Health and Science News for Parents
Mar
18

Measles, Schools and Selective Exemptions: Competing Approaches to Preventing Outbreaks

written by Tara Haelle

Today’s post is a guest post by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a professor of law at the University of California Hastings College of Law. She discusses two editorials published in Pediatrics today that address concerns about school exemption policies and preventing vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or me, Tara Haelle. I have […]

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Jan
5

Investigating side effects from the MMR and MMR plus varicella vaccines

written by Tara Haelle

Of all the childhood vaccines on the CDC’s recommended schedule, the MMR is one of the oldest, the most effective… and the most feared. That is, I hear more parents express concerns about the MMR, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, than any other childhood vaccine, and it’s the vaccine once maligned by debunked […]

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Dec
2

New insights into the secrets of SIDS

written by Tara Haelle

It’s a bit ironic that since I began researching and writing the chapter section of our book on SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and on bedsharing, I’ve been assigned two articles related to infant sleep deaths and then saw a study last week about a new discovery related to SIDS. It’s an area I’m particularly […]

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Nov
25

Safety of the Tdap in pregnancy and exploring the evidence for pertussis cocooning

written by Tara Haelle

I began writing this post almost two months ago when a study I had been waiting for almost a year came out – one looking for clinical, epidemiological (“real world”) evidence for “cocooning,” which I’ll explain in a moment. But now I’m kind of glad I didn’t finish it then because it’s perfect to combine with […]

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Nov
20

Pretty poison pods pose pediatric problems

written by Tara Haelle

Okay, so I admit I had a little fun with the headline, but that’s about all the fun I can have with this issue since the study I’m writing about is far from amusing. Research in Pediatrics last week investigated poisonings involving laundry detergent pods, and the numbers are a bit staggering, even to me. […]

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Jul
16

What the newest bedsharing study can and cannot tell us

written by Tara Haelle

I have written before about how the infant sleep recommendations of the AAP and the US public health community in general are unrealistic and even potentially dangerous in their effects, regardless of their intentions. A new study in Pediatrics explores the contribution of different risk factors to sleep-related infant deaths, offering findings which are certainly […]

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Jun
21

Do you ask the question that might save your child’s life?

written by Tara Haelle

My oldest son recently turned 4 years old, and he’s gone to play several times at neighbors’ homes without my husband or I sticking around. He’s reaching that age when I might drop him off at a friend’s house for a few hours and then return to pick him up, trusting that during that time, […]

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Jun
19

Why the Chickenpox Vaccine? No shift in infections after varicella vaccine introduction

written by Tara Haelle

This post is part of a new, occasional series exploring why individuals should consider a specific vaccine on the CDC schedule that they might have reservations about. One of the newest vaccines on the CDC schedule is the varicella vaccine, which protects against chickenpox. Introduced to the schedule in 1995, the chickenpox vaccine is one […]

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Jun
9

The power of herd immunity seen with the rotavirus vaccine

written by Tara Haelle

One of the coolest things about vaccines is that they work on two levels: at the individual level and at the population level. That means that even a vaccine that has a lower effectiveness, say 80%, can still protect more than 80% of the population when enough individuals have received it. This occurs, of course, […]

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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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