Making flu shots easier for kids

Kids often cry or scream when they are about to get an injection. Now, experts from Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA have offered certain tips to minimize the pain associated with the needlestick.

“The key is to be creative and use the right combination of tactics depending on your child’s age, the particular procedure being done and the child’s fear level,” said Dr Lonnie Zeltzer.

Parents of young children can bring soap bubbles and ask them to blow bubbles during the injections, suggesting they are “blowing away the hurt”.

With a crying infant, if the parent places the plastic bubble maker in front of their mouth, as they cry out, they will make bubbles.
For older children and adolescents getting the shots, but parents can help the child to breathe out slowly to relieve the pain.

Parents can ask their kids to use their imagination and experience being somewhere else really fun during the injections, such as at the park or at the beach.

Other distraction ideas include jokes, video games, stories and music.

Experts have also advised parents to ask doctor for a prescription for a numbing cream or patch and put on the areas to be injected.

If the doctor approves, parents can give the child a dose of pain reliever, such as Tylenol, about one hour before the injection.

After returning home, put an ice bag on the injection site to reduce local swelling and pain.

“Finally, do not lie to your child about getting an injection,” said Zeltzer.
“No one likes to get poked with a needle, but if you reassure your child that there are ways to make the hurt go away, then you can help them achieve a successful, less painful experience,” Zeltzer added.

Apple film wraps can protect meat

A new study led by Indian-origin researcher has revealed that edible apple film wraps can protect meat and poultry products from foodborne pathogens.

Researchers from the University of Arizona used arvacrol and cinnamaldehyde in apple-based films, which showed promise in offering protection against Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes.

“The use of edible antimicrobial films offers several consumer advantages, including prevention of moisture loss, control of dripping juices —which reduces cross contamination-reduction of rancidity and discoloration, and prevention of foreign odour pick-up,” said lead researcher Sadhana Ravishankar.

Carvacrol is the main ingredient of oregano oil, and cinnemaldehyde is the main ingredient of cinnamon oil.

The study revealed that carvacrol was a stronger antimicrobial agent against both Salmonella and E coli O157:H7 than cinnamaldehyde on the chicken breast at 4º C.

Extra-virgin olive oil for Alzheimer’s

A naturally-occurring compound found in extra-virgin olive oil can help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers.

The team from Monell and Northwestern researchers has found that the compound called oleocanthal alters the structure of neurotoxic proteins believed to contribute to the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s.
This structural change impedes the proteins’ ability to damage brain nerve cells.