A COVID Overview

Emily Oster

13 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

A COVID Overview

Emily Oster

13 min Read

We all probably understand the “basics” of COVID-19. It’s a respiratory illness, kind of like a cold, or the flu, although sometimes with unusual symptoms (loss of sense of smell?!). If you get it you may get sick, possibly very sick, although the vast majority of infections are very mild or produce no symptoms (asymptomatic). But this basic understanding neglects a lot of details. This explainer will walk through the path of SARS-CoV-2, the scientific name of the virus that causes COVID-19 (the name of the disease), infection from exposure (when the person gets in contact with the virus) to the end of the infection. We’ll try to be clear on what we know, and what we don’t, and where we hope to learn more.

Step 1: Exposure

COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. The droplets are relatively heavy and are thought to travel no further than 6 feet; they will then fall and deposit on the floor or other surfaces. This is the source of the 6 feet distancing rules. Is it exactly six feet, or could they possibly go farther or less far? This is a source of debate and ongoing research. What we can say with some confidence is they can certainly travel some distance, and there are also some clear limits.

After an infected person coughs or sneezes the droplets, small droplets remain suspended in the air for 30 minutes while larger droplets fall onto nearby surfaces where they may survive for a short time. In the lab, studies have shown that COVID-19 can survive less than 4 hours on copper, less than 24 hours on cardboard, and less than 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel. This is in lab conditions; it may be less time in the real world.

The virus can be killed by household disinfectants; if it lands on a surface and then someone washes that surface with Lysol, it’s dead. It should be noted that it is unlikely the small droplets floating in the air will get on your clothes as you walk by since natural aerodynamics will push these droplets around you, instead of on you, as you walk.

Putting this together, there are a number of ways you can be exposed to the virus. By far the most common way to get significant viral exposure is through one on one contact. That is, through someone who is infected with COVID-19 sneezing, coughing, or breathing on you. Through someone coughing into their hand and then shaking yours. Through someone picking their nose or their teeth or licking their finger to turn the page of a book and then touching you. And then you touching your nose or mouth so the virus enters your airways.

It is also possible to be exposed indirectly. Imagine that someone infected with COVID-19 at the grocery store coughs into their hand, picks up a box of salad, realizes it is not the one they want, and then you pick it up right after. Or the take-out delivery guy touches the bag with his hand and then you touch it. However, the probability of exposure here is simply much, much less than the direct person to person contact. With less contact time and less contact surface, there is less chance of picking up an infected virus particle (also called a “viron”).

Much of the advice that we hear about avoiding COVID is also centered around lowering the probability of exposure, and therefore of infection. If you wash your hands regularly, it decreases the chance that a virus particle reaches your face. If you wear a mask, you lower the probability that you cough virus particles on others (if you are infected). Wearing a mask also discourages you from touching your face. In the salad box example, even if you touch the infected box, if you get home and wash your hands before you touch your face, no viral exposure. The mask lowers the probability.

Social distancing recommendations work on probabilities the same way: if you are further away from people and do not touch them, you’re less likely to be in contact with an infected virus particle.

Step 2: Infection

Now let’s imagine that through one of these means an infectious virus particle enters your body. You are not automatically infected. Your body has a number of defensive barriers to prevent infection. For example, your upper respiratory tract contains mucus that sticks to and “grabs” unwanted particles such as dust, bacteria, and viruses. Hair-like structures called cilia line our airways and constantly move in a beating motion to expel the mucus and replace it with a new layer of mucus. Basically, your body works hard to get rid of viruses. In case a “virion” makes it to the lower airways it can be taken up by cells specialized to eat and degrade the virion, then alert the rest of your immune system. All of these defenses provide the first line of the host immune response against a range of airborne pathogens.

This means that the more virions that get in, the more likely infection is to occur. Currently, it isn’t clear how many SARS-CoV-2 particles are necessary to enter our body in order to cause an infection and this number is likely to vary across individuals. In addition, we should note that in order to be infectious, virions must be intact. When a virion sits out in the world — say, on a milk carton or cereal box at the store — it degrades. Once it is no longer intact, it retains some of the genetic material of the virus, but is too damaged to be infectious.

