- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
VACCINE SHORTAGE UPDATE
A couple of months ago we sent out an article discussing the U.S. vaccine shortage problem. We listed which vaccines are in short supply, which illnesses you need to be more careful of during this shortage, and which diseases you don't need to be concerned about. We told you that your doctor may withhold toddler booster doses of the Prevnar vaccine until the shortage is over, thus insuring that infants get the complete initial series.
Now a brief update - the CDC has now recommended that toddlers should not get their 18-month booster dose (4th) dose of DTaP, and five-year-olds should not get their kindergarten booster dose of DTaP until this shortage is over. Exactly when is this shortage going to end? Officials are not sure, but it is believed that vaccine manufacturers will be able to increase production so that the shortage will be over in the middle of 2002. We will keep you posted.
Click here to read our complete discussion on the U.S. vaccine shortage.
SMALLPOX VACCINE UPDATE
Just a quick update. Health officials have released a plan to deal with any smallpox outbreaks. If any confirmed cases of smallpox occur, then a small population of susceptible people around this case will be vaccinated.
Why not just vaccinate our whole country so everyone is protected? Click here to read more about this illness and the vaccine.
Dr. Sears comments: Over the years it has been the practice of some doctors to recommend an initial double dose for high fevers. I am not so sure this is wise. Yes, it may be more effective, but more research needs to be done to make sure this higher dose is safe. Another danger is that some parents may continue to give the double dose repeatedly thinking that it is safe. I recommend waiting for more safety research. Click here to read our complete guide to treating fevers.
INFANTS WITH A FAMILY HISTORY OF ALLERGIES WHO ARE IN DAYCARE ARE AT HIGHER RISK OF LUNG INFECTIONS
Dr. Sears comments: I realize that for some families, daycare is the only option. For those parents who suffer from allergies, AND are considering putting their infant in daycare, you may want to think hard about this decision and look for some other options. Infants who catch lung infections have a high risk of suffering from asthma throughout their childhood. Click here to read about choosing the right daycare for you. Click here to read about alternatives to daycare for the working mom.
ACUPUNCTURE AGAIN SHOWN TO BE EFFECTIVE
Dr. Sears comments: I am a firm supporter of alternative medicine and am very glad to see that it is becoming more widely accepted.
NEW NATIONWIDE POISON CONTROL CENTER HOTLINE
NEW ASTHMA MEDICATION APPROVED FOR CHILDREN
Dr. Sears comments: I have started using this medication in my practice, and am happy with the results. If people use albuterol too much, it can lose its effectiveness. Xopenex theoretically does not have this problem. People with asthma who use nebulizers should ask their doctor about switching to Xopenex. It is expected the drug will be approved for younger children in the future. Click here to read our complete asthma guide.
ANTHRAX VACCINE PRODUCTION TO START
Dr. Sears comments: click here to read a complete discussion on this disease and the vaccine.
CHICKENPOX CASES HAVE DECLINED MARKEDLY