Archive for  December 23rd 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines middle schooler Allister Bailey was selected to be a part of the Kofu, Japan exchange student program, but he needs a little help getting there.

“We’ve set up a GoFundMe account to raise $3,500 to cover the cost of getting him there,” said Amy Bailey, Allister’s mother.

She said it’s very important for young children to have cultural experiences like this.

“This is the longest running exchange program for kids and I don’t think should be limited to just people that can afford to go, and it should be able to be open for everybody,” Bailey said.

She hopes Allister will learn a lot in Japan.

“It’s so diverse and it’ll be a good experience for him to meet new people and stay with a host family there and eat their food. He gets to go to school and eat their food. I think it will just be a great experience,” she said.

Allister will be there for 10 days starting on May 31. He is excited about learning how to speak Japanese and visiting to Tokyo.

“I am most excited about having a host family because I get to connect with them, and when I come back here they said I could contact them somehow. So it’s pretty fun,” Allister said.

He said that in August a student from Japan will come stay with his family and go to class with him at McCombs Middle School.

“It’s going to be really cool. I think it’s going to be weird for them to try new things and hopefully they speak at least a tiny bit of English, but I guess we can teach them too,” he said.

Allister’s mom said both kids will be learning the same types of things in Japan and the United States.

“They learn about their government and they actually meet the mayor of Kofu, Japan and interview him, and they’ll do the same things here. We will see the capital and and things like that, and they learn about the government and the education system here,” she said.

Allister needs to raise about $3,200 more by May 15, and you can donate here to help him get there.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a very important warning about the safety risks of teething necklaces and bracelets. The FDA said parents, caregivers and health care providers should not use the jewelry to relieve teething pain in children or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The FDA received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children including strangulation and choking caused by teething jewelry, such as amber teething necklaces.

One report, the FDA said, involved an 18-month-old child who was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap. Another report involved a 7-month-old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under the supervision of a parent and was taken to the hospital.

“We know that teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs. We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. said in the news release.   “Consumers should consider following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations of alternative ways for treating teething pain, such as rubbing inflamed gums with a clean finger or using a teething ring made of firm rubber. Given the breadth of the market for these teething necklaces and jewelry, we’re sharing this important safety information directly to consumers in order to help prevent injuries in infants and kids.”

The FDA stressed that the risks of using these types of jewelry for relieving teething pain includes not only choking and strangulation but also injury to the child’s mouth and the possibility of an infection.  Choking may happen if the jewelry breaks and a small bead enters the child’s throat or airway. Strangulation could happen if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck or if the necklace catches on an object such as the crib.  The FDA said it is also concerned that a piece of the jewelry may irritate or pierce the child’s gums.

According to the FDA, amber teething necklaces contain a substance called succinic acid, which the FDA says may be released into an infant’s blood stream in unknown quantities.

“Manufacturers of these products often claim succinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves teething and joint pain. The FDA has not evaluated these claims for safety or effectiveness and recommends parents not use these products,” the press release stated.

The FDA also pointed out another concern: It recommends that caregivers avoid using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain.

According to the FDA, benzocaine and other local anesthetics can cause methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is reduced. This condition is life-threatening and can result in death, the FDA said.

Consumers and health care professionals should report injuries or adverse events that occur from using teething jewelry by calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or by going online at MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.