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Recall. find more info at http://www.djgusa.com/services/productrecall/recalls.html
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dorel Juvenile
Group Inc., of Columbus, Ind., is voluntarily recalling about 26,000 Safety
1st and Beatrix Potter "Designer 22" infant car
seats/carriers. When the seat is used as a carrier, the plastic handle
can unexpectedly release from the carrying position.
Here is the answer from Children’s Medical Center in response to the TV
program May 2002 slamming Vaccines. It seems we have these shows every Sweeps
week during ratings. There is no mercury in Enfanrix DtaP, Prevnar, IPV
(Polio), MMR, HIB, Varicella (Chickenpox). There is miniscule amount in the
Tripedia DtaP <.0002% . Actually far more mercury is transmitted to the
baby by the mother ingesting fish with mercury when pregnany or when nursing.
I sent a Newsymail last year on this and is copied at the bottom of this
Recent media reports indicate dozens of lawsuits have been filed across the
country charging that vaccine mercury poisoning leads to neurodevelopmental
disorders in children, including autism. Additionally, recent publications
have raised the question concerning a relationship between MMR and autism.
A Channel 8 investigative report beginning tonight (Monday, May 20) will
examine this issue, as well.
The following informatio n indicates that autism is not linked to these
Etiology of Autism - Three groups of studies support the fact that
autism results from an event or exposure that occurs during development of the
central nervous system early in utero: genetic studies of monozygotic and
dizygotic twins, in-utero events and timing of onset of autism. Home video
studies demonstrate abnormalities of movement and behavior in children later
diagnosed with autism as early as 2-3 months of age and 12 months of age
before exposure to MMR vaccine.
Studies of MMR vaccine and autism - The Immunization Safety Review
Committee of the Institute of Medicine reviewed all published and unpublished
data and released a report in April 2001 (www.nap.edu/catalo,g/10101.html).
The committee concluded that "a consistent body of epidemiological
evidence shows no association at the population level between MMR vaccine and
autistic spectrum disorders." A causal relationship and biological
plausibility were rejected since there have been no proven biological
mechanisms that would explain a casual relationship.
Large epidemiological studies have been performed in the United Kingdom,
Sweden and California; all failed to demonstrate any association between MMR
vaccine and autism.
Published data does not support the Wakefield hypothesis that MMR vaccine
causes intestinal inflammation, loss of intestinal barrier function, entrance
into the bloodstream of encephalopathic proteins and consequent development of
The Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AA-P) and
the ACIP support the continued use of MMR vaccine according to current
recommendations. Recent decreases in the use of the MMR vaccine in the United
Kingdom and Germany have been associated with measles outbreaks similar to
those in the United States in 1989-9 1.
Summarized information by Paul Offit, M.D., for the AAP is available at www.cispimmunize.or0fam/mmr/a
main.html. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) also is available for
parents at www.cisl)immunize.ors~/fani/mnir/a niain.htnil
Studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders -
Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury and has been used as a preservative in
multi-dose vials since the 1930s to prevent bacterial contamination. In
response to the concern that the cumulative intake of mercury from vaccines
administered in the first six months of life could exceed the guidelines for
methyl mercury intake set by the EPA, (but still within the safe limit
according to the guidelines set by the FDA, ATSDR and the World Health
Organization) (MMWR 1999; 48:563), a thimerosal-free hepatitis B vaccine was
licensed in August 1999. As of March 2001, all routinely recommended
licensed pediatric vaccines manufactured for the United States are
The Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine
reviewed all available data and published a report in October 2001 (www.flap.edu/cataloiz/10208.htm]).
The committee concluded "the evidence is inadequate to accept or
reject a causal relationship between thimerosal exposures from childhood
vaccines and the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, ADHD and speech or
language delay." Thimerosal-free vaccines are recommended for routine
immunizations, but if the only choice is a thimerosal-containing vaccine, the
committee recommends using it rather than not immunizing.
Specific evidence supporting the absence of a causal relationship includes:
- No association between postnatal exposures to low doses of methyl
mercury and neurodevelop mental disorders has been found (Pediatrics 2001;
- Signs and symptoms of mercury poisonings are not identical to autism,
ADHD or speech -language delays.
- There is only limited toxicological information regarding ethyl
- There are only two epidemiological analyses of the association of neu
rode velop mental disorders with thimerosal-containing vaccines - both are unpublished. When
reviewed by the IOM, no significant associations were found in either study. One study, the
Safety Datalink (VSD) project, included >130,000 children with 169 cases
Preliminary results from ongoing studies of mercury metabolism at the NIAID
of NIH indicate the half-life of ethyl mercury in infants who received
thimerosal-containing vaccines is only 68 days and eliminated in stool,
compared with a half-life of 45 days for methyl mercury. The only vaccine in
the United Kingdom containing thimerosal is DTP; however, the autism case rate
increased rapidly during the 1980s with no change in thimerosal exposure,
since all added vaccines were thimerosal free.
It is important to assure parents that the current U.S. supply of routinely
recommended vaccines is thimerosal-free and the AAP does not recommend testing
children who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines for mercury.
The Influenza vaccine contains thimerosal, but this vaccine is not used
prior to 6 months of age and there is no longer any cumulative effect from
If the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rules that thimerosal is one of the
components that comprise vaccines rather than a contaminant, then allegations
that thimerosal in the vaccine caused injury or death must be filed with the
Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) before any civil litigation can be
pursued for a VICP-covered vaccine. (www.hrsa.gov/osp/vicp/qanda.htm.)
Helpful, frequently asked questions can be found at www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concems/tbimerosal/faqs-thimerosal.htm.
For more information, contact Jane Siegel, M.D., at 214-648-3561 or e-mail
Date sent: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 21:58:20 -0600
Save for your children's education. ..... Dr. Knapp www.rogerknapp.com
A "529 Plan" is a tax-advantaged program, established under
Section 529 Of the Internal Revenue Code, that helps families and individuals
prepare for the future costs of a college education. Plan participants
contribute to an account or purchase tuition credits or certificates on behalf
of a beneficiary -- a parent for a child or grandparent for grandchild, for
example -- that has certain federal and state tax advantages. These plans are
known as Qualified Tuition Programs. All 50 states have passed legislation
authorizing a 529 plan, and most Have a plan in operation. Two types of 529
Plans There are two kinds of 529 Plans -- college savings plans and pre-paid
tuition plans. Some states offer one or the other, while others offer both.
Why choose a 529 Savings Plan? First, there are the tax advantages. . . .
