What's the buzz

What's the buzz

“Parents should inspect their child’s backpack from time to time. They often carry much more than they should with extra shoes, toys and other unnecessary items,” said Dr Michael Vitale, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

“A backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15 per cent of the child’s weight. If it is textbooks that are making the bag too heavy, parents should speak with the teacher — sometimes these books can be left at school,” he said.

To prevent injury, Vitale suggests that children should wear a backpack correctly over both shoulders to spread the weight evenly.
Alternately, they should consider a wheeled backpack.

He also said that if the child experiences persistent pain, parents should consult with their pediatrician, who may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles.

Caffeine, internet, SMSs ruin sleep
Caffeine-drinking teens are likely to stay up late at night and doze off during the day, according to a new study.

The researchers said that web surfing, text messaging and gaming are keeping the kids up for hours into the night.

Drexel University’s Dr Christina Calamaro, Mason B Thornton and Sarah Ratcliffe asked 100 middle and high school students aged 12 to 18 to complete a questionnaire to measure night-time intake of caffeinated drinks, use of media-related technology and sleep patterns.

The majority of the sample used some form of technology, with 66 per cent having a television in their bedroom, 30 per cent a computer, 90 per cent a cellphone and 79 per cent an MP3 digital audio player.

Diabetes risk high among the poor
A charity in Britain has warned that people who are the poorest in the country may be more than twice likely to develop diabetes at any age, compared to the average person.
Diabetes UK further states that people with the condition, who live in the most deprived homes, are also twice as likely to develop complications.

The organisation enumerated obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, and smoking among the factors to blame.

The charity points out in its report that women living in homes with the lowest income are more than four times as likely to get diabetes as those who live in homes with the highest income.

Diabetes UK chief executive Douglas Smallwood stressed the need for action to prevent a generation of people living in deprivation “ending up in an early grave”.

He said that health authorities needed to raise awareness among those at high risk.

Anthrax: Early detection saves life
Early detection and quick treatment can save nearly 87 per cent of people affected from anthrax, finds a new study.

The researchers suggest that any delay beyond three days would overwhelm hospitals with critically ill people.

“No matter how well-organised and prolonged a treatment programme is, it must be quickly implemented. In fact, our analysis shows that time-to-treatment is roughly twice as important as the duration of the distribution programme,” said lead author Dr Nathaniel Hupert.

A campaign initiated two days after exposure would protect as many as 87 per cent of exposed individuals from illness.

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