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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Health Hazards Associated with Laundry Detergent Pods — United States, May–June 2012

Division of News & Electronic Media

Parents and caregivers should keep laundry detergent pods, and other household cleaning products, out of reach and out of sight of children. Laundry detergent pods are single-dose capsules containing concentrated liquid detergent. Prompted by reports between May–June 2012 of adverse health effects among children ingesting the contents of laundry pods, CDC and the American Association of Poison Control Centers began tracking reported exposure to laundry detergent from pods. Investigators found that between May 17–June 17 2012, 94 percent of laundry pod exposures involved children 5 years of age and younger. Among children 5 years of age and younger, laundry pod detergent exposure was more often associated with gastrointestinal and respiratory adverse health effects, and mental status changes compared to non-pod laundry detergent exposure.

2. Years of Potential Life Lost from Unintentional Injuries Among Persons Aged 0–19 Years — United States, 2000–2009

Division of News & Electronic Media

Researchers, public health officials, and others examining unintentional injury-related deaths will find examining Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) a valuable tool to target injury prevention strategies to the most at risk children and adolescents. YPLL is a summary measure of early death. It represents the total number of years of life lost to various conditions prior to the expected age of death. An average of 890 YPLL were lost due to unintentional injuries for every 100,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 years. This article provides state data and is the first of its kind to find that the burden of unintentional injuries was much higher among males, adolescents aged 15-19 years, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children, and among children in adjacent states: the South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) and the Mountain states (Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota). Effective interventions to prevent unintentional injury deaths for children include using occupant restraints, wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets, reducing drinking and driving, strengthening graduated driver licensing laws, using safety equipment during sports participation, requiring 4-sided residential pool fencing, and safe sleep practices for infants.

3. Mycoplasma pneumoniae Respiratory Illness Among School-Aged Children — West Virginia, 2011

Division of News & Electronic Media

Mycoplasma pneumoniae can cause large respiratory outbreaks in communities, and standard respiratory precautions are important ways of preventing disease transmission when antibiotic-resistant strains are circulating. In November–December 2011, two rural counties in West Virginia experienced an unusually large outbreak of respiratory illness in the community caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. In total, 125 cases were identified, including 23 confirmed by laboratory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health officials worked with local schools and health care providers to disseminate messages about hand and respiratory hygiene and make hand sanitizer widely available in schools, as the outbreak was concentrated among school-aged children. Although two laboratory-confirmed specimens were resistant to the first-line antibiotic treatment for Mycoplasma, there were no serious illnesses or deaths during the outbreak, and cases declined in mid-December after implementation of standard public health measures.


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