After Pandemic Dip Pediatricians Encourage Families Back for Checkups / Public News Service

BOISE, Idaho — For many Idaho families, the pandemic may have pushed health checks off the calendar for their children, including routine immunizations.

Now that the school year is here, health professionals say it’s not too late to protect children, for those who can be safely vaccinated.

The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families said new findings suggest there was a 27% drop in pediatric office visits in the U.S. in 2020.

Heather Gagliano, a registered nurse, chairman of the Idaho Immunization Coalition, and mother, said vaccinations are the same as any other safety precautions parents take for their children.

“I put on my son a bike helmet when he goes cycling because I don’t want him to hit his head,” Gagliano noted. “That’s why I vaccinate, because I protect him from a disease that could potentially harm him.”

Gagliano pointed out that in recent years, Idaho has seen an increase in diseases such as whooping cough, one of the typical diseases that children are vaccinated against. She also noted that it is important for children to be checked annually, as doctors can help identify any potential developmental problems or concerns.

The report found that 11 million routine vaccinations were missed during the pandemic.

dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, emphasized the importance of staying on track with vaccinations.

“If too few people in a community are vaccinated against a certain disease, it means we can see an outbreak of that disease,” explains Beers. “We’ve seen this before with measles and whooping cough, which is why it’s so important to make sure your child is vaccinated, not just to protect themselves, but to protect everyone around them.”

Gagliano added that she understands that some people are still nervous about taking their children to the doctor, but stressed healthcare professionals are making sure people are not exposed to COVID-19 while in the office.

“You can’t stop taking them to their primary care provider because they’re nervous for fear of the potential to be exposed to COVID-19, because they could potentially be exposed to whooping cough or whooping cough, and they could have been protected with the immunization.” .” Gagliano decided.

Disclosure: Georgetown University Center for Children & Families contributes to our Child and Health Reporting Fund. If you want to support news in the public interest, click here.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — More than 200,000 children in Missouri face food insecurity, according to the Missouri Kids Count 2021 Data Book.

Today is the last day of a summer feeding program in Cole and Osage counties that has provided weekly meal ingredients, a gift card and even free books to hundreds of children in the area.

Elizabeth Anderson, Osage County community economic development engagement specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, said it was unique in that they not only catered for the food themselves, but also had recipes for kids to try for themselves.

“I was trying to find recipes that didn’t require an adult,” explains Anderson. “If they could really do it all by themselves from start to finish and share it with their siblings or their friends or their relatives.”

The Missouri No Kid Hungry program worked with nutrition program staff at the University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri River Regional Library. They also decided to use the library’s book mobile, a 40-meter bus with reading corners inside, so that children participating in the program can choose a book from the free book trolley.

Claudia Cook, director of the Missouri River Regional Library, added that it is a good skill to learn what it takes to plan meals, cook and even buy food if children want to use the gift card in addition to the ingredients that are in the package. She added that the library is particularly excited that the program has also been able to support literacy.

“The kids say, ‘Yeah, let’s go get that free book,’ and run to the book mobile to check out the free book cart,” Cook noted. “That was just the most important thing for me, is to see them so excited about that.”

Before the pandemic, food insecurity had decreased. In Cole County, it went from nearly 20% in 2015 to about 12% in 2019, and from over 16% to about 12% in Osage County.

The partnership, also supported by the Missouri Family and Community Trust, is one of many efforts to keep that progress going.

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SEATTLE – A growing number of children in Washington state are starving because of the pandemic. Local programs are trying to reverse this disturbing trend.

Child hunger rates are expected to increase in 97% of the state’s counties, compared to the pre-pandemic rate.

Amee Barlet is assistant director of Washington programs for Save the Children. She said her organization has provided more than 12 million meals to families in Washington state thanks to local people since the pandemic began.

“The community knows what they need,” Barlet says. “We know that working with communities is the best way, so we learn from community leaders and our partners how to best serve families.”

Barlet said their efforts include food voucher programs for local supermarkets in Yakima so that families can pick out culturally relevant foods and food box distribution.

Tamara Sandberg is the US food security and nutrition consultant for Save the Children. She said one in six children could experience food insecurity this year.

She said Save the Children has made efforts across the country to connect rural children to school meals through partnerships with local organizations and school districts.

“Ensuring meals are delivered to children when they don’t have access to school meals or when school is out,” Sandberg said. “We’ve helped set up food pantries for schools and new mobile meal delivery routes. We’ve done a number of things in partnership with local organizations.”

Sandberg said federal efforts to fight hunger are also important. She says two measures of interest in Washington, DC are infant nutrition re-authorization and the next Farm Bill.

Barlet said a story she heard recently underscores the importance of fighting hunger right now. She said a Save the Children partner told her about a child who had recently been broken into.

“What upset the child most was the fact that the thief took their food,” Barlet said. “I didn’t talk about the lack of the TV or the lack of toys – the food was the thing that really upset that kid. And I think that’s very telling of the situation that many of our families are currently facing. “

Disclosure: Save the Children contributes to our fund for reporting on children’s issues, early childhood education, education and poverty issues. If you want to support news in the public interest, click here.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prior to the pandemic, Ohio counties saw fewer children in poverty and other advances in improving child welfare, but the public health emergency wiped out many of those gains, according to new data from the Children’s Defense Fund- Ohio (CDF-Ohio).

The state saw unemployment rise 97% between 2019 and 2020, causing many families to lose their health insurance as well. This year’s KIDS COUNT County Profiles show how kids and families are doing, by county and school district.

Morghan Hyatt, data policy officer for CDF-Ohio, said the data could help local governments determine how to spend US bailout dollars.

“The American Rescue Plan Act funds provide a great, great opportunity to make further progress in improving the well-being of children across Ohio, with their specific needs for each county,” Hyatt claimed. “And having those data-based strategies can improve the lives of families and children.”

According to KIDS COUNT data, the number of Ohio children enrolled in Medicaid fell 2% during fiscal year 2020. Ohio will receive $12 billion through the American Rescue Plan.

Kim Eckhart, Kids Count program manager for CDF-Ohio, said she wants local provincial governments to invite community voices to sit down and allocate recovery funds.

“We’d like when they decide how they’re going to allocate those dollars that they invite the public, including community organizations that might have some strategic investments that they could make to really get things done,” Eckhart explained. “I’m thinking about things like food banks, nurseries.”

Eckhart added that Franklin County could be a model to engage with local residents about the allocation process.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners heard testimony from community members last month who requested that the $255 million the county receives be used in areas such as health care, childcare and affordable housing.

Disclosure: Children’s Defense Fund-OH Chapter/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on children’s issues, education, health issues, and hunger/food/nutrition. If you want to support news in the public interest, click here.

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