I got the COVID Vaccine because …


I received the Moderna vaccine on Jan 6th. I had some soreness at the site that evening, and was absolutely fine the next day.

A few months ago, I was skeptical and concerned about a vaccine coming out so quickly. I asked my oldest child, a biomedical engineer, what he thought. He’s all about the science and he answered all my questions.

1) The reason vaccines take so long to be approved is due to the FDA, funding, and bureaucratic hoops built into the system. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines did ALL the appropriate trials, for the necessary amount of time, with enough folks to obtain the required safety and efficacy (effectiveness) information. In the vaccine world, ‘long term’ side effects are limited to 2 months post vaccine.

2) The “new” technology used in the COVID vaccine is not experimental. It has been in development for years. This is just the first time it’s been on the market, for all the above reasons.

3) My brilliant child is super excited about the way the vaccine works. He hates needles, has never gotten a flu shot, and says he will get the COVID vaccine as soon as it’s available to him. He’s envious of those who have already received it.​ He had COVID in April and was sick as a dog for 10 days.

All the “info” out there about 5G tracking, infertility, and changing our DNA, is made-up nonsense, without ANY basis in fact or science.

But I do understand the fear and reluctance. I understand the total lack of trust. Especially for those of us who are Black and Brown. This country has a long ugly history of medical racism – Google Tuskegee syphilis trials, sterilization without consent, and Henrietta Lacks. Many of us have been taught “you go to the hospital to die”. We don’t trust medicine, we don’t take medicine, we’ve had the experience of our health concerns being dismissed and our illnesses ignored. That’s all very real.

However, at the end of the day, I got the vaccine for ONE reason. I don’t want to get COVID. I see children with COVID every day. I’ve heard too many first-hand stories about how bad it can be. Everyone is at risk of a poor outcome and I don’t want to be one of those who develops complications and ends up in the hospital. Because if that happens, I will be ALONE. I don’t want to grieve my life and not be able to say good-bye to my children and hold their hands. I don’t want to put my kids or my loved ones through that horror. I don’t want them to worry, be afraid, or be heartbroken and helpless. Because THAT is the fact of COVID.

There’s no way vaccine side effects can be worse than the reality of COVID-19.

– Michelle Patrick, M.S.N, C.P.N.P.

School Essentials for Essential Kids – Donate Now

The Children’s Medical Group has been caring for the children of the Mid Hudson Valley for generations. When COVID struck and the schools went virtual, many of our children were lacking the basic supplies to learn from home. Teachers were frustrated that even when they could connect with students, the kids did not have the simple essentials such as pencils, crayons, or scissors that could help the teachers guide their students at home. These items are especially needed to teach the youngest elementary students how to read and write, add and subtract.

This problem was felt most strongly in families with limited resources or whose parents were essential workers, many from the City of Poughkeepsie and other communities in our area.

The Children’s Medical Group team would like your help in our effort to help our kids and their teachers and families. We are raising funds to buy these supplies and assemble packages to give out to the youngest students if classrooms are forced go online again this year. $10 will buy all of the supplies needed for each child. We will purchase, assemble and distribute these items to our youngest and neediest students as soon as the need arises.

This is an ambitious project. We hope to help thousands of kids. Every dollar sent will go straight to the purchase of supplies. All work will be done by volunteers from our staff and community.

At CMG, we say, “We take care of kids.” Our commitment to our children goes far beyond taking care of their medical needs, especially this year. We love our kids. Please help us help them.

Bathroom Safety

baby in bath towel

Bath time is a fun and playful time for your child or toddler, but it is important to keep their safety in mind. The bathroom has many unsafe substances and surfaces that can be harmful to your little one. The easiest way to prevent injuries is to make the bathroom inaccessible to them without adult supervision, which can be done by using a child lock. However, even while under adult supervision, you should take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries from happening to your child.

