KidsDoc Monthly Newsletter from AllForKids

By Dr. M.Vijayalakshmi M.D(Peds), M.D(USA), FAAP, DAA
Content Sources: CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, Institute of Medicine, NDIC

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Vaccines for Pre-teens

Check with your child’s doctor to make sure your child isn’t missing any doses of these childhood vaccines

Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertusis vaccine (Tdap) is an improvement to the old Td booster because it adds protection from whooping cough while still maintaining protection from tetanus and diphtheria. Pre-teens should receive a single shot of Tdap at their 11 or 12 year old check-up.

These are the other recommended vaccines for pre-teens, already in use in USA and likely to be approved for us in India soon:

Human Papillomavirus(HPV): HPV is a common virus. HPV is most common in people in their teens and early 20s.It is the major cause of cervical cancer in women.

HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer and genital warts. This vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year old girls. Ideally girls should get 3 doses of this vaccine before their first sexual contact when they could be exposed to HPV.

Meningococcal Disease( a common cause of meningitis): Meningococcal meningitis is a very serious infection of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It can cause death. Meningococcal bloodstream infection can cause loss of an arm or leg and even death.

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) protects against these infections. Pre-teens should receive a single shot of this vaccine during their 11 or 12 year old check-up. If your teenager missed getting the vaccine at his/her check-up, ask the doctor about getting it now.

Teach your Children the habit of washing their hands every time they go the bathroom and before eating

WashHands

We have covered ‘Hand Washing’ in a previous issue of the Newsletter. We thought we will write about it again because one the most important things you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands.

If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself. You're at risk every time you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. In fact, one of the most common ways people catch colds is by rubbing their nose or their eyes after the cold virus has gotten on their hands.

If people don't wash their hands frequently (especially when they're sick), they can spread germs directly to other people or onto surfaces that others touch.

Think about all of the things that you touched today — from the telephone to the toilet. Maybe you blew your nose and played with your pets. Whatever you did, you came into contact with germs. So it's easy for germs on your hand to end up in your mouth.

By frequently washing your hands the right way, you'll wash away germs — such as bacteria and viruses — that you have picked up from other people, through contaminated water and food, from tainted surfaces, or from animals and animal waste.

People don't always wash their hands after using the bathroom. Even in a country like US where hand washing is pretty common compared to our country 91% of adults say they always wash their hands after using public restrooms, but just 83% were seen doing so. By just observing people we think in India it is less than 20%.

And even if you're a good hand-washer, your friends may be harboring some dirty little secrets: Students don't wash their hands often or well. In one study in US, only 58% of female and 48% of male middle- and high-school students washed their hands after using the bathroom.

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

WashHands

There's a right way to wash your hands. A splash of water and a drop or two of soap won't do the trick. Follow these simple steps to keep your hands clean:

Use warm water (not cold or hot).

Use whatever soap you like. Antibacterial soaps are popular but regular soap works fine. If you suspect that your hands have come into contact with someone with an infection, think about using an alcohol hand sanitizer.


Rub your hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces: Lather up on both sides of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and around your nails. Wash for 15 seconds — about how long it takes to sing "Happy Birthday."

Rinse well under warm running water and pat dry with a clean towel.

When there is no soap or water available, waterless hand soaps or scrubs are a good alternative. They're usually available as a liquid, wipes, or towelettes, and often come in small travel sizes that are perfect for keeping in your book bag, car, locker, purse, or sports bag.

Remember, proper and frequent hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of many common infections.

Disease Focus – Diabetes

Diabetes means that the blood glucose (often called blood sugar) is too high. Your blood always has some glucose in it because your body needs glucose for energy to keep you going. But too much glucose in the blood is not good for your health.

How do you get high blood glucose?

Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries the glucose to all the cells in your body. Insulin is a chemical made by the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the glucose from food get into your cells. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if the insulin doesn’t work the way it should, glucose can’t get into your cells. It stays in your blood instead. Your blood glucose level then gets too high, causing pre-diabetes or diabetes.

What are the signs of diabetes?

The signs of diabetes includes:

  • being very thirsty
  • urinating often
  • feeling very hungry or tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • having sores that heal slowly
  • having dry, itchy skin
  • losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet
  • having blurry eyesight

You may have had one or more of these signs before you found out you had diabetes. Or you may have had no signs at all.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, those with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and even return to normal glucose levels.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, those with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and even return to normal glucose levels.

What are the different types of Diabetes?

People can get diabetes at any age. There are three main kinds

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin, making wise food choices, being physically active, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age—even during childhood. This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals. Being overweight and inactive increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes using diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, being physically active, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

Gestational diabetes, Some women develop gestational diabetes during the late stages of pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had it is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a shortage of insulin.
Why do you need to take care of your diabetes?

After many years, diabetes can lead to serious problems with your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. But the most serious problem caused by diabetes is heart disease. When you have diabetes, you are more than twice as likely as people without diabetes to have heart disease or a stroke.

If you have diabetes, your risk of a heart attack is the same as someone who has already had a heart attack. Both women and men with diabetes are at risk. You may not even have the typical signs of a heart attack. You can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by controlling your blood pressure and blood fat levels.

Quick Tips

1. Getting Crayons off the walls

CrayonsOnWall

Are your children doing damage to your beautifully painted walls by drawing pictures using Crayons? Here is a way to get them out. Show a hair dryer back and forth on the crayon marks to heat up the crayon wax. The heat from the hair dryer melts the wax, and then you can wipe it away with a wet towel or sponge. If any residual remains, use a damp cloth with bleach and water and then wipe again.



2. Bedwetting in Children:

Between 15-20 percent of children who are bed-wetting the bed will mature out of this problem every year, rarely is the bedwetting because of a medical or physical problem, but until he/she does get rid of the bedwetting habits, here are some steps you can take to try and increase the number of dry nights that he/she has:

Reassure your child that this is normal at this age and not his fault and understand that he is not doing it on purpose.

Do not punish or blame your child for wetting the bed and make sure that other family members do not tease him about it.

Avoid letting your child drink large amounts of fluid two hours before bedtime. Have your child use the toilet just before going to bed.

Protect the bed with a plastic cover between the sheets and mattress. Let your child help change the wet sheets.

Consider practicing an awakening routine, in which you wake your child to urinate two to three hours after he goes to bed.

Cartoon

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