Is your daycare doing enough to prevent a flu pandemic? Few are


Remember the swine flu aka H1N1 of 2009. It was pretty nasty and spread throughout summer camps, childcare centers, offices, amusement parks, etc.

Researchers Timothy R. Shope, Benjamin H. Walker, Laura D. Aird, Linda Southward, John S. McCown and Judith M. Martin did a phone survey and wanted to know if that experience made any difference on the outcome of a previous study they had done with daycare directors.

They had talked to 1500 randomly chosen daycare center directors in 2008 (before swine flu) and this time talked to 518 directors in 2016 (after swine flu). They asked about what preparations daycare centers were taking regarding a potential influenza pandemic.

They looked at these areas to assess preparedness: general infection control, communication, seasonal influenza control, use of health consultants, quality of child care and perceived barriers.

What researchers found was that only about 7 percent of daycare centers had taken “concrete actions” to prepare for an influenza pandemic. It also didn’t seem to matter if a daycare director had been through swine flu in 2009 in the 2016 survey.

Researchers recommend that centers enlist the help of a consultant to enact measures that will help cut down on the spread of illness, including a influenza pandemic.

Study: Race matters in sudden unexpected infant deaths. Why?

A new study looked at 20 years worth of data of infant deaths due to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, of which Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed and other unexplained causes are a part.

The study led by Sharyn E. Parks, who is part of the Maternal and Infant Health Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be part of the June issue of Pediatrics from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study divided these deaths, which since 2000 have been stable at 93.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, into race and ethnicity and found a big unexplained gap.

If you look at the year 2013, the most recent year in the study, non-Hispanic whites had a SUID rate of 84.5. Hispanics had a rate of 49.3 and Asian/Pacific Islanders had the lowest rate of 28.3. Yet, American Indians/Alaskan Natives had a rate of 177.6 and non-Hispanic blacks had a rate of 172.4. And that was a good year.

The study did see a decrease in SUID rates from 1995 to 2000, after the introduction of the Back to Sleep ad campaign that stressed that babies should be put to bed on their backs in a crib with nothing but a sheet-covered mattress in it.

When you look at all the years 1995-2013 that the study covered, the rates were 88.3 for non-Hispanic whites, 54.2 for Hispanics, 41.9 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 188.7 for non-Hispanic blacks and 215.2 for American Indians/Alaskan Natives.

What is going on here? Well, the researchers aren’t sure, but there are two theories that could be working together.

The first is that the Back to Sleep campaign is not reaching non-Hispanic black and American Indian/Alaskan Native families. There are cultural norms at work that have these moms putting baby to sleep on their bellies or sides, or with too much stuff in the crib or in too much clothing.

The other is that there might be a biological component such as a difference in metabolic rates that is causing this.

With any study, more research needs to be done.



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