Tag Archives: kids

Skipping shots at sick visits tied to vaccine delays

Kids who don't get vaccines when they see their pediatrician for a sick visit - despite being due for the shots - are more likely to fall behind on immunizations and routine check-ups, according to a new study. “It's pretty common that kids will come in (for a sick visit) at a time when they should be getting their shots,” said Steve Robison, the study's author and a researcher at the Oregon Immunization Program, part of the state's health department. Sometimes babies end up skipping those shots, perhaps because parents are concerned they could make a sick baby feel worse or doctors are worried that parents won't come back for a well-baby check-up if infants are already caught up on vaccines. “The challenge is, if they come in sick, are they going to come back and get shots and well-baby visits in a timely way?” Robison said. His findings suggest those babies end up worse off if doctors forgo shots until they're better. “It's very clear that vaccinating at sick visits improves the vaccination rate,” said Dr. Alexander Fiks, a pediatrician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not part of this study. “For parents, what I would say is, don't be afraid to get vaccines at sick visits because, for most kids with minor illnesses, it's really no problem. Medically, it's fine,” he added. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that babies receive at least 16 vaccine doses during their first six months. Those are spread across well-child visits. In an earlier study, Robison and his colleagues found a growing number of parents in Oregon are not sticking to the recommended vaccine schedule - so kids end up getting their shots late or not at all. This time, Robison looked at the immunization records of 1,060 children who went to the doctor for an ear infection around the time when a well-baby check-up should occur. All of the children had state-funded health insurance. About 8 percent of the sick babies received a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine at the sick visit itself, and another 57 percent had one within a few weeks. The others were late on their shots. Fiks said the findings support the results of other studies showing that when doctors skip shots at sick visits, kids are more likely to end up not following the immunization schedule. What's more, giving shots at sick visits did not seem to stop parents from bringing their baby back for well-child visits. Compared to babies who received their immunizations at routine check-ups, those who had their shots at sick visits had just as many well-baby visits by age two - about five, on average. And kids who skipped the shot at their sick visit, but had another visit within a few weeks, ended up receiving more routine check-ups compared to similar normally-vaccinated children, Robison reported in the medical journal Pediatrics. On the other hand, kids who didn't get a shot at the sick visit or within four weeks had slightly fewer routine visits over their first two years. Increasingly, children are becoming “under-vaccinated,” researchers said. A study earlier this year found that half of some 300,000 kids born between 2004 and 2008 had fallen behind on their immunizations at some point before age 2. The concern is that those children are vulnerable to the diseases that vaccines are designed to prevent. “The more kids within a given classroom who are unprotected, the more likely it is for there to be an outbreak,” said Fiks. The researchers agreed that a minor illness is not a reason to fall behind on routine shots. “If you want to keep the kids on schedule so that they're protected from disease, it's best to give the shot,” Robison said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/06/skipping-shots-at-sick-visits-tied-to-vaccine-delays/

Company sells breast milk flavored lollipops

Mothers looking to give their children a unique, yet familiar, candy treat are in luck.  A lollipop company based in Austin, Texas called Lollyphile is offering new Breast Milk Lollipops, meant to mimic the flavor of a mother’s milk. According to Lollyphile’s website, numerous mothers shared their breast milk with the company’s “flavor specialists,” until they were able to turn the flavor into a candy. “I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, but it seems like all of my friends are having babies these days,” Jason Darling, the owner of Lollyphile, said in a statement. “Sure, the kids are all crazy cute, but what slowly dawned on me was that my friends were actually producing milk so delicious it could turn a screaming, furious child into a docile, contented one. I knew I had to capture that flavor.” Lollyphile maintains that the lollipops do not contain any actual breast milk, joking that it would require “armies of pumping women.”  Other eccentric lollipops available from Lollyphile include Absinthe Lollipops and Chocolate Bacon Lollipops. “Any company can make up nostalgic flavors,” said Darling of the breast milk lollies. “We'd like to think that we're tapping into a flavor our customers loved before they even knew how to think.” For more information on Lollyphile, visit their website.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/04/company-sells-breast-milk-flavored-lollipops/

