Healthcare

An Emerging Travel Disease- MERS (Article)

Disease prevention and control has become an important part of life in the age of globalization and frequent international travel. Since children frequently have opportunities for international travel, parents need to stay vigilant and informed about new, emerging infectious diseases. Right now, the Korean peninsula is struggling with an emerging respiratory disease that researchers think jumped from camels in the middle east to humans. Continue reading

Good News on Baby Shots, But… (Article)

We still have more children to immunize as the recent Disney measles outbreak demonstrates, but there is great cause for celebration by pediatricians and public health officials: vaccination rates among young children are actually quite high. From 2012-2013, many of the most important vaccines for young children such as the measles vaccine (MMR), hepatitis B vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, and chicken pox vaccine have been administered to over 90% of children aged 19 -35 months. It is estimated that this level of vaccination in children born between 1994 and 2013 will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths during these children’s lifetimes.  What a tremendous achievement! But it is too early to rest on our laurels. In order to get the maximum benefit from vaccines for our children, we need to continue to improve vaccine delivery for every child. Currently, we are having problems getting the children of families with either very low and very high incomes vaccinated.
 

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The Cost of Childhood Obesity (Article)

Tackling the obesity problem has been on the forefront of the minds of politicians, doctors, and parents. Childhood obesity, defined as a BMI greater than 99% of the population, affects 20% of the children between the ages of 6 to 19 years old. This rate has doubled during the last two decades. A US Task Force on Childhood Obesity has set an ambitious goal to reduce that number to 5% by 2030. With the help of everyone who cares for children, I believe this is both achievable and cost effective.

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Why Vitamin K for Newborns You Ask? (Article)

 

Ask any mother or grandmother who was alive 1900, and they would tell you about a disorder that is rarely seen today, that of Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) in a newborn baby. A simple single dose of vitamin K, given to almost all babies born in the U.S., made this disease just a bad memory… until recently. Parents today just don’t worry about this disease anymore but imagine you were a mother who had a perfectly normal pregnancy and delivery, had a healthy infant who was thriving at home, and suddenly at about 2 months of age, they had a devastating bleeding event in their brain with seizure and other devastating effects or began bleeding to death from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Unfortunately, in today’s hyper informed world, many parents have become more worried about theoretical risks of harm to their newborn from a simple dose of vitamin K that is recommended for newborns at birth, than the known risk of hemorrhagic disease in a newborn who don’t receive this therapy.

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