Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 08-19-2013 to 08-25-2013

twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 30 events & stories.

PedSafe Top Headline of the Week:

The ABCs of birth marks – how to identify the small minority of marks that could cause problems over time

PedSafe Headline of the Week #2:

Parents Be Aware – Teens are anonymously posting cruel remarks about themselves on social media as a form of digital self-harming Very scary!

ADHD, Interceptive Orthodontics and Children

Essential Sleep Habits for KidsEverybody knows the importance of sleep, even more so when it comes to the development of your child. Studies as recent as July of this year show that almost one third of the pediatric population suffers from some type of sleep related problem. Restlessness, bedwetting, sleep apnea, and tooth grinding are examples. If left untreated, these poor sleeping patterns can have a negative impact on the development of your child and may lead to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, anxiety, and moodiness. In fact a recent study completed in Finland in 2009 showed that short sleep was associated with higher readings for ADHD and inattention.

So how can a dental appliance that was initially designed to just straighten teeth also promote better sleeping patterns? Enter Ortho-tain, a company who manufactures two interceptive orthodontic/orthopedic appliances: Nite-Guide and Occlus-O-Guide. While both appliances are used to help straighten teeth, they also help promote the downward and outward growth and development of the upper and lower jaw. In doing so the protrusion of the lower jaw promotes airway expansion allowing for a better quality of sleep. A lot of the sleeping problems mentioned earlier are associated with the poor delivery of oxygen. By expanding the child’s airway, more oxygen is delivered and a healthier sleep pattern is established. Additionally, both devices are worn at nighttime and promote nasal breathing by forming a seal at the opening of the mouth. This helps eliminate tooth grinding and reduce snoring habits in the child allowing for a healthier sleep.

What about the teeth straightening?

Outside of the benefits related to sleeping in children, both devices also provide an excellent course of treatment for many forms of malocclusion in children. When it comes to teeth straightening, many parents do not consider orthodontic treatment for their kids until they reach adolescence, typically around 12 years old. That means starting treatment when the teeth are already in a crowded position, so then the child will have to go to full metal braces to correct the problem. Early orthodontic treatment, between ages 5 and 7, has been shown to easily and effectively prevent future, more painful orthodontic problems. This may allow your child to avoid discomfort and embarrassment because of traditional braces.

Interceptive orthodontics is the definition we give to diagnose a condition in a young child,orthotain appliance from the age of about 5 to 10, where there is going to become an orthodontic problem. By interceding, or intercepting, this potential problem, we can ensure that there will be enough room needed for the permanent teeth to come through and position themselves correctly. Clinical studies show that early childhood orthodontic treatment greatly reduces the need for fixed orthodontic treatment (aka metal braces) or TMJ therapy later in life.

Must-See Texting and Driving Video Tells Stories from the Heart

Texting while DrivingIf you and your older children haven’t yet seen the new texting and driving documentary, “From One Second to the Next,” you really should. While, at 35 minutes, it may be a bit long for kids to want to sit through, the searing emotional stories told from the perspective of victims and their families – and even from those whose text messages caused the loss of life – make this a unique and riveting film.

Made by acclaimed director, Werner Herzog, who – according to IMDb – was voted the 35th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, this film tells the story of four disturbing and horrific accidents through the people who were impacted or involved, including even the police who responded to the scenes, rather than resorting to visual displays of the tragic accidents. The result is still sometimes difficult to watch, but probably more impactful in the end. You can access the full documentary and also shorter clips via YouTube – and your children may end up seeing it at school as the corporate cell phone sponsors are making 40,000 copies available to government agencies, schools and safety organizations.

The National Safety Council estimates that 100,000 car crashes annually are related to texting and driving, while cell phone conversations are implicated in 12 times as many accidents. This documentary is a potent message about the need to remain “distraction-free” while driving – one which both teens and parents need to hear.

5 Germ Hot Spots You Need to Clean for Family Health

Clean those germ hot spotsHome is where the heart is – not to mention the dirt, dust, bacteria and mold. “Most people clean what they can see, but there’s a lot more to cleaning a home than just wiping down your bureau,” says Richard Symes of Clenz Philly, an eco-friendly home and commercial cleaning service in New Jersey and Philadelphia. The payoff to a more thorough clean: better air quality, fewer allergy symptoms, a house you can show off to your guests, and best of all, peace of mind.

Here are five germ hot spots you’re probably missing when you clean, and the most powerful tools to add to your cleaning arsenal today.

Germ Hot Spot No. 1: Your Front Door

According to Symes, 85 percent of the germs and dirt in your house come in through the front door. Keep them out! Double-team them by placing a doormat outside your door and in your house. Shuffle your feet on the mat before you enter, then remove your shoes once inside.

Germ Hot Spot No. 2: Corners, Cracks and Creases

First, steel yourself. Then, look high — in ceiling corners, on top of shades, blinds and picture frames, and on the blades of ceiling fans — and you’ll find neglected dust. Next, look low — under baseboards, under furniture and in the corners of kitchens and bathrooms — and you’ll probably see colonies of dust bunnies and layers of dirt and grime. Don’t let them continue to thrive. Do a top-to-bottom house cleaning every other week (more frequently if you have kids and pets, especially shedders).

