Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Before Meningitis Outbreak, Firm Avoided Sanctions
The pharmacy tied to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak that has raised questions about oversight of the customized drug mixing industry, newly released state records show. (via Reuters)
Standardized Child Booster Seat Laws Would Save Lives, Study Suggests
State laws that mandate car booster seat use for children at least until age 8, are associated with fewer motor vehicle-related fatalities and severe injuries, and should be standardized throughout the U.S. to optimally protect children, according to new research. (via Science Daily)
One-Third of Parents Concerned About Losing Jobs, Pay When They Stay Home With Sick Kids
Many child care providers have rules that exclude sick children from care, spurring anxious moments for millions of working parents. In a new University of Michigan poll, one-third of parents of young children report they are concerned about losing jobs or pay when they stay home to care for sick children who can’t attend child care. (via Science Daily)
Cheerleading Needs Sports Safety Rules, Docs Say
Cheerleading isn’t just jumping and waving pompoms – it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation’s leading group of pediatricians says. (via Fox News)
Most Women Can Wait up to 5 Years Between Pap Tests, New Guidelines Say
Most women can wait three to five years between Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer, according to guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (via Reuters)
New Breast Cancer Therapy Tied to More Complications
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Women about to have breast cancer surgery may want to pay extra attention to the radiation treatment they could be offered afterward. (via Reuters)
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Lambeth Hochwald, a writer for Parents magazine and Parents.com. She recently attended the National Football League (NFL) Youth Health and Safety Luncheon in New York City to learn more about how to prevent and treat concussions.
Concussions are, without a doubt, on the top 10 list of things parents worry about. This brain injury is caused by a blow to the head or the body from hitting another player, a hard surface (such as the ground), or a piece of equipment (such as a lacrosse stick or hockey puck).
With 38 million kids participating in sports each year in the U.S. and 3 million youth football players, the risk of a concussion isn’t rare. In fact, it’s been estimated that there are 1.6 to 3 million sports- and recreation-related concussions among children and adults every year.
Thankfully, our concussion awareness is evolving. Last year, 30 NFL teams hosted health and safety events for community members and the NFL has also partnered with organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate youth coaches, players, and parents on how to prevent, identify, and properly treat a concussion.
“We know that a concussion changes the brain’s electrochemical ‘software’ function,” said Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., division chief of neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “It produces physical, cognitive, and emotional signs and symptoms that can last hours, days, or even months.”
Here are seven things you need to know about concussions:
- Know the signs. Concussions can lead to physical symptoms, including headache, fatigue, balance problems, vomiting, and drowsiness; cognitive symptoms, including memory and concentration issues; emotional symptoms, including irritability and sadness and sleep disturbances.
- Know the risks. Bicycle accidents are the number one reason kids ages 19 and younger are treated for a concussion in the emergency room. In kids who are 10 and under, concussions tend to occur after a bicycle accident or a fall at the playground.
- Know about helmets. Helmets don’t prevent concussions, but they do prevent severe brain injury and skull fractures. Make sure your child is wearing a helmet that meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards (the label inside should include the certification) and that fits properly. “A haircut can affect how a helmet will fit,” added speaker Scott Hallenbeck, executive director of USA Football.
- Know that concussions are often an ‘invisible’ injury. Because more than 90 percent of sports-related concussions occur without losing consciousness, it’s up to coaches, teammates, parents, and onlookers to recognize what to do when a child has experienced this trauma.
- Know the risky sports/positions. Head injury risks are higher in tackle football and soccer than in other sports. There are also certain positions on a team that can also raise risks. For example, your child is more likely to receive a concussion if she is a baseball catcher or a soccer and hockey goalie.
- Know the CDC is on it. The CDC’s “Heads Up” awareness program and Facebook page provide ample information about concussions for health-care professionals, parents, and coaches. Concussion fact sheets are available as clipboard stickers, magnets, and posters for young athletes. These can be ordered in bulk for your child’s school.
- Know that it’s imperative for your coach to be trained. The CDC offers online training for youth and high school coaches. Be sure your child’s coach is up-to-date on the latest concussion prevention and treatment information. Ask about his or her experience — your child is counting on you.
Parents should stay vigilant from the sidelines. If you suspect that a coach is continuing to keep a child on the field after an injury, speak up. Playing or practicing with concussion symptoms is dangerous and can lead to longer recovery and a delay in your child’s return to the sport. “Toughing it out” is unacceptable. As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says, “It’s not cool to be tough when it comes to your head.”
More information on head injuries:
Image: American Football on the Field via David Lee/Shutterstock
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GoodyBlog, Must Read
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Help your athletic kids get healthy and fit in your own living room. Home Based Strength Training for Young Athletes is a new, first-of-its-kind DVD/flashcard set created by Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Metzl worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics to develop this special training program for kids ages 8-18.
Parents, coaches, and health educators can benefit from this DVD as kids become interested in and take more part in sports. Serious problems can occur if the body isn’t used to new exercise routines, so this 2-hour DVD offers easy step-by-step guidelines on how kids can strength train safely and prevent sports injuries.
Kids can also develop strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility without enrolling in expensive gym program, and learn the proper way to stretch before and recover after workouts. Flashcards within the DVD also offer instructions on how to exercise for specific sports at all player levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). A related mobile app will be available in the near future.
Watch a video of Dr. Metzl lead young athletes in a routine that will develop upper body strength. And see a full list of DVD features on Amazon.com.
(On a related note, if your sports-loving kid gets a head injury, download the Concussion and Recognition Response app.)
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