Your Toddler

Long-Term Study Confirms Measles Vaccines Safe

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Researchers in a 12-year-study, investigating the safety of two measles-containing vaccines have found them safe and effective.

The study included children between the ages of 12 to 23 months. Some of the children received the MMRV vaccine (measles –mumps-rubella-varicella). The others were administered the MMR + V vaccine (measles, mumps. rubella and varicella), but they received both the MMR and the V vaccines on the same day.

In total, the researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in California looked at almost 125,000 MMRV doses and nearly 600,000 MMR + V doses.

Many parents are still concerned that there may be long-term health issues that are either introduced or triggered by the vaccines. Dr. Nicola Klein, co-director of the vaccine study center, said parents should feel confident in the vaccines’ safety.

"Our findings offer reassurance that adverse outcomes of measles-containing vaccines are extremely rare and unlikely, and that parents of 1-year-old children can choose MMR + V instead of MMRV vaccines to reduce the low risk of fever and febrile seizures," Klein said in a Kaiser Permanente news release.

The vaccines didn't increase children's risk of seven types of neurological, blood or immune system disorders. No other safety concerns were identified with either vaccine, according to the researchers.

Previous studies have suggested that the two vaccines are associated with fever and fever-related (febrile) seizures in one-year-old children. The study confirmed these previous findings. These types of seizures usually happen seven to 10 days after vaccination. The study also found that the MMRV is more likely to cause febrile seizures than MMR + V.

Febrile seizures, which happen during a fever, can be common in toddlers and young children. Although frightening to witness, seizures often don’t cause serious health problems. Having said that, anytime a child has an unexpected seizure, you should seek emergency help just in case.

The researchers emphasized the risks of febrile seizures from the vaccines is small; occurring in less than one of every 1,000 vaccine injections.

"This level of safety monitoring for vaccines can give the public confidence that vaccine surveillance is ongoing and that if a safety problem existed, it would be detected," Klein said in the news release.

The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics.

Source: Robert Preidt, http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20150107/long-term-study-finds-measles-vaccines-safe

Your Toddler

Eliminating Egg Allergy?

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You’ll find eggs or egg protein in lots of every day food products. From baked goods to canned soups, ice cream, pasta, salad dressings, mayonnaise and more. That’s fine unless your child is allergic to eggs - then it becomes a nightmare trying to find egg-free foods.

About four-percent of U.S. children experience some type of food allergy, with egg allergy being the most common. Many children will outgrow the allergy after age 5, but some will carry the sensitivity into adulthood. Food allergy reactions can vary widely ranging from mild to death, so they are not to be taken lightly. 

A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that by giving children with egg allergies a small amount of egg-white powder for 10 months, their allergy was reduced or eliminated after the study period.

Dr. Wesley Burks, the lead author of the study and chairman of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina spoke with ABCNews.com about the study’s findings. "The children were treated and then taken off treatment, the first large study to do so. Almost a third of those treated were able to come off treatment and now eat eggs in their diet."

Researchers enrolled 55 children and teens with egg allergies. Participants' families were then either given the equivalent of one-third of an egg in powder form, or a placebo, to mix into their children's food.

After 10 months, researchers gave the kids an "oral food challenge" in which they were given 5 grams of egg powder, the equivalent to one whole egg. They found that 55 percent of the children did not have an allergic reaction at that time. After 22 months, researchers gave the children two whole eggs and found that 75 percent of the children were no longer allergic. More than one-quarter of the study group was able to work egg back into their diet.

Other studies have worked with children to overcome different food allergies- such as peanuts and milk. Some of the studies have produced very good results by introducing the offending food in small doses and letting the immune system build up a tolerance. Although it may be tempting to begin this process with your own children, Burks warned parents not to try this at home.  

More trials are needed before the allergy intervention is used in widespread clinical practice. There needs to be Food and Drug Administration approval and further trials with bigger patient populations, and it could take a number of years before the intervention is seen in general practice.

"It is likely that this will eventually become an accepted clinical approach but even then it should be only done by physicians with experience in the procedure, who appreciate the dangers and have the time to carefully supervise the process," said Nelson. "This will never be an approach that should be conducted out in primary care."

Currently the only option for children or adults with food allergies is to eliminate the food completely from their diet. Researchers say this study and others like it may eventually lead to oral immunotherapy being the accepted treatment for all children who have food allergies.

Fifteen percent of food allergic individuals experience an accidental ingestion per year, said Dr. Tania Mucci, an allergist at Winthrop University Hospital in New York. While egg allergic patients would still need to be diligent, the potential for oral egg immunotherapy to decrease the risk of a severe reaction from an accidental ingestion would be extremely valuable for the patients mental and of course, physical health.

"Oral immunotherapy for food allergy, if safe and standardized, would be the Holy Grail for food allergic patients," said Mucci.

While the promise of a new treatment is hopeful for parents and guardians of children with egg allergies, at this time they should remain vigilant in eliminating eggs or egg protein products from their child’s diet.

How do you know if your child is allergic to eggs? 

Egg allergy reactions vary from person to person and usually occur soon after exposure to egg. Egg allergy symptoms can include:

- Skin inflammation or hives — the most common egg allergy reaction

- Allergic nasal inflammation (allergic rhinitis)

- Digestive (gastrointestinal) symptoms, such as cramps, nausea and vomiting

- Asthma signs and symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness or shortness of breath

A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency that requires an immediate epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms include:

- Constriction of airways, including a swollen throat or a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe

- Abdominal pain and cramping

- Rapid pulse

- Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure felt as dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

If you suspect your child may have a food allergy, discuss any symptoms you notice with your pediatrician or family doctor. He or she will refer you to an allergist or allergy specialist for testing.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/promising-egg-allergy-treatment/story?id=16...

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/egg-allergy/DS01021

Your Toddler

Have A Fun And Safe July Fourth!

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July Fourth is a great holiday for celebrating with family and friends. Make sure your precious time together is a safe one!Celebrating the Fourth of July is a time honored tradition. All across the country families and friends will be gathering to bar-b-cue, trade tall-tales, and watch fireworks.  As you gear up for your Fourth of July bash, we’ve got several tips to help your family stay safe.

Preventing Fireworks Accidents The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display. But if you decide to hold your own mini-celebration make sure your child doesn’t become another accident statistic. First, make sure you know the local laws regarding fireworks. Some states ban all consumer fireworks, while certain cities have their own laws prohibiting certain types of consumer fireworks. Don't assume your municipality or state allows the use of consumer fireworks you purchased elsewhere. And take note, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has banned some fireworks – including cherry bombs and M-80s – from public sale anywhere in the United States. Maintain a "hands-off" policy for children. Even if consumer fireworks are legal in your area, make sure your children know only adults should handle them. Even sparklers, which adults often overlook, can inflict painful and disfiguring burns. Educate your children. Because you can't control the behavior of your children's playmates, ask your kids to leave a celebration if their friends disregard the "adults-only" policy. Teach them to "stop, drop and roll" if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to call emergency services in your area, and show them how to put out fireworks with water or a fire extinguisher. Be prepared. Never ignite fireworks inside. Before you begin, select a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and other flammable materials. Have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Read and carefully follow all safety and lighting instructions. Maintain a long-distance relationship. You can minimize the risk of injuring yourself and others by making sure spectators are well out of range before you light fireworks, and by never: - Carrying fireworks in your pocket. - Throwing fireworks at anyone. - Placing any body part over fireworks. - Trying to re-light fireworks that malfunction. - Mixing alcohol consumption with fireworks displays. - Using homemade fireworks or explosives. Food safety Backyard bar-b-cues are a lot of fun as long as you follow food safety guidelines. Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler. Marinades Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria. Thawing Foods Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, you can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill. Transporting When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep Cold Food Cold Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler. Keep Everything Clean Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food. If you’re eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands. July Fourth can be a wonderful holiday full of great food, laughs, and activities. Have a blast and make it a safe one!

