STUDY LINKS DIETARY ZINC TO MIGRAINES
A study involving 11,088 American adults found those whose diet included 15.8 milligrams or more of zinc daily had a lower risk of migraines, compared with those who consumed 5.9 mg or less each day. The findings, published in the journal Headache, suggest that "zinc is an important nutrient that influences migraine," researchers wrote.
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STUDY LINKS DIETARY ZINC TO MIGRAINES
A study involving 11,088 American adults found those whose diet included 15.8 milligrams or more of zinc daily had a lower risk of migraines, compared with those who consumed 5.9 mg or less each day. The findings, published in the journal Headache, suggest that "zinc is an important nutrient that influences migraine," researchers wrote.
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KIWI CONSUMPTION LINKED TO IMPROVED CONSTIPATION
Eating two kiwis daily followed by a four-week washout period was associated with an increase in complete spontaneous bowel movements and improved gastrointestinal symptoms among people with constipation, according to research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Researchers noted specific improvements in indigestion, stool consistency, abdominal pain and constipation.
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KIWI CONSUMPTION LINKED TO IMPROVED CONSTIPATION
Eating two kiwis daily followed by a four-week washout period was associated with an increase in complete spontaneous bowel movements and improved gastrointestinal symptoms among people with constipation, according to research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Researchers noted specific improvements in indigestion, stool consistency, abdominal pain and constipation.
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EXPERTS WARN LATEST OMICRON SUBVARIANTAS SHOW GREATED IMMUNE ESCAPE WILL LIKELY LEAD TO RISING CASES

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise Following Thanksgiving Holiday
The Washington Post (12/4) reports a post-Thanksgiving uptick in patients with COVID-19 “at U.S. hospitals is arriving even as health systems contend with waves of feverish, coughing people stricken with RSV and influenza infections.” COVID-19 hospitalizations last week “reached their highest level in three months, with more than 35,000 patients being treated, according to Washington Post data tracking.” Public health authorities “are concerned that the increase in the number of” patients with COVID-19 “will worsen the strain on hospitals already under pressure from the effects of” influenza and RSV. Experts “warn that holiday gatherings are a prime time for the coronavirus to spread as millions of Americans travel and get together.” The increase “in hospitalizations probably reflects a combination of patients who were infected before the Thanksgiving holiday rush and those exposed during Thanksgiving week, health experts said.”
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EXPERTS WARN LATEST OMICRON SUBVARIANTAS SHOW GREATED IMMUNE ESCAPE WILL LIKELY LEAD TO RISING CASES

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise Following Thanksgiving Holiday
The Washington Post (12/4) reports a post-Thanksgiving uptick in patients with COVID-19 “at U.S. hospitals is arriving even as health systems contend with waves of feverish, coughing people stricken with RSV and influenza infections.” COVID-19 hospitalizations last week “reached their highest level in three months, with more than 35,000 patients being treated, according to Washington Post data tracking.” Public health authorities “are concerned that the increase in the number of” patients with COVID-19 “will worsen the strain on hospitals already under pressure from the effects of” influenza and RSV. Experts “warn that holiday gatherings are a prime time for the coronavirus to spread as millions of Americans travel and get together.” The increase “in hospitalizations probably reflects a combination of patients who were infected before the Thanksgiving holiday rush and those exposed during Thanksgiving week, health experts said.”
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STUDY SUGGESTS EARLY PENUT INTRODUCTION FOR ALL INFANTS
Early introduction of peanuts to all infants, regardless of risk category and ethnicity, may reduce the incidence of peanut allergy by 88%, as opposed to introducing peanuts only to those with risk factors like severe eczema, according to research presented at the American College of Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting. Introduction before 6 months of age is optimal with "all infants in the general population...encouraged to consume peanut products once they have reached 4 months of age," according to researcher Dr. Gideon Lack.
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STUDY SUGGESTS EARLY PENUT INTRODUCTION FOR ALL INFANTS
Early introduction of peanuts to all infants, regardless of risk category and ethnicity, may reduce the incidence of peanut allergy by 88%, as opposed to introducing peanuts only to those with risk factors like severe eczema, according to research presented at the American College of Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting. Introduction before 6 months of age is optimal with "all infants in the general population...encouraged to consume peanut products once they have reached 4 months of age," according to researcher Dr. Gideon Lack.
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PFIZER TO SEEK FDA APPROVAL FOR MATERNAL RSV VACCINE
Pfizer plans to submit its maternal respiratory syncytial virus vaccine for FDA approval by the end of this year, citing trial results that showed it to be more than 80% effective at preventing serious RSV illness and reducing the need for medical care in a baby's first months of life. The vaccine is given to pregnant people, whose bodies create antibodies that cross the placenta and provide protection for infants after they are born.
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PFIZER TO SEEK FDA APPROVAL FOR MATERNAL RSV VACCINE
Pfizer plans to submit its maternal respiratory syncytial virus vaccine for FDA approval by the end of this year, citing trial results that showed it to be more than 80% effective at preventing serious RSV illness and reducing the need for medical care in a baby's first months of life. The vaccine is given to pregnant people, whose bodies create antibodies that cross the placenta and provide protection for infants after they are born.
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PFIZER TO SEEK FDA APPROVAL FOR MATERNAL RSV VACCINE
Pfizer plans to submit its maternal respiratory syncytial virus vaccine for FDA approval by the end of this year, citing trial results that showed it to be more than 80% effective at preventing serious RSV illness and reducing the need for medical care in a baby's first months of life. The vaccine is given to pregnant people, whose bodies create antibodies that cross the placenta and provide protection for infants after they are born.
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RSV: WHEN IT'S MORE THAN JUST A COLD
By: Andrea Jones, MD, FAAP

Almost all children get RSV at least once before they are 2 years old. For most healthy children, RSV is like a cold. But, some children get very sick with RSV.

What is RSV?
RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus) is one of the many viruses that cause respiratory illness―illnesses of the nose, throat, and lungs. This virus occurs in the late fall through early spring months, but can vary in different parts of the country.

With mask-wearing and physical distancing for COVID-19, there were fewer cases of RSV in 2020. However, once safety measures relaxed with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, a rise in RSV cases began in spring 2021. The spread of RSV and other seasonal respiratory illnesses like influenza (flu) has also started earlier than usual this year.
RSV symptoms in babies
Typically, RSV causes a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Symptoms generally last an average of 5-7 days.

Cold: Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Bronchiolitis: Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
Cold symptoms may include:

Fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher)

Cough (dry or wet sounding)

Congestion

Runny nose

Sneezing

Fussiness

Poor feeding

Symptoms may include cold symptoms, plus:

Fast breathing

Flaring of the nostrils

Head bobbing with breathing

Rhythmic grunting during breathing

Belly breathing, tugging between the ribs and/or the lower neck (see video, below)

Wheezing

How hard is your baby breathing? What to look for.
Chest wall retractions happen when a baby must use muscles between the ribs or in the neck to breathe. It is a sign that your baby is having to work harder than normal to breathe.

Watch your child's rib cage as they inhale. If you see it "caving in" and forming an upside-down "V" shape under the neck, then they are working too hard.

Is your baby or young child at a greater risk of this respiratory illness?
Those infants with a higher risk for severe RSV infection include:

12 weeks old or younger at the start of RSV season

Premature or low birth weight infants (especially those born before 29 weeks gestation)

Chronic lung disease of prematurity

Babies with certain types of heart defects

Those with weak immune systems due to illness or treatments

Additional risk factors for severe RSV infections include low birth weight, having siblings, a mother's smoking during pregnancy, exposure to secondhand smoke in the home, history of allergies and eczema, not breastfeeding, and being around children in a child care setting or living in crowded living conditions.

When should you call the doctor?
RSV symptoms are typically at their worst on days 3 through 5 of illness. Fortunately, almost all children recover from an RSV infection on their own.

Call your pediatrician right away if your child has any:
Symptoms of bronchiolitis (listed above)

Symptoms of dehydration (fewer than 1 wet diaper every 8 hours)

Pauses or difficulty breathing

Gray or blue color to tongue, lips or skin

Significantly decreased activity and alertness

Some children with RSV may be at increased risk of developing a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection. Call your doctor if your child has:

Symptoms that worsen or do not start to improve after 7 days

A fever (with a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher) and they are younger than 3 months of age (12 weeks).

A fever that rises above 104°F repeatedly for a child of any age.

Poor sleep or fussiness, chest pain, ear tugging or ear drainage

How do doctors diagnose RSV?
Pediatricians diagnose children with a cold or bronchiolitis by asking about their symptoms and by doing a physical exam. Your pediatrician may do a nasal swab test to determine if your child has RSV or another virus. A chest x-ray and/or oxygen saturation test may also be done to check for lung congestion. Because most children recover without difficulty and because there is no treatment for RSV, these tests usually are not necessary.

Is RSV contagious?
Yes. RSV spreads just like a common-cold virus―from one person to another. It enters the body through the nose or eyes or, usually from:

Direct person-to-person contact with saliva, mucus, or nasal discharge.

Unclean hands (RSV can survive 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands).

Unclean objects or surfaces (RSV can survive up to 6 hours on surfaces, toys, keyboards, door knobs, etc).

Symptoms can appear 2 to 8 days after contact with RSV. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. However, some infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for as long as four weeks―even if they are not showing symptoms.

Keep in mind, children and adults can get RSV multiple times–even during a single season. Often, however, repeat infections are less severe than the first one.

What can you do to help your child feel better?
There is no cure for RSV and medications, like steroids and antibiotics, do not help with RSV.

To help your child feel more comfortable, begin by doing what you would for any bad cold:
Nasal saline with gentle suctioning to allow easier breathing and feeding.

Cool-mist humidifier to help break up mucus and allow easier breathing.

