Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Ari Brown, M.D., FAAP, a Parents advisor and pediatrician in Austin, TX. She is the co-author of the best-sellling “411” parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Here, she shares her new role as champion for the world-wide Shot@Life initiative.
As a pediatrician, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, I’ve been involved in children’s health initiatives in the U.S. for a long time. But this year, I’m going global! I’m excited to be a part of a new movement to help kids and I want to share it with you!
On April 26, 2012, the United Nations Foundation will roll out a new grassroots program cleverly titled, Shot@Life. The message: every child—no matter where they live—deserves a shot at leading a healthy, productive life.
American parents don’t usually have to worry about losing their children to diseases like measles, pneumonia, or even the worst case of diarrhea. That’s because most of our kids have access to and are able to receive life-saving vaccines. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 children worldwide don’t have that opportunity for protection. In fact, 1.7 million children will die this year from these diseases that are rare in the U.S., thanks to vaccination. Unfortunately, a child dies every 20 seconds.
I know, I know. We have so many economic issues at home, it is hard to think about the plight of children on the other side of the world. But honestly, protection against diseases there helps all of our kids. Germs don’t need a passport. They don’t have to take their shoes off in security or go through special body scanners to get on a plane to our hometowns. So, our own children will benefit from protecting children in other countries.
Global Population Reaches 7 Billion, or Doesn’t
An effort by the United Nations to draw attention to the fact that the global population is now or soon will be 7 billion sowed confusion on Monday, as some news organizations, anxious to put a human face on the estimate, searched the globe for a newborn to anoint the seven billionth person, conflating a projection with an exact count.
Groups Push J&J on Baby Shampoo Chemicals
Two chemicals considered harmful to babies remain in Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo sold in the U.S., even though the company already makes versions without them, according to a coalition of health and environmental groups.
Test Scores Show Modest Gains in Mathematics
Fourth and eighth grade students scored higher in mathematics last spring than anytime since the Nation’s Report Card began measuring their performance decades ago, data showed Tuesday.
Earlier today, the United Nations Foundation announced Shot@Life, a campaign to expand access to vaccines for children in developing countries. “Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine,” said Peg Willingham, Executive Director of Shot@Life.
The campaign hopes to teach Americans about the success of childhood vaccines as a cost-effective way to save lives and, in return, have them advocate for and donate vaccines to children in need.
Each year, 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die from vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the World Health Organization. But vaccines have already proven successful in drastically decreasing the number of deaths from measles and polio. Increased education about and accessibility to vaccines can save the lives of millions of more children.