Measles in the U.S.

By Elizabeth Chea, M.D.

As the number of cases of measles in the U.S. has reached over 100 people, this is the time to make sure that your child is protected. Most of these cases can be traced back to an exposure in Disneyland in December but now 17 states and Mexico have confirmed measles. 

Measles is a very contagious virus that can be passed into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and can be inhaled for up to 2 hours after leaving the infected individual.  Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and rash.  If contracted, measles can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. 

Due to the rise in measles cases, the CDC is now recommending that infants 6 to 11 months old who are in an outbreak area or traveling internationally receive the MMR vaccine.  The CDC recommends that children receive their first MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months and the second vaccine at 4 to 6 years old.  There are instances when the MMR vaccine should not be administered to include pregnant women, anyone immune compromised, or anyone with a history of an allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine.  Please discuss with your pediatrician any concerns with your child receiving the vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a statement to encourage MMR vaccination.

Click on this link to read a letter from the AAP: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-President-Urges-Parents-to-Vaccinate-Their-Children-Against-Measles.aspx

This is the time to make sure that your child is adequately vaccinated and protected from the disease. Please talk to your CMC pediatrician if you have any questions about measles or vaccines so we can keep your child protected and healthy.

Pediatricians Play a Role in Children’s Oral Health

In a revised statement, “Maintaining and Improving the Oral Health of Young Children,” which is featured in the December 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the AAP notes that pediatricians play an important role in improving oral health for young children. Younger children often see a pediatrician more frequently than a dentist, putting pediatricians in a unique position to provide oral health counseling. 

– See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Pediatricians-Play-a-Role-in-Children’s-Oral-Health.aspx

AAP Recommends Flu Vaccine for All Children Six Months and Older

A recent report by the AAP proposes that children ages six months and older should be immunized against influenza once the vaccination is available. The report, published September 22, 2014, states that although the vaccine strains have not changed since last season, another dose of the vaccine is essential.

To learn more about this news, read the American Academy of Pediatrics article here.

AAP Recommends Fluoride to Prevent Tooth Decay

A recent report by the AAP suggests that fluoride is effective in cavity prevention in children. According to the report published on August 25, 2014, the AAP recommends fluoridated toothpaste in appropriate amounts for children, under the supervision of an adult. For example, a grain of rice sized dab of toothpaste should be used up to the age of three once teeth have erupted and after age three a pea-sized amount is recommended. The AAP also cautions against over-the-counter fluoridated products for children younger than 6 as there is a risk of swallowing high levels of fluoride.

To learn more about this news, read the American Academy of Pediatrics article here:

http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Recommends-Fluoride-to-Prevent-Dental-Caries.aspx

 

FDA Issues Warning For Teething Pain Medicine

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning for oral viscous lidocaine, which is used in some topical teething medicines. According to a safety announcement issued by the FDA on June 26, 2014, these prescription oral medicines can lead to serious harm or even death in infants and young children. 

If you have any questions, please contact your CMC physician. 

To learn more about this news, read the Pediatric News article here.

Reach Out and Read and Pediatric Literacy

Children’s Medical Center, PA, supports promoting pediatric literacy by participating in the Reach Out and Read program and giving children a book at their check ups from 6 months to 5 years old. On Tuesday, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new, national effort that promotes early literacy in pediatrics, something that CMC is very excited about.
 
Brian Gallagher, Acting Executive Director of Reach Out and Read, joined representatives from their longstanding partner Scholastic to meet with Secretary Clinton in Denver at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting. They launched a partnership that aimed at raising awareness among parents about the importance of early language development. Along with pediatric literacy, Clinton’s Too Small to Fail initiative is also involved in the partnership.
 
For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics has published a policy statement that promotes books and literacy guidance as an essential part of pediatrics, from the start of a child’s life. To bring this statement to life, Scholastic is donating 500,000 new children’s books to Reach Out and Read clinics across the country.
 
In the Carolinas, Reach Out and Read currently serves more than 275,000 families. Thanks to this generous gift, more families will be able to make reading aloud a daily activity.
 
Through CMC’s Reach Out and Read program, we will ensure that all children enter school prepared to succeed. 

To learn more about this partnership, click here.

Reach Out and Read was featured in The New York Times! Read the article about our new partnership here.