Recommendations of specialists of the medical center “Schneider” for the autumn-winter season

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Specialists of the children's medical center "Schneider" from the group "Clalit" We have collected recommendations for the autumn-winter season for you.
Every winter, until the coronavirus epidemic, seasonal influenza outbreaks occurred simultaneously with other viruses, and therefore, within a short period of several weeks, a significant part of the population fell ill with one virus or another with various complications. Influenza and its complications are more common in children than in adults, and in many cases children are “peddlers” flu.
Professor Efi Bilevski, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Medical Center “Schneider”, annually emphasizes the importance of influenza vaccination and gives recommendations on how to behave in order to minimize the recurrence of the disease in children in the winter.

Children flu vaccination: The influenza vaccine is not part of the national routine, but the Ministry of Health recommends that all children be vaccinated every winter. The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from year to year, but even in a year when the effectiveness is low (about 50%-70%), those vaccinated against influenza are much easier to tolerate the disease. Therefore, in order for the virus not to “enter” into your home, you must vaccinate all family members older than six months. The vaccine is safe both as an injection and as a nasal spray. Even if a vaccine does not provide 100% protection, it still provides a certain level of protection that cannot be obtained in any other form.

Routine immunization: The routine immunization program in Israel is comprehensive. It has been proven that routine vaccination, on the one hand, is the most effective in preventing diseases, and on the other hand, the safest for those vaccinated, so it is strongly recommended that children be vaccinated with all routine vaccines. In recent years, it has become commonplace for routine vaccines to be split up to mitigate their side effects. This phenomenon causes the postponement of important vaccinations, which are very important to do in the first year of life.
In addition, in the era of coronovirus and for many objective reasons, we are seeing a decrease in vaccination rates with routine vaccinations in Israel. It must be remembered that vaccinations should be done at the right time, and only in case of illness with fever, vaccination can be postponed. Mild symptoms such as a runny nose, cough or sore throat are not sufficient reason to postpone routine vaccinations.

Returning children to educational institutions: should continue to be avoided sending sick children to educational institutions. It is important to remember that one sick child can infect several children, thus creating a chain of infection that is difficult to stop. If each parent takes care not to send their sick child to different institutions, all children will get sick less.

Visit to a children's clinic: the waiting rooms of all doctors, and pediatricians in particular, are overcrowded with sick and contagious children in winter. It is important to know that some respiratory viruses are transmitted by airborne droplets, and some by contact, including contact with surfaces on which viruses can remain and infect even after many hours. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary visits to clinics whenever possible.
Signs that you should contact your pediatrician immediately include high fever, sickly appearance, vomiting, profuse diarrhea, and a fuzzy rash. Remember that today there are various digital tools that help the pediatrician to remotely examine their patients. The judicious use of these resources, on the one hand, allows children who do not require a physical visit to the clinic not to risk acquiring additional viruses, and on the other hand, really sick children who need a medical examination, to be admitted and examined as soon as possible.< br />
Infection prevention: Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after changing diapers, going to the toilet and, of course, before contact with food. For families with young children, be sure to wash your hands at home before touching a child, and also ask your older siblings to do so. If a family member is sick, try to avoid direct contact with the baby and ventilate the living area.

Prudent use of antibiotics: It must be remembered that most diseases in the winter are viral in nature and antibiotics will not help the healing process. In addition, it is known that the prescription of antibiotics in the first year of a child's life increases the risk of morbidity at an older age (inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, etc.). However, if antibiotic treatment has been recommended and prescribed by a pediatrician, care must be taken to ensure that treatment is carried out in full.

Vaccinations for pregnant women: The Ministry of Health recommends that all pregnant women be vaccinated with influenza and coronavirus, and from the third trimester also the whooping cough vaccine. The goal is to protect not only the pregnant woman from disease, but also the fetus, which will passively receive antibodies from its mother (through the placenta during pregnancy and during breastfeeding after birth).

< strong>Breastfeeding: The benefits of breastfeeding in terms of preventing infections in infants are a proven fact. A breastfeeding mother passively passes antibodies against many viruses to her baby. It is important to know that even incomplete breastfeeding will help prevent infections during the winter months. Therefore, it is recommended, if possible, to postpone the cessation of breastfeeding until the beginning of spring.

Kindergarten Entry in the first year of life: If possible, it is recommended to postpone the child's entry to kindergarten until the beginning of spring season. It is important to know and understand in advance that placing a child of the first year of life in a kindergarten in winter almost inevitably leads to infection of the baby with many viral and bacterial diseases. Entering kindergarten later and during warmer times of the year will postpone these childhood illnesses until the child is older and therefore better able to cope with illnesses.

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