Fluids and frequent feedings. Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Infants with a common cold may feed more slowly or not feel like eating, because they are having trouble breathing. Try to section baby's nose before attempting to breast or bottle-feed. Supplementation with water or formula is unnecessary for breastfed babies. If difficult for the baby to feed at the breast, expressing breastmilk into a cup or bottle may be an option.

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if older than 6 months) to help with low-grade fevers. Always avoid aspirin and cough and cold medications.

Only 3% of children with RSV will require a hospital stay. Those children may need oxygen to help with breathing or an (intravenous) IV line for fluids. Most of these children can go home after 2 or 3 days. Rarely, a child may need care in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

How can you protect your children from RSV?
Wash your hands! Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Remind children to practice good hand hygiene all through the year.

Other things that can help prevent RSV
Vaccinate. Keep your children up to date on their immunizations and get the whole family annual flu shots. Getting vaccinated with Tdap―to protect against whooping cough is especially important for adults who are around infant—new parents, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, etc. Your child should also be immunized against COVID-19.

Limit your baby's exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone with colds. Keep them home from school or child care when they are sick and teach them to cover their coughs and sneezes.

Go germ-free. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly and avoid exposing your child to smoke from tobacco or other substances.

Feed your baby breastmilk. It has unique antibodies to prevent and fight infections.

Injections for high-risk infants
There is a monoclonal antibody treatment that may reduce the risk of severe RSV infection in some high-risk infants. Your pediatrician will let you know if your baby is a candidate.

Hope on the horizon
Medicine is always advancing! Scientists are currently studying vaccines to prevent and medications to treat RSV. We may have more options in the future. In the meantime, rest assured that most children recover well from RSV and grow to be healthy adults.

More information
COVID-19 & Other Respiratory Illnesses: How Are They Different?
Treating Bronchiolitis in Infants
HealthyChildren.org Parent Webinar on RSV
RSV in Infants and Young Children (CDC)
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RSV: WHEN IT'S MORE THAN JUST A COLD
By: Andrea Jones, MD, FAAP

Almost all children get RSV at least once before they are 2 years old. For most healthy children, RSV is like a cold. But, some children get very sick with RSV.

What is RSV?
RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus) is one of the many viruses that cause respiratory illness―illnesses of the nose, throat, and lungs. This virus occurs in the late fall through early spring months, but can vary in different parts of the country.

With mask-wearing and physical distancing for COVID-19, there were fewer cases of RSV in 2020. However, once safety measures relaxed with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, a rise in RSV cases began in spring 2021. The spread of RSV and other seasonal respiratory illnesses like influenza (flu) has also started earlier than usual this year.
RSV symptoms in babies
Typically, RSV causes a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Symptoms generally last an average of 5-7 days.

Cold: Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Bronchiolitis: Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
Cold symptoms may include:

Fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher)

Cough (dry or wet sounding)

Congestion

Runny nose

Sneezing

Fussiness

Poor feeding

Symptoms may include cold symptoms, plus:

Fast breathing

Flaring of the nostrils

Head bobbing with breathing

Rhythmic grunting during breathing

Belly breathing, tugging between the ribs and/or the lower neck (see video, below)

Wheezing

How hard is your baby breathing? What to look for.
Chest wall retractions happen when a baby must use muscles between the ribs or in the neck to breathe. It is a sign that your baby is having to work harder than normal to breathe.

Watch your child's rib cage as they inhale. If you see it "caving in" and forming an upside-down "V" shape under the neck, then they are working too hard.

Is your baby or young child at a greater risk of this respiratory illness?
Those infants with a higher risk for severe RSV infection include:

12 weeks old or younger at the start of RSV season

Premature or low birth weight infants (especially those born before 29 weeks gestation)

Chronic lung disease of prematurity

Babies with certain types of heart defects

Those with weak immune systems due to illness or treatments

Additional risk factors for severe RSV infections include low birth weight, having siblings, a mother's smoking during pregnancy, exposure to secondhand smoke in the home, history of allergies and eczema, not breastfeeding, and being around children in a child care setting or living in crowded living conditions.

When should you call the doctor?
RSV symptoms are typically at their worst on days 3 through 5 of illness. Fortunately, almost all children recover from an RSV infection on their own.

Call your pediatrician right away if your child has any:
Symptoms of bronchiolitis (listed above)

Symptoms of dehydration (fewer than 1 wet diaper every 8 hours)

Pauses or difficulty breathing

Gray or blue color to tongue, lips or skin

Significantly decreased activity and alertness

Some children with RSV may be at increased risk of developing a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection. Call your doctor if your child has:

Symptoms that worsen or do not start to improve after 7 days

A fever (with a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher) and they are younger than 3 months of age (12 weeks).

A fever that rises above 104°F repeatedly for a child of any age.

Poor sleep or fussiness, chest pain, ear tugging or ear drainage

How do doctors diagnose RSV?
Pediatricians diagnose children with a cold or bronchiolitis by asking about their symptoms and by doing a physical exam. Your pediatrician may do a nasal swab test to determine if your child has RSV or another virus. A chest x-ray and/or oxygen saturation test may also be done to check for lung congestion. Because most children recover without difficulty and because there is no treatment for RSV, these tests usually are not necessary.

Is RSV contagious?
Yes. RSV spreads just like a common-cold virus―from one person to another. It enters the body through the nose or eyes or, usually from:

Direct person-to-person contact with saliva, mucus, or nasal discharge.

Unclean hands (RSV can survive 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands).

Unclean objects or surfaces (RSV can survive up to 6 hours on surfaces, toys, keyboards, door knobs, etc).

Symptoms can appear 2 to 8 days after contact with RSV. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. However, some infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for as long as four weeks―even if they are not showing symptoms.

Keep in mind, children and adults can get RSV multiple times–even during a single season. Often, however, repeat infections are less severe than the first one.

What can you do to help your child feel better?
There is no cure for RSV and medications, like steroids and antibiotics, do not help with RSV.

To help your child feel more comfortable, begin by doing what you would for any bad cold:
Nasal saline with gentle suctioning to allow easier breathing and feeding.

Cool-mist humidifier to help break up mucus and allow easier breathing.

Fluids and frequent feedings. Make sure your child is staying hydrated. Infants with a common cold may feed more slowly or not feel like eating, because they are having trouble breathing. Try to section baby's nose before attempting to breast or bottle-feed. Supplementation with water or formula is unnecessary for breastfed babies. If difficult for the baby to feed at the breast, expressing breastmilk into a cup or bottle may be an option.

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if older than 6 months) to help with low-grade fevers. Always avoid aspirin and cough and cold medications.

Only 3% of children with RSV will require a hospital stay. Those children may need oxygen to help with breathing or an (intravenous) IV line for fluids. Most of these children can go home after 2 or 3 days. Rarely, a child may need care in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

How can you protect your children from RSV?
Wash your hands! Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Remind children to practice good hand hygiene all through the year.

Other things that can help prevent RSV
Vaccinate. Keep your children up to date on their immunizations and get the whole family annual flu shots. Getting vaccinated with Tdap―to protect against whooping cough is especially important for adults who are around infant—new parents, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, etc. Your child should also be immunized against COVID-19.

Limit your baby's exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone with colds. Keep them home from school or child care when they are sick and teach them to cover their coughs and sneezes.

Go germ-free. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly and avoid exposing your child to smoke from tobacco or other substances.

Feed your baby breastmilk. It has unique antibodies to prevent and fight infections.

Injections for high-risk infants
There is a monoclonal antibody treatment that may reduce the risk of severe RSV infection in some high-risk infants. Your pediatrician will let you know if your baby is a candidate.

Hope on the horizon
Medicine is always advancing! Scientists are currently studying vaccines to prevent and medications to treat RSV. We may have more options in the future. In the meantime, rest assured that most children recover well from RSV and grow to be healthy adults.

