Decline in Vaccinations in Children Under Two

October 24th, 2018

ShotThe percentage of American children under two years of age who haven’t received any recommended vaccinations quadrupled in the past 17 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Drop in Vaccinations

Among children born in 2015, 1.3 percent had not received any of the recommended vaccinations, according to an analysis of 2017 data. That compares with 0.9 percent in 2011 and 0.3 percent of 19 to 35 month olds in 2001.

If the same proportion of children born in 2016 have not received any vaccinations, about 100,000 children who are now less than two years old are not protected against 14 potentially serious vaccine- preventable diseases. 

The latest numbers come from a telephone survey last year of the parents of about 15,000 toddlers. The 100,000 estimate refers to the 2017 vaccination status of kids born in 2015 and 2016.

A separate CDC study found that overall vaccination rates for older, kindergarten-age children continue to hold about steady, with close to 95 percent fully vaccinated.

The researchers didn’t ask parents why they didn’t get their children vaccinated.

Recommended Vaccinations for Children Under Two

 Early childhood vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious diseases that can be especially dangerous for infants and very young children. The vaccines recommended for those under the age of two are:

  • DTaP
  • Hep A
  • Hep B
  • Hib
  • Influenza
  • IPV
  • MMR
  • PCU13
  • RV

Vaccines do not overload the immune system according to the CDC.

The most common side effects after vaccination are mild. They include:

  • Chills
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given

Young children are at an increased risk for infectious diseases because their immune systems have not yet built up the necessary defenses to fight serious infections and diseases. Vaccinations start early in life to protect children before they are exposed to the disease.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that vaccinations are not fun, but they are important.  They keep not only children safe, but the community at large as well. IAA wants you to live as healthy a life as possible!

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

FDA Bans Multiple Synthetic Flavor Enhancers

October 17th, 2018

FDA EmblemThe Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of seven synthetic substances used to flavor or enhance flavor in baked goods, ice cream, candy, beverages, and chewing gum.

The FDA Ban

In 2015, several organizations petitioned the FDA to ban the substances pointing to data showing they cause cancer in lab animals. Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Acts Delaney Clause enacted in 1958, the FDA cannot allow the legal use of any food additive found to induce cancer in humans or animals at any dose

When announcing its decision on October 5, 2018, the FDA noted that its “rigorous scientific analysis has determined that they do not pose a risk to public health under the conditions of their intended use. The synthetic flavoring substances that are the subject of this petition are typically used in foods available in the U.S. marketplace in very small amounts and their use results in very low levels of exposure and low risk.”

According to the FDA the decision does not affect the legal status of foods that contain the natural counterparts of the substances used to flavor foods and drink. 

The Substances

The now banned substances are typically added to stimulate mint, cinnamon and citrus. The six are:

  • Benzophenone
  • Ethyl acrylate
  • Eugenyl methyl ether
  • Myrcene
  • Pulegone
  • Pyridine

The FDA also removed its approval for styrene which has been abandoned by the industry.

On a label, the substances are listed as “artificial flavors,” rather than their specific names, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the organizations that petitioned to get the flavors outlawed.

The FDA will give companies 24 months to identify suitable replacement ingredients and change the formula for their products

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants to keep you up-to-date in the world of health. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more! Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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Yes, it Could Actually be Possible to be “Hangry”

October 10th, 2018

Woman annoyedWhen you are hungry, everything is annoying and your temper can run short. New animal research might help explain why.

New Research

Researchers working with rats found that sudden drops in blood sugar that occur with hunger might make people “hangry.” That drop in blood sugar and the ensuing mood changes may also be a key to depression and anxiety, the study authors also noted.

For the study, researchers injected rats with a glucose blocker that caused low blood sugar. At other times, the animals got an injection of water. In each case, the rats were put into different chambers. When the animals could choose which chamber to enter, they avoided the chamber where they had experienced low blood sugar, the researchers found. This type of avoidance behavior is an expression of stress and anxiety.

Blood tests after the episodes of low blood sugar also found more of the hormone corticosterone, an indicator of physiological stress. The rats also seemed more sluggish when given the sugar blocker.

While sugar is needed to make muscles work, when the rats were given a commonly used antidepressant, the sluggish behavior could not be seen. The animals moved around normally. Their muscles were still not getting the glucose, but their behavior changed. For people who are anxious or depressed, these findings have implications.

Having shown that hypoglycemia might contribute to a negative mood, the researchers plan to see if long-term hypoglycemia is a risk factor for depression

The report was published September 25 in the journal “Psychopharmacology.”

