A War For Children’s Health

In 1988, polio still ravaged about 350,000 new people each year, causing damage that will last for the rest of their lives. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, the CDC, and Rotary International saw that polio could be entirely eradicated from the world. Their aim is to have it gone by 2005. So far, they have […]

College and Meningitis

When your child first packs up and heads off for college, it is a bittersweet moment. How horrible if meningitis were to make the separation permanent. The first year is the critical time. Freshmen living in dormitories are at the greatest risk — more than 7 times higher than undergraduates in general — according to […]

Mercury Questions

Two questions came up in chat about news urging us to reduce children’s exposure to mercury. Is there mercury in fish oil capsules? And should we delay or forgo vaccines in children because of the mercury in the vaccines?

A New Use for Polio Vaccine?

The polio virus, once widely feared for its power to cripple and kill, may be the key to treating deadly brain tumors. A report at the May 2001 meeting of the American Society for Microbiology described how the virus targets and destroys the tumor cells of malignant gliomas, which are among the most common and […]

Ear Piercing

Is 4 weeks old to early to have my daughter’s ears pierced? My Grandma thinks I should wait until she’s 4-5 months old so she won’t pick at them. I think that at 4 weeks old, she doesn’t have a clue as to where or what her ears are, as opposed to a 4-5 month-old baby, so I would rather have it done now.

Ear Piercing – How Early is Too Early?

Many parents opt to wait on ear piercing until a child is able to make the decision for herself (or himself). Some parents find it desirable for their children to have pierced ears as babies. But how early is too early?

Antibiotic-Resistant Pneumococcal Bacteria Are An Ever Greater Problem

Multidrug-resistant strains of pneumococci are common in the US and continue to increase — especially in children under age 5 — according to a report published in the December 28th, 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors are hopeful, as am I, that the pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, will protect children from […]

Chicken Pox Vaccine

No matter how much is known about a vaccine before it is licensed for routine use, after it has been used in millions of people it is possible to discover side effects that are too subtle or too rare to show up in pre-license testing. The November 2000 issue of Infectious Diseases in Children reviewed […]

Teen Immunization

Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to a growing problem: an estimated 35 million teens, in the United States alone, are missing one or more doses of childhood vaccines. This leaves these teens vulnerable to catching preventable infections as adults, when the diseases are often more serious and have […]

Aerosol Form Of Measles Vaccine

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if kids could get vaccines that were safe and effective without having to have a needle poke? The March 4th, 2000 issue of The Lancet featured an article about an aerosol form of measles vaccine that was almost twice as effective as the injection, while maintaining a similar safety profile.

CDC Recommends Routine Hepatitis A Vaccine For All Children

In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended routine Hepatitis A vaccination for children in high-risk areas. Hepatitis A is a serious, debilitating disease that can be spread easily by mouth. Children often get it from eating foods that are contaminated when infected farm workers or food handlers fail to wash their […]

Prevnar Vaccine Available to Prevent Ear and Sinus Infections

Antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal infections have become a major health problem. In February 2000 the FDA approved Prevnar, the exciting new vaccine that can prevent pneumococcal infections – the leading cause of serious meningitis and pneumonia. The pneumococcusis also the number one cause of ear infections and sinus infections, something that affects most young children.

Parents Question Double MMR Vaccinations

I recently heard from an anxious mother in Kuwait,”My son has been vaccinatedtwice with the MMR by mistake, one was at 1.5 year and the second at 3.9 years. Please kindly advise.”

Preventing Lyme Disease

The Lyme disease vaccine is not yet proven safe and effective for children under age 15, although the vaccine looks promising for children in studies currently underway. In the meantime the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued January 2000 guidelines for the prevention of Lyme disease. Because a tick needs to be attached for at […]

Lyme Disease Vaccine

The newly approved Lyme disease vaccine is not yet proven safe and effective for children under age 15, although the vaccine looks promising for children in studies currently underway.

The Millennium Baby – A Century of Technology

Having a baby in January 2000 is very different from having a baby in January 1900. Back then, there were no early pregnancy tests to know in a moment that a baby was coming, and no blood tests or amniocentesis or prenatal ultrasounds to know that the baby was okay.

Update on Vaccine – Related Deaths

Children have received vaccines for many years. But in 1991, for the first time, newborns began receiving a vaccine. Has this caused an increase in SIDS or in vaccine-related deaths?

Polio Recommendations

No more polio? The World Health Organization was on target to eliminate polio by the end of the year 2000. This wonderful achievement also changes the risks vs. benefits for polio vaccines. For that reason, in 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended  that no more live, oral polio vaccine (OPV) be given in the […]

Pneumococcal Vaccine

In 1999, I attended the national meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, D.C. At the opening of the conference, Sarah Long, M.D. announced that the new pneumococcal vaccine would be available in early 2000. I was thrilled!