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Donít let kids down: Vaccinate them

As parents, providing a happy and healthy life for your child is a top priority. Vaccination is one of the most important ways parents can protect their child’s health. Today, we have the resources to do even more for our youngest kids by immunizing them against 14 serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

Immunization coverage rates among children in the United States continues to improve for many vaccines, yet some parents choose not to vaccinate their infants. Most of today’s parents have never seen these infectious diseases and the suffering they can cause. However, these are not diseases of the past, and making the choice not to vaccinate can have serious consequences.

While it may seem like a personal choice not to vaccinate your child, this choice will increase the risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses to all children, family members and others in the community.

Be sure your children are up to date on their vaccinations. Effective immunization is a shared responsibility and families, health care providers, schools and public health clinics must collaborate to protect the entire community.

Our children depend on their parents and doctors to keep them healthy and safe. Let’s not let them down.

DR. CAROLYN LYTLE President DR. NANCY SWIGONSKI Vice president American Academy of Pediatrics, Indiana Chapter SARAH STRAWBRIDGE Executive director Indiana Immunization Coalition

Technology too much of a distraction

Technology in our society today is taking the spotlight away from important things in life.

Many students are distracted by the latest technology at school; they cannot focus on their studies. Numerous teachers in America agree that students do not pay attention to the lesson when there is a screen in front of them. Teenagers spend an average of two hours a day online; they should be using that time to look over their homework, read, or study for a test.

Families are growing apart. Forty-three percent of American families eat dinner together, according to the Journal of American Medicine; however, some distractions have been added. For example, parents give their children iPads at restaurants to keep them quiet. Some teenagers would rather play violent video games than eat supper with their family. A study directed by the American Psychological Association showed that violent games increase kids’ aggression and numb their minds to the effects of violence.

Lastly, Americans are not getting enough exercise. More than 40 studies have shown that technology increases obesity in children. Kids need to get off of the couch, play outdoors and interact with God’s beautiful creation.

People today are too distracted by technology to concentrate on the simple things in life. Is it really that difficult to limit our use of technology?

CHLOE BREMER New Haven Grade 7

Tax cuts would spark growth

This is a reply to David Sowards’ letter (April 18) blaming the wealthy for not paying their share of taxes. In 2007 the richest 3 percent of Americans contributed a larger share of tax revenue than any year since 1960.

For more than half its income, the federal government relies on the top 3 percent of taxpayers. The Treasury Department has concluded that the top not only make a disproportionate contribution to the nation’s wealth; they also pay a higher proportion of their collective income than those at the lower end. In 2007 the top 1 percent made 22 percent of all earned national income, but contributed 40 percent of all personal income tax revenue.

Higher taxes for the rich is not the answer. When President Reagan cut taxes, federal tax revenue nearly doubled. The cuts helped the economy to grow and created a lot of new jobs. The wealthy had incentive to spend their capital instead of sheltering it. This is a much better way of getting our economy growing than the current approach, which seems to be tax more and spend even more yet.

With President Obama the debt grew 60 percent in his first term, and the debt is projected to keep right on climbing. The president needs to realize that we have a spending problem and not just lack of revenue from our current tax rates. Higher tax rates will only kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

And if you are still looking for someone to blame for the way the economy is, I would suggest Barney Frank. If you have no income, banks should not be forced to make loans that they know will never get repaid. Thanks, Freddy and Fanny.

MARK A. COOK Fort Wayne