About Corinne McSpedon, senior editor

AJN senior editor

Chemical Exposure: A Preventable Cause of Harm to Children’s Health

“Children are often exposed to. . . contaminants through their behavior—when they crawl on the floor or explore their environment by touching and tasting objects indiscriminately. In addition, because they are young, there is the potential for environmental exposures to negatively impact their health for a long time.”

Photo © Associated Press

Chemicals are ubiquitous

In “Project TENDR,” an article in this month’s issue of AJN, author Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, discusses why children are particularly susceptible to environmental exposures to chemicals.

Aside from children’s vulnerability to chemical exposures as still developing individuals, Anderko observes that chemicals are also especially hazardous to children simply because they are everywhere: “ . . . in health care supplies and equipment, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics and personal products (such as shampoos, baby bottles, toys, and thousands of other consumer products) we use.”

Developmental harms of children’s exposure to chemicals

Anderko summarizes the concerns raised by a growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures and pediatric health outcomes:

“ . . . widespread exposure to toxic chemicals can increase the risk of cognitive, behavioral, and social […]

Overactive Bladder in Women: Nurses Can Improve Screening, Management of a Common Problem

“Whether due to discomfort with the topic or a lack of knowledge about treatment options, some women attempt to manage symptoms on their own, a decision that can lead to additional problems…”

Can Significantly Affect Daily Activities

Among women 18 to 70 years old, almost a third are “sometimes” affected by the symptoms of overactive bladder, according to the authors of this month’s CE feature, “Overactive Bladder in Women.” This rate is nearly twice that among men, and prevalence is known to increase in all adults as they age.

Overactive bladder can significantly affect daily activities, with many women altering their routines to ensure a bathroom is nearby. The “hallmark symptom of overactive bladder is urgency,” according to authors Mary H. Palmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, AGSF, and Marcella G. Willis-Gray, MD. Women may experience urgency with urinary incontinence, stress urinary incontinence, or mixed urinary incontinence (in which a combination of these symptoms occurs).

A Tendency to Self-Manage

Despite the impact of this condition on everyday routines, patients often resist talking to their health care providers about symptoms—or do so as an afterthought, as the patient does in the hypothetical case study accompanying this article. Whether due to discomfort with the topic or a lack of knowledge about treatment options, some women attempt to manage symptoms on their own, a decision that can […]

2017-04-03T10:53:35+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Baby Boxes: Gifts Intended to Educate New Parents About Safe Sleeping

A Gift for Every New N.J. Parent

When I had my first child in New Jersey more than a decade ago, the hospital sent me home with a bag of product samples, including a few diapers, a package of wipes, two cans of formula, and an assortment of coupons. These items were helpful to varying extents—I was breastfeeding and unlikely to buy the products featured on the coupons, but the wipes and diapers certainly came in handy. So did the little hat a nurse put on my son’s head soon after birth. With its horizontal pink and blue stripes, this soft beanie that actually stayed in place was ever present during his first few weeks. It was the most useful and well-loved relic of our hospital stay.

The parents of infants in New Jersey are now given an even more practical item, one that also has the potential to reduce infant mortality rates: a baby box. This laminated, nontoxic cardboard box is packed with items that are essential during the early days of parenthood—including diapers, wipes, clothing, and breast pads—but it’s also a bed. The box, which includes a mattress and sheet, provides a safe place for infants to sleep during their first year. It’s free to all new and expectant parents in the state who watch a 20-minute educational video and take a quiz online. Upon completion, they receive a certificate that allows them to pick up the box at a local distribution center or order it by […]

2017-07-27T11:45:04+00:00 February 24th, 2017|Nursing, Public health|1 Comment

Will Congress Listen? Americans Don’t Want ACA Repealed Without Replacement

By Daniel X. O’Neil/via Flickr

Congressional Republicans are moving quickly to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but have yet to offer a replacement plan or indicate when one might be introduced. The possibility that more than 20 million Americans who gained health insurance through the ACA may lose their coverage is a rising concern among health care providers and patients alike. The ANA detailed its Principles for Health System Transformation in a letter to President-elect Donald Trump last month, advocating for “reforms that would guarantee access to high-quality, affordable health care for all,” and the American Medical Association sent an open letter to members of Congress last week urging them to develop a replacement plan before making any changes to the existing law.

Voters—including Trump supporters who have health insurance through the ACA—are also voicing surprise and disapproval that the current law might be repealed without a replacement. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted focus groups of working class supporters of Mr. Trump from Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania who have insurance through the ACA marketplaces or Medicaid. The nonprofit organization’s president and chief executive, Drew Altman, detailed the results of the focus groups in an op-ed in the New York Times on January 5. Mr. Altman noted that while participants said they were disappointed in the ACA, they were “afraid they will be unable to afford coverage […]