Texting and Driving

People are so reckless when it comes to driving, in more way than one. All of the deaths and injuries that come from driving are so preventable. Yet for some reason, people don’t take it seriously. I don’t want to hear about your excuses for it, because there is nothing important enough to risk someone else’s life over it. If you want to put yourself in danger, go ahead. But don’t put others in danger who aren’t doing anything wrong. You don’t care about yourself? Fine. But care about all the drivers with kids in the car. Because if you take away someone’s kid, you are ruining the rest of their life. It isn’t anything to roll your eyes at. Taking your attention off the road is a serious matter. Did you know that if you are driving 55mph and reaping to a text, you are driving the length of a football field without looking at the road? Imagine the kind of damage you can do in that amount of time. Whatever it is, it can wait. If it is that urgent, pull off and look at it then. There are no excuses. Don’t be so reckless that you stop caring about other people’s safety for your own convenience. Texting laws are in place for a reason, and it is not just to inconvenience you. It is for the general public to be able to feel a little safer when on the road. I am terrified of driving now that I always have a 2 year old with me, because I know how little people care. For the same reasons you would drink and drive, do not text and drive. Almost a fourth of accidents are texting related. That is absurd. It is so unnecessary and irresponsible to put other people’s lives at risk for a text. Do not put other people in danger, and do not do something that you will have regrets about later. It is a serious matter and I will never understand why people ignore it. I will post a video below that includes some more reasons as to why texting and driving is a bad idea, and a hazard to public safety. – Madeline Howard

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Heart Attacks: Reducing Your Risk

defibrillator-file-photo-via-afp

In class last week we talked about our risk factors and mentioned that heart attacks and heart disease are the most common cause of death. The National Heart, Lung and Blood institute lists the following risk factors for heart attacks:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Age (55 or older for women)

Many of these, including family history and age, can not be prevented. However, an individual can reduce their risk simply by not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and remaining physically healthy. Is there a way the the public can reduce everyone’s risk for heart attack? Well, there are ways improve others chances for surviving one. Many public places such as schools, office buildings, and restaurants are now placing a defibrillator in the area. If someone were to experience a heart attack at a location with a defibrillator present, someone with the knowledge to use it good save his or her life. High schools in 27 states are now requiring students to become certified in CPR before graduation. Although this may inconvenience the individual, it is best for the “common good.” The public health industry has recently taken additional steps in order to educate people on the symptoms of heart attacks and encourage people experiencing them to take action. Here is an example of an advertisement.

 

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/hearttruth/lower-risk/risk-factors.htm

States where CPR Training is Mandatory for High School Graduation

-Courtney Snyder

Paradise by Mike Cappel

Paradise is a Hundred Meters Away

Bora Bora is a perfect tropical paradise located somewhere beyond Tahiti in the South Pacific. The coastal plain has all of the comforts that its French colonizers added one hundred and fifty years ago when the archipelago became a colony. These comforts along with a Western European legal system are balanced by the beauty of the volcanic main island, lagoon, the smaller surrounding islands and the thick interior jungle. The only thing missing during our visit to this paradise were the hordes of tourists we saw on Tahiti. We experienced Bora Bora in 2005.

Bora Bora

Hiking a few hundred feet into the jungle, the mosquitoes were unbearable. In spite of slathered on insect repellant they still bit people through T-shirts, Dockers and socks. Just a hundred meters away was paradise, and here, within earshot of paradise the land was uninhabitable. Truly stunning and a key to understanding development and habitation patterns on South Pacific Islands.

Defeating dengue by releasing mosquitoes with virus-blocking bacteria ...

Front page news on the January 31, 2016 New York Times tells of a novel way to control mosquitos being tested in Brazil. With the demise of the Aedes aegypti mosquito comes the end of Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever. Genetically, engineered male mosquitos, that don’t bite, are released in infested areas mating with wild female mosquitos. Through the males DNA a lethal gene is passed onto the offspring. Testing in small areas so far has resulted in greater than 80% reductions in mosquitors. Other alternatives to this novel technique and the tried and true methods of window screens, insect repellant, etc. is the use of historically banned chlorinated insecticides such as DDT.

