Category Archives: Health News

Northern Westchester Hospital Chief of Pediatrics Discusses New Vaccination Requirements in New York

Posted on: July 22, 2014

Back-to-School Preparations May Need to Include Vaccinations
By Dr. Pete Richel

Your child may need a new vaccination before classes start this fall. For the first time in more than a decade, New York State has updated its school immunization requirements, and now children must be vaccinated twice against varicella—chicken pox.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prior to July of this year, parents could opt out of the second chicken pox vaccine. Why the shift? After all, many adults may remember chicken pox parties from their youth: Mothers would take children to visit a sick kid so that their children would be exposed, get ill, and gain immunity. Although chicken pox can be relatively mild, it can also cause permanent scarring and in some cases turn deadly. As recently as 10 years ago—before use of the vaccine was widespread—the US had as many as 100 deaths a year from chicken pox. From a public health perspective and from mine as a doctor, one death is too many. If we can eliminate this risk, we should seize that opportunity.

There have been some other minor changes to the immunization requirements, such as stipulating a schedule of three to five polio vaccinations before starting school. This has to do with timing. If your child has received the required three polio vaccines in infancy, they must still receive one at the time of school entrance. Three are required, and four are recommended for complete immunization. In either case, one must be received between the ages of 4 and 6. The new requirements—which will be phased in over the next seven years—apply to students starting daycare, Head Start, nursery, pre-kindergarten, and grades kindergarten through 12. If you’ve already taken your children for their wellness visit and vaccinations—or you’re not sure if your child is vaccinated against chicken pox—contact your pediatrician.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Peter Richel, MD, FAAP is Chief of Pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital.

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Northern Westchester Hospital Dietitian Shares the Benefits of Berries

Posted on: July 22, 2014

Benefits of Berries
By Stephanie Perruzza

 

Berries are delicious and nutritious, packing a tasty and powerful punch in every bite.  They contain large amounts of antioxidants important in protecting against chronic disease; they are also low in calories!  Enjoy them fresh or frozen in your favorite dishes. Continue reading

Northern Westchester Hospital Infectious Diseases Expert Talks Mosquitoes

Posted on: July 11, 2014

Mosquito Menace

By Dr. Debra Spicehandler, MD

mosquitoYou might feel like mosquitoes are mostly an annoyance in summer, wrecking the perfect picnic or barbecue with their buzzing and itchy bites. But, weighing in at approximately 2.5 milligrams, these minuscule menaces can really pack a punch carrying some nasty diseases as well, which is why you should take steps to avoid being bitten. Continue reading

Westchester Allergist Offers Food Allergy Primer for Parents

Posted on: July 8, 2014

A FOOD ALLERGY PRIMER FOR PARENTS

Dr. Craig Osleeb

Creamy Peanut Butter with PeanutsIf it seems like more and more children are developing food allergies, it’s because they are. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children with diagnosed food allergies has jumped 18 percent in the last 20 years, and the number of kids seeking emergency treatment for allergies has tripled. Continue reading

Northern Westchester Hospital Dietitian Dishes Dairy

Posted on: June 20, 2014

National Dairy Month

By Stephanie Perruzza MS, RD, CDN

June marks the beginning of summer (it’s about time); but it’s also National Dairy Month!  The dairy group is an essential building block for a healthy diet and especially important for bone health. Do yourself a big favor and start the summer right by raising a big cold glass of…milk! Continue reading