Children are prone to having colds, but if the symptoms last for weeks on end, the problem may be another culprit: allergies.

Long-term episodes of runny (or stuffy) nose and sneezing are often signs of allergic rhinitis—the combination of symptoms that affect the nose when you have an allergic reaction to something you inhaled (or something that lands on the inside of your nose).

Allergies can be either seasonal or year-round (perennial). In most of the US, plant pollens cause the most cases of seasonal allergies (often known as hay fever). Mold, pet dander and dust mites often cause most cases of perennial allergies.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reports that up to 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis, and the potential for allergies is higher in children with a family history of allergies.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines, parents still should exercise caution when giving these medicines to their children.

Immune System Reaction

Allergies occur when our immune system responds to an allergen by releasing histamine and other chemicals that causes nose, lungs, sinus, throat, eyes, ears, skin or stomach lining symptoms.

Some children are more prone to suffer from asthma episodes (periods of wheezing or breathing difficulties) when their allergies are triggered.

Doctor for the FDA’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology, Dr. Antony Durmowicz, cautions that parents treat allergies in children who have both conditions or else the asthma treatment will not be effective.

Allergy Medicines

OTC medicines are effective for treating childhood allergies. However, prescription treatments may be needed for more stubborn and persistent allergy cases. Seven options exist for pediatric allergy relief. And even if allergy medicine can be used in children as young as 6 months, you should always check the product label to determine if the medicine covers your child’s age group. Just because it’s a children’s medicine doesn’t mean it covers all age groups.

More Child-Friendly Medicines

Current pediatric legislation and FDA regulations for pharmaceutical companies promotes research and development of children’s medicines that have friendlier ingredients on the label. Since 1997, federal regulations have prompted the study of at least 600 products for minors.

Traumatic Brain Injury

April 2, 2017

Falls, football tackles, car accidents, etc. are known to cause head injuries. Anyone of any age can get a head injury that may also damage the brain.

Sudden head movements can make the brain twist in the skull and injure (or stretch) brain cells, which will alter the chemical makeup in the brain. This occurrence is known as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

While children and parents are gearing up for fall school sports activities, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is studying TBI and promoting the discovery of innovative treatment options.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most TBI incidents happen after the head receives a jolt, blow, bump or explosive blast to the head. Sometimes, TBI comes from an existing head injury that changes brain function. Keep in mind that not all hits to the head will cause TBI. Sometimes, the occurrence is mild (like when people are somewhat disoriented); but in other instances, the damage is severe (with serious thinking and behavioral issues or change in consciousness or mental state. A concussion is a mild type of TBI.

In 2010, an estimated 2.5 million medical emergency room visits involved TBI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) states that almost 30% of all deaths related to injuries in the United States come from TBI.

TBI symptoms are confusion, blurred vision, headache and behavioral changes. Moderate and severe TBI are also accompanied by slurred speech, nausea or vomiting, arms or legs weakness and thinking problems. (Please refer to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more information concerning TBI symptoms.)

Head injuries must be diagnosed via medical examination that will entail a neurological exam. Neurological exams included an examination of a person’s motor function, thinking, coordination, reflexes and sensory function.

To date, there is no universal diagnostic standard to diagnose TBI because some forms are harder to diagnose than others. However, there are some guidelines for TBI diagnostics that are established by the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine, the CDC and other companies.

Computerized tomography scans (“CT” scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and other imaging tests are not used to diagnose TBI but can rule out other conditions from the brain injury that may be fatal (like bleeding or other conditions that may require prompt medical attention).

There are short- and long-term effects on mental abilities after having a TBI. A first-time, mild TBI may only require simple rest for a short time span. Moderate and severe cases may require therapy (occupational, physical or psychiatric) and other treatments.

Wrinkles are caused by thin, sagging skin. They particularly appear on the face, neck, backs of hands, and tops of forearms.

Wrinkles occur as part of the natural aging process, when the collagen and elastin in the connective tissue of the skin become weak and break down due to changes in fibroblasts that produce collagen and elastin.

Premature or excess wrinkles can also be caused by factors like too much exposure to sunlight or harsh environments, smoking, use of certain drugs, excessive stress, sudden weight loss, loss of vitamin E, and genetic predisposition.

