Posts Tagged ‘CDC’

Gulf oil spill information for parents

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Last month we posted a link to a CDC web page for pregnant women living in the Gulf region who are concerned about contaminants.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.  Now the CDC has created a web page with information about the Gulf oil spill for parents – an important site to visit.

 If you live in the region or you’re going there on vacation, there may be plenty of questions you want answers to.  Will the air make my child sick? Is it safe for him to swim in the water or play on the beach? Is the oil itself harmful or toxic? Are oil dispersants harmful to children?  Aside from finding good information now, you can ask to receive email when updates are posted.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working together to continue monitoring the levels of oil and oil dispersants in the environment. If they begin to find levels that are likely to be harmful, they will tell the public. For up-to-date information on monitoring data along the Gulf Coast, please visit the EPA’s website.

Gulf oil spill and pregnant women

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Through all of the worsening news of  the spill and the photos of birds, turtles and even bugs soaked with oil, there has been a nagging worry about contaminents.  When I started to hear about hazmat suits and fishermen complaining of health concerns, my thoughts went to what about all the pregnant women living and breathing down on the gulf?

Now, the CDC has come out with an information page addressing many of the concerns for pregnant women.  It addresses the air quality, smell, burning oil, dispersants, safety of the drinking water as well as fish and seafood.  If you  are living in a gulf state or know someone who is, please read this and pass it along.

Growth charts

Friday, October 30th, 2009

88586892_thbPediatric growth charts are a standard part of any checkup.  They have been used by health care providers and parents to track the growth of infants, children, and adolescents in the United States since 1977. They show us how kids are growing compared with other kids of the same age and sex. They also show a pattern of height and weight gain over time, and whether they’re developing proportionately. Girls and boys are measured on different growth charts because they grow in different patterns and at different rates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has growth charts available on their website. They are not meant to be used as the only diagnostic tool for evaluating a childs’ health. Instead, growth charts are intended to help form an overall impression. If you have any questions about your child’s growth  (or growth charts) speak to your health care provider.

Click here to view Birth to 36 months: Boys Length-for-age and Weight-for-age percentiles

Click here to view Birth to 36 months: Girls Length-for-age and Weight-for-age percentiles

Webcast for pregnant women and new moms: Swine flu

Monday, August 31st, 2009

woman-at-computerThe flu season will be here before you know it. Health experts believe the swine flu will be back along with the regular seasonal flu.

To help pregnant women and new moms learn more, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aired a Webcast last Thursday. It’s now archived on the CDC Web site.

By the way, swine flu is now also called H1N1 flu. And the vaccine is expected in October. Pregnant women are one of the top-priority groups for receiving the vaccine.  News Moms Need will let you know as soon as the vaccine is ready.

Also, pregnant women should be vaccinated against seasonal flu. That vaccine is already available. So if you’re pregnant, ask your health care provider about it now.

Pregnant moms will get priority for swine flu vaccine

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

In the last few days, you may have seen some news coverage about swine flu (also called H1N1) and its effect on mother and baby during pregnancy. With flu season just around the corner, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is giving priority to pregnant women and putting them at the front of the line of people who should get the swine flu vaccine first when it becomes available. Other groups at the top of the list are:
• children and young adults up to age 24
• people who live with or care for babies younger than 6 months of age
• health care providers
• people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems

Learn more about swine flu or read our past post on swine flu and pregnancy.

Vaccine for the swine flu? Not yet

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Right now there is no vaccine for the swine flu that has been spreading in the United States and around the world. Because this is a new strain of the swine flu, there is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is determining whether a vaccine can be produced in time to address the current disease.

A sad note: A young child in Texas has died from swine flu. All of us feel sympathy for the family. It is a tragic loss.

This child’s death reminds us that all types of flu can be very serious and even deadly. So please once again: Go go the CDC Web site and learn how you and your family can help prevent the spread of this disease.

Hib vaccine for babies: Don’t miss a dose

Friday, March 20th, 2009

babyIt’s important for babies to get three doses of the vaccine Hib. On March 18, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory reminding us about this.

Hib stands for Haemophilus influenzae Type B, a type of bacteria. Hib can cause pneumonia and meningitis (a serious infection of the brain and spinal cord). Meningitis can lead to brain damage and even death.

FYI: Hib is not what causes the disease we call the flu. It’s a different bug altogether.

The CDC has learned that five young children in Minnesota got Hib. One of them died. None of the children had received the recommended three doses of the vaccine. Three of the children had not received a single dose.

So check with your child’s health care provider today, and find out if your baby is up-to-date on his Hib vaccine.

The March of Dimes has an article on immunizations for your baby. CDC has more on Hib.

Vaccines before pregnancy

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

At a checkup before pregnancy, your provider can do a blood test to find out if you’re immune to certain illnesses such as rubella (German measles) and chickenpox. If you’re not, you can safely be vaccinated before pregnancy. After you’re vaccinated, you should wait for one month before trying to conceive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend these vaccines during pregnancy.

A while back I wrote a post about my “before-baby” check up. I discovered that my immunity to chickenpox was borderline so I received a booster. I always assumed I was immune because I had the chicken pox as a kid. I’m so glad I got that shot! A few months later I was exposed to a friend’s daughter who had the illness and I was newly pregnant.

Testing for GBS

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Next week I’ll be in my 36th week and I start weekly prenatal appointments until the baby is born. The majority of my visits are pretty  routine and include your basic physical: blood pressure, weight, listening to the baby’s heart, and measuring my belly. This upcoming visit however my provider is going to test me for Group B streptococcus (GBS, also called Group B strep).

GBS infection is a common bacterial infection that is generally not serious in adults, but can be life-threatening to newborns. All pregnant women should be screened for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. The health care provider takes a swab of the vagina and rectum and sends the sample to a laboratory for a culture to test for the presence of GBS. Test results are usually available in 24 to 48 hours. Women who test positive for GBS are treated with antibiotics during labor.

Click here to read the March of Dimes fact sheet on Group B Strep Infection.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a special Web site devoted to Group B strep.