Monday, September 15th, 2014
Here’s yet another reason why babyproofing your home is SO important: Nearly 9,500 children under the age of 6 are hospitalized annually for accidentally overdosing on medication they found, a new study in the journal Pediatrics reports. Yikes!
“Many of these drugs are commonly used, and they’re also toxic at low doses,” Dr. Shan Yin, medical director of the Drug and Poison Information Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital told HealthDay.
The research revealed that a small array of prescription drugs is typically behind these hospitalizations. The following medications were some of the ones most frequently found to be related to accidental poisonings among children:
- Narcotic painkillers, like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin
- Sedatives called benzodiazepines, like Ativan, Valium, and Xanax
- Drugs with the active ingredient, clonidine, like Catapres, Kapvay, and Nexiclon
If you think your child may have unintentionally ingested medication, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
calling Poison Control at (800) 222-1222, even if she isn’t showing any symptoms (many drugs can have delayed effects). If she’s unconscious, having trouble breathing, having seizures, or experiencing extreme sleepiness, call 911 immediately.
Photo of girl looking at pills courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Hundreds of children in the Midwest have been hospitalized in the past month due to respiratory illnesses, Reuters reports.
A specific type of enterovirus that typically affects school-age children, called enterovirus 68 or EV-D68, seems to be the cause, and has led to more than 300 hospitalizations for respiratory-related illnesses in Kansas City, Missouri, alone since last month.
A dozen states are reportedly affected—including Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky—have since and have contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help in investigating this illness, USA Today reports.
Enteroviruses, which usually peak in September, often produce symptoms similar to the common cold (like coughing), but can also develop into more serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or wheezing. In addition, sometimes a rash can show up, CNN reports.
Transmission of this enterovirus is not fully understood, though it seems to be passed via close contact with another infected person, which is why schoolchildren are at a higher risk. The CDC recommends keeping in mind the following practices to prevent spreading it and other respiratory illnesses:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, which has been treating many of these patients, recommends the following advice if your child is exhibiting respiratory illness symptoms: ”If your child has fever not controlled by acetaminophen or ibuprofen or is not drinking, call your healthcare provider for advice. Seek care promptly if your child develops difficulty or labored breathing. If your child has asthma, follow your Asthma Action Plan. And if symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.”
Has your town or city been affected by this outbreak?
Photo of child in hospital courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Amusement park rides including roller coasters injure some 4,400 kids each year, some badly enough to require hospitalization, according to a large study conducted by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. More from NBC News:
Most of the injuries are not serious — just bumps and bruises, but about 67 kids a year, or 1.5 percent, are injured badly enough to be hospitalized, according to an analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which includes reports from about 100 nationally representative hospitals. It’s the most in-depth study to date, tracking 20 years of injuries which occurred at fixed-site amusement parks, mobile carnivals and fairs and coin-operated rides at places like malls, stores and restaurants.
About 20 kids a day are hurt on rides in the peak season between May and September. “That’s one every two hours,” said Dr. Gary A. Smith, who conducted the research for Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Such harm — and the most in-depth study to date on ride injuries — highlights the need for more awareness, better education, and increased tracking and oversight, he said.
“In the past, the discussion has always been on roller-coaster injuries and the bigger rides,” Smith said. “The message here is that these injuries occur across a broad spectrum of types of rides and across many locations.”
Image: Roller coaster, via Shutterstock
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