HEALTH

Health Canada doesn’t share FDA concern over homeopathic teething remedies

BY Michael Johnsen

OTTAWA – Health Canada doesn't share the same concerns as the Food and Drug Administration when it comes to homeopathic teething remedies, the Canadian health agency announced Thursday.

"At this time, there is no indication of a similar safety concern in Canada," the agency stated in a release to Canadian citizens. "We continue to follow up with Canadian manufacturers and the FDA, and to assess all available information. Should the Department determine that there is a safety concern involving products sold in Canada, we will take action and inform Canadians as appropriate."
 
There are several homeopathic teething products authorized in Canada, manufactured by different companies and available in multiple formats including gels, tablets and liquids. Health Canada has received 11 Canadian adverse reaction reports involving a variety of these products since their sale: three that were serious but were confirmed, following an assessment, to be unrelated to the product; seven that were not serious; and one that was an allergic reaction that was determined to be possibly linked to the product.

No deaths associated with homeopathic teething products have been reported in Canada.

Parents and caregivers with questions or concerns about teething products should speak to a healthcare practitioner, and should seek immediate medical care if their child reacts unusually after using these products.
 

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Summer camps admit head lice can be real headache

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO – New research to be presented at the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that lice can be the end of a happy summer for many kids at sleepaway camp.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital tracked lice infections in more than 500 summer camps over a three-year period and followed up with a questionnaire to camp leaders. They found 30% of camps have a "no nit policy," which excludes campers based on the presence of lice eggs, despite evidence that no-nit policies are not effective.

"While it's no surprise that summer camps identify head lice as a significant challenge, current practices regarding lice detection, treatment and exclusion are often outdated, unnecessarily resource intensive and pose a greater burden on children, families and camp staff," stated researcher Ashley DeHudy of the University of Michigan Pediatrics. "At this time, we have an excellent opportunity to collaborate with summer camps in developing lice management policies and educational training materials that will efficiently and effectively treat head lice."

As many as 60% of camp leaders said lice infections were a substantial burden on staff and the camper's family. Camps often have limited staff resources and children are away from home, making treatment more challenging. That means many kids with lice or nits are sent home for treatment. Reintegrating into the camp experience after treatment can be difficult, and children may suffer a social stigma.

According to the survey, less than 20% of campers with nits and live lice were able to stay at camp. Of those children who did receive treatment at camp with standard over-the-counter solutions, only 40% received a second treatment as recommended. Most camp staff do not feel well trained in recognizing or treating lice and would welcome more training on the subject, according to the survey.
 

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Protein Sciences promotes Flublok influenza shot through social media

BY Michael Johnsen

MERIDEN, Conn. – Protein Sciences is looking to drum up some brand recognition behind its flu shot with a new social media campaign – #ShowMeTheVial – featuring Flublok influenza vaccine.  

To promote awareness and healthy living, raise money for organizations supporting patients and encourage individuals to ask for Flublok, Protein Sciences will donate money to charity each time someone "shows them the Flublok vial."

In addition, participants will be entered to win a Fit & Healthy prize package that includes a new Fitbit Blaze.

"Flublok ambassadors are everywhere and we'd like to recognize the passion they show for our product," stated Manon Cox, president and CEO of Protein Sciences Corporation. "This is our way of giving back to them and to an important cause.  Many people still don't realize they have a choice in flu vaccines, and we hope this campaign will help educate people about Flublok."

How it works: social media users nationwide are asked to post a photograph of themselves receiving Flublok with the hashtag "#ShowMeTheVial" and/or "#FlublokProtected on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  For example, pictured above is Catherine Smith the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, which FluBlok Tweeted Oct. 11.

For each post, Protein Sciences will donate $1 to a health-based charity.  First up is the American Heart Association.  Participants will also have their name entered five times per post for a chance to win the prize package.  People can also be entered to win the prize package by sharing any #ShowMeTheVial or #FlublokProtected post on any of their social media channels; each share gets a person one entry into the prize drawing.  A winner will be named at the end of the flu season on April 30, 2017.

 

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