Archive for the ‘ Safety ’ Category

Kids Reportedly Fed Dog Treats at PA Elementary School

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A teacher’s aide in a rural Pennsylvania elementary school has allegedly fed fourth grade students pet treats the kids were told were cookies or crackers.  Reuters has more:

It was unclear how many children ate the pet treats, but the part-time worker at Upper Frederick elementary school in New Hanover gave them to about 75 students on Thursday, Richard Faidley, the Boyerton Area School District superintendent, said in a statement seen by Reuters.

It was unclear what might have motivated the aide to hand out the pet treats to students. The worker at the school, which is about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Philadelphia, has been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation, the statement said.

“The treats may have been misrepresented as cookies or crackers,” Faidley said in the statement released on Friday.

Faidley could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

“Our research on the product indicates that the treat ingredients would not be harmful to people, with the exception for those individuals with specific food allergies,” Faidley’s statement said.

One student at the school, Gabriel Moore, told local television station WFMZ that he ate three of the treats.

“She made it look like it was a joke that they were dog treats and then she came around and said, ‘No they are cookies. They are fine,’”  Gabriel told the station.

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Oregon Tragedy 74th School Shooting Since Sandy Hook

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A shooting that left a student and the gunman dead at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon is the 74th school shooting since the tragic 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  That shooting claimed 26 lives, 20 of them children, and while the full list includes non-fatal incidents in which a gun was fired in schools nationwide, the numbers are startling to parents, students, and educators alike–New York magazine reports that the figures amount to a shooting once every eight days:

In 2014 so far, there have been 37 school shootings. As of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.

Georgia tops the dishonorable list, with ten shootings reported since Newtown, while Florida is next with seven. Overall, 31 states are represented on the list.

The numbers, compiled by Everytown for Gun Safety, which has the full list, include any time, fatal or not, “a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts,” and therefore may actually be under-counting.

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Federal Infant Formula Standards Finalized

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

In the wake of multiple recalls of infant formula in recent years, the federal government has finalized standards that will require manufacturers to test their products for nutritional content as well as possible exposure to germs and bacteria.  Earlier this year the new guidelines were announced; they are based on two years’ worth of research, during which time Gerber voluntarily recalled some formula because of a strange odor, and some brands of organic formula were found to contain high levels of inorganic arsenic.

More from Reuters on the finalization and what it means for formula manufacturers–and parents:

While public health officials generally say breast milk is best for babies, they acknowledge that many infants get some or part of their nutrition through formula. The new rule, FDA said, is aimed at establishing so-called “good manufacturing practices” that many companies have already adopted voluntarily.

It also only applies to formula marketed for “for use by healthy infants without unusual medical or dietary problems,” FDA said in a statement.

Under the regulation, companies must screen formula for salmonella, which can cause diarrhea and fever resulting in particularly severe problems for babies. They must also check for cronobacter, known to live in dry conditions such as powdered formula and cause swelling of the brain known as meningitis in infants.

While the FDA does not approve infant formula products before they can be sold, under the rule companies must also test their products’ nutrient content and show that their formulas can “support normal physical growth,” the agency said.

How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget

Image: Baby having a bottle, via Shutterstock

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Melanoma Risk Tied to Sunburns During Teen Years

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Teens–especially young women–who get multiple blistering sunburns during their teenage years may be at greater risk of developing the serious skin cancer melanoma as adults, according to new research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.  More from The New York Times:

The new research found that women who had at least five blistering sunburns during their teenage years had a greater likelihood of developing any of the three main forms of skin cancer. But the risk was particularly high for melanoma, which kills an estimated 8,800 Americans a year.

Women who were consistently exposed to high amounts of ultraviolet radiation as adults did not have an increased risk for melanoma. But they did have more than double the risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma, two common but less lethal forms of skin cancer.

The findings, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, were based on an analysis of 109,000 Caucasian women who were followed for 20 years as part of the nationwide Nurses’ Health Study II. Throughout the study, the women routinely provided details about their medical histories, as well as information on things like their use of tanning beds and any sunburns or moles on their skin.

Researchers urge parents to protect their children from chronic sun exposure, and teach kids the importance of sun protection–in the form of sunscreens as well as protective clothing–from an early age.

Image: Teens at the beach, via Shutterstock

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Feds: Stop Using Nap Nanny Recliners

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Federal officials are urging parents to stop using “Nap Nanny” infant recliners in the wake of the suffocation death of an 8-month-old New Jersey girl.  The baby’s death was the sixth fatality linked to the recliner, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents to throw away Nap Nanny recliners they may already own, and to avoid buying used recliners at yard sales or online auctions.  More from ABC News:

CPSC Communications Director Scott Wolfson said parents should avoid the recliners at yard sales, as hand-me-downs or in online auctions.

“Our message to parents is clear: Stop using it. It’s dangerous,” Wolfson said. “There’s been six deaths already, and we don’t want another child to die unnecessarily.”

About 165,000 Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill recliners were sold between 2009 and 2012. Nap Nannies — which are no longer sold in stores — were recalled last year, but for months the company that made the portable recliner refused to pull it from shelves or offer refunds, instead insisting on the product’s safety when used properly.

In a statement, an official with the company, now out of business for two years, told ABC News it was heartbroken for the families who have lost a child, but said the Nap Nanny was never intended for use in a crib.

The CPSC sued Baby Matters, LLC, the company that manufactured Nap Nanny, in 2012, and later that year, before the company went out of business, a number of major retailers, including Amazon.com and Toys R Us, stopped selling the products.

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