So, let’s say the virion makes it past our initial defenses — mucus and cilia — without getting expelled. Once it gets in, it’s got to get into your cells to reproduce. Why? A virus contains genetic material (either RNA or DNA — SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus) but it doesn’t have the machinery to copy itself. Instead, it needs to hijack the machinery of your cells to replicate.

To do this, it needs to get hold of cells and unlock them. Viruses can do this with the different “keys” it has on its surface. Different viruses have individualized keys that can unlock different cells in the human body. In the case of SARS-CoV2, we strongly suspect that the “lock” it can bind to on human cells is the ACE2 receptor. This ACE2 receptor is present throughout our airway and lungs, and possibly in the gastrointestinal tract. This could explain why COVID-19 presents with such a wide variety of symptoms.

The main target cells, though, are the cells that line our lungs. Once the virus locks onto a cell, it uses the cell’s own machinery to fuse and enter the cell. And then it gets to work.

The virus hijacks the cell’s machinery to replicate itself, by translating its genetic material (its RNA) into proteins that can assemble to form more viral particles. It uses parts of the cell (technically the “Golgi apparatus”) to package these proteins. The packages gather at the edge of the cell and then bud off to form new virus particles.

As these new virus particles exit the cell, the human cell it infected dies. Your cells die and replace themselves all the time, but having too many die at once can be a problem.

Step 3: Response + Recovery: Asymptomatic, Mild and Moderate Cases

This may sound scary, but it is important to remember that our body is used to this. You’ve very likely been infected with viruses before! And you have tools to deal with it. Your immune system gears up to fight. In fact, there are two separate immune responses: the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response.

Because your body hadn’t seen SARS-CoV-2 before — it’s “foreign” to your immune system — your body will not have a solid plan to deal with it right away. When it does recognize the virus, it deploys first the which consists of barrier defenses (such as the mucus and cilia and also tight junctions between cells), secreted chemicals, and white blood cells. There are several different types of key white blood cells — macrophages, dendritic cells, and neutrophils — and they all have slightly different methods of attack.

In general, though, these white blood cells are able to broadly recognize and attack a wide variety of organisms that can cause disease, whether they be bacteria, fungi, or viruses (like SARS-CoV2). In some cases white blood cells can identify your own cells that have been infected and induce them to kill themselves before the virus can get out.

The innate immune response causes some symptoms of illness. For example, our innate immune system produces a fever as both a means to kill the virus (higher temperature might make it harder for the virus to survive) and also as a signal to the rest of the immune system that it’s time to kick in.

Several days later (typically 4 to 7 days after exposure), the “adaptive immune response” enters the fight to support the initial innate response. This response is targeted rather than general — that is, it is a response that is specific to this virus. The adaptive immune response involves, for instance, the production of antibodies to the virus. These come in a few variants, all starting with “Ig” (short for immunoglobulin) and distinguished by their last letter (so you’ve got IgM, IgG, IgA…). They all have slightly different functions, but in the end they work together to kill the virus.

These immune responses are the same ones that your body deploys to fight all kinds of viruses (the flu, measles, etc, etc). And for a large share of COVID-19 cases, this immune response is enough to deal with the virus. This is especially true if the virus is contained to the upper respiratory tract (causing symptoms such as sore throat, cough, fever, etc.) You’ll get mild symptoms, the antibodies will fight the virus, you’ll feel kind of crummy (or maybe not — a large share of infections are asymptomatic) and then it will be over.

It is important to be clear: the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild or moderate. Initial estimates from China suggested at least 80% were mild. When we look at kids (again, from China) it looks like over 90% have mild, moderate or asymptomatic cases. A variety of data — from pregnant women, cruise ships and so on — point to a very large share of cases being totally asymptomatic.

Once you recover from the virus, your body retains some antibodies, plus the cells which know how to produce more if they are needed. This helps your body respond faster if exposed again. If you want to know more about this, head over to our Immunity Explainer.

Step 3B: Response & Possible Recovery in Severe and Fatal Cases

In many cases of COVID-19, both the innate and adaptive immune response effectively keep the virus at bay. In other cases, they can’t and as the virus continues to spread, the immune response becomes more frantic and problematic. This is more likely to happen for those who are immunocompromised (literally, their immune system is compromised and unable to respond effectively) or have pre-existing health conditions. It can also happen to those who are healthy, although much less frequently. We do not well understand why some people get sicker than others, although this is a topic for ongoing research.

In these more serious cases, the virus infects the lower respiratory tract and moves into the lungs. Chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and a deep cough signal that the virus has resulted in damage within the lower respiratory tract. Infection and inflammation of the lungs is referred to as pneumonia, which can be severe and fatal. It’s typically diagnosed with a chest X-ray, although doctors can often tell by listening to a patient breathe if there is fluid in their lungs. This fluid is a result of inflammation triggered by infection and this fluid buildup in the lungs compromises your ability to breathe.

The real danger happens at the very bottom of our respiratory tract in balloon-like structures called alveoli. Alveoli are surrounded by a net-like arrangement of blood vessels with which they exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. The walls on our alveoli are extremely thin so that oxygen can diffuse into these blood vessels when we breathe in and carbon dioxide can diffuse from the blood vessels back into our alveoli when we breathe out. If alveoli don’t function properly, our body can’t get rid of carbon dioxide and is starved of oxygen.

In other people, the immune response can be too extreme. When your body produces antibodies, it also produces another type of molecule to fight the virus, called a cytokine. These cytokines are useful because they can help recruit and ramp up the activity of the cells which produce antibodies. This can be good, since it can get the immune response to go faster, to do more. On the other hand, it can be damaging: if you ramp up the immune system too much, it can lead to too much inflammation and unwanted damage to your own tissues. Your own cells die and the overall lungs infrastructure can be damaged. The alveoli (those really important balloon-like structures at the bottom of our lungs) can no longer exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, and you go into respiratory failure unless you have a ventilator to help you breathe.

The worst-case scenario is one where your immune system sends cells beyond the lungs, potentially bringing the uncontrolled inflammation elsewhere. These immune cells and their production of cytokines can start attacking other organs and lead to multiple organ failure. In this case, death can occur.

But we should emphasize again: this happens in only a small share of cases. Most people have mild or moderate infection and the body’s innate immune response or the adaptive response successfully protects you against the virus. And even in severe cases, the science of treatment is improving all the time. There is a tremendous amount of active research on COVID-19 treatment options, and more innovations are coming online all the time. Many people who get very, very sick do go on to recover.

Stage 4: Recovery & Immunity

Once you recover from COVID-19, your body retains the memory of having had it. This is helpful since your cells are then ready to fight again if you are re-exposed. You don’t have to ramp up as much of an immune response since you already have some antibodies and you have cells prepped to make more.

To understand a bit more about how immunity works — what we know and what we don’t — head over to the Immunity Explainer.

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NO QUARANTINES!!!

Emily Oster

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Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster

Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster
...

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months. 

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages. 

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months.

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages.

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords
...

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit.

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit. ...

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata
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What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata

What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

 #emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

#emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids
...

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes
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Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices. 

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata

Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices.

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster
...

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there! 

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there!

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife
...

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens. 

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children. 

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens.

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children.

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata
...

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips
...

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
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As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData! 

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData!

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity
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Just eat your Cheerios and move on.

Just eat your Cheerios and move on. ...

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide
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It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents

It was an absolute pleasure to be featured on the @tamronhallshow! We talked about all things data-driven parenting and, in this clip, what I call the plague of secret parenting. To balance having a career and having a family, we can’t hide the fact that we’re parents. If mothers and fathers at the top can speak more openly about child-care obligations, it will help us all set a new precedent.

Watch the full segment at the link in my bio 🔗

#tamronhall #tamronhallshow #emilyoster #parentingsupport #workingparents
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