AAPCC and Poison Centers Issue Warning About Concentrated Packets of Laundry Detergent
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the experts at America's 57 poison centers are urging the public, especially parents, to keep highly concentrated "single dose packs" of laundry detergent up and away from children, according to Debbie Carr, AAPCC executive director.
Poison centers are reporting a recent uptick in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents packaged in small, single-dose packets. Some young children and toddlers who swallow these small packets have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation. Some children have been exposed when the product burst after putting it into their mouths.
The following are examples of exposures to children who have become ill from concentrated laundry detergent packets:
- Ten minutes after a 20-month-old swallowed a laundry detergent packet, the child developed profuse vomiting, wheezing and gasping and then became unresponsive to even painful stimuli.
- A 15-month-old who bit into a pack and swallowed a mouthful had profuse vomiting and, after arrival at a hospital, had to be put on a ventilator for airway protection.
- A 17-month-old bit into a packet and then rapidly developed drowsiness, vomited, breathed the product into the lungs, and had to be put on a ventilator.
"The rapid onset of significant symptoms is pretty scary," said Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of
the Carolinas Poison Center. "Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all. Although we aren't certain what in the product is making the children sick, we urge all parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids."
The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends the following steps:
- Always keep detergents locked up and out of the reach of children.
- Follow the specific disposal instructions on the label.
- If you think a child has been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, call your local poison centerat 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
The fight against pertussis (whooping cough) continues with the number of cases increasing nearly 73 percent this year from the same time period in 20111,2. To help families across the country picture a world without pertussis, the Sounds of Pertussis® Campaign, a joint initiative from Sanofi Pasteur and the March of Dimes, is launching "Take Pertussis Out of the Picture."
Campaign spokesperson and four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon is inviting all Americans to take the pledge to get an adult pertussis vaccine and participate in the "Take Pertussis Out of the Picture" initiative on Facebook. Leading the way, Gordon has shown his support and shared his family photo! Here's how you can join the cause and spread the word:
- Step 1: Visit the Sounds of Pertussis Facebook page and join the community.
- Step 2: Starting June 13th, submit a family photo and make your pledge to take pertussis out of the picture. For each photo published on the Facebook page, Sanofi Pasteur will donate $1 to the March of Dimes (up to $10,000).
- Step 3: Share your photo with family and friends and let them know about this important initiative.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sexual Experience and Contraceptive Use Among Female Teens — United States, 1995, 2002, and 2006–2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2012; 61 (17): ND-235. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm6117md.pdf. Accessed May 4, 2012.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Adolescents and Young Adults — Massachusetts, 2002–2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2011; 60 (17): 564.
The Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is teaming up with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge you to include 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Physical activity not only increases your chances of living longer, it also reduces your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. In our local area most adults do not get enough physical activity.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes walking fast, dancing, or raking leaves. Do strengthening activities, like situps and pushups, at least 2 days a week. By getting active, you will sleep better, strengthen your bones, and lower your risk of depression.
No matter what shape you are in, together we can rise to the challenge to get more active during the month of May.
A healthier America begins with mental and emotional well-being
Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference. If we take small actions, our communities, homes and families will see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement. Each year, nearly 1 million Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented. When it comes to mental and emotional well-being, the little things truly make an impact. Early detection of mental health problems and proper treatment are just a few of the ways people can stay healthy.
By identifying the signs of depression and suicide early and referring people to the appropriate resources, Americans can reduce their risk of devastating mental health issues. Even the smallest preventive changes and initiatives can make a big difference in living healthier lives.
Did you know?
- Many mental health and emotional disorders are preventable and treatable. Early identification and treatment can help prevent the onset of disease, decrease rates of chronic disease and help people lead longer, healthier lives.
- About one in five young people experience a mental, emotional or behavior disorder at some point in their lifetime.
- In a given year, fewer than half of people diagnosed with a mental illness receive treatment. The unmet need for mental health services is greatest among underserved groups, including elderly people, racial and ethnic minorities, those with low incomes, those without health insurance and residents of rural areas.
- More than 34,000 Americans die every year as a result of suicide — approximately one suicide every 15 minutes.
- Approximately 20 percent of high school students report being bullied at school, and more than 30 percent report having been in a physical fight.
- Risk factors for suicide include alcohol or substance abuse, isolation, extreme emotional stress, history of childmaltreatment and mental health conditions such as depression.
- Family and community rejection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, including bullying, can have profound and long-term impacts, such as depression, use of illegal drugs and suicidal behavior.
Together we can address these statistics and live longer and healthier lives. You can protect yourself, your family and community in many ways, no matter where you are. Taking action, both big and small, to evaluate and treat mental illness is more than just common sense — it’s effective. Below are just a few examples of how you can prevent mental illness:
- Promote positive early childhood development, including positive parenting and violence-free homes.
