Yesterday, driving to work I heard NPR state that there are now 66 cases of Chikungunya in the Dallas area.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. Serious complications are not common.
There is no cure for the disease. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.
The best means of prevention is overall mosquito control and the avoidance of bites by any infected mosquitoes. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. Wearing bite-proof long sleeves and trousers also offers protection.
Scientists have discovered that young children that consume soft drinks have problems with aggression, attention problem and withdrawal behavior. Soda has long been linked with aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts in adolescents.
Researchers assessed approximately 3,000 5-year-old children enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. 43 percent of the children consumed at least one serving of soft drinks every day. Another four percent consumed four or more. In addition, the researchers found that aggression, withdrawal and attention problems were associated with soda consumption.
Scientists found that those who drank four or more soft drinks per day were twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights and physically attack people. These children also had increased attention problems and withdrawal behavior when compared to those who didn’t drink soda.
The nature of the association between soda and behavior problems is unclear but it does show that there is an effect. Think again. Is your child’s behavior and mental health more important or is drinking Soda. If you want him/her to stop Sodas, stop drinking it yourself before you advocate to your child.
1. FDA DOES NOT HAVE TO APPROVE ALL COSMETICS BEFORE THEY GO ON THE MARKET.
Unlike drug companies, cosmetic companies may use almost any ingredient they choose, with these exceptions:
· There are a few substances that are not allowed to be used in cosmetics.
· All color additives must be approved for their intended use. For example, a particular color additive may only be used in an eye shadow if it is approved for cosmetic use, including the area of the eyes. Many colors even have to be "certified" by FDA. That means that samples from each batch must pass special testing for purity in FDA’s own labs before they may be used.
· If a product or its ingredients have not been shown to be safe, the product is supposed to have this warning statement on the label:
"Warning: The safety of this product has not been determined."
2. USING MASCARA THE WRONG WAY CAN CAUSE EYE INJURIES AND INFECTIONS – EVEN BLINDNESS.
The most serious risk from mascara is scratching your eye with the mascara wand, then getting an infection from germs on the wand.
To use mascara safely, follow these rules:
· Never apply mascara in a car, bus, plane or any other moving vehicle. It’s easy to scratch your eye if you hit a bump or come to a sudden stop.
· If mascara gets dried up, don’t add water or – even worse – (yuck) spit into it to moisten it. This can add germs that may grow and cause an infection.
· As mascara gets old, it is more likely to have germs growing in it. Throw it out after three months.
· Don’t share mascara – not even with your best friend. You might be sharing germs that way.
· Remove all mascara, and any other make-up, before you go to bed. Bits of mascara can flake into your eyes and cause an infection.
3. IT’S NOT OK TO USE HAIR DYES ON YOUR EYEBROWS AND EYELASHES.
Never use hair dyes on the eyebrows and eyelashes. Doing this can cause blindness.
There are approved, safe colors for mascara and eyebrow pencils, but no hair dyes are approved for tinting or dyeing the eyebrows or eyelashes.
4. TATTOOS ARE GENERALLY PERMANENT.
Lasers have made it easier to lighten tattoos, but it’s not as easy or as reliable as many people think.
Lightening a tattoo generally takes several treatments and can be expensive.
Also, some tattoo colors are harder to remove than others. Laser treatments can turn some tattoos darker instead of lighter, or change them to a different color.
The same goes for "permanent makeup," which is a kind of tattoo. It depends on what ingredients went into the tattoo ink to produce the color.
But it can be hard to find out what’s in tattoo inks because they usually don’t have ingredients listed on the label.
Very often, even the tattooist doesn’t know what’s in the tattoo ink because the company that made it considers the formula a trade secret.
FDA has not approved any color additives for injection into your skin.
Although it happens only very rarely, some people may have an allergic reaction to the dyes used for tattooing. Imagine being allergic to something that’s been injected into your skin.
Speaking of forever, how often do you change your mind about your hair, your earrings, or the clothes you like to wear? It’s not so easy when you change your mind about a tattoo.