It is important to note that the results of animal studies are not always applicable to humans.      

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by a very low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body’s main energy source.

If blood sugar levels become too low, signs and symptoms may include:

  • An irregular heart rhythm
  • Anxiety
  • Crying out during sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Pale skin
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Tingling sensation around the mouth

Hypoglycemia can turn serious, so make sure to get checked if you have these symptoms.

What IAA has to Say

Feeling “hangry” is never fun! Insurance Administrator of America wants to keep you up-to-date in the world of health. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October 3rd, 2018

Child with Down syndrome holding balloonEach year about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome. As October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, take the time to learn more about this condition.

What Is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop.

Some common features of Down syndrome include:

  • A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose
  • Almond-shaped eyes that slant up
  • A short neck
  • A single line across the palm of the hand
  • A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth
  • Poor muscle tone or loose joints
  • Shorter in height as children and adults
  • Small ears
  • Small hands and feet
  • Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
  • Tiny white spots on the iris of the eye

Down syndrome remains the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States.

Types of Down Syndrome

There are different types of Down syndrome:

  1. Trisomy 21: About 95 percent of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21. With this type of Down syndrome, each cell in the body has three separate copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two copies.
  2. Translocation Down syndrome: This type accounts for a small percentage of people with Down syndrome (about 3 percent). This occurs when an extra part or a whole extra chromosome 21 is present, but it is attached or “trans-located” to a different chromosome rather than being a separate chromosome 21.
  3. Mosaic Down syndrome: This type affects about two percent of the people with Down syndrome. For those with Mosaic Down syndrome, some of their cells have three copies of chromosome 21, but other cells have the typical two copies of chromosome 21.

Researchers don’t know what causes the condition, but it is more common in babies born to women over age 35.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to spread the word on Down Syndrome Awareness Month! You can help by sending this blog post on to friends and colleagues. A little bit of effort can go a long way. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

Baby Walkers Still Cause Injuries to Thousands

September 26th, 2018

Baby walkerPediatricians have long warned about the dangers of baby walkers, but thousands of children continue to be hurt by them in the United States each year, a new study has found.

Walkers Continue to be a Safety Hazard

Almost 231,000 babies younger than 15 months were treated for walker-related injuries in emergency rooms from 1990 to 2014, averaging more than 9,000 kids per year during that period, according to a paper published September 17 online in the journal ‘Pediatrics.” About 90 percent suffered from head or neck injuries and almost three-quarters were hurt after falling down stairs. About 30 percent of the injuries were concussions or skull fractures.

The number of babies harmed has been dropping, but infant walkers continue to be an “important and preventable” source of injury for young children, noted the lead author of the study, Dr. Gary Smith.

After the American Academy of Pediatrics began calling for a ban on the sale of baby walkers in the U.S. in the 1990s, voluntary safety standards were adopted to reduce falls down the stairs. The walkers had to be wider than standard doors or stop if the wheels dropped over the edge of a step. The number of injuries plummeted 84 percent from 1990 to 2003. The trend continued after a mandatory federal safety standard was put into place in 2010, with the average annual number of infant-walker-related injuries dropping to 2,165 over the next four years. A 22 percent drop compared to the previous four year period.

Baby Walkers and Children

Parents may think walkers help kids learn to walk more quickly, but studies show they can actually delay mental and motor development. Children in baby walkers can:

  • Be poisoned: Reaching high objects is easier in a walker.
  • Drown: A child can fall into a pool or bathtub while in a walker.
  • Get burned: A child can reach higher in a walker. It is now easier for a child to pull a tablecloth off a table and spill hot coffee, grab pot handles off the stove, reach radiators, fireplaces, or space heaters.
  • Roll down the stairs: Often causes broken bones and severe head injuries. This is how most children get hurt in baby walkers.

Most walker injuries happen while adults are watching. Parents or caregivers simply cannot respond quickly enough.

A child in a walker can move more than three feet in one second.

Parents can do the following:

  1. Throw out your baby walkers: Be sure that there are no walkers wherever your child is being cared for.
  2. Try something safer, such as:
  • Stationary activity centers: They look like walkers, but they have no wheels.
  • Play yards or play pens: These are great safety zones for children as they learn to sit, crawl or walk.
  • High chairs: Older children often enjoy sitting up in a high chair and playing with toys on their tray.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were eight child deaths associated with baby walkers from 2004 to 2008.

What IAA has to Say

Putting a child in a baby walker may seem like a good idea, but it could potentially cause harm. Insurance Administrator of America wants you to think twice before allowing your child into one. Remember, with IAA one call does it all. 

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