Safe Kids Worldwide, as its name suggests, is an organization dedicated to ensuring the safety of children across the world. It attempts to spread awareness about common dangers that far too often lead to serious personal injury. In order to commemorate the rollout of a new Washington chapter of the agency, a new report has been issued which offers some valuable safety tips.
Parents should first enure that they know how to install carseats. Evidence suggests that nearly three out of four are installed incorrectly, but parents can protect their kids by tightening the seat to the point where the base moves less than an inch. You might seek out assistance at a car seat check in your area to ensure you’re doing it correctly.
You also need to make sure to supervise your kids around common household dangers. Furniture and televisions should be anchored to the ground, and you should not let kids climb those items lest they topple with the child aboard.
You also want to limit your children’s exposure to loose medication. Child-resistant locks can be placed on cabinets, but these aren’t completely tamper-proof, and a child might also gain access to something like the occasional loose pill in a purse or some such container. That’s why supervision is perhaps the most important precaution around the home.
Today, the Food and Drug Administration will convene an expert panel to offer recommendations about a new insomnia drug from Merck. The company is seeking the approval of suvorexant, which is designed to help people suffering from insomnia fall asleep. In preparation for today’s meeting, the FDA has made their concerns about the drug known to the public. They worry about studies which have shown inconsistent results with the drug, as well as the potential for the medication’s effects to linger long after they should have worn off. This can lead to instances of daytime sleepiness that have the potential to compromise driving ability. These factors, combined with concerns about the appearance of suicidal thoughts among users, may prompt the FDA to only approve lower doses of suvorexant.
For more about the pending approval, click here.
The threat of a child being scalded by a hot substance should not be underestimated by parents. Research suggests that the most typical reason that children have to seek out hospital treatment for a burn is because they were scalded. Tap water and boiling pots atop a stove are typically to blame, but healthcare professionals are taking note of another hazard that has become increasingly common in nature: soup burns.
The Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California estimates that 8% of kids admitted with a burn were burned by soup, and that number is actually far lower than the Chicago-based Stroger Hospital, which figures that hot soup scaldings account for as much as 40% of burn treatments.
The University of California at Davis School of Medicine’s chief of burn surgery not long ago headed up a research effort that tested out various instant soup cups to determine what would be the most likely to tip over. The study deduced that height is usually to blame for ease of tipping, as the taller the cup, the more likely that even a slight jostling will lead it to tip.
One lawsuit has already been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by the parents of a scalded child. Doctors say that kids are more at risk of scalding because of their relatively thin skin. Noodles also tend to stick to skin and soup retains heat better than other substances.
Distracted driving is a seemingly ever-growing menace, with cellphones accounting for most of the distractions that occur along the road every single day. Persons seem to have a hard time putting down their phones, even when they know that texting or talking can be hazardous.
The American Society of Hypertension held a meeting earlier this week in San Francisco, and some research results that were presented give distracted drivers even more incentive to put down their phones. A study has found that the mere act of talking on a cellphone might raise an individual’s blood pressure.
The results hail from the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Italy. The study gathered almost 100 people whose blood pressure could be described as mild or moderately high. The study participants were placed by themselves in a room, sat down in a chair, and hooked up to a device that could record blood pressure. The persons were then called on a mobile phone.
What the researchers found was that speaking on the phone tended to cause an increase in blood pressure. However, younger people who reported talking on their cellphones over 30 times a day did not see a similar jump in blood pressure, which suggested to researchers that interruptions might not be as problematic for that demographic.
One could easily see how heightened blood pressure could end up having ramifications on the road.
A series of heaters is being recalled because they have the potential to heat to a degree that goes beyond what the user was probably intending. Already, an instance of a fire breaking out has been reported, and thus if you are in possession of one of the recalled units, it’s imperative to heed the directions of the recall as soon as possible.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer Distribution announced the recall, which affects portable baseboard convection heaters under the Touch Point brand. These electric heaters will have a date code of 0611 and a model number of BBC-1500. Produced in June 2011, the 4,560 or so heaters encompassed by the recall were on sale across the country from Meijer between September 2011 and this past February. They would have cost around $50.
At issue is the fact that the heaters can simply overheat, an issue that could prompt a fire. Two overheating issues have already come to Meijer’s attention, and one of those incidents led to a fire and the incursion of property damage. Thankfully, no one was injured.
The heaters should not be used. Instead, owners are being advised to bring the products back to Meijer to get their money back. Although it’s May and the heater likely won’t be used by many Californians for a few months, it’s important to take care of the problem now while the issue is fresh in your memory.