Although many "temporary tattoos" are legal, some — especially some of those imported from other countries — are illegal in the United States because they use color additives that are not approved for use on the skin.
FDA has had reports of people having allergic reactions to temporary tattoos.
What about henna temporary tattoos? Henna is a brown to reddish brown dye made from a plant. It is approved only for use on the hair, not the skin. If it is black, or any other color besides brown or reddish brown, it contains other ingredients. It also may contain other ingredients to make the stain darker, make the skin absorb the color more easily, or make the stain last longer.
Could these ingredients hurt you? It depends. Individuals are different and may be sensitive to different things. If you don’t know what the ingredients are, it’s impossible to tell what they might do if you put them on your skin.
5. "CRUELTY FREE" OR "NOT TESTED IN ANIMALS" DOES NOT MEAN THAT NO ANIMAL TESTING WAS DONE ON THE PRODUCT AND ITS INGREDIENTS.
Even if a product never was tested in animals, there’s a very good chance its ingredients were.
6: IF A PRODUCT IS LABELED "ALL NATURAL" OR "ORGANIC," IT’S PROBABLY NOT HYPOALLERGENIC.
Remember, poison ivy is all natural, too!
Another example, lanolin, from sheep’s wool, is a common natural ingredient in some moisturizers that sometimes causes allergic reactions.
CHOOSING PRODUCTS WITH THE CLAIM "DERMATOLOGIST TESTED" IS NOT A WAY TO AVOID AN ALLERGIC REACTION OR OTHER SKIN IRRITATION.
"Dermatologist tested" doesn’t really tell you much:
· Did the dermatologist work for the manufacturer?
· How many people was the product tested on?
· How long did the testing last?
· What were the results of the testing?
Avoid all chemicals on your skin as much as possible.
· Atropen (atropine autoinjector)
FDA has approved new dosage forms of the Atropen for use in children and adolescents exposed to certain nerve agents or insecticides. The Atropen has been approved since 1973 for use in adults. FDA Talk Paper(6/20/2003)
· Calcium-DTPA and Zinc-DTPA Information (For pediatric information, please view the labels.)
Conditions under which calcium-DTPA (Ca-DTPA) and zinc-DTPA (Zn-DTPA) can be found to be safe and effective for the treatment of internal contamination with plutonium, americium, or curium to increase the rates of elimination of these substances from the body. (9/12/2003)
1. Stay active. A healthy diet is built on a base of regular physical activity, which keeps calories in balance and weight in check.
2. Go with plants. Eating a plant-based diet is healthiest. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits. Cook with healthy plant oils, like olive and canola oil. Get most or all of your protein from beans, nuts and seeds, or tofu.
3. Pick healthy protein sources like fish and beans, not burgers and hot dogs. Eating fish, chicken, beans, or nuts in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. So limit red meat—beef, pork, or lamb—to twice a week or less. Avoid processed meat—bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and the like—since it strongly raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
4. Make your grains whole grains. Grains are not essential for good health. What’s essential is to make any grains you eat whole grains, since these have a gentler effect on blood sugar and insulin. Over time, eating whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta) in place of refined grains (white rice, white bread, white pasta) makes it easier to control weight and lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
5. Drink water, coffee, or tea—not sugary beverages—and drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. What you drink is as important to your health as what you eat. Water is the best choice, and coffee and tea also have health benefits. Sugary drinks are the worst choice, because they add empty calories, leading to weight gain, in addition to raising the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Limit milk and dairy to one to two servings per day, since high dairy intake can increase the risk of some diseases, and go easy on juice, since it is high in sugar.
Shaking legs in the living room on winter days or singing karaoke along with the radio, kids love listening and dancing to music.
Music is an universal language. Where you are, what you are and what your background is doesn’t matter. Good melody is something everyone can enjoy and understand.
There are tons of reasons to encourage this enthusiasm in children. Research shows that even premature babies and babies in womb respond to music.
Music boosts kids’ brain power:
"Studies show correlation between academic achievement with children who are exposed to music," says children Music specialist Meredith Legvande.
