Category Archives: Parent Resources

Scared of needles?

Believe it or not, I once had a fear of needles. Many years ago when I was a child I instinctively swatted the nurse giving me an injection causing the needle to scrape all the way down my arm. That’s something that stuck with me all the way into my young adult years.

I think a lot of us have an innate fear of needles. If you didn’t know better would you hold out our arm and let someone pierce it with a sharp object? I don’t think so. So if the thought of doing so makes you weak in the knees then know that you most definitely aren’t alone.

How did I get past my fear? First off, I desensitized myself by giving injections. Second, I learned everything I could about vaccine-preventable diseases, which helped to remind myself that injections are important. And third, I had babies and that meant injections, blood draws, and IVs galore on top of everything else.

Injections are still unpleasant but definitely not unbearable. I’m not going to ever say that you’re going to be happy about getting stuck with a needle, but I think I can help you to tolerate the experience with minimal freakout.

Here are some ways to help you cope: Continue reading

You can learn about cells, Immunity, and vaccines in a new online course for FREE!

Did you know you can find an incredible number of free online classes from major universities all over the world at edX.org? If you didn’t, you need to jump on over there immediately and check out all there is to offer. Speaking of incredible classes…

Professor of Cell Research & Immunology at Tel Aviv University, Jonathan M. Gershoni, wants to welcome all of you to join his new FREE online class “Viruses & How to Beat Them: Cells, Immunity, Vaccines“.

This is a class welcome to anyone interested in basic cell biology, virology and immunology. There is no need for a well-developed understanding of science. The free online class is geared to non-science/biology majors, parents, and adults at or above the high school level.

What will you learn?

  • The makeup of cell structures (organelles) and their functions
  • What happens to our body when it is infected by viruses
  • How our immune system operates to protect us
  • The pros and cons of vaccination

The course is intended to help you make informed decisions about vaccines and better appreciate how our bodies cope with viral infections. But it’s not all about throwing information at you. The professors and speakers in the course keep it light and entertaining.  Continue reading

Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor

 

There are far too few children’s books on vaccines. Too many children are scared and confused about vaccines and it’s time we start the dialog. Our little ones are curious creatures who could benefit from knowing more about why they have to roll up their sleeves for vaccines.

Today, there’s a new children’s book on the shelves that discusses the topic of vaccination: Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor.

Author Ann D. Koffsky offers lots to talk about in this interesting children’s book beautifully illustrated by Talitha Shipman. Continue reading

Hand, Foot, and Mouth: If you have kids, this is a must read!

A virus that causes the hand, foot, and mouth disease has plagued my home. And since it’s taken over my days and nights, I feel the need to pull something positive from it.  I want all of you parents to know how to spot it, how to handle it, and how to protect other children from getting sickStevie's hand.

My son, Stevie, was the first to get sick, and now my daughter has it too. I’m going to share our story along with some helpful information incase this takes over your home. I also want to share the pictures I took of my son and daughter.

What is hand foot and mouth?

This is a disease caused usually by Coxsackievirus A-16 and less frequently by Enterovirus 71. This virus usually affects small children (Infants to 5 years) much worse than it does for older children and adults.

What does it look like?

Stevie's FootHand, foot, and mouth begins with a mild fever (101 F-102 F), diminished appetite, sore throat, and a general feeling of being sick. A few days after the fever begins, painful sores develop in the mouth. The sores usually begin in the back of the mouth but may move to the inside of the cheeks, tongue, gums, and lips. These sores may begin as red dots and tend to develop into blisters that may pop, leaving lesions or ulcers. This rash is then seen on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, knees, genital  area, and lower calf.Stevie's Toe

My son came down with the fever first, as is typical. I figured he was coming down with a little something and didn’t think much of it. A few days later he would not eat, was incredibly cranky, and just not himself. That night a few sores had appeared on his butt, calves, and feet. He did not sleep that night. In the morning his palms, calves, bottom, and feet were covered in terrible oozing blisters and red-purple spots. The next few days were long. He wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep, and couldn’t be put down. After four days of not eating, still having high fevers, and the worst blisters I’ve ever seen, I took him in to see a doctor. Like I figured, there wasn’t much he could do to help him, but he did tell me that Stevie’s case was the worst case he had ever seen. That’s why I wanted to share this story and these photos. Continue reading

Banding Together with Parents For Vaccination

Herd immunity. You may have heard this term before, but if you haven’t, herd immunity occurs when most of a community’s citizens are vaccinated against a disease. Those that are vaccinated act as a shield to block disease from spreading to those who are unable to get the vaccine. The unvaccinated in such instances are those who are too sick/allergic/too young for a specific vaccine.

Herd immunity has waned due to the rise in unvaccinated people. This is especially scary in places where large pockets of communities are unvaccinated. Many children, even those who have been vaccinated, have a higher probability of getting sick, because not all vaccines are 100% effective.

Some communities in California have the highest populations of unvaccinated children in the United States.

Los Angeles-based mom, Trisha Gum, has been asking herself if she should be sending her children to play with children who have not been vaccinated. Her children have been vaccinated, yet they’re not entirely protected in communities with dwindling herd immunity. Continue reading