Tired of water? Mix your own fresh flavors

The next time you want a drink of water, instead of going to the faucet or the refrigerator dispenser, try looking in your crisper drawer. Unless you’re a bachelor with nothing in the drawer but a dried out apple and a wilted lettuce leaf, I’m betting you’ve got the secret to delicious tasting water right there in your refrigerator. I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times that you need to drink more water.  So I’m not going to tell you again. I’m just going to ask one question.   Why aren’t you doing it? Your body needs water to be healthy. Your skin will feel softer, and you will look younger if you drink more water. Soda, coffee and tea and all those other chemical-filled drinks just aren’t giving your body the water it craves.   As a health advocate, I have to tell you that you need to try harder to find water that you like to drink – and that’s where your crisper drawer comes in. You can make a huge variety of delicious flavored waters just by adding some of your favorite fruits, vegetables or herbs.  I got my inspiration from the website 52 Kitchen Adventures. The author lists 50 of her favorite flavor combinations, including things like lemon and lavender, watermelon and mint, cucumber and lime or papaya and mango.  It’s easy to do.  Just wash your produce carefully, cut it up and add it to your water.  If you use herbs, rub the fresh leaves between your hands to bruise them before adding them to the water. Depending on what you include, you may want to pour it through a filter to remove the small particles before you drink it. A fine mesh strainer for loose tea or a paper coffee filter will work great for this. Try out different flavors by making one glass at a time or mix up a whole pitcher and you’ll be set for the day. If you just can’t wait to try it, you can drink it as soon as you put it all together. But to get the most flavor, you’ll want to let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Just remember, this is fresh produce, so if you leave the fruit in the water for more than a day or two, the water may change color and start to taste bitter.  That’s a good sign it’s time to dump that batch and start over. My best suggestion is to mix up as much as you think you can drink in 24 hours.  If you get to the end of the day and have some left over, strain out the fruit and freeze it into ice cubes for tomorrow. If you want to jump-start a cold pitcher of water, try using frozen mixed fruit or berries.  That way the fruit will flavor and chill the water at the same time.   This can also be a great way to get your kids started on a healthier path.  Let them choose their favorite fruit for their own special blend, or hold a family contest to see who can come up with the best flavor.  If you have the space, let everyone create their own mix then judge which flavor was the family favorite by seeing which flavor is gone first. Even if the kids guzzle their own creations to win, you’ll know they are drinking the healthy water they need to stay hydrated. And hopefully you’ll all be forming a water-drinking habit that will last for the rest of your lives. So what’s your favorite way to flavor your water?  Visit EmpowHER to share your ideas under the “wellness” category.Michelle King Robson (pronounced robe-son) is one of the nation's leading women's health and wellness advocates. She is the Founder, Chairperson and CEO of EmpowHER, one of the fastest-growing and largest social health companies dedicated exclusively to women's health and wellness. & In 2011 EmpowHER reached more than 60 million women onsite and through syndication expects to reach more than 250 million in 2012.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/03/tired-water-mix-your-own-fresh-flavors/

How to keep your kid healthy this summer

Summer’s right around the corner and as the weather warms up and your kids get ready for endless days at the beach, pool and park, keeping them healthy is your top priority. Find out how to prevent and treat the most common ailments so your kids will be healthy all summer long. Sunburn According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one blistering sunburn before the age of 18 doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—later on in life. “The most important thing is prevention,” said Dr. Gary Goldenberg, medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.  Goldenberg recommended checking the UV index to find out what your your risk for sunburn is. “It’s not enough to just look outside and say, ‘It’s hot, but it’s cloudy so the chance of sunburn is low,’” he said. Thirty minutes before heading outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50. Since the FDA doesn’t measure higher numbers, you might be getting an SPF 50 anyway, Goldenberg said. Be sure to reapply every time your kid comes out of the water and every few hours. Keep your kid in the shade when possible, and dress him in clothing with UPF protection. If your kid does get a sunburn, Vaseline, aloe or Aquaphor can help to ease discomfort. If the burn is severe, a pediatrician might prescribe a topical or oral steroid. Poison ivy, oak, sumac If your kid comes into contact with any of these plants—through skin or clothing—the potent oil urushiol can cause a rash of linear streaks or blisters that is extremely itchy. Depending on how much your child has been exposed to, the rash can show up right away on one part of the body and then on another a few days later, Goldenberg said.  Plus, scratching the rash can help transfer it to another part of the body. Applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream is usually the best way to treat the rash, yet sometimes a topical or oral steroid might be needed. Be sure to wash your child’s clothing several times in hot water, because the oil can live on clothing for months, according to Dr. JJ Levenstein, a retired, board certified pediatrician and founder MDMoms.com The best way to prevent getting this nasty rash? Follow the old saying: Leaves of three, let it be. Mosquito bites These little bugs, which start to emerge as the sun sets, can be super itchy when they bite. Long sleeves and pants are best to keep them at bay, but if it’s too hot outside, a bug spray with DEET is most effective.  A word of caution: Since DEET has been shown to be toxic to the central nervous system, experts agree it shouldn’t be used on young children.  Apply DEET carefully so your child doesn’t inhale it, and be sure to bathe him or her before bedtime. Hydrocortisone is usually the best way to treat mosquito bites, although your pediatrician might prescribe a topical steroid. Bee stings A bee sting might hurt, but in some kids, it can cause an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can cause the airways to close. If your kid has been stung and he or she is having trouble breathing, go to the emergency room immediately. If you notice the welt getting larger and larger after each bee sting, speak with his or her pediatrician about carrying an EpiPen, Goldenberg said. Protective clothing, repellent sprays and staying away from bees are the best prevention. Ticks If your kid will be walking through wooded areas or through tall grasses, a tick could possibly latch onto his or her skin, putting them at risk for Lyme disease.  This condition is most common among children ages 5 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tucking pants into socks, hair into hats and wearing long sleeves can help. Be sure to check your kid from head to toe for ticks, because the sooner you catch one, the easier it is to remove. If you’re unable to remove it, your child’s pediatrician might run some tests and prescribe antibiotics. Dehydration and heat stroke If your child doesn’t drink enough fluids, long, hot days in the sun can spell trouble for your kid in the form of dehydration, or worse, heat stroke. “Heat stroke means that you’re overheated to a point where you actually start to become a little delirious,” said Levenstein. “Your pulse is rapid, you feel dizzy and incoherent and your core body temperature could rise above 98.6 degrees. You lose your ability to cool yourself down because you’re out of sweat.” Kids under the age of 6 should pre-hydrate 30 minutes before heading outdoors with two to three large cups of water; older kids should drink a liter of water. They should re-hydrate every 30 to 60 minutes and urinate every three to four hours.  If your kid is playing sports, every second or third drink should have electrolytes in it to replace the sodium lost through sweat.Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/26/how-to-keep-your-kid-healthy-this-summer/

