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"Pediatric News Updates" are reported from actual news sources,
but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Families United on the Net, www.thefunplace.com. For the well-being of all children, parents should not try to diagnose their children, but should seek the advice and care of a pediatrician or family physician.
DAILY DOSE OF SWEETENER HELPS PREVENT EAR INFECTIONS
October 1998 - In the future, parents and caregivers might encourage children to have a special piece of gum, or perhaps a spoonful of sweet syrup, to keep ear infections at bay. Xylitol, a commonly used sweetener that inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, helped to prevent otitis media in a significant percentage of children in a study conducted by the University of Oulu, Oula, Finland.
EAR INFECTIONS RELATED TO OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT
October 1998 - Otitis media, known more commonly as an ear infection, is related to upper respiratory infections and outdoor environmental factors, according to resent research. This research shows that 67% of emergency room visits resulting in otitis media were a result of upper respiratory infections on days in which the weather was a factor.
FATAL CHILD MALTREATMENT INCREASES WITH NON-PARENT IN THE HOUSEHOLD
October 1998 - Researchers have found that "injury death" due to maltreatment among children under age 5 is six times more likely when there is a biologically-unrelated adult, or adult not in the social role of parent, in the home. They have concluded that this information could help in the prevention of fatal child maltreatment. Previously, no study has demonstrated that biological factors play a role in causing fatal child mistreatment.
FORTIFIED CEREAL IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS FOR MANY U.S. CHILDREN
October 1998 - A major source of vitamins and minerals in the diets of most U.S. children is their breakfast cereal, according to a study in the journal of American Academy of Pediatrics. It appears that breakfast cereals are acting as a dietary supplement as well as a food, even though nutritionists generally agree that individuals should get necessary nutrients from a variety of food groups rather than from vitamin and mineral supplements or fortified foods. Researchers indicate that while breakfast cereals, especially non-sugary ones, can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, parents should not depend on fortified foods in order to feed their children well. Furthermore it is suggested that fortified cereals should not be a substitute for eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, milk, whole grains and other foods that are necessary for good health.
ELIMINATING FIREARMS FROM THE COMMUNITY REDUCES INJURIES
October 1998 - From 1995 to 1996, suicides decreased by 33 percent and homicides decreased by 18 percent following the initiation of a successful gun buy back program in Pittsburgh, proving that elimination firearms from the community can impact the incidence of firearm violence. In response to high rates of injury and death, the Pittsburgh Goods for Guns Anti-violence Coalition was established, which, in turn, introduced the Gun Buy Back Program. Since the program was conceived, more then 4,000 operable firearms have been collected along with dozens of air guns and inoperable firearms. In addition, coalition members distributed trigger locks and educational brochures and addressed the community about firearm safety.
NEW FINDINGS ON TEENS AND UNDERAGE DRINKING
October 1998 - On average, teens drink alcohol more than five days each month, according to a new survey from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The survey also found that the more days per month teens drink, the higher the average number of drinks they consume each time. Some of the key findings of this survey:
The survey also found that the more frequently teenagers drink, the more likely they are to have ridden in a car with someone who also has been drinking. Teens who drink six or more days during a month are three times more likely to ride in a vehicle driven by someone who has been drinking.
- Teens who drink one day per month average nearly three drinks in a setting, while those who drink six or more days average 5.6 drinks at a time.
- Nearly one-third (31 percent) are under the impression that a can of beer is less intoxicating than a shot of hard liquor.
- Nearly one out of every five teenagers (16 percent) has experienced "black-out" spells where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy drinking.
- Nearly nine out of ten teenagers (89 percent) between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age had their first alcoholic beverage after their eleventh birthday. The average age when drinking begins is 14.
When you consider that alcohol is the drug most often used by 12 to 17 year olds, and that alcohol related car crashes are the number one killer of teens, it is imperative that we increase awareness of its dangers.
NEW FINDINGS ON THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL ADVERTISING ON YOUTH
"Joe Camel Meets the Budweiser Frog"
October 1998 - The more television and beer advertisements children see, the more likely they are to recognize beer brands and slogans, have more positive feelings about drinking, the nature of alcohol advertising, and its effects on children's beliefs and intentions, were presented this month to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Alcohol images and messages in the media use various techniques to engage children, the public should know how to critically analyze and view media -- specifically media messages promoting alcohol use -- to help mitigate media's negative influences on our children.
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