Author: Nitya Rao

Concussions: heads, you lose

sports_concussionMany athletes think they’ll never make it to the big league unless they’re willing to play hard and take a few knocks on the  field. But does playing hard mean that they should play hurt—especially if they’ve had a blow to the head?

At every level of competitive sports, coaches, athletes and parents are rethinking when it’s appropriate for athletes return to the game. As Children’s Hospital Boston’s William Meehan, MD, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic in the Division of Sports Medicine, writes in an article for The MetroWest Daily News, the days of an athlete having his bell rung and then jumping back int to the game are  gone. Read his story here and tell us what you think.

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EU wants iPods and MP3 players made quieter

headphones

Many parents wonder whether their child will suffer from permanent hearing damage due to continually listening to loud iPods and other MP3 players.

So parents all over Europe must have been both worried and relieved last month when the European Union (EU) substantiated their fears and issued new guidelines limiting volume settings and recommended exposure times to protect its citizens’ hearing.

The EU guidelines state:

  • All makers of portable music players must lower their default volume setting from 100 decibels (dB, the sound of a jetliner) to 80 dB (the sound of road traffic)
  • The default level can be overridden by consumers who choose to do so
  • Manufacturers must add a health warning to all new devices within the next two years
  • At 80 dB, exposure should be limited to 40 hours a week
  • According to a BBC news report, these rules were framed in response to new research, which claimed that one in 10 users of portable music devices who listened at high volume for more than one hour per day over five years risked permanent hearing damage.
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Canada delays seasonal-flu vaccine program. Should we be worried?

stockphotopro_998566RYH_18_07_01_0082_jpAn unpublished, unverified Canadian research study, which suggests that people who got flu shots last season are twice as likely to contract swine flu, prompted 12 out of 13 Canadian provinces to hastily suspend their seasonal-flu vaccination programs earlier this week.

In contrast to the simultaneous H1N1 and seasonal-flu vaccination programs being conducted by the U.S. and many other countries around the world, Canada’s provincial governments have decided to put off their seasonal-flu vaccination program until after the H1N1 inoculations are completed, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The vaccine suspensions however, do not apply to seniors above the age of 65, since they are more prone to catching seasonal flu.

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