Schoolmates of suicide victims at higher risk

Teens who have a classmate die of suicide are more likely to consider taking, or attempt to take, their own lives, according to a new study. The idea that suicide might be “contagious” has been around for centuries, senior author Dr. Ian Colman, who studies mental health at the University of Ottawa, said. Past studies supported the idea, but none had looked at such a large body of students, he said. “There were a lot of surprising things about this study, we were surprised that the effect lasted so long and just how strong it was,” Colman said. Colman and his colleagues used data from a long-running national survey of more than 8,000 Canadian kids aged 12 to 17 years old. Students were asked about suicides of schoolmates, friends and their own thoughts of suicide, and researchers checked in with the kids two years later. By the age of 17, one in four kids had a schoolmate who had committed suicide, and one in five knew the deceased personally, according to results published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. For the 12- and 13-year-old adolescents exposed to a schoolmate's suicide, 15 percent reported thinking seriously about killing themselves and seven percent actually made an attempt, compared to 3 percent and 2 percent of unexposed kids, respectively. The effect persisted even if the schoolmate had died more than a year earlier. Results were similar for 14- and 15-year-olds and 16- and 17-year-olds, but older kids who had not been exposed to suicide were more likely to have thought of or attempted it. “For 12- and 13-year olds, they were approximately five times more likely to report thinking about suicide,” Colman said. “That's a huge effect.” They found no difference between kids who personally knew the deceased and those who didn't. In the U.S., about 4,600 people aged 10 to 25 years old commit suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control. NEW POLICIES? Based on the results, school “post-vention” programs should encompass the whole school, not just those closest to the deceased, and should perhaps revisit parts of the intervention months and years down the line, Colman said. It may make sense that kids who knew the deceased and those who didn't seemed to have no difference in risk, Frank Zenere, a school psychologist at the Miami-Dade County public school system, said. “Sometimes the closest friends are not the ones that are most likely to harm themselves because they're so up close and aware of the painful fallout with the family of the deceased, which can actually be a protective factor,” Zenere said. The younger kids tend to be most vulnerable and impressionable, he said. “There's a lot more drama in middle school grade levels, they tend to have much more of an emotional outpouring, early teens versus late teens,” he said. Though the current study indicates the effect persists for at least two years, Zenere believes it may go on even longer. Some school districts may rewrite policies and procedures in light of these results, but those at most, including his own, are probably already designed to take relevant factors into account. “It's really important for parents to talk to their kids about mental health and to help them get professional help if needed,” Colman said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/21/schoolmates-suicide-victims-at-higher-risk/

