The Impact of the H. Influenzae Type b (HIB) Vaccine on Children Less Than 5 Years of Age from 1987 through 1995:
MMWR. 1996; 45: p. 901-906
The incidence of invasive "H.flu" disease, primarily meningitis, in children under age five years declined by 96%. Stated in another way, the cases per 100,000 children were reduced from 41 to 1.6--another success story for immunization programs.
In my own experience H.flu meningitis has almost disappeared from the wards we supervise. To parents who withhold vaccines from their children, all I can say is, "wake up and smell the coffee!" Imagine yourself at the bedside of your child in an intensive care unit with him struggling to survive against a meningitis that could have been prevented with a vaccine that you refused. Prevention is always better than treatment in the case of meningitis.
Decline of Pediatric Admissions with H. flu Type b in New York State, 1982 through 1993:
Journal of Pediatrics, V. 130; #6: p. 923 - 929
This article also shows a steep decline in the incidence of this type of bacterial disease, primarily meningitis, with the use of the vaccine. More importantly, greater effort is needed in getting the vaccine to the lower socio-economic groups. Many factors make these children hard to reach with a vaccine program. If we are to reduce the disease further and to help these unfortunate children a greater effort will be needed. Nevertheless, these two articles exemplify the importance of immunizations.
The Pacifier Thermometer:
Arch. Ped. Adol. Med. 1997; V. 151: p. 551-554
The University of Miami School of Medicine, Pediatric and Emergency Departments published this useful article on supralingual (above the tongue) oral temperature taking.
A pacifier-type thermometer (Steridyne) was compared with the results of a rectal thermometer. If left in the mouth for three consecutive minutes with 0.5 degrees F. added to the results, a good correlation exists between it and rectal reading.
These results need to be duplicated by other investigators before I'll accept this report without reservation. One should remember the initial glowing reports about using the "ear" thermometers. These reports disappeared with subsequent studies. Let's wait and see. It has been reported that the ear thermometer may not always be accurate for children under five years of age. The skin strip thermometer is not much better than an estimate, and auxiliary temperatures are always in question.
The Steridyne would be a nice, atraumatic device for taking the temperature and much more pleasant for the child and parent than the dreaded rectal thermometer. Let's hope it proves useful in the quest for body temperature recording.
A Motor Milestone Change Noted With a Change in Sleep Position:
Arch. Ped. Adol. Med., 1997; V. 151: p. 565-568
This little study is being presented to set the record straight before conclusions are drawn by the non-medical press which will surely panic parents. Now that infants are placed on their sides or backs to sleep it was noted that they are less likely to roll over at the four month checkup. Ultimately, they all rolled over, albeit a little later. Other milestones were followed, and they occurred at the usual time, independent of sleep position.
This observed phenomenon in one developmental motor milestone has no long-term neuro-developmental effect. Remember this, if you hear on television news that sleep position change causes developmental delay. And the planned panic hype goes on our TV screens daily!