Category - Kids Health

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Questions About Vaccines? Please Ask!
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Is It That Time of Year Again?!

Questions About Vaccines? Please Ask!

By: Leah Hollenberger

The topic of vaccines and immunizations can be an emotional one. Certainly, as a parent, we want to protect our community, but at the same time, we want to do what is best for our child and avoid any harm. I did some reading on my own and, I am sure many of you can agree, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information and opinion that is available today.

I spoke with pediatrician Adrienne Pahl, MD with Appleseed Pediatrics. Dr. Pahl encouraged me to talk with my doctor. “Share your concerns, share what you are worried about with your doctor,” Dr. Pahl said.  “We can talk about current studies and findings and talk through recommendations with you. The most important thing to remember is that it is ok to ask.”

Dr. Pahl believes that vaccines are safe and effective and should be administered unless the child is unable to be vaccinated due to other health reasons. She bases her belief on extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the safety of vaccines and having cared for thousands of children. She explains that while we may not see many of the diseases for which we vaccinate, the bacteria and viruses that cause them are still around – here and in other countries. Vaccinations, along with better nutrition, better living conditions, hand-washing, and appropriate use of antibiotics, has meant many of us have never had to deal with an outbreak of polio or mumps. Her goal is that we never have to.

Here are several resources Dr. Pahl recommends to parents interested in learning more about vaccines:

Healthychildren.org – The American Academy of Pediatricians has a website that covers a wide variety of information of interest to parents. They have a number of articles about vaccines and immunizations, including a good FAQ.

Oktoaskvt.org – The Vermont Department of Health’s website about vaccines. Look here for information about state vaccine requirements. Dr. Pahl especially likes this site because of the “Ask” section: you can submit your questions about vaccines and local medical professionals will answer them.

What We Know About Vaccines and Autism – A blog article from UVM about vaccines and autism

Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Comprehensive and reliable information about vaccines for patients and healthcare professionals.

A listing of community resources for a variety of issues and topics is available online at copleyvt.org/community-resources.


Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.

Is It That Time of Year Again?!

By: Valerie Valcour

back-to-school

Recently I received, in the mail, a 15 X 12 colorful back-to-school flyer advertising a wireless internet offer. The flyer tells me how I can save money and help my student get more homework done, all by just signing up for this online offer.

This made me think about other back-to-school strategies that should be promoted, for example, getting your tween or teen in to see their doctor for a regular comprehensive physical exam once a year. This annual exam is an opportunity for your child to talk to another trusted adult and build a relationship that will last throughout their school years and beyond. We also know when students are healthy they learn better.

Your son or daughter’s physician welcomes being part of the back-to-school routine. They will take the time to talk with your child about things that matter to them such as relationships, peer pressures, and sports. Your doctor will also talk about other issues such as healthy weight, substance use and smoking, among other things. To see what to expect during a routine visit, read through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures pre-visit questionnaires.

Even after all the required school entrance vaccines have been met, and even if your child doesn’t play sports, they will benefit from seeing their doctor once a year. Read more about why visits with your child’s doctor are important here.

Your school nurse is another member of your child’s healthcare team. School nurses help ensure kids have health insurance and access to health care, and they work with parents and other school officials to help keep children and youth as healthy as possible. For more resources, see Vermont School Health’s website.

So consider this your back-to-school reminder to make a doctor’s appointment for your tween or teen. If you would like more information about talking with your child about making healthy choices check out the Vermont Department of Health’s Parent-Up website.


Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.