Children's Health
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Recent Press Releases - Imperative Driven.

Health Groups Release New Immunization Schedules

Children and adolescents can now be protected against more diseases than ever before, according to the 2007 Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules released jointly today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The 2007 schedules include new immunization recommendations for rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), varicella (chickenpox) and childhood influenza.

For the first time, the recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule will be divided into two schedules: one for children from birth to six years of age and a second for those seven to 18 years of age. This change reflects the growing importance of ensuring timely adolescent vaccination.

"These new schedules reflect the great strides we are making to protect children and adolescents against serious diseases, including cancer," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

"We are providing a separate schedule for those seven to 18 years of age because of an increasing number of vaccines being developed to protect adolescents against disease."

The 2007 childhood schedule includes new recommendations for oral rotavirus vaccine, varicella vaccine and influenza vaccination.

Infants are now recommended to receive three doses of oral rotavirus vaccine at two, four and six months of age. Rotavirus is a virus that causes severe diarrhea in babies and young children. It is responsible for more that 200,000 emergency room visits, 55,000 to 70,0000 hospitalizations, and 20 to 60 deaths each year in the United States.

Children four years to six years of age are now recommended to receive a second dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine to further protect against the disease. About 15 to 20 percent of children who received only one dose of varicella vaccine are not fully protected against chickenpox.

The first dose is recommended at 12 to 15 months of age. Older children, adolescents and adults should also receive a catch-up second dose if they previously had received only one dose. Before the licensure of varicella vaccine, there were on average about 13,500 hospitalizations and 150 deaths from complications of varicella each year in the United States.

The childhood influenza vaccination recommendation has expanded to include children 24 months to five years old, as well as their household contacts and caregivers. The previous recommendation was for children six months through 23 months. Now children from 6 months through 59 months are recommended for annual influenza vaccination. This recommendation was expanded because influenza often causes serious illness in children 2 to 5 years old. The number of emergency room and healthcare provider visits related to influenza is higher for 2 to 5 year olds than for healthy older children. Children six to 24 months of age are nearly as likely to be hospitalized for complications from influenza as adults 65 and older.

The 2007 Recommended Immunization Schedule for children and adolescents also recommended that girls age 11 to 12 years of age receive a three-dose series of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, with the second dose two months after the first dose and the third dose at least four months after the second dose. The recommendation also allows for vaccination of girls beginning at nine years old as well as vaccination of girls and women 13-26 years old. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women. More than 20 million men and women in the United States are currently infected with HPV and there are 6.2 million new infections each year.

The 2007 immunization schedules can be found at CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) at

child's health
News Shorts:
Children's Health : Infant Hearing Program

Every year in Ontario, approximately four in 1,000 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing. Through the Ontario Infant Hearing Program these babies can be found very early and given the help they need to develop language.

If a young child is identified as being deaf or hard of hearing, and has access to the special services that are available in Ontario, he or she can develop language and learn to communicate just as well as a hearing child.

Ontario's Infant Hearing Program, launched in May, 2002, has two major goals :

  1. To identify infants who are born deaf or hard of hearing, or who are at risk of developing hearing loss in early childhood.
  2. To provide parents of deaf or hard of hearing infants with the services their children need in order to to develop communication and language skills, and to give them the best start in life.
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Sporting Research Aims To Reduce Childhood Obesity

Main Category: Pediatrics / Children's Health News
Article Date: 18 Apr 2007 - 21:00 PDT

HMRI and The Forum have launched a new research partnership to investigate ways of increasing children's interest in sport, physical activity and long-term participation in sport.

The study, to be conducted by researchers Dr Christine Paul and Dr Erica James, is funded by The Forum and was announced as part of the organisation's further commitment to reducing childhood obesity in the Hunter.

The HMRI and The Forum research partnership was established to identify the proportion of children who increase their sporting activity following attendance at The Forum Holiday Camps.

The study will begin during the winter school holidays and will continue for approximately six months. During this time children, with the assistance of their parents, will participate in a series of questionnaires.

"The rate of childhood obesity has risen greatly in many nations in the past 20 years. Physical activity plays an important role in preventing or reducing the severity of the condition but little is known about how to increase and maintain children's involvement in organised sporting activity," said Dr Christine Paul from the Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology (CHeRP)* and the University of Newcastle.

"This research will involve children aged between 5 and 12 and will help us identify whether involvement in The Forum Holiday Camp itself increases children's interest in particular sports and whether that interest translates into increased long-term activity."

The Forum General Manager, Samantha Martin-Williams, said that the partnership was built upon strong links between HMRI and the Hunter's health and fitness sector.

"Our relationship with the University of Newcastle and our partnerships with organisations like HMRI provide us with the unique opportunity to use sound knowledge and research to develop programs for the wider community," she said.

"Through this partnership study we hope to assist our industry and the wider community to improve our kids' physical activity and their health.

"We hope that this HMRI partnership will help us understand ways that we can tackle one of this region's greatest health issues - reducing the incidence of childhood obesity."


* CHeRP is a collaboration of the Cancer Council NSW and the University of Newcastle and is jointly funded by these bodies.

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