Lullabies and other music may help sick preemies
Singing or playing womb-like sounds in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may help slow the heart rate and improve sleep and eating patterns of premature babies, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Children, Ages 5 And 7, Drown In L.I. Pool
A 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl drowned Sunday afternoon in a backyard pool in Suffolk County. (via CBS News)
Education Reform: Starting at the Beginning
School officials in Atlanta have been accused of racketeering for cheating on tests in order to gain bonus pay and status for their schools. (via Huffington Post)
Sexist ‘Avengers’ T Shirts Tell Boys To Be Heroes And Girls To Need A Hero
Marvel, the comic book publisher, is now contributing to the boys are strong/girls are weak dichotomy with two t-shirts based on the popular “Avengers” franchise. (via Huffington Post)
People, networks may sway parents’ vaccine choices
The people and information sources parents surround themselves with may influence their choice to vaccinate their children or not, according to a survey from one county in Washington state. via Reuters
If your child is anything like mine, you probably dread vaccination day. When my then 3-year-old daughter wrapped her arms around me, and used every muscle in her little legs to push off of the examination table sending me flying backward into the hall, I have to admit, I deeply considered skipping the next round. But we pushed through them, and now at five, she’s replaced her fear of needles with a fear of large cotton swabs (a strep test — it’s a long story).
Although we’ve all witnessed a runaway kid or two at the pediatrician’s office, the truth behind this needle nightmare is that one in every 10 Americans has a fear needles, or trypanophobia. Digital health media company, Healthline, has called it an under-reported healthcare crisis. Fear of needles can cause a person to skip vaccinations, which puts everyone’s health at risk.
According to Healthline, needle phobia usually develops around age 4 or 5 with a traumatic immunization experience. And if you told your kid that it wasn’t going to hurt, you can bet his immunization experience was traumatic.
According to Healthline’s CEO West Shell, “The key to ending needle phobia is awareness, education, and action. Needle phobia must be addressed and it must be addressed on large public platforms. Fear of snakes or fear of public speaking doesn’t kill people, but fear of needles does.”
Healthline has recently launched a public health campaign to help put an end to needle phobia. Take the End Needle Phobia Pledge, and help prevent your children from developing needle phobia by telling them the truth: shots help to protect them and others from dangerous diseases, and they hurt – but only for a second.
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.
Cold and flu season is upon us, and this week’s spotlight on influenza vaccinations is a perfect reminder to take your child to the pediatrician for a flu vaccine (if you haven’t done so already). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2011-2012 flu vaccine will safeguard against three viruses: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H2N2), and influenza B.
Getting the flu vaccine will protect your family and loved ones from worse symptoms. Read more about the importance of getting a flu vaccine below.
Here are more resources recommended by Shot of Prevention, a community blog that brings you the latest news and guidelines about immunizations, which recently hosted a conference call (sponsored by Every Child by Two and Families Fighting Flu) to raise awareness about flu vaccines.
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.
As your child heads to school, make an appointment with the pediatrician to have her receive the necessary immunizations required by your state. Vaccines guard your child against illnesses and diseases that may be encountered outside the home. Parents.com consulted Dr. Daniel McGee of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI to find out what parents should know about immunizations.
Why are immunizations and vaccinations necessary and still important?
The illnesses that are included in the vaccines are real, not just something that occurred in grandma’s day. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been more 150 cases of measles in the United States this year, as well as thousands of cases of whooping cough. Measles outbreaks are occurring more frequently than in previous years.
What are some diseases easily preventable by vaccinations? How effective are vaccinations against these diseases?
Measles, chicken pox, whooping cough as well as certain types of pneumonia and meningitis are the most common vaccine preventable diseases. Immunized children who come down with an illness will usually have a less severe sickness.
Are there any vaccinations parents or adults should get to protect their family?
The only way to prevent whooping cough in children, particularly those under six months of age, is to make sure everyone who will come in contact with them is immunized. This is a concept known as “cocooning.” In fact, 75 percent of the time when an infant comes down with whooping cough, it comes from a parent, sibling, or grandparent.
As kids head to school, are there any new immunization protocols? What should parents be aware of?
Immunization schedules change each year. Although not a new shot, there is a new recommendation that adolescents receive a booster dose of the meningitis vaccine if they received their first dose before age 16. Every person aged 6 months and up should also receive the flu vaccine.
What are the vaccinations all schools require? What are the vaccinations children should always get?
While some medical professionals were skeptical of the research results and discredited it, some doctors and parents voiced their support for the research and became suspicious about other vaccines. Some moms, including celeb mom Jenny McCarthy, became pickier about vaccinations or stopped vaccinating their children completely.
After the research was released in 1998, there was a sharp decrease in parents giving their children the (MMR) vaccine. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 90% of children in the United States are vaccinated, mumps remain the second most common disease that can be easily vaccinated. Also, in 2008, reports for measles reached an all-time high since 1997, and about 90% of the kids with measles hadn’t been vaccinated.
Since Dr. Wakefield has been unable to reproduce his research results and there are no other conclusive studies, there is no proof that autism is linked to the (MMR) vaccine or other vaccines. However, the new information has lead parents to wonder if they should have vaccinated their children, while doctors are disturbed how one study prevented children from getting necessary medical attention.
Vitamin D Helps Kids’ Breathing, Study Says: Are Supplements Smart? Strong bones aren’t the only benefit of vitamin D. A new study suggests that the “sunshine vitamin” helps prevent breathing problems in infants and young children.”Our data suggest that the association between vitamin D and wheezing, which can be a symptom of many respiratory diseases and not just asthma, is largely due to respiratory infections,” study leader Dr. Carlos Camargo, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in a written statement. [CBS News]
Madonna Plays Santa for Malawi Children Madonna wasn’t able to visit Malawi this Christmas, but she let the children in the six orphanages she funds there know they were very much on her mind this holiday season. Boxes of toys, chocolate, other sweets and clothes were shipped with a handwritten note from the star, which read, “To my Malawi children on Christmas and Boxing Day. I wish I was with you. See you soon M.” Inside the goodie boxes were miniature Christmas cards signed by Madonna, Lourdes and Rocco. [CNN] Teacher Effort Is Linked To Difficult Students’ Inherited Traits Challenging students take up more of their teachers’ time – and the difference between a tougher student and an easier one appears to be genetic, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The study looked at young twins in the U.K. and asked their teachers how much of a handful they are. [Medical News Today]