UPDATE:


Vampire spiders could help fight malaria but not by sucking on humans

Published: Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 5:18 PM
Updated: Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 5:18 PM

Trending on Facebook

More popular and trending stories

A species of jumping spider found in Kenya and Uganda that is sometimes called the vampire spider may become part of the human arsenal against malaria.

More popular and trending stories

Malaria kills more than a half million people each year

Content Continues Below

The spider does, indeed, suck human blood — but only when served in a mosquito. It does not consume the blood by preying directly on humans.

The mosquitoes that the spider eats carry malaria. Not only does the spider fill its belly with the malaria-carrying insects, it also becomes more attractive to prospective mates after eating them.

And, therefore, arachnologist Fiona Cross says it’s time to “embrace the spiders” and use them to help control malaria

In the meantime, while you are thinking about embracing that spider, you may want to simply take a prescription medication to avoid the disease if you are traveling in an area where you could contract the disease.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Back-to-school selfies may spread super lice, expert says

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 4:40 PM

Super Lice

Parents may want to add super lice remedies to the back-to-school shopping list.

2013 study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that in North America, most head lice has evolved into a new, more powerful strain that is immune to traditional lice treatments, hence the name “super lice.”

Content Continues Below

» RELATED: Back-to-school sales starting early as first day approaches

» Ohio teachers can get school supply discounts at Target

» Secret Service safety guidelines: What are local districts already doing?

» Find more resources at our Dayton Back to School Guide 2018

Canada had been experiencing an alarming rise in cases, and there have been multiple outbreaks across the U.S. in recent years.

Because super lice can be difficult to get rid of, prevention is key, and that’s where those popular selfies come into play.

Any activity that brings kids’ heads within close contact with one another, or involves sharing combs, hats, etc. will raise the risk of contracting lice. Dawn Mucci, founder of Lice Squad, told Global News in 2016 that she is seeing a growing number of lice cases among teens, likely due to the selfie craze.

Despite the scary name, Lice Clinics of America cautions that combing and nitpicking can still be effective treatments. The clinics also provide a lice remover kit for super lice, and AirAllé, an FDA-cleared lice device for professional lice treatments.

Still, the best way to prevent infestation is to keep your head away from other heads.

Parents should consult a medical professional on the most effective, safe treatments for super lice.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Baby sleep: 7 tips for surviving the first few months

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 9:59 AM

The first few months of motherhood can make you feel like you're the unwitting victim of a sleep-deprivation experiment.

The common advice is to sleep when the baby's sleeping, but that only works if your idea of getting rest is sleeping for two hours at a time and giving up all your other responsibilities.

»RELATED: 9 common infant illnesses (and when to worry)

Content Continues Below

When your baby finally starts sleeping through the night, you'll wonder how you survived so long without your normal amount of sleep. In the meantime, these seven tips will help you survive the first few months:

Keep the lights low

When you're getting up at nighttime to feed your baby, Today's Parent recommends that you refrain from turning on the overhead light or a lamp. Instead, use a battery-powered LED nightlight that you can stick where you need it. Your body associates bright light with waking up and avoiding it can help you - and your baby - drift back to sleep more easily after a feeding.

Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine can certainly give you a boost and you may feel like you can't make it through the day without the help of some coffee or soda, but if you're breastfeeding, you should remember that it doesn't only have a stimulating effect on you. Your baby is also getting a dose of caffeine, and it stays in the baby's system much longer compared to yours – about 96 hours, according to Parents.com.

Share a room

For the first six to 12 months, your baby may sleep better in the same room as you. This allows your baby to feel secure, which helps him or her regulate breathing, temperature and nervous center reactions, according to The Bump. It also makes it more convenient for you to feed your baby and get back to bed quickly. But, as The Bump cautions, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends same-room sleeping, you should avoid bed-sharing for safety reasons.