Music will improve their Memory:
"Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child’s learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development," says Maestro Marturelt a conductor composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony orchestra.
Music helps them socially:
Children learn musical skill in a group. They learn how to relate to music. It is a team work. They appreciate and learn together.
Music is a confidence builder:
"You need to work together in a group to make music," says Dotson Westphalen. In the process, music teaches them patience too.
Research shows that kids who are actively involved in music
· do better in reading
· learn co-ordination, goal-setting concentration and co-operation.
· are more likely to do better in math and science because music helps build reasoning skills and cognitive development, which are important to both.
· get along better with peers and have higher self-esteem.
One study demonstrated that 2nd grade students who were given key board training while also using math software scored higher on proportional math and fraction tests than students who used the software alone. Students who have been involved in public school music programs score higher on their SATs than those who don’t.
Music also helps in lowering stress. It also reduces pain for hospitalized kids.
Studies show that infants engage more to music and other rhythmically regular sounds than speech. Infants also exhibit tempo flexibility to some extent. For very young children music has power and meaning that go beyond words. Sharing music with kids is simply one more way to give love and receive love.
Key Message: Music is a natural therapy for a healthy growing child.
Environmental Working Group, an environmental health advocacy organization has released a list of 12 of the worst hormone-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals affects, mimics or interfere with the actions of hormones in the human body.
· Bisphenol A (BPA): Found commonly in plastics. Health problems include obesity, early puberty and miscarriage.
· Dioxin: Found in animal fatty tissue. It is linked to lower sperm count and other reproductive system effects. Chronic exposure to dioxins has been linked to immunological problems and cancer.
· Atrazine: Could cause tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation.
· Phthalates: found in detergents, plastic clothes, raincoats and personal care products, such as soaps, shampoos and nail polishes. Can affect the human reproductive system.
· Perchlorate: found in many produce and milk products. Affects the ability of the thyroid gland to make hormones.
· Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) or Fire retardants: disrupt thyroid activity, and lowers IQ.
· Lead: linked to brain damage, lower IQ, hearing loss and nervous system problems and lowers sex hormone level.
· Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs): found in no-stick cookware. linked to lower sperm quality, low birth weight and thyroid disease.
· Mercury: primarily found in fishes and seafood. Interferes with fetal brain development, woman’s ovulation, and can damage insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
· Arsenic: Enters through pesticides. Increases risks of bladder, lung and skin cancers.
I am increasingly seeing parents concerned that their child is ADHD because he/she is not listening to them. I am concerned with this trend of “labeling” the child for life. Labeling removes the opportunity to prevent and fix problems with non-medicine alternatives rather than resorting to pharma solutions.
The three key symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These symptoms typically interfere with the child’s functioning in social and academic settings. Children with ADHD have poor focusing and organization skills, which means, among other difficulties, that they have trouble organizing their belongings and tasks.
Parenting a child with true ADHD can pose special challenges but first realize that ADHD is not an end/period but a comma in the child’s life. Many famous, accomplished, and indeed brilliant people of the past and present have had ADHD.
Here is what you can do to Prevent and Manage ADHD:
1. To Prevent
· If you are concerned, communicate with the doctor. If a formal evaluation is needed, this evaluation will involve professionals from various disciplines to provide a comprehensive medical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial evaluation.
· Be Specific to your kids. Avoid vague or open-ended instructions such as “clean up your room” or “Be good”. Break down instructions of larger tasks into simple steps.
· Inconsistency. Children with ADHD respond well to a defined and predictable system of rewards and consequences.
· Pharma solution as the first step. Kids exhibit different degrees of ADHD and so the care not usually the same. Also most kids on ADHD medicines seem to lose the zest for life. Try parenting changes first.
· Big goals or addressing all behavioral issues at the same time. Set small attainable goals. Focus on one or two challenging behaviors at a time.
· Foods containing color additives like Yellow 5,6 or 13 and Red 3, 40 etc.
