Posts Tagged ‘
whooping cough ’
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Cold and flu season is almost behind us. Though your days of runny noses and coughs may soon be over, another illness is proving to be a more serious hazard for young ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns America is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of reported pertussis cases in 50 years. That’s an even bigger deal for infants who are much more susceptible to the disease; they can’t get vaccinated until 2 months of age.
As mom to 4-year-old Charlotte and 17-month old Rocky, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, 36, was blown away when she learned how easily the disease can spread. Because newborns can’t get vaccinated right away, it’s still a must for adults who plan to be around an infant; the vaccine you got as a child has likely worn off. Parents caught up with the Sounds of Pertussis campaign ambassador to get her take on the disease as well as her tips for raising a healthy and active family.
P: What makes you so passionate about this health issue?
S: Once you become a parent, your main job is to protect your children in any way possible. When I first had Charlotte, whooping cough was something most of my friends thought had been eradicated. People aren’t aware that 80 percent of the time when you link back to how an infant gets the disease, it comes from a family member or direct caregiver. That’s the scariest thought. Our job is to protect them, and if it’s something as simple as getting a vaccination, that’s something everyone needs to know.
P: What can moms say to convince family and friends to get vaccinated?
S: It’s about making the information understandable. The way I liken it is if someone has a cold usually they will try to stay away from your baby so he doesn’t get sick. So why would you potentially expose a child to something that’s even more fatal, like pertussis? When you put it in those simple terms, how can anyone who loves a child say no? When the information is coming from someone you trust, it’s a very easy decision.
P: It can be stressful when your kids don’t feel well. How do you handle Charlotte or Rocky getting sick?
S: There’s no question that the very first time your child gets that stuffy nose and cold, it completely freaks you out. You have so much guilt because you can’t explain it to them. I think sometimes first-time parents have this thing of, “I don’t want to bother the doctor and be that annoying parent.” But if you have a question, you need to ask it. As you have more children and become an experienced parent, you sort of get to the point with the colds where you’re like, “If it’s not severe, you’re going to school.”
P: You’re a very active person. How do you encourage your kids to keep fit as well?
S: The beauty of children is that everything is interesting to them. The more you involve them in whatever activity it is you’re doing, they just love to be part of your life. I let my daughter go walking with me and our dog Bella outside. And there’s still so many fun activities you can do for children exercise-wise in inclement weather. My daughter practices Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu. It’s about taking the time to listen to your child and find what interests her. Whatever those things are that appeal to children and get their minds flowing, that can help keep them healthy and active.
P: How do you motivate Charlotte and Rocky to eat healthy?
S: Including children in the actual preparation of food is a big thing. We started Charlotte in cooking classes at about 3, and seeing what goes into it gave her a new appreciation for vegetables. Whether you’re growing produce in your backyard or taking a trip to your local farmer’s market, seeing those different aspects can get children excited to eat better. And anything you can do to give a young child ownership and help him feel independent, that’s what you ultimately want. Even if it’s as simple as letting Rocky sprinkle cheese on eggs or a pizza. You just see his face light up.
P: What else can moms do to teach their children the importance of good health?
S: It ultimately comes down to explaining at a young age what healthy living means, teaching a child what germs are and how easily they are transmitted or how to wash his hands correctly. Those very simple things can really stop the spread, not just for your own family but for your friends and everyone else your child comes into contact with.
Whether you’ve had the vaccine or not, visit the campaign’s Breathing Room Facebook app to help spread the word about pertussis. There, you can create a virtual room for your Baby and invite family and friends to join you in the fight for protection. Every little step counts!
In the meantime, watch this short video to learn what whooping cough sounds like.
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Monday, March 11th, 2013
Pet Frogs Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Kids: CDC
Small water frogs marketed and sold as pets are linked to an outbreak of Salmonella infections from 2008 to 2011, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (via Reuters)
Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Wanes
Protection against whooping cough starts to weaken a few years after preschool children get their final diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) shot, a new study confirms. (via Reuters)
Study Recommends: Buckle Up During Pregnancy
Despite some women’s worry that seat belts or air bags could harm a baby in utero in the case of an accident, expectant mothers who are not wearing a seatbelt during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)
Guns in Classrooms: South Dakota Governor Signs Law Allowing Teachers to Arm Themselves
Teachers are now allowed to bring guns into the classroom in South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1087 into law Friday, enabling state school boards to “supervise the arming of school employees” or hire security personnel. (via Huffington Post)
How Would Preschool for All Work: Is it All About Play or ABCs?
