Posts Tagged ‘ Safety ’

Accidental Poisoning of Children: These Drugs Are Common Culprits…

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Small Number of Prescription Drugs Responsible for Accidental Overdose Among ChildrenHere’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
Awareness of the dangers of these drugs specifically is paramount in preventing ingestion by young children, and focusing in on safety awareness for these could have a large and positive public health impact, the study states. Some of the other drugs on this list are often found in medications used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes, which typically affect older adults (like grandparents), so it’s key that any home a young child goes into has the proper safety precautions in place.
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.

The Complete Guide to Babyproofing
The Complete Guide to Babyproofing
The Complete Guide to Babyproofing

Photo of girl looking at pills courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Is It Safe to Travel With Your Infant on an Airplane?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Risk of Death for Infants Traveling on AirplanesIf you’re thinking of bringing your infant on a flight anytime soon, think again, new research suggests.

While in-flight deaths are rare, a new study has found a pattern among children who did die. Most were healthy children under the age of 2 who were sitting in an adult’s lap during a commercial airline flight, according to research published in the journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. The study tracked recorded incidents on thousands of medical emergencies on airlines from 2010 to 2013.

While this study is the first of its kind, research suggests that lap infants were at a greater risk of dying due to in-flight environmental factors, such as sharing a seat with an adult and dangerous co-sleeping arrangements, said Dr. Alexandre Rotta, lead researcher on the study and chief of pediatric critical care at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.It is also possible that lower oxygen levels on planes could harm infants’ immature respiratory systems, Fox News reports. The study also noted that there could be another factor that is causing these deaths that has yet to be identified.

“I hope our findings lead to further research on this important subject,” Dr. Rotta said. “It is my belief the pattern we discovered should promote the development of preventative strategies and travel policies to protect the health of all pediatric airplane passengers, especially infants.”

Follow our six tips for surviving air travel with kids.

It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions
It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions
It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions

Photo of sleeping baby courtesy of Shutterstock.

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HIV Returns in 3-Year-Old Girl Once Thought Cured

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Red AIDS RibbonIn 2012, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article about a child known as “Mississippi Baby” who was reportedly cured of HIV. Unfortunately, more than two years later, doctors have discovered the nearly 4-year-old now has detectable levels of the infection again, according to USA Today.

Researchers were cautiously optimistic that this case would provide information that could help babies born with the virus, mostly in developing countries. More from USA Today:

“Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child’s care and the HIV/AIDS research community,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, at the briefing.

The development “reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body,” Fauci said in a statement. “The NIH remains committed to moving forward with research on a cure for HIV infection.”

The girl is now back on anti-retroviral treatment after being taken off two years ago and will remain mostly for the duration of her life.

“Mississippi Baby” was born with the infection. Her mother did not receive any prenatal care, and when she went to the hospital to deliver, it was too late for the doctors to give Baby treatment before delivery. The day after she was born, doctors began administering medications. Mother and baby routinely received treatment for the next 18 months, but then they disappeared. Doctors feared the worst when they returned five months later, but instead Baby appeared to be HIV-free.

Fauci says that doctors had hoped that giving anti-retroviral drugs so early prevented the AIDS virus from hiding in her white blood cells, which can serve as “reservoirs” of infection. These reservoirs of hidden cells can cause the disease to come back if patients stop their medications.

Fauci said last year that the child’s case offered support to something scientists have long believed: that a cure is possible “if you can get somebody treated before the reservoir of virus forms in the body, and before the immune system has been damaged by months or years of viral replication.”

Click here for an easy worksheet to keep track of all your medical records.

Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 1
Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 1
Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 1

Image: Female hands holding red AIDS awareness ribbon via Shutterstock

 

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Father Charged with Murder in Toddler’s Death in a Hot Car

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

A Georgia man whose 22-month-old son died after allegedly having been accidentally left too long in a hot car has been charged with murder after police discovered evidence that he may have knowingly left the child strapped in his seat for hours on a day when the temperature topped out at 92 degrees.  Justin Ross Harris, the arrest warrant alleges, strapped his son Cooper into his rear-facing car seat after they ate breakfast at a fast food restaurant.

