As the days of summer wane and school physicals and forms start to pour into the office, the question never fails. “Do we need any shots?” As many of my patients know, I prefer to call immunizations “protections” and the word “need” can be so loosely interpreted. Many patients use this phrase to refer to what vaccines are needed for school regulations. My hope is that my patients will use this phrase to refer to which vaccines I recommend for them.
What is the most common childhood chronic disease in the United States?
Dr. George SCHWARTZENBURG
The answer is tooth decay or cavities. The medical term used for this condition is dental caries which is Latin for tooth “rottenness”. Cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth break down and damage the hard surface of the tooth. Frequent snacking and sugary drinks increase the chance of getting cavities which is more common in the developed world due to the abundance of these types of food products.
We didn’t see Zika Virus coming to the US, nor did most care if it did. Without its association with microcephaly, it’s a minor illness with fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Most people don’t even know they have it. It is often known as Zika fever and has been around since the 1950’s in a small area of Africa and Asia.
A common misconception among parents today is that antibiotics will cure any ailment that plagues their child. Pediatricians are faced daily with the decision of whether or not antibiotics are indicated.
It is important to first understand that antibiotics are medicines used to treat specific bacterial infections such as strep throat or a urinary tract infection. They are only useful in treating bacterial infections and will not provide any benefit for viral infections such as most colds and the flu. Most viruses get better without any medications.
The New Year is always a good opportunity to talk to your children about changing or improving lifestyle choices. Take this time to be creative in helping them come up with healthy New Year’s resolutions they can make and follow. Don’t forget to be a positive role model. They watch everything you do.