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Send Your Kids Back to School With Their Vaccines Up to Date
Back-to-school season is here. It's time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It's also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.
Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC's immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children's health -- and that of classmates and the community. Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students.
Today's childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox.
"Thanks to vaccines, most of these diseases have become rare in the United States," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But many still exist here, and they can make children very sick, leading to many days of missed school, missed work for parents, and even hospitalization and death."
In 2011, there were more than 200 cases of measles reported in the U.S. In 2010, about 27,550 cases of whooping cough (pertussis) were reported, and 25 people died from the disease. "Without vaccines, these numbers would be much, much higher," Dr. Schuchat said. "That's why kids still need vaccines."
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community -- including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
School-age children need vaccines. For example, kids who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and polio. Older children, like pre-teens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), HPV (human papillomavirus) and MCV (meningococcal conjugate virus) vaccines. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Check with your child's doctor to find out what vaccines are needed.
Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.
Attention Arachnophobes: Tips to Keep Spiders Out of Your House
Some researchers claim that every person is always within ten feet of a spider; other experts believe that is too conservative and that three feet is a more accurate assessment of our proximity to arachnids. With 34,000 named species of spiders in the world (and tens of thousands of currently unnamed ones), our closeness to these eight-legged creatures should come as no surprise.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) sheds light on some of the most common home-invading spiders.
House spiders. Found worldwide, these spiders are the most often encountered indoors. They are a nuisance, more so because of their webs than the spiders themselves. These spiders are usually found in upper corners in rooms and under furniture, but homeowners can prevent them from entering by sealing cracks and using screens on windows and doors. NPMA recommends the use of a vacuum as an effective tool to remove adults, egg sacs and webs. Brooms are not as effective as adults often escape.
Brown recluse spiders. Found in the central Midwest and southward through Texas and Georgia, brown recluses often hide in clothing, shoes, storage areas and dark recesses. In order to avoid an unpleasant surprise and a painful bite, avoid keeping clothing on the floor and store clothes and shoes inside plastic containers to minimize hospitable environments for them.
Jumping spiders. Found throughout the U.S. and abroad, their common name comes from their jumping ability and habits they use to capture prey. Some colored species may cause concern when people mistake them for Black Widow spiders. These spiders will bite, but they are not considered dangerous. Seal cracks and make sure screens are intact to keep these pests at bay.
Cellar spiders. As their name implies, these pests are often found in dark and damp places and are more commonly called "daddy-long-legs" because of their long, thin legs. Lowering the humidity and moisture in basements and crawl spaces can discourage these spiders from taking up residence in your home. Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite.
While most spiders aren't dangerous, they can evoke a movie-worthy scream from many. If you believe you have a spider infestation, NPMA advises you to contact a pest professional who can identify the species and develop a control plan. For more information on preventing spiders from entering your home or to find a professional who can help control them, visit www.pestworld.org.
Discover a Better Ride on Wet Roads
Bald or poorly maintained tires won't get you very far when it comes to driving on slippery roadways. With improper equipment and maintenance, slick surfaces from rain storms are a major threat to safety on the road.
Take control by following this advice from your friends at Firestone Complete Auto Care on ways to prepare yourself and your vehicle for possible wet weather.
* During wet weather conditions, drive slowly and keep in mind that stopping distances will be longer than usual. Stopping on a wet road can take up to four times the stopping distance of a dry road.
* Rainwater that mixes with oil or grime on the streets can cause slippery conditions that may result in unexpected skidding.
* Drive smoothly. To maintain control of your vehicle, try to avoid jerky, abrupt movements when braking, accelerating or turning.
* Check your tires at least once a month. This includes proper rotation, inflation, repair and replacement.
* In many areas of the country, the snow and ice of winter leave roads in bad shape. Hitting a pothole can damage your tire and/or the wheel of your vehicle. The sharp impact can cause immediate tire or wheel failure or internal damage that can lead to tire failure weeks later. Keeping your tires properly inflated will help reduce pothole damage and other road hazards. Here's an extra tip about potholes:
* If you do have to hit a pothole, avoid braking during the impact. Instead, attempt to brake before impact and release just prior to contacting the pothole. Braking during impact sets up the tire and wheel assembly for a "solid hit" against the edge of the hole. Less severe damage occurs when a tire is rolling, rather than skidding, over the pothole.
