Health and Science News for Parents
Jan
28

Mixing and Matching Rotavirus Vaccines Is No Problem

written by Tara Haelle

Two different rotavirus vaccines have been licensed by the FDA: RotaTeq and Rotarix. Both of these came after Rotashield, an earlier vaccine that lasted barely over a year on the market before it was pulled because it led to a bowel obstruction disorder called intussusception in about 1-2 out of 10,000 infants. (RotaTeq and Rotarix […]

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Jan
11

How the U.S. Vaccine Schedule Compares to Other Countries’ Schedules

written by Tara Haelle

A common question I’m asked and that I see in forums discussing vaccines relates to how the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule compares to other nations, particularly those with similar economics and populations to those of the U.S. Now a new interactive tool at BMJ can help you explore exactly that question. The multimedia graphic “Calling […]

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Sep
4

Handy chart for well-child visits and vaccinations

written by Tara Haelle

During National Immunization Month in August, various public health organizations created a wealth of resources for parents that relate to vaccines. One of those is elegantly simple and shared here. The Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences created a handy graphic that outlines all the ages when children get their well-child visits and what […]

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Aug
20

Melanoma Facts: Are you protecting your kids (and yourself) from the sun?

written by Tara Haelle

Even though the summer is winding down, a little bit of August is still left, and the sun’s rays burn all year-round. When the beautiful fall days around the corner finally arrive, it might be easy to forget while playing outside for hours that exposed skin is still susceptible to being burned. That means protection […]

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Mar
23

The Vaccine Page: Accurate, science-based vaccine information – without snark or judgment

written by Tara Haelle

Discussions about vaccination have always been fraught, particularly over the past decade, but the tenor of the national discussion has intensified since the Disneyland outbreak this winter has jumpstarted the nation toward what’s likely going to be a record year of cases since measles was eliminated in 2000. Yet measles cases aren’t going to stop […]

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May
19

Rotavirus vaccine shedding poses little risk

written by Tara Haelle

One of the concerns that comes up most often with live-virus vaccines is the risk of “shedding.” Since live vaccines use an attenuated, or weakened, form of the vaccine, there is a very, very tiny risk that a person recently vaccinated with such a vaccine may “shed” some of the virus to those around them, […]

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May
12

Circumcision gets riskier the older a male is

written by Tara Haelle

[Note: I wrote this fairly quickly because the study was just released, but I hope to update it with more details soon.] A new study today from JAMA Pediatrics is sure to stir up some controversy – it’s about one of those hot button topics that requires but a brief passing mention before an all-out throw-down […]

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Apr
21

New evidence out for the flu vaccine in children, especially infants and toddlers

written by Tara Haelle

It’s been well established that the flu vaccine is one of our least effective vaccines, if not the least effective. As I’ve noted before, that low level of effectiveness is not a reason to skip getting the vaccine since some protection is better than none, and some seasons the flu vaccine’s protection is upwards of […]

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Mar
12

Hey parents – crank down the volume on those sound machines

written by Tara Haelle

I’m counting down the last few weeks until my baby arrives, and as I went through and deleted old apps I’m no longer using in my phone and iPad, I made sure NOT to delete Simply Noise, my favorite of the white noise apps I used when my preschooler was a baby. Oh how that […]

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Nov
23

Vitamin K deficiency bleeding is real — and preventable with routine newborn care

written by Tara Haelle

A new field report from the CDC last week left me feeling disheartened, disturbed and frustrated. The short version: a new trend appears to be occurring in which parents decline administration of an essential vitamin for their babies after birth – with potentially fatal consequences. And the reasons, unfortunately, appear based on the same kind of […]

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