Brown Recluse Spider Bites on the Rise

The brown recluse spider, also known as the fiddleback spider due to the marking on its back which resembles a violin, is a spider with a venomous bite.  The spiders are typically light to medium brown in color and are typically found in southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, southwestern Ohio, central Texas, western Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and into Kentucky.  The spiders can easily be relocated into other states, but successful colonization in these other states has yet to be seen.  Brown recluse spiders do not use their webs to catch food instead the male and female will leave their webs to hunt at night.  The males will hunt further from the web than the females, and they will hunt for crickets, cockroaches, and other soft bodied insects.

Like it says in their name, the brown recluse spiders tend to shy away from people.  They favor dark isolated places such as wood piles, sheds, garages, attics, and cellars.  When dwelling inside residences, they prefer cardboard boxes, but it’s not unheard of to find them in shoes, work gloves, dressers, clothes stacked or piled on the floor, behind baseboards and picture frames, beds, and even in toilets.  Contact with people often occurs when these isolated places are disturbed and the spider feels threatened, such as when cleaning out a closet or the garage.

Within the first few minutes of a brown recluse bite an itching/burning sensation will begin.     Over the next 6 to 8 hours, the enzymes in the venom will kill tissue and cause the immune system to respond.  There will be intense pain and itching at the bite site, as well as swelling, blistering, or the formation of puss.  The bite will have a bulls-eye appearance, and there will be a bright red dot surrounded by a wide ring of grayish or yellow skin.  The severity of the bite will determine on how much venom the spider has administered to its victim.  The spider may have just used its venom on something else, therefore, depleting its venom supply, or maybe the victim was bit by a juvenile brown recluse.   A juvenile will not have as much venom as an adult brown recluse.

brown recluse spider bite less venom       brown recluse spider bite more venom    This person received less venom.                      This person received more venom.

The best treatment of a brown recluse bite is to use ice for the pain and swelling and leave the bite alone.  Ointments and antibiotics are not going to be effective.  Dr. Donna Seger, medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center, said, “As physicians, it is hard for us to do nothing.  The bite has classic characteristics, but if physicians are not familiar with this bite, the tendency is to debride (remove infected tissue) and cut out the lesion.  This actually slows the healing process, and can result in disfigurement that would not occur if the lesion were left alone.”   Sometimes the bites can cause more severe symptoms throughout the body, such as fever, rash, and muscle pain, and can be life threatening for children.  “Our recommendations,” says Dr. Seger, “are that children under 12 with a brown recluse bite should have a urine test for the presence of hemoglobin (the compound in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body) in blood.”

  There are several pesticides available for spider control, however, brown recluses have perched legs which allow them to walk over most pesticides making them ineffective.  Sticky traps placed along baseboards offer a way to trap spiders and provide an idea of population levels in the residence or garage.

Since brown recluse spider bites are on the rise, here are some suggestions:

  1. Remove all woodpiles and other debris away from the residence.
  2. Replace cardboard boxes with plastic containers with air tight lids.
  3. Move furniture and beds away from walls, remove bed skirting or ruffles that drag the floor, and remove any items stored beneath the beds.
  4. Keep all clothing and shoes picked up and shake out any clothing, shoes, or work gloves that have not been worn in awhile.
  5. Use sticky traps along the baseboards since pesticides are ineffective.
  6. Vacuum and dust more often.

Sometimes other infections are misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites.  There are a number of documented infections that produce similar wounds such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, herpes, diabetic ulcers, fungal infections, chemical burns, toxicondendron dermatitis, squamous cell carcinoma, vasculitis, syphilis, toxic epidural necrosis, sporotrichosis, and Lyme disease.  The most important of these is Staphylococcus, a bacteria that causes wounds very similar to those of brown recluse bites and can be deadly if not treated.  The picture below is of a person infected with Staphylococcus, and you can see the similarity between Staphylococcus and a brown recluse bite.

Methicillin_Resistant_Staphylococcus_Aureus-4

Hi this is Terri Borman childcare specialist and author of Shapes Go to School.  I provide quality care and education to children under the age of 5.  I have had parents show me bites the children had gotten the night before during their sleep.  Thankfully, none of the children have been bit from the naughty brown recluse spider.  If these spider bites are on the rise, then I want to send out a warning.

Shapes Go to School is a book that teaches children shapes and colors.  Its colorful illustrations and classroom setting will entertain and educate your children.  They will ask to read it over and over.  If you would like to purchase a copy of Shapes Go to School, click on the picture of the book cover.

