Do Hand Cleaners Really Work?

We’ve talked about this before on this blog, the fact that hand sanitizers really don’t work and might, in fact, be doing more harm than good (See the post “That which is supposed to protect may be harming¬†instead“).

Now the FDA is finally coming to the same conclusion and is stating that they want more data to ascertain the effectiveness and safety of hand sanitizers used in hospitals. The FDA is asking manufacturers of these products to provide more data to help them make more educated recommendations, data that most manufacturers probably don’t have yet, including data about the effects of long-term use.

The issue, according to the FDA is the fact that these sanitizers are being used more widely than ever before and that the antiseptics are being absorbed into the skin and therefore into the body. It is possible that this might results in an increase in cancer and hormone problems.

Also at issue is whether, as we’ve mentioned before, these antiseptics are, in fact, producing superbug bacteria that will no longer be so easy to kill.

You can read more about this story on the ABC News website.

Don’t let Babies Nap in Car Seat Unattended

We’ve all seen it and many of us have done it. The infant is asleep and we don’t want to wake him or her so we just unbuckle the car seat and leave the child in the car seat to nap while we go about our business.

Truth is that infants die each year because of this practice. The problem is generally that the straps choke them or they die of asphyxiation because their body slips into a position where breathing is difficult.

The bottom line is that a car seat is intended for the child to sit in and sleep while in a vehicle. If used in this manner, the child is under constant supervision. Never leave a child in a car seat unsupervised, even for a couple of minutes.

Safety Hazards of Shrinking Space on Airliners

If you’ve flown coach lately you know that the space between your seat and the seat in front of you has shrunken over the years. Besides the fact that it makes the flight less comfortable, especially when the person in front of you decides to recline, new studies are looking at whether it might not also be unsafe.

The reason your space has shrunk is because airlines, in an effort to maximize profits, has moved the aisles closer together and added rows. Your space has shrunk from 35″ to as low as 28″. In addition, with airlines now charging for extra bags, passengers are now carrying on larger pieces of carry-on baggage making for even more reduced real estates on the plane, especially when they store them under the seat in front of them.

Questions are now being raised about how safe this reduced space actually is. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has run various evacuation drills but it is being pointed out that these scenarios are run with fit people who are prepared and trained and who are sitting in seats that are 31″ apart. That’s hardly a realistic evacuation. What exactly would happen with a real life evacuation where 1 in 3 passengers were obese (the national average right now) and where the seats were actually 28″ apart as they presently are?

In addition, there is the problem of deep vein thrombosis and air rage (the in-the-air version of road rage) both of which are associated with reduced personal space.

Ultimately, however, if the FAA and DOT determine that seating needs more space, it will result in a price hike which many passengers aren’t going to be okay with either. Caught between a seat and a small space!