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Infectious disease physician dispels vaccine myths ahead of back-to-school physicals

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Having updated vaccinations is an important step for children heading back to school. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that vaccines have saved more the 732,000 lives during the past two decades. While studies have repeatedly shown vaccines are the best way to protect our communities from some of the deadliest illnesses, questions still arise. Nadia Qureshi, MD, pediatric infectious disease physician at Loyola University Medical Center, and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, sheds light on some common myths about vaccines.”(more)

Time to catch up on reading, writing … and routine shots

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Of all the items on your child’s back-to-school checklist, getting vaccinated is probably your kid’s least favorite. But those shots are essential for keeping children healthy, pediatricians say. Vaccination requirements may vary somewhat from state to state. But all 50 states and Washington, D.C., require children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles and rubella. If your child hasn’t already been vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended schedule, it’s not too late, said Dr. David Kimberlin. He is vice chair of pediatrics and co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s division of pediatric infectious diseases.”(more)

Are soft contact lenses safe for children? Risks seem no higher than in adults

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Available evidence suggests that soft contact lenses can be safely prescribed to children and adolescents, with no increase in adverse effects compared to adults, according to a review in the June issue of Optometry and Vision Science, the official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The risk of safety problems from soft contact lens wear may even be lower in younger children compared to teens—possibly reflecting a lower rate of behaviors associated with increased risk for complications, suggests the report by Mark A. Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD, FAAO, of University of Houston College of Optometry.”(more)

Kids’ inactivity rises, creating ‘health care time bomb’

USA Today – Jayne O’Donnell and Joshua Mitchell

“The percent of children aged six to 12 who were physically active three or more times a week had its biggest drop in five years and is now under 25%, new data show. Making matters worse, households with incomes under $50,000 have much higher rates of inactivity than families making more than $75,000 annually, an analysis by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association and PHIT America found. In fact, low income Americans are getting more inactive while high income Americans are becoming more active.”(more)

Many students reluctant to use asthma inhalers at school

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The thought of having to pull out an inhaler in the middle of school might stop some kids with asthma from breathing better, a study of British schoolchildren suggests. An online survey of almost 700 students with asthma showed that nearly 50 percent reported poor asthma control. With asthma, the lungs and airways become inflamed when exposed to triggers that can include pollen, catching a cold or having a respiratory infection. Childhood asthma can interfere with play, sports, school and sleep. Unmanaged asthma can cause dangerous asthma attacks.”(more)

California kindergarten vaccination rates reach all-time high in aftermath of new law

Ed Source – Jane Meredith Adams

“Vaccination rates hit an all-time high for California kindergartners, the California Department of Public Health said Wednesday as it announced its first findings since a new law ended the era of the “personal belief exemption” that allowed thousands of parents to choose not to vaccinate their children who attend public and private schools. The percentage of kindergartners who received all required vaccines rose to 95.6 percent in 2016-17, up from the 92.8 percent rate in 2015-16. This is the highest reported rate for the current set of immunization requirements, which began in the 2001-02 school year, the state said.”(more)