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For more information about the brown recluse spider:

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5511074_first-stages-brown-recluse-bites.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_recluse_spider

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20140729/brown-recluse-spider-bites-on-the-rise-expert-warns

http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=A111US0&p=brown+recluse+bites+on+the+rise%3F

 

 

The Dangers of Laundry Detergent Pods

In order to raise awareness of laundry detergent pod injuries and poisonings, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an alert to the public in 2012 about the risks of laundry detergent pod injuries, and the risks of poisonings the pods pose to children who are exposed to the chemicals inside the product.

The bright and colorful laundry detergent pods were introduced into the U.S. market in 2010 and are marketed by many different brand names.  The pods contain highly concentrated chemicals which pose a much greater health risk for children than regular laundry detergent and can cause severe to life threatening symptoms and even death.

Children who swallow regular laundry detergent will typically experience a mild upset stomach. Unfortunately, the symptoms for swallowing the highly concentrated laundry detergent pods cause more severe life threatening symptoms, such as excessive vomiting, wheezing or gasping for air, lethargic behavior, severe respiratory distress requiring intubation, and if it gets in a child’s eyes, corneal abrasions or scratches may occur.

Children mistaken the bright and colorful squishy laundry detergent pods for candy or teething toys, and they will put the laundry detergent pods into their mouths, chew on the them, and/or squeeze them in their hands causing them to rupture.  Each year there has been an increase in the number of reports involving poisonings and/or injuries to children under the age of 5 from laundry detergent pods.  In 2012, over 6,000 reports involving laundry detergent pods injuring children were received by poison control centers nationwide.  In 2013, more than 10,000 reports were made.  Unless there’s more public awareness, there may be more than 14,000 reports received in 2014.

Proctor & Gamble, manufacturer of Tide Pods, agreed to make several changes to their product packaging.  They altered the containers to an opaque material instead of using a clear plastic to keep children from seeing the brightly colored product inside.

Here is a true story posted on Facebook from a mom, Kelly Landry:

Wyatt  “For those of you who don’t know Wyatt bit into a laundry detergent pod on 7/25. Because of this he had to be intubated ( have a breathing tube) and life flighted from Sun Valley to Boise to be put in to the PICU. Apparently there is a certain chemical in the soap pods that create acid in the blood stream. After 2 days of IV fluids and several breathing treatments Wyatt is home. I will never again have these around my son. And just want other moms to be aware of what they can do!! (He bit into one that was clear).  Please feel free to share!!!!! Share share share!!! Help get the word out!!!”

Help me spread the word!  Keep laundry detergent pods and other household cleaning agents high and out of the reach of children.  Don’t even let your toddler or young child help you throw the laundry detergent pod into the washer.  One squeeze could pop the pod, spraying the liquid in your child’s eyes.   If your child has been exposed to a laundry detergent pod, call your local poison center at 800-222-1222 immediately.  If your child has ingested the chemicals inside the laundry detergent pod, or has gotten the chemicals in his/her eyes, call 911 or take your child immediately to the Emergency Room.

For more information see these sites:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6141a1.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/US/florida-babys-death-highlights-danger-laundry-detergent-pods/story?id=19982495

Hi this is Terri Borman, author of Shapes Go to School and childcare specialist.  I provide quality care and education to children under the ages of five.  I use this blog to help promote my children’s book, but also to help promote the health and safety of all children.  If you would like a personally signed copy of my book, Shapes Go to School, click here!

cropped-9781481758178.jpg

Car Seats & Shopping Carts: A Dangerous Combo

The Car Seat Lady

shoppingcart1.14.025

Parents use infant car seats as more than just car seats. Babies are often carried in these seats, ride in them on stroller frames, sit in them atop shopping carts, and nap in them while in the house and on the go.

A 2010 study in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that nearly 10,000 babies in the US are injured each year in their infant car seats NOT in crashes, but rather while using the seats outside of the car.  

1 in 10 of these babies are injured severely enough that they have to spend at least 1 night in the hospital.  

Of the injuries, 85% were related to falls – 65% of the infants fell out of the car seat, 15% fell from elevated surfaces (with shopping carts, tables, and counters being the most common surfaces).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO KEEP…

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LOL It Can Change Your Life

laugh We have all heard the sayings, “laughing is good for the soul” or “laughter is the best kind of medicine.”  These sayings originated from the Bible over 3000 years ago.  Proverbs 17:22 NIV says,  “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Hi this is Terri Borman childcare provider and author of Shapes Go to School.  Today’s post is about the importance of laughter, and I have listed below 10 positive things laughter does for your physical well being:

1.) Laughter is better than Vitamin C; it will boost your immune system.

