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March 28, 2013

BehindTheMedspeak: Top 4 foods causing choking death in children


From Mary Roach's superb March 25 New York Times Science section front page story : "Round foods are particularly treacherous because they match the shape of the trachea. If a grape goes down the wrong way, it blocks the tube so completely that no breath can be drawn around it. Hot dogs, grapes, and round candies take [three out of the top four slots*] in a list of killer foods published in the July 2008 issue of The International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (IJPO—itself a calamitous mouthful). A candy called Lychee Mini Fruity Gels [top] has killed enough times for the Food and Drug Administration to have banned its import."

*Meat other than hot dogs was #2 — right behind #1 hot dogs (see graphic below, like all graphics from the IJPO paper cited above).


Below, the abstract of the IJPO paper.


Fatal and non-fatal food injuries among children (aged 0–14 years)


To identify and characterize food items with high risk of airway obstruction in children younger than 15 years.


This retrospective study collected injury data from 1989 to 1998 for 26 pediatric hospitals in the United States and Canada. Aspiration, choking, ingestion, and insertion injuries due to food items were analyzed. The data included 1429 infants and children. Results were compared with fatality data published by the American Association of Pediatrics in 1984.


The 10 food objects with the highest frequency for both injuries and fatalities were identified.


Peanuts caused the highest frequency of injury, and hot dogs were most often associated with fatal outcomes.


The severity of respiratory distress prior to hospital evaluation varied for different foods. Age younger than 3 years was the highest-risk factor. Key characteristics such as bite size, shape, and texture were analyzed and found to demonstrate relationships with severity of clinical outcomes.


Children younger than 3 years remain at greatest risk of food injury and death. We found that hard, round foods with high elasticity or lubricity properties, or both, pose a significant level of risk. Consideration of the key characteristics of the most hazardous foods may greatly decrease airway obstruction injuries. Food safety education can help pediatricians and parents select, process, and supervise appropriate foods for children younger than 3 years to make them safer for this highest-risk population.


March 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Speaker Blanket — "World's first blanket with integrated speakers"




What took so long?



March 28, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ana Juan does the New Yorker


The inside story behind the cover: "'I love fashion. I'm not a fashion victim but I'm a fashion lover,' says Ana Juan, the artist behind this week's cover, 'Art and Architecture.' 'I love the designs; for me, it's art. Among my favorites are John Galliano, Balenciaga, and, of course, McQueen, for his dramatic looks.'"

"'I'm inspired by all of it, but I love shoes,' she continues with a laugh. 'I'd like to have thousands of millions of shoes. I love high heels even if I can only wear kitten heels. I love that object — they're pieces of art sometimes. It can change your mood, and your way of moving — it's fantastic.'"

[via coverjunkie]

March 28, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Polar Bear Ice Cube Molds


From ThisIsWhyImBroke: "Polar Bear Ice Cube Molds are a great way to add a unique touch to any drink. They are Japanese-made and crafted from durable silicone which not only makes them washable but also easy to use."



March 28, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Something is wonderful in the state of Denmark


You don't have to be Hamlet to know which way the wind blows.

Heck, I bet you can even tell a hawk from a handsaw.

But I digress.

Up top, my current readership across and around our blue planet.

Little Denmark — population 5,556,452 according to the CIA's latest estimate — is representin'!



Velkommen campister (welcome campers).

March 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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