There are many easy natural remedies that will help reduce wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. Most natural wrinkle remedies do not have many side effects. You can usually try natural remedies for wrinkles without investing a lot of money or suffering from potentially serious complications.

However, it is a good idea to first consult with your dermatologist or skin care specialist, as even the best home remedies for wrinkles can have serious side effects, especially for those with sensitive skin and those prone to allergic reactions.

When training you are beating your body up so it will adapt and become stronger. However during this process the body starts to break down especially if a recovery plan is not in place.

It is very well accepted in the world of weightlifting and bodybuilding that of course, the diet and exercise program come first. However, there are several workout recovery supplements that aid with recovery and the prevention of conditions such as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Workout Recovery Supplements are a broad category of health products that are used to aid in post-workout recovery. There are many different products that fall into this category. The best post-workout supplements aim to give your body the tools it needs to fully and completely recover.

Some examples of good workout recovery supplements include whey protein, which provides the much-needed protein and amino acids which help to repair damaged muscle tissue and build muscle. Other effective workout recovery supplements, such as multivitamins and magnesium, aim to provide overall health support, which can help your body recover more efficiently.

Treating Head Lice

March 18, 2017

NO parent want to deal with their child having head lice.

Even though it occurs all year, head lice cases seem to increase significantly during the fall when kids return to school and again in January after the Christmas Break.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports between 6 to 12 million cases of head lice occurring each year in the United States in children between the ages of 3 and 11. Preschool children, elementary school children and children around people with lice are especially prone to getting head lice.

Despite the stereotypes, head lice are not a result of improper hygiene habits. They tend to spread by direct head-to-head contact with others who have head lice. Also, you can’t get head lice from pets because they only feed on humans.

Blood-Sucking Bugs

Head lice look like tan, white or gray sesame seed-size bugs that latch on the skin of the head and lay eggs in the hair.

Part your child’s hair to see if your child has lice. A magnifying glass will reveal them—especially the nits. Since the bugs are always on the move, you can spot them by the presence of nits. These nits look a lot like dandruff but are not movable like dandruff is when you pick up a hair strand and run your fingernail across the area.

Head Lice Prevention Strategies

  • Teach your children about preventing heat-to-head contact while playing and interacting and about avoiding sharing headgear with other children (like sharing hats, scarves, towels, combs, brushes, bandannas, hair ties and bows, headphones, helmets and other sports uniform items.
  • Disinfect combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by letting them soak in hot water (at least 130°F) between 5–10 minutes.
  • Do not lie on pillows, carpets, beds, couches or stuffed animals that have been used by a person with head lice.
  • Items infected by people with head lice need to cleaned within 48 hours before treatment has begun. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items using hot water (130°F) and a high temperature drying heat cycle. Get items that can’t be washed dry-cleaned or sealed in plastic and put away for two weeks.
  • All furniture and floors where the person may have laid down or sat need to be vacuumed. Keep in mind that the lice cannot feed off a scalp, they will die within one to two days.
  • You don’t have to use insecticides to control the spread of lice.

After a week of head lice treatment has passed, check everyone in the house for any remaining lice. If more are found, consult a health care provider for further suggestions.

Most people think soaps and body washes that are labeled as antibacterial are safer to use and decrease their chances of getting infected with germs or sicknesses.  However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there is no sound evidence to this day that supports the claim that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at germ spreading and illness prevention than any other soap and body wash products. Also, there is a concern that antibacterial products may not be as beneficial as once thought if used for prolonged periods of time.

In 2013 the FDA had meetings and conducted extensive research on the effectiveness and safety of antibacterial soaps. The ruling from this study requires manufacturers, consumers and others to provide feedback on whether these products should be continued. To date, not much data has been gathered concerning this issue. Now, the FDA proposes a final ruling that OTC cosmetic wash products (i.e., liquid, foam, bar soaps, gel hand soaps and body washes) that have Triclocarban and Triclosan as a primary active ingredient will be discontinued on the market.

The reason behind this ruling deals with the fact that manufacturers haven’t cooperated in proving these ingredients are safe for prolonged daily use. Also, the manufacturers demonstrated how these products prove to be any more effective or beneficial than plain soap and water in being antibacterial. There are some companies that are already taking triclocarban and triclosan out their products.

