Monday, July 27, 2015

Moms can get bad baby advice

I want my pacifier--and I want it now.
One thing almost everyone has an opinion on--how to raise kids. The most bossy--those with no kids. But I digress.

Tara Haelle, HealthDay, says new mothers get conflicting advice. Well, no kidding.

Often this advice goes against that of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Babies do not come with manuals--or in some cases, there are too many manuals (books). Parents are more likely, studies show, to follow advice from medical professionals--but not always.

Researchers in a recent Pediatrics study, looked at 1,000 mothers with tots between two and six months old. They asked what advice the moms got on vaccines, breast feeding, pacifiers, and infant sleep position and location.

Mothers got most of their advice from doctors--but those doctors did not follow AAP advice.

Fifteen percent of the advice from doctors on breast feeding and pacifiers did not match AAP recommendations. Twenty-six percent on sleep positions contradicted AAP recommendations. And nearly 29% got contradctory advice on where babies should sleep.

Mothers also got advice from family members between 30% and 60% of the time. More than a fifth of the family advice on breast feeding did not match AAP recommendations.

More than a quarter of mothers who got vaccine advice from the media received information not suported by the AAP.

While getting most info from doctors was good--don't be afraid to discuss and question, the researchers said.

I remember the nurse in the hospital handing our daughter to her dad, who joked, "They bounce if they hit the floor, right?" She looked horrified!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Yipes--the kid is bumpy!

Hives are common--I have had them. All of a sudden you get a soft pillowy itchy rash or bump. Then another...

This can go away in minutes or hours. But with children, they may not want to wait.

The causes can be almost anything your largest organ--the skin--decides it does not like--dust, animals, medication, viruses, exercise, stress, cold temps. insect bites, pollen, sun.

To care for your child at home--consider using an oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Check doses carefully.

Apply a cool washcloth.

Keep the child's fingernails short and distract the kid from scratching.

If they are really suffering, try a lukewarm oatmeal bath for 10 mins or so. You can get colloidal oatmeal at the drugstore.

Keep the child in loose-fitting cotton clothes.

In summer, turn up the air.

If you know what caused the hives, avoid it. (Duh.)

Also obvious--if the child has trouble breathing or vomits, go to the ER.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Medicare testing a hospice combined with treatment program

Many people and families want hospice care for patients in the end stages of life--but at present, getting hospice means you are given six months or less to live and agree to stop curative treatments in favor of comfort (palliative) measures.

Over the next four years, Medicare will allow some 150,000 patients to receive hospice but still see doctors and get medical treatments.

Research shows better quality of life and maybe a longer lifespan from combining the two approaches.

Many doctors would prefer this--but were constrained from treatments because Medicare would not pay.

"It's hard to say you don't want more chemo," one doctor added.

So many hospices wanted to be in this trial, they randomly selected half to start in 2016, the other half in 2017.

They will compare these against hospices that did not apply.

Some people worry that unscrupulous hospices may sign up patients that don't need hospice and have nothing to lose because they can still get traditional care.

Well, boo to them! I say it's worth a try. I don't get into it, but our experience with hospice in my mother's case was less than positive. I do know others who swear by it, though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ew ew, poisonous spiders

Don't even ask where hubbie is.
When I was a tot, they found a black widow spider under our sandbox--turned it over, and there were tons of them! So that was charming. My dad collected they up and put them in a jar and the milkman saw it and wanted them (yes, they had spider-loving milkmen in those days).

Still, there are some poisonous spiders around--in many temperate areas of the US. Suparna Kumar, MD, of the Tennessee Poison Control Center at Vanderbilt, says knowing what they are and how to treat the bites is important.

Brown recluse spiders are native to the southern and midwestern states. They are medium-sized, light yellowish brown to dark brown in color--and have a violin-shaped mark on their backs. They like dark, warm, dry areas--attics, closets, porches, barns, basements, woodpiles, old tires.

If you get bitten by a brown recluse, there may be mild stinging pain that worsens in 2-8 hrs.  The bite may be itchy and red, then becomes an extremely painful area blue or purplish in color, surrounded by a grayish ring. They call this a bullseye.

Wash the area with soap and water, apply ice, maybe get a tetanus shot.

But some people can get the breakdown of red blood cells, fever, rash, muscle pain. A urine test will determine if blood cells are breaking down (don't wait on this with kids under 12). Call a doctor then and you may be be hospitalized.

Black widows are glossy black with a reddish or orange hourglass shape on the abdomen. They are found in dark spaces, electrical boxes, crawl spaces, piles of firewood.

The bite is sometimes not noticeable at first. If it is just a little red, wash with soap and water, maybe apply ice or get a tetanus shot.

But some black widow bites can cause much worse effects. Two to four hours later, you may experience headache, nausea, vomiting, changes in heart rate and BP, muscle cramping, muscle twitching. This requires hosp care.

Sooo...this sounds like fun--watch it reaching into dark places, I guess. Or playing in sandboxes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Women into Facebook less likely to compare bodies

According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, women who are invested in Facebook and have lots of Facebook friends are less concerned with body size and shape and are less likely to compare their bodies to their friends' bodies.

In the study, 128 college-aged women completed an online survey aimed at discovering disordered eating. They were asked such things as did they worry about diet pills, vomiting after meals, or going on fasts.

They also delved into the women's Facebooking--did they post a picture of themselves to get their friends to post a body picture. Apparently few did.

Having a good social support system--even on Facebook--seemed to tamp down negative body feelings.

So much for the theory that being on social media contributes to a bad body image.

Personally--and this is anedotal--I know women who go on Facebook to see if their peers look old. More particularly--older than they do!