Federal taxes: Your investment grows tax-free for as long as your money
stays in the plan. In addition, beginning in January 1, 2002 withdrawals to
pay for the beneficiary's qualified college costs will be federal income tax
State taxes: Some state programs offer additional tax advantages in
addition to those offered by the federal government. Depending upon the state
in which you live, program advantages could include a state income tax
deduction for contributions and an income tax exemption for qualified
withdrawals. Other Advantages The plan beneficiary can use the money at
virtually any accredited college, university or other institution of higher
education -- not just in-state schools, which is a common misconception -- and
at some institutions abroad. 529 Plans are professionally managed. When you
invest in a 529 program you generally have the ability to invest in one or
more professionally managed portfolios. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.
currently serves as program manager for 12 states. For more information about
plans available from TIAA-CREF, please call 1 888 381-8283. Estate Planning
Benefits. You, the account owner maintain control of how the funds are
distributed and to whom -- deciding when withdrawals are taken and for what
purpose. When you contribute to a Section 529 plan and become the owner of
that account, you always retain control of that account's accumulations, even
though contributions are treated as completed gifts. As a result, your
contribution qualifies for the $10,000 annual gift tax exclusion, so you can
make fairly large contributions without incurring the gift tax. The funds
accumulated in your account are generally not considered
part of your estate for federal estate tax purposes, but you remain in
control of the funds. You may also decide to transfer the account balance to
another eligible beneficiary or to reclaim the funds for yourself at any time.
However, some transfers could be subject to gift tax and withdrawals that are
not used for qualified expenses will be subject to taxes and penalties. Anyone
is eligible. Generally, there are no income limitations or age restrictions.
And you can name anyone as a beneficiary -- your child, your grandchild,
niece, nephew; or -- if you're thinking about going back to college --
yourself. Flexibility. You're not limited to investing in your own state's
plan, but can take advantage of plans in nearly all of the states that offer
High contribution limits. You can invest substantial amounts of money in
most programs; in some programs you can make contributions until as much as
$240,000 has been set aside for your beneficiary. Contribution limits for
Section 529 plans are considerably higher than the limits for other types of
investments typically associated with funding higher education.
Funds transfer flexibility. Parents can transfer balances to siblings or
certain other family members. So, if one child decides to not go to college,
his or her sibling can benefit from the plan. In addition, beginning on
January 1, 2002, account owners can rollover the accumulation from one 529 to
another 529 without changing the beneficiary once every 12 months.
Withdrawals for non-college related expenses. Effective January 1, 2002,
the new federal tax law imposes an "Additional Tax" of 10% on the
earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals. The Additional Tax eliminates
and replaces the federal income tax law requirement that each qualified
tuition program impose a penalty that is "more than de minimis" on
non-qualified withdrawals (i.e., the currently 10% state penalty on earnings).
This Additional Tax will have similar consequences to the account owner as the
current tax, however, account owners will now be responsible for paying the
Additional Tax to the United States Treasury through their federal
Income tax return.
Date sent: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 10:24:37 -0600
Fluoride is important for stronger teeth but an excess of anything is bad.
We used to push fluoride in the first year of life but damaged permanent teeth
with too much fluoride. We now want to be sure they have fluoride in their
diet after 1 year of age to have stronger permanent teeth at school age. The
children swallow tooth paste so the recent recommendations is To not use
fluoride tooth paste until 3 years old and some say 6 years old. Swallowing
too much fluoride tooth paste is bad. On the contrary, if the 1+ year old
children are not drinking any city fluoridated water, then ask the doctor for
fluoride containing vitamins. p.s. Children do not have to see the dentist
until 3 unless you see problems before then.
What time should you go see the dentist? At tooth-herty!
Date sent: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:37:22 -0600
Latest study showed that children who get allot of infections in the first
4 years had less infections during grade school and visa versa. So it looks
like kids will have to get these infections and develop immunity to the germs
eventually. They will either get them during preschool or get them later
during grade school. I would just as soon have them get these infections when
they are older and better able to handle them. But if your toddler is getting
frequent infections, the side benefit is that they will miss less school
It is kind of interesting that when we Pediatricians first go into
pediatrics, we are sick every week for two years. Then we hardly ever get sick
since one develops immunity to all the germs. It is a rough first two years
Date sent: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 16:18:25 -0600
I strongly recommend you fix a Family Disaster Kit, not only for terrorist
stuff but also tornados and such. Dr. Knapp www.rogerknapp.com This is attached as a .doc file if you
There are many things you may need in an emergency or during a disaster.
These things should be in a duffle bag, backpack, or plastic storage container
so you can take them with you easily if you have to leave your house. Here is
a list of some of the most important things:
- a.. Mess kits, or plates, cups and spoons made of paper or plastic
- b.. Radio (plenty of batteries or wind up kind that does not need
- c.. Flashlight and extra batteries
- d.. Manual can opener and utility knife (like a Swiss Army knife)
- e.. Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
- f.. Pliers, plain and Phillips screw drivers, hammer
- g.. Tape
- h.. Compass
- i.. Matches in a waterproof container (film canister)
- j.. Aluminum foil
- k.. Signal flares (like you use for road hazard)
- l.. Paper and pencils
- m.. Needle and thread
- n.. Shut-off wrench to turn off the gas and water to your house
- o.. Plastic sheeting
- p.. Whistle and small mirror
- q.. Toilet paper
- r.. Soap
- s.. Household chlorine bleach
- t.. Plastic bucket with a tight lid
- u.. Plastic garbage bags
You will need a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Non-perishable
means food that can stay good for a long time without needing to be in the
refrigerator. It is also good if the food doesn't need to be cooked. Here are
- a.. Ready-to-eat canned meats, spaghetti, chili, fruits and vegetables
- b.. Canned juice, or milk
- c.. Sugar, salt and pepper
- d.. High energy foods, like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars,
- e.. Fun foods! Like cookies, hard candy, lollipops, instant coffee and tea
- f.. Special food for babies or older people
- g.. Dehydrated foods like soups from the grocery store.
- h.. Beef Jerky
The food should be kept dry and cool. Cookies and crackers and other items
should be put in plastic bags.
Storing water is one of the most important things you can do. In an
emergency, pipes may be broken or the water contaminated. (Contaminated means
it is not safe to drink.) Store water in plastic containers. Plastic soft
drink bottles are good! Don't use milk cartons or glass bottles.
You should have a three-day supply of water.
You will need at least two quarts of water for each person in your house
for each day. You will also need two quarts per person per day for cooking and
hygiene (like brushing your teeth). That means you will need four quarts for
each person -- which is one whole gallon! And don't forget extra water for
You need to multiply one gallon times the number of people in your house
and then multiply that number by three to get the total gallons you'll need.
