Tips to prevent water-borne diseases

Water borne diseases are cause for the deaths of millions of people every year. Consuming water that contains pathogenic microorganisms causes water borne diseases. In most developing countries, water borne diseases are the main cause of childhood death, especially with diarrhea.

Tips to prevent water-borne diseases

How Water Borne Disease Transmitted?
Most of the people get infected when the contaminated material enters their mouth. Other possible modes of transmission include:

  • Dirty contaminated hands, clothes, cooking vessels, mugs, etc.
  • Uncovered food and drinking water
  • Contaminated water
  • The practice of defecating in the open
  • Via flies

Ways to Avoid These Diseases
In order to prevent infectious water borne diseases, it is important to take necessary precautions. The quality of water should be improved at the source itself. In certain areas, the quality of water supply might be of question. In such cases, it is necessary to disinfect the water before use. Water that is used for all purposes like drinking, cooking, and brushing of teeth should be disinfected properly. The common household ways to avoid water borne diseases by disinfection include:

  • Vigorously boiling water for one minute can kill most microorganisms.
  • Common household items such as chlorine bleach, tincture of iodine, and iodine tablets can be used to disinfect water.

Another important measure that should be taken to avoid the spreading of pathological microorganisms is the interruption of routes of transmission such as protecting food from flies, chlorination of water, and maintaining proper sanitation, etc. It is vital to change ensure proper hygiene in order to avoid waterborne diseases.

  • Drink only filtered/bottled water.
  • Wash hands properly before eating.
  • Wash the containers daily.
  • Eat cooked, warm foods.
  • Keep your fingernails short and clean.
  • Use of proper toilets for defecation.
  • Wash food before cooking and cook food at high temperature so as to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid flies by disposing animal and organic wastes properly.
  • Ensure to take proper care in disposing of infant and toddler feces.
  • Avoid consuming foods, fruit juices, and milkshakes from roadside vendors.
  • Always keep foods and beverages closed.
  • Avoid drinking water at parks and other such recreational places. It is best to buy bottled water or carry your own water.
  • Another common place where one can put oneself at risk of contracting water borne illnesses is hospitals as they can be breeding grounds of pathogenic microorganism. Always sanitize your hands and bath after visiting a hospital.
  • Rivers and creeks can be breeding grounds for bacteria; avoid swimming in such waters.
  • Washing hands is the most important method of prevention of waterborne diseases. One should wash hands before preparing food and before eating. Likewise, it is necessary to wash hands after using the toilet, changing diapers, after using handkerchief, after changing clothes or beddings soiled with feces, after caring people with water borne illness, and after playing with pets and animals.

Travelers are most likely to contract water borne illnesses, and here are certain tips that can help to lessen the chances of getting ill.

  • Ensure to drink only bottled water. Check for any sign of tampering.
  • Avoid ice cubes as these are a major source of contaminated water.
  • Avoid eating uncooked food.

To prevent the spreading of waterborne illnesses, people suffering from waterborne illness should be confined to themselves from work until symptoms have subsided.

Source: home remedies for you

70 per cent metro kids have below-median growth


Raising an alarm on the need for nutritional intake for urban kids, a new survey today said 70 per cent children in Indian metro cities have below-median growth.

The Abbott SureMoms survey shows 70 per cent children in the 2-10 year age group in all four Indian metros have below-median growth parameters of height and weight.

Around 54 per cent of the below-median children fail on both height and weight parameters, while as many as 45 per cent of these children are nutritionally at-risk, the survey report said.

Around 61 per cent of below-median children were found to be fussy eaters.

Dr Bhaskar Raju, paediatrician at Mehta’s Hospitals in Chennai, said, “These findings highlight the need to track growth in children regularly to ensure they do not progressively fall below the median, which will put them at risk nutritionally”.

“Growth in children can be impacted by different factors, nutrition being one of them. Nutrition is important and is linked to eating behaviour,” he said.