Use soothing sounds

Household noises, car sounds and other distractions can keep your baby from falling asleep and they can unexpectedly wake them up. A white noise machine may be able to help them sleep better by providing a constant, consistent sound that soon becomes associated with sleep, suggests The Bump. After all, your baby was surrounded by the consistent sound of whooshing blood while in the womb. Consider getting a portable machine so you can use it away from home.

Get some help

The first few months of a baby's life are definitely a blessing, but they're also exhausting. Parents today are often more isolated than they used to be, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your co-parent, family or friends so you can get some much-needed rest, Dr. Harvey Karp tells People. Your helper can keep your baby happily occupied while you take a nap, or, if you're bottle-feeding with formula or pumped breast milk, your co-parent can share feeding duties.

Be consistent

Babies' brains store sequences that become patterns, so if you can establish a consistent bedtime routine with elements like bathing, nursing and a lullaby, your baby will expect sleep to follow, according to AskDrSears. If your work schedule makes a late afternoon nap and later bedtime more practical, that's fine, but try to keep the pattern consistent.

»RELATED: More parenting news from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Skip some middle-of-the-night steps

It's OK to skip a diaper change after a nighttime feeding if it isn't soaked through or soiled, or if your child doesn't have a diaper rash or sensitive skin, Dr. Michael Cohen told Parents.com. Instead, use absorbent nighttime diapers and thick diaper cream to protect your baby's skin. He also says you may be able to skip burping at night, especially if you breastfeed, as most babies nurse less avidly at night.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

9 infant illnesses to watch for (and when to worry)

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Researchers are using brain scans to determine if babies are in pain.

The first couple of years of children's lives are full of discoveries for their parents.

You'll learn about their personalities, their favorite foods and what makes their faces light up. However, that time can also be a little unsettling due to some common ailments that infants often encounter within the first few years of their lives.

»RELATED: More parenting news from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Content Continues Below

Here's a list of nine illnesses a new parent might want to monitor and suggestions on when to seek medical help:

WebMD recommends seeing a doctor immediately if your child develops a fever over 100.4 F when he is less than three months old.(ajc.com)

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease starts with symptoms like a sore throat, reduced appetite and fever. Within 24 to 48 hours, small red spots start to develop. Eventually those spots will blister and become painful sores that affect the mouth, palms and the soles of the feet for about seven days.
When to call the doctor: If you notice your child's symptoms getting worse or if they are unable to drink fluids, the Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor.

Fifth DiseaseFifth Disease starts as a low fever accompanied by mild cold-like symptoms, per the health site KidsHealth.org . A few days later, a bright red rash appears on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The marks are often itchy.
When to call the doctor: If your child has a wide-spread rash with a fever or cold-like symptoms, you should schedule a visit to a doctor.

»RELATED: Is it normal for my child to grind their teeth?

PinkeyeIf you notice watering, redness or swelling of the whites of your child's eyes, he or she probably has conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye, a condition caused by allergens or by bacteria. The bacterial form is highly contagious, so be sure to wash your hands regularly. When to call the doctor: Baby Center recommends bringing your child to the doctor at the first sign of pink eye symptoms.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
WebMD defines RSV as "a common, and very contagious, virus that infects the respiratory tract of most children before their second birthday." Signs of infection include cold-like symptoms such as a cough or runny nose that lasts for one or two weeks. 
When to call the doctor: If your child is refusing to feed, is unusually inactive, is having trouble breathing, is coughing up discolored mucus, or is showing signs of dehydration, it may be a good idea to make an appointment to see a doctor. 

RoseolaA sudden, high fever is the first sign of roseola. The fever might also come with a sore throat, mild diarrhea, runny nose or cough. Once the fever breaks, small pink spots or patches might appear; possibly with a white ring around some of the spots. Roseola rashes are not itchy and only last for a few hours or days.
When to call the doctor: If your child's fever exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit  or lasts more than a week, it might be time for a doctor appointment. You should also make a call if a rash doesn't clear up after three days.