Stored water needs to be treated to make sure it will be safe to drink when
you need it. You can do this by adding four drops of bleach per quart of
water. Have an adult do this for you. The liquid bleach should have 5.25
percent sodium hypochlorite and NO SOAP! Seal all bottles tightly so they
Everyone in your house should have a complete change of clothes and a pair
of sturdy shoes or boots stored in the disaster kit. You should also have rain
gear, thermal underwear and blankets or sleeping bags.
Restock or create your family first aid kit. These are the things your
first aid kit should have:
- a.. Sterile adhesive bandages of different sizes
- b.. Sterile gauze pads
- c.. Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- d.. Triangular bandages
- e.. Scissors
- f.. Tweezers
- g.. Sewing needle
- h.. Moistened towellettes
- i.. Antiseptic
- j.. Thermometer
- k.. Tube of petroleum jelly
- l.. Safety pins
- m.. Soap
- n.. Latex gloves
- o.. Sunscreen
- p.. Aspirin or other pain reliever
- q.. Anti-diarrhea medicine
- r.. Paint Stir sticks for splints
- s.. 5 days of medication that you take regularly for asthma or heart or BP.
Date sent: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 05:45:13 -0600
It soon will be pollen and allergy season. Some people have allergies year
round and there are winter allergies to Mountain Cedar (Cedar fever).. Ala
Cedar Hill. The eyes can be treated with allergy eye drops. There are over the
counter drops like Opticon (The generic is good too) or the doctor can
prescribe Patanol eye allergy drops. It helps the eyes without Drowsiness
and safe to use long term. There are nasal sprays for allergy that you
probably heard of that help nasal allergies (Nasalcort, Flonase, Nasonex,
etc.) They are safe long term and can be used down to 3-4 years old. The
problem is that some kids and adults would rather take an oral medicine rather
than spray something up their nose. The eye drops can be used as needed but
the nasal sprays have to be used every day to work. Achew
Happy Lent.. "He became what we are, to make us what He is"
Date sent: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 20:30:36 -0600
Federal Health Officials announced their smallpox bioterrorism plan. It is
the same plan in effect for 30 years. If there is an outbreak, then contacts
and people in the area will be vaccinated. This was effective in eliminating
the world of smallpox. There is a common misperception that
An infected person who travels during the incubation period will spread the
disease to new areas. Patients will only transmit the disease after onset of
fever. Plans for outbreaks are in place and will be implemented if there is an
outbreak. I would not bet on any outbreak of smallpox.
Date sent: Sun, 3 Feb 2002 23:15:32 -0600
There have been now 25,000 cases of Hepatitis B prevented by vaccinating
infants for it. That translates into 3,000 deaths due to live cancer or liver
failure. I wish there was a vaccine for AIDS since there are over 1 million
still in America with aids. There is not much publicity about
It with the terrorism thing taking center stage but the problem is still
there. I have not seen bacterial meningitis in 10 years because of the
vaccines. There is a vaccination for a less common meningitis that the teens
need before college. Vaccines are still extremely safe with only a few hundred
injured by them. But they save millions.
Date sent: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 23:38:21 -0600
Advice on handling adolescent using drugs published in a journal:
- 1.. Require immediate cessation of alcohol and illicit drugs.
- 2.. Require immediate and permanent cessation of contact with drug using
- 3.. Allow attendance at concerts only under mature adult supervision.
- 4.. Do not allow attendance at parties unless supervised by a mature
- 5.. Set an appropriate curfew unless accompanied by a responsible adult.
The adolescent's whereabouts should be known my parents at all times.
- 6.. Do not allow use of a car for at least 3 months unless the parents know
where the teen is going and the parent checks on them. Tell the teen that if
that contract is broken, the state motor vehicle bureau will be notified of
the drug problem and asked to suspend the teen's license
- until he or she has been drug free for at least 6 months.
- 7.. Give the teen only a limited amount of spending money. Paychecks should
be deposited and withdrawals should be approved by parent. Consider changing
or stopping the job because of the money used inappropriately and the
influence by other at the work place to use drugs.
- 8.. Restitution should be made for any stolen items or destroyed property.
- 9.. Do not allow verbal or physical abuse.
- 10.. Initially require urinalysis on a random weekly basis.
- 11.. Lock up all alcoholic beverages and remove tranquilizers,
amphetamines, barbiturates, and sleeping pills from medicine cabinets.
- 12.. Your teen is a minor in your house. They have not attained full adult
privileges. So the parent has the right to search their room and even tap and
record phone lines. They have lost the right of privacy. No phone in their
room is a good plan. What should they be saying to their friends that you should not be hearing?
1. If you have a hard time pulling the kitchen trash bag out of the kitchen
trash can, it is because of the air lock between the bag and can. Cut a small
hole the size of your finger tip 1 inch about the bottom in the side of the
trash can. Then the bag will come out easily.
2. Wonder if the gimmick they are selling is a hoax for medial ailments?
3. Is this a cute picture or what? See attachment.
Here is an interesting disease that is not talked about much. Celiac
Disease (or Celiac Sprue) is a reaction of the intestines with a protein
called gluten found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, and
oats. This causes the last part of the small intestines to loose it's
absorption surface and the person cannot absorb fats, iron, certain vitamins
and lactose. On biopsy of the lining of the intestine there are no finger-like
projections that help absorb nutrients. The patient is under weight, large
tummy, and loose stools. This condition completely goes away when taken
off grain containing foods for several months. It was described as early as
1888 but shown to be caused by gluten in 1952-54. It is diagnosed in 1 in 2000
people but the real incidence is 1 in 300 of the population. It gets diagnosed
anywhere from 1 year old to 50 years old patients. There are recent reports of
teenagers with no symptoms having persistent iron deficiency anemia caused by
Celiac Sprue. There is a blood test for it that is 95% accurate and then the
small bowel biopsy (no it is not dangerous) is very good at diagnosing it. Now
there is a camera in a capsule that adults can swallow to photograph your
intestines. (Is that wild or what???)
And the treatment is avoiding gluten containing foods for the rest of your
For more info see: http://www.csaceliacs.org
Date sent: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 17:32:09 -0600
We recommend taking folate during pregnancy to decrease birth defects.
According to a study in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet, iron and folate
supplementation during pregnancy reduces the risk of acute lymphoblastic
leukemia (ALL) later on in childhood. The researchers found a 63% risk
reduction for childhood leukemia with iron or folate supplementation during
pregnancy. The risk reduction was 25% for iron and 60% for folate
supplementation. Another reason to take it when pregnant.
