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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

News of Interest for Moms May 13, 2009

News of Interest for Moms:

Pregnant women more at risk for swine flu

Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend pregnant women take prescription flu medicines if they are diagnosed with swine flu.

The swine flu has not proven to be much more dangerous than seasonal influenza, and it’s not clear whether or not pregnant women catch swine flu more often than other people, according to the CDC.

However, flu poses added risks for pregnant women because pregnancy weakens a woman’s immune system, making her more likely to suffer pneumonia when she catches the flu.

Folic acid protects babies' hearts

Rates of severe congenital heart defects among newborns in Quebec fell significantly after the move to fortify flour and pasta with folic acid began in 1998, according to an online study in The British Medical Journal.

In the seven years after fortification was introduced there was a 6% drop per year in babies born with severe heart defects.

The recommendation of fortifying flour and pasta is controversial. Some fear that adding folic acid to products like bread could harm some elderly people if they are deficient in other B vitamins. There is also concern that it may also increase the risk of certain cancers in some people.

Pregnant women and those trying to conceive are advised to take folic acid supplements to reduce the risk that their baby will have a neural tube birth defect like spina bifida.

Falling flat screen TVs a growing threat for kids

Nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007,after heavy or unstable furniture fell over on them, according to a study published in Clinical Pediatrics.

The study reported that the such injuries had risen 41 percent since 1990.The increase correlated with the popularity of increasingly bigger flat-panel televisions Americans have brought into their homes, as well as the entertainment centers and less-stable stands to hold them. Injuries from televisions alone accounted for 47 percent of all injuries related to falling furniture during the study period.

Three-quarters of the victims of falling furniture are younger than 6 years old. Most of the injuries related to falling furniture were minor. But 3 percent of the 264,200 children whose cases were reviewed from 1990 to 2007 were injured seriously enough to require hospital admission — most of them for head and neck injuries — and about 300 of them died.

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