Backyard Poultry Could Make Their Owners Sick

September 11th, 2019

ChickenThe growing trend of raising chickens and other poultry for eggs and companionship is linked to an outbreak that has sickened people in 49 states.

Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella infections caused by bacteria linked to backyard poultry flocks have now stricken more than 1,000 Americans this year, killing two and sending another 175 to the hospital.

On August 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had recorded another 235 illnesses in August, bringing the count of those sickened by salmonella related to home-raised poultry to 1,003.

This rising number puts the country on track to exceed 2017’s toll, the largest recorded by the CDC. In this outbreak, 1,120 people got sick and one person died from contact with backyard poultry.

The trouble stems from a lack of public education. Roughly eight percent of homes in the United States had chickens in 2018 according to the American Pet Producers Association.

Safety Measures for Backyard Friends

People who wish to keep backyard poultry need to be aware of the risks and learn about simple measures to help protect themselves and their families from illness. The CDC recommends the following for keeping live poultry:

1.      Always wash your hands with soap and water:

  • After handling poultry
  • After handling poultry food and water dishes or other equipment
  • After cleaning poultry coops or anything in enclosures, such as perches or other equipment
  • After being in areas near poultry, even if you did not touch the birds
  • Before you eat or drink

2.    Adults should supervise hand washing for children under five years of age.

3.   Don’t let children younger than five years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other live poultry without supervision. Children younger than five years of age are more likely to get sick from exposure to germs like salmonella.

4.   Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms or in areas where food or drink is prepared and served or stored.

5.    Do not eat or drink in the area where the poultry live or roam.

6.    Do not snuggle, kiss or touch your mouth to live baby poultry.

7.    Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of the poultry and keep those shoes outside the house.

8.   Stay outdoors while cleaning equipment or materials used to raise or care for live poultry, such as cages, feeds or water containers.

Though keeping poultry can be fun and educational, owners should be aware poultry can carry germs that make people sick.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that raising chickens and ducks sounds like fun, but it can also make you sick if you are not careful. IAA encourages you to do some research before jumping into getting a backyard companion.

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September is Baby Safety Month

September 4th, 2019

Car seatCalling all parents! September is Baby Safety Month, making it a great time to learn about the ways you can make your home safe for baby.

Safety Tips

Babies do not come with manuals—but they certainly need many items that require instructions! Here are some simple safety measures that parents can keep in mind:

  1. Choose and use age and developmentally appropriate products.
  2. Read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions, recommendations for use and warning labels.
  3. Register your products and establish a direct line of communication with the manufacturer.
  4. It is important to always actively supervise, watch, listen and stay near your child.
  5. Frequently inspect products for missing hardware, loose threads and strings, and holes and tears.
  6. Use straps and harnesses on products when available, each and every time.
  7. When baby can crawl, install gates on doorways and stairways. If your child tries to climb the gate, teach them how to use the stairs. 
  8. Monitor your child’s growth and development and discontinue use when needed.

Most juvenile products do have a long life, but they should be safety checked frequently.

The Basics of Baby Proofing

The best time to baby proof is early, before you register so you can include safety items on your registry.

  • Best way to baby proof? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby.
  • Consider child proofing an ongoing process. Monitor your child’s growth and development and always try to stay one step ahead.
  • Take care of all the obvious hazards, such as exposed electrical sockets and blind cords, but be on the lookout for those not obvious items like empty dishwashers, hanging tablecloths that can easily be pulled down and poisonous plants. 

Always remember that juvenile products are not a substitute for parental supervision.

What IAA has to Say

There is a lot to think about when you bring a new baby home! Insurance Administrator of America knows that even a little advice can go a long way. IAA wishes you all the best with you little one’s milestones!

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here and here!

New Study on Helping Surgeons Curb Opioid Use

August 28th, 2019

Pill bottleA new study further explores whether too many opioids were being prescribed to patients and how new guidelines can help surgeons curb usage without effecting pain relief.

Fewer Opioids Without Affecting Pain Relief

The Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative and the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network reviewed data on how 50,000 patients took opioids for pain management. New guidelines were developed for surgeons on how to prescribe opioids for nine common surgeries, including hernia repair and gallbladder removal. 

