Friday June 21, 2019

Air Pollution Raises Anxiety, Depression Risks in Kids, Says Study

Among those exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution, there were significant increases of myo-inositol in brain compared with those with lower pollution exposure

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rahul gandhi, environment
A recent report had said that 22 of the world's 30 worst cities for air pollution are in India, with Delhi again ranking as the world's most polluted capital. VOA

A new evidence suggests air pollution is not just associated with asthma and respiratory diseases, but may also impact metabolic and neurological development of children, putting them at an increased risk of anxiety and depression, says a study.

“Recent evidence suggests the central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to air pollution, suggesting a role in etiology of mental disorders, like anxiety or depression,” said study lead author Kelly Brunst, Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US.

“This is the first study to use neuro-imaging to evaluate exposure to traffic-related air pollution, metabolite dysregulation in brain and generalised anxiety symptoms among otherwise healthy children,” Brunst said.

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Research, the researchers evaluated imaging of 145 children at an average age of 12 years, looking specifically at levels of myo-inositol in brain through a specialised MRI technique, magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A bird flies past the Humayun’s Tomb shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

Myo-inositol is a naturally-occurring metabolite, mainly found in specialised brain cells known as glial cells, which assists in maintaining cell volume and fluid balance in brain and serves as a regulator for hormones and insulin in the body. Rise in myo-inositol levels correlate with increased population of glial cells, which often occurs in states of inflammation.

Among those exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution, there were significant increases of myo-inositol in brain compared with those with lower pollution exposure, researchers said.

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They also observed rise in myo-inositol to be associated with more generalised anxiety symptoms. “In the higher, recent exposure group, we saw a 12 per cent increase in anxiety symptoms,” said Brunst.

Brunst, however, noted that the observed increase in reported generalised anxiety symptoms in this cohort of typically developing children was relatively small and were not likely to result in a clinical diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. (IANS)

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Experts Suggest How You can Keep Your Children Safe from Sun in Summer

Sharmila K, Senior Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills, suggested:

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Always use sunscreen to protect damage from sunburn
Always use sunscreen to protect damage from sunburn. Pixabay

It is always fun to have some outdoor time with children, but ensuring that they are safe from the sun is very important, say experts.

Rajesh Vohra, CEO – Artsana India, in assistance with Chicco Baby Research Center, shared some tips:

* Apply sunscreen: Make the usage of a sunscreen a must before stepping out. Your toddler’s skin is sensitive and needs attention, especially during the peak summer. A layer of protection against UVA, UVB and infrared rays on toddler’s skin should be the agenda. Look for features like broad spectrum, water resistant and easy to apply.

* Sunglasses: Try to protect your baby’s eyes and skin from direct exposure of sun. It is essential to make sure that your baby wears sunglasses.

* Wear protective clothing: Find wide-brimmed hats, full-sleeved clothes with comfortable fabric.

* Seek shade in extreme sunlight: Whenever the sun is at its peak and temperature is high, it’s good to keep babies in the shade to avoid sunburn.

 

baby
Here are some simple tips that mothers can keep in mind to take care of baby’s skin during summer. Pixabay

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Sharmila K, Senior Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills, suggested:

* Prickly Heat: The most common skin problem an infant can get because of clogging of skin pores and accumulation of sweat. These can be controlled by frequent application of lotions such as calamine or a moisturiser, especially on the skin folds, like neck, thighs, groom area behind knees and elbows.

* Sunburns: Any child over 6 months with sensitive skin needs proper sun protection. Infants are recommended to stay indoors. Older kids (1-5) should have sunscreen applied at regular intervals and use of hats and shades should be encouraged.

* Dehydration: While breastfed babies are safe due to intake of mother’s milk, infants who are formula fed or have started consuming food must be given extra water after food. To avoid dehydration, they can be fed the fruits with high water content like watermelon and oranges at regular intervals.

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* Fevers: Fevers are most common in newborns during summer. Over-wrapping them should be avoided and they should be clothed loosely. When you notice a temperature rise in the kids, give them a bath. This cools the baby immediately.

* Diarrhoea: Loose motions in exclusively breastfed baby is uncommon. Babies who are fed food or water are more prone to stomach infections. If there is blood in stools, visit the doctor immediately as it might be dysentery and would need antibiotics. (IANS)