Monthly Archives: September 2016

U.S. Soccer Injuries Skyrocket Among Children, According to Recent Study

in actionSoccer is the world’s most popular sport, with 25 million children participating every year. While these kids are becoming fit and active, as well as developing cooperation and leadership skills, they are also subject to certain risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics, based in Elk Grove Village, reported in its journal, Pediatrics, that record numbers of children are being sent to the emergency room due to soccer-related injuries.

The study, which was conducted from 2000 to 2014, reports that approximately 3 million children between ages seven and 17 went to emergency rooms in the U.S. for soccer injuries during that time period. That amounts to approximately 120,000 annually.

Concussions in soccer are becoming increasingly prevalent. In 1990, there were just under two concussions reported per 10,000 players. In 2013, that number increased to nearly 30 concussions per 10,000 players.

The higher number of reported concussions as of recently are suspected to be the result of increased awareness of the effects of concussions, especially on developing brains. Many concussions and head injuries are diagnosed simply because it seems more necessary than ever to see a doctor following a hard hit to the head.

Even with such high statistics, concussions only account for seven percent of all soccer-related injuries. Most injuries accounted for were fractures, sprains, and soft tissue injuries.

Between outdoor and indoor seasonal leagues and developmental club teams, many children participate in soccer year-round as well. Because these kids are exerting more energy and putting more frequent stress on their bodies, it is more likely for them to injure themselves from overuse of certain muscles or from becoming too tired.

Unfortunately, the study did not gather information about how many hours each player trained, whether they were injured in practice or a match, and only accounted for hospital-reported injuries, eliminating injuries that may have been treated by primary care physicians or urgent care facilities.

Studies Show Parents Nationwide Aren’t Practicing Safe Health Habits With Their Children

medicineAlmost half of all Americans — 48.5% — have used at least one prescription within the past month, including children, but according to a recent nationwide study, parents are giving their children wrong dosages of their prescription, which can potentially lead to a to fatal mistakes.

The new study, completed by New York University School of Medicine researchers, found that a full 80% of parents made a mistake when measuring out doses of liquid medication to their children. Researchers are perplexed by this number, as the parents were being monitored but still made errors.

We were surprised to see how many parents made errors,” the report’s lead author, Dr. Shonna Yin expressed to Today. “It’s possible that parents may be making even more mistakes at home.”

Of the 2,110 parents participating in the study, 68% were measuring out too much medication.

The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, asked parents to measure out nine doses of the antibiotic amoxicillin after reading the label’s instructions. There were three possible dosages the parents could measure, 2.5 ml, five ml, and 7.5 mil. They were given a small plastic measuring cup of the type given with liquid medicine, and two oral syringes marked in two ml and five ml increments, respectively.

All in all, 83% of patients made at least one mistake in their measurements, giving a dosage up to 20% more than recommended. Additionally, 21% made incredibly large mistakes and measured two to three times the prescribed dosage.

It turns out these dosing errors aren’t just a mistake that happens once in a while. The study noted that between 2002 and 2012, a child younger than six experiences an out of hospital medical error every six minutes nationwide. This figure represents 63,358 medical errors annually.

Researchers on the study recommend that parents ask for a syringe at their pharmacy when picking up prescriptions, as they found less of a likelihood of measuring errors when using this method compared to the measuring cup.

Prescriptions aren’t the only medical related lapse parents admit to. Considering the fact that one in 10 adults admit to regularly forgetting to brush their teeth, their poor oral habits are easily transferred to their children.

In fact, in the state of Illinois, only 31% of parents give their children an A grade for overall oral health. These results are from a survey released by Delta Dental of Illinois, and their results express that there is a need to improve the overall oral health of children within the entire state.

According to the report, 29% of Illinois children had cavities within the past year. It also found that 40% of these children do not brush their teeth the recommended two times per day. Only 65% of children who have visited a dentist within the state have done so before age five, even though a child should be visiting a dentist once they celebrate their first birthday.

In light of these statistics, the survey shows that parents believe their child’s oral health is their top medical concern. Oral health topped the list of concerns at 67%, followed by such concerns as their child’s performance in school, diet and nutrition, and physical activity.

“Pain caused by oral health problems can affect a child in many ways from their ability to focus in the classroom to their confidence,” explains Katina Spadoni, DDS, dental director for Delta Dental of Illinois. She tells the Daily Herald about the importance of oral health habits in children, saying “Good oral health is a key component to a child’s overall well-being. Not only will good oral health give a child confidence, but it can also help a child succeed in school.”

On top of these obvious health concerns, there could be some hidden dangers within the home that parents are unaware of. Mold, which can cause severe asthmatic symptoms, begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environments. Some common culprits for bringing moisture into the house include a leaky basement, a broken humidifier on an HVAC unit or clogged gutters that are causing water to trickle in through the walls.

Luckily enough, there is a new drug on the market meant to tackle hard to treat asthma symptoms. Benralizumab is an injectable drug meant to control asthma flare ups when typical steroid inhalants are not enough.

The drug is a biolic that works by killing white blood cells called eosinophils that have been linked to severe asthma. One of the benefits of this drug is that it can be administered less often, about once every two months compared to the other bi-monthly steroid method.

Each treatment costs about $25,000 to $30,000 per dose, but is covered by insurance. They have been approved for patients 12 and older, but scientists are looking to extend these treatments to children as young as six-years-old.

In the first trial of Benralizumab, researchers found that over one year, those who regularly took the drug noticed a 28% to 36% decrease in asthmatic flareups, and had an increase in lung function.

