Detergent Packet Poisoning
Research is finding that children are consuming a dangerously large number of detergent packets. Calls to poison control centers increased 17 percent from 2013 to 2014. More than 22,000 children (mostly under age 3) were exposed to laundry packets during that period, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP also noted a 14 percent increase in calls to poison centers concerning exposure to dishwasher detergent packets.
The packets (or pods) were introduced in 2012 as a less messy alternative to detergent powder, but their colorful designs and strong fragrances can be attractive to children. When ingested, the liquid packets double a child’s odds of being admitted to a medical facility, because they are more toxic than traditional detergents.
Exposure to packets of laundry detergent can cause vomiting, throat burns and eye injuries. More severe cases can include breathing cessation, comas, cardiac arrest and even death.
Procter & Gamble, which makes detergents that include Gain and Tide, has set up ad campaigns to emphasize safety in households that use the packets, and says it has made its packaging more difficult for children to open.
Researchers recommend that parents of children under age 6 use traditional laundry detergent instead of the packets. Also, detergent should be stored out of sight and out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet, and monitored closely while the cabinet is open.
Potential Zika Spread Mapped by NASA
NASA scientists have created a map showing the U.S. locations with the highest potential for the spread of the Zika virus. This information will be used to better target future search-and-destroy missions for the female Aedes aegypti—the mosquito responsible for the spread of the virus.
Researchers focused on 50 cities within or near the current Aedes aegypti population, applying factors such as temperature, rainfall amounts, poverty levels and whether people in those cities have traveled to Zika-affected areas. They then took things a step further and analyzed the chance of the mosquito surviving in those locations during each month of the year. In the wintertime, colder temperatures and a lack of moisture lessen the likelihood of mosquito eggs hatching.
While results of the study matched researchers’ expectations, they were surprised as to just how far north the virus can spread in the summer months.
According to the study, all 50 cities studied exhibit the potential for at least low-to-moderate Aedes aegypti abundance. And most eastern cities are suitable for moderate-to-high Aedes aegypti abundance.
How to Turn a Bad Day Around
Life is full of unexpected frustrations. Running late, spilling coffee on yourself or getting into an argument can start your day off on the wrong foot. The good news is that you can control your mood and prevent these obstacles from ruining your entire day.
The most important thing you can do is to focus on the positive. Studies show that when you’re positive, you have 23 percent fewer health-related effects from stress, you’re 31 percent more productive, you’re 40 percent more likely to receive a promotion and your creativity levels triple.
Here are a few ways to turn a bad day around:
• Pinpoint the concrete reason for your frustration and address it immediately.
• Write down or recite three things you are grateful for.
• Choose not to be a victim of your frustration. Make a conscious effort to be positive.
• Set realistic expectations for your day.
Negative emotions can be contagious. It is worth taking control of your mood—not just for yourself—but for those around you.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.
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