2.) Laughter improves blood flow which energizes organs such as the heart, the brain, and the lungs.

3.) Laughter reduces aggression and tension.

4.) Laughter allows you to form connections and bonds with others.

5.) Laughter manages pain by releasing endorphins (peptides that offer a feeling of well being and help with pain management).

6.) Laughter helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

7.) Laughter burns calories.

8.) Laughter improves blood pressure and blood flow.

9.) Laughter helps coping with the unexpected.

10.) Laughter decreases the levels of stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine.  These two hormones can suppress the immune system allowing sickness and disease to attack the body.

Laughter is contagious!  Click on this link http://www.ahajokes.com/funny_jokes.html for one liner jokes to tell your co-workers, friends, or children like What do you get when you cross a duck with a firework?  A firequacker! or Why did the turtle cross the road?  To get to the Shell Station!  In order to get children to laugh, you have to play silly games or tell jokes that are on their level.  A younger child may not understand the “Shell Station” punchline.  We loved to laugh as children, but somewhere along the way to adulthood we stopped laughing as much.  Incorporating more laughter into our diets will cause positive things to happen inside our bodies!

9781481758161_COVER_V3.indd  Order a personally signed copy of Shapes Go to School go from this website http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shapes-Go-to-School-738347 or click on the book!

Resources:

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-reasons-why-laughing-good-for-you.htm

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_said_laughter_is_good_for_the_soul

 

B.E. S.A.F.E.

heat kills2  Once a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit, brain damage or death can occur.  This medical emergency is called heat stroke and so far this year, 2014, there have been at least seventeen heat stroke deaths of children left inside vehicles.  Even on days with relatively mild 60 degree Fahrenheit temperatures vehicles can reach deadly temperatures.  Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of children’s book “Shapes Go to School” and I would like to share KidsAndCars.org’s recommendations for these following B.E. S.A.F.E. tips.

B is for back seat- Put something in the back seat so you have to open the door when leaving the vehicle such as a cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc. especially do this if you are not the usual caregiver dropping off the child at day care.  The number one reason for these deaths are from caregivers forgetting to get the child out of the car.

E is for Every Child- Every child should be correctly restrained in the back seat.

S is for Stuffed Animal- Move a stuffed animal from the car seat to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.

A is for Ask- Ask your child-care provider to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn’t arrived on time.

F is for Focus- Focus on driving don’t get distracted by a telephone call.

E is for Every Time You Park- Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind and lock your doors to stop your children from sneaking back in to play later.  The number two reason for these deaths are from children getting into cars to play without their parents knowledge and then the child is not able to get back out.

Day care buses are now coming equipped with safety equipment which requires the driver to go to the back of the bus to disengage an alarm in hopes that he/she will check each seat as they go.  Unfortunately, this safety step can be bypassed if the driver has a passenger (child) disengage it for them.

Security personnel, parking lot attendants and the general public should look for children alone in a vehicle and call 911 immediately.  If the child seems hot or sick, they should get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

Here are some statistics:

  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2014:  17
  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2013:  44
  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke  deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present:  623
  • Average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998:38
  • See Monthly Statistics
  • See Per Capita Deaths by State
  • Circumstances
    • An examination of media reports about the 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for an fourteen year period (1998 through 2013) shows the following circumstances:
      • 51% – child “forgotten” by caregiver (312 Children)
      • 29% – child playing in unattended vehicle (177)
      • 18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult  (111)
      • 1% – circumstances unknown (6)
    • Demographics of Persons Responsible for Heatstroke Deaths of Children Forgotten in Vehicles

http://www.kidsandcars.org/kidsandcars-org-warns-against-leaving-children-in-hot-vehicles.html

http://ggweather.com/heat/

True Stories  http://www.weather.com/news/tragic-summer-children-left-hot-vehicles-20140710

cropped-9781481758178.jpg  Click here to order your personally signed copy!

ForgetMeNotBrochure  http://mtcbiz.net/forget_me_not_alarm.html

 

 

 

The ABC’s Of Infant Sleep

Suddenly and quite unexpectedly babies die in their sleep and for no apparent reason.  In fact, almost 400 babies die in their sleep annually in Texas causing the state to go on a campaign mission entitled “Always Give Babies Room to Breathe!”  Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of children’s book “Shapes Go to School.”  As a child care provider, it’s scary to think that an infant that I love and care for could die in his/her sleep while in my care, so I must to do everything in my power to provide a safe and clean environment and follow State guidelines about infant safe sleep practices.