3. Follow this care:
· Set an established, while not inflexible, pattern for getting ready in the mornings, preparing for bedtime, and managing after-school homework. It helps the child to know what to expect. It’s very important to stick to the rules and provide fair and consistent rewards and consequences when the household rules are not followed.
· Hang the checklists in a conspicuous place and allow your child to check off completed items as they are done.
· Some parents find that purchasing a second set of textbooks for the home is useful for the child who frequently forgets to bring the proper materials home. They also keep homework space free of external distractions like television and video games.
· Pick a sport (that involve constant activity or motion) and that suits your child and his or her abilities. It is known to help.
· Take away distractions like TV, video games, and cell phones from their bed room. They interfere with sleep, which is critical for ADHD kids
· Avoid soda and caffeine from their diet. Try slight diet changes (gluten free, sugar free etc) to see if they perform better.
· Add Omega-3s to their diet instead. These are found in salmon, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, edamame, flaxseed seem to do good for ADHD.
The 2010 whooping cough outbreak in California may have been fueled, at least in part, by clusters of parents who refused to vaccinate their children, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed local rates of children entering kindergarten with "non-medical" vaccine exemptions, meaning parents or guardians applied for an exemption from school policies requiring vaccines due to personal beliefs, rather than for medical reasons. They compared these rates with rates of whooping cough in 2010, the year the state experienced awhooping cough outbreak that caused 9,120 cases and 10 deaths from the disease.
The researchers identified 39 areas, or clusters, with high rates of non-medical exemptions, as well as two large clusters of whooping cough (also called pertussis) cases.
In addition, areas within exemption clusters were more than twice as likely to overlap with pertussis case clusters than areas outside of exemption clusters.
The results held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect disease rates, such as population density.
San Diego County had a particularly high degree of overlap between clusters of exemptions and pertussis cases. There were 980 pertussis cases in the county, and the area in and around Escondido, a city in San Diego County, had more than 5,100 exemptions.
Many factors likely contributed to the 2010 California pertussis outbreak, including increased detection of cases, the fact that pertussis activity increases and decreases in cycles, and that protection offered by a new version of the pertussis vaccine wanes more quickly than that of the previous vaccine.
But the new findings suggest that vaccine refusal played a role as well, the researchers said. Although the overall rate of vaccination in California remained high (90 percent of kindergartners in 2010 were fully vaccinated), some regions had lower immunization rates, the researchers said. In 2010, some schools reported non-medical exemption rates as high as 84 percent.
"Our findings suggest that communities with large numbers of intentionally unvaccinated or undervaccinated persons can lead to pertussis outbreaks," the researchers wrote in the Sept. 30 issue of the journal Pediatrics.
"In the presence of limited vaccine effectiveness and waning immunity, sustained community level transmission can occur, putting those who are most susceptible to communicable diseases, such as young infants, at increased risk," said the researchers, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Emory University School of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health.
The researchers noted that non-medical exemptions for kindergartners are only a proxy for community level vaccination coverage. Future research should study how vaccine refusal contributes to pertussis outbreaks, the researchers said.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) claims that 223,000 lung cancer worldwide is from air pollution. And there os also convincing evidence that air pollution increases the risk of bladder cancer. IARC reviewed thousands of studies on air pollution tracking populations over decades and classified air pollution and "particulate matter" as Group 1 human carcinogens. That ranks them alongside more than 100 other known cancer-causing substances in IARC’s Group 1, including asbestos, plutonium, silica dust, ultraviolet radiation and tobacco smoke.
The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six common air pollutants. These commonly found air pollutants (also known as "criteria pollutants") are found all over the United States. They are particulate matter, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. Of the six pollutants, particle pollution and ground-level ozone are the most widespread health threats.
LEARN ABOUT AQI
The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you about the unhealthiness of your air.
AQI of 100 or below is decent. Anything above is dangerous. AQI of 200+ is infrequent. It also changes per the seasons.
· People with lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, can be particularly sensitive to ozone.
