This next post isn’t necessarily adolescent-specific, however since the Anti-Vaccine movement is in its adolescence, I’m making an exception. Right now, you can’t throw a snowball without running into a story about measles, vaccinations, and Disneyland. If you are on social media at all, you have seen sketches by comedians, interviews of scientists, pleas from parents of infants, opinions from politicians, and warnings from the happiest place on earth. You have also seen a lot of misinformation. With each report, there are arguments: on one side, there is the medical and science community along with people who vaccinate their kids, on the other side are people who choose not to vaccinate. These arguments get really heated (seriously, read the comments section on some of these…actually, don’t read them). So, what’s the real deal with measles and the current outbreak?
It’s cold out, and no doubt little ones are bundled up for warmth. But, while those layers may be protecting them from the cold, they actually pose a hazard in the car.
Bulky winter coats don’t allow the straps of the car seat to be tight to the child. In the unlikely event of a car crash, the coat will compress and make the straps loose.
Winter is right around the corner, and with it cold and flu season. One of the most common conditions we see in the winter is called “Bronchiolitis.” It is an infection of the lower respiratory tract characterized by cough, congestion, and wheezing, and is very common in children.
The infection causes cells lining the small airways to die and can clog those airways causing difficulty breathing. Bronchiolitis is most commonly caused by a viral infection, so antibiotics do not help. The virus most frequently associated with bronchiolitis is called RSV which usually circulates between November and April, with most infections and hospitalizations occurring in January and February. Almost all children have been infected by age 3, but most do not need to be hospitalized.
When I hear 594, I think about…
So far this year, almost 2 people per day in the United States has become infected with measles. Yes, 594 people in the United States from Jan 1 to September 29th have developed measles.
As a pediatric resident, I’ve read a lot about measles but have never diagnosed a child with measles. In fact, many pediatricians who trained in the last 15-20 years are like me. That’s why our newsletters are currently filled with information about how to identify measles, how to prevent the complications, and how to keep our patients healthy.
The sun is shining, the corn is knee-high, and everyone wants be out in the sun before winter rolls back in. As people are planning their summer vacations, many pediatricians are asked about how and when infants or toddlers can participate in their parents’ or siblings’ favorite summer activities, such as biking, swimming, and boating. Being outdoors and active is great for the whole family, but safety – as always – comes first when you’re thinking about having your little one along.