Bathroom Safety Tips

  • Your child should be under adult supervision at all times while in the bathroom. If you must leave the bathroom for any reason, always take your child with you. Children can drown in only a few inches of water and bath seats and rings will not prevent drowning. Make sure you gather all the bath time necessities such as towels, shampoo, soap, rubber duckies, etc., before starting the bath to avoid having to leave the room. Also, never leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use.
  • Slips and falls can easily happen in a bathroom. To prevent this, you can install no-slip strips on the bottom of the bathtub. You can also put a soft cover on the water faucet so that your child does not hurt their head if they bump into it. Curious children may be fascinated by the toilet and want to play in it. Not only is this unsanitary, but your child could slip and fall into it which makes this also a drowning hazard. To avoid this from happening, you can install a toilet lid lock.
  • Make sure your water temperature is not set over 120°F to prevent scalding. Always test the water temperature before putting your child in the tub. It is also important to teach your child to turn the cold water on first when they are old enough to use the faucets alone.
  • Medicines should also have child-resistant caps to prevent your child from opening the bottles. However, just because a medicine bottle has a child-resistant cap doesn’t mean it is childproof. Make sure medicine and toiletries are always locked away and out of reach of children when they are not in use.
  • Just like medicine and toiletries, electrical appliances used in a bathroom, such as hair dryers and razors, should also be locked away and out of reach of children. If they are not in use, be sure to unplug them and put them away properly. To avoid electric injury resulting from electrical items falling in a sink or tub, it’s better to use electrical items in a room where there is no water.

Source:   Healthy Children

Winter Car Safety

Winter Car Safety

As the days get chillier, it’s natural for parents to want to bundle up their babies in layers of clothes and puffy coats. However, these fluffy jackets might be making your infant more unsafe once they get strapped in their car seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a winter coat can compress in the event you get into an accident, creating extra room between your child and their car seat’s harness. Without the straps being appropriately secured, a child can be thrown from the seat upon impact.

It’s important to be educated on the best way to make sure your baby is safe and warm in the back seat:

  1. Be prepared
    Always have backup blankets, mittens, and hats stowed in the car in case of an emergency. This is also a good thing to keep in mind if there’s inclement weather and your baby gets wet in rain or snow.
  2. Use a blanket or poncho
    It’s important not to use anything to cover your baby that would be wrapped around the baby under their harness straps. Though you might feel inclined to wrap an infant up to keep him warm, putting extra padding behind them in the seat is unsafe. Draping a blanket over your baby is safe to do.
  3. Bring the car seat inside between drives
    Bringing the carrier portion of your infant’s car seat indoors while not in the car can keep your child from losing body heat when they immediately get in the car. It’ll help keep them warmer for a bit longer. If you choose to do this, it’s important to leave the house in advance so that you don’t rush strapping your child back in place.
  4. Make sure the straps are tight enough
    Straps should be tight enough so that you cannot pinch the straps, but loose enough so that you can fit one finger in between the strap and your baby. Therefore, it’s important to take off bulky layers so that you are not misled to believe the straps are tight enough.
  5. Dress in layers
    Layers enable you to put tighter clothing on your child’s body as a base to then put heavier sweaters or jackets on top that can be removed for safety. It’s important to keep in mind that infants usually need one extra layer compared to what you might feel comfortable wearing.

Car seats are meticulously tested for crash scenarios, so it’s important that you do not use any products that “add” to the car seat. Items like sleeping bags or stroller accessories can compromise the safety of the car seat.

Grandparent Daycare

grandparents holding their grandchildren

Becoming a grandparent is one of the most rewarding and fun parts of growing older. The innocence and sense of wonder that your grandchildren possess can make you feel young again. Being a grandparent is exciting, but it’s also a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. If you are in charge of watching your grandchildren while their parents are away, here are some tips to keep the little ones safe and sound.