In the survey, Mumbai was observed to have a high percentage of below-median children with 78 per cent failing on either height or weight or both, while Kolkata had the lowest percentage of children with below-median growth.

SureMoms, a nutrition education platform for parents by Abbott, commissioned TNS, a leading market research agency, to find out how children in Indian metros were actually faring on growth parameters.

Trained dietitians measured children’s height and weight and interviewed mothers on their child’s eating behaviour, across a sample size of 1,181 respondents.

Source: business standard

Magnet-powered toys dangerous for kids: Study


Does your toddler play with magnet-powered toys? Throw these away as the chances of him/her ingesting tiny magnets is high, resulting in serious injuries that require surgery, an alarming study says.

“With the inclusion of smaller, spherical magnets in children’s toys, we are seeing an increased number of visits to the hospital for surgeries to remove them from the gastrointestinal tract,” said Matt Strickland, a general surgery resident at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto.

Strickland’s team focused their research on digestive-tract injuries because the majority of serious harm from magnets is due to perforations of the stomach, small bowel and colon.

Many children in the study required surgery – in some cases, to remove small parts of their intestines. They found that out of 2,722 patient visits to their hospital for foreign-body ingestions, 94 children had ingested those magnets – including 30 kids who had ingested multiple magnets.

With the smaller magnets, children tend to ingest multiple pieces which can adhere to one another as they travel through the bowel. “They can also attract other magnets in the gastrointestinal tract and tear a hole in the bowel,” Strickland cautioned.

Many children often don’t exhibit symptoms right away. Doctors may not discover the magnets until they do X-rays and severe damage has usually been done till then, said the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Today’s magnets are 20 times more powerful than older magnets with the potential to cause more damage. These high-powered ball magnets are often sold in jewellery kits or adult desk toys.
Source: Zee news

Genetic test could help identify kids at low-IQ risk

Researchers claimed to have developed a genetic test that could spot children with impaired thyroid function at risk of developing low IQ.

After studying the genetic and IQ data of 3123 children under 7 with a common gene variant, researchers found that those with thyroid hormone levels less than the normal range had a four-fold greater risk of having an IQ less than 85 if they also had reduced thyroid hormone levels, reported.

Lead researcher Peter Taylor, from the University of Cardiff, said that kids with satisfactory thyroid hormone levels, together with the genetic variant, have normal IQ levels, which raises the possibility that children at risk could be treated with standard thyroid hormone tablets to compensate for impaired thyroid hormone processing.

Source: Business Standard

Too much exposure to TV can stall preschoolers’ cognitive development

A new study has suggested that preschoolers who have a TV in their bedroom and are exposed to more background TV have a weaker understanding of other people’s beliefs and desires.

Amy Nathanson, Molly Sharp, Fashina Alade, Eric Rasmussen, and Katheryn Christy, all of The Ohio State University, interviewed and tested 107 children and their parents to determine the relationship between preschoolers’ television exposure and their understanding of mental states, such as beliefs, intentions, and feelings, known as theory of mind.

Parents were asked to report how many hours of TV their children were exposed to, including background TV. The children were then given tasks based on theory of mind. These tasks assessed whether the children could acknowledge that others can have different beliefs and desires, that beliefs can be wrong, and that behaviours stem from beliefs.

The researchers found that having a bedroom TV and being exposed to more background TV was related to a weaker understanding of mental states, even after accounting for differences in performance based on age and the socioeconomic status of the parent.

However, preschoolers whose parents talked with them about TV performed better on theory of mind assessments.

“When children achieve a theory of mind, they have reached a very important milestone in their social and cognitive development. Children with more developed theories of mind are better able to participate in social relationships. These children can engage in more sensitive, cooperative interactions with other children and are less likely to resort to aggression as a means of achieving goals,” lead researcher Nathanson said.

The study is published in the Journal of Communication.

Source: Deccan Chronicle