Live Support
Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
Article Rating :
0 votes

Quoted by BBC News: "Dogs are commonly known as man's best friend, but it turns out they may also be a child's – particularly if those children are one of the 45,000 deaf children in the UK.

"Hearing dogs", as they are known, could transform many young lives by offering companionship, confidence and independence.

Not only that, but these specially trained dogs could improve behaviour at school and lead to better academic performance, a recent study has found.

James Cheung is 11 years old and the owner of Kurt, a golden labrador retriever.

Kurt is specially trained to respond to household sounds that a deaf child cannot hear, like a door bell ringing, a telephone sounding and any alarms going off in the home.

But Kurt has proved to be much more than just a dog who hears.

"He is a wonderful accompaniment to our household," say James's mother Louise, from Derbyshire.

"I can't remember life without him."

Sleep companion

Although they have had Kurt for less than a year, he has become a close companion for James, who is an only child, and a reassuring presence around the home.

"James had sleep anxieties, which he was being treated for, but now that Kurt sleeps with him in his bedroom he feels much less isolated when he takes out his hearing aid at night."

Kurt has also helped James' social interaction, which he had always found difficult because of a speech disability.

"James is now mad keen on dogs, even his teachers have noticed. He researches them and talks about them. It's an interest which helps him initiate conversation with people.

"Before he would have avoided dogs. Now he adores them."

The study, carried out by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, looked at the impact of hearing dogs on the lives of 12 deaf children and their hearing families in the UK since 2008.

It found that hearing dogs had a positive effect in a number of areas, such as helping parents get the child's attention, making bedtime and sleeping easier, and giving the child confidence – particularly in social settings.

Parental concerns about the child's safety also fell dramatically, the study found.

Reassurance

Michele Jennings, chief executive of the charity, says this is because they can feel more relaxed about everything.

"Parents are concerned about dangers around the home but we train dogs to respond to smoke alarms, to alert a child to alarming noises, even things like ambulance sirens when they are out and about.

The responses of the families involved in the study said the dogs helped the children stay safe near roads and prevented them wandering off in public places.

But there were other noticeable benefits to placing hearing dogs with deaf children.

Their teachers noticed better behaviour at school and parents experienced happier family times at home.

The child was also more likely to wear a hearing aid, which often led to better academic progress and improved speech.

Most importantly, the dogs became their friends – often "best friends".

Hearing dogs are trained to alert children by nudging the child with their nose or, in the case of an alarm clock, wake the child up by putting two paws on the bed and pulling the duvet off.

Loving bond

Hearing dogs can also be used by the parent to fetch the child when needed and to carry written messages in a small purse, which the child can then respond to in the same way.

"The dog is a great conduit between parent and child – it gives the child independence," Michele Jennings says.

The majority of the dogs trained by the charity are cocker spaniels, miniature poodles, labradors and golden retrievers – dogs that can cope in most situations and be obedient, loving family dogs.

Volunteers offer to socialise the dogs when they are puppies, and when they are 10 or 11 months old, they start their sound skills training.

They are then introduced to a recipient deaf child and the bonding starts to take place.

There are currently 750 working hearing dogs in the UK for adults and, following the success of the trial, the charity wants to train many more dogs to work with deaf children.