Kids and Ear Infections
It can seem like some kids get an ear infection, or otitis media, every time you turn around. This condition can cause painful earaches due to fluid buildup in the ear. One thing you should remember: sometimes bacteria causes the problem and sometimes a virus is the cause.
Antibiotics can almost always cure the problem if the infection comes from bacteria. But antibiotics won’t cure a virus. In fact, giving antibiotics unnecessarily can actually make the drugs less effective in time.
If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, make sure your child takes all the medication. If your child doesn’t get an antibiotic, don’t try to pressure the doctor into prescribing one. Some parents are so eager to help their child they lose sight of the fact that antibiotics aren’t always the solution.
Source: National Institutes of Health
If you’re one of those women who avoids getting mammograms because you find them uncomfortable, you may be interested in the latest development—mammopads. A mammopad is a cushion that’s placed on the lower plate of the mammogram x-ray machine. The mammogram itself is taken the usual way, but the mammopad softens the cold, hard surface of the lower plate.
Mammopads are quite new, so their availability is still somewhat limited. But check with your doctor or breast imaging center to find out whether they’re currently using mammopads or if they plan to start using them soon.
Source: BioLucent, Inc.
Some Radon Myths
True or false:
- Radon is found in just a few places, not every state.
- Radon doesn’t really increase your risk of lung cancer.
- Radon doesn’t affect homes that have good insulation.
All of the above are false. High levels of radon have been found in every state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association all agree that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. (People who smoke are at increased risk.) And radon levels can be high in any kind of home.
For more information about radon, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Radon Myths and Facts” page (http://www.epa.gov/RadonPubs/myths.html). For information about your state’s radon testing guidelines, visit the EPA’s Web listing.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Kids and Healthy Lungs
One of the best ways to help your children have healthy lungs is to keep them away from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke comes from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar. It also comes from smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers.
- Increases the frequency and severity of asthma attacks
- Causes 150,000 to 300,00 lower respiratory infections per year in children 18 months old and younger
- Causes fluid build-up in the middle ear
- May contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.
If you smoke and need help quitting, talk to your doctor. People who get the help of a doctor have higher success rates. Your doctor can talk to you about the different options available, and together you can pursue the method that is likely to work best for you.
Source: American Lung Association
Home Ready for Winter?
Check your roof and gutters. Blocked gutters can fill with water and then freeze. This can cause ice dams that damage the roof. If the ice gets heavy enough, it can cause the gutters to become loose or even fall off the house.
- Paint your woodwork
- Do an inventory on snow removal equipment and supplies. Make sure shovels and snow blowers are in good shape. Check your supply of rock salt, traction sand, flashlights, batteries, bottled water, manual can opener and canned food for you and your
- Have your heating system checked every year.
- Have your chimney cleaned.
Source: The Natural Handyman Newsletter.