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Author: Phyllis Agran, MD, MPH

The COVID-19 Pandemic Isn’t Over Yet … And Our Children Are Most at Risk

Over the past month, California and Orange County cases of COVID-19 have increased. As the CDC has repeated, this is now a pandemic largely of the unvaccinated.

As long as there are unvaccinated individuals, the highly contagious and highly transmissible Delta variant will continue to spread throughout the community, and new variants will continue to emerge.

In order to stop the spread of this deadly virus once and for all, we must encourage everyone we know to get vaccinated, including children 12 years of age and older.

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Should Your Child Take Swim Lessons Before Being Vaccinated?

Parents have begun asking pediatricians if their children — who are too young to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — can take swim lessons this summer.

The answer is yes, swimming is a great family activity! It’s good exercise and a life-saving skill. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends water safety and swim lessons for all children as a layer of protection against drowning.

While a COVID-19 vaccine for younger children is not yet available, taking extra precautions can help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure during swim lessons.

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Yes, Children as Young as 12 Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccines are proving to be the way to navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it is important to vaccinate those eligible as quickly as possible. Currently, just under half of the residents in Orange County are fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine is now available for children 12 years of age and older. The majority of those working in the medical field have already had our children and grandchildren vaccinated. I encourage other parents to do this as well.

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This Pool Season: One More Drowning is One Too Many

It’s that time of the year again — pool season!  As temperatures rise, there’s nothing more fun for kids to do than splash away in the nearest pool. However, we must also be aware of the dangers that come with access to swimming pools. 

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death among children ages 1-4 here in Orange County.

Every year, we hear tragic stories about accidental drownings in backyard pools.  A 4-sided pool fence would prevent most of these tragedies from occurring.

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A Discriminatory Trend That Has Somehow Become Acceptable Behavior: Ageism

Like many Americans, I’ve witnessed anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism up close.

Today, I’m witnessing another form of discrimination that has, sadly, somehow become acceptable behavior. I am talking about ageism.

Our country no longer seems to appreciate — or even acknowledge — that our parents and our grandparents created most of the civil rights breakthroughs and opportunities we enjoy today.

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