Your Toddler

1 in 5 Preschoolers Obese

A new study shows that the obesity rate in children continues to increase; almost one in five American 4-year-olds is obese. The study, conducted by researchers at Ohio State University and Temple University, also shows that the obesity rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese.

Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese. Obesity is more common in Hispanic and black children too, but the disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites. The lead author said that rate is worrisome among children so young, even in a population at higher risk for obesity because of other health problems and economic disadvantages. "The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, as it was surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood," said Sarah Anderson an Ohio State University public health researcher. Dr. Glen Flores, a pediatrics and public health professor at the University of Texas Southwester Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved in the study, said the research is an important contribution to studies documenting racial and ethnic disparities in children's weight. "The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a 'minority majority' nation," he said. With interventions, the next generation "will be at very high risk" for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity," said Flores.

Your Toddler

Holiday Safety Tips

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The holidays are a fun time of year for families, it's also an important time of year to be mindful of your child's safety.The holidays are a fun time of year for most families, it's also an important time of year to be mindful of your children's safety.

James Schmidt, an emergency room physician at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter in Virginia, sees plenty of avoidable accidents at this time of year — and all year round. "Each year," he says, "parents are warned of holiday hazards, including toxic mistletoe and dangerous toys. Unfortunately most of the holiday hazard stories miss the larger point regarding children's safety. Most of the household injuries that occur during the holiday are the exact same types of injuries that occur commonly throughout the year -— poisonings, choking, falls and burns." There is however, one common seasonal injury — that's when a child pulls over a Christmas tree. Trees should be securely fastened to the wall and toddlers should not be permitted close enough to a tree to tug on it, cautions Schmidt. Other dangers to watch for include easy access to alcohol at holiday gatherings. "During a large party, guests may leave half-imbibed cups around the house. Small children may wander the house sampling the drinks. Children often show up at ERs showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning," he says. Childproofing for the Holidays Most parents understand the importance of childproofing their homes. Gates on stairs, using smoke and carbon monoxide detectors , and keeping medicines and poisons out of reach are fairly standard in many homes. In addition to the risks of holiday decorations, younger children can get into trouble if they visit a home during the holidays (or anytime of year) that isn't childproofed. It is especially likely that a home isn't childproofed if you are visiting grandma and grandpa and they don't usually have children in the house. In addition to not having safety locks on cabinets, gates on stairs, covers on electrical outlets, etc., they may also have prescription medications that aren't in a child resistant container. Things to be especially watchful for, and which you may want to ask about, include: - Do they have a pool? Does it have a fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate? Can the children get to the area where the pool is located? - Are there guns in the house? Are they stored unloaded in a locked box with the bullets locked separately? - Are there small objects, such as hard candy or nuts in candy dishes, where younger children can get them? - Are there gates on the stairs? - Are medications, poisons, and household cleaners out of reach? - Do they have a pet that may harm the children? If there are going to be a lot of younger children present at a holiday gathering, you might consider volunteering to go over before hand and childproof the house for them. Toy Safety The following tips will help consumers choose appropriate toys: - Select safe toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children. - For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts that can pose a fatal choking hazard. - Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses, and other potential small parts. - For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points. - Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age 8. - Be a label reader. Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide. - If your child is going to be getting something that he can ride, such as a bicycle, inline skates, scooter, or a skateboard, be sure that he also gets the appropriate protective equipment, including a helmet and pads. - Discourage your small children from playing with BB and pellet guns.

Your Toddler

Iron Deficiency in Newborns

Babies at the higher end of the low-birth-weight spectrum are at risk of iron deficiency, and should get iron supplements, according to a Swedish study published Monday in Pediatrics.For years iron supplements have been given to low weight babies to reduce the long term effects of too little iron in the baby’s blood. A new Swedish study suggests that babies born in the mid-weight range can also benefit from iron supplementation.

