According to two recent studies, the onset of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents has roughly doubled since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
In 2019, the pediatric hospitalization rate for new-onset type 2 diabetes in one study was 0.27% compared to 0.62% in 2020. Kids admitted to the hospital in 2020 were also sicker and had a higher risk of requiring intensive care admission. Pediatricians in Raleigh, NC, and throughout the nation believe it is quite possible that decreased opportunities for exercise and physical activity, as well as economic factors making it harder for many families to put healthy food on the table, may be part of the reason.
The pediatricians at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, believe that re-engaging in daily physical activity is crucial for not only diabetes prevention, but also physical and mental health for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children engage in at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.
If your kids are not into organized team sports, there are other ways to get them active. Use apps to help your kids track their physical activity, and even engage in friendly competition with their peers or family members. I personally love the app Strava, which allows kids and adults alike to track their physical activity as well as set goals over time – they can even follow their friends on the app, comment and provide encouragement to their friends on their activities, and maybe engage in a bit of friendly online competition. (I do request that if your kids look up their pediatrician on Strava that they refrain from making fun of the old man’s running pace…)
To decrease your child’s risk of diabetes through your meal planning:
For more tips on curbing your child’s sweet tooth, check out:
Contact your pediatricians at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC at (919) 881-9009 – or send us an e-mail through the patient portal - if you need to schedule a checkup to discuss your child’s nutrition.
Your pediatricians in Raleigh, NC, are ready to meet with you during your pregnancy to help you prepare for your baby.
Our prenatal class schedule is available online through the end of 2021. Group classes are available on the following dates:
Our lactation consultant will also be available on the following dates to answer your question and provide you with a brief introductory lactation class:
You can sign up for any of these classes on our website using the “Prenatal Class and Orientation” link.
Please remember to wear a mask during our prenatal classes, and please contact us to reschedule if you have any signs of illness or have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you prefer to meet with us individually in the office or remotely, we can schedule an individual prenatal consultation either in our office with one of our pediatricians, or remotely via telemedicine. Please contact us by phone if you would like to arrange an individual prenatal consultation.
The pediatricians at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, offer comprehensive children’s medical services to help you and your child thrive. To learn more about our prenatal education classes, call the pediatricians of Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, at (919) 881-9009.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released an updated list of available, recommended car seats and booster seats (with current pricing!) for 2021. Check out the updated link by visiting:
All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer – usually, until 2 years. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear facing for 2 years or more. Make sure the straps are tight -- there shouldn't be any slack-- and that the upper harness fastener is positioned on the chest. Remove thick coats or sweaters before strapping your child in, as the bulk may cause the straps to seem tighter than they actually are.
Children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their convertible seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more. All children whose weight or height exceeds the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 to 12 years of age. All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat.
Ask your pediatrician if you are unsure if your child meets the requirements to graduate from a booster seat.
At Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, all our pediatricians can provide you with updated guidance on vehicle safety for kids of all ages. However, there are also a number of locations around the Triangle where experts will inspect the installation of your child’s car seat for free. To find a location near you, check out: https://www.buckleupnc.org/locations/
Please feel free to contact Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, at 919-881-9009 or send us a message on the patient portal if you have any questions or concerns about car seat safety.
Carolina Kids Pediatrics
The first CoVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use authorization, and a second vaccine may follow later this week. However, it is likely that children and adolescents will not receive immunizations against CoVID-19 in the near future.
Neither Pfizer nor Moderna have completed Phase 3 clinical trials in children. Pfizer began studying CoVID children’s immunizations in October when it first enrolled participants aged 12-16, and Moderna announced last week that it will begin administering children’s immunizations to older kids and teens (also aged 12-17) soon. Neither company has vaccinated kids under 12 in its research trials yet.
I suspect that CoVID-19 vaccine trials in adolescents might be complete by mid to late spring. If they are confirmed both safe and effective, adolescents might be immunized beginning in the summer or fall. Vaccines for younger children might become available after this time.
I would not expect that Carolina Kids Pediatrics or other Raleigh, NC, pediatricians would administer CoVID vaccines to children and adolescents until rigorous Phase 3 trials in each age group have been completed, had been reviewed and endorsed by the FDA, by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
So, how do CoVID vaccines work?
The first two vaccines to come to the U.S. market are mRNA vaccines. These vaccines use a small piece of genetic material from the virus which will then create the CoVID spike proteins in the body – this is the protein that must be neutralized by antibodies in order to develop immunity to CoVID-19. These vaccines do not contain a living virus and therefore cannot cause infection in the person who is getting immunized. They also do not alter the genetic code of the person getting the vaccine.
According to Pfizer and Moderna, each vaccine is about 95% effective in preventing symptomatic CoVID infection, although it’s unclear how long this protection will last. A booster dose is necessary several weeks after a person is initially vaccinated.
The first CoVID vaccines in Raleigh, NC, and elsewhere in the country, will go to high-risk health care workers and the elderly – residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities will likely be among the first to be vaccinated. So, your children may be later in the line for CoVID vaccines, but your children’s doctors and nurses may be immunized by spring – although we believe that health care workers who work in ICUs and hospital CoVID units will and should be immunized first.
Am I confident rolling up my own sleeve to be vaccinated? Absolutely. I am satisfied that these vaccines are receiving an appropriate level of evaluation and scrutiny, and I look forward to the day when widespread CoVID immunizations will begin to interrupt the cycle of transmission which has paralyzed so much of the country and the world.
I believe that the vaccine which was authorized this week is safe and highly effective in preventing CoVID-19 in adults. As a pediatrician, I do have one additional comment about the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine was authorized for individuals age 16 and higher – but the number of patients in Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trial between 16 and 18 years old was much smaller than the tens of thousands of adults over 18 who were enrolled. Although the vaccine appeared to be safe and effective in the 16-18-year-olds in the trial, I would be interested in seeing a Pfizer trial with larger numbers of adolescents, which is in progress. Regardless, the priority in these early days is not – and should not be – the vaccination of healthy teenagers.
For all the kids out there, I am also pleased to announce that the CDC has declared Santa an essential worker, and he is now fully immunized against CoVID-19 – so don’t worry about him coming to your house in a couple of weeks. The reindeer appear to have natural immunity.
If you have other questions about children’s immunizations, please reach out to our Raleigh, NC, team of pediatricians at (919) 881-9009.
Carolina Kids Pediatrics
We have now posted an updated schedule of 14 prenatal education classes at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC from December 2020 to June 2021. The class dates are:
Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at 5:45 pm
Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at 5:45 pm*
Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 5:45 pm
Wednesday, February 3, 2021, at 5:45 pm*
Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 5:45 pm
Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 5:45 pm*
Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 5:45 pm
Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at 5:45 pm*
Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 5:30 pm
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 5:30 pm*
Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 5:30 pm
Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 5:30 pm*
Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at 5:30 pm
Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 5:30 pm*
Due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, all prenatal education classes are limited to 10 participants or fewer, and all participants must be healthy and wear masks. Prenatal education classes are always led by one of our pediatricians right in our office in Raleigh, NC. If you are more comfortable meeting with one of our pediatricians remotely, we also offer free telemedicine prenatal orientations.
During our prenatal education classes, we will cover the basics of caring for your newborn, including what to expect after delivery, and how to prepare yourself and your home for the new addition to your family. Prenatal education classes marked with an asterisk (*) will also include a brief presentation and a question and answer session with our lactation consultant. If you live in the Raleigh, NC, area please call Carolina Kids Pediatrics at (919) 881-9009 to sign up, or just sign up right on our website.
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