Diaper rashes are one of the biggest problems in the infant until potty
trained. Wipes are the most common cause and that is why I recommend
cleaning them up with water and paper.(We wipe with just dry paper and we
don't have a rash.) Keep some Vaseline on them all the time to prevent
the wetness from chaffing them. Some times there can be a Strep
infection of the skin around the anus. It is painful and the 1-3 year
olds will not want to go to the bathroom. See a picture at the web site
under diaper rashes. http://www.rogerknapp.com/medical/diaper_rashes.htm
It will not go away with creams and has to be treated with antibiotics.
It looks painful! Parents think it is a "rash" when it really
is an infection.
This year Texas started the Graduated Driver’s Licensing program (GLD).
See: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr122101.htm .
Michigan and N. Carolina implemented it in 1997. In both states there was a
decline of 25-27% in crashes involving 16 year olds and a 57% decline in fatal
crashes in N. Carolina. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in teens
and it is due to their lack of driving experience and risk taking behavior.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been lobbying for this law for years.
Certainly the Kennedys would be alive today if he had more practice driving
more sophisticated airplane.
When trauma causes swelling in your body, holding pressure on the area will
decrease the swelling and improve the healing. It is true for head bumps
and getting a goose egg. Now it turns out that a spranged ankle is
helped by pressure around the ankle. Less swelling means shorter healing
time and quicker function. I guess you need to have an ace wrap handy at
the baseball field. (A stat wrap??? Oh well. :) You are ready for
sports after a sprang if you can hop on the foot 10
times without pain.
Croup This is a viral infection like a chest cold that occurs in the spring
and fall (coming soon in Sept.). The cough has a "seal bark" sound.
Some people think the croupy cough is the mucousy or congested cough (like a
smoker’s cough). The seal barky croup cough is treated by humidity so run a
vaporizer or take them into the bathroom and steam it up. Or take them out
into the cool night air. If they have severe retractions on breathing and
every breath sounds barky like the cough, then take the child to the ER and
they can give a breathing treatment. Make an appointment to the doctor the
first day of the cough and get a prescription of a few days of steroids. It
will stop the bark (but does not cure the cold) and will keep them from
getting into severe respiratory distress.
Ulcers and heartburn is an infection. It is not just an acid thing.
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium that can live in the stomach
and duodenum. The inside of the stomach is bathed in about half a gallon of
gastric juice every day. Gastric juice is composed of digestive enzymes and
concentrated hydrochloric acid, which can readily tear apart the toughest food
or microorganism. Bacteria, viruses, and yesterdays steak dinner are all
consumed in this deadly bath of chemicals. The stomach is protected from its
own gastric juice by a thick layer of mucus. H. pylori can safely live in the
mucus by secreting chemicals that neutralize the acid and enzymes of the
stomach. This creates a cloud of acid neutralizing chemicals around the H.
pylori, protecting it. The reaction of this urea hydrolysis is used in the
breath test for diagnosing the H.pylori.
Tests to diagnose it:
1. C14-urea breath test (see http://www.meretek.com
2. Blood test for antibodies …. Does not work very well.
3. Biopsy of the stomach lining usually through endoscopy.
1. Duodenal and Stomach ulcers. When treated, 80% can throw their antacids
2. Stomach cancer. 6 times more likely to have cancer is H pylori present.
You contract the germ by swallowing it from contaminated water, food, or
someone’s vomitus (YUCK!) It is treated with usually three medications. Some
on the list are amoxycillin, clarithromycin, tetracycline, metronidazole and
peptobismol. Your doctor can tell you which he/she prefers.
Children can get this infection and may be a common cause of chronic stomach
pains in children. Also when I council parents on obesity I mention than some
people have chronic acid stomach problems and neutralize the burning with
food. They are not as much hungry as they have burning and think it is hunger.
For more info:
Small Pox and the vaccine. This has been my recommendation all along and
now recommended by the major medical organizations. Here are the facts.
Case fatality rates of 30% or higher were observed during epidemics of
smallpox. Death, when it occurred, was usually a result of viral toxemia
associated with circulating immune complexes. Four forms of smallpox are
recognized. In addition to typical smallpox (more than 90% of cases), there
are 2 forms of variola major, hemorrhagic and malignant or flat type. Each
variant occurred in 5% of cases and was associated with a 90% to 100%
mortality rate. Variola minor, or alastrim, is associated with a longer
incubation period, a milder prodromal period, fewer skin lesions, and a lower
mortality rate than variola major or typical smallpox.
A major reason not to initiate universal immunization in the absence of
actual cases of smallpox, besides the limited availability of vaccine, is the
risk of serious complications of immunization. Severe complications of
immunization include death, postvaccinal encephalitis, progressive vaccinia,
eczema vaccinatum, generalized rash, and accidental inoculation to the face,
eye, or other sites. Smallpox vaccine has been known for decades to produce
significant adverse effects, especially in immunocompromised persons. In
patients with chronic skin conditions, smallpox vaccine can cause a severe,
sometimes fatal dermatologic involvement termed "eczema vaccinatum."
The list of conditions that place patients at risk of eczema vaccinatum is
long and includes most disorders that disrupt epidermal integrity. Atopic
dermatitis is the most common disorder associated with severe eczema
vaccinatum, and people with this disorder may be susceptible even if the skin
disorder is in remission. Even unimmunized susceptible individuals can have
such reactions if the virus spreads to them from those who have been
immunized. Studies from the 1960s indicate an overall rate of complications of
1254 per million primary immunized individuals (that is around 1/1000).
American Academy of Pediatrics announces recommendations for Vaccine:
RECOMMENDED STRATEGY: RING VACCINATION (SURVEILLANCE AND CONTAINMENT)
The AAP supports the strategy known as ring vaccination, also referred to
as surveillance and containment, and is the current CDC recommendation. Using
this approach, if smallpox were introduced in an act of terrorism, infected
patients would be isolated. Contacts of infected individuals as well as their
contacts would then be identified and immunized by specially trained teams of
health care professionals. This strategy can control a localized outbreak with
minimal exposure of vulnerable populations to the complications of
immunization. The ring strategy is based on the knowledge that vaccination can
prevent or ameliorate disease severity if given within 3 to 4 days of initial
exposure and can decrease symptoms if given within the first week of exposure.
Immunizing and monitoring a ring of people around each infected individual and
his or her contacts would help protect those at the greatest risk of
contracting the disease and form a buffer of immune individuals to prevent the
spread of disease. This strategy would be more desirable than a preevent mass
immunization campaign for the following reasons17:
Focused contact tracing and immunization combined with extensive
surveillance and isolation of cases was the strategy used to eradicate
smallpox in the successful worldwide program in the 1960s and 1970s.