Babies at the higher end of the low-birth-weight spectrum are at risk of iron deficiency, and should get iron supplements, according to a Swedish study published Monday in Pediatrics. These "marginally" low-birth-weight infants tip the scales at 4 pounds, 6-8 ounces when born. They represent a large percentage of newborns; for example, 5 percent of babies born in the US every year are in the marginally low-birth-weight range. While iron supplements are recommended for all low-birth-weight babies, these recommendations aren't always followed for the infants who fall into the marginal range, Dr. Magnus Domellof of Umea University in Sweden told Reuters Health. There is "large variation between different clinics and different hospitals, and there is a lack of guidelines." Iron deficiency can have a serious impact on a child’s neurological development, but giving too much iron may also be harmful. To investigate the effects of iron supplementation, Dr. Domellof and his colleagues randomly assigned 285 healthy, marginally low-birth-weight babies to receive either a placebo, or 1 milligram of iron per kilogram of body weight, or 2 milligrams of iron per kilogram, every day between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. At six months, the researchers found, 36 percent of children in the placebo group were iron deficient, compared to only 8 percent of the 1-mg group and 4 percent of the 2-mg group. The most severe deficiency, or anemia, was seen in 10 percent of the group given only the placebo. Eighteen percent of the exclusively breastfed babies in the placebo group had iron deficiency anemia. Dr. Domellof and his colleagues saw no adverse effects of iron supplementation in any of the infants. Full-term, healthy babies born to well-nourished mothers have adequate stores of iron in their bodies to carry them through their first 6 months of life. For this reason, they can thrive on breast milk, which contains very little iron, and then begin eating iron-rich solid foods at 6 months of age. But smaller babies have lower reserves, and need to start iron supplementation earlier. Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that marginally low-birth-weight infants should receive iron supplements from 6 weeks to 6 months of age. Dr. Domellof, and his colleagues, plan to follow the children up to age seven to determine whether iron deficiency -- or iron supplementation -- has long-term effects on health and development. Parents should discuss iron deficiency with their Pediatrician before starting their baby on an iron supplementation program.

Your Toddler

Rashes Prompt Warning over Baby Clothing

A warning has been issued to parents about Carter's Inc. your-baby garments with tag-less labels.A warning has been issued to parents about Carter's Inc. your-baby garments with tag-less labels after about 400 children developed rashes on their backs after wearing the clothes. The warning applies to about 110 million garments from the fall 2007 line according to Carter's. The affected clothing includes knit items such as body suits, shirts and PJs. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the clothes were made in various foreign countries and were sold at Carter's retail stores and a department and national chain stores.

The CPSC advises that children should stop using these garments if they develop a rash. More Information: Carter's Inc. More Information: Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Your Toddler

Falling TV Sets Can Be Deadly for Small Children

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The holidays are filled with joy, family, friends and presents. A popular present many families give themselves is a new TV. The old TV is sometimes regulated to the bedroom or guest room. While many of the newer models are lighter than the older ones, they can still crush a young child. Too often these TVs are not anchored well and sit on an eye-level stand.

A new report issued by The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that 43,000 people have been injured by falling TV sets, with 59% of injuries being children.

CPSC urges parents of young children, to anchor their TV sets properly to help prevent these injuries. "We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents. I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

Between 2000 and 2011, 349 people were killed due to TVs or furniture falling on them. Sadly 84 % of those deaths were children younger than 9 years old. Many of the injuries were caused when the television set fell directly on the child’s head.

Public education had helped lower these statistics over the years, but the numbers in 2011 showed a sharp increase. In 2009 there were 27 deaths reported, in 2010 the number was slighter higher at 31 deaths and in 2011 the numbers jumped to 41. The size of televisions are also increasing, it’s not uncommon for sets to be 60 to 80 inches wide.

Reports show that many television related fatalities occur in bedrooms rather than living rooms. Many of the older and heavier sets are put in the bedroom and not secured.

