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Showing posts from April, 2010

Does Your Food--Allergic Child Qualify for a 504 Plan?

A parent of 2 food-allergic kiddo's shared an interesting tidbit with me the other day, of which I was not previously aware.

If your child has a history of anaphylaxis to a food allergen, he/she may be a candidate for a 504 plan, which creates a specific plan outlining the accommodations that may be needed in the school setting to ensure that the student with a disability (in this case, severe food allergy) is not excluded from the full educational resources available to other children due to his/her disability.

From the Department of Education website: Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be su…

Would You Like an Inhaler with Your Smokes?

One of my nurses snapped the following photo today... funny and sad at the same time.

Warnings About Volcano-Related Respiratory Problems May Have Been Premature

Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl). Say that five times fast!

No matter how you pronounce it, this volcano has been in the news and in water-cooler conversations around the world. It has affected travelers, governments, and reportedly, even a rhinoceros who got stuck en route!

On Friday, the World Health Organization issued a warning for patients in Europe with asthma and other respiratory problems, claiming that the ash cloud released by the volcano could be "very dangerous" for them due to the abrasive and corrosive nature of volcanic dust particles.

However, they have since toned down this warning. The tiny particles of volcanic ash which are most likely to cause these issues are still very high up in the atmosphere- too high to cause significant problems for individuals on the ground (except in the immediate vicinity of the volcano). A low-pressure weather system expected over Iceland later this week may push the ash cloud towards the Arctic and prompt rain whi…

Should Smoking in Passenger Vehicles be Banned?

The dangers of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) have been well-documented. Environmental tobacco smoke has been associated with increased risk for not only asthma and ear infections, but also with meningitis and sudden infant death syndrome. Young children are particularly susceptible to these ill-effects. The risk is not limited to second-hand smoke, however. Third-hand smoking occurs when an individual is exposed to an environment in which someone has been, but is not currently, smoking.

Quoting from the Pediatrics article "Beliefs About the Health Effects of 'Thirdhand' Smoke and Home Smoking Bans" by Jonathan P. Winickoff, MD, MPH et al: "Research has documented the association between smoking in the home and persistently high levels of tobacco toxins well beyond the period of active smoking. These toxins take the form of particulate matter deposited in a layer onto every surface within the home; in loose household dust; and as volatile toxic compound…