The ABC’s of Infant Sleep:

  • A- ALONE (Infants should sleep alone)
  • B- BACKS (Infants should sleep on their backs with no blankets or bedding)
  • C- CRIB & COOL (Infants should sleep in a crib around 70 degrees)
  • S- SMOKE FREE (Infants should sleep in a smoke free environment)

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do place babies on their backs to sleep.
  • Do keep babies away from second hand smoke.
  • Do dress the baby lightly and control the room temperature use a fan to aide in air circulation.
  • Do Breast feed your baby and use pacifiers because they can lower the risk of sudden death.
  • Don’t put a baby to bed swaddled or with blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or bumper pads.  A cute and adorable crib could be a deadly one.
  • Don’t cover a babies face.
  • Don’t prop a bottle.
  • Don’t let an infant sleep with adults or other children and especially don’t sleep with an infant if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs which make you sleepy or extremely tired.
  • Don’t put your baby to sleep on a chair, sofa, futon, bean bag, any kind of cushion, soft mattresses, waterbeds, or memory foam.
  • Don’t expose infants to second hand smoke.

back to sleep (Click on this picture and watch 2 short videos)

Remember the safest place for a baby to sleep is in an approved crib with a tight fitting sheet in the same room as the parents or caregivers.  Adult beds are not made for babies and increase the risk of death.  Please click on the picture of the baby above to watch 2 short videos.

cropped-9781481758178.jpg (Click on the picture of my book to purchase a personally signed copy)

About “Shapes Go to School:” It’s the first day of school and the teacher, Miss Heart, has asked the students to get up and introduce themselves.  One by one each student gets up and tells each other their names, their color, and how many sides they have.  When it is Circle’s turn to get up, he is sad;  he doesn’t have any sides like the other shape children.  Don’t worry though!  All is well by the end of the story and every one of the shape children learn that they are special and useful in their own ways!

 For Resources and statistics:

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Room_to_Breathe/News_Releases/2010.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of the children’s book entitled “Shapes Go to School.”  Do you remember the song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys?”  It was written by Ed and Patsy Price in 1975 and then various other country singers such as Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson started singing it in 1978.  The narrator of the song warns mothers not to let their children become cowboys because of the tough and dangerous life and to this day, farming and ranching remains one of the top ten deadliest jobs.  In fact, here are the the top ten deadliest jobs according to Forbes Magazine and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that mothers might not want their babies to grow up to be.

logger  Logging workers take the number one spot for the deadliest job around.  Logging workers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year handling extremely heavy equipment.  They fight the elements of being outdoors even in poor weather making logging physically demanding and dangerous.  Most often they work in isolated areas and if an injury occurs, help is not just around the corner.  Most logging workers earned a yearly salary of $33,630 in May 2012.

crab fishing  Fisherman have the second deadliest job.  You probably heard of the Deadliest Catch from the Discovery Channel?  It’s one of my favorite shows and it has really helped shed the light on how tough and dangerous fishing in the Bering Sea can be.  The fishermen are susceptible to getting tossed overboard by a rogue wave, getting tangled up in an 800 pound crab pot line as the pot is going over the rail, getting hypothermia due to the the extremely cold temperatures, and crippling injuries caused by working with heavy machinery and gear.  Their seasons are short so they have to spend every minute of every hour hauling gear, leaving them tired, hungry, and dehydrated. The average salary for a crab fisherman largely depends on the market, the catch, and the fisherman’s experience.  A newbie called a green horn will only make $100- $150 per day where as the more experienced deck hands will make a percentage of the catch.

airplane pilot  Aircraft pilot, co-pilot and flight engineers have the third deadliest job.  Pilots are trained professionals responsible for flying a variety of aircraft such as airliners, cargo planes, helicopters and crop dusters.  There are many types of assignments that pilots can take, such as airline and cargo pilots, test pilots, crop dusters, search and rescue helicopter pilots, aerial ambulances or VIP transportation.  Pilots are in charge of planning their flight path, checking on the weather conditions, calculating their fuel needs which means knowing the weight of the aircraft, along with the distribution of weight throughout the aircraft.  Pilots must be able to navigate, communicate with air traffic control, continually monitor the instruments and if need be, handle any emergencies that occur during flight. The main danger pilots face is obviously crashing which can occur during landing or takeoff, during bad weather, mechanical problems or collisions with other aircraft or objects.  The average salary ranges from $88,000-$132,000 but could be as high as $200,000 in the private sector.

