Measles Outbreaks Highlight the Importance of Vaccines

Measles outbreak

Most parents of school-age kids are way too young to recall how prevalent measles was in its heyday. A very serious, highly contagious respiratory disease that affects the lungs and respiratory tract, measles affected 3 to 4 million people in the United States each year before vaccination began in 1963. Back then, measles — which can be passed on through a cough or sneeze — put 48,000 people in the hospital and killed 500 people annually.

With vaccinations routinely given to children for the past 55 years, it’s easy to assume that measles has been totally wiped out. Unfortunately, as more children in school show up without being vaccinated, measles outbreaks have popped up more frequently. Just this year, more than 100 cases have been confirmed in 21 states — especially in Washington and Oregon – with most cases diagnosed in children who have not had the routine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

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Burn Dangers in the Kitchen

It’s National Burn Awareness Week and our Burn Center wants to help you prevent burns. Scalds were the most common injury for children in the Burn Center in 2018. One place where scalds and burns happen is the kitchen. As children grow, they like to try out their independence. And that may mean trying to “help” mom or dad in the kitchen.

Keep kids safe in the kitchen with these tips to avoid accidental burns:

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Managing the Stress of the Holidays

Even before the last piece of pumpkin pie has been consumed (and let’s be honest – these days, it’s more like – before the last piece of Halloween candy is handed out), it seems like holiday preparations are underway. But the reality of the holidays can be very different than the marshmallow world singers croon about.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

There’s no doubt that the giving spirit of the season can lead to feeling financial pressure. The gift wish lists kids have written out are often filled with expensive items like video game consoles, tablets and more. But, rather than compromise your household budget, how do you help kids understand what’s realistic while still ensuring it’s another holiday for the memory books.

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Phthalates and BPA

Whether grocery shopping or buying household goods, you’ve likely seen items – from soup cans to plastic containers – labeled BPA-free. But what is it and why does it matter?

Bisphenol-A (or BPA) is a chemical that is used in the creation of certain types of plastics (polycarbonates), as well as in the coating on the inside of metal food and beverage containers to prevent corrosion and leakage.

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Raising Kids Who Love Nature

For thousands of years, humans have recognized the soul-calming effect of time spent in nature. But between the lure of screen time and frenzied schedules packed with organized sports and other activities, it can be difficult to get kids outside to just be.

Only 51 percent of preschool kids go out outside once a day to walk or play, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends outdoor playtime in its recent report titled “The Power of Play.” Even short periods of outdoor time can help kids get more active, reduce anxiety, improve mood and concentration, and sleep better at night.

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