What Makes Soap ‘Antibacterial’

Antibacterial soaps (also known as antiseptic or antimicrobial soaps) contain certain chemicals that you won’t find in regular soap. These chemicals are supposed to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and infections when people use these products.

Many scholars and environmentalists are concerned about the safety of several antibacterial liquid soap products that have triclosan. Animal studies suggests that triclosan changes the way the body’s hormones behave, which poses a concern about how this hormonal change may adversely affect humans. Because of limited research in this area, little is known about the extent of influence triclosan has on the human body.

Because of the lack of concrete evidence of the safety and efficacy of these products, manufacturers may be fostering false hope about the purpose of these products to ward off germs and illnesses.  If your choice in these antibacterial products is for the feel, then save your family potential harm by using similar and safer products that feel the same way and don’t have triclocarban and triclosan. If you are using these products for the antibacterial quality, there is no evidence to assure you that you are not wasting your time using them.  Because of these uncertainties, a few manufacturers have revised their products and eliminated antibacterial agents.

Triclosan and Health Concerns

Triclosan is also found in furniture, toys, clothes, and kitchen utensils with the purpose of preventing bacterial infections. Because of that, there is an even greater concern about human exposure to this chemical.

1. Has the FDA studied Tattoo Inks?

The FDA has limited information about tattoo inks. However, the FDA is examining tattoo inks and pigments to see if they contain heavy metals, contaminants, degradants, toxic chemicals like coating agents, microbicides and pH stabilizers, and other substances that may not be tolerable in the human body. For example, some reports claim tattoo ink has pigments that can be found in car paint and printer toner.

 2. Should I be concerned about a tattoo from a non-sterile needle or the actual ink?

Actually you should be concerned about both of them. It’s no surprised that people can get infections from non-sterile needles, but some people get infections from the ink itself because of contamination from invading mold and bacteria when the ink was made or while the ink was in the tattoo shop. When the ink itself is the culprit, it’s often due to using non-sterile water to dilute the ink (but it’s sometimes due to other reasons).

You can’t tell if ink is safe just by smelling it or looking at it. If the ink was improperly made from the manufacturer, it can be sealed or wrapped up and still be contaminated. So, you can’t just rely on a product label claiming it’s sterile when the ink could have gotten contaminated at any point in the making of it.

 3. What reactions are common (and not so common) after getting a tattoo?

Some people have a fever after getting a tattoo, and some people may get some type of rash that looks like red patches or bumps. If you have anything more serious than that, you may have to get an antibiotic treatment for the infection, or it may require hospitalization or surgery.  A more serious infection will entail shaking, chills, sweats and a high fever. Your doctor will determine if your infection is serious enough to require more extensive medical attention.

4. How should I handle getting a reaction or infection from my tattoo?

As stated in the answer to question three, it is recommended you contact your doctor (or another health care provider) to determine the severity of your reaction.

Also, make sure you let the tattoo artist know about your reaction to the ink. That way, the tattoo artist can remove the contaminated ink and prevent using it again. Also, you may be able to get detailed information about the ink that may shed light on how to treat the reaction to it.

5.  Is it safe to use those do-it-yourself tattoo inks and kits?

Unless you are a licensed tattoo artist, you might not have the right training to apply your own tattoo, which may leave you open to a high risk of contamination and infections. Also, there have been a lot of reports of allergic reactions to the inks and kits commonly found online.

6. Are there any long-term effects of having a tattoo?

The FDA and many other organizations are doing continuing research on the effects of tattoo art. However, many unanswered questions about tattoos are still not being addressed with the ongoing research. For example, most research going on today does not consider the long-term effects of the ingredients (including the contaminants) found in tattoo ink.

Another issue when considering the effect of tattoo pigments concerns what happens when the tattoo is removed via laser treatment. To date, research has shown that there is some scaring that occurs after tattoo removal, but other effects are yet to be verified.

7. What’s the bottom line?

Always consider the previously stated information before getting a tattoo. It does not matter about how advanced technology is because it still hurts and causes scarring to get a tattoo removed should you change your mind about keeping it.