Health Shorts: Lyme Disease, Pertussis, and More
Experts warn Lyme disease could be at an all-time high in northeastern states this summer. Transmitted by infected blacklegged ticks, the disease initially produces flu-like symptoms and sometimes intermittent arthritis that can persist for months or even years. For more information on ticks, see Six Tips You Need to Know to Deal with Ticks in Your Own Backyard.
Prevention includes avoiding tick-infested areas and using repellent on shoes, socks and pant legs. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Health officials are also reporting that pertussis (whooping cough) cases are on the rise in some New Jersey counties. Hunterdon County reported a 625 percent increase in the number of cases this year compared to 2011. Other counties have also reported cases. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract that can cause serious illness or death. Parents are urged to make sure vaccinations are up-to-date for children under age 7. Adolescents and adults should also receive booster shots. For more information on keeping up with your child's immunizations, check out our Back-to-School Health Checklist.
Take a Seat
Running with a sippy cup may not sound as dangerous as running with scissors, but parents of little ones should be cautious. Bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups—-staples for most infants and toddlers—-are not as safe as you think. Over the last two decades, more than 45,000 children in the U.S. received emergency treatment for injuries related to the items. Most were soft tissue or dental injuries caused by falls, usually involving the mouth, head, face and neck areas. To reduce the risk of accidents, experts recommend limiting children’s use of these products after age 1 and encouraging children to sit when using them.
Compiled by LaNeta Crighton, a registered nurse and mom of three from Harding Township.