More information
COVID-19 & Other Respiratory Illnesses: How Are They Different?
Treating Bronchiolitis in Infants
HealthyChildren.org Parent Webinar on RSV
RSV in Infants and Young Children (CDC)
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CDC: US MAY EXPERIENCE SEVERE FLU SEASON
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the US may experience a severe flu season amid reports of higher than normal levels of influenza and other respiratory illnesses, particularly in the South Central and Southeast US. "Not everybody got flu vaccinated last year, and many people did not get the flu. So that makes us ripe to have potentially a severe flu season," Walensky warned, but Americans can protect themselves by getting a flu vaccine, "ideally by the end of October," the CDC said.
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CDC: US MAY EXPERIENCE SEVERE FLU SEASON
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the US may experience a severe flu season amid reports of higher than normal levels of influenza and other respiratory illnesses, particularly in the South Central and Southeast US. "Not everybody got flu vaccinated last year, and many people did not get the flu. So that makes us ripe to have potentially a severe flu season," Walensky warned, but Americans can protect themselves by getting a flu vaccine, "ideally by the end of October," the CDC said.
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SCIENTISTS WORK TO UNDERSTAND COVID-19 SENSORY LOSS
Loss of smell and taste due to SARS-CoV-2 infection can create a ripple effect that erodes appetite and quality of life and may lead to poor nutrition, cognitive problems and depression, and a recent study found that 5% of COVID-19 survivors may be suffering from it. Scientists now understand that the virus attacks sustentacular cells that nourish and protect the body's neurons, and they are developing interventions to help.
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SCIENTISTS WORK TO UNDERSTAND COVID-19 SENSORY LOSS
Loss of smell and taste due to SARS-CoV-2 infection can create a ripple effect that erodes appetite and quality of life and may lead to poor nutrition, cognitive problems and depression, and a recent study found that 5% of COVID-19 survivors may be suffering from it. Scientists now understand that the virus attacks sustentacular cells that nourish and protect the body's neurons, and they are developing interventions to help.
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4 CUPS OF TEA A DAY MAY REDUCE DIABETES RISK
Drinking at least four cups of black, green or oolong tea each day for 10 years was associated with a 17% reduction in the risk of diabetes, according to a review of 19 studies covering more than 1 million adults across eight countries. The review, to be presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes' annual meeting, found that one to three daily cups of tea was linked to a 4% reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk, and the researchers found no association between tea consumption and cancer risk. NBC News (9/17)
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4 CUPS OF TEA A DAY MAY REDUCE DIABETES RISK
Drinking at least four cups of black, green or oolong tea each day for 10 years was associated with a 17% reduction in the risk of diabetes, according to a review of 19 studies covering more than 1 million adults across eight countries. The review, to be presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes' annual meeting, found that one to three daily cups of tea was linked to a 4% reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk, and the researchers found no association between tea consumption and cancer risk. NBC News (9/17)
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ADOLESCENT SLEEP TIMES LINKED TO METABOLIC HEALTH
Adolescents who slept less than the recommended eight hours each night had higher average metabolic syndrome scores and a greater likelihood of overweight or obesity, compared with those who slept the recommended time, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. "On top of stressing the importance of dietary habits and physical activity, adequate sleep needs have to be considered too," said researcher Jesus Martinez-Gomez.
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STUDY LINKS BREAKFAST TO PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR IN KIDS
Eating breakfast or not having it, as well as the foods consumed and where it is eaten, may be linked to psychosocial behavior problems for children ages 4 to 14, according to a study involving 3,773 children in Spain. The research, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that both skipping breakfast and eating breakfast away from home were associated with behavioral problems.
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ADJUST CHILD'S SLEEP SCHEDULE BEFORE SCHOOL RESUMES
Children may fall into irregular sleep habits over the summer, making it difficult for them to return to a normal sleep schedule during the school year. Gradually moving the child's bedtime back by about 15 minutes every other night for two weeks before school begins, and getting them up 15 minutes earlier, can help avoid sleep deprivation and disruption once school begins; daytime exercise and avoiding electronics an hour before bedtime can help as well.
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ADJUST CHILD'S SLEEP SCHEDULE BEFORE SCHOOL RESUMES
Children may fall into irregular sleep habits over the summer, making it difficult for them to return to a normal sleep schedule during the school year. Gradually moving the child's bedtime back by about 15 minutes every other night for two weeks before school begins, and getting them up 15 minutes earlier, can help avoid sleep deprivation and disruption once school begins; daytime exercise and avoiding electronics an hour before bedtime can help as well.
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EXPOSURE TO KIDS LINKED TO PROTECTION FROM COVID-19 IN ADULTS
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that adults with young children -- and who were exposed to their colds -- were less likely to have severe COVID-19 illness, while adults without children had a 49% increased risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization and up to 76% increased risk of requiring ICU admission. Researchers examined medical records of over 3 million adult members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California between February 2019 and January 2021 and noted that the study was conducted before the availability of COVID vaccines.
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EXPOSURE TO KIDS LINKED TO PROTECTION FROM COVID-19 IN ADULTS
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that adults with young children -- and who were exposed to their colds -- were less likely to have severe COVID-19 illness, while adults without children had a 49% increased risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization and up to 76% increased risk of requiring ICU admission. Researchers examined medical records of over 3 million adult members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California between February 2019 and January 2021 and noted that the study was conducted before the availability of COVID vaccines.
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COVID-19 & OTHER RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT

Your child has a stuffy nose, cough and fever. Is it a cold? The flu? Or are they symptoms of COVID? Some COVID, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and cold symptoms can be alike. But there are some clues that set each of these common viruses apart.

Even with masks and vaccines, contagious viruses are still spreading that lead to sniffles, sneezing and coughing.

Is it COVID-19, the flu, RSV or a common cold?
Let's look at the viruses that cause four common childhood illnesses—COVID-19, flu, the common cold and respiratory syncytial virus.

All of them share some similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell them apart. Here are some clues that help your pediatrician figure out what kind of respiratory illness is making your child sick.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, sneezing, vomiting/diarrhea, or loss of taste/smell. COVID-19 symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after infection.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache. Symptoms show up about 1 to 4 days after being exposed to a sick person. The infection can cause pneumonia.

RSV can cause a fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, sneezing, fast/short breaths, flaring nostrils, wheezing and grunting, poor feeding/no appetite, and head bobbing or chest caving in between and under ribs with each breath. Symptoms of RSV usually are worst on days 3 through 5 and last about 5 to 7 days. The infection causes a cold, which may be followed by bronchiolitis or pneumonia. RSV is common in late fall through early spring. In 2021, however, the pandemic caused a strange thing to happen. The number of RSV infections and hospital rates went up in summer 2021 instead. Nearly all children get RSV by their second birthday.

Common cold symptoms may include fever, cough, fatigue, stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing. Colds are upper respiratory infections that can be caused by many viruses. A few common cold viruses are rhinovirus, adenovirus, human coronavirus, human parainfluenza virus, human metapneumovirus and RSV. Healthy children get about 6 colds a year.
Can kids get more than one illness at the same time?
Yes. Your doctor may refer to this as a secondary illness. For example, it is not unusual for children with flu or COVID to develop moderate or severe pneumonia. And cold symptoms can lead to another health problem like an ear infection or sinus infection.

Because some of the symptoms of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses are similar, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing to confirm a diagnosis. People can be infected with both flu and COVID-19 at the same time and have symptoms of both.

How to avoid getting sick now that viruses are so unpredictable

Vaccines are an effective tool to prevent serious illness from the flu, COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Staying up to date on routine immunizations also helps others. The protection from vaccinescan help to keep people at risk of serious problems from flu, COVID-19 (and its complications, like MIS-C), and other viruses out of the hospital.

Everyone 6 months and older should get flu vaccines each year. Get your child vaccinated by the end of October to protect them throughout flu season, which can last until the end of May. Everyone 5 years and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

There is no vaccine for RSV or the common cold. For RSV, some infants who are at risk of serious problems can receive an injectable medicine called palivizumab. It protects babies who were born significantly premature, had a heart defect or weak immune system.

There are many tools other to help stop viruses from spreading. Children should learn to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they cough or sneeze (and then put the tissue in the trash right away). Wearing a mask in public helps prevent COVID, flu and other viruses from spreading. And everyone should be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Remember
If your child is sick and you have any questions or concerns about their symptoms, don't hesitate to call your pediatrician. And if you had to delay visits to the pediatrician during the pandemic, it is important to catch up on immunizations, sports physical examinations and routine care.
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CHOOSING AN INSECT REPELLENT FOR YOUR CHILD
www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Insect-Repellents.aspx?fbclid=IwA...
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CHOOSING AN INSECT REPELLENT FOR YOUR CHILD
www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Insect-Repellents.aspx?fbclid=IwA...
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100% ORANGE JUICE'S ROLE IN FIGHTING INFLAMMATION

Dr. Taylor Wallace, CEO of Think Healthy Group, recently presented the latest findings on 100% orange juice and the role it may play within a healthy diet. His systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal, Advances of Nutrition, suggested the potential for 100% orange juice to fight inflammation and oxidative stress among individuals that are both healthy and at high risk of developing chronic diseases. Findings suggest that drinking 100% orange juice may reduce interleukin 6, a well-established marker of inflammation, and helps pave the way for further research on the topic.
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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS EXPERTS OFFER ADVICE TO HELP PARENTS THROUGH FORMULA SHORTAGE
Q: I found small quantities of several different formulas. What is the best way to switch among the brands?

A: It is likely that your baby will do just fine with different formulas as long as they are the same type. If your baby does not like the taste or has difficulty tolerating a new formula, you may want to try gradually introducing small amounts of it by mixing it with the usual formula. You can slowly increase the amount of the new formula. Be patient as it may take some time for the baby to get used to a new formula. Try not to give up unless it really isn’t tolerated. If you have questions about whether your baby is tolerating the new formula, call our office.

Q: I have a 3-month-old infant and can’t find my usual formula. What should I do?

A: This is a very difficult problem, and we’re glad that you contacted us. If you can find another similar formula, it’s OK to make the switch. If you use a special formula for allergies or other special health needs, you can find a list of comparable formulas at naspghan.org/recent-news/naspghan-tools-for-hcps-affected-by-formula-recall/.

Q: I have a 7-month-old infant and can’t find any formula. What should I do?

A: If your child is older than 6 months of age and usually is on regular formula (not a specialty product for allergies or other special health needs), whole cow’s milk may be a short-term option. In a pinch, you could feed your child whole cow's milk for a brief period of time (no more than one week). This is not ideal and should not be done for more than one week.

One concern about giving cow’s milk to a baby who is 7-12 months old is it does not contain equivalent amounts of iron to formula. If you have to use cow’s milk to feed your infant, ideally do so for as short a time as possible and for less than a week. It’s also important to give the baby plenty of iron-containing solid foods, such as baby food made with meat or iron-fortified cereals.

Q: My infant needs a specialty metabolic formula, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Abbott is releasing limited quantities of Similac PM 60/40 and other metabolic formulas for patients in urgent need. Our office can fill out a request and if it is approved, the formula can be shipped to your home. (Pediatricians can download the form at www.abbottnutrition.com/metabolics and fax the completed form with a physician order to 877-293-9145.).

Q: Only one brand of formula is covered under the WIC program, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Most states are allowing parents who use WIC benefits to buy other brands of formula or different sizes and types like ready-to-feed formula. (To find out what their state is allowing, pediatricians and families can check a map at www.fns.usda.gov/wic/infant-formula-waiver-status.)

Q: What is the earliest age I can start giving my infant solid food to stretch my formula supply?

