Here is a quick look at some headlines from this week impacting the lives of kids 0-5 and their families. The purpose of these stories is simply to inform, and they do not necessarily reflect First 5 Kern's areas of support or efforts towards these issues.

Follow First 5 Kern on social media for more kid-centric information.

Now for the headlines........

In response to a measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland a few years back , California altered the exemption law for vaccinations to require a medical waiver from a physician. But KQED reports that such waivers are on the rise, anyway, prompting worry in some locations throughout the state where rates have dropped "below the recommended vaccination rate for 'community immunity'."

Meanwhile, up the coast, Washington is dealing with their own outbreak of the measles, reportedly averaging a new case per day . Only one of the first 49 cases diagnosed was from a child who was confirmed to have received the MMR vaccine, which is on par with CDC estimates of 97% vaccination efficiency.

Additionally, NPR published an article this week from a medical anthropologist trying to understand "vaccine hesitancy."

Could the breastfeeding pod be the next global sensation? Two such pods have made news this week on opposite sides of the world.

The city of Kochi, located in southwest India, installed private breastfeeding pods in their metro rail stations. The pods provide a seat, lighting, fans, mobile device charging ports and an emergency alert sys tem. Guidelines about proper breastfeeding techniques have also been printed inside the pod for the mothers to see.

Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia installed a pod in the lobby of one of their medical facilities. It's not a first for the city, which also features the pods in their airport. The pods are larger than the ones in Kochi, handicapped accessible and with more than enough room for a stroller or luggage.

The ones in Philly are produced by a company called Mamava , based out of Vermont. And by the way, they are offering free shipping this month, in case you want one in your business. They have inflatable ones for temporary uses, as well.

At this point, it appears that the countdown is on toward paid family leave in the United States. Stories abound every week, including this one from the Washington Post about Ivanka Trump - the President's daughter - once again meeting with politicians to discuss the issue.

It actually seems that politicians on both sides of the aisle are poised to battle over who is going to get credit for passing paid family leave first. Recently announced presidential contender Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and a group led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) both are working toward this end, independently. Rubio and Trump worked together last summer to attempt the issue, but his proposal never got the traction.

Related: this article on why paid family leave is about more than taking care of babies , from Market Watch, is worth the read.

Before you ditch your friends because you think you're too busy with your baby , you will want to read this. Strong social ties to family and friends has been linked to better health in adults, and apparently those positive effects can be passed on to the kids as well. A study conducted by the University of Tennessee suggests that "early cognitive development is associated with social networks for the primary caregiver" outside of just relationships with mom & dad.

If you're into medical-speak, you can also read the full study here .

We have shared this story across our social platforms all week, but given that this is Safely Surrendered Baby Month , it bears repeating. A newborn baby - umbilical cord still attached - was found in the middle of an unlit road in Madera Monday morning . Discovered miraculously by a Fresno Bee newspaper carrier in the early morning darkness, surrounded by the frost-covered scenery of below-freezing temperatures, the baby was immediately taken to Valley Children's Hospital and is reportedly doing well. Meanwhile, law enforcement is searching for the mother.

The Safely Surrendered Baby law allows a legal alternative to abandonment: dropping the child off at a fire station or hospital, no questions asked.
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...about First 5 Kern
First 5 Kern was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated from the tobacco tax are used to fund local programs in the areas of health and wellness, early childcare and education, and parent education and support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero to five.

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Special thanks to Vecteezy for assistance on graphics