Birth Plan Considerations

Preparing for baby can be so exciting.  Take some time during your pregnancy to plan for your labor and delivery.  It’s helpful to remember that everything may not go exactly “as planned,” but it’s important to have a clear idea of your priorities and preferences well before the big day.  Below are some options and […]

Respiratory Distress: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Related concepts: Breathing difficulty, Shortness of breath, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS Introduction to respiratory distress: Is your child’s breathing ok? A child who has significant breathing difficulty needs immediate medical care. What signs should a parent look for? What is respiratory distress? Respiratory distress is the name given whenever a child’s respiratory system is […]

If It Were My Child: No Tylenol before Shots

Earlier this year there was a massive Tylenol recall. The recall included Infant Tylenol drops, Children’s Tylenol, as well as many other children’s medications. I’m not exaggerating when I say massive, but generic medications (liquid acetaminophen made by Walgreens or CVS, for example) were not included. The recall was a great reminder that generics are […]

Flu Vaccine Recommendations for Children Under Four

Each year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes recommendations about who should get the influenza vaccine. The focus of the flu shot campaign among healthy people has been on people aged 65 and older, because they have been considered to be at the highest risk for flu-related complications and hospitalization. However, it turns […]

Pertussis: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Related concepts: Whooping cough, Bordatella pertussis Introduction to pertussis: I stood outside the closed door of the hospital room where an adorable 6-week-old baby lay all alone in her crib. As I scrubbed my hands in the sink outside the isolation room, an electronic monitor allowed me to hear her breathing peacefully. Suddenly the quiet […]

Pertussis Vaccination

Dr. Greene, I was wondering if you could be so kind to answer my question regarding whooping cough. I am a mother of 5-year-old twins. The twins were born 2 months premature. At a few months old they had their first DPT shot. They both experienced side effects when administered. Both of them cried & screamed for several hours, had a rash where the shot was given & had high fevers of around 104. I called the Doctor to tell her what was going on. She told me that they were reacting to the “P” part of the DPT shot. Since then they have not been given the “P” part of the DPT immunization. I am very concerned about my kids. Currently there is an epidemic in California where young children have died from this disease. Please tell me whatever you can about pertussis. Being that my children are now 5 years old in your opinion can my children pickup the “P” part of DPT now? What are the actual side effects of this immunization? Your response is greatly appreciated.
Maureen Palumbo

Fast Facts about Pertussis

Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough. Pertussis is caused by bacteria that attach themselves to the cilia (little hairs) that line the respiratory tract. These bacteria produce a potent toxin that inflames the respiratory tract and that prevents the cilia from functioning properly.

Tetanus: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Introduction to tetanus: Even though the bacteria that cause tetanus are common in the United States, the tetanus vaccine has made infections rare. Nevertheless, tetanus remains a major worldwide cause of illness and death. What is tetanus? Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is caused by a toxin created by a bacterium found in the soil. When this […]

A Flu Vaccine For Every Child?

In the summer of 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC have both changed their recommendations for the flu vaccine in children. Both groups urge that the flu vaccine be given this year to all healthy children aged 6 to 23 months, because children […]

Fast Facts about Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis can occur at any age, but 95 percent of cases are in children under 5 years old. Boys are more likely to get it than girls.

Fast Facts about SIDS

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is defined as the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of any infant or young child.

Repeat Chickenpox

Parents express their concern that the chickenpox vaccine  might not give lifelong immunity. These parents sometimes want their children to catch “real chickenpox” as kids so that they will never get it as adults.

Hepatitis B: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Related concepts: HBV Introduction to hepatitis B: The hepatitis B vaccine is the first one that babies get – for good reason. The most likely time for children to catch hepatitis B is around the time of birth. More than two million adults in the United States have chronic hepatitis B infections. About 1/3 of […]

Online Safety, Security, and Privacy: Talking to Kids about the Basics

Cross the road without looking and you might get hit by a car. Touch a hot stove and it might really hurt. Kids are taught the basics of common sense early. But are we teaching them to apply the same common sense and critical thinking skills when they get online? Just as in the real […]

No Excuse For Circumcision Pain!

Dr. Greene, I’m having a baby boy, and we have decided to have him circumcised. I’ve read in magazines that a local anesthetic is a good idea. My OB says it doesn’t hurt much, in fact babies cry as much from being strapped down as they do from the actual circumcision. She also says that sticking a needle into the penis is painful and not without complications, so it is better to do it quick and easy, like it has always been done. What do you think?
Julie – Redwood City, California

Measles: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Related concepts: Rubeola, First Disease Introduction to measles: We’re now in the beginning of the 21st century, and about one million children still die of measles each year around the world. Measles has been a major cause of suffering and death at least since the societies of ancient China, Persia, and Rome. Before the measles […]

Smallpox Vaccination

In 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) began an intense campaign to eradicate smallpox from the planet through quarantine and vaccination. The New York City Board of Health strain was one of the most common vaccine strains used. People all over the world lined up to get the shot on their upper left arm. The […]

Sickle Cell Anemia: A-to-Z Guide from Diagnosis to Treatment to Prevention

Introduction to sickle cell anemia: Normal red blood cells are soft, gel-like discs that can squish as needed to slip through the tiny capillaries of the body. In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells are brittle. What is sickle cell anemia? Sickle cell disease is caused by a genetic variation of hemoglobin, the molecule […]

Flu Vaccine Recommendations

Flu season is almost here. Most people who get the flu feel miserable, but recover without major problem. Nevertheless, each year, the flu kills an average of about 36,000 people in the US alone. Overall, kids are the most likely to catch the flu, but not the most likely to have serious cases.

Health Revolution in Mexico

I sat enthralled at Grand Rounds as I listened to Jose Santos, M.D., Director of the National Vaccine Program for Mexico. While we struggle with the subtleties of further lessening the side effects of vaccines, Mexico is engaged in an enthusiastic, all-out push to immunize their children, resulting in a revolution in that nation’s health.