In a universal immunization campaign, the number of adverse events would be
expected to be higher than in the past because of the number of persons with
contraindications, some of which might be undiagnosed or unrecognized at the
time of immunization or exposure to individuals who have recently been
immunized (eg, undiagnosed immunosuppressive disorders such as HIV infection
or receiving cytotoxic or immunosuppressive agents for cancer,
transplantation, or autoimmune or inflammatory disorders). Severe vaccinia
infections may occur in such vulnerable individuals and in persons with skin
conditions, including atopic dermatitis, if they come in close contact with
immunized immunocompetent persons who are shedding vaccinia virus.
In the past, individuals with complications of immunization were treated
with VIG. Current supplies of VIG are not sufficient to treat the number of
patients expected to experience adverse effects with a universal immunization
In the past, immunization focused on young children. Senescence of the
immune system could make the elderly more susceptible to vaccine-related
complications, but there is little information available regarding the immune
response and complication rate in older individuals. There is some
experimental evidence to suggest that they may have a higher rate of certain
complications from smallpox immunization.18
Current supplies of smallpox vaccine would be exhausted quickly if a
universal campaign were initiated, potentially leaving no vaccine for use if
smallpox cases occurred.
Mass preevent immunization would require large numbers of health care and
public health professionals to perform immunization and to monitor for and
deal with the high number of adverse events.
Should an outbreak of smallpox occur, initiation of mass immunization may
lead to improper reliance on this strategy to control the outbreak with less
focus on other essential outbreak control measures, such as careful
surveillance, contact tracing, and isolation of cases. If an outbreak occurred
in a locale where there had not been preemptive immunization, there could be
inadequate supplies of vaccine for areas with the greatest need, and that
potentially could prolong the epidemic instead of controlling it.
Anencephaly and Spina Bifida are two conditions that are markedly decreased
with the pregnant woman taking in 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. The USDA
started requiring cereal grain products to contain 100 / gram of grain in
1998. There was a decrease of 23% in these birth defects. Spina Bifida is a
hole in the back where the spinal cord opens up and the nerves are exposed.
There is frequently decrease use of the lower legs, no bladder or bowel
control, and hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Anencephaly is where the baby
is born with most of the brain missing and they die shortly. So be sure you
take the vitamins with folate in them where trying to get pregnant or if you
could possible become pregnant.
The recent Federal Trade Commission report that was critical of diet ads
and exercise equipment that promised easy, quick and miraculous results, will
hopefully educate more people that offers that seem to good to be true usually
are. The FTC says to be wary of ads that include the following claims:
- No Diet! No Exercise!
- Eat Your Favorite Foods and Still Lose Weight
- Scientists Announce Incredible Discovery!
- Revolutionary European Method! Ancient Chinese Secret!
- Absorbs Fat
- New Scientific/Medical Breakthrough
And any ad that describes the product as 'incredible,' 'a miracle cure,' or
'a breakthrough' should be viewed with suspicion. In addition to targeting
people who want to lose weight, there are many products targeted at other
common medical problems in children, such as acne, ADHD, snoring, learning
disabilities and depression. These ads can be tempting. They often describe
incredible results. And that you can get these results yourself without much
or any effort. How do you know if these products, including biofeedback
devices, optometric visual training, special diets, vitamins, and minerals,
really work? It can help to be skeptical of special offers or miracle cures.
Also, learn to read the fine print of an offer. If they mention that 'results
may vary' or that the 'results are not typical' then you can feel fairly
confident that it is a scam. You should be especially suspicious of treatments
that can be used for multiple disorders, such as ADD, ADHD, anger, anxiety,
alcoholism, behavior problems, depression, manic depression, panic attacks,
PTSD, sleep problems, and stress. Alternative miracle treatments for ADHD seem
to be especially popular. This is likely because it is a condition that is
difficult to treat and the conventional treatment, stimulants like Ritalin,
receive a lot of negative press. In the past few years, the FTC has taken
action against many ADHD treatments which were shown to be making unproven
- Pedi-Active A.D.D promoted by Natural Organics, Inc or Nature's Plus
- Efalex and Efalex Focus, marketed by Efamol Nutraceuticals, Inc
- Pycnogenol, sold by J & R Research, Inc
- God's Recipe, distributed by New Vision International, Inc.
But just because a company or product hasn't been disciplined by the FDA or
FTC doesn't mean that it is effective or safe. When considering an alternative
treatment, do some research before spending your money and giving it to your
child. Don't be mislead by ads saying that they are 'proven' or 'doctor
recommended.' If they have really been proven to work, find the research study
that substantiates, hopefully from a reputable medical journal, the claim and
show it to your Pediatrician.
Also remember that:
- all natural does not always mean safe
- anyone can put up a website. Just because a company or product has a fancy
website doesn't mean that it is not a scam.
- money back guarantee does not always mean that you will get your money
- Before buying the product, call the company and act like you have already
bought it and want your money back. Do they help you? Can you even get someone
on the phone? If not, you will likely not get your money back if you are not
- if the treatment really worked, why wouldn't they do a real research study
to prove it?
Adapted from http://www.keepkidshealthy.com
Ever heard of Commotio Cordis
Has been documented in over 128 cases in the four years since the formation
of the United States Commotio Cordis Registry in Minneapolis, Minnesota in
1998, although the true number of deaths is unknown because of underreporting
and misclassification. 128 cases/4 yrs = 62 per year!
Occurs most often in baseball. But aside from baseball and lacrosse (three
deaths of players from New York in two years; one near death of a player at a
Massachusetts prep school), commotio cordis has stricken those playing hockey,
softball, soccer and karate. In the fall of 2000, two football players died
from blows to the sternum delivered by a helmet. In one case, a young boy
reportedly died after his father poked him in the chest.
Is largely the result not of the force of the blow but from an incredibly
timely blow contacting the chest directly over the heart at just the wrong
time -- the precise millisecond between heart contractions that throws the
heart into a lethal abnormal heart rhythm called "ventricular
fibrillation" or VF, which causes a useless quivering of the heart that
results in a complete cessation of circulation instantly depriving the brain
and other vital organs without circulation and oxygen. The blows usually
causes no identifiable structural injury to the ribs, sternum or to the heart
Occurs most often in healthy young athletes, who are especially
at risk because the pliability of their chest walls. In a study of 55 cases of
sudden cardiac arrest, 90% were 16 years of age or younger, 25 were playing in
organized athletic events such as baseball, softball, and ice hockey. The
remaining 30 children were playing informal sports at home, school or on the
playground. None of the children showed evidence of any heart defect or
It Cannot be completely eliminated through the use of protective
equipment. Chest protectors do not appear to protect against it: athletes have
died wearing chest protectors while playing baseball, lacrosse, hockey and
softball. Studies have shown that the use of softer, lighter baseballs
may reduce the risk of commotio cordis. Softer, heavier (so-called
Reduction In Force or "RIF") baseballs may actually increase
the risk of commotio cordis.
