Booster Shots

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And from the stuff-you-might-need file

July 19, 2008 |  9:00 am


* The author of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" has come up with a pamphlet, "What You Need to Know about Your Child's Vaccinations." It offers a list of the recommended immunizations, a place to keep up with the schedule of vaccinations and the answers to some basic questions. It's not as helpful as the book, giving short shrift to possible side effects and other fears parents might have. But, hey, it's a pamphlet. And the information includes practical advice on making the experience less traumatic for your little ones. You can get it free online, in English and Spanish.

* If you're bewildered by those lab reports, enlightenment is at hand. Prevailing health advice is to get copies of all your tests and records and scans, but when it comes to deciphering them, you're largely on your own. Lab Tests Online, described as a collaboration of professional societies, can help you decide whether to panic over a prostate-specific antigen level of 5 ng/ml. (Less than 4 ng/ml is considered normal.) Or what you can expect to learn from C-peptide tests, a lipid profile, pretty much anything.

... Those came across my desk. This next one, I went looking for. Obviously, most people don't keep up with the inner workings of the L.A. Times, as does say the ever-fascinating (to Times employees especially) L.A. Observed. But for those who do, the connection will be obvious. For those who don't, well, you have your own stresses, I'm sure.

* Helpguide is here for you. It says this about stress relief: "The body's natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels. What's more, they also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life's curveballs."

It goes on to offer tips and resources on these and other relaxation methods. There's nothing about bourbon.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo credit: Everett Kennedy Brown / EPA