Germ Hot Spot No. 3: Beds and Furniture

Millions of microorganisms live in your mattress. Their dead cells and feces (you read right) are the No. 1 cause of allergies in a home, says Symes. Get your bed and pillows steam-cleaned once a year to sterilize your sleeping environment; wash sheets once a week and duvet covers once a month. Get your couches and upholstery professionally cleaned every six months to a year too. And don’t forget your curtains: wash or dry-clean them every few months. In between, lay them on the floor and vacuum lightly or do a couple of passes with a lint brush or lint roller.

Germ Hot Spot No. 4: Showerheads

Potentially disease-causing germs can get trapped in showerheads and grow into biofilm, a layer of slime that delivers a bacteria blast along with your hot water. Clean the showerhead with a wire brush every week and replace it every year to prevent germy buildup.

Germ Hot Spot No. 5: Sponges and Dishtowels

Moisture and bits of food on clingy surfaces make these common kitchen items a dangerous source of E. coli, salmonella and other virulent bacteria, not to mention yeasts and molds. Rinse sponges after every cleaning with soap and water, and disinfect them once or twice weekly by zapping them in the microwave for 60 seconds. Wash all towels weekly to avoid mold spores.

Cleaning Tools You Need

You don’t have to break your back struggling to reach corners or spend days cleaning. These tools will help you get the job done faster – and get better results:

  • Grout brush: It gives you access to areas that a sponge or cloth can’t reach — corners, under baseboards and around window locks. Just spray with household cleaner, brush and wipe.
  • Steam machine: High-pressure steam naturally disinfects and cleans tile surfaces. It works by flushing the dirt out rather than packing it in.
  • Microfiber cloths: They’re made with loops that act like tiny claws, gripping and holding dust — not kicking it back into the air like cotton cloths do. You don’t even need to spray!
  • Vacuum with HEPA filter: Unlike standard vacuum bags, which are fine for collecting small chunks of stuff, HEPA filters suck up dust, retaining 99.9 percent of the small particles they encounter.
  • Air Freshener: An air freshener that eliminates cooking, pet and other household odors instead of masking them can transform your house from seeming lived-in to feeling brand-new. To find this type of product, look for the ingredient cyclodextrin. Then finish your cleaning by spraying down rooms, breathe deep and say hello to the fresh scents of spring at anytime!

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 08-12-2013 to 08-18-2013

twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 events & stories.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

New method for diagnosing children’s lung conditions
Amazing possibilities for future early-diagnosis of respiratory diseases

Make Your Family Vacation Safe, Secure and Fun

Vacation - packed and readyVacation is a fun and exciting time. For a family with children who are finally old enough to travel, it could be the first vacation that the parents have had in years. Unfortunately, vacations have unique pitfalls that must be avoided to have a safe and fun holiday.

Follow these tips to keep your getaway from getting out of hand.

Hydrated and shaded

When going on vacation to a sunny beach or a scenic hiking trail, we often get caught up in the beauty of nature and forget the inherent hazards that it can pose to its admirers. Those dangers include sun damage and dehydration.

In warmer climates, dehydration becomes a serious threat, especially to small children. Get a water bottle for everyone in the family and make sure that everyone drinks their fill several times a day.

Not only can the heat dry us out, but sunburns can develop quickly, especially on a child’s delicate skin. When outdoors, wear sunscreen. Plan your outdoor excursions for the morning and the evenings, and try to spend the hottest hours of the day inside. If you can’t avoid being out in the sun, find wide-brimmed hats for you and your children.

A secure arrival

Vacations are a lot of fun when you arrive safely and on time. When on a long road trip, sometimes you can get lost. Not only does getting lost cut into your leisure time, but it can pose a hazard when you begin to travel in unfamiliar territory.

Always bring a map when travelling. If possible, bring a GPS unit or a smartphone that is capable of GPS tracking. Try to avoid letting your gas tank slip below half-full, just in case.

If you’re vacationing in a large city, bring along a copy of bus schedules and use them when possible. Not only does it cut your greenhouse gas emissions, but buses hardly ever get lost.

First aid within reach

Young children are particularly prone to bumps, bruises and all sorts of small injuries. Being on vacation doesn’t exempt them from that fact.

Always travel with a first aid kit in your car. If you’re flying, taking the train or going by boat, carry a small first aid kit with you. Before you leave for your destination, find the locations of nearby hospitals just in case something more serious occurs.

Crowd control

If you pick a vacation spot that is teeming with people, you should speak with your child about crowd safety to ensure that you don’t get separated. Preparation is the key to addressing this kind of serious travel mishap.

Teach them to hold your hand when in a crowd and stay close to you at all times. If possible, avoid the crowds all together by moving around them, or by visiting the attractions during off-peak hours. If avoiding the crowd isn’t possible, you can pick your child up and carry them if necessary.

Sometimes the worst happens even when you do all that you can to prevent it. Before you leave the hotel room in the morning, talk with your children about what to do if they get lost. Tell them to seek help from a responsible adult immediately. Make sure they carry contact information. It can be a card that you slip into their shoe, a wristband with your phone number on it, or even a phone number written in Sharpie on their inner arm. If possible, include a current photograph of the family so your child can quickly get assistance in finding you.

If your child is lost, get help quickly. Find someone in charge and give them a description of your child, including what they are wearing.

Prepare for enjoyment

By taking the time to prepare before going on vacation, you can prevent many of the potential security problems that you may face. Vacation is a time for fun and relaxation, and with proper preparation you can set your mind at ease.