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The CDC recently sent out some tips for back to school:

Heading back to school is an exciting time of year for students and families. As students go back to school, it is important that they eat healthy and stay active, are up to date on their immunizations, and know the signs of bullying for a healthier and safer school year.

  • Eat healthy and stay active- Our children spend the vast majority of their day at school, so it’s a place that can have a big impact in all aspects of their lives. Schools can help students learn about the importance of eating healthier and being more physically active, which can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Prevention works. The health of students—what they eat and how much physical activity they get—is linked to their academic success.  Early research is also starting to show that healthy school lunches may help to lower obesity rates. Health and academics are linked – so time spent for health is also time spent for learning. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adolescents limit their intake of solid fats, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars, and refined grains. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function. Young people aged 6-17 should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Research shows that physical activity can help cognitive skills, attitudes, concentration, attention and improve classroom behavior – so students are ready to learn. 
  • Get vaccinated- Getting your children and teens ready to go back to school is the perfect time to make sure they are up-to-date with their immunizations. Vaccination protects students from diseases and keeps them healthy. The recommended immunizations for children birth through 6 years old can be found here Adobe PDF file, and the recommended immunizations for preteens and teens 7-18 years old can be found here Adobe PDF file.  If you don’t have health insurance, or if it does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children program may be able to help.
  • Heads Up: Concussions- Each year, U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports– and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, including concussions, among children and teens, from birth to 19 years. (MMWR October 2011) A concussion is a type of TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than adults. Concussion symptoms may appear mild, but the injury can lead to problems affecting how a person thinks, learns, acts, and/or feels. Concussions can occur outside of sports or during any sport or recreation activity, so all parents need to learn the signs and know what to do if a concussion occurs with the ABC’s of concussions: Assess the situation, Be alert for signs and symptoms, and Contact a healthcare professional.
  • Bullying- Bullying Adobe PDF file is a form of youth violence and can result in physical injury and social and emotional distress. In 2011, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property and 16% reported being bullied electronically through technology, also known as electronic aggression (bullying that occurs through e-mail, a chat room, instant messaging, a website, text messaging, or videos or pictures posted on websites or sent through cell phones) or cyberbullying. Victimized youth are at increased risk for mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, psychosomatic complaints such as headaches, and poor school adjustment. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood. The ultimate goal is to stop bullying before it starts. Some school-based prevention methods include a whole school anti-bullying policy, promoting cooperation, improving supervision of students, and using school rules and behavior management techniques in the classroom and throughout the school to detect and address bullying and providing consequences for bulling.

For more tips on heading back to school, please visit our CDC Features page.

Obesity in low-income preschoolers

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The CDC came out with a recent report about obesity rates lowering in low-income preschoolers in many states. West Virginia has no change.

To view the report, click here:  http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/pdf/2013-08-vitalsigns.pdf#page=2

Nineteen states/territories reported decreases in obesity among low-income preschoolers. Twenty states and Puerto Rico held steady at their current rate, and obesity increased slightly in three states.  But 1 in 8 preschoolers in the nation.

The prevalence of obesity among low-income, preschool-aged children in West Virginia is 14%<15% in 2011, according to the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System.

 

 

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The CDC recently released the online version of its 2014 edition of its Yellow Book, as per press release:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the online version of the 2014 edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel, commonly known as the “Yellow Book.” Nicknamed for its yellow cover, this is the ultimate guide for healthy international travel. The most recent version includes special guidance for people who will be living long-term in areas with malaria. The 2014 edition also expanded its chapter on select destinations, providing insiders’ knowledge and specific health risks about popular tourist destinations.

A team of almost 200 experts update this health guide every two years. The Yellow Book provides the latest official CDC recommendations to keep international travelers safe and healthy. It includes a complete catalog of travel-related diseases and up-to-date vaccine and booster recommendations. The information in the book does not just stop with infectious diseases; it also includes advice about preventing and treating common travel-related ailments such as altitude illness, motion sickness, and jet lag. The book offers useful tips on topics such as traveling with pets, packing a travel health kit, avoiding counterfeit medications in foreign countries, and getting travel health and evacuation insurance for emergencies. In addition, the Yellow Book provides advice for people traveling with young children, individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and those traveling for humanitarian aid work or study abroad.

 

“International travel can be an incredible experience, but it has its risks and the hazards are ever-changing. The Yellow Book clearly and comprehensively gives the most updated health-related precautions and information for traveling internationally,” said Dr. Gary Brunette, chief of CDC’s Travelers’ Health Branch. “By following CDC recommendations, international travelers can stay healthy and safe so they can take full advantage of their traveling experiences.”

The 2014 edition also includes the following new features:

  • An expanded destination-specific list of vaccine requirements and recommendations to help travelers prepare for their next trip
  • Updated malaria risk and prevention information, along with ten new country-specific malaria maps, showing travelers if they will be in an area with malaria and how best to prevent it
  • New sections on infectious diseases related to travel: Escherichia coli, Salmonellosis, Fascioliasis, and Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
  • New select destinations: Jamaica, Thailand, Vietnam, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Updated disease risk maps to help travelers understand where important diseases occur

Popular features from previous editions remain in the 2014 edition, including information on cruise ship travel, food and water precautions, international adoptions, and recent immigrants returning home to visit family and friends.

For travelers who want to easily take the Yellow Book with them on the road, a new mobile app with the complete 2014 edition will be available for iOS and Android tablets and phones.

The Yellow Book is published in hard copy by Oxford University Press, and is available at bookstores, through Internet book sellers or by contacting Oxford. The content is also available at CDC’s Traveler’s Health website, www.cdc.gov/travel. The website lets travelers search by destination and find information about basic travel health preparations and what to do if they get sick or injured while traveling. It is updated as travel health threats emerge and new information becomes available.