Graco Recalling Classic Wood Highchairs Due To Fall Risk
After receiving 58 reports of the highchair seats loosening or detaching from the base, Graco is voluntarily recalling its Classic Wood Highchairs. (via NBC News)

Women Who Have Heart Attacks More Likely to Call 911
Women suffering symptoms of a heart attack are more likely than their male counterparts to dial 911 – but there’s a lot of room for improvement for men and women, alike, a new study finds. (via NBC News)

German Cabinet Approves Bill Allowing Circumcision of Boys
Germany’s cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday protecting the right to circumcise infant boys, which it says will end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Transgender at Five
She first insisted she was a boy at the age of 2. “I am a boy” became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing. Eventually, a psychologist diagnosed gender identity disorder. Now Tyler ‘s parents allow him to live as a boy, and the 5-year-old is reveling in his new identity.

Parents Write Bucket List for 4-Year-Old
Cole Rapini, 4, giggles like every other young boy, but his medical condition has bewildered doctors.

School Kids Urge Crayola to Rethink Recycling
A group of California grade school students wants Crayola to start a recycling program for spent plastic markers, but the company doesn’t appear ready to make such a move.

Shot Protects Against More Than the Flu for Pregnant Women
Giving the flu vaccine to pregnant women may bring significant benefits to their babies even before birth, a new study has found.

Tennessee Man Dubbed ‘Octodad’
Desmond Hatchett of Knoxville, Tenn., has 30 children with 11 women, according to officials and media reports.

Rosie Pope: Why I Tweeted My Baby’s Birth
Rosie Pope gave birth to a daughter a week ago and the Twitter world followed every move as she tweeted the whole experience.

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