Measles Death Rate Drops, But Remains a Concern
Measles deaths have plummeted over the past decade, but the disease remains a major public health concern. That's according to a new study released Monday by the World Health Organization. Deaths from measles dropped 74 percent worldwide between 2000 and 2010, but progress is still short of the WHO's goal to cut deaths by 90 percent. Most of the deaths were in India and Africa, where children are not immunized regularly enough, HealthDay reports. Measles, which spreads via coughing, sneezing, and mouth secretions, causes a high fever, runny nose, cough, and body rash. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis, and vaccination is the only way to prevent the disease. "This is one of the most remarkable victories in the history of public health," Anthony Lake, executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund, told reporters during a press briefing. "The bad news is that every day measles still claims 382 lives worldwide, and every one of them could have been saved by two doses of 22-cent vaccine."
Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages
What's the golden ticket to living well into your golden years? A lifelong exercise program, says Pamela Peeke, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Specifically, a program that adapts to your physiological needs as you age. "Exercise is age-specific," says Peeke, author of Fit to Live and Body-for-LIFE for Women. "And you want to start as young as possible."
If you wait until age 65 to start exercising, you'll still benefit somewhat: Research has shown that you can, indeed, take steps to reverse the effects of inactivity later in life, and with considerable success. But why take the hard route? Fitness is like retirement savings, Peeke suggests: Wait until later to start socking away "body currency," and you'll get much less bang for your buck. You'll be trying to amass strength and endurance just as your energy and lean muscle mass have dwindled.
But start with a simple, well-rounded fitness plan now, and modest upkeep can take you spryly into your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. All you have to do is stay consistent. "I've seen 100-year-olds who are more active than some 20-year-olds," Peeke says. However, most people neglect their fitness regimens as they get older: Only 30 percent of people ages 45 to 64, 25 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds, and 11 percent of people 85 and older say they exercise regularly, according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). [Read more: Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages]
Home Safety: Hidden Risks to Children
The child left his mother's sight for mere minutes. Yet that was enough time for 21-month-old Ollie Hebb to fall into the top-loading washing machine and become submerged in a full tub. The Utah boy died a day later, after suffering severe brain damage.
Between 2005 and 2009, two children under the age of five died as a result of laundry room accidents, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Washing machine-related injuries are more common than deaths, says Scott Wolfson, director of public affairs for the CPSC. Aside from drowning, children may suffer burns from hot water in the machine, or injuries to their limbs if they come into contact with a rapidly spinning basin. "Kids are curious. We have to be very vigilant about our children, and really live in the moment and be present when we're supervising them," says Kate Carr, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, which aims to prevent unintentional childhood injuries.
Washing machines aren't the only hidden dangers lurking in homes. Here are 5 others to be cautious of:
Standing water. Drowning concerns extend beyond swimming pools. Any type of standing water—even if it's just an inch deep—can harm a child. "The bathroom is the riskiest room in the house," says Garry Gardner, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on injury, violence, and poison prevention. "Children lean over and look into the toilet or bathtub, they trip, and they fall in." Keep young children out of the bathroom unless they're being closely watched, and teach others in the home to keep the bathroom door closed at all times. Ice chests with melted ice, water buckets or pails, and whirlpools also pose risks. Empty all buckets, pails, and bathtubs completely after use; never leave them filled or unattended. And adjust the water heater thermostat so that the hottest temperature at the faucet is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, to help avoid burns. [Read more: Home Safety: Hidden Risks to Children.]