The second trial had even greater results, with the participants having 45% to 51% decrease in flareups.

The side effects of Benralizumab are limited, with only a handful of participants in the 1,200 member survey reporting cold-like symptoms, skin rash at the site of the injection, and hives. One patient experienced a panic attack.

However, this new drug is being seen as a medical breakthrough by many doctors for treating severe asthma cases and can help many patients in the long term.

Dr. Alan Mensch is one of them. He explains to the Chicago Tribune, These biologicals treat patients that were previously untreatable, and these treatments are getting better and better.”

Read the Fine Print: Chicago Universities’ Hidden Credit Card Costs

Credit cards close upIt may be becoming more common for students and their families to pay for tuition costs with a credit card, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the fine print.

Throughout the United States, approximately 85% of large colleges and universities permit tuition payments to be made with a credit card, but 57% of those schools add on a service fee of around 2.62%. When you’re dealing with the increasingly high cost of higher education, that seemingly insignificant percentage can suddenly become enormous.

Some schools state that the service charge covers the university’s cost for processing and rates are supposedly set by outside companies. With the popularity of online billing and outsourced billing on the rise, certain institutions may not want to take responsibility for implementing these costs. And although outsourced billing means that invoices are delivered quickly and accurately, online billing can make these charges easy for families to miss.

The usage of these fees varies across the higher educational system. For instance, DePaul University accepts credit card payments without the added fee, but Columbia College Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago all charge an additional fee, ranging anywhere from 2.4 to 2.75%.

Despite the fact that most of the major colleges and universities in the Chicago area charge these fees, 89% of the largest community colleges throughout the country do not. It begs the question as to whether higher regarded schools are making subtle moves to exclude students who are less financially secure.

With student loan debts mounting, most families cannot afford to pay additional credit card processing fees on top of staggering tuition costs.

Although it represents a convenient, easy way to pay tuition fees, families are being urged to think wisely before using a credit card for college payments. Whether you receive your bill electronically or on paper, be sure to read the fine print and make the choice that makes the most sense for your financial situation.

Study Finds Illinois Emergency Room Visits Surged After Obamacare

emergency-roomVisits to the emergency room now number approximately 110 million each year, but Illinois, in particular, has recently seen an increase.

A recent study by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has revealed that the state’s hospital emergency departments saw a significant increase in traffic after Obamacare took effect.

Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what most had hoped for under the new health care law.

“Emergency departments are already overcrowded, and bringing more patients in will continue to make that worse,” said Dr. Scott Dresden, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and the lead author of the study.

The number of emergency room visits by uninsured people dropped after Obamacare took effect, but the number of insured patients visiting increased by approximately 5.7% or 14,000 patients a month.

The decrease in uninsured visits wasn’t enough to offset the higher number of those with Medicaid and private insurance, according to the university’s study.

However, most recent developments in the state’s health care laws have some more worried about money than emergency room traffic.

The Illinois Department of Insurance recently released its 2017 insurance rates, which created a significant amount of sticker shock among residents.

After the collapse of one insurance company and Aetna’s announcement that they will be leaving the state, residents are left with few options to consider when it comes to health care.

“There are already far too many families who are struggling just to make ends meet, while also straining to deal with the ever-increasing uncertainty in our health care system,” said Ilinois Rep. Bob Dold. “Punishing cost increases and fewer choices will put affordable, quality care further out of reach for even more people.”

Under the new health care prices, families face premiums ranging anywhere from 30 to 77% higher than what they’re currently paying, which has more than a few people concerned.

The Affordable Care Act states that all Americans must have health insurance, and was created in an effort to reduce the cost of pricey services like emergency room visits.

While it does, in part, explain the recent surge in emergency room visits, experts agree that more education is needed to perfect its results.

“The learning curve on how to use coverage doesn’t happen overnight,” said Jay Bhatt, chief health officer for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association.

Not One, Not Two, But Three Beer Museums are in the Works in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee

Is the new American pastime brewing beer? It might be considering that more people than ever trying out home brewing in their tubs, that beer tasting becoming as fancy as wine tastings, and that microbreweries popping up on every corner. Indeed, craft brewers sold an estimated 24,076,864 barrels of beer in 2015.

The field, once vacant, has become crowded and demands competition, as is the case with the plans for the new museums of Beer, and the cities of Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee are dying to have it.

Each city has plans for a beer museum in the works — Pittsburgh’s Museum of Beer, Chicago’s Brewseum, and Milwaukee’s Museum of Beer & Brewing. Plus, a building dedicated to America’s booze of choice already exists — the National Brewery Museum in Potosi, Wisconsin.

Chicago’s Brewseum, which is still in its fundraising phase, has already filled a board of directors, and advisory board with big names in Chicago beer. These include Goose Island’s John Hall and Hopleaf bar owner Michael Roper.

Pittsburgh, a city that has a rich brewing history including its first brewery dating to Colonial times and a famous modern beer scene, would be a great place for a beer museum. The group who has taken charge of the endeavor, the National Beer Museum Development Group (NBMDG), recently went public after years of research and groundwork. Their plan is for a 50,000 square-foot space called Brew: Museum of Beer, which will include a beer hall of fame and a 300-seat brewpub.

But let’s not forget about the National Brewery Museum in Potosi Brewing, which is the revival of a local brewery that was opened and operated between 1852 and 1972. That museum concentrated on the industrial history of beer and collections of old brewing memorabilia.

All of these new and old beer museums may be vying for national attention, but as long as the brewers keep brewing and beer culture still thrives, we think they’ll be visitors enough at each and every one of them.