NewsTalk ZB 9 February 2015A new study is suggesting stricter guidelines on how much recreational time children spend in front of screens like, television, computers and other devices.It follows concerns by medical professionals of associated health problems like changes in blood chemistry, obesity, attention problems and reduction in sleep hormones.The report by biologist and psychologist Dr Aric Sigman says the Government should come up with specific guidelines and parents should be informed.“Not just in New Zealand but in many countries, there needs to be more linkage between the departments of education which always talk about more screen time – they see it as the future, and the department of health which sees screen time as a health issue.”He says a study in the last couple of weeks has also found found young people using screens in the evenings in their bedrooms, reduces sleep hormones.“They need to fall asleep that evening and when you test their alertness the next morning it is down.”It’s contained in a report commissioned by Family First.Spokesman Bob McCoskrie says they wonder if it’s time for New Zealand to put out more specific guidelines, as other countries are.He says the report is critical of Government agencies’ lack of guidelines for families.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/parents-urged-to-limit-child-screen-time/Kids’ screen time a health risk – Family First3News 9 February 2015Family First says children are spending too much time watching screens and it’s a health issue.The lobby group has issued a report by psychologist Dr Aric Sigman highlighting the health consequences of discretionary screen time, and is calling on the government to “become more vocal”.The majority of children in New Zealand are spending more time watching screens than they should be, the group says.“Yet the ages at which children start viewing screens and the number of hours watched per day is increasingly linked to negative physiological changes, medical conditions and development outcomes including significant sleep disturbances, attention problems and impulsiveness, and children are more susceptible to developing a long-term problematic dependency on technology.”The group says the Ministry of Health only issues guidelines for screen use outside school time and the Ministry of Education leaves the issue to individual schools.http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/kids-screen-time-a-health-risk–family-first-2015020906#axzz3R6fmgGgX
INDIANAPOLIS – State health officials have confirmed the first influenza-related death of the season. The individual was over 65 years old and was not vaccinated.Last week, the CDC released data showing that nearly half of the viruses analyzed in November were found to be ‘drift variants,” which means they have genetic changes that make them different from one used for this season’s flu vaccine.“Influenza is always unpredictable, but indications are that this season could be severe, so Hoosiers should be prepared,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Although the vaccine’s ability to protect against the H3N2 strain of flu this season may not be as high as we would like, the vaccine will protect against other strains of circulating flu virus, and those who get vaccinated may have a milder case if flu of they do get it.”The most common strain of the flu is the H3N2 virus. Historically, during seasons where H3N2 are dominant, more hospitalizations and deaths have been reported.The State Health Commissioner advises taking all steps necessary to protect you and your family from getting the flu, including:Get vaccinated: the influenza vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu.See a health care provider: influenza antiviral drugs can reduce the severity and length of flu if taken within 48 hours of showing symptoms. High risk individuals should seek treatment as soon as possible after symptoms develop. High risk individuals include children under the age of two, pregnant women, adults over the age of 65, and any individuals with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or chronic respiratory disease.Prevent spread: wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and stay home from work and school when you are sick.All individuals over 6 months of age are recommended to get vaccinated. State health officials also encourage influenza vaccination of health care workers, and household contacts and caregivers of children less than 6 months of age, as well as household contacts of people at high risk for flu complications.Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Flu viruses are spread from person to person mainly through coughing or sneezing. People with the flu are contagious one day before they get sick and for five days after becoming sick.Symptoms of the flu include:Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greaterHeadacheFatigueCoughMuscle achesSore throatIndividuals who experience these symptoms should see a healthcare provider.