Newer whooping cough vaccine not as protective

A newer version of the whooping cough vaccine doesn't protect kids as well as the original, which was phased out in the 1990s because of safety concerns, according to a new study. During a 2010-2011 outbreak of whooping cough in California, researchers found that youth who had been vaccinated with the newer, so called acellular vaccine were six times more likely to catch whooping cough than those who had received a series of the older whole-cell vaccine. “This is an ongoing saga,” said Dr. H. Cody Meissner, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. The rate of whooping cough, or pertussis, has been climbing in recent years, he said - to the point where “we're worried about losing control of pertussis in the United States.” The pertussis vaccine is given in combination with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus. Originally the shot contained whole pertussis bacteria, which triggered reactions in some babies - including prolonged crying, fever and a “shock-like state,” said Meissner, who wasn't involved in the new research. So in the 1990s, the U.S. switched over to an acellular version of the vaccine, which has reduced the rate of side effects. “But the price we've paid to get more safety is that we have less effectiveness,” Meissner told Reuters Health. “It doesn't protect as well against pertussis.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends four doses of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) be given to babies between two and 18 months, and a fifth dose by age six. A booster was recently added to the vaccine schedule for 11- to 12-year-olds. For the new study, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health system compared the vaccination history of 138 teenagers and preteens who tested positive for whooping cough and about 55,000 who did not during the state's 2010-2011 outbreak. Over the course of the outbreak, 78 out of every 100,000 adolescents were infected per year. Almost all of the kids had received the newer acellular vaccine as their fifth DTaP dose. But Dr. Nicola Klein and her colleagues found that teens who'd been vaccinated with the acellular version for each of their first four doses as well were six times more likely to contract whooping cough than those who'd received four doses of the whole-cell vaccine. Each extra acellular rather than whole-cell dose increased a child's risk of later developing whooping cough by about 40 percent, the researchers reported Monday in Pediatrics. Klein said there seem to be some differences in the initial immune response to the whole-cell vaccine versus the acellular vaccine, which may persist as children get older. Her team's study, she said, suggests there needs to be more of a focus on developing a third pertussis vaccine. But any new shot for whooping cough that could address both safety and effectiveness concerns is still years away, Meissner said. “So now we're confronted with this difficult problem,” he said. “It's very hard to recommend a vaccine that is known to be associated with more side effects than another vaccine that's safer, even though the first vaccine gives better protection. It's a dilemma.” The findings do not mean parents shouldn't get their children fully vaccinated against pertussis, the researchers agreed. “In the short run, we have to keep vaccinating kids on the recommended schedule because that's definitely the best way to protect kids,” Klein told Reuters Health. “The acellular vaccine does work, it just doesn't last as long as we hoped,” she said. “It's the best tool we have right now to protect against pertussis.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/20/newer-whooping-cough-vaccine-not-as-protective/

8 healthy ways to cope with your emotions

Some days you’re so sleep deprived, stressed out and overwhelmed that you feel like you might just lose your cool. But instead of having your own meltdown, read on for eight simple and effective ways you can deal with your feelings and find your inner Zen. 1. Realize that emotions are natural. As a child, you probably learned that expressing emotions wasn’t acceptable behavior with messages like “big girls don’t cry,” or “I’ll give you something to cry about.”  Yet “emotions are just pure physiology in the body,” said Jude Bijou, a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, and author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.  And all feelings are rooted in just three emotions: anger, sadness and fear. Expressing them is perfectly normal, even healthy, Bijou said. 2. Have a Plan B. Tantrums, meltdowns and sibling fights are inevitable, but if you anticipate and plan ahead, you’ll be more equipped to handle tough situations, according to Nicole Knepper, a licensed clinical professional counselor and author of Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind. Some ideas: throw your tantruming tot into the bath and let him or her play while you take your own time out or take a trip to the park during the witching hour. 3. Adjust your expectations. If you’re trying to be the perfect mom and follow every piece of advice you hear, you’ll only set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Instead, reevaluate and do what’s realistic for your family.  “Don’t think about how it should be; look at how it is,” Knepper said. 4. Check out. Stuck at home with the kids on a rainy day? Set the kids up with any activity and take a 20 minute break to read a magazine, take a bath or call a friend. “Any way that you find brings you comfort and support, take it,” Knepper said.   5. Laugh it off. According to a recent Oxford University study, a good belly laugh releases mood-boosting endorphins and can even help relieve pain. “It’s OK to see the fun in the dysfunction,” Knepper said, “because if you don’t, you will set yourself up for an absolute crack up.” 6. Release the energy. Counting to 10 or taking deep breaths are surprisingly ineffective ways to deal with emotions, but moving the energy out of the body in a physical way—much like a child does—is. “It breaks that grip that the emotions have on you,” Bijou said. So if you’re angry, push your hand against the door jam, stomp your feet on the floor, pound your fist into the mattress or just say, “Ughh!” If you’re feeling blue, have a good cry. For fear, instead of tightening up your body, shake and shiver it out. Are the kids around?  Go into another room or explain that you’re upset and that it will pass in a minute. 7. Learn acceptance. It’s hard to discipline your child when your emotions are running high, but if you accept his or her behavior in the moment, it will be much easier to communicate the way you want him or her to act.  “Rather [than saying] ‘She should be different,’ say, ‘That’s the way she is.’ Re-orient your thinking into acceptance rather than expectation,” Bijou said.   8. Get help. Twenty-eight percent of stay at home moms and 17 percent of working moms say they’re depressed, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. If you feel like you just can’t get a handle on your emotions, reach out to family or friends for support or seek professional help.Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/12/8-healthy-ways-to-cope-with-your-emotions/