Aside from the Gates Foundation, the articles doesn’t describe who will pay for these new mosquito control techniques, who will benefit from them and what the other consequences are likely to be.

Will chemical companies get their longstanding wish to reintroduce DDT as a pesticide? And if so will it crush innovation such as the larvae, killing genetically modified male mosquitos? Or would it just be more effective to return to the tried and true, but not highly effective control techniques perhaps using the police power of the state to enforce them?

Framing – By Matt McDaniel

When we discussed framing in class I was forcibly reminded of some truly damning framing that happens in the health care industry.  Specifically this is in the political arena where people find ways to frame arguments against health care in such a way that it actually encourages people to work against their own best interests.  The following is a video from late night television of people on the street being asked whether they prefer the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.  What they weren’t told was that ObamaCare is just a nickname for the Affordable Care Act.

 As you can see, the attaching of one politician’s name to the idea of a health care package suddenly divided people on which they preferred, people who supported Barack Obama were for ObamaCare and thought the Affordable Care Act was a mistake, people who didn’t like Barack Obama were gung-ho for the affordable care act and were willing to talk about how much better it was than ObamaCare without ever realizing that they were comparing something to itself.

This is not just an issue with the Affordable Care Act.  There is currently one politician who is running with a policy of truly universal health care.  He is arguing to give every American access to health care regardless of whether they can afford it. How is this being framed by his opponents?  People talk about how it will raise taxes.  Obviously nobody wants their taxes raised, who wants to pay more money?  What they aren’t told as the other side of the argument is whose taxes would go up and what the actual cost for those people would be.  Now, if you’re like me, even a hundred dollars a year more in costs would be too much to want to pay it.  Plot Twist: Even with taxes going up it would actually save most people money.  bernietax-3

The savings comes from them no long having to pay health insurance premiums for themselves  or their family.  This would be bad for Health Insurance companies but good for the average person, so naturally politicians are standing against it, as the health insurance companies are the ones who donate massive amounts to their campaign rather than the regular people.  The way that they frame the issue makes it look like something that nobody would want, despite the fact that in actuality it would be to their benefit.  That is the risk of taking information you receive at face value.  Sometimes it serves to move away from the framing and consider the actual numbers.

(Emma Kidder) Educate yourself for the public good

 

ecbt-bus-shelter-ads_resized_68-5x47-emma-small (lol, my name is Emma)

In class we had a lively discussion about what is the public good and what actually is good for the public. Through out our lives, without even thinking about it, we have learned to do what is good for the public. We wash our hands to avoid spreading germs. We get flu shots not only to avoid the flu but to avoid spreading it. We follow traffic laws in order to protect ourselves and others. We never think about these things and there’s never really a debate about them. However, there seems to be much debate over weather or not you should vaccinate your child. Sure, its your child and you have the right to do what you want for him/her but the stupidity in not vaccinating your child is not only harmful to the child and you but to many of thousands of people your unvaccinated child comes in contact with. Whether you believe or not, your stupidity can be harmful.

In the late 90s Dr. Wakefield started this paranoia around vaccination but has been discredited over and over again (see video). He actually got BANNED from spreading around false information about vaccination because he MADE UP his numbers in his study. Of course, this doesn’t stop stupid celebrities, Jenny McCarthy, starting a scare campaign against vaccinations. And uneducated  citizens believe her instead of actual proven facts because obviously a celebrities word is better than a professionals.  VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM!

VACCINES WORK: vaccines are 90-95% effective in preventing diseases.

VACCINES ARE SAFE: all vaccines are approved by the FDA and will not be given to a child without being tested.

Here is a link to more facts about vaccines:https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccine-Safety-The-Facts.aspx

In case you can’t tell I’m very opionated about this subject. Do you want to have to worry about your kid, or you, getting sick after a fun family day at Disney Land because some air head mom thinks they know better than doctors and won’t get their child vaccinated? I agree that all schools and public places and people working at hospitals should be required to have all their vaccines. The hospital my mom works at (UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland) requires every single person there who comes in contact with kids to be vaccinated. Could you imagine going to the hospital and getting sick from an unvaccinated kid?

