How to Fit a Life Jacket
Make sure you’ve got the right life jacket for your child—and that you’re putting it on properly to get maximum protection.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can be serious for young children. Protect your child by making sure he or she is up to date on measles vaccine, including before traveling abroad.
Children Need 2 Doses of Measles Vaccine
You can protect your child against measles with a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is proven to be very safe and effective. CDC recommends that children get one dose at each of the following ages:
- 12 through 15 months
- 4 through 6 years
Make Sure You Are Protected Before International Travel
Before any international travel—
- Infants 6—11 months old need 1 dose of measles vaccine*
- Children 12 months and older need 2 doses separated by at least 28 days
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity** against measles should get 2 doses separated by at least 28 days
Before you leave for your trip, check the CDC Travel Notices on measles.
*Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses according to the routinely recommended schedule (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days later).
**Acceptable evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following: written documentation of adequate vaccination, laboratory evidence of immunity, laboratory confirmation of measles, or birth in the United States before 1957.
Measles Can Be Serious
Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads to others through coughing and sneezing. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
Measles starts with a high fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death.
Traveling abroad? Protect your child from measles with MMR vaccine.
Measles in the U.S.
Measles cases and outbreaks have been reported in the U.S. in 2019. See Measles Cases and Outbreaks for details.
People in the United States still get measles, but it’s not very common. That’s because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination. However, measles is still common in other parts of the world. Every year, unvaccinated people get measles while they are abroad, bring the disease into the United States, and spread it to others.
Measles can spread quickly in communities where people are not vaccinated. Anyone who is not protected against measles, including children too young to be vaccinated, are at risk of getting infected. That’s why it is so important to be up to date on vaccinations, including before traveling abroad.
Additional Resources for Parents and Childcare Providers
See resources for parents and others who care for children, including childcare providers.
Paying for Measles Vaccine
Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. But you may want to check with your health insurance provider before going to the doctor. Learn how to pay for vaccines.
If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance does not cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children Program may be able to help. This program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the VFC website or ask your child’s doctor. You can also contact your state VFC coordinator.
To See if Your Child’s Vaccine Is Due
There is nothing more important than your family’s health. However, it takes a lot of time to learn about living a healthy life, right? Not always, you can learn a lot in just five minutes. Use the widget to the left to learn in less than five minutes ways you and your family can live a healthy life.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation External kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun. That’s just the time they spend in front of a screen for entertainment. It doesn’t include the time they spend on the computer at school for educational purposes or at home for homework.
The CDC recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The time kids spend watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web, is time they could be physically active. Click the Screen Time vs. Lean Time infographic to see how much time kids spend in front of a screen, and tips for parents. Use the Screen Time vs. Lean Time below to learn more.
RSV in Infants and Young Children
RSV can be dangerous for some infants and young children. Each year in the United States, an estimated 57,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Those at greatest risk for severe illness from RSV include
- Premature infants
- Very young infants, especially those 6 months and younger
- Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease
- Children younger than 2 years old with chronic heart disease
- Children with weakened immune systems
- Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions
Severe RSV Infection
Virtually all children get an RSV infection by the time they are 2 years old. Most of the time RSV will cause a mild, cold-like illness, but it can also cause severe illness such as
- Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung)
- Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
One to two out of every 100 children younger than 6 months of age with RSV infection may need to be hospitalized. Those who are hospitalized may require oxygen, intubation, and/or mechanical ventilation (help with breathing). Most improve with this type of supportive care and are discharged in a few days.
Early Symptoms of RSV
RSV may not be severe when it first starts. However, it can become more severe a few days into the illness. Early symptoms of RSV may include
- runny nose
- decrease in appetite
- cough, which may progress to wheezing
RSV in Very Young Infants
Infants who get an RSV infection almost always show symptoms. This is different from adults who can sometimes get RSV infections and not have symptoms. In very young infants (less than 6 months old), the only symptoms of RSV infection may be
- decreased activity
- decreased appetite
- apnea (pauses while breathing)
Fever may not always occur with RSV infections.
What you should do if your child is at high risk for severe RSV infection
RSV season occurs each year in most regions of the U.S. during fall, winter, and spring. If you have contact with an infant or young child, especially those who were born prematurely, are very young, have chronic lung or heart disease or a weakened immune system, you should take extra care to keep the infant healthy by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Washing your hands will help protect you from germs.
- Keep your hands off your face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Germs spread this way.
- Avoid close contact with sick people
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who have cold-like symptoms.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash afterward.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch, such as toys and doorknobs. When people infected with RSV touch surfaces and objects, they can leave behind germs. Also, when they cough or sneeze, droplets containing germs can land on surfaces and objects.
- Stay home when you are sick
If possible, stay home from work, school, and public areas when you are sick. This will help protect others from catching your illness.
Scientists are working to develop vaccines
There is no vaccine yet to prevent RSV infection, but scientists are working hard to develop one. And there is a medicine that can help protect some babies at high risk for severe RSV disease. Healthcare providers usually give this medicine (called palivizumab) to premature infants and young children with certain heart and lung conditions as a series of monthly shots during RSV season. If you are concerned about your child’s risk for severe RSV infection, talk to your child’s doctor.
Hearing loss has many causes. 50% to 60% of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes. There are also a number of things in the environment that can cause hearing loss. 25% or more of hearing loss in babies is due to “environmental” causes such as maternal infections during pregnancy and complications after birth. Sometimes both genes and environment work together to cause hearing loss. For example, there are some medicines that can cause hearing loss, but only in people who have certain mutations in their genes.
Genes contain the instructions that tell the cells of people’s bodies how to grow and work. For example, the instructions in genes control what color a person’s eyes will be. There are many genes that are involved in hearing. Sometimes, a gene does not form in the expected manner. This is called a mutation. Some mutations run in families and others do not. If more than one person in a family has hearing loss, it is said to be “familial”. That is, it runs in the family. If only one person in the family has hearing loss, it is called “sporadic”. That is, it does not run in the family.
About 70% of all mutations causing hearing loss are non-syndromic. This means that the person does not have any other symptoms. About 30% of the mutations causing hearing loss are syndromic. This means that the person has other symptoms besides hearing loss. For example, some people with hearing loss are also blind.
The cochlea (the part of the ear that changes sounds in the air into nerve signals to the brain) is a very complex and specialized part of the body that needs many instructions to guide its development and function. These instructions come from genes. Changes in any one of these genes can result in hearing loss. The GJB2 gene is one of the genes that contains the instructions for a protein called connexin 26; this protein plays an important role in the functioning of the cochlea. In some populations about 40% of newborns with a genetic hearing loss who do not have a syndrome, have a mutation in the GJB2 gene.
Find more information on genetics and hearing loss. Cdc-pdf[PDF – 4M] .