This is a recap of recent health news featuring Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of collected news, and please feel free to offer comments below – we really do listen!
Screen Children for Cholesterol, Panel Says
The Associated Press, MSNBC via Associated Press, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, KSTC-TV/Minneapolis, Seattle Post Intelligencer
Every child should be tested for high cholesterol by age 11 so steps can be taken to prevent heart disease later on, according to new guidelines from a panel of doctors.
The recommendations from the panel appointed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute also advise diabetes screening every two years starting as early as nine for children who are overweight and have other risks for Type 2 diabetes.
Fats build up in the heart arteries in the first and second decade of life, but usually don’t start hardening the arteries until people are in their 20s and 30s, according to one of the guideline panel members, Dr. Elaine Urbina, director of preventive cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s.
“If we screen at age 20, it may already be too late,” she said. “To me it’s not controversial at all. We should have been doing this for years.”
The guidelines were presented at a recent American Heart Association conference.
As the controversy continues over the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, child safety advocates urge parents, families and educators to be more vigilant for signs of abuse.
“No one wants to think their child will be victimized,” says Robert Shapiro, director of the Mayerson Center for Safe & Healthy Children at Cincinnati Children’s. “But every parent should be thinking about this just as they think about their child’s safety when riding a bike or crossing the street.”
Signs that might suggest abuse has occurred include changes in school performance, attendance and eating habits; changes in dressing style; unaccountable time spent away from home; nightmares; refusal to spend time with someone; or wanting to be with them significantly more often.
Statistics indicate one in four girls and one in six boys will experience some sort of sexual abuse by age 18. Victims come from all socioeconomic groups and communities and 90 percent are victimized by someone the family knows and trusts.
Hundreds of student athletes are being screened for a potentially life-threatening heart disease. The screenings are part of a research project at Cincinnati Children’s to determine if new measures should be taken to help prevent sudden death due to cardiac illnesses.
“When an event occurs when an athlete dies suddenly, while it is a rare event, it is one that causes a lot of emotion and a lot of heartache,” said Cincinnati Children’s cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey Anderson. “We hope to create a program where we can identify athletes who are at risk of sudden death – those that have these rare heart problems – so that we can prevent events like sudden deaths from occurring.”
It’s Not Too Late For Flu Shot
The Cincinnati Enquirer
It may pinch a little, but it’s not too late to roll up your sleeve for a flu shot. Flu outbreaks can start as early as October, but getting a vaccine now can still protect you and your family when flu activity peaks in January, or later.
Every season 80–100 children are hospitalized at Cincinnati Children’s with complications from the flu. Beverly Connelly, director of infection control at Cincinnati Children’s, recommends vaccinations for everyone in your family older than six months.
Flu outbreaks are unpredictable and can be severe. Flu deaths over the past 30 years have ranged from a low of 3,000 to a high of 49,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s fast becoming the latest trend with teen huffing. Kids are inhaling Freon – the gas found in air conditioning systems – with sometimes fatal consequences. Unsettling videos on YouTube show the effects of the freon misuse.
“Even a single use can result in sudden death,” explains Cincinnati Children’s physician ShanYin.
Huffing freon causes a rapid high, similar to alcohol intoxication. It can lead to brain damage, loss of consciousness, frozen lungs and frostbitten airways.