I want to say that it should be law that everyone gets vaccinated but I know that would probably be violating some constitutional rights. I get that for religious reasons some people can’t vaccinate their children. However, that’s better than someone who can and won’t. All we can do is strongly suggest kids get vaccinated and make it mandatory for public schools and universities and for all hospitals.  As it slowly becomes more mandatory in most places I think slowly more and more anti-vaccinators will start to vaccinate their kids. Well, at least one can dream right? If you don’t believe in vaccinations, well, at least I can say I presented you with the facts but I can’t force you to see my way.

Vaccines

When I think of public health issues today, I think of the debate of whether or not to get vaccinated. It has become such a hot topic today that something must be said about it. Vaccines are really important because they can save lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that vaccines are 90-99% effective in the prevention of disease. That is such a high percentage that I do not understand why parents are now starting to doubt having their children vaccinated.

There is a story in the link below that a mother shares about her journey discovering the anti-vaccine movement. She, like most people, never really questioned going to the doctor and having her kids vaccinated until she heard that one woman’s child was vaccinated and became autistic. Now, that family only uses homeopathic remedies and does not use doctoral care. Personally, I think this is incredibly stupid, considering the child already has what is defined as a “complex disorder of brain development” by Autism Speaks. What the woman in the story, Maranda, found when she began to research what the true effects of vaccines were scared her out of vaccinating her child. Throughout her first year, because of all the terror she felt about doctors, Maranda only took her child to the doctor 3 times. The things her peers believed in seemed completely okay with her, which she later realized was a mistake. All those who are anti-vaccine, she claims, have no reason or proof to believe the way they do. Later, she says that she was “duped” by these people and had no clue why she believed them over science, what she had trusted so much before.

When reading Maranda’s story, it becomes obvious how one can get roped into all the anti-vaccine jargon and forget about the science behind everything. The reason we have our kids vaccinated is to keep them safe and protect them from disease. Why would one deprive their children of that care? We all need vaccines to keep ourselves and the public, healthy. The World Health Organization, American Medical Association, and Institute of Medicine all say that vaccines are completely safe. These are PROFESSIONALS who actually know what they are talking about, unlike some people who want to deny themselves & their children proper medical treatment. I am fully okay with receiving a few shots here and there if it means I won’t get sick or get the other people around me sick. This is what we need to realize. Vaccines have stopped so many diseases and should not be up for debate, yet here we are.

The video below shows why vaccines work and gives some background on them. It also gives some really interesting facts: that vaccines injure less people than walking does.

 

 

Maranda’s story: http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/i-was-duped-by-the-anti-vaccine-movement/

-Gabriella Feltman

Cause and Effect: Health Version

This week we talked a lot about understanding our health risks. What really got my attention was when we talked about response punishment cues. The statement we talked about in class, “If you do this, you’ll get this treat”, really rang true in my life. I babysit local family friends often and almost every time I can recall, I say this statement to a child. “If you do your homework, you can have candy”, or “If you finish your fruit, you can watch 10 more minutes of TV”. It just came across really surprising that we do this on almost a daily basis without even realizing it. I even see this happening to myself in regards to homework. “If you study for 10 more minutes, you can watch an episode of Parks and Recreation on Netflix”. I feel like I shouldn’t have to reward myself in order to get good grades, rather I should want to get good grades.

Another thing that stood out to me about this topic is when we have to go into a doctors office or a dentist for a yearly checkup appointment. When I go to the doctors office I remember always getting a sticker or sweet treat from my parents after finishing the appointment. It isn’t until I’m older that I realize I was basically bribed to go be healthy with an unhealthy treat. Why is it that we always have to be bribed or persuaded to do something that will benefit our health with something else that will harm it. Now, I go to the doctor and dentist because I have to and there are times that I still treat myself after because it’s the only thing I’ve known to do after those appointments. You go to the doctor or dentist and get something in return after. What happened to just going for your own benefit? Why is it that we have to always have a prize for doing something that will benefit our health and make it better?

-Becca Roberts