Please send your child to the nurses office if they need a hat, gloves, boots, snow pants or coat! Plenty to borrow or adopt if needed!
I Got The Flu Even Though I Got The Flu Shot!
According to the weekly flu reports, as of December 7th, the rates of flu-like illness has declined. But we can expect these rates to sharply rise as we head further into flu season. Last year was one of the worst flu seasons on record, but the number of cases didn't spike until January/February.
Many people say they won't get the flu shot again because in the past they got the flu shot and they got the flu anyway. But healthcare providers agree that unless you have certain allergies, you should get a flu shot. It's the best protection that we have against the flu.
Reason to annually get the flu shot:
1. The vaccine may not match up with the flu viruses actually circulating where you live. The composition of the flu vaccine is reviewed each season and updated if needed to protect against the 3 viruses that research suggests will be most common.
2. People may be exposed to an influenza virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period it takes the body to develop protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure could result in a person becoming ill before the vaccination begins to protect them.
3. Unfortunately, some people can get infected with an influenza virus that is included in the vaccine despite getting vaccinated. Protection varies based on health and age. Influenza vaccination works best among young healthy adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. But, this doesn't mean you are getting the flu from the vaccination.
Talk to your doctor today about getting a flu shot!
MA Department of Public Health
Ignore the Flashing Screens: The Best Toys Go
Back to the Basics
The American Academy of Pediatrics finds the best toys for children's development are those that foster play between a caregiver and child.
As digital media-based gadgets increasingly fill the children's toy aisles, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns families against using them as a replacement to the traditional hands-on toys and games that fuel the imagination and aid in healthy development.
The AAP offers families and physicians guidance in an updated clinical report, "Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era," to be published in the January 2019 issue of Pediatrics and available online Dec. 3. The report focuses on toys for children from birth through school age.
"Toys have evolved over the years, and advertisements may leave parents with the impression that toys with a 'virtual' or digital-based platform are more educational," said Aleeya Healey, MD, FAAP, a lead author of the report. "Research tells us that the best toys need not be flashy or expensive or come with an app. Simple, in this case, really is better."
Ideal toys are those that match children's developmental abilities, while encouraging the growth of new skills, according to the AAP. Toys are key to developing children's brains, language interactions, symbolic and pretend play, problem-solving, social interactions and physical activity – and are increasingly important as children move from infancy into toddlerhood.
"The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending and interacting together," said Alan Mendelsohn, MD, FAAP, co-author of the report and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone Health. "You just don't reap the same rewards from a tablet or screen. And when children play with parents - the real magic happens, whether they are pretending with toy characters or building blocks or puzzles together."
Electronic toys by themselves do not provide children with the interaction and parental engagement that is critical to healthy development, according to the report. Many of the new "interactive" media -including videos, computer programs and specialized books with voice-recorded reading --make claims about educational benefits in advertisements that are unsubstantiated, according to AAP.
The clinical report also covers safety considerations when choosing toys, and the appropriateness of toys for children with special needs. The AAP provides suggestions for how pediatricians can incorporate toys in the office setting.
The AAP recommends that parents and caregivers:
Lana Schaefer, RN, BSN, NCSN
508-693-0951 ext. 281