Not many would take issue with President Obama’s recent call to make high-quality preschool a reality for more U.S. kids. Even before Obama announced his intentions, both Democrats and Republicans had already lined up in their home states to push preschool programs, with more than a dozen states considering bolstering early education. (via TIME)
When Food is Scarce, a Smaller Brain Will Do
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A new study explains how young brains are protected when nutrition is poor. The findings, published on March 7th in Cell Reports, a Cell Press publication, reveal a coping strategy for producing a fully functional, if smaller, brain. The discovery, which was made in larval flies, shows the brain as an incredibly adaptable organ and may have implications for understanding the developing human brain as well, the researchers say. (via Science Daily)
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Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Proposal Would Make Preschool Available to All American Children Within Five Years
The plan was released by the Center for American Progress, which has close ties to the White House. Education Department officials have signaled that President Obama will make pre-kindergarten programs a priority during his second term. (via NY Daily News)
NYC First to Get Realistic Shooting Simulation Game for Kids
A shooting simulation game that lets children pretend to have shootouts in an indoor fake village with a bank, offices and what appears to be a school has come to Queens and is raising concern among law enforcement authorities. (via NBC New York)
New Whooping Cough Strain in US Raises Questions
Researchers have discovered the first U.S. cases of whooping cough caused by a germ that may be resistant to the vaccine. Health officials are looking into whether cases like the dozen found in Philadelphia might be one reason the nation just had its worst year for whooping cough in six decades. The new bug was previously reported in Japan, France and Finland. (via Fox News)
Restaurant’s ‘Well-Behaved Kids’ Discount Goes Viral; Mom Shares Her Secrets
Laura King expected a tally of good food on her restaurant tab. A credit for her children’s good manners, on the other hand, came as quite a surprise. (via Today)
Black Parents Claim Disneyland Character Refused to Touch Their Kids
An African-American family is suing Disneyland after, the family claims, an actor who portrayed the White Rabbit character from “Alice in Wonderland” refused to hug or touch their children because of their skin color, reports CBS Los Angeles station KCBS-TV. (via CBS News)
Air Pollution May Lower Birth Weight
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A pregnant woman’s exposure to outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of her baby being born at a lower birth weight, according to a large multinational study. (via MyHealthNewsDaily)
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Pregnant Women Should Get Whooping Cough Shot: CDC
Moms-to-be should get a booster tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect their infants from whooping cough, according to a new vaccine schedule released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (via Reuters)
Arizona Bills Require Constitution Loyalty Oath, Pledge Of Allegiance By Public School Students
Two Arizona lawmakers are stirring Constitutional debate and threats of legal action after introducing bills that would require the state’s students to express love of country under God. (via Huffington Post)
Placebo As Good As Most Drugs for Kids’ Migraines
A drug-free placebo pill prevents migraines in kids and teens just as well as most headache medicines, according to a new review of past evidence. (via Reuters)
Texas Public Schools Teaching ‘End Times’ Theology, Creationism: Study
Students in Texas’ public schools are still learning that the Bible provides scientific evidence that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that astronauts have discovered “a day missing in space in elapsed time” that affirms biblical stories of the sun standing still and moving backwards, and that the United States was founded as a Christian nation based on biblical Christian principles. (via Huffington Post)
Generation C: Is Caffeine the Next Kids’ Health Crisis?