In the study, opioid dosages often were decreased to 18 pills from 26 pills with “no clinically important changes in pain scores.” In the seven months after the guidelines were released, the number of prescriptions for fewer pills almost tripled to 59 percent from 20 percent, according to the study.  Many physicians prescribed about eight fewer pills, and patients consumed about three fewer.

About 12,000 patients were tracked across 43 hospitals. When more than half of these patients were interviewed about their pain levels, most didn’t report feeling an increase in them and were satisfied with their care.   

Opioid Dependence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that about 130 Americans die every day from overdosing on opioids.

Opioids attach to receptors—a part of cells-found in the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. Opioids trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins muffle your perception of pain and boost feelings of pleasure, creating a temporary, but powerful sense of well being.

Opioids can slow your breathing and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Thought and memory problems
  • Vomiting

Anyone who takes opioids is at risk of developing an addiction. Between eight and 12 percent of people who take opioids develop an opioid use disorder.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants to keep you up-to-date on the world of health. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here and here!

Eagles Open Sensory Room at Lincoln Financial Field

August 21st, 2019

FootballTo help those affected by autism, the Eagles have created a sensory room at Lincoln Financial Field.

Lincoln Financial Field Now a Sensory-Inclusive Stadium

The 500 square foot room was created for fans with autism and other sensory challenges to provide a quiet and safe space.

The sensory room was just a part of Lincoln Financial Field getting certified as a sensory-inclusive stadium. The process also included training for Eagles employees and Lincoln Financial Field staff to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.

Lincoln Financial Field also offers sensory bags which include: noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads. 

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia collaborated with the Eagles on the sensory room. 

There will be nine NFL football franchises this season that will be considered sensory-inclusive certified and make sensory bags available to fans who might need them.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems with social interaction and communication. ASD includes conditions that were previously considered to be separate—autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder.  

Some children show signs in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they’ve acquired. 

Each child with ASD is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity from low functioning to high functioning.

ASD has no known single cause. There are probably many causes. Both genetics and environment may play a role:

  • Environmental factors: Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications or complications during pregnancy or air pollutants play a role in triggering ASD.
  • Genetics: Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorders. Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously.

One in 59 children have been identified with ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in six children in the United States has a developmental disability, according to a CDC study.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is glad that the Eagles are taking the initiative to create a welcoming environment for families with autistic children. A little bit of understanding can go a long way. IAA hopes that more teams go in this direction!  

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

Sesame Allergy Greater Than Scientists Believed

August 14th, 2019

Sesame bagelA new study says 1.5 million children and adults in the United States have a sesame allergy. That’s a greater number than previously estimated, making it the ninth most common allergy.

Sesame Allergy on the Rise

In the U.S. the top allergens are required to appear on labels when they are among a product’s ingredients. Sesame, however, is not currently required to be on food labels.

In October, the US Food and Drug Administration requested more information from researchers, medical providers and consumers on the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies to help guide regulations on labeling.

For the study, researchers sent food allergy questionnaires to more than 51,000 households in all 50 states and surveyed 78,800 people.

Researchers estimate about .49 percent of the U.S. population reports having a sesame allergy and .23 percent had what’s called a “convincing” or true food allergy, with skin, lung, heart, or gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Belly pain
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hives
  • Wheezing

Others may have been diagnosed with an allergy, but had not experienced symptoms.

The .21 percent of children and .24 percent of adults estimated to be allergic to sesame in the U.S. is an increase from the number reported in an earlier, smaller study, which showed a prevalence of .1 percent.

The study was published on August 2 in the journal “JAMA Network Open.”  

Allergy vs. Intolerance

In some cases a person may not have an allergy to a food, but an intolerance. For your health, it is important to know the difference!

A food allergy happens when your immune system mistakes something in food as harmful and attacks it. It can affect your whole body, not just your stomach. A food allergy:

  •   Can be life-threatening
  • Happens every time you eat the food
  • Small amount of food can trigger a reaction
  • Usually comes on suddenly

When a food irritates your stomach or your body cannot digest it properly, that’s an intolerance.A food intolerance:

  • Is not life-threatening
  • May only happen when you eat a lot of the food
  • Usually comes on gradually
  • A food allergy and intolerance do have shared symptoms, including nausea and stomach pain.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be aware of what is going on in the world of health. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!