Children’s flu could be deadly

This year’s flu season is wreaking havoc and claiming the lives of the tiniest victims.
According to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control, 10 children died in the United States during the second week of 2014, raising the death toll among children nationally to 20 during the 2013-2014 influenza season, which began last fall.
Since a child’s immune system is immature, a child is more susceptible to the virus, warns Malli Challapalli, MD, infectious disease specialist at Advocate Children’s Hospital-Oak Lawn.
“Parents need to take swift and deliberate actions in protecting children from the flu, since influenza can cause serious illness and death, particularly among children under 2 years of age,” said Challapalli. “Vaccination is the best method for preventing flu and its potentially severe complications in children.”
Children with chronic health conditions are at an even greater risk of contracting the flu and may experience severe medical complications.
Each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications.
Five ways you can protect your child from the flu
The most important thing you can do is get flu vaccine for yourself and your child. Vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older. Ensure that all of your children’s care providers get the flu vaccine, especially if your child has chronic medical conditions, such as lung disease, asthma, diabetes, neurologic disease or heart disease, or if you have a child under six months of age who is too young to be vaccinated for flu.
Stay away from people who are sick with cold and cough symptoms and avoid high traffic public areas if possible.
Cover coughs and sneezes and teach your child to cough into the elbow.
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth after touching public surfaces as germs spread this way.

– Submitted by Advocate Children’s Hospital

Health Scan 1-23-14

Children’s vaccinations available to underinsured at Orland Township

  Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., has gained approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide immunizations to local underinsured children at its monthly immunization clinic.
  Vaccines are available to children 18 and under who are either uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid-eligible (includes All Kids), Native American or Alaskan Native. Underinsured means that the child has health insurance, but it does not cover any vaccines, certain vaccines, or it has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines, and once that cap is reached a child is ineligible. With valid proof of Orland Township residency, vaccines are free of charge. For children residing outside of the township’s boundaries, a $20 administration fee per vaccine will be collected. An up-to-date shot record is mandatory to receive any vaccine, and children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  Available children’s vaccines include DTaP, DTaP-Hep B-IPV, DTaP-IPV-Hib, DTaP-IPV, Hep A, Hep B, Hep B-Hib, HPV, Meningococcal, MMR, IPV, Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, Tdap and Varicella. Adult vaccines are offered to Orland Township residents only and are available at a discounted rate. Adult vaccines include HPV, Pneumococcal, Hep A, Tuberculosis, Hep B, Tdap, IPV, Meningococcal, Hep A-Hep B, MMR, Typhoid and Shingles. Proof of residency is required.
  Orland Township’s next immunization clinics will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more, call 403-4222 or visit

The Magnificent 7

Little Company doctors among Chicago’s elite

  Seven physicians on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital are named Top Doctors in the January 2014 issue of Chicago Magazine. Honorees were nominated by physicians nationwide who were asked to consider such factors as clinical excellence, bedside manner, education, and board certification.
  Chicago Magazine’s Top Doctors list was created in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., publisher of America’s Top Doctors and other consumer health guides. Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels.
  Little Company of Mary proudly congratulates the more than 500 physicians who come from all over the Chicagoland area to practice at the Hospital and are certified in a wide array of specialties. In many cases, Little Company of Mary is a family affair, with multiple generations of practicing physicians. Through the years, many talented men and women have lent their hearts, minds and hands to make the southwest area of Chicago a healthier place to live.
  Hassan Alzein (pediatrics), Richard M. Farrell (internal medicine), Philip C. Hoffman (medical oncology), Jacob Rotmench (gynecologic oncology) Howard T. Strassner (maternal and fetal medicine), Michael F. Thomas (geriatric medicine) and James Valek (family medicine) were recognized.
  Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers was also named one of the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
  Little Company of Mary has a rich history of providing the community with nationally recognized, high-quality care. Little Company of Mary’s new state-of-the-art West Pavilion patient tower allows the hospital to focus on its family-centered model and continue with their mission to care and provide the latest technology to heal. For more information about Little Company of Mary, visit our website at To find an exceptional physician near you, please call our free community physician referral service at 708-423-3070.

— Submitted by
Little Company of Mary

Health Scan


Blood pressure checks: Orland Twp.

  Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., will hold free blood pressure screenings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Fridays, Jan. 17, Feb. 7 and March 7. No appointment is necessary. (403-4222.)

Podiatry screenings

  Orland Township is hosting free podiatry screenings on Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

A local podiatrist will be at Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., conducting free examinations to all participating residents. Call Orland Township at 403-4222 to make an appointment.

Total lipid testing at Orland Twp.

  Orland Township will hold total lipid profile testing on Jan. 16, Feb. 20 and March 20, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., at 14807 S. Ravinia Ave.

Residents may have total cholesterol levels read, as well as triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). A 9- to 12-hour fast is required; however, participants should drink water prior to the lipid test.

The price of the test is $25 for residents. Non-residents may also participate for $30. Free blood pressure and glucose testing for an additional $5 ($10 for non-residents) are also available on this day. An appointment is necessary and participants must bring proof of residency on the day of testing.

To make an appointment, call 403-4222.

Body contouring after weight loss

  Palos Community Hospital is offering a free presentation by Orland Park board-certified Plastic Surgeon Jerry Chow, M.D., on body contouring after major weight loss.

During the presentation, Dr. Chow will discuss surgical methods including the 360-degree body lift and show how women can transform their appearance.

This program will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at Palos Health & Fitness Center, 15430 West Ave., Orland Park. Registration required; call 226-2300.

Palos Community Hospital class helps smokers quit

  To help smokers quit, Palos Community Hospital is offering the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking’s eight-week program for adults who are ready to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. Research shows that people who participate in stop-smoking programs with a support system have greater success, compared to those who try to quit on their own.

This program will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, Jan. 16 through Feb. 27. One additional class will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The program will take place at the Palos Primary Care Center, 15300 West Ave., Orland Park. The cost of the program is $99. To register, call 226-2300.


Mayo Clinic: Promising treatment options may help child to hear

  • Written by Mayo Clinic

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Our 2-month-old son was just diagnosed with total deafness. Initially there was a 50 percent hearing loss in one ear, but after two months we were told he cannot hear at all. What could cause hearing loss in an infant? Is there any hope, such as promising clinical trials, that he may someday hear?

ANSWER: Finding out a child is deaf can be very difficult for families, and deciding what to do can be tough. Although there is no way to restore natural hearing, promising treatment options may help a child to hear.

A variety of causes can lead to hearing loss in infants. Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk for hearing loss than other infants. Some infections during pregnancy may lead to hearing problems in babies. For unknown reasons, the structure of the ear may not develop normally early in pregnancy. Also, many genes are necessary for normal hearing, and many abnormalities can result in hearing loss. Although testing can identify some causes of hearing loss, determining why an individual child has hearing loss is not always possible.

Right now, there are few clinical trials designed to treat or cure newborn hearing loss. One trial that is currently ongoing uses stem cells in an effort to remedy hearing loss. But the results of that study are only preliminary, and the treatment is not readily available at this time.