Viral GastroenteritisCommonly called a stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis can be identified by fever, watery diarrhea, pain or cramping in the abdomen and vomiting.
When to call the doctor: Healthline recommends seeking emergency medical treatment if your child is dehydrated, has blood in their diarrhea or has diarrhea for three days or more.

(Jayshree Watkins)

Ear Infection
Per parenting.com, your child might have an ear infection if they show symptoms such as crankiness, unwillingness to lie flat and crying during feeding. The presence of allergens, like cigarette smoke or animal dander, can trigger an infection.
When to call the doctor: If you suspect your child has an ear infection, it might be wise to have a doctor check their ears since too many untreated ear infections can lead to future health concerns.

Influenza
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue. Infection spreads easily, as people are often contagious before showing any signs of illness.
When to call the doctor: Parents Magazine recommends getting your child an annual flu vaccine to avoid this illness. However, if they start showing symptoms, you might want to see a doctor right away.

FeverIf your child's body temperature spikes suddenly, it is likely that he has a fever. A fever is a common symptom of a number of illnesses. If the fever is accompanied by dehydration, a rash or trouble breathing, it could be a sign of a serious illness.
When to call the doctor: If your child develops a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit when they are less than three months old, WebMD recommends seeing a doctor immediately. 

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

6 things your child should know before starting kindergarten

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 3:18 PM

Kindergarteners Learn About Active Shooter Protocol Through Song

Your child will learn a wealth of information in kindergarten, and you can help ensure that he or she knows what's needed to get off to a good start. 

If you're like most parents, you probably wonder how much and exactly what your child needs to know in order to feel at ease and be ready to learn.

»RELATED: 6 things your child should know before entering preschool

Content Continues Below

The BumpBabyCenterPOPSUGARThe American Federation of Teachers and Today's Parent suggest the following six things your child should know before starting kindergarten:

Basic skills and information

Your child should know some basics that will help kindergarten start more comfortably and easily. They should be able to take turns as well as work and play independently and also be able to say their name, address and phone number. 

Easily separating from parents is important, but this may take a few days. Your child should be able to use the bathroom (including wiping and hand washing) without help, although teachers know that accidents do happen.

A Pre-K student works on a alphabet puzzle which helps with fine motor skills.(Ralph Barrera)

Fine and gross motor control

Both fine and gross motor skills are important since they'll help your child be able to easily participate in activities to play and learn. Your child should be able to line up and walk in a straight line as well as jump and throw a ball. Help them practice using scissors to cut out shapes, using glue (both sticks and bottles) and holding a pencil or crayon. This will help your child feel more comfortable and let them be able to focus on learning and work as opposed to learning how to use the tools.

Reading readiness

Your child doesn't have to know how to read before starting kindergarten, but they should be ready to learn. This means that they're able to distinguish between pictures and words and between letters and words. They may also be able to read a few high-frequency words, such as "is," "the" and "me." And your child should also understand basic concepts, including the fact that we read left to right and that a book is read from front to back, one page at a time.

Social skills

For kids who aren't used to a lot of hustle and bustle, it can be a shock to adjust to being one of a large group of kids. Your child should feel comfortable interacting and socializing in larger groups, so look for opportunities that will help prepare him or her for being one in a relatively large group. He or she should feel comfortable rather than ill at ease and should also be able to participate and ask for help if needed.

Paying attention

It's hard for your child to learn if he or she can't pay attention and listen in the classroom. Help them develop this skill by reading books aloud to them, start to finish and by talking about the book. Eating together and practicing sitting still as well as taking turns speaking and listening can also help your child develop his or her attention span and understand the back-and-forth nature of conversations.

»RELATED: Does my child have ADHD? Things to know about the condition

Familiarity with numbers

It helps if your child knows some numbers and is able to count from 1 to 5 or 10. Practice counting games around the house by asking your child how many red trucks he or she has or how many cookies are left on the plate. You can also point out numbers on the calendar and say the number of certain objects as you go for a walk or play in the park ("three kids," “two dogs," etc.)

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories