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Tips of the Week for August, 2014

Preventing the Flu: Resources for Parents & Child Care Providers

​Parents and child care providers can help prevent and slow the spread of the flu. The flu (influenza) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu infections are highly contagious. They spread easily when children are in a group with other children such as in a child care center or family child care home.

Flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children and can lead to serious health conditions like pneumonia or bacterial infections. Each year many children are hospitalized and some die from the flu.

The following resources provide information on preventing the flu. Materials and tools for child care facilities are also included.

Protecting Children with Chronic Health Conditions

Children and adolescents with a chronic health condition, such asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at high risk for flu complications.

Flu Vaccine Information

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against getting the flu. All people 6 months and older need a flu vaccine each year. Babies cannot get vaccinated until they are 6 months old. It is critical that people who live with or care for children, especially infants younger than 6 months, get vaccinated. Vaccinating adults who are around an infant to prevent illnesses is often referred to as “cocooning.”

Fighting Germs

A few minutes killing germs can go a long way toward keeping you and those around you healthy. As adults, we know to wash our hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or wiping noses. When you cough or sneeze, cough into your sleeve or arm or into a tissue. Be sure to dispose of the tissue and wash your hands. Parents and child care providers can do their part to kill germs and also teach young children how and when to wash their hands.

Preventing the Spread of Illness in Child Care

Young children who have just entered child care are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. This is because it may be the first time they have been exposed to certain germs. In addition, they may be too young to have received enough doses of recommended vaccines to have developed immunity.

There are steps that caregivers and teachers can take to prevent the spread of infection in child care.

How Sick is Too Sick?

When children are healthy, they can go to child care or school, and parents can go to work. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to make sure everyone can continue to participate in these important activities. However, when a child feels too sick to participate in activities, or requires care beyond what the caregivers can provide without compromising their ability to care for other children, that child will need to stay home.

Additional Resources for Parents & Child Care Providers

 All information provided by  For additional information and access to web links, please go to the following URL:

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American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2014)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


Vaccines Your Child Needs

Immunizations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. They are safe and they work. In fact, serious side effects are no more common than those from other types of medication. Vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%! Yet many parents still question their safety because of misinformation they’ve received. That’s why it’s important to turn to a reliable and trusted source, including your child’s doctor for information. The following are answers to common questions parents have about immunizations.

What vaccines does my child need?

Your child needs all of the following immunizations to stay healthy:

  • Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines to help protect against serious liver diseases.
  • Rotavirus vaccine to help protect against the most common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children (and the most common cause of hospitalizations in young infants due to vomiting and diarrhea).
  • DTaP vaccine to help protect against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Hib vaccine to help protect against Haemophilus influenzae type b (a cause of spinal meningitis).
  • Pneumococcal vaccine to help protect against bacterial meningitis and infections of the blood.
  • Polio vaccine to help protect against a crippling viral disease that can cause paralysis.
  • Influenza vaccine to help protect against the flu. This vaccine is recommended for all people beginning at 6 months and older
  • MMR vaccine to help protect against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
  • Varicella vaccine to help protect against chickenpox and its many complications including flesh-eating strep, staph toxic shock, and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain).
  • Meningococcal vaccine to help protect against very serious bacterial diseases that affect the blood, brain, and spinal cord.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to prevent viral infections in teens and adults that cause cancers of the mouth and throat, cervix, and genitals.  

Remember, vaccines definitely prevent diseases and save lives. It’s important to follow the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Contact your child’s doctor if you have any questions.

Additional Information: 


Last Updated



Immunizations: What You Need to Know (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 2/12)

Information provided by  For additional information, links and audio regarding this topic, please go to

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


Back to School, Back to the Doctor

​No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there's the yearly back-to-school checklist of to-dos:

While it may not seem as urgent, a yearly physical exam by your family's pediatrician is an important part of your child's health care. The back-to-school season is a convenient time for putting the exam on your family's schedule.

Your Family-Centered Medical Home

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates that every child and youth receive care through a family-centered medical home. Within the medical home, care is provided continuously over a long period of time so that as a child ages and develops, his or her care is never interrupted.

Adolescence, for example, is a time when vital changes are taking place. It is important to have your child see the pediatrician during the transition years from later childhood to puberty.

The annual pediatric exam also offers the doctor time to provide wellness guidance and advice. In addition to monitoring heart and blood pressure and testing for diabetes, pediatricians can use this annual visit with your child to discuss diet, exercise options, pediatric vision screenings, and testing for cholesterol and anemia.

Building a Medical History

The continuity of regular physical exams is invaluable. Having a long-term history with a child or adolescent gives the doctor the awareness of the child's progress and development over time. This helps the doctor detect emerging problems, as well as being informed by the detail of the patient's history, such as important past illnesses or injuries the child may forget to mention on the sports physical questionnaire.

That detail includes immunization records. A school entry form will generally include a check box asking whether all vaccinations are up-to-date, requiring the parents to remember whether or not they are. The family pediatrician will have accurate records to assist you in filling out these forms.

Examining the Young Athlete

The doctor's annual exam of a young athlete should be similar to one for any other child but most pediatricians will also address some sports-specific issues, including injuries, nutrition, training and exercise programs, and even attitudes in the course of the exam.

The other side of the exercise issue is the student athlete who is already involved in an exercise and training program. Overuse and overtraining injuries continue to be huge problems.

The Need for a Thorough Physical Exam (beyond a sports-specific exam)

Back-to-school check-ups, as they are commonly called, are often the only visit most kids and teenagers have with their pediatrician every year. The annual physical gives the pediatrician a chance to give the child a thorough physical exam and address any emotional, developmental, or social concerns. It is also a good chance to address important questions, especially with teenagers, including adolescent issues of drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual activity, and depression.

Children involved in school athletic programs often receive a sports-specific exam through the school. The timeframe for getting this exam should be at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the sport's season. This allows ample time to work up any new health concerns or rehab any lingering injuries before the season starts, without delaying clearance of the athlete. However, school sports physicals alone tend not to address the child's overall health.

Getting the Balance Right

A healthy childhood and adolescence calls for balancing home life, school, social activities, sports, and extracurricular pursuits. This is not easy, especially during a time when the child is passing through the years of growth, learning, exploration, and emotional and physical development. This is all the more reason to set aside one day during each of those years for your child to see the pediatrician.

Additional Information

All information provided by  For additional information and links, please go to

Last Updated



Adapted from Healthy Children E-Magazine, Back to School 2012

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances


6th Grade and Kindergarten required school physicals

Every September, the Wayne County School system sets dates by which Kindergarten and 6th grade students have to be up to date on their shots, or they won’t be allowed to attend school. The following dates have been established for the 2014 - 2015 school year and are as follows:


September 30, 2014 has been established as the cut-off date for kindergarten children who require the Kindergarten Health Assessment and completion of certain immunizations for school enrollment.. Kindergarten students will be excluded from school beginning Wednesday, October 1, 2014 if they have not completed the requirements as set forth by NC mandate.


September 23, 2014 - Any 6th grade student not completing the required Tdap booster by this date will be excluded from school beginning Wednesday, September 24, 2014.


Please pay attention to these dates.  We will try to accommodate any last minute requests for physicals, but due to demand cannot promise all students will be seen by their respective deadlines.  Please make an appointment now to avoid having your child miss school.



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