roofer  Roofers have the fourth deadliest job.  Working high up on rooftops in all types of temperatures with little or no safety measures, fixing and repairing roofs makes roofing one of the most deadliest jobs.  Roofing is physically demanding due to the heavy lifting, climbing and kneeling and they face the dangers of falling from heights, getting burned from hot bitumen (also known as tar), and getting injuries from their equipment.  The average annual wage for roofers in 2010 was $38,000.

steel and iron worker  Structural iron and steel workers have the fifth deadliest job.  Structural iron and steel workers install iron or steel beams, girders and columns to form buildings, bridges and other structures.  It’s physically demanding and dangerous due to often working at great heights while standing on 4″ beams with swinging cranes and dangling I-beams.  However, on the job related deaths has declined over the years due to enhanced safety measures, such as installing heavy nets that can catch falling workers or debris.  The median annual wage for structural iron and steel workers was $46,140 in May 2012.

trash collector  Trash collectors have the sixth deadliest job.  The high number of deaths can be attributed partly to impatient drivers, who try to pass stopped garbage collection vehicles and end up hitting the collectors.  Collectors also take precarious perches on the sides and rear of the moving garbage trucks, clinging to handles and standing on narrow running boards.  If they slip and fall, they can get run over by the wheels of their own truck or hit by passing traffic.  They also face the danger of getting hurt from the heavy machinery to compact the garbage and scoop it up into the main storage area of the trucks.   The average trash collector annual salary is $33,760.

electrical power installers  Electrical power line installers and repairers also known as line workers have the seventh deadliest job.  Line workers install or repair electrical power systems and telecommunication cables like fiber optics.  The job is physically demanding and the workers encounter hazards on the job such as high voltage electricity and great heights.  Most work regular business hours but some work evenings, weekends and holidays when necessary.  In 2012, the average pay was $58,210 per year.

truck driving  Truck drivers have the eighth deadliest job.  Truck drivers drive up to 14 hours straight a day and then get 10 hours off prior to the next shift.  There is legislation regulating the amount of driving a trucker performs over the course of a day and week but these rules are commonly broken.  In addition to long hours, drivers rarely eat 3 hot meals a day, and when they do eat, it will be fast food or prepackaged snack food.  Depression is also a problem for drivers due to the amount of time spent away from home and loneliness. The average annual salary is just under $38,000.

Farmer Cutting the Hay Crop. Farmers and ranchers, the cowboys, have the ninth deadliest job.   Working on a farm or ranch is strenuous and machines do help lift some of the burden, but they are also the cause of many fatalities.  Ranch hands use ATV’s to reach distant fields and even to herd cattle and are also becoming the biggest source of injuries on ranches.  Horses still cause a lot of injuries too.  Many horses are not properly trained and are unpredictable.  On farms machinery like tractors tend to be the biggest culprit in most accidents.  Often times drivers will back the big machines over other workers they did not see.  The average annual wage for a farmer and rancher is $70,000.  I can personally attest to the dangers of farming.  My grandparents had a farm with horses and tractors.  The summer I was 12 years of age, I went trail riding with my horse patches.  I didn’t ride him enough for one thing and I let him get barn soured.  Well one day we got too far out of his comfort zone and he turned around and ran as fast as he possibly could back to the barn nearly decapitating me.  That same summer I was joy riding on the tractor with my little brother and older cousin.  Of course we lost control, drove through a barbed wire fence, and knocked down a fruit tree.  I ended up with many stitches, but both my brother and cousin were amazingly able to jump clear just before impact.  That was the last summer I spent at my grandparents farm.

construction worker Construction workers have the tenth deadliest job.  Construction is a physically demanding job with dangers lurking at every turn.  The four major causes of death to a construction worker are being struck by an object, falling from a height, being trapped between two objects, and electrocution.  The national average salary for a construction worker is $32,000 but experience and skill set can affect the salary.

9781481758161_COVER_V3.indd    It’s the first day of school for the shape children and the teacher, Miss Heart, has asked the students to get up and introduce themselves.  One by one the shape children get up and tell each other their names, their color, and how many sides they have.  It’s a beautifully illustrated book that the children love and they learn all about shapes and colors. To purchase your copy of “Shapes Go to School” click on the picture of the book!