A: Solid foods should not be used to stretch formula supply. Formula contains all of the nutrients young babies need, while solid foods may not. Infants generally are ready to eat solid food when they are 6 months old, but it depends on their rate of development. You can introduce solid foods as early as 4 months of age, but infants 4-6 months of age will continue to need breastmilk or formula to supply the majority of their nutrition.

Q: Is it safe to get breastmilk from a friend or online group?

A: We can’t know for sure whether breastmilk from a friend or online group is safe. It is better to obtain donor breastmilk from a local milk bank that is accredited through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To find an accredited milk bank, visit www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/.

Q: Can I make my own formula? I’ve seen a recipe online using evaporated milk that people say was used safely in the 1940s.

A: Homemade formulas are not recommended. Although homemade formula was used in the past, it also was associated with many risks to infants. Online recipes have significant safety concerns regarding contamination and nutrient concentration. Using homemade formula could harm your infant.

Q: Can I add extra water to formula and give my baby a multivitamin to make up the nutrients?

A: This should never be done. Adding extra water can dilute the levels of protein and minerals, and lead to low sodium levels in the blood and other electrolyte disorders, which could result in a baby needing to be hospitalized.

Q: How long can formula be used past a “best by” date?

A: Generally, formula should not be used past the “best by” date because it may not be safe or have the required levels of nutrients.

Q: I heard the government will be importing formula from other countries? Is it safe?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to assure procedures are in place to verify production standards, labeling and shipping of brands that previously have not been sold in the U.S. European formulas are regulated by the European Food Safety Agency similar to how the FDA regulates formula in the U.S. and are highly reliable.
Q: I found small quantities of several different formulas. What is the best way to switch among the brands?

A: It is likely that your baby will do just fine with different formulas as long as they are the same type. If your baby does not like the taste or has difficulty tolerating a new formula, you may want to try gradually introducing small amounts of it by mixing it with the usual formula. You can slowly increase the amount of the new formula. Be patient as it may take some time for the baby to get used to a new formula. Try not to give up unless it really isn’t tolerated. If you have questions about whether your baby is tolerating the new formula, call our office.

Q: I have a 3-month-old infant and can’t find my usual formula. What should I do?

A: This is a very difficult problem, and we’re glad that you contacted us. If you can find another similar formula, it’s OK to make the switch. If you use a special formula for allergies or other special health needs, you can find a list of comparable formulas at naspghan.org/recent-news/naspghan-tools-for-hcps-affected-by-formula-recall/.

Q: I have a 7-month-old infant and can’t find any formula. What should I do?

A: If your child is older than 6 months of age and usually is on regular formula (not a specialty product for allergies or other special health needs), whole cow’s milk may be a short-term option. In a pinch, you could feed your child whole cow's milk for a brief period of time (no more than one week). This is not ideal and should not be done for more than one week.

One concern about giving cow’s milk to a baby who is 7-12 months old is it does not contain equivalent amounts of iron to formula. If you have to use cow’s milk to feed your infant, ideally do so for as short a time as possible and for less than a week. It’s also important to give the baby plenty of iron-containing solid foods, such as baby food made with meat or iron-fortified cereals.

Q: My infant needs a specialty metabolic formula, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Abbott is releasing limited quantities of Similac PM 60/40 and other metabolic formulas for patients in urgent need. Our office can fill out a request and if it is approved, the formula can be shipped to your home. (Pediatricians can download the form at www.abbottnutrition.com/metabolics and fax the completed form with a physician order to 877-293-9145.).

Q: Only one brand of formula is covered under the WIC program, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Most states are allowing parents who use WIC benefits to buy other brands of formula or different sizes and types like ready-to-feed formula. (To find out what their state is allowing, pediatricians and families can check a map at www.fns.usda.gov/wic/infant-formula-waiver-status.)

Q: What is the earliest age I can start giving my infant solid food to stretch my formula supply?

A: Solid foods should not be used to stretch formula supply. Formula contains all of the nutrients young babies need, while solid foods may not. Infants generally are ready to eat solid food when they are 6 months old, but it depends on their rate of development. You can introduce solid foods as early as 4 months of age, but infants 4-6 months of age will continue to need breastmilk or formula to supply the majority of their nutrition.

Q: Is it safe to get breastmilk from a friend or online group?

A: We can’t know for sure whether breastmilk from a friend or online group is safe. It is better to obtain donor breastmilk from a local milk bank that is accredited through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To find an accredited milk bank, visit www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/.

Q: Can I make my own formula? I’ve seen a recipe online using evaporated milk that people say was used safely in the 1940s.

A: Homemade formulas are not recommended. Although homemade formula was used in the past, it also was associated with many risks to infants. Online recipes have significant safety concerns regarding contamination and nutrient concentration. Using homemade formula could harm your infant.

Q: Can I add extra water to formula and give my baby a multivitamin to make up the nutrients?

A: This should never be done. Adding extra water can dilute the levels of protein and minerals, and lead to low sodium levels in the blood and other electrolyte disorders, which could result in a baby needing to be hospitalized.

Q: How long can formula be used past a “best by” date?

A: Generally, formula should not be used past the “best by” date because it may not be safe or have the required levels of nutrients.

Q: I heard the government will be importing formula from other countries? Is it safe?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to assure procedures are in place to verify production standards, labeling and shipping of brands that previously have not been sold in the U.S. European formulas are regulated by the European Food Safety Agency similar to how the FDA regulates formula in the U.S. and are highly reliable.Q: I found small quantities of several different formulas. What is the best way to switch among the brands?

A: It is likely that your baby will do just fine with different formulas as long as they are the same type. If your baby does not like the taste or has difficulty tolerating a new formula, you may want to try gradually introducing small amounts of it by mixing it with the usual formula. You can slowly increase the amount of the new formula. Be patient as it may take some time for the baby to get used to a new formula. Try not to give up unless it really isn’t tolerated. If you have questions about whether your baby is tolerating the new formula, call our office.

Q: I have a 3-month-old infant and can’t find my usual formula. What should I do?

A: This is a very difficult problem, and we’re glad that you contacted us. If you can find another similar formula, it’s OK to make the switch. If you use a special formula for allergies or other special health needs, you can find a list of comparable formulas at naspghan.org/recent-news/naspghan-tools-for-hcps-affected-by-formula-recall/.

Q: I have a 7-month-old infant and can’t find any formula. What should I do?

A: If your child is older than 6 months of age and usually is on regular formula (not a specialty product for allergies or other special health needs), whole cow’s milk may be a short-term option. In a pinch, you could feed your child whole cow's milk for a brief period of time (no more than one week). This is not ideal and should not be done for more than one week.

One concern about giving cow’s milk to a baby who is 7-12 months old is it does not contain equivalent amounts of iron to formula. If you have to use cow’s milk to feed your infant, ideally do so for as short a time as possible and for less than a week. It’s also important to give the baby plenty of iron-containing solid foods, such as baby food made with meat or iron-fortified cereals.

Q: My infant needs a specialty metabolic formula, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Abbott is releasing limited quantities of Similac PM 60/40 and other metabolic formulas for patients in urgent need. Our office can fill out a request and if it is approved, the formula can be shipped to your home. (Pediatricians can download the form at www.abbottnutrition.com/metabolics and fax the completed form with a physician order to 877-293-9145.).

Q: Only one brand of formula is covered under the WIC program, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Most states are allowing parents who use WIC benefits to buy other brands of formula or different sizes and types like ready-to-feed formula. (To find out what their state is allowing, pediatricians and families can check a map at www.fns.usda.gov/wic/infant-formula-waiver-status.)

Q: What is the earliest age I can start giving my infant solid food to stretch my formula supply?

A: Solid foods should not be used to stretch formula supply. Formula contains all of the nutrients young babies need, while solid foods may not. Infants generally are ready to eat solid food when they are 6 months old, but it depends on their rate of development. You can introduce solid foods as early as 4 months of age, but infants 4-6 months of age will continue to need breastmilk or formula to supply the majority of their nutrition.

Q: Is it safe to get breastmilk from a friend or online group?

A: We can’t know for sure whether breastmilk from a friend or online group is safe. It is better to obtain donor breastmilk from a local milk bank that is accredited through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To find an accredited milk bank, visit www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/.

Q: Can I make my own formula? I’ve seen a recipe online using evaporated milk that people say was used safely in the 1940s.

A: Homemade formulas are not recommended. Although homemade formula was used in the past, it also was associated with many risks to infants. Online recipes have significant safety concerns regarding contamination and nutrient concentration. Using homemade formula could harm your infant.

Q: Can I add extra water to formula and give my baby a multivitamin to make up the nutrients?

A: This should never be done. Adding extra water can dilute the levels of protein and minerals, and lead to low sodium levels in the blood and other electrolyte disorders, which could result in a baby needing to be hospitalized.

Q: How long can formula be used past a “best by” date?

A: Generally, formula should not be used past the “best by” date because it may not be safe or have the required levels of nutrients.

Q: I heard the government will be importing formula from other countries? Is it safe?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to assure procedures are in place to verify production standards, labeling and shipping of brands that previously have not been sold in the U.S. European formulas are regulated by the European Food Safety Agency similar to how the FDA regulates formula in the U.S. and are highly reliable.Q: I found small quantities of several different formulas. What is the best way to switch among the brands?

A: It is likely that your baby will do just fine with different formulas as long as they are the same type. If your baby does not like the taste or has difficulty tolerating a new formula, you may want to try gradually introducing small amounts of it by mixing it with the usual formula. You can slowly increase the amount of the new formula. Be patient as it may take some time for the baby to get used to a new formula. Try not to give up unless it really isn’t tolerated. If you have questions about whether your baby is tolerating the new formula, call our office.

Q: I have a 3-month-old infant and can’t find my usual formula. What should I do?

A: This is a very difficult problem, and we’re glad that you contacted us. If you can find another similar formula, it’s OK to make the switch. If you use a special formula for allergies or other special health needs, you can find a list of comparable formulas at naspghan.org/recent-news/naspghan-tools-for-hcps-affected-by-formula-recall/.

