From swine flu to obesity to dangerous plastics, many issues that affect children’s health garnered media attention in the year 2009. Here’s a rundown of the some of the biggest and most important stories:
This is the story that caught the most attention—for good reason. Not only is the H1N1 influenza virus very contagious, it appears to particularly affect young people. H1N1 caused more pediatric hospitalizations and deaths than we usually see with the seasonal influenza virus, which is very scary for parents (and pediatricians!). The virus led to countless school closings—sometimes to control the spread, and sometimes because there weren’t enough teachers left to teach! …
In case you missed it, the CDC today recalled 800,000 H1N1 vaccine doses meant for children, age 6 months to nearly 3 years old because they lost some of their strength after being released to the public. The good news is that there are no risks to any child who was vaccinated and you don’t need to get your child re-vaccinated if he or she got doses from the recalled batch; it just may be that your child isn’t quite as protected from H1N1 as you originally thought.
Check out the CDC’s Q&A on the topic.
Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week.
Why are suicide clusters more common in teens? Children’s Global Fellow Stephen Sullivan, MD, MPH, addresses the global burden of surgical diseases. KABC in Los Angeles interviewed Children’s Hanno Steen, PhD, about a urine test that quickly identifies cases of appendicitis. Children’s Center for Young Women’s Health youth advisor, Erica, writes a compelling review of the movie, Precious. The HealthMap team gives us our final H1N1 update. David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, just published a commentary in JAMA expressing concern about the widespread use of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks. Our Mediatrician talks about how negative portrayals of black women in movies affects teens. We give a roundup on all of the news this week on the fight for what our children should be eating and drinking.