Posts Tagged ‘
emergency room ’
Monday, November 5th, 2012
A new government study is suggesting that schools might want to consider closing during serious flu outbreaks, as doing so will lower the number of children who wind up in the emergency room because of their symptoms. From Reuters:
The study, reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, looked at what happened in two Texas communities during the H1N1 “swine” flu epidemic of 2009. In one community, schools were closed as a precaution; in the other, they weren’t.
It turned out that in the district where schools shut down, there were fewer ER visits for the flu.
What’s more, among kids age 6 and up, there was no increase in flu-related ER trips, while that rate doubled in the community where schools stayed open.
“The effect was most dramatic among school-age children,” said Dr. Martin S. Cetron, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There have been skeptics who’ve doubted that school closures could have much impact during a major flu outbreak, according to Cetron.
“They’ve said, well, people will just congregate in malls or other public places,” explained Cetron, who directs the CDC’s division of global migration and quarantine, and worked on the study.
But schools are different from malls, Cetron pointed out, with kids being in close contact with each other all day long.
He said he thinks this study, along with others, “settles” the question of whether school closures are effective. “Should this be an arrow in our quiver? I think the answer is ‘yes,’” Cetron said.
Image: Closed school, via i4lcocl2 / Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated a 1999 recommendation concerning trampolines, now warning children to stay away from them at home and at playgrounds. Nearly 100,000 emergency room visits can be attributed each year to trampoline-related injuries, the group said, and new “safety features” on many trampolines can give families a false sense of security. Reuters has more:
“As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who helped draft the new statement.
It’s estimated that the number of trampoline injuries nationwide has been dropping – from 111,851 cases treated at ERs in 2004, to 97,908 in 2009. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the devices have become any less dangerous, Briskin told Reuters Health.
“Even though there has been a decrease in injuries,” she said, “I caution people against taking that too literally because the number of trampolines has also decreased.”
The actual risk of hurting yourself if you step onto a trampoline is not clear, Briskin added, because there are no good data on national exposure. The rate of hospitalization due to the injuries is about three percent.
Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc, a trampoline manufacturer in San Jose, California, scoffed at the AAP’s recommendations.
He said he invented a safety net that encircles the trampoline and cuts the number of injuries by half. And, he added, if parents ban trampolines, their children might start climbing trees, using swings or skateboards, for instance.
“If you look at all those activities, a safety-enclosed trampoline is safer by hours of use,” Publicover told Reuters Health. “When they say, ‘Don’t use trampolines with a safety enclosure,’ they are going to increase the number of injuries.”
Image: Kids on trampoline, via Shutterstock
Friday, August 31st, 2012
A new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides more evidence of the dangers of tiny button batteries. Used to power television remotes, toys, hearing aids, greeting cards and more, the batteries are sending a growing number of children to the emergency room.
The CPSC report found that between 1997 and 2010, 40,000 children under age 13 visited emergency rooms after swallowing the tiny batteries, and 14 children died. The number of children treated for ingesting the batteries increased 2.5-fold during this period, HealthDay News reports.
The batteries pose the biggest threat if they get stuck in a child’s esophagus, where they can cause serious burns in as little as two hours and fatal bleeding after two weeks, the CPSC report said.
If you see a child swallow a battery, or suspect he has, it’s important to visit the emergency room right away; significant damage can occur quickly, Dr. Amanda Porro, a pediatrician at Miami Children’s Hospital, told HealthDay News. She urges parents to store the batteries out of the reach of children.
The CPSC wants products with button batteries to be designed so that kids can’t access the batteries. Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, (D-W.Va.), introduced a bill last year that would require all products with button batteries to be childproof.
Image: Button batteries via Shutterstock.
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that about 2,270 children are injured each year in accidents that involve pacifiers, sippy cups, or bottles. CNN.com reports on the study, which cites facial lacerations, dental injuries, and cuts to the lips and tongue as the most common injuries associated with the items:
“Teeth were either knocked out, chipped, pushed back up into the gums or knocked sideways,” says Sarah Keim, lead study author and a researcher at the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The study also found that one-year-old children were injured the most often.
Dr. Garry Gardner is a pediatrician in Chicago and chairs the Injury, Violence and Poison Control committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He’s not surprised by the results of this study, especially that the majority of children injured were about 1-year-old.
“They toddle along and they’re not very coordinated and it’s amazing to see these kids trip over nothing – and they do it all the time.”
If there’s anything in a child’s mouth, he says, it’s going to cause an injury to the mouth or hurt a tooth.
Image: Child walking with pacifier, via Shutterstock.
Monday, May 14th, 2012
Children’s emergency room visits related to swallowed batteries have risen an astounding 113 percent over the past 20 years, with a child under age 18 arriving at an ER every 90 minutes, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found. The study, which was conducted by Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that batteries, especially the small, flat “button batteries” that are found in so many electronic devices, can pose serious health risks, and can cause death if they become lodged in the esophagus.
Three-quarters of the hospital visits are for children ages 5 and under, with the greatest number involving 1-year-olds. Most of the batteries, when their origin is known, do not come from toys or children’s games; they come from their parents’ watches, calculators, and other electronics.
Research advise parents to prevent battery-related injuries in their families by taking the following steps:
- Tape the battery compartments of all household devices shut.
- Store batteries and products with batteries out of the reach of young children.
- Be aware of this potential danger when your child is visiting other homes.
Image: Button batteries, via Shutterstock.