Recently my 12-year-old son came home and told us he had an energy drink at a parent-supervised party. We were shocked. Why would parents who would never allow cigarettes or alcohol make caffeine-spiked beverages available to pre-teens? My son said it was no big deal; all of his friends were drinking them after school. (via Health)
‘Learning Community’ Nebraska Program Brings Diversity To Some Highly Segregated Public Schools
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Fifth-grader Alyx has trouble naming the “absolute coolest” thing about Wilson Focus School, part of an innovative educational model called the Learning Community that provides students opportunities to attend diverse schools in highly segregated areas. (via Huffington Post)
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Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Whooping Cough Vaccine Urged for Pregnant Women
The government’s vaccine advisory panel is urging every expectant mother to get a whooping cough vaccine, preferably in the last three months of pregnancy. (via New York Times)
Clinical Trial Attempts to Cure Autism with Cord Blood
Researchers recently announced the beginning of a FDA-approved clinical trial that uses umbilical cord blood stem cells to “cure” autism. (via Fox News)
Scientists Make Embryos with 2 Women, 1 Man
Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases. (via ABC News)
Court’s Split Decision Provides Little Clarity on Surrogacy
The New Jersey Supreme Court is deadlocked over how to handle an infertile wife’s plea to be named the mother of the child that she and her husband are raising. (via NY Times)
Parents Tend to Downplay Kids’ Worries
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A new study has discovered parents consistently overestimate their children’s optimism and downplay their worries. (via PsychCentral)
Friday, October 19th, 2012
Pediatricians Call For Strict Gun Laws to Protect Kids
Pediatricians are calling for the strictest possible regulation of gun sales, as well as more education for parents on the dangers of having a gun at home, to prevent deaths of kids and teens. (via Fox News)
Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
A new study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response. (via ScienceDaily)
Laundry Detergent Pods an ‘Emerging Public Health Hazard’ Among Kids
There’s a new warning for parents who use laundry pods about how kids are mistaking them for bright, colorful candy and eating them. (via ABC News)
Family Whooping Cough Shots May Protect Babies
Vaccinating moms and older siblings against whooping cough may prevent infants from coming down with the infection, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Smucker’s Uncrustables Sold to Schools Recalled
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Officials have told school lunch programs across the country to check to see whether they have any Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches that might contain peanut butter made by a New Mexico company that is being recalled because of potential salmonella contamination. (via AP)
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Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Whooping Cough Vaccine Loses Effectiveness too Fast
As the U.S. Faces its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers are reporting that its vaccine dramatically weakens when a child gets the last round of shots at age 6. (via Wall Street Journal)
Medical Errors More Common if Children Have Chronic Illness
Research shows that 5% of children who are hospitalized with chronic health problems were affected by a medical error. (via Reuters)
All Large U.S. Cities Now Add Fluoride to Water
Portland, Ore. was the last large U.S. City to add fluoride to its water on Wednesday. Opponents believe public fluoridation is unsafe, but many dental experts say it is useful in fighting cavities. (via NBC News)
Child Survival Rates Making Rapid Progress
The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that child mortality has been brought down from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011. (via Reuters)
Low Doses of Inhaled Drugs Relieve Pain During Labor
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Researchers report that low doses of nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” can relieve pain during labor according to a new review of evidence. (via Reuters)
Friday, July 20th, 2012
CDC: 1 in 13 Pregnant Women Say They Drink Alcohol
A government survey shows 1 in 13 pregnant women drink alcohol and some even go on binges. (via AP)
U.S. Whooping Cough Cases Could Be Worst In More Than 50 Years
Whooping cough is causing the worst epidemic seen in the United States in more than 50 years, health officials said Thursday, and they’re calling for mass vaccination of adults. The epidemic has killed nine babies so far, and nearly 18,000 cases already have been reported nationwide this year. (via TIME)
Entire Genetic Sequence of Individual Human Sperm Determined
Stanford University researchers have sequenced the entire genomes of 91 human sperm from one man. The results provide a glimpse into naturally occurring genetic variation in one individual and are the first to report the whole-genome sequence of a human gamete — the only cells that become a child and through which parents pass on physical traits. (via Science Daily)
In Utero Exposure to Diesel Exhaust A Possible Risk Factor for Obesity
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Pregnant mice exposed to high levels of air pollution gave birth to offspring with a significantly higher rate of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood than those who were not exposed to air pollution. These findings suggest a link between diesel exhaust exposure in utero and bulging waistlines in adulthood. (via Science Daily)