New Case of Measles Reported

Measles has returned to Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health has confirmed a second case of measles in Wisconsin in 2014. This individual was a young adult who had recently traveled to California and Mexico.

After his return to Wisconsin he became ill and was eventually diagnosed with measles. But prior to that diagnosis, he walked around potentially spreading the virus.

You may be thinking , So What?

Measles is a very contagious virus that is spread via a cough or sneeze. Those who have measles are very ill and the chance of a serious complication like pneumonia or encephalitis is around 10%. It is most dangerous in those less than 5 years old.

The last time we had a large resurgence of Measles was in 1989-1991 and there were 123 deaths during this outbreak.

This new case is another reminder to keep up on our children’s vaccines. The MMR vaccine, which contains measles, should be given at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years old. Make sure your kids are up to date on this vaccine and others AND spread the word to parents who currently don’t see the importance of vaccines.

Interested in learning more about the measles virus?  Click here to go to the CDC webpage for up-to-date information.

~ Chris Zukowski, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Chris Zukowski, MD

Spring Into Action

As I look outside my office window, I see a bright sunny day that lets me believe that the long, cold, wet spring is almost over.  With that in mind, it’s time for us to head to the great outdoors, and get our kids outside.  Let’s turn off our televisions and put away those IPads, IPods, Xbox games and get physically moving!

Just a few quick reminders in regards to the upcoming outdoor season:

  • Don’t forget to use your sunscreen.  My recommendation is to use a sunscreen with at least a SPF of 50.  I would also take any old sunscreen you may have from last year and throw it away.  I have seen many occasions, that using old sunscreen may cause children to break out with a red, itchy rash, especially if your child has very sensitive skin.
  • Secondly, since it’s a great time to start riding our bikes, make sure your children’s bikes are in good working condition.  Of course, you’ll also want to make sure they have an appropriate helmet that fits correctly and does not need to be adjusted.  There probably has been some growing during this winter, so you may need to adjust both their bike seats and helmets for safety.
  • Lastly, warmer weather brings excitement for water activities.  Start thinking about registering your children for swimming lessons, as these often fill up quickly!  There is nothing more important when it comes to water safety than making sure your child can swim well.

 Hope you enjoy the great outdoors!

~ Chris Zukowski, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Chris Zukowski, MD

School and Sleep

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaching, we can all seem to have our sleep habits change.  With family events and school, our children are likely getting up earlier and earlier.  This is great time to talk about sleep in our school age children.  A good night’s sleep is essential to a good day in school.  I am convinced that many children who are “distracted in school” are likely to be over tired.  The recommendations for sleep vary depending on age, but a typical amount of sleep for a child between the ages of 5-10 years would be around 10 hours of sleep and teenagers likely need 8-9 hours of sleep.  However, you know your child best, as to how many hours he or she needs.

It is very important to make sure that we get our school children to bed at a reasonable time.  Some very basic tips for helping with sleep are a consistent bedtime routine.  The most important thing is to turn off all electronics, at least 30 minutes before that scheduled bedtime.  Video games and televisions keep those brains stimulated and typically leave children too awake to fall asleep at a reasonable time.  So remember that outside of good nutrition, sleep is the most important aspect that will improve your child’s performance in school.

Happy Holidays!

~ Chris Zukowski, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Chris Zukowski, MD

 

Second Confirmed Case of Measles Reported

The City of Milwaukee Health Department has confirmed a second case of measles in the Milwaukee area. Measles is a viral infection that is highly contagious but is preventable with immunization.

This small outbreak is a reminder to ensure that your children have the proper MMR vaccines. The first dose of measles vaccine should be given at 12 months of age. The …Continue reading →

Yearly physical exams: “To be or not to be”

I often hear this question from parents, “Why should my child have a yearly physical when he or she is perfectly healthy?” Since it is currently the summer physical season (as we like to call it in pediatrics) this is a question that’s worth discussing and a timely topic.

At Forest View Pediatrics, we recommend that all children have a yearly exam until they are 6 years old, and then at least every two years until they are adults. We consider this a very important part of your child’s overall health. Regular check-ups give us the best chance to …Continue reading →