Q: I have a 7-month-old infant and can’t find any formula. What should I do?

A: If your child is older than 6 months of age and usually is on regular formula (not a specialty product for allergies or other special health needs), whole cow’s milk may be a short-term option. In a pinch, you could feed your child whole cow's milk for a brief period of time (no more than one week). This is not ideal and should not be done for more than one week.

One concern about giving cow’s milk to a baby who is 7-12 months old is it does not contain equivalent amounts of iron to formula. If you have to use cow’s milk to feed your infant, ideally do so for as short a time as possible and for less than a week. It’s also important to give the baby plenty of iron-containing solid foods, such as baby food made with meat or iron-fortified cereals.

Q: My infant needs a specialty metabolic formula, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Abbott is releasing limited quantities of Similac PM 60/40 and other metabolic formulas for patients in urgent need. Our office can fill out a request and if it is approved, the formula can be shipped to your home. (Pediatricians can download the form at www.abbottnutrition.com/metabolics and fax the completed form with a physician order to 877-293-9145.).

Q: Only one brand of formula is covered under the WIC program, but I can’t find any. What should I do?

A: Most states are allowing parents who use WIC benefits to buy other brands of formula or different sizes and types like ready-to-feed formula. (To find out what their state is allowing, pediatricians and families can check a map at www.fns.usda.gov/wic/infant-formula-waiver-status.)

Q: What is the earliest age I can start giving my infant solid food to stretch my formula supply?

A: Solid foods should not be used to stretch formula supply. Formula contains all of the nutrients young babies need, while solid foods may not. Infants generally are ready to eat solid food when they are 6 months old, but it depends on their rate of development. You can introduce solid foods as early as 4 months of age, but infants 4-6 months of age will continue to need breastmilk or formula to supply the majority of their nutrition.

Q: Is it safe to get breastmilk from a friend or online group?

A: We can’t know for sure whether breastmilk from a friend or online group is safe. It is better to obtain donor breastmilk from a local milk bank that is accredited through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To find an accredited milk bank, visit www.hmbana.org/find-a-milk-bank/.

Q: Can I make my own formula? I’ve seen a recipe online using evaporated milk that people say was used safely in the 1940s.

A: Homemade formulas are not recommended. Although homemade formula was used in the past, it also was associated with many risks to infants. Online recipes have significant safety concerns regarding contamination and nutrient concentration. Using homemade formula could harm your infant.

Q: Can I add extra water to formula and give my baby a multivitamin to make up the nutrients?

A: This should never be done. Adding extra water can dilute the levels of protein and minerals, and lead to low sodium levels in the blood and other electrolyte disorders, which could result in a baby needing to be hospitalized.

Q: How long can formula be used past a “best by” date?

A: Generally, formula should not be used past the “best by” date because it may not be safe or have the required levels of nutrients.

Q: I heard the government will be importing formula from other countries? Is it safe?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to assure procedures are in place to verify production standards, labeling and shipping of brands that previously have not been sold in the U.S. European formulas are regulated by the European Food Safety Agency similar to how the FDA regulates formula in the U.S. and are highly reliable.
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30 EASY HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS
www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a40156696/healthy-snacks-for-kids/
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AGENCIES INVESTIGATE MONKEY POX CASES IN US
Officials from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health are looking into a possible monkeypox infection in Broward County, Fla., after confirming one case each in Massachusetts and New York City last week. The World Health Organization had recorded 28 suspected and 92 confirmed monkeypox infections in 12 countries as of Saturday, but White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said monkeypox does not spread as readily as SARS-CoV-2, and the availability of vaccines and treatments leaves him "confident we're going to be able to keep our arms around it." Full Story: Reuters (5/23), CNN (5/22)
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36% OF CHILDREN IN US HAVE MYOPIA, MOST LIKELY RELATED TO VIEWING BEHAVIOR WITH MOBILE DEVICES
Researchers used data from the 2020 US Census to estimate that the prevalence of myopia in children was 36.1%, according to a study presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology's meeting. The rate in rural areas was 15.7%, compared with 41% in urban areas
www.healio.com/news/ophthalmology/20200520/childrens-viewing-behavior-with-mobile-devices-may-aff...
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STUDY LINKS LOW VITAMIN D TO HIGHER BREAST CANCER RISK
A study in the journal Cancer linked low vitamin D concentrations to a higher risk of breast cancer for Hispanic and Black women, compared with having sufficient vitamin D. "Because women who identify as members of these groups have lower vitamin D levels, on average, than non-Hispanic white women, they could potentially receive enhanced health benefits from interventions promoting vitamin D intake," researcher Katie O'Brien said. Full Story: Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (4/25)
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COVID-19VACCINE BOOSTER INCREASES IMMUNE DEFENSES IN SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN, PARTUCULARLY AGAINST OMICRON VARIANT
A Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster in children ages 5-11 years significantly increased neutralizing antibody titers against the omicron variant with no new safety concerns, according to new data from the manufacturers.

“These data reinforce the potential function of a third dose of the vaccine in maintaining high levels of protection against the virus in this age group,” the companies said in a news release.

The data have not been formally peer reviewed or published in a journal. They are based on clinical trials with 140 children who received a 10-microgram booster six months after their two-dose primary series. The dose is one-third of the adolescent and adult dose.

In the trials, there was a six-fold increase in SARS-CoV-2 wild-type strain-neutralizing geometric mean titers one month after a booster compared to one month after the second dose. An analysis with 30 of the children showed a 36-fold increase in neutralizing antibody titers against the omicron variant compared to the level after the second dose.

The third doses were well-tolerated and did not generate new safety concerns, according to the manufacturers.

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to request emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in the next few days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet April 20 to discuss boosters, although it hasn’t announced which brand or age group it will discuss.

Children ages 5-11 years became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in early November 2021. About 28% of this age group has been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
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SHORTAGE OF BABY FORMULA IN US
USA Today (4/9) reported, “Less than two months after a baby formula recall, retailers are reporting shortages with some stores rationing sales.” About “30% of popular baby formula brands may be sold out at retailers across the U.S., according to an analysis by Datasembly, which assessed supplies at more than 11,000 stores.” Datasembly CEO Ben Reich said, “Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility to the category, and we expect to continue to see baby formula as one of the most affected categories in the market.”

HealthDay (4/8) reported, “Manufacturers are boosting production to meet the demand for baby formula, according to a recent statement posted on the Infant Nutrition Council of America’s website.”
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ADDING PRODUCE TO WATER MAY HELP BOOST HYDRATION FOR ALL AGE GROUPS
Adding lemon or lime to water provides about the same nutrition, and it can help boost hydration, according to registered dietitian Angie Asche. "I am a big fan of adding any produce in general to water to help add some flavor to it," Asche said. "A few of my personal favorites are sliced strawberries or cucumbers."
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COVID-19 TO GREATER TYPE 2 DIABETES RISK THAN OTHER RESPIRATORY ILLNESS
Patients who had a mild case of COVID-19 had a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who had an acute upper respiratory infection, according to a study in the journal Diabetologia. The link may be explained by upregulation of the immune system after recovery from COVID-19, which could lead to pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and insulin resistance, researcher Wolfgang Rathmann said./Endocrine Today (3/17)
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GROWING EVIDENCE SUGGESTS YOUNG CHILDREN ARE FALLING BEHIND IN READING
The New York Times (3/8) reports, “As the pandemic enters its third year, a cluster of new studies now show that about a third of children in the youngest grades are missing reading benchmarks, up significantly from before the pandemic.” Younger students “in every demographic group have been affected, but Black and Hispanic children, as well as those from low-income families, those with disabilities and those who are not fluent in English, have fallen the furthest behind.”
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SWEET POPATOES CAN HELP PROMOTE ENERGY AND GUT HEALTH
Both white and sweet potatoes offer plenty of vitamins and minerals, though registered dietitian Amy Schwarz says white potatoes contain more potassium, while sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A. RD Alex Aldeborgh says sweet potatoes may help promote gut and eye health, while Schwarz adds that they can help provide energy, and both dietitians agree they are associated with heart health
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COVID-19 VACCINATION DURING PREGNANCY
This large population-based study found no evident differences between newborns of women who received mRNA vaccination during pregnancy, vs those of women who were not vaccinated, and contributes to current evidence in establishing the safety of prenatal vaccine exposure to the newborns. JAMA Pediatrics, 02/10/22
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OMICRON VARIANT MAY BE MORE DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN THAN PREVIOUS STRAINS, STUDY SUGGESTS

Bloomberg (1/19) reports “the Omicron variant may be more dangerous for children than earlier coronavirus strains,” according to study data analyzed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa. Bloomberg adds, “Data from the 56,164 Covid-19-related hospital admissions among the more than 2 million beneficiaries of the Government Employees Medical Scheme found that the admission rate for children under the age of four was 49% higher during the Omicron wave than for Delta.” What’s more, “admissions were 25% higher for those aged 4 to 18 than in the delta wave,” the data showed.
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24%OF US HOSPITALS REPORT CRITICAL STAFF SHORTAGES
Please protect yourself and try to stay away from the hospital.
You may not get adequate care you need.

Twenty-four percent of US hospitals were experiencing critical shortages in staff as of Saturday, and over 100 additional facilities expect to face a shortage within the coming week amid the latest COVID-19 surge. More than 138,000 people in the US were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday, and many health care workers are either infected or under quarantine after exposure, prompting some hospitals to scale back nonessential care.
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CHILDREN AND COVID-19
STATE-LEVEL DATA REPORT
American Academy of Pediatrics

Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases*
8,471,003 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 17.4% (8,471,003/48,641,190) of all cases
Overall rate: 11,255 cases per 100,000 children in the population
Change in Child COVID-19 Cases*
580,247 child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from 12/30/21-1/6/22 (7,890,756 to 8,471,003) and children represented 17.3% (580,247/3,346,656) of the weekly reported cases
Over two weeks, 12/23/21-1/6/22, there was a 12% increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic (905,587 cases added (7,565,416 to 8,471,003))

Cumulative Hospitalizations (24 states and NYC reported)*
Among states reporting, children ranged from 1.7%-4.3% of their total cumulated hospitalizations, and 0.1%-1.6% of all their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization

Cumulative Mortality (46 states, NYC, PR and GU reported)*
Among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.27% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 5 states reported zero child deaths
​In states reporting, 0.00%-0.02% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death
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FOODS WITH VITAMIN C AND OMEGA-3S MAY HELP SUPPORT IMMUNE SYSTEM
Foods rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids may boost the immune system and help slow aging, says registered dietitian Jenn Blaser. Citrus fruits, such as clementines, grapefruit and oranges, are good picks this time of year for vitamin C, and salmon and tuna twice per week can help the body stave off illness
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EXPERTS SAY OMICRON NOT MORE THREATENING TO CHILDREN DESPITE SPIKE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS
The New York Times (12/28) reports “the latest coronavirus surge sweeping the United States, much of it driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, has produced a worrisome spike in hospitalizations among children.” However, “even as experts expressed concern about a marked jump in hospitalizations – an increase more than double that among adults – doctors and researchers said they were not seeing evidence that Omicron was more threatening to children.” The Times adds, “In the week ending Dec. 23, about 199,000 childhood cases were reported nationally, a 50 percent increase compared with the beginning of December, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
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STUDY: COW'S MILK PRODUCTS MAY RAISE DIABETES AND ASTHMA RISK
High intake of cow milk products may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes among genetically predisposed children, according to a study in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. The study also found milk products that have been exposed to high temperatures, including infant formula but not pasteurized milk products, also may increase the risk of asthma.
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OMICRON, A NEW VARIANT OF CONCERN: WHAT IS IT? WHAT DO WE KNOW? WHAT CAN WE DO?

COVID-19 Newsletter, December 8, 2021

A new variant called Omicron was identified in South Africa and designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on November 26th and by the Centers for Disease Control on November 30th.

Omicron has an unusual number of mutations, more than 30 of which are in the spike protein, which is the “door key” the virus uses to enter and infect humans. This could be concerning because mutations to the spike protein could increase how contagious the virus is or if it has the ability to escape from vaccine protection.

Early signs indicate that Omicron spreads quickly, as it is now the dominate strain in South Africa, where it was originally identified.

To date, there are over 35 countries that have identified Omicron cases so far including within the United States, including 3 so far detected in Los Angeles County as of today. At this point in time, it appears that current antigen and PCR tests detect the variant.

Scientists are racing to find early clues to these important questions and more understanding about Omicron is expected over the next several weeks.

What can we do now? The most effective tool remains the vaccines, and we encourage everyone 5 and older not yet vaccinated or boosted to do so with a sense of urgency. The vaccines are effective against the Delta variant and very effective against earlier strains of the virus, which gives us hope that these same vaccines will also provide some protection against Omicron.

Residents can walk-in to any Public Health vaccination site or make an appointment at the hundreds of sites across the county to get vaccinated. For more information, they can visit VaccinateLACounty.com.

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Residents who have traveled for the holidays should also get tested if they traveled internationally or to locations in this country with high transmission rates, or they participated at gatherings and events with large numbers of people. There are free testing sites throughout the county and individuals can go to covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ to find out information about where to get tested. Residents must also isolate if they have a positive COVID test result and quarantine if they are a vaccinated close contact with symptoms or if they are an unvaccinated close contact.

All residents across LA County should continue following masking protocols, which require residents to wear a mask when indoors or at large outdoor mega events - regardless of vaccination status. Individuals should also wear a mask when at any crowded indoor or outdoor events.

6 Holiday Tips for Staying Safe
holiday tips COVID-19
Calling All Parents:
Answering Your Top Questions About Children & COVID-19


CAN MY CHILD GET A COVID VACCINE?

Children age 5 and older can now get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Adolescents 12 and older get the same vaccine as adults.
Children ages 5-11 get a version that is a smaller dose. It is given with a smaller needle made for children.
Both versions of the vaccines are given as 2 doses 21 days apart. They can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Vaccines are free for everyone. You don’t need insurance and you will not be asked about your immigration status.
SHOULD I GET MY CHILD VACCINATED FOR COVID-19?

Vaccinating your child(ren) is the best way to protect them from getting COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 is milder in children, some get very sick or have lasting health problems after infection.

Children can spread the virus to others. Vaccinating your child can help protect family and friends. This includes people who are too young to be vaccinated and those who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

Vaccinating your child can help keep them in school and make it safer for them to take part in group activities. If your child is fully vaccinated, they won’t need to test to play sports. And they won’t need to quarantine if they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.



WHERE CAN I GET MY CHILD VACCINATED?

COVID vaccines are available at many doctors’ offices, clinics, schools, & pharmacies. Visit VaccinateLACounty.com to find a site near you. Make sure they have the right Pfizer vaccine for your child’s age and ask how parent consent should be given. Call the DPH Vaccine Call Center at 833-540-0473 8am to 8:30pm if you need help finding a vaccine, transportation, or in-home vaccination. Information is available in many languages 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.



WHAT ARE THE VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS?

Common side effects include pain, swelling, or redness in the arm where the vaccine was given, feeling tired, headache, muscle ache, nausea, fever or chills. These side-effects are a sign that your child’s immune system is building protection. Side-effects may affect your child’s ability to do some daily activities but should go away within a couple of days.



ARE COVID VACCINES SAFE FOR CHILDREN?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been rigorously tested and is safe and effective for adults and children. More than 11 million 12-17 year olds have already safely received the vaccine.

Serious health events are rare.

A small number of people have had inflammation of the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis) after getting a Pfizer vaccine. This is more common in male adolescents and young adults. Most cases are mild and respond well to treatment and rest.
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can happen after any vaccine but is rare. Everyone is observed after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If a reaction does happen, it is treated right away.
Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affects development or fertility.



WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE MY CHILD GETS VACCINATED?

Talk to your child about the vaccine, possible side effects, and what to expect. Do not give pain relievers before their vaccine to try to prevent side effects. Tell the vaccination site if your child has any allergies.



WHAT ARE SOME APPOINTMENT TIPS?

Play games or activities

Many vaccinate sites have coloring books, games, and other activities for children to have fun while waiting for their turn.
Factor in Timing

Younger kids have a harder time getting comfortable, so they may need extra time to feel more at ease. Vaccine appointments may take up to two hours.
Bring their favorite toy!

Bringing a toy or a friend along can make waiting in line less scary and more engaging for children.
Make them feel comfortable

Parents/guardians can hold children’s hands, have a child sit on their laps, or hold their child.
Bring a light snack and stay hydrated
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DELTA VARIANT MAY INCREASE STILLBIRTH RISK
A study in the CDC'S Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that women with COVID-19 were at an increased risk for stillbirth, compared to those without COVID-19. The findings, based on data involving over 1.25 million delivery hospitalizations between March 2020 and September 2021, found that people infected with COVID-19 during delivery had a 90% higher risk for stillbirth than uninfected people.: United Press International (11/19)
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WHAT'S MIS-C

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or “MIS-C”, is a post-infectious inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) seen in children, teens and young adults under 21 years of age. MIS-C affects multiple organ systems, specifically, cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic and neurologic. Although MIS-C is rare, it can be severe with approximately half of all MIS-C patients needing ICU care.
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VACCINATION MAY PROTECT BETTER THAN HISTORY OF COVID-19

Unvaccinated adults who previously had COVID-19 were more than five times more likely to test positive for the disease than people who had received either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, according to a study of more than 7,000 people who were hospitalized for COVID-19-like respiratory symptoms published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the findings underscore the importance of vaccination for people who have had COVID-19
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J&J, MODERNA< AND MIX-AND-MATCH COVID-19 BOOSTERS

The Washington Post (10/21) reports, “Tens of millions of Americans can sign up to get Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters beginning Friday after” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky “endorsed recommendations from expert advisers that the shots are safe and effective at bolstering protection against the coronavirus.” The approval means “eligible Americans at risk of severe disease can choose any of the three boosters now authorized in the United States regardless of their original shot.” Walensky’s action – following Wednesday’s emergency use authorization by the FDA – “largely fulfills the administration’s August promise to make boosters of all three vaccines available to Americans, albeit a month later than promised and for a smaller group.”

The New York Times (10/21) reports a CDC advisory panel “on Thursday endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for tens of millions of Americans.” The recommendation comes as the “pandemic is now retreating in most parts of the country, but about 75,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every day, and about 1,500 die from it.”

The Hill (10/21) says the “green light will also allow Americans to choose the brand of booster they receive. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mixed dosing for booster shots.”
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CHILDREN BORN TO MOTHERS WHO WERE OVERWEIGHT ARE AT INCREASED RISK FOR ADHD
The children of mothers who were overweight during their pregnancy might be more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a study found in Translational Psychiatry. "The genetics we can't modify, but we can support women with reducing their pre-pregnancy weight if they have a high BMI (body mass index) and they are trying to conceive," said professor Alina Rodriguez of Imperial College London. Full Story: INews (UK) (9/11)
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HEALTHY PLANT BASED DIET LINKED TO LOWER COVID-19 RISK STUDY FINDS

www.massgeneral.org/news/press-release/Diet-may-affect-risk-and-severity-of-covid19
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YOUTH COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATION RATES ARE RISING

CDC researchers found that COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions and emergency department visits increased among youths ages 17 and younger from June through August, though ED visits and hospital admissions were lower in states with greater vaccination coverage last month. Another study also published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that weekly COVID-19-related hospitalization rates among children ages 4 and younger have increased 10-fold since the emergence of the Delta variant. United Press International (9/3)
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US HOSPITALS ARE TREATING MORE PEDIATRIC COVID-19 CASES THAN AT ANY PREVIOUS POINT
The Wall Street Journal (8/22, Subscription Publication) reports Southern and Midwestern hospitals indicate they are treating a greater number of children with COVID-19 than at any previous point in the pandemic and are gearing up for more severe surges. The Journal adds that COVID-19 vaccination rates among children between 12 and 17 remain relatively low, according to American Academy of Pediatrics data.
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FINALLY, DOCTORS WHO ARE ISSUING INAPPROPRIATE EXEMPTIONS WILL BE DISCIPLINED. ALL EXEMPTIONS ARE BEING ENTERED INTO THE CENTRALIZED REGISTRY WITH DOCTORS LICENSE ATTACHED
Way overdue!
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ELEMENTARY STUDENTS ENDED 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR ARE 4-5 MONTH BEHIND, REPORT SAYS
The New York Times (7/27) reports elementary school students in the US ended this school year four to five months behind where they normally would be in academic achievement, according to a McKinsey report. Students attending schools with mainly Black or Hispanic student bodies were six months behind, compared with four months behind for students in mainly white schools. The new report is “the latest indication that students who were already experiencing educational inequities were also hit hardest by the crisis.”
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SCHOOL MASK MANDATES ARE A RISING SOURCE OF TENSION AMONG PARENTS
NBC News (7/23) reported, “As the academic year approaches, a patchwork approach to masks is prompting ire from parents, regardless of which policy their children’s schools have chosen.” Some parents “feel it’s more necessary than ever to require masks as other COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as social distancing, are relaxed. Meanwhile, parents from New Jersey to California are filing lawsuits to have kids be maskless in schools.” The conflict among parents comes as top health groups issue conflicting school masking guidance; the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this month recommended masks for all children this fall, while the CDC “has said that only unvaccinated students have to wear masks.” The parents that oppose masking in schools “argue that they are an impediment to learning and communicating” and point to the low pediatric hospitalization rate of just 2.3% “of total COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to American Academy of Pediatrics statistics.”

The Washington Post (7/24) reported NIH Director Francis Collins “said he trusts the AAP. ‘They will not be popular amongst parents and kids who are sick of masks, but you know what? The virus doesn’t care that we’re sick of masks,’ Collins said [last] Monday in an interview with MSNBC.”
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STUDY FINDS FLU SHOTS PROTECT AGAINST SEVERE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Individuals with COVID-19 who had not had a flu shot were up to 20% more likely to be admitted to the ICU and were up to 58% more likely to visit the emergency department.

The flu vaccine may provide some protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19, with a new study finding lower intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, sepsis, and stroke rates.

An analysis of patient data presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases found that the annual flu shot reduces the risk of stroke, sepsis, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in patients with COVID-19. Individuals with COVID-19 who had been vaccinated against the flu were also less likely to visit emergency departments (ED) and to be admitted to the ICU.

Several studies have found similar results, although this is the largest study of its kind, according to the authors. The research team screened de-identified electronic health records of more than 70 million patients worldwide and identified 2 groups of 37,377 patients.
But Flu vaccine is not a substitute for COVID Vaccination
To protect yourself and society please get both vaccines
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CHOCOLATE IN THE MORNING MAY LOWER BLOOD GLUCOSE AND BURN FAT
There is a one-hour window every morning during which consuming 100g of chocolate could reduce blood glucose and stimulate fat burning among postmenopausal women, according a study in The FASEB Journal. The findings also revealed that eating chocolate during this hour "reduced ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies," said researcher Marta Garaulet.
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HOT TOPIC!
SOME MINORS SEEK TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE AGAINST PARENTS' WISHES
The New York Times (6/26) reported, “A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only three in 10 parents of children between the ages of 12 through 17 intended to allow them to be vaccinated immediately,” and yet “many teenagers [are] eager to get shots that they see as unlocking freedoms denied during the pandemic.” In response, “some states and cities are seeking to relax medical consent rules,” to make it easier for minors to get vaccinated “without parental consent.”
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USA TODAY: CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY PARTIES MAY HAVE SPURRED INCREASED COVID-19 TRANSMISSION RATES
USA Today (6/21) reports children’s birthday parties may have led to increased coronavirus transmission rates, researchers found after gathering “private health insurance data from 2.9 million U.S. households from Jan. 1 to Nov. 8, 2020. In counties with high rates of transmission, households were 31% more likely to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 within two weeks after someone had a birthday.” JAMA Internal Medicine published the study.
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STUDY TIES VITAMIN D LEVEL TO HEALTH OUTCOMES
A study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology virtual meeting found that women with adequate levels of vitamin D had a 22% reduced risk of dying from breast cancer over 10 years, as well as a 27% reduced risk of dying from any cause, compared with women with vitamin D deficiency.
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MASK USE, VENTILATION CURB COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
COVID-19 incidence was 37% lower in elementary schools that required mask use among staff members and teachers, according to a study reported in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study also found that dilution measures such as using fans and opening windows and doors lowered the incidence of COVID-19 in schools by 35%, and when combined with high-efficiency particle-absorbing air filtration, incidence was cut by 48%
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DIET PILLS, LAXATIVES RAISE EATING DISORDER IN TEENS
A study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that teenage girls who took diet pills had a 258% higher risk of developing an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia in the next five years. The findings, based on data from over 1,000 teenage girls who were followed for over 10 years, also revealed that those who used laxatives had a 177% higher risk of developing an eating disorder, compared with those who didn't use laxatives.
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HOT TOPIC!!!!
www.thepediablog.com/2021/05/04/covid-19-vaccines-fertility/
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AS COVID VACCINE GETS APPROVED FOR 12-15 AGE GROUP, THERE ARE FEW EMERGING ISSUES:
SURVEY FINDS DIFFERING PARENTAL RESISTANCE BASED ON GENDER, INCOME, POLITICS.
American Academy of Pediatrics reports:

"About 27% of mothers and 11% of fathers say they are extremely unlikely to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, a new survey found.

The data showed vaccine resistance differed based on parents’ education, income and political party and come as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to decide whether to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15 years.

The COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, a joint project of Northeastern University, Harvard University, Rutgers University and Northwestern University, surveyed nearly 22,000 people around the U.S. from April 1 through May 3. They reported on those who said they were “extremely unlikely” to have their child vaccinated.

About 34% of those earning less than $25,000 a year were resistant to vaccinating their children against COVID-19 compared to 5% of parents earning more than $150,000 a year. Differences also were apparent by political party, with 33% of Republication parents resisting COVID-19 vaccines for their children compared to 7% of Democrats.

The survey also found parents who were younger and those without a four-year college degree were less likely to vaccinate their children. Vaccine resistance was similar among White, Hispanic and Black parents, while Asian American parents were less resistant.

In addition, the survey asked about school vaccination requirements and found about 58% of parents would support them.

Children and adolescents have been making up a growing share of new COVID-19 cases, reaching 22.4% last week, according to data from the AAP and Children’s Hospital Association. More than 3.78 million children have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and at least 303 have died. The pandemic also has taken a toll on children’s mental and emotional health, social well-being and their educational experience.

Preliminary data from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna found COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in adolescents of 100% and 96% respectively and no serious safety concerns. President Joe Biden said if the FDA approves a vaccine for adolescents, officials will focus on making vaccines available through pediatricians and family physicians. The AAP and CDC have guidance to help physicians combat vaccine hesitancy and prepare to vaccinate teens (see resources).

“Parents trust pediatricians,” the AAP said in its guidance. “We need to listen to parents’ questions, take the information and provide clear, consistent information.”

In the meantime, as vaccination slows among adults, federal officials said they are working to address issues of confidence, motivation and access by deploying trusted messengers to answer questions, asking pharmacies to take walk-ins, increasing mobile clinics and encouraging employers to provide paid time off. To find a vaccination site, people can visit vaccines.gov or text their ZIP code to 438829.

“The only way to get cases to come down and stay down is for everyone to get vaccinated,” Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. said in a press briefing Friday. “That’s how you can protect your community and help all of us return to the activities and the life we love.”""
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PFIZER-BIO NTECH CORONAVIRUS VACCINE IS BEING TESTED IN BABIES, WITH RESULTS EXPECTED BY SEPTEMBER

Reuters (4/29) reports the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is being tested in babies as young as six months old, and results are expected by September. BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told German magazine Spiegel, “In July, the first results could be available for the five to 12 year olds, in September for the younger children.” Sahin added, “If all goes well, as soon as the data is evaluated, we will be able to submit the application for approval of the vaccine for all children in the respective age group in different countries.”
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MOTHER-to-NEWBORN COVID-19 TRANSMISSION
Researchers studied 255 babies, 88% of whom were tested for COVID-19, and found that only about 2% of those who were tested for the virus had a positive result. However, the findings in JAMA Network Open also showed that worsening COVID-19 in pregnant women may be linked to preterm delivery, accounting for about three-quarters of preterm births among the study group
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IN PERSON SCHOOL RETURN HESITANCIES
The Los Angeles Times (4/19) reports more than 75% of parents of school-age children in Los Angeles County say their children have been “substantially hurt” by being out of school, according to a UCLA survey. In the annual Quality of Life index survey, “Los Angeles County residents rate education among the worst of several factors affecting their quality of life, displaying one of the biggest drops in recent years among parents of children in public schools.”
Nevertheless,
Dr. Perri Klass writes in “The Checkup” blog for the New York Times (4/19) about the experience of children who have undergone physical changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more children return to school, some are anxious to return after gaining weight, undergoing puberty, or experiencing other physical changes, while their schools held classes virtually and they weren’t able to see friends in-person for over a year.
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PACIFIER AND NIPPLE SANITIZATION AND STERILIZATION MAY UP INFANT ALLERGY RISK
The findings, based on data involving 787 infants, also showed that infants who used pacifiers that were cleaned with chemical sanitizers at age 6 months had over three times greater risk of developing food allergy at one year, compared with those who did not use antiseptic cleaning, while no significant increase in the risk of developing food allergy was seen among infants when the pacifiers were put in their parent's mouth, rinsed with tap water, boiled in water or not washed at all.
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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS OFFERS GUIDANCE FOR CAMP ATTENDANCE DURING THE PANDEMIC
www.contemporarypediatrics.com/view/aap-offers-guidance-for-camp-attendance-during-the-pandemic
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7 TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR CHILD TO WEAR A MASK
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask while in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some schools will recommend or require masks as students return to the classroom this fall.

To make this transition easier for children, it's important that parents and guardians prepare them for prolonged mask wearing before school starts.

Here are 7 tips for helping your children get used to wearing a mask:
1. Explain why.
Children need to understand the reason why they will need to wear masks. Explain how masks prevent germs from spreading among people, and keeps others safe and healthy. Let your children's questions guide your conversation. Listen and answer their questions with facts in a way they can understand.

2. Demonstrate good mask etiquette.
Children model behaviors of the adults in their lives, so set a good example with your actions. Be consistent about wearing a mask each time you are in public. Show your children how to keep their mask over their mouth and nose. Explain that they should not touch or share their mask.

3. Practice at home.
Have your children practice wearing a mask for a few hours while at home. A good time to start is when they are allowed screen time, as they are more likely to forget about the mask. Have your children practice talking clearly while wearing a mask so others can understand what is being said. You can make practice fun while playing board, card or I spy games.

4. Play pretend.
For younger children, provide masks for stuffed animals and dolls during playtime. This can lessen any fears your children have with seeing other people in masks.

5. Get creative.
Allow your children to personalize masks with fabric markers or patterned fabric. There also are masks available with cartoon characters or sports teams that can showcase your children's personality and preferences. Your children could make a mask out of a favorite bandana or scarf, as well.

6. Take a photo.
Enlist the help of family and friends. Ask them to send your children photos of themselves wearing masks. In return, your children can send photos of themselves in a mask. Look at the photos, and reinforce how great your children, family and friends look in masks.

7. Pack extra masks.
As your children prepare to return to school, plan on sending extra masks each day. Children can be messy, and having backup masks on hand ensures they always have a clean mask to wear.
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7 TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR CHILD TO WEAR A MASK
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask while in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some schools will recommend or require masks as students return to the classroom this fall.

To make this transition easier for children, it's important that parents and guardians prepare them for prolonged mask wearing before school starts.

Here are 7 tips for helping your children get used to wearing a mask:
1. Explain why.
Children need to understand the reason why they will need to wear masks. Explain how masks prevent germs from spreading among people, and keeps others safe and healthy. Let your children's questions guide your conversation. Listen and answer their questions with facts in a way they can understand.

2. Demonstrate good mask etiquette.
Children model behaviors of the adults in their lives, so set a good example with your actions. Be consistent about wearing a mask each time you are in public. Show your children how to keep their mask over their mouth and nose. Explain that they should not touch or share their mask.

3. Practice at home.
Have your children practice wearing a mask for a few hours while at home. A good time to start is when they are allowed screen time, as they are more likely to forget about the mask. Have your children practice talking clearly while wearing a mask so others can understand what is being said. You can make practice fun while playing board, card or I spy games.

4. Play pretend.
For younger children, provide masks for stuffed animals and dolls during playtime. This can lessen any fears your children have with seeing other people in masks.

5. Get creative.
Allow your children to personalize masks with fabric markers or patterned fabric. There also are masks available with cartoon characters or sports teams that can showcase your children's personality and preferences. Your children could make a mask out of a favorite bandana or scarf, as well.

6. Take a photo.
Enlist the help of family and friends. Ask them to send your children photos of themselves wearing masks. In return, your children can send photos of themselves in a mask. Look at the photos, and reinforce how great your children, family and friends look in masks.

7. Pack extra masks.
As your children prepare to return to school, plan on sending extra masks each day. Children can be messy, and having backup masks on hand ensures they always have a clean mask to wear.
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WE NEED TO SEND OUR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL!
Strict lockdown was justified during Coronavirus infection surge to flatten the curve and have available hospital beds. Now numbers are looking much better, daily positivity rate is low. Most of the people at risk are vaccinated, so schools need to reopen!

A NEW STUDY FINDS THAT YOUNGER STUDENTS HAVE FALLEN BEHIND ON READING SKILLS
As students in some parts of the United States approach nearly a year without in-person school, new research suggests that the reading skills of young children have suffered during the pandemic.

The research, a preliminary national study from the group Policy Analysis for California Education, found that as of late fall, second graders were 26 percent behind where they would have been, absent the pandemic, in their ability to read aloud accurately and quickly. Third graders were 33 percent behind.

Those differences were equivalent to being able to read seven to eight fewer words per minute accurately.
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WE NEED TO SEND OUR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL!
Strict lockdown was justified during Coronavirus infection surge to flatten the curve and have available hospital beds. Now numbers are looking much better, daily positivity rate is low. Most of the people at risk are vaccinated, so schools need to reopen!

A NEW STUDY FINDS THAT YOUNGER STUDENTS HAVE FALLEN BEHIND ON READING SKILLS
As students in some parts of the United States approach nearly a year without in-person school, new research suggests that the reading skills of young children have suffered during the pandemic.

The research, a preliminary national study from the group Policy Analysis for California Education, found that as of late fall, second graders were 26 percent behind where they would have been, absent the pandemic, in their ability to read aloud accurately and quickly. Third graders were 33 percent behind.

Those differences were equivalent to being able to read seven to eight fewer words per minute accurately.
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THE TRUTH ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINES

An Infectious Disease Specialist Debunks Myths Surrounding the COVID-19 Vaccines
The COVID-19 vaccines have been described by many as the light at the end of the tunnel and the best tool we have to stop this pandemic. But along with the vaccine rollout, there have been a number of myths circulating about their safety and effectiveness. To set the record straight, Cedars-Sinai's Newsroom talked with Priya Soni, MD, a pediatrician and an infectious disease specialist.

Newsroom: MYTH #1: The vaccine was rushed into development and might not be safe
Soni: "While the development of the COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology is new, scientists have been working on this technology for many years, in fact decades. We are very excited that they are now being able to use the mRNA technology for vaccines in a safe way. The reason it was developed so rapidly is because scientists were able to implement this technology since they had the RNA sequence of the virus as it was released in January 2020. This allowed them to incorporate the mRNA for the spike protein into the vaccine. Nothing about the clinical trials for the vaccines was rushed nor any shortcuts taken. In fact, the numbers of participants in the clinical trials for both Moderna and Pfizer were quite robust and very similar to the number of participants needed and required in prior vaccine studies."

MYTH #2: I'm young and healthy, so I don't need a vaccine
"COVID-19 is still a very unpredictable infection, and just because you are young and healthy doesn’t mean you won't have any of the complications of the infection that we continue to see. There are a few risk factors for severe disease that we have identified, but there’s still no guaranteed way to predict that you would have a mild or severe course with the infection. It is much safer and wiser to get the vaccine and deal with the slight discomfort and side effects temporarily than to subject yourself to the infection."

MYTH #3: The COVID-19 vaccine will affect my chances of becoming pregnant
"There has been no link between the COVID- 19 vaccines and a negative impact on female fertility. The data is reassuring regarding the use of this vaccine during pregnancy, and because the mRNA degrades so rapidly, it would be highly unlikely that the vaccine could cause issues with fertility."

MYTH #4: I can get COVID-19 from the vaccine
"What you may feel after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a mild fever, muscle soreness at the site of injection and fatigue. That is your immune system activating and starting to form the protective antibodies that it needs to fight off this virus if you are infected in the future. Compared to some of the live attenuated virus vaccines we have previously seen, the vaccine is noninfectious, so there is no way you can get COVID-19 infection from taking the vaccine itself."

Myth #5: I've had COVID-19, so I don't need the vaccine
"As far as we know, the antibody response that you are going to get from a vaccine is far more robust and more predictable than natural antibodies post-infection. Even if you’ve had COVID-19, it is a great idea to get a vaccine when you are able. Don’t forget to schedule your second dose for the vaccine as well. We also remind all those getting a vaccine to stick with the same platform–if you got Pfizer for your first dose, make sure you get the same for your second dose."

MYTH #6: I received the vaccine, therefore I don't have to wear a mask or social distance
"Vaccines are one of the many tools in our toolkit that we know can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, just because you received the COVID-19 vaccine does not mean you should stop wearing masks or social distancing. We are still trying to determine whether or not a person can spread the infection to others even when they are not infectious and have been vaccinated. Until we learn more, we should continue to do our part and remain masked and socially distant."
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MEDITERRANEAN DIET MAY SUPPORT COGNITION IN ADULTS

A study of more than 511 older adults in Scotland, published in Experimental Gerontology, revealed that those who followed a Mediterranean diet had better cognitive functioning compared with those who didn't follow the diet. Study researcher Janie Corley said that "eating more green leafy vegetables and cutting down on red meat might be two key food elements that contribute to the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet.
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FLU VACCINATION TIED TO MILDER PRDIATRIC COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
A study in the journal Cureus found that youths who had been vaccinated for influenza were less likely to have symptoms if they were diagnosed with COVID-19. The findings, based on data involving 905 youths with COVID-19, also showed that those who received the pneumococcal vaccine were less likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 disease. Contemporary Pediatrics (2/5),
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