Child Care Tips for Grandparents

  • You are more than just their babysitter. Grandparents can play an important role in any child’s life. Your knowledge, values, and stories can impact their lives and play a crucial role in their learning process. Your teachings can follow them to adulthood and influence who they become.
  • If you assist in dropping off or picking up your grandchildren from a childcare center or babysitter, there are a couple things you should do. First, make sure that you introduce yourself and provide the babysitter or childcare center with your contact information should an issue or emergency occur. Next, while you are there you should determine the quality of the facility and make sure it is up to your and your grandchildren’s parents’ standards. Lastly, make sure the child is properly buckled and in the appropriate car seat at all times.
  • Learn about new medical discoveries through your children, your grandchildren’s pediatrician, and other credible sources. Medicine and childcare are constantly evolving, and it is important to know the latest childcare and medical practices. What may have been the best method when you were raising your own children may not be the best practice now.
  • Make sure that your medications are out of reach and properly secure so that your grandchildren can’t get to them. It’s easy to forget to put something away that is part of your daily routine, so making the conscious effort to properly store potentially dangerous medicines, cleaners, etc., is a wise choice. Children are curious and will get into anything and everything.

Source:  Healthy Children

Daycare Drop-Off Tips

baby playing with toys at daycare

Dropping off your child at daycare can be challenging for everyone involved. You and your child may experience separation anxiety and that is normal, but it is important to find ways to overcome that anxiety. Here are some tips to make it easier for the both of you each morning.

Early Infancy

The truth is, at this stage daycare drop off is probably going to be harder on the parent than the baby. Usually, the infant can be anywhere from 0 to 7 months old and needs to be cared for and comforted, but it’s unlikely the baby will experience separation anxiety. The infant should transition quite easily to a daycare employee but the parent may be the one experiencing separation anxiety. Over time, you will find you become more comfortable with it.

Seven to Twelve Months

During this stage, your baby is anywhere from 7- to 12-months old. At this age it is normal for your baby to be weary of getting handed off to a stranger. Between the new environment and the new people, your baby may become reluctant to leave your arms. It is recommended that you do not begin childcare at this age when possible, but if you have to, slowly transition into it. To help the transition process, try creating a goodbye routine and keep it consistent from day to day.

One to Two Years Old

This age range is when your child is going to have the most difficulty being dropped off at daycare. Their separation anxiety peaks between the ages of one and two and they may kick and scream to prevent you from leaving. The toddler often thinks you will not return and will become upset when you walk away. It is important to reassure them that you will be back to get them and that everything is going to be okay. While you want to comfort them, it is important to stay firm when doing so. Once you leave the room, don’t come back in if they begin to cry.

Not every child is the same and some may experience separation anxiety at different ages. No matter their age, it is important to stay consistent and be specific, keep your promises and create short, fun goodbye routines.

Source: Healthy Children

Curfews & Growing Up

teens sitting together on a wall

Everyone is a teenager at one point in their lives and chances are at that time, you wanted to stay out late and have fun with friends. The story seems to be the same time and time again; parents want their teens home by a reasonable time and teens do not always oblige. This is where curfew enforcement comes into play.

Implementing curfews

Curfews are a great way to create routine in the household. Whether it be for your young child or teenager, curfews set standards and help hold everyone accountable. For those with younger children, practice getting them showered and in bed 10 to 15 minutes before “lights out” at 8:30-9:30pm. This type of curfew should be a piece of cake compared to enforcing one with your teen.

As your children grow up, they’ll become preteens and you’ll start to notice how they start to ask for more time out with their friends. A common question you’ll be asked as the parent is, “What time should I be home?”

For some parents, having a set curfew that never changes except under special circumstances might work, and for others, having a fluid curfew and discussing it with your teen each time they go out may work, too. No matter your parenting style, make sure communication is clear and open and make sure that the curfew set is not open for interpretation once discussed.

Enforcing the curfew

Now that you have set a curfew, it’s time to stick by it. Don’t let those last-minute, late-night calls asking to stay out later or sleep over a friend’s house fool you. The only way to get your teens to respect not only the curfew, but also you as the parent, is to enforce it. If they come rolling in around 11pm, make sure they check in with you before going to bed. Make it clear that there will be consequences if the curfew is broken. The purpose of setting a curfew is not to make your teen’s life miserable, but to keep them safe and teach them what responsibility, self-control and time management are.

Source: Healthy Children

Finding the Right Childcare Center

child care center

There are many things to consider when searching for the right childcare center for your son or daughter. Not only is enrolling your child in childcare an investment, but you must feel comfortable enough to trust your child with them while you are at work. Whether it’s called a childcare center, preschool, learning center or nursery school, make sure you do your research before settling. Obvious factors like hours and price are rarely overlooked, but other features like qualifications, communication and references are often overlooked, and they should not be. Note: as measles is making a comeback, ask if the daycare allows unvaccinated children. If it does, look elsewhere.


