November Medical Minute

November Medical Minute with ROR-KC Medical Director
Sallie Page-Goertz, MN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC

The year is streaking to a close. We’re heading into Thanksgiving season, and holiday marketing frenzies!  Those of you who support ROR-KC with gifts of time and treasure are why we are so thankful this year. We’re making our budget and we’re anticipating the ability to add several more clinics to our coalition thanks to your generous gifts. 

This is also the time of year when providers begin to feel stressed with the numbers of ill children. The New York Times headline: the Tridemic – Covid, Influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)! RSV infections started months earlier than usual, and children are being affected in numbers, overwhelming hospital systems in many communities including ours.

So, when we get to clinic for well child visits, it can be a big sigh of relief. The joy of watching little ones get their book, laugh at the stories, look at me or their parents as they are sharing their new book, is as they say, priceless! Nine-month-old Leah just started laughing while exploring her new animal book – her mom was pointing out the animals, naming them and asking Leah to point at them too! Definitely, raising a little girl who will be ready for kindergarten. Leah will learn so many new words from books that one doesn’t hear in day -to-day conversation. A recent article* mentioned that vocabulary size predicts later academic performance, behavioral regulation, and…even criminal convictions! So not only does one get the love from all of those snuggles, important brain building is happening that supports a child’s bright future!   For all the children attending our KC Metro pediatric clinic, you the donor are the key to helping that happen every day! As we approach this Thanksgiving season, know that ROR-KC is so grateful for each of you.

And putting my Nurse Practitioner hat on, a gentle reminder, or maybe not so gentle…. Are you immunized? Have you gotten all of the boosters you are eligible for yet? Vaccines continue to be important to reduce risk of serious infection, hospitalization and death for both Covid and Influenza. (Unfortunately, no effective RSV vaccine exists yet.)  Have you gotten you children their flu and Covid vaccines? Both are important to protect individuals as well as the community. Make sure you and your family get their Influenza immunization, and updated Covid boosters.

*Flack ZM, Field AP, Horst JS. 2018.The effects of storybook reading on word learning: A meta-analysis. Dev.Psych.54:1334-1346.

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