Has a survival rate that declines by approximately 7 to 10% for every
additional minute that passes without defibrillation. After 12 minutes, the
time Emergency Medical Service (EMS) paramedics typically arrive, it is
usually too late (the national survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)
is a dismal 5%. In some cities it is as low as 1 to 2%.
Requires community-based programs using automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
if the survival rate is to be increased. When defibrillation is delivered in
one minute, the reported survival rates can be as high as 90%. For
defibrillation within 5 minutes, the survival rate can be as high as 50%.
This is not to scare you but make you aware so you can take action quickly
should you see such an event. For more info see: http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic3019.htm
WinWhatWhere Investigator from WinWhatWhere Corporation
One-click download link
(note: clicking this link will begin the download)
To keep an eye on that and where you kids are on the internet, get this
program. It will collect window titles, urls, keystrokes, time, date,
and more. You get the information in a report. It is free for a 14 day
trial. Then you will have to pay $100 for the full version. You don't
have to pay if you don't want to use it. If your teens are having
problems, this is good.
Don't be afraid to keep an eye on your teens if they are giving you
trouble. Know what they are saying to their friends and which friends
are influencing them. I have no problem with parents putting a recorder
on the phone to see what they are saying. You can get the kind of
phone recorder that comes on when someone is on the phone anywhere in the
house. Parents have found out their teen was going to sneak out Sat night
after every one had gone to bed. One found out that their teen was
considering suicide. Some have found out their teen was sexually active
or pregnant. Teens do not have the right to privacy. They are a
minor. I would only do these steps if they were having allot of
Also have a dress code. If your teen wears the type of clothes that
the "bad" kids wear, then expect them to hang with that crowd and
start acting bad.
Tooth knocked out or loosened.
- If tooth is traumatized and not loose, just watch it.
- If the tooth is loose but in socket and not chipped, then give liquids only
and see the dentist the next day to "splint" it.
- If the tooth is chipped badly, see the dentist the next day.
- If the tooth is knocked out, rinse it but do not scrub.
- Best is to put it into the socket and push in till it is in position.
- Next best is to put it into milk and see the Dentist in the next 2 hours.
- Next best is to keep it in saliva in the mouth and see the Dentist in 2
· Injuries to the teeth
Types of Teeth Injuries
· Loosened Tooth: If mild, it usually tightens up on its own (may
bleed a little from the gums).
· Displaced Tooth: Any tooth that has been pushed out of normal
position (displaced) needs to be seen by a dentist to assess the damage.
Displaced teeth that interfere with biting, chewing, or closing of the mouth
need to be repositioned within 4 hours for reasons of comfort and function.
Mild displacement can wait for 24 hours for assessment.
· Knocked-out Tooth: This is a dental emergency. The knocked-out tooth
needs to be placed back in its socket at soon as possible, ideally within one
· Chipped or Fractured Tooth: All need to seen by a dentist. A
fracture that enters into the pulp (center) of a tooth is referred to as
complicated; the tooth is usually painful or sensitive to hot and cold. You
may be able to identify a complicated tooth fracture by noticing a small red
dot or pink blush (the pulp) in the fractured area. To prevent permanent tooth
damage, fractures into the pulp need to be treated within 3-4 hours.
FIRST AID for Knocked-out Tooth
· To save the tooth, it must be put back in its socket as soon as
possible (2 hours is the outer limit for survival). Use the following
- Rinse off the tooth with saliva or water. Do not scrub the tooth.
- Replace it in the socket facing the correct way.
- Press down on the tooth with your thumb until the crown is level with
the adjacent tooth.
- Lastly, bite down on a wad of cloth to stabilize the tooth until you
can be seen by a dentist.
Transporting a Knocked-out Tooth
· Follow these instructions if you are not able to put the tooth back
in its socket.
- It is very important to keep the tooth moist. Do not let it dry out.
- Transport the tooth in saliva or milk.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR TOOTH INJURY
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
· Knocked out (unconscious)
· Major bleeding that can't be stopped
Call Your Dentist Now (night or day) If
· You think you have a serious injury
· Knocked-out tooth (see First Aid and Transport information)
· Tooth is almost falling out
· Tooth is greatly pushed out of its normal position
· Tooth that's pushed out of its normal position interferes with
· Chipped tooth is missing a large piece, or a red dot is visible
inside the chipped area
· Bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
· Severe pain
Call Your Dentist Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
· You think you need to be seen
· Tooth is slightly pushed out of its normal position
· Can see a chip or fracture line in the tooth
· Tooth sensitive to cold fluids
· Tooth feels very loose when you try to move it
Call Your Dentist During Weekday Office Hours If
· You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home If
· Minor tooth injury and you don't think you need to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR DENTAL INJURIES
1. Local Cold: For pain, apply a piece of ice or a Popsicle to the
injured gum area for 20 minutes.
2. Pain Medication: For pain relief, take acetaminophen every 4-6 hours
(e.g. Tylenol; adult dosage 650 mg) OR ibuprofen every 6-8 hours (e.g. Advil,
Motrin; adult dosage 400 mg).
· Do not take ibuprofen if you have stomach problems, kidney disease,
or other contraindications to using this type of anti-inflammatory drug. Do
not use if pregnant. Do not use ibuprofen for longer than 7 days without
consulting your PCP.
· Do not take acetaminophen if you have liver disease.
· Read the package instructions thoroughly on all medications that you
3. Soft Diet: If you have any loose teeth, eat a soft diet for 3 days.
After 3 days, they should be tightening up.
4. Call Your Dentist If:
· Pain becomes severe
· Tooth becomes sensitive to hot or cold fluids
· Tooth becomes a darker color
· You become worse or develop any of the "Call Your Doctor"
From: David Thompson, MD, FACEP
Studies of children 15-17 years old showed that more were turned off
to sex and drugs than were influenced to change their moral
attitudes. 33% said it caused them to discuss it with their
parents. I think they see in movies what their morals are really
inside. If they are brought up with proper attitudes, then they see
how immoral behavior is bad for kids as seen in movies. If their
morals are of that persuasion then the movies moved them farther in that
direction. Just as there are many authors who feel that children who
have better morals choose better friends that have the same morals. The
children with bad morals did not make other kids bad. They had
bad morals to begin with and they chose to hang with those kids who also had
All that said, I do think kids can be influenced by TV and music. Be
very careful about the media that your children are exposed to and when
there are bad things happening on TV or in real life, then point out how it is
bad and how you do not approve of it. "Brain wash" your
children into your moral values.
Also, the clothes do make a difference. If your children want to wear
the baggy black clothes that the "bad" kids wear, then they will
hang with them and be influenced by them. Have your dress code at home
and enforce it.
WHAT THE BICYCLE HATH WROUGHT (written in 1900)
"The bicycle, with its recently invented brakes
and pneumatic tires, was seen by doomsayers as just another nail in the coffin
of civilization. Women were riding bicycles, contributing to the decline of
morals and accelerating the collapse of social harmony. Newfangled sports,
rambling, and cycling threatened rank, order, and culture …..
Newly obtrusive and newly mobile criminals, robbers, bag-snatchers,
muggers, gangsters, and hooligans ... use bikes to rob and stab and make their
getaway. Juvenile delinquency is rife. Indeed, a lot of activities are
publicized and a lot of notions are bandied about that come to us with a
familiar sound: aggression, perversion, homosexuality, incest, drugs,
immigrants, nerves, neurasthenia, depravity, unemployment, loneliness,
isolation, transgression, anomie, and urbanization. Urban predators run wild
in the streets, children brandish knives and pistols, parents are indifferent
to the moral and physical well being of their offspring, and the uncouth
masses gain access to the precincts of their betters."
Even Socrates complained about the youth and how they were so disrespectful
and how they are lazy and terrible. He said the society is crumbling and
the future is bleak. Sound familiar? Most of us worry about
the future of our nation and the youth of our country. I think it
is going to be OK because of the many "good" kids out
there that you do not hear about. I worry about the general decline of
our morals as adults and the example we set. Lets all try not to do
the Enron thing.
MMR Vaccination Not Associated With Autism in Large Danish Study
By Steven Reinberg
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Nov 06 - The results of a large population-based
study provide "strong evidence" that the measles, mumps and rubella
(MMR) vaccine is not a cause of autism.
"There was a lack of association between MMR vaccination and autism no
matter how we looked at our data," lead researcher Dr. Kreesten Meldgaard
Madsen told Reuters Health.
The risk of autism remained similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated children
after taking into account factors such as birth weight, gestational age,
socioeconomic status, mother's education and gender, Dr. Madsen added.
Dr. Madsen from the Danish Epidemiology Science Center, Arhus, and
colleagues collected data on 537,303 children born in Denmark between January
1, 1991 and December 31, 1998. Among these children, 440,655 had received the
After adjusting for confounding factors, the relative risk of autism was
less among vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children.
"Few studies, if any, can be said to be conclusive. But I think this
is as close as we can get, at least with the Danish population-based
registries," Dr. Madsen stressed. "There is no reason to believe
that MMR vaccination causes autism."
The findings by Madsen et al. support those of another recent study by
Finnish researchers, which appeared in the November issue of Pediatrics. In
their cohort of 535,544 children, the Finnish team found that MMR vaccination
was not associated with the incidence of autism, encephalitis or aseptic
meningitis (see Reuters Health report November 4, 2002).
N Engl J Med 2002;347:1477-1482.
It is interesting how we make correlations and put the cause on what we
want it to be. There was a statement about how walkers and exersaucers caused
the infants to be late in walking and slowed their development. But actually
the infants with delayed walking had to use the walker longer rather than it
causing the delay. We thought that ear infections and fluid caused delayed
speech but it turns out it doesn’t. Many children have delayed speech with
normal ears and visa versa. We just liked to blame it on the ears rather than
it was just a child with delayed speech. Many orthodontists say now that thumb
sucking did not cause over bite. We see many children who have an overbite
that did not suck their thumb and many kids who suck their thumb whose teeth
are fine. We just love to blame it on something. So teething does not cause
fever, wind blowing in the ear does not cause ear infections, and the black
cat did not cause the bad luck. Come on people, think critically …. Think
what else could cause this?
Most great discoveries were not associated with the expression
"Eureka! I found it!" but was started with "Hey… that’s
weird. What is that?"
There now is very good anti-cheat detection software. Some high schools and
many colleges are using this to detect plagiarism. A leading company of
anti-plagiarism software called Turnitin has seen a 25% increase in business
this year. Around 150,000 students in America are under its beady electronic
eye. This software chops each paper submitted for scrutiny into small pieces
and gets a "digital fingerprint". It then searches for cheats. It is
interesting that good universities such as Duke, Reuters, and Cornell employ
it and those that think of themselves as top-notch, such as Princeton, Yale,
and Stanford, do not.
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100
people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look
something like the following.
There would be:
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 would be Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be
from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
(ONE)1 would be near death;
(ONE)1 would be near birth;
(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education;
(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer.
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need
for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
And, therefore . . .
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead
and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish
someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest,
torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of
imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead
of 500 million people in the world.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two
billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
Here in the most prosperous and generous nation this is the time of the year we are the most charitable. Happy Holiday Seasons to everyone.
Strabismus is where the eyes do not line up straight. If the turn in
they are called crossed eyed. If they do that transiently then it is a sign of
lazy eye and the doctor needs to know it. If they are stuck that way all
the time, it is from birth and they need surgery. But the skin fold of
the eye can cover the white of the eye and it appears to be crossed and it is
not really turned in. The first picture is a patient with true crossed
eyes and the light reflects off the center of one pupil but off center of the
other pupil. In the second and third pictures you will see that the eyes
may looked crossed but the light reflects off the center of both eyes.
The eyes are therefore straight and nothing needs to be done.
RUDOLPH THE Red-Nosed REINDEER
In 1938, as the Great Depression Wound down and even as the prospect of
better times loomed on the horizon, Bob May was looking toward another bleak
Christmas. An advertising copywriter for Montgomery Wards, living on a meager
salary, May was on the brink of bankruptcy and exhaustion. After fighting
cancer for two long years, his wife, Evelyn, was losing the battle. Staring in
to each other's eyes, they both knew she wouldn't last long. Their daughter
knew something was wrong too.
On a cold December night, after visiting her bedridden, emaciated mother,
their four-year-old Barbara, climbed up into her father's lap. "Why isn't
my mommy just like everybody else's mommy?" she solemnly asked.