A news release finds the Food and Drug Administration warning pregnant women to take the proper precautions when it comes to medication. The agency explains that drugs that might be alright to take pre-pregnancy could prove to be dangerous to either you or your unborn child during a pregnancy.
Instead of taking to the wilds of the internet to find out information, the FDA advises speaking with a doctor. And if you just have a quick question you want answered without an appointment, the FDA recommends using one of their handy resources. For instance, the organization offers a pregnancy website that offers a host of information dedicated to the safety of drugs, foods, medical devices, and more.
Drugs should also be taken with caution. The FDA offers a resource about drugs and the effect that they might have on a pregnant woman. The truth is, even relatively common pain relievers could pose risks under the right conditions. Pretty soon, the FDA will roll out labeling changes that seek to better inform pregnant women of certain risks, but until then, you should always read the label carefully to determine if you would be endangered via consumption of a given medication.
Also understand that pregnant women are often not involved in clinical trials, and thus studies into effects of certain drugs can be lacking. Thus, you might check up on the FDA’s Pregnancy Exposure Registry to figure out if a medication you have to take is currently under study. By signing up, you can help improve health of pregnant women in the future.
It may have been a move that many were expecting, but that hasn’t eased the disappointment faced by safety advocates concerned about the impact that cellphone usage could have on consumers’ health: on Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to revoke an ordinance that would have forced cellphone retailers to stipulate the radiation danger posed to consumers by cellphones. In doing, they essentially hammered the final nail in the coffin for the matter.
The writing had been on the wall. Issued in 2011, the law almost immediately drew the furor of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, which took issue with the ordinance on free speech grounds. Representatives argued that the law ran contrary to the Federal Communications Commission’s assessment that cellphones do not endanger consumers.
A judge prevented the law from being enacted shortly after passage, and the aforementioned trade group filed a lawsuit seeking its permanent disavowal. The ongoing court battle ended with an appeals court taking the side of the cellular industry, putting San Francisco in a tough place. In order to get the law back on track, they essentially would have had to prove that cellphones are inherently dangerous.
Given the difficulties of such a tactic, the Board of Supervisors elected to settle the lawsuit, putting a stamp on a permanent injunction against the ordinance. The Environmental Working Group and other safety advocates decried the move.
The Food and Drug Administration has learned that one lot of a certain medical product has been stolen from its place of manufacture and thus its sale to healthcare professionals could leave patients at risk of an infection. The items stolen were Endo GIA Articulating 60-3.5 Surgical Stapler Reloads from Covidien. One lot carrying the number N3B0165LX was taken. Already the FDA has been informed of instances in which these staples were being sold. What makes this so dangerous is that they were stolen before sterilization procedures could be carried out. Doctors are being asked to check their inventory to look for the aforementioned lot number along with a reference code of 030458. If found, Covidien should be contacted.
For more about the recall, follow this link.
The Food and Drug Administration has announced a proposal that has the potential to drastically alter the tanning bed market. Specifically, the approval process would become more strict and attempts would be made to outline the risks of UV exposure to young people.
First, the FDA wants to change tanning beds’ current designation as a Class I low risk device. Given the threat of skin damage and the possible development of skin cancer, the Commissioner of the organization explains that it would be in the consumers’ best interest to reclassify the items as a Class II device carrying a moderate risk.
This would alter the way that sunlamp items are approved. Right now, they do not have to go through a pre-market approval process. With the proposed changes, though, tanning beds would have to meet certain benchmarks and labeling requirements. A 510k pre-market notification would need to be filed.
In addition to these pending rules, the FDA also wants tanning beds to come with labels suggesting that persons under the age of 18 decline to use the devices and explaining that regular users should submit to cancer testing.
These proposed changes have been issued in order to combat skin cancer around the country. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that the threat of the often-fatal skin cancer known as melanoma rises by 75% in persons who use tanning beds.
Presource Kits with a Filter and Anesthesia Circuit that has already been put together prior to distribution are being recalled by Cardinal Health. Because this component has been assembled already, persons who remove the outer plastic without first taking apart the component could find pieces of plastic wound up stuck in the filter. As the product is used to deliver oxygen or nitrous oxide to a patient undergoing various types of operations, a blockage of the filter could lead to the patient’s air supply being compromised. This can lead to serious dangers, including a fatality. Those with this item in their possession are being provided with a warning label that should be affixed at once. Adversity should be reported to MedWatch.
For more about the recall, click here.