Balloons Can be Suffocation Danger to Kids

Of all children’s products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death, according to CPSC injury data. Accidents involving balloons tend to occur in two ways. Some children have sucked uninflated balloons into their mouths, often while attempting to inflate them. This can occur when a child who is blowing up the balloon inhales or takes a breath to prepare for the next blow, and draws the balloon back into the mouth and throat. Some deaths may have resulted when children swallowed uninflated balloons they were sucking or chewing on. The CPSC knows of one case in which a child was chewing on an uninflated balloon when she fell from a swing. The child hit the ground and, in a reflex action, inhaled sharply. She suffocated on the balloon.

The second kind of accident involves balloon pieces. Children have drawn pieces of broken balloons that they were playing with into their throats. If a balloon breaks and is not discarded, for example, some children may continue to play with it, chewing on pieces of the balloon or attempting to stretch it across their mouths and suck or blow bubbles in it. These balloon pieces are easily sucked into the throat and lungs. Balloons mold to the throat and lungs and can completely block breathing.

Because of the danger of suffocation, the CPSC recommends that parents and guardians do not allow children under the age of eight to play with uninflated balloons without supervision. The CPSC does not believe that a completely inflated balloon presents a hazard to young children. If the balloon breaks, however, CPSC recommends that parents immediately collect the pieces of the broken balloon and dispose of them out of the reach of young children.

National Homeless Persons Memorial Day 2017

On December 21st, 2017, The Interfaith Council of Southwestern CT held an event for National Homeless Persons Memorial Day 2017 in Stamford.

As one of the sponsors of the event, OPTIMUS attended the event, in hope of a world without homelessness. The event was filmed by NEWS 12.

Safety Tips To Keep In Mind This Holiday Season

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind in this holiday season:

Balloons Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons immediately.

Small balls and other toys with small parts For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.

Scooters and other riding toys Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.

Magnets High-powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.

Safety Toys and Gifts Month

Once gifts are open:

  • Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before the wrapping and packaging become dangerous play things.
  • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
  • Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.

2017 National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) Key Messages

Flu

  • The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
  • People of every age, including people in good health, are at risk of flu.
  • Influenza can cause illness and sometimes severe disease in persons of any age.
  • Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.
  • Although a majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, even healthy young children and younger adults can have severe disease or even die from influenza.
  • Over 100 pediatric deaths from influenza were reported to CDC last season.

It’s Influenza Vaccine Week.

Flu Vaccination

  • An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease.
    • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
    • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
    • Getting vaccinated yourself protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
  • Despite the unpredictable nature of the flu, you should know:
    • You need the 2017-2018 flu vaccine for optimal protection against the flu this season because:
      • Flu viruses are constantly changing, and this season’s vaccines have been updated to protect against the viruses that surveillance data indicate will be most common this flu season, and
      • A person’s immune protection from vaccine declines over time so annual flu vaccination is needed for the best protection against the flu.
    • It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection.
    • While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, flu activity is usually highest between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later.
    • With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t been vaccinated yet this season. A flu vaccine can protect you and your loved ones from the flu.

When should I get vaccinated?

When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine now, if you haven’t gotten one already this season. It’s best to get vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.  Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy

The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have not changed since last season (2016-2017).

People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.

Who Should Not Receive a Flu Shot?

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any relevant allergies.

Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.  There are flu shots that also are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age and up.

CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

LET’S END IT

End isolation
End stigma
End HIV transmission

You’ve helped us fight HIV. Now, let’s end it. This World AIDS Day join the fight to end the negative impact of HIV.

This year in the UK there have been the first significant reductions in HIV diagnoses for gay men in London, thanks to frequent testing, rapid treatment and PrEP. Let’s grow this success so that it includes everybody at risk, across the UK.

But our fight is not just about the virus. For the more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, ignorance and discrimination can still limit opportunities, preventing them from living full and happy lives. HIV means you are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have poor mental health.

This is an exciting turning point. But we need a new burst of energy to end stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV, for good.

WHAT IS WORLD AIDS DAY?

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

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