College Students Now Required To Get Meningitis Vaccine

Many parents are aware of vaccinations their children need before attending kindergarten, middle school and high school, but the Texas Legislature recently passed a law requiring all students to be vaccinated against meningococcal infection (typically meningitis) before starting college.

Adolescents 16-21 years old have the highest rates of meningococcal infection in the U.S. and this law follows a new recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The first dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) should be given to children between the ages of Full Entry »

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Babies Need Iron

Iron is among the most important nutrients babies can receive. Before birth, lots of iron is stored in the liver and that iron, along with the iron in breast milk, meets a newborn’s needs for making new blood cells after they are born. The big question is: “When do babies who are being breastfed need extra iron?” We know that even though breast milk has iron, it isn’t enough to meet all an infant’s needs throughout the first year of life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a new statement saying that all breastfed babies should receive iron drops beginning at Full Entry »

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Traveling Internationally With Children

international-travel-childrenWhat are the main risks children face when traveling internationally?

The risks associated with travel vary depending on where one is going, for how long, the age of the person and any other medical issues.

  • For infants and toddlers, sometimes they need their vaccines early to make sure they are fully protected from endemic diseases when they travel.
  • Safety is a large concern for all traveling children — bring your car seat or booster with you as they may not be readily available overseas. No matter what Full Entry »
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Dealing With Child Sexual Abuse

Last month was very active at Texas Children’s in observance of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. As we begin May, I wanted to discuss a subject that is particularly difficult for parents and professionals alike — dealing with child sexual abuse. I know of no people who find this an “easy” topic. A smart woman and former supervisor of mine told me once that “sexual abuse usually does not injure the body, but it devastates the soul.”

There probably is nothing more difficult than a child coming to you, and telling you that they have been molested. That child is most likely very frightened about how you will react. Will you be angry with them as perhaps the abuser told them you would be? Will you shun them or look on them as “damaged”? Many other questions run through their minds. For these reasons, most never tell, and sadly they are often repeatedly abused.

The other sad truth is that physical symptoms of sexual abuse are Full Entry »

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Texas Children’s Prom For Dialysis Patients

I’ve only been at Texas Children’s for a few short weeks, but this past weekend, I had the chance to experience something very special.

For most teenagers, the high school prom is a rite of passage. But for kids who require renal dialysis 3 times a week or who are on home dialysis, the prom may seem like a fantasy that they’ll never get to experience. As the new Chief of Renal Services, I was amazed by the level of care and dedication our renal team showed by organizing a prom for our dialysis patients.

Over 100 guests attended the Renal Prom, and we didn’t hold out on all the glitz and glamour expected at a high school prom. Every one, particularly the Child Life team, really went the extra mile to make this an amazing evening.

From the moment I walked in, the DJs Full Entry »

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