Every Christmas, the men and women of NORAD take a break from tracking the skies and waterways of North America and instead follow Santa Claus on his annual Christmas trek around the globe. You can check out Saint Nick's progress live online at NORAD's special Santa Tracking website, www.noradsanta.org. You can also track Santa on a mobile app available for iOS,Android, or Windows devices.
NORAD's tradition of tracking Santa's route started in 1955, when a local Sears store in Colorado Springs printed the wrong phone number in a Christmastime advertisement for children to call Santa. The phone number was in fact that of the CONAD (the predececessor of NORAD, which took over the tradition in 1958) operations hotline, and the staff under Colonel Harry Shoup responded with good humor and gave the children who called in updates on Santa's position.
It goes without saying that there's been a lot of upsetting and downright saddening news lately from around the globe, especially in Japan and the Middle East. How does exposure to this bad news affect your children? Marin marriage and family therapist Kate Brennan offers some insight on how to help children during events like these.
In the last few weeks we have seen the Middle East begin to make dramatic shifts and tragedy has stricken our neighbors across the Pacific in Japan and New Zealand. Events are unfolding across the globe it seems in rapid succession lately. There is hardly time to process an event before another seems to unfold. This can stir inside us a sense of our own vulnerability and powerlessness. It is useless to ignore the impact that this has on our lives and losing all hope doesn’t seem like a good option either. What do we tell our children (if anything) about these events? How do we stay connected to our children during times of stress?
Here'a a brief Q&A about the "swine flu," otherwise known as the H1N1 influenza, from regular Marin Mommies guest contributor and Marin pediatrician Steven Martel, MD, FAAP. Dr. Martel is a pediatrician with Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an unique house-call pediatric practice in Marin County and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.childslightpediatrics.com,
"Swine flu" refers to a specific type A influenza virus, H1N1.
What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 flu in people? The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to that of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Uncommonly, some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
How do you test for H1N1 flu? The nasal passage is rubbed using a special cotton tipped swab and sent to the lab.
Who should be tested for H1N1 flu? Those who exhibit the symptoms of flu and have fever should discuss the appropriateness of testing with their health care provider. Optimally, testing should occur within a few days of onset of symptoms since treatment should commence within 4-5 days of symptom onset.
How do I avoid H1N1 flu? Avoid people with respiratory symptoms or illnesses. Wash your hands with soap or alcohol based sanitizers. Non-alcohol based sanitizers may not be effective. Previous seasonal flu vaccination does not confer immunity.
How long is someone with H1N1 flu contagious? The disease can be transmitted beginning one day prior to onset of symptoms up to 7 days after becoming sick.
Is there a treatment for H1N1 flu? Nearly all cases in the U.S. have been mild to moderate in severity. H1N1 flu can be treated with one of two different antiviral medications that are used to treat typical seasonal flu. There is no need to maintain an individual supply since those requesting treatment of confirmed H1N1 can receive the medicine from the local Department of Public Health or hospital pharmacies.
Currently the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus causes serious health outcomes for:
Healthy young people from birth through age 24
Adults 25 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions