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Online Scheduler Tracks Missing Vaccinations

Here's a cool new online tool to help parents and pediatricians quickly adjust child- hood immunization schedules when a child has missed one or more vaccinations. The Catch-Up Immunization Scheduler for Children Six Years and Younger was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology with input from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Nearly 90 percent of all U.S. children are immunized by the time they attend elementary school, and immunization rates are at the highest level ever for 19- to 35-month-old children, but it is still common for children to miss scheduled vaccinations. According to a recent CDC report, 28 percent of toddlers haven't been vaccinated according to the immunization schedule recommended by the CDC, AAP, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Only nine percent of children received all vaccinations at the recommended time.? ?The free vaccination-scheduling tool is available for download at
A doctor or parent inputs a child's name, birth date, and previous immunization dates and chooses a routine or an accelerated schedule. The program creates a personal catch-up schedule of recommended dates to give the remaining vaccines.
?Parents can click on individual vaccine names to access information on how the vaccine works, the disease it prevents, and any associated risks. They also can print out their child's individual schedule and bring it to the next doctor appointment.

Who's Watching Violent Movies? The Answer is Scary

A nationwide survey has documented wide-spread exposure of pre-teens and young teens to movies with extreme graphic violence.
Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire sur-veyed 6,522 adolescents ages 10 to 14 from all regions of the U.S to determine what percentage had seen each of 534 recently released movies.

They reported the survey results for 40 movies that were rated "R" for violence by the Motion Picture Association of America. These movies, on average, were seen by 12.5 percent of the teens surveyed.

The most popular movie, "Scary Movie," was seen by a whopping 48.1 percent of the children. In another example, 12.2 percent had seen "Gangs of New York," in which a graphic scene portrays a character being beaten and tortured with a branding iron.

Violent-movie exposure was associated with having a TV in the child's bedroom and with the child being allowed to watch R-rated movies.

Oral-Rehydration Solution Best for Kids with Vomiting, Diarrhea

"Flat" carbonated drinks should not be used as an alternative to oral-rehydration solution to prevent dehydration in children with acute vomiting and diarrhea, according to a report published in an issue of the medical journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Oral-rehydration solution is a liquid con-taining the ideal balance of salts, and sugars for avoiding dehydration in people with gastroenteritis who are losing fluids, salts and sugars through diarrhea and vomiting.

It is commonly believed that "flat" carbo-nated drinks are an effective alternative to these solutions, particularly for children who don't like the taste of the solutions. But carbonated drinks were found to contain too much sugar and not enough salts. They provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended, the report concludes.

- Kathy Sena is a freelance journalist specializing in health and parenting issues and is the mother of a 13-year-old son.

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