Ban on selling advances on crib bumpers
Crib bumpers have been linked to dozens of infant deaths over several decades, and a bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday could finally ban them. The Democratic Union reports on the puzzling choices parents face when it comes to buying safe products for infants.
19th: Senate approves bill to ban sale of crib bumpers
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan measure to ban the sale of crib bumpers, which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths and more than 100 serious injuries since 1985. “Parents will have one less thing to worry about” when it becomes law, said Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. The House of Representatives approved a related bill last year, but will have to vote on the Senate Crib Safety Act before it can head to President Joe Biden’s office. “Bumper cushions are an unnecessary fatal risk to sleeping infants, and so this would essentially ban their sale,” Duckworth told the 19th in an interview ahead of the vote. (Becker, 03/24)
The Union Democrat: Ask the Pediatrician: Which Baby Sleep Products Should Be Avoided?
Q: The number of baby sleep items on the market is overwhelming. What should I avoid? A: Having a baby is an incredibly exciting time and there are lots of fun baby items to buy. It is important to know, however, that some popular products are unnecessary and may actually be dangerous for infants. Examples include slant rails, positioners, and crib bumpers. (DiMaggio, 03/21)
In other public health news –
Press Association: Artificial sweeteners linked to breast cancer and obesity in new study
Some artificial sweeteners might not be a good alternative to sugar and could increase cancer risk, scientists have suggested. Experts from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research and Sorbonne Paris Nord University analyzed the data and suggested a potential increased risk of breast cancer and obesity-related cancers. Previous large-scale human studies found no such association and UK experts said no causal link was found. If true, the finding would be about three additional cancer cases per 10,000 people over eight years, according to an analysis of the results. (Kirby, 3/24)
Fox News: Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day may benefit the heart, studies show
According to studies presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, drinking two or three cups of coffee a day may benefit the heart. The American College of Cardiology said Thursday that drinking the caffeinated drink is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms, as well as a longer lifespan. The trends also held true for people with and without cardiovascular disease, with the researchers saying the analyzes ensure coffee is not linked to new or worsening heart disease. (Musto, 3/24)
St. Louis Public Radio: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Won’t Work, Says Erik Herzog
The US Senate passed a bill last week that would make daylight saving time permanent. If it gets full congressional approval, the change would take place in the fall of 2023 and keep evenings lighter year-round, eliminating seasonal adjustments of moving forward and backward to get in and out of standard time. . Many rejoiced. Others pointed out that a two-year switch to daylight saving time was attempted in the 1970s but quickly repealed. The scientific consensus is that standard time – which most countries currently observe from November to March – is actually better for our health and our circadian rhythms. Erik Herzog, professor of biology and neuroscience at the University of Washington, told St. Louis on the Air that the effects of daylight saving time are both immediate and long-lasting. (Mather-Glass, 3/24)
In the mental health news —
NPR: Former TikTok moderators continue emotional toll of ‘extremely disturbing’ videos
When Ashley Velez took a job last year reviewing videos for TikTok, “we were told we would be the first line of defense in protecting children from violence,” she said. But the Las Vegas mother of two boys, aged 8 and 17, said she was stunned when she found out what the job entailed. “We would see death and graphic, graphic pornography. I would see naked underage children every day,” Velez said in an interview. “I was seeing people being shot in the head, and another video of a child being beaten had me crying for two hours straight.” (Allyn, 3/24)
Dallas Morning News: For many Dallas teens, reacting without thinking can be deadly. A new effort within DISD can help
We all occasionally fly away without thinking first. Fortunately, the consequences are generally harmless. But sometimes these consequences are fatal. This is the harsh reality behind, for example, evidence-based training that teaches police to defuse volatile situations before resorting to lethal force. Likewise, it’s the same strategy that underpins the initiative of a new mayor’s task force for teens in some of Dallas’ most violent neighborhoods. It may sound naive, but it’s not: finding simple ways to calm minds and slow emotions can save lives. Too many anguished voices have testified in too many courtrooms, “It happened so fast” or “I wish I could do it again.” (Grigby, 3/23)
Stat: Dr. Glaucomflecken, the internet’s funniest doctor, is in on the joke
Will Flanary spends his days performing eye exams and cataract surgeries at a private practice outside of Portland, Oregon. Evenings are for family and an ongoing commitment to cooking dinner for his wife and two daughters. That leaves nights and weekends for the ring light, the iPhone, and the alter ego of Flanary, an internet celebrity known as Dr. Glaucomflecken. Flanary, 36, has around 2.5 million followers on TikTok, YouTube and Twitter, where his sharp satire of medicine’s many absurdities has turned into a cast of characters and a cottage industry. Flanary’s growing popularity is all the more remarkable as his jokes, delivered in short skits, delve into the insane depths of American health care. The specificity is intentional, Flanary said, giving her peers something to relate to and a growing audience of outsiders to laugh at. (Guard, 03/25)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.