· Children are at higher risk from ozone exposure because they often play outdoors in warmer weather when ozone levels are higher, they are more likely to have asthma (which may be aggravated by ozone exposure), and their lungs are still developing.
Gluten is a composite of starch and proteins found in certain grassy grains like wheat, barley and rye.
The federal Food and Drug agency set a gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten free. It was similar to the level adopted in recent years by the European Union and Canada. The F.D.A. first proposed the 20 parts per million standard in 2007, and companies have used that limit as a guide for their products even before the new rule was published.
When eaten by people with celiac disease, gluten can trigger the production of antibodies that damage the lining of the small intestine.
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods.
EMPOWERING CHILDREN FOR GLUTEN FREE DIET
• Start reading labels early. Show children the word “wheat” on labels to help them recognize the word even before they can read. This helps to place the “blame” for not being able to eat a food item on the label rather than on the parent.
• Involve the Child in Meal Planning and Preparation: Children should be encouraged to participate in meal planning, purchasing groceries and preparation of meals. Young children can select produce at the grocery store, set the table, and help wash vegetables or fruits. Older children can help choose the menu, select grocery items, and make all or part of a meal by reading recipes and ingredient lists.
• Role play: Practicing what a child will say to an adult when offered a questionable food is important. Most parents teach their children to be polite and respectful to other adults and those in authority such as a teacher or parent volunteer. Saying “no” to such an adult will be difficult for a child if they do not know what to say.
• Identify “look-a-like” foods: It is very common for families to find “look-a-like” foods for the child. While this helps the child feel less isolated when eating with friends, or at parties, it is important to help
• the child understand that their foods are different. By understanding that their “look-a-like” food is not the same as regular foods (i.e., cupcakes), the child is better able to make safe choices when the parent is not available to help. For example, Mom may make “Rice Krispies Treats®” at home with a gluten-free rice cereal.
• Parents can set an example by maintaining a positive attitude. Even very young children look to their parents for emotional cues and strategies for handling stressful events.
WHAT TO EAT?
Gluten Free foods:
• unprocessed Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural form
• Fresh eggs
• Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
• Fruits and vegetables
• Most dairy products
It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives.
Each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries. That’s one child every three hours.
· Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, t-light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
· Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to prevent small children from accessing the battery.
· Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters. It only takes a minute and it could save a life.
· If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
· Enter the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) into your phone right now.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. Every year, more than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight minutes.
· Put medicines up and away and out of sight. Make sure that all medicines, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. (In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.)
· Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. (In 67% of cases, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser or found on the ground.)
· Consider products you might not think about as medicines. Most parents know to store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as diaper rash remedies or eye drops, which may not seem like medicine but can cause harm.
· Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Proper dosing is important, particularly for young children. Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Kitchen spoons aren’t all the same, and a teaspoon and tablespoon used for cooking won’t measure the same amount as the dosing device.
· Put the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) into your home and cell phone. You should also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s nice to have just in case.
A new report discovered something gross in our swimming pools.
Before you take your kid to a pool, be sure it is well maintained and has precautions against such health issues.
Read on and gross out. 🙂
A new report says that poop in public pools is common after researchers found genetic material from E. coli — bacteria normally found in the human gut and feces — in 58 percent of pools in the Atlantic area.
“Swimmers frequently introduced fecal material into pools,” the report said, adding that the icky bacteria comes from pool users not showering before diving in and incidents of defecation.
The CDC also found genetic material from bacteria called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, which can cause skin rashes and ear infections, in 59 percent of pools. Researchers said the bacteria may originate from the environment or swimmers.
While the study included 161 pools around ATL, officials noted their findings may not apply to all pools, but feel there’s little reason to think that contamination or swimmer hygiene practices differ between pools in the study and others throughout the country.
There were no samples that showed E. coli O157:H7, a toxin-producing E. coli strain that causes illness. Two parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which also spread through feces and cause diarrhea, were found in less than 2 percent of samples.
Chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly. CDC also recommends that parents of young children take children on a bathroom break every hour, or check diapers every 30 to 60 minutes.