July 21, 2017 1:55 pm
When most of today’s parents were children, chickenpox was almost seen as a rite of passage. By the age of nine, nearly every child had endured a week or two of discomfort at the hands of chickenpox and most came through the other side unscathed, but sadly, some children did develop much more serious complications. Fortunately, chickenpox is now a much rarer occurrence thanks to a highly effective and safe vaccine. Still, it’s an illness every parent should keep an eye out for, so our board-certified pediatricians have compiled this helpful guide with everything you need to know about chickenpox.
Keeping your child healthy involves a combination of practices, like avoiding contagious people when possible, keeping up with your child’s recommended immunization schedule, and instilling general good health habits so your child’s immune system is always at the top of its game. Plus, last but not least, educating yourself about illnesses your kids might face will help you know how to react and when to seek medical attention. If you have questions about chickenpox or anything else regarding your kids’ health, give us a call or schedule an appointment on the Children’s Wellness Center patient portal. For more kids’ health tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
September 23, 2016 5:04 pm
Flu season is approaching and that means it’s time for parents to brush up on recent flu developments and available treatments for the virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated their annual flu season guidelines for the 2016-17 flu season. We at Children’s Wellness Center consider the AAP to be a consistently dependable, vital resource in the field of children’s medicine and recommend adhering to these new guidelines.
Updated annually, the AAP flu guidelines are an extremely valuable resource to parents trying to keep their kids healthy through the long flu season. These guidelines provide recommendations on when treatments for children should be administered, as well as how often (depending on a child’s age and vaccination history). There are also specific updates about which immunizations are available and recommended this season.
The AAP stated that immunizations remain the best available preventive measure against the flu virus and recommend that all children (starting at 6 months of age) receive a seasonal flu shot during the 2016-17 season. Children between 6 months and 8 years may need 2 doses per season, depending on their immunization history. Kids 9 years or older will only need 1 dose. Additionally, they recommend that vaccinations should be administered by the end of October, though it’s never too late. Flu immunizations are currently available at Children’s Wellness Center now. Immunizations may continue to be offered until June 30th, effectively marking the end of the flu season.
Perhaps the most surprising development in these new guidelines is the AAP withdrawing their recommendation for FluMist. This vaccination, taken in the form of a nasal spray, became a popular alternative to flu shots in recent years for parents who preferred to avoid injections for their children. Unfortunately, the AAP and the Center for Disease Control have mutually agreed that FluMist did not effectively protect against certain strains of the flu that were prominent during the past three seasons.
We understand that thinking about this kind of stuff can be unsettling for parents, but information is crucial in the fight against the flu and we at Children’s Wellness Center are happy to provide it. If you have questions or concerns about flu shots or would like to schedule an appointment for your child please contact Children’s Wellness Center at (404) 303-1314. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube for more information and updates.
August 18, 2016 7:09 am
It’s never easy sending one of your kids off to college. The idea of your child leaving home for the first time can be a frightening proposition for parents. One way to help alleviate some of the stress and worry of your bird leaving the nest is to make sure you’ve done everything in your power to prepare your teen for college. This could mean anything from talking to your kids about avoiding drugs and alcohol and teaching them how to prepare healthy meals to instilling healthy habits like cleaning contaminated surfaces and getting them all the necessary vaccinations.
Immunizations are important for anyone, but especially college students living in extremely close quarters like dormitories that can be breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and diseases. Common practices like sharing bathrooms, showers, drinks and various other personal items can make your teen extra vulnerable to these potential threats. All these factors solidify the need for proper immunizations for your teen before leaving for school.
Listed below are some of the most common vaccinations for college freshman as well as some others to consider:
Hepatitis B is one of the most essential vaccines for students starting college. Hepatitis B is a blood-borne infection that can be transmitted through sexual activity. The disease can cause long-term liver damage if not properly treated. Hepatitis B can be contracted through contact with bodily fluids from someone who already has it. Sharing personal hygiene items like razors or toothbrushes can also spread Hepatitis B.
Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. College students may be at an increased risk for contracting bacterial meningitis. If not treated, meningitis can lead to severe, permanent issues like hearing loss, brain damage or even death. Common symptoms to look out for include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Both bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious and can be spread from coming into direct contact with people.
Here at Children’s Wellness Center we offer two of the more commonly-recommended meningitis vaccinations, Menactra® and Bexsero®. These vaccines work by exposing the patient to a small dose of the inactive bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. Both vaccines come highly recommended for college-aged students.
Additional Vaccines to Consider
All states have different vaccination requirements for college students, so keep that in mind if your teen will be attending an out-of-state school. In most states, an up-to-date Tetanus booster is required. Additionally, many colleges require immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella varicella (chickenpox). Other vaccinations we recommend for your teen include shots for Hepatitis A and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
We can’t tell you not to worry about sending your kid off to college. After all, we know you’re only human. At least take some comfort in knowing that thanks to these immunizations, you can scratch these potentially dangerous diseases off your list of things to be concerned about while your teen is away at school. If you have any questions or concerns regarding immunizations for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center today at 404-303-1314.