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separator Childhood Vaccines Essential
It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive about having your child vaccinated, especially when you hear stories about vaccines causing illness and death. Sometimes, a child does develop an illness soon after being vaccinated. But most experts agree that this is just a coincidence that has nothing to do with the vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control uses this example: you may read somewhere that 15 percent of American males who get such-and-such vaccine go on to develop prostate cancer. What the article doesn’t say is that 15 percent of all males get prostate cancer eventually, whether they had the vaccine or not. The vaccine has nothing to do with it.

The benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks. According to David Satcher, the surgeon general, immunization “can be credited with saving more lives and preventing more illnesses than any medical treatment.”

Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination schedule to see which diseases your child should be immunized against and when.

Your child’s pediatrician will also have this information and will help you set up a schedule.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vaccines not just for Babies
Once you reach adulthood, you tend to forget about getting vaccinations. But there are still conditions you’ll need to be immunized against from time to time.

  • You’ll need booster shots for tetanus
  • Flu and pneumonia vaccines, especially if you’re in a high risk category
  • Travel vaccines 

Be sure to talk with your doctor about which vaccinations you should have—and when.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About the Smallpox Vaccine
Getting the smallpox vaccination was routine for the general public until 1972, when the disease was eradicated. Since the events of September 11, the government has become concerned about the possibility that terrorists could have access to the smallpox vaccine. The response has been to create Smallpox Response Teams of healthcare workers who will be able to care for people if there is an attack of smallpox in the U.S. The government has asked healthcare workers to volunteer to be vaccinated, but does not recommend vaccination for the general public.

Smallpox is a contagious disease that can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a “big enough stockpile of smallpox vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the country who might need it.” But the vaccine’s side effects can be severe. Since there’s no evidence that smallpox presents an “imminent threat,” the government doesn’t see the need to vaccinate everyone in the U.S.

Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about smallpox. For more in-depth information about the smallpox disease and vaccine, visit the CDC’s Web site. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Few Quit Smoking Ideas
Here are some pre-quitting things you can do to make quitting smoking easier:

Change brands. Start using a cigarette that’s lower in tar and nicotine, but don’t smoke more cigarettes when you make this switch. And don’t put your fingers over the holes in the filters.

Cut down. Smoke half of each cigarette, and put off lighting up by about an hour.

Make it inconvenient to smoke. Don’t buy cartons, but one pack at a time. Don’t carry cigarettes to work or to other places where you usually use them.

Source: National Cancer Institute

What to do About Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a bony growth on the bottom of the heel bone. You can get a heel spur when you put a strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, or by stretching the long tissue that connects the ball of the foot to the heel. Causes of heel spurs can include faulty foot structure, obesity, poorly fitting shoes or even running or jogging.

See your doctor if you are experiencing heel pain. Very often, people who have heel spurs can get relief by using special shoe inserts.

Source: American Podiatric Medical Association.

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