Unvaccinated Children at Center of Measles Outbreak

Children's Health, Parenting
Many parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, don't realize the potential harm of this decision on both their children and the children in their community. The reason? Children whose parents refuse vaccinations for them provide fertile ground for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. Here's another case proving that point. This one is an investigation of a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego. As one of the researchers reminds us, "It's very important for parents to understand that the disease itself is always more serious than a true reaction to the vaccine." Action Points Explain to interested patients that all 12 of the measles cases identified in this study were unvaccinated children, most of whose parents had refused the vaccine. Here are the details, from a MedPage report: Although…
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Nearly a third of physicians surveyed unaware of ‘Choking Game’

Children's Health, Parenting
In the New York Times online Doctor and Patient column, Pauline Chen, MD, observed, "Until recently, there has been little attention among healthcare professionals to" the "choking game" in which "children ages seven to 21 participate ... alone or in groups, holding their breath, strangling one another, or dangling in a noose in the hopes of attaining a legal high." A study published this month in the journal Pediatrics "reported that almost a third of physicians surveyed were unaware of the choking game" and "could not describe any of the 11 warning signs, which include bloodshot eyes and frequent and often severe headaches." To help you be able to know more about this dangerous new phenomena, here's a CDC report on the topic: What is the choking game? The choking game is…
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Medical community unaware of ‘Choking Game’s’ popularity among teens

Children's Health, Parenting
The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reported that there is a game being played throughout the nation by some teenagers that involves "cutting off oxygen to the brain" to "induce a natural high." Although the "choking game may not be as prevalent as other [risky behaviors] like drugs," the lead author of a paper appearing in Pediatrics points out "a seriously low level of awareness" among members of the medical community. This raises concerns, because "a recent CDC report estimated that about 85 deaths from 1995 to 2007 were likely caused by participation in choking games, and several incidences of brain injuries have been reported," according to a WebMD report. But, 68 percent of the "163 pediatricians and family practitioners" who were surveyed by Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital…
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Discovering Teenagers’ Risky ‘Choking Game’ Too Late

Children's Health, Parenting
Here's a heart rending story from the New York Times about an extremely risky game that is becoming more and more popular with teens. Worse yet, most parents and doctors are unaware of the game. Here are the details: The patient was already on the operating room table when the other transplant surgeons and I arrived to begin the surgery that would remove his liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs and heart. He was tall, with legs that extended to the very end of the table, a chest barely wider than his 16-year-old hips, and a chin covered with pimples and peach fuzz. He looked like any one of the boys I knew in high school. Those of us in the room that night knew his organs would be perfect — he…
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