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New app aims to provide second line of defense against child drowning deaths

New technology, designed as a wearable monitor and a smartphone app, is aimed at helping to prevent child drowning deaths. The brand new technology designed for swimming safety is known as iSwimbands. This system includes a headband for the swimmer and a wristband for the non-swimmer, alerting the non-swimmer’s smartphone through an app immediately if the swimmer is underwater for more than 20 seconds. iSwimband is advertised as “a personal and portable aquatic safety system,” but it does not aim to replace vigilant supervision. iSwimband’s goal is to provide a second level of protection because drowning can be difficult to detect. ... Read More

DOT’s annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign kicks off during the end of summer

Drunk drivers are about to receive their annual crackdown from numerous law enforcement officials and safety advocates with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This year’s theme will dive deeper into the personal and economic costs of the actions of drunk drivers. New statistics in the 2014 NHTSA report indicate that alcohol-impaired accidents take the life of one individual every 51 minutes. In 2010, drunk drivers cost the United States a grand total of $47 billion in direct economic charges. If the report counts the impact to ... Read More

FDA’s “The Real Cost” campaign will be the first of many aimed at reducing teen tobacco use

In an effort to prevent youth tobacco use and reduce the number of regular teen smokers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the launch of a new national public education campaign by the name of “The Real Cost” campaign. One of the FDA’s first of several planned tobacco education campaigns, “The Real Cost” campaign came to be once the FDA was granted more authority under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law in 2009 by President Obama. The United States has more than 480,000 deaths from tobacco use, making tobacco use the ... Read More

Paula Deen and sons team up with drug maker to push recipes for diabetics

Paula Deen and her two sons, Bobby and Jamie, are teaming up with drug maker Novo Nordisk for a national initiative aimed at helping diabetics like Paula overcome common challenges associated with type 2 diabetes management. The campaign, called Diabetes in a New Light, features recipes for lighter versions of some of Paula’s favorite summertime recipes. Earlier this year, Paula announced she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years prior. She chose to come clean about her disease after signing a lucrative deal with Novo Nordisk to promote its type 2 diabetes drug Victoza. The celebrity chef’s announcement ... Read More

Children’s Claritin’s partnership with Madagascar 3 raises safety concerns

Makers of cereal and Happy Meals are quick to partner with children’s movies to market their products, but a drug company is raising eyebrows for joining in on the fun. Merck & Co. has launched a campaign to promote its Grape-Flavored Chewable Children’s Claritin allergy medicine with Madagascar 3-themed packages with stickers inside and promoting downloadable games that pair Children’s Claritin to Madagascar 3. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, is the third in the series of children’s movies from DreamWorks Animation, currently in movie theaters across the country. The unusual partnership with a children’s medicine has prompted the Public Health ... Read More

LOLs that kill: the life and death of texting-while-driving crash victims portrayed in new video

A young woman named Mandi sends a brief text message to her sister Ashley, who is driving her truck. Ashley receives the message — “yeah” — then clips the median on the left side and loses control of the vehicle. Her truck flips and she is ejected from the driver’s seat. She dies in the ditch where her body lands and now Mandi lives with the guilt of believing she killed her sibling with those four “little letters.” “Just having a highway patrol officer write in a report that a text message sent at 12:05 is the reason that she ... Read More

government pushes pool industry to step up safety awareness

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that it formed a “strategic partnership” with the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) in an effort to drive down the number of swimming pool-related deaths and injuries that occur every year, especially to children. The CPSC announced the partnership at the International Pool, Spa, & Patio Expo in Las Vegas. According to Kathleen Reilly, CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign director, the purpose of the alliance is to develop and implement a public safety campaign that it hopes will keep children away from faultily installed or defective drain covers and raise awareness of ... Read More

US Travel Association analyzes oil spill's impact on Gulf tourism

An analysis published last week of the BP oil spill’s impact on the Gulf Coast’s tourism industry concluded that the effects of the massive oil spill could last up to three years and cost up to $23 billion. The study, conducted for the U.S. Travel Association by Oxford Economics, found that perception is a wildcard in how extensively the oil spill will damage tourism revenues along the popular vacation coast. Oxford Economics considered current spending, the oil spill’s predicted trajectory, and the effects that 25 past crises had on tourism dollars to determine how likely the damage will be throughout ... Read More