- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
American Academy of Pediatrics No Longer Recommends Home Poisoning Remedy
For many years doctors have recommended parents keep a bottle of Syrup of Ipecac in their homes in order to induce vomiting in case a child ingests an overdose of a medication or poison. This month, the AAP issued a statement that parents should no longer keep a bottle of this syrup in their homes. The reason for the change is that parents often use the syrup inappropriately and is some cases can even cause harm by using the syrup for certain types of poisonings. There is also no clear research that using the syrup even helps. The AAP states the FIRST thing anybody should ever do is to call the Poison Control Hotline in the event of any suspected poisoning or overdose.
Dr. Sears comments: I agree with this change in policy. Parents should call the nationwide poison control center hotline – 1-800-222-1222.
New Study Sheds Light on Snow Sledding Accidents
A British research study looked at ER visits during a two-week period following the first snow fall of the year. They were shocked to find that 11% of all visits for kids age 2 to 13 years were for sledding injuries. The researchers concluded, after reviewing the causes of each accident, that following simple precautions, such as avoiding crowded slopes and areas with trees and fences, as well as ensuring there is plenty of room to slow to a stop at the bottom, could reduce the number of injuries by 56%
Dr. Sears comments: Winter safety is just as important as bike safety. This also applies to skiing and snowboarding. Play it safe this winter. Have your kids wear a bike helmet as well.
Four Colorado Children Die From the Flu
Tragically, 4 kids, ages 2 to 15, died this month from the flu. Two of the kids had other medical problems. Officials reported that it is expected that several childhood deaths will occur each year from the flu, but it is unusual to see this so early in the flu season.
Dr. Sears comments: These deaths are tragic. However, the flu shot, which could prevent many deaths, has never been officially recommended for ALL kids. The CDC announced, however, that starting NEXT year (the 2004/2005 flu season) they do plan to recommend ALL infants ages 6 to 24 months should be given the flu shot to prevent infant flu deaths. They did NOT make this recommendation for older kids, just for infants. Click here to read more about how to recognize and treat the flu, and here for some simple prevention tips.
Cord Blood Serum Found to Improve Cornea Defects
Defects in the cornea (due to a variety of causes) can lead to blindness. The study involved 60 patients with corneal defects that did not respond to classic treatment. Half were given eye drops containing serum from their own blood, and half were given serum from donated umbilical cord blood. The cord blood group showed better healing of their corneal defects. Researchers theorized that the growth and healing factors secreted by cord blood stem cells were responsible for the greater healing. These factors are not as potent in regular blood.
Dr. Sears comments: With umbilical cord blood banking, parents can now choose to save this blood at the time of their child’s birth (otherwise, it is just thrown away with the placenta). This way, should their child or other family members ever have an illness or injury that can be treated with cord blood stem cells, they have a perfectly matched supply just waiting to be used. I feel that banking a newborn’s cord blood is a great idea, and well worth the investment. The possible uses for cord blood continue to grow every year. Click here to read about how you can take advantage of this available technology for your next baby.
Exercise Shown to Reverse Heart Disease in Obese Kids
A research study was done involving 35 obese kids, ages 6 to 16, who took part in a 1 hour exercise program three times a week for 8 weeks. Their degree of atherosclerosis, which is assessed by examining the endothelium (the lining of the blood vessels) was assessed before the study, at the end of the 8 week exercise program, and again 2 months later after stopping the exercise. The results showed significantly improved endothelial function after the 8 weeks of exercise, but these improvements disappeared two months later after the subjects returned to their sedentary lifestyles.
Another related study this month showed that obese boys have much higher blood pressure when under stress compared to boys of normal weight.
Dr. Sears comments: this study highlights the fact that it’s not enough just to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and get yourself into shape – YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT UP FOR THE LONG TERM. Living a L.E.A.N. lifestyle will help you and your family achieve this goal. Click here to read more about the LEAN program. Visit our online store here to view and buy Dr. Sears’s latest book, LEAN Kids.