How could he explain to a small child that her critically ill mother wanted
to play with Barbara, read her stories and more than anything in the world-be
with her for every important moment in life? Flow could he tell an
innocent-girl that illness and death were a part of life? That Evelyn wanted
to believe other mothers, but illness had excluded her from all the activities
that children and their mothers normally enjoyed? How could he give her the
answers she needed without breaking little Barbara's heart in the process?
In their drafty, two-room Chicago apartment, with the cold north wind
rattling the windows, Bob May held his daughter in his arms and struggled to
answer the child's simple question. He recalled the pain he had always felt
growing up because he had been considered different. May had been a small,
thin child, constantly picked-on by other children, called "sissy"
and other names he didn't want to remember. Even in college he was so slightly
built that he was often mistaken for a boy.
Despite having a college degree, the country's sorry financial state had
made it almost impossible for May to find any other job than the position at
Wards that was far beneath his skill level. Yet when he found Evelyn and they
fell in love and married, Bob suddenly felt like a king. For the first time he
had a place in the world where it was all right to not fit the mold. Their
daughter's birth seemed to assure the man that good times were just around the
corner. But then Evelyn got sick and the cost of fighting the cancer stole not
only his wife's energy but the family's savings as well. Bob sold everything
of value and they lived in what amounted to a Slum.
But on that cold, windy night, even with every reason to cry and complain,
Bob wanted his daughter to somehow understand that there was hope ... and that
being different didn't mean you had to be ashamed. Most of all, he wanted her
to know she was loved. Drawing from his own life experiences, the copywriter
made up a story about a reindeer with a large, bright red nose. And as little
Barbara listened, May described in story form not only the pain felt by those
who were different but also the joy that can be found when someone discovers
his special place in the world.
The tale was a big hit with Barbara, and thereafter she demanded that her
father tell it to her each night. With every new telling the plot grew more
elaborate, and the reindeer, Rudolph, became less a fictional character and
more a member of the May family.
Unable to purchase a gift for Barbara that Christmas, Bob decided to
carefully craft his story about Rudolph into a homemade book, drawing on his
own abilities as an artist for the pictures, Many evenings after his wife and
daughter had gone to sleep, Bob carefully worked to finish his unique present.
But tragedy struck the May family before Christmas could arrive: Evelyn lost
her battle with cancer.
Though the last few pages of his gift book were stained with tears, Bob
Would not give up on Rudolph. He knew that his daughter needed the uplifting
story now more than ever. He prayed for the strength to finish the project.
His efforts were rewarded when a thrilled Barbara found a completed copy of Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer waiting for her on Christmas morning.
Though he hardly felt like celebrating, a few days later Bob was forced to
attend a Montgomery Wards' employee party. His coworkers in the ad department
asked May to share his children's story that night. Though he didn't feel like
it, he took his book and, at the appointed moment, climbed before the crowd
and read the story. After the scores of holiday revelers laughed, they stood
and gave May and his children's tale a thunderous ovation, they all loved Rudolph
and wanted copies of their own.
The head of the company felt that Wards could benefit from Bob's gift to
his daughter. For a modest sum, Stewell Avery, the chairman of the board of
Montgomery Wards, bought all rights from the cash-strapped and debt-ridden
May. Avery then had tens of thousands of copies of Rudolph printed and
shipped to Wards stores across the nation in time for Christmas 1939. The
response was so positive that for the next six years, each child who visited a
Santa in a company store got a copy of May's book.
By 1946 Wards had given away six million copies of Rudolph and
Stewell Avery was being besieged by offers from every major publishing house
wanting to print a new version of the story. in one of the most generous
decisions ever made by the head of a large company, the CEO gave all rights
back to Bob May. A year later the mass-market release of the book made the
Wards copywriter a rich man.
With the book a best-seller, numerous toy and product deals were soon cut
and May's entire life revolved around a story he had told to comfort a worried
daughter. Remarried, and with a growing family, Bob couldn't imagine anything
else that could improve his wonderful life. Then his brother-in-law, Johnny
Marks, decided to adapt the story into a song.
Marks, who had written music for a number of major recording stars, hoped
that the "Voice of Christmas," Bing Crosby, would record the song
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." When Crosby passed, Marks offered
the song to Dinah Shore. She wasn't interested either. Other artists were
given the demo, but none of them wanted it. Finally cowboy star Gene Autry was
approached. Marks figured that Autry might be looking for a follow-up to his
earlier Christmas hit, "Here Comes Santa Claus." Besides, Gene,
unlike Bing and Dinah, often sang kids' songs. Children were his main
Like Crosby, Shore, and the other artists, Autry was unimpressed. He had
already discovered a song he felt would become a seasonal children's classic
in "if It Doesn't Snow This Christmas." There was no doubt that the
favored title was a great song and a perfect children's single, but Marks
begged Gene to give "Rudolph" a second listen. The writer figured
that Autry might find a place for the misunderstood reindeer on the
"B" side of the record.
Gene took Marks's demo home and played it for his wife, Ina. As they
listened, Autry scoffed that there were already too many songs about reindeer,
Ina thought differently. When she heard the line "they wouldn't let poor
Rudolph play in any reindeer games," it broke her heart. She insisted
that her husband cut the song,
Columbia Records wanted Autry to record four sides (songs) for a Christmas
release. "Rudolph" was the last song chosen and cut. A few weeks
later, when Autry sang "Rudolph" at the Madison Square Garden rodeo,
the crowd went wild. As the cowboy's fans rose to their feet, the underdog
deer flew past the other three new Christmas cuts and became the singer's
holiday release for 1949. While Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore looked on, Gene
Autry's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" streaked to number one on
the charts. it would soon become the second best-selling Christmas song of all
time, just behind "White Christmas."
Through books, records, television specials, and movies, for tens of
millions of children of all ages, Rudolph has become as much a symbol for the
secular wonder of the Christmas season as Santa Claus. While there are many
lessons to be learned from this magical story-including that while it takes
courage to be different, being different can be a blessing-there is an even
greater lesson from this story and song that is now all but forgotten: When
You give a sincere gift of love from the heart, that gift will come back to
you magnified beyond all expectations and measures. It is a lesson that the
fictional Rudolph and the very real may family are still living more than six
decades after the story was first told.
Interesting story from Ace Collins book "Stories behind the Best Loved
Songs of Christmas. Many great books and other works have started as a
personal act toward our own children. Thomas the Train started when a father
made up stories of a train to tell his boy who was laid up for weeks with the
measles in the 1940s. His wife encouraged him to print them up and the rest is
history. So when your wife says you should produce your handywork… trust