- Seek out proper treatment, promote your community’s resources and receive proper screening for mental health issues.
- Provide positive parenting practices to reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment and the emergence of child behavioral problems.
- Identify the signs of depression and suicide and refer people to appropriate resources.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in response to a recent article that stresses the importance of promoting mental and emotional well-being during NPHW and beyond.
- Encourage employers to provide comprehensive mental health services as part of health care plans and promote violencefree environments.
- Become more involved in your community by becoming a mentor, tutoring youth or joining a faith or spiritual community.
- Encourage children and adolescents to participate in extracurricular and out-of-school activities.
- Create a local movement: Host an organized community activity, such as volunteering, that encourages social participation and inclusion for all people, including older people and those with disabilities.
- Encourage a local mental health care facility to train key community members such as adults who work with the elderly, youth and armed services personnel to identify the signs of depression and suicide and refer people to resources and help centers.
- Hold a meeting with a policymaker about the possibility of expanding access to mental health services, such as patient navigation and support groups, and enhancing linkages between mental health, substance abuse, disability and other social services.
- Work with hospitals and primary care physicians to provide tools, guidance and best practices to promote positive early childhood and youth development to prevent child abuse.
- Host an event with members of the military that provides easy-to-use information about mental and emotional well-being.
There is much more you can do to encourage mental and emotional well-being beyond these actions. By raising awareness of ways to diagnose mental health problems early during National Public Health Week and beyond, you can help your community be a healthier one.
On Friday, April 6, 2012, the American Public Health Association Student Assembly will celebrate its third annual National Public Health Student Day. If you are on a college campus, what will you do to celebrate public health and work to create a healthier nation? Visit www.nphw.org to learn how students across the country are celebrating NPHW Student Day.
A healthier America begins with reproductive and sexual health
SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST CHANGE CAN MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE. If we take small actions, our communities, homes and families will see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement. Yet each year, despite the many easy ways to stay healthy, nearly 1 million Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented. Routine screenings and education can go a long way toward helping Americans improve reproductive and sexual health. These measures will lower the risk of disease and deaths that could have been prevented.
Did you know?
- Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended. Risks associated with unintended pregnancy include low birth weight, postpartum depression and family stress.
- The preterm birth rate has risen by more than 20 percent during the past 20 years. Preterm infants are more likely to suffer complications at birth, such as respiratory distress, die within the first year of life, and have lifelong health challenges, such as cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.
- There are approximately 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States each year — almost half occur in young people ages 15 to 24.
- More than 1 million people in the United States are estimated to be living with HIV infection, and more than 50,000 people become infected each year.
- Binge drinking and illicit drug use are associated with intimate partner violence and risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex and multiple sex partners.
- Infant mortality rates are higher among women of color, adolescents, unmarried mothers, people who smoke, those with lower educational attainment and those who did not obtain adequate prenatal care.
- Preconception and prenatal care can reduce birth defects, lower birth weight and reduce the likelihood of other preventable problems.
Together we can address these statistics and live longer and healthier lives. You can protect yourself, your family and community in many ways, no matter where you are. Taking action, both big and small, to promote reproductive and sexual health is more than just common sense — it’s effective. Below are just a few examples of how you can live healthier:
- Promote the importance of planning for healthy pregnancies in your community. Planning is especially important in preventing teen pregnancy and childbearing. It can also help improve women’s educational attainment, employment opportunities and financial stability.
- Eat healthy, stay active, stop using tobacco and monitor alcohol use and see a doctor regularly during pregnancy.
- Have routine preventive screenings to enhance early detection of HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and other STIs.
- Support comprehensive reproductive and sexual health services for men and women, as well as sexual health education.
- Discuss sexual health concerns with your health care provider.
- Communicate with children regarding their knowledge, values and attitudes related to sexual activity, sexuality and healthy relationships.
- Support the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign, which seeks to reduce the spread of STIs among young people through information, communication, testing and treatment as necessary.
- Advocate for access to quality health services and support for safe practices to improve physical and emotional well-being to reduce teen and unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other STIs.
- Work with local schools to ensure they are providing comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education and services.
- Create a local movement: Collaborate with a local hospital to promote and offer HIV and other STI testing.
- Promote community-based prevention programs that address intimate partner violence and sexual violence.
- Encourage employers to provide health coverage and employee assistance programs that include family planning and reproductive health services.
There is much more you can do to encourage reproductive and sexual health beyond these actions. By raising awareness of ways to prevent reproductive and sexual health problems in your community during National Public Health Week and beyond, you can help your community become a healthier one.