Given the recent increase in cases of Mumps in the Columbus area here are some facts about the Mumps:
Mumps is a virus that causes few days of fever, headache, puffy looking cheeks, muscle aches, pain with chewing/swallowing, swelling of salivary glands around the cheeks, jaw and under chin. Teenage boys may have swelling of the testicles and girls may have swelling of the ovaries causing stomach pain. It is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from mouth, nose or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs or sneezes.
Our practice follows CDC guidelines to vaccinate your child with first dose of MMR at 12 or 15 months of age and second dose of MMR at 4-6 years of age. At this time there is no recommendation to give the 2nd MMR dose earlier or give an additional 3rd MMR. More information about mumps is available from the CDC website:
As of September 18, 2013 our office will be converting to an electronic medical record system. To expedite service, please complete all forms entirely and sign all designated signature areas. You can find these forms in our patient portal system under Download Forms: Face Sheet and Printable Forms.
Insurance companies have changed their rules. Be prepared to pay an extra copay at the time of your child's well visit if a specific additional issue is discussed at length at that time. If you do not wish to pay it that day, you may schedule an ill appointment for another day.
P.O.E.M. Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms is a support group for moms and dads overwhelmed by the changes surrounding a new baby. Please visit this site for a short video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QORmXS6VJDQ
Recently, the AAP has changed the recommendations on rear-facing car seats. The length of time a child should spend rear-facing has been extended. This has been after multiple studies showing a greater chance of survival and less chance of being ejected from the car. Currently it is not a law for a child over 1y and 20 lbs to be rear-facing, but this law may change in the future. Children spend a lot of time in cars. Here is a reference website for the current car seat recommendations: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx
*** Please make sure you know the requirements of your insurance plan's radiology and lab providers. You may have specific requirements for how lab has to be drawn and where it has to be sent. You may incur an unnecessary fee from the labs if this is not known to us. It is your responsibility to make us aware of this as each family has a specific plan.
As parents, we carry a huge responsibility to keep our child safe and healthy. With all the information in the media regarding immunizations, it is no wonder why we feel such a huge burden on our shoulders to make a good decision to protect them and not expose them to anything that may "overwhelm their immune system" or bodies. There is an enormous amount of literature for and against immunizing. As a practice, we have familiarized ourselves with much of this information. As physicians, we feel strongly feel that immunizations are some of the best ammunition we have to almost guarantee your child does not acquire a disease that could cause him or her harm. Not being able to utilize this protective blanket, puts us in a worrisome position. We care about your child, and if he or she contracted a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine, we would be devastated and feel very responsible. We also feel a responsibility to our other patients who are in our waiting rooms, and may be exposed to unvaccinated child and potentially be susceptible to that disease.
Vaccine immunity works most effectively when we do our best to achieve "herd immunity", meaning that a disease has less of a chance in penetrating a community where almost all kids have protected antibodies. Gaps in this herd immunity allow disease to penetrate into the population, and since no vaccine is absolutely 100 percent effective, even vaccinated children could potentially come down with disease.
If your child is unvaccinated, he or she may contract a disease that may put his or her life at risk. Since fever is a symptom of disease, it would be hard to guarantee that he or she did not have one of the vaccine-preventable diseases, and he or she may be exposed to additional invasive testing.
The vaccines that are required by schools have been around and studied for many years. There is actually less "preservatives" and antigens, or "proteins", in each vaccine than there was 10 years ago. We do not have any mercury-containing ingredients in any of our vaccines, even though it has never been proven to cause any problems. Giving multiple vaccines at one time has been studied for antibody formation and side effects extensively, and have shown to be safe. The immunization schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is the schedule that we follow.
You can look at vaccines forming immunity in your body sort of like a message being sent to certain groups or teams. When vaccines proteins enter your child's body, they are small messages that round up the team leaders of these different groups of your immune system. These team leaders hold onto that message, or "memory" and if your body is "attacked" by real disease, then that specific team that has that message draws its team members to fight. During the process of vaccinating, or forming the teams, less than 1% of your immune system is even "revved up". Children may sometimes mount a fever to signal that this message has been successfully passed along to the appropriate place.
I have been asked by some parents why people would "make up" a cause between vaccines and autism. My reasoning is fear. No parent would want their child to have autism. There still is much research that needs to be done as to the cause. The temporal and concrete relationship between the timing of vaccines and diagnosis of autism is an easy target.
The truth of the matter is, the diseases that vaccines prevent are still out there. They can be deadly and seriously decrease the quality of your child's life. We may be in the wake of seeing more of these previously "hibernating" diseases in our child's lifetime. This is a shame.