A related study published in 2002 had found that the majority of television-tipping related accidents occur when toddlers are left unsupervised around the television sets.

New furniture and televisions are exciting and we can get in a hurry setting them up – be sure to secure anything that can be pulled over onto someone. These kinds of injuries and fatalities are definitely preventable.

Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/13515/20121214/tipping-television-kills-children-cpsc-report.htm#vpeoGJy55VW3PhEl.99

Your Toddler

Toddler Sleep, Eating Problems, Often Go Together

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So-called behavioral insomnia, where a young child regularly resists bedtime or has trouble staying asleep, is common -- seen in up to 30 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.

A similar percentage have problems at mealtime, ranging from being an overly "fussy" eater to having a full-fledged "feeding disorder" - in which, for instance, parents can't get their child to follow any regular eating schedule, or the food refusal affects a child's weight.

It might not be surprising to many parents that sleeping and eating issues often go hand-in-hand. But the new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to show this may be true.

Among parents of 681 healthy kids 6 months to 3 years old, Israeli researchers found that those whose child had behavioral insomnia were more likely than other parents to say their child had eating issues as well.

And parents whose children were diagnosed with a feeding disorder were more likely to say they had trouble getting their child to sleep at night.

When asked if mealtime was a "problem," one-quarter of parents of children with insomnia said that it was; that compared with nine percent of other parents.

Similarly, 37 percent of parents whose children had an eating problem said that sleep was also an issue. In contrast, only 16 percent of other parents said the same.

Young children's eating and sleeping habits are the two most common concerns parents bring to their pediatricians, write the researchers, led by Dr. Riva Tauman of Tel Aviv Medical Center.

The current findings, they say, suggest that doctors should be aware that the two issues commonly go together, and help parents find ways to manage both.

The standard way to address behavioral insomnia is for parents to change their children's nighttime routine. That usually means setting a regular bedtime and certain rituals, like reading a story, that let a young child know bedtime is coming.

With eating problems, experts generally suggest that parents try to get kids interested in mealtime from an early age -- gradually introducing a variety of healthy, colorful foods, for instance, and making the eating environment pleasant but without any distractions like TV.

The current findings are based on 58 children who had been diagnosed with behavioral insomnia, 76 with a feeding disorder, and 547 who were studied for comparison.

Parents of children with insomnia were more likely to also report feeding "problems" -- worrying, for example, that their child was not eating enough or not growing properly.

Similarly, parents of children with feeding disorders were often worried about their child's sleep; and compared with other parents, they reported that their children got to bed almost an hour later, and slept for fewer hours each night.

It's possible, according to Tauman's team, that parents of young children with feeding disorders are more sensitive to sleep issues -- and vice-versa.

But they say it's also likely that parenting practices, like a lack of consistency in enforcing rules, underlie both problems.

On the positive side, the researchers note, that means that getting help for one issue could help parents manage both.

Tips for getting your child to sleep:

Stick to a bedtime. "Don't wait until your baby is rubbing his eyes or yawning to put him to bed," says Marc Weissbluth, MD, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. "By then he's overtired." If you notice your child winding down at 8 p.m., make that his/her bedtime.

Get into the routine. Thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime, start a calming ritual that may include giving a bath and reading a story or two.

Put your baby in his/her crib awake. If your child is routinely rocked to sleep at bedtime, what happens when she wakes up alone at 3 a.m.? Answer: She cries. "All infants and toddlers wake two to six times a night," says Parents advisor Jodi Mindell, PhD, coauthor of Take Charge of Your Child's Sleep. "They need to know how to put themselves back to sleep."

Swaddle for the first three months. Research shows that 
infants who are swaddled wake up less and sleep longer than
 other babies.

Tune out. If your baby seems sensitive to household sounds, try running a white-noise machine or a fan in her room.

Let the sun in. Expose your baby to about 30 minutes of light each morning. Why? Light suppresses the release of the sleep hormone melatonin; this helps set her internal clock -- making it easier for her to fall asleep at night.

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