The National Meningitis Association has joined the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in their 2012 Leading by Example initiative to encourage community leaders and healthcare professionals to “lead by example” and get vaccinated annually to help prevent influenza in our communities.
This season, the National Meningitis Association is demonstrating its commitment to influenza prevention by sharing information about vaccination with members/stakeholders and advocating for
preventive health services such as vaccination. We are proud
to do our part to make influenza prevention a national health priority for all.
We encourage you to learn more about the initiative and pledge to get
vaccinated against influenza this season. For more information, please visit: http://nfid.org/leadingbyexample.
The answer is TODAY, NOW, JUST DO IT! Don’t take a chance with your child’s life. There are vaccines out there that have slashed the rates of childhood and infant mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. We are so lucky that we live in an era when these vaccines are available.
There are series of vaccines for adolescents, that you may not know about, and these include the meningitis, pertussis booster, HPV, and annual flu vaccines. You don’t want to see your child suffer or die, as has happened to so many of us who did not know that these vaccines existed.
So, you don’t need to wait until your child’s next annual visit to the physician. If you have 11-12 year olds, and they haven’t been vaccinated yet for meningitis, pertussis, HPV, or flu, be proactive and take them in for the vaccinations.
by Jill R. Wells, M.D.
I am a comprehensive ophthalmologist and I would like to give a few tips and recommendations regarding your kids’ ocular health. While the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend routine eye exams by ophthalmologists for all children, vision screening evaluations are extremely important. Eye and vision evaluations begin in the newborn period and should continue at all pediatric visits. In addition, you can perform simple tests at home to help determine if your child has any significant vision loss.
In the newborn and infant stages, your pediatrician will focus on inspecting the anatomy of the eye, the pupil reaction, and most importantly, the “red reflex”. The red reflex is the reddish-orange color coming from the retina- the same concept as ‘red eye’ in photographs. If the reflex is white or dull compared to the other eye, this could indicate a number of eye diseases including cataract or even worse, cancer in the eye called retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is extremely rare with only about 300 new cases in the United States each year. I have seen quite a few cases of retinoblastoma because I work at a major referral center and parents will often say they noticed a “white discoloration” of the eye on a photograph. So remember to inspect photos of your kids’ eyes and if you see a white reflex make an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Continue reading