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85% of Children Who Died of Flu Last Year Were Unvaccinated

Posted by Jessica Lanerie, M.D. on Oct 24, 2018 2:17:42 PM

Children and the elderly don’t have the strong immune system most others have. When an illness sweeps across the country, they are often the most affected. This is why it’s incredibly important to make sure your child has his or her flu vaccination as early as possible. Last year, 85 percent of the children who died from the flu were unvaccinated and  one unvaccinated child has already died this year. These are heartbreaking statistics, but hopefully we can reduce this through education and awareness. 

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Topics: influenza, seasonal flu, unvaccinated

Good News for Kids: FluMist Nasal Vaccine Is Back … But with a Caveat

Posted by Jessica Lanerie, M.D. on Oct 3, 2018 10:03:43 AM

If there are two things I know, it’s that most kids aren’t overly fond of shots and vaccinating your kids for flu season is incredibly important. This can be a tough balancing act when it comes time to take your needle-shy kiddo to the doctor to protect him or her from the flu each year. It is especially tough during flu seasons like 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, when it was determined that the FluMist nasal spray shouldn’t be used because it was ineffective. This year, though, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 12 to 2 to return the nasal spray to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of recommended vaccines for the 2018-2019 flu season. The committee stopped short of explicitly recommending the nasal spray, however, and will instead let providers and patients decide if they’ll use it instead of traditional flu shots. 

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Topics: Flu shot, flu nasal vaccine, FluMist

Are You Up to Speed with Recently Changed Rear-Facing Car Seat Guidelines?

Posted by Kara Carter, M.D. on Sep 19, 2018 9:52:00 AM

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its guidelines about rear-facing car seats. If you have a child in a car seat, it is important to know these changes. 

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Topics: rear-facing car seat age change, rear-facing car seat guidelines

Warning Signs Your Child Might Have a Communication Disorder

Posted by Sophie Lung, M.D. on Aug 27, 2018 8:02:00 AM

You learn things about your baby as you grow together. From “Is that a hungry cry or a mad cry?” to “She rubs her nose when she’s sleepy,” your baby can communicate basic needs and wants to you. But every baby is different, which means that recognizing milestones, such as when baby should start crawling, walking, and especially talking, can be tough to measure. I find that parents fret over trying to figure out when their babies should be talking. It’s different for every child, but there are signs to look for if you’re concerned your baby might have a communication disorder. 

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Topics: communication disorder

Now’s the Time to Start Preparing Kids to Go Back to School

Posted by Kathryn Wright, M.D. on Aug 8, 2018 8:19:00 AM

If you’re like many of the parents I know, your schedules can become a little lax from June to August when school is out. It can be hard to break away from that, but there does come a time when it’s a good idea to start getting kids back into a routine before school starts. In fact, that time is now. Not only will doing so help them adjust to the new school year, but it also will likely help you, too! 

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Topics: back to school, school routines, routines for school

Ouch! My Kid Has Little League Elbow!

Posted by Kara Carter, M.D. on Jul 30, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Gone are the days when young athletes play their sport for a few months a year and then take a long break. Year-round play is the new norm, and not only are kids playing year-round, they’re also competing at a higher level. This means that paying special attention to how your kid is playing, and for how long at a time, is important to help reduce injuries like little league elbow. 

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Topics: little league elbow, how is little league elbow treated, kids sports injury elbow

Kids and Hot Cars Don’t Mix

Posted by Jessica Lanerie, M.D. on Jul 11, 2018 8:08:00 AM

Temperatures in Houston have already exceeded 100 degrees with humidity factored in. During the summer, it’s incredibly important to stay vigilant when it comes to leaving children in the car. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, one child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle nearly every 10 days in the United States. In 2017, there were 42 accidental heat-related car deaths in the United States, and seven of those were in Texas. 

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Topics: the danger of kids in hot cars, heat related car deaths, never leave a child alone in a car, forgetting kids in the car

Parents, if You Do Only One Thing this Summer, Make Sure it’s Signing Your Child Up for Swim Lessons

Posted by Felicia Workeneh, M.D. on Jun 20, 2018 10:15:00 AM

School’s out and many of us, including our kids, are hitting the beach or pool or tubing in the Hill Country. But not everyone who does so knows how to swim. Accidental drownings happen to about 3,500 people per year in the United States, and the majority of those involved children younger than 14. And yet, drowning is preventable. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found kids who take swim lessons are 88 percent less likely to drown. So, before your children spend any amount of time in the water, please enroll them in swim lessons. 

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Topics: child drownings, teach your child how to swim, swimming lessons for kids, help prevent drownings with swimming lessons

Ready to Dive into a Pool of Disease-Causing Parasites?

Posted by Michelle Udayamurthy, M.D. on Jun 16, 2018 9:45:00 AM

School is out, so there’s a good chance you and your family are planning a vacation soon – and I bet you’re looking forward to that! What’s not inviting about a resort where you can relax, not worry about doing dishes or laundry, and unwind in a pristine pool for however long you choose? Except there may be more than meets the eye with respect to the “pristine” pool, such as invisible parasites and bacteria that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were responsible for nearly a third of recreational waterborne disease outbreaks between 2000 and 2014. Who’s ready to jump in? 

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Topics: swimming pool parasites, swimming pools disease, swimming pools germs, swimming pools bacteria

Stop Using Benzocaine Teething Products!

Posted by Kathryn Wright, M.D. on Jun 13, 2018 8:13:00 AM

All you want to do is help your feverish, drooling, cranky baby who’s teething and isn’t sleeping, to feel better. For years, parents have reached for teething products with a numbing agent called benzocaine to help relieve the pain that comes from teething. And even though products containing benzocaine have been used for decades, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning against using these products, saying benzocaine poses a serious risk to infants and children younger than 2 years old. 

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Topics: benzocaine warning, FDA benzocaine warning, benzocaine teething products

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