Harris allegedly then drove to work at a Home Depot corporate office about a half-mile away, leaving Cooper in the car until his lunch break, at which point he reportedly visited the car to put something in the front seat.  Just after 4 pm, he returned to the car and left work.  Moments later, he pulled into a shopping center parking lot and called for help with Cooper, who had been in the car for seven hours by that point.  The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

The story was first reported as an accidental death–and a horrifying cautionary tale for harried parents who read accounts that Harris had simply forgotten to drop Cooper off at day care.  But further investigation led to the felony murder and child cruelty charges, as CNN.com reports:

“Within moments of the first responders getting to the scene and doing their job and questions began to be asked about the moments that led up to their arrival at the scene, some of those answers were not making sense to the first responders,” [Sgt. Dana] Pierce [of the Cobb County police] said.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 34 years. What I know about this case shocks my conscience as a police officer, a father and a grandfather.”

Last week, Harris pleaded not guilty to felony murder and child cruelty charges. He’s being held without bond at the Cobb County Jail and is scheduled to appear before a county judge July 3.

Cooper’s mother, Leanna Harris, told CNN last week that she’s been advised not to discuss the case with the media.

“We have been in communication with the mother throughout the investigation. At this time, I’m not at liberty to discuss her involvement. That’s a part of the case our detectives are working on,” Pierce said.

Cobb County Medical Operations Manager Mike Gerhard confirmed that the autopsy of the child is complete, but the boy’s manner of death has not been released.

Forty-three children died from being left too long in hot cars in 2013, Parents magazine reports, and children are at greater risk than adults of overheating in a car because internal cooling systems–chiefly through sweat–are not as quick to react as adults’.

Click here to read 7 tips for ensuring you never forget your child in a hot car, including practicing extra vigilance when you are starting a new routine, and adopting a “Look Before You Lock” habit whenever you leave your car.  The Parents report also shares how quickly temperatures can rise inside a closed vehicle even on a day when the weather is relatively mild:

This is how quickly the temperature inside a vehicle rises on a 70°F day, based on research by Jan Null, department of earth and climate sciences, San Francisco State University. Null also found that keeping the windows open slightly had little effect and that car interiors with darker colors heat up faster.

After 10 minutes = 89°F

After 20 minutes = 99°F

After 30 minutes = 104°F

After 60 minutes = 113°F

After 2 hours = 120°F

Image: Car door, via Shutterstock

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Bounce House Accident Raises Safety Concerns

Monday, May 19th, 2014

An accident that happened last week in upstate New York when an inflatable “bounce house” apparently blew off its safety stakes and flew up to 20 feet in the air with children still inside has bounce house manufacturers and parents alike thinking more carefully about the safety of the houses, particularly small ones that are privately owned and operated.

According to news reports, two children were seriously injured in the May 13 accident: a 5- and a 6-year-old boy were carried as far as 15 to 20 feet into the air before they fell out of the house, and were both sent to Albany Medical Center. The 5-year-old boy was subsequently put into a medically induced coma to treat the serious head injuries he sustained when he landing on a parked car.  The 6-year-old broke both arms, jaw, and eye socket, and ruptured his spleen when he landed in a parking lot.

The Weather Channel reports that despite repeated mentions of a “violent” wind gust that caused the accident, there were no discernible  gusts on the day of the accident:

“Winds were light at the Glens Falls reporting station at the reported time of the incident,” said Stu Ostro, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel. Ostro says winds were only between 5 and 10 mph.

Police tell weather.com that the bounce house was rather small — not the professional-sized ones you’d see at fairs and amusement parks.

The bounce house manufacturer, Little Tikes, said they would investigate the cause of the incident, NBC News reports.

“Providing safe and wholesome play experiences is of utmost importance to Little Tikes. We are looking into what happened in South Glen Falls Monday,” Jennifer Campana, Director PR & Social Media, MGA Entertainment, the parent company of Little Tikes, told NBC News. “In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the children and their families.”

A study published in 2012 by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital found as many as 30 kids a day were treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with inflatable bouncers.

Just last week, Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, banned bouncers on school property, WAVE-TV reports.

Organize the perfect birthday party for your little one’s big day using our Birthday Party Planner!

Manners & Responsibility: Kids at Parties
Manners & Responsibility: Kids at Parties
Manners & Responsibility: Kids at Parties

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