Save yourself money on expensive repairs by following these tips to help keep your vehicle running in tip-top shape.
Get more driving tips to keep you and your car safe at www.firestonecompleteautocare.com.
Top Ways to Fight Fevers in Kids
Fevers often set in fast and unexpectedly, leaving a caregiver little time to prepare -- or to run to the store. Be ready to react the next time your child comes down with a fever by keeping a fully stocked fever-fighting arsenal in your home:
* Drink Up: You know your child's favorite flavors, so keep your pantry stocked with therapeutic hydration beverages in these flavors. You'll be ready to replenish vital nutrients and prevent dehydration as soon as it's needed. Remember, to prevent dehydration, encourage your little one to drink slowly as opposed to big gulps, and avoid sugary and sweetened beverages. For an extra treat, try freezing the beverage and creating an ice pop.
* Measurement That's on the Mark: A rectal thermometer still provides the most accurate measurement of body temperature. When you're dealing with an elevated body temperature, it's important to know the exact measurement, so you know when to call the pediatrician.* Have a good digital rectal thermometer on hand to get an exact reading.
* Keep 'Em Cool: When fever spikes, be ready. Keep a cool pack chilled in the refrigerator to keep your child cool and help bring down their body temperature. You'll also have this special "icy" ready to go when boo boos need soothing. Avoid cold baths or showers, however, since they can cool the body too much. Healthcare professionals recommend moderately warm baths instead.
* Dose with Ease: Acetaminophen is one of the most recommended nonprescription medications by healthcare professionals for fever reduction in children. However, if your child is fussy, spitting up or vomiting, it can be challenging to get them to take a full and proper oral dose of liquid acetaminophen. Be sure to have FeverAll Acetaminophen Suppositories (www.feverall.com) in your medicine cabinet for instances when sick infants and children can't or won't take liquid acetaminophen orally. FeverAll Infants' Strength (80 mg) is the only acetaminophen suppository available and approved for infants as young as six months of age. You'll be able to confidently dose acetaminophen with ease and know that your child received the proper dose for their age, even as young as six months old.
* Dole out the Love: A little extra TLC can help keep kids comfy and in a positive state of mind as they fight a fever. Show your love through the power of touch with a gentle massage to your child's feet, neck or back. For extra security, have a brand-new soft lovey or blanket ready to go as a special new delight.
3 Simple Steps to Decreasing Your Risk of Stroke
Four out of five victims of a stroke saw no obvious warning signs -- meaning 80 percent of adults who suffered a stroke had no idea they could have managed their risk factors, according to the National Stroke Association.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says stroke has become the fourth leading killer in the U.S. If adults can't rely on warning symptoms to point to signs of a stroke, they should take stroke prevention into their own hands. Many of the most significant risk factors are controllable.
"Preventive health screening aims to identify those with subclinical disease at a time when lifestyle changes and medical management can make a difference," explains Dr. Andrew Manganaro, the Chief Medical Officer at Life Line Screening -- a provider of community-based vascular screenings.
"The risk factors for cardiovascular disease are incredibly prevalent. The latest statistical research reveals 94 percent of the U.S. population has at least one serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The facts are clear. We are a nation at risk."
Consider three simple steps -- lifestyle changes you probably should've made years ago -- to lower your risk of stroke.
1. Get a preventative screening. This is the most important preventative step you can take. Diet and lifestyle changes won't alleviate your risk if your family has a history of stroke, Type 2 diabetes or carotid artery disease.
2. Find 3.5 more hours each week to be physically active. Besides reducing risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise keeps arteries flexible. Take three more walks each week, buy a fun exercise DVD like Zumba or just add a set of push-ups or sit-ups to your workout routine.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, increasing your level of physical activity by 3.5 hours per week can reduce your risk of stroke by almost 40 percent, regardless of your age.
3. Write a step-by-step plan to stop smoking. Women who smoke a pack a day are at increased risk of hypertension, plus their cardiovascular system is damaged by continued nicotine and carbon monoxide.
Making a plan to quit is the first step, but following through is the toughest step. Write down when you smoke, why you smoke and what you are doing when you smoke. This will show what triggers you to smoke, which is necessary to help you figure out a way to replace those urges with something less harmful.
Visit LifeLineScreening.com to learn more about stroke prevention, stroke risk factors or to find stroke screening near you.
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