Hours: One of the first things to consider when researching childcare centers is the hours. Do they fit your needs? Is there flexibility if you have to work late? What about vacations and holidays?

Price: A big deciding factor will be the fee. How much will it cost for your child or children? Are there any extra/hidden fees? How are the payments made? Weekly, monthly? Do they accept state aid? What is included in the cost?

Qualifications/Staffing: Are the staff highly trained and certified (CPR/First Aid, infant care, early-childhood education)? Are they staying up to date with annual certifications and trainings? What is the adult-to-child ratio? How many children are in a room at one time? Can the childcare center provide you with health and safety inspection reports?

Is there a qualified health professional on call for the children? How often do they visit? The national standard recommends that a health professional should make a visit to childcare programs with infants and toddlers once a month, and every three months for all other programs.

Visiting and Communication: Visiting the center before deciding can be helpful – does the center allow that? Once enrolled, can you visit at any time? Are visitors screened and approved before entering the childcare center? As for communication, do they provide feedback to you about your child(ren)? When it comes to discipline, is it similar and in line with how you discipline your child(ren) at home?

Policies/ References/ Licenses: What are the center’s written policies for health standards, nutrition, discipline, transportation, media, outdoor play, etc.? Is the center licensed, accredited or registered with local government agencies as required? What is the drop-off and pick-up policy? Can the childcare center give you a reference list of current parents that you can contact?

This may seem like a lot to consider, but all of these factors are important when making the best childcare choice for your son or daughter. Do your research, take your time, and take into account online reviews and references to help you make the right decision. Creating a checklist with the above questions for the childcare centers you are considering is a good place to start.


Healthy Children

Teaching Children The Importance Of Giving Back

Child's craft

At The Children’s Medical Group, we have locations throughout the Hudson Valley. Each town we serve has its own unique personality and local needs. Still, one of the things that makes this area so special is that we all share a common love for the nearby natural areas and the Hudson Valley community at large.

While there are parts of this area that struggle with poverty, there are many organizations that work to meet the needs of our community, as well as individuals who make a difference in the lives of our children.

Responsibility of Parents

Though our lives are incredibly busy, it is important to take a step back to remember what really matters. The communities our kids are brought up in contribute to who they are, and there are ways as a parent that you can become a leader in the community and a hero in their eyes.

  1. Show kindness – though we don’t know all of our neighbors, all of our neighbors deserve respect. When kids see how a role model treats others, they begin to mirror that behavior.
  2. Be an advocate – the power of sharing positive stories in the community with local news outlets can change the way people perceive young people in public. So often only the worst of the worst and the best of the best is reported, which skews how we think of one another. Sharing with local journalists about a classroom research project or a way in which your child’s extracurriculars are making a positive difference could have an immeasurable, positive ripple effect.
  3. Instill the importance of giving back – volunteering from a young age can have a profound effect on children. It helps them understand people who come from another perspective and teach them that no matter how much or how little they have, a community is made stronger when we all pitch in to help one another.

When you foster the importance of charitability within your child it has a profound impact on the way they view the world for the rest of their lives. It helps create more resilient communities and empowers each child to see how their actions have effects on the people who live around them. Get involved in any way you can today through something your child is interested in. Here are some ideas:

  • Soup kitchen – does your child love cooking and baking shows, or love to help in the kitchen? Help them prepare a dish to donate to a local organization or show up to help prepare food at local soup kitchens. Check out all the good that The Lunch Box does in Dutchess County.
  • Animal shelter – is your child always asking for a puppy? Take them to the local shelter so they can see firsthand how much responsibility is involved, and give back in the process. Hudson Valley SPCA and Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary are great places to start.
  • Clothing donations – kids grow out of clothing quickly. Take your child with you when you donate clothes, such as to United Way’s Children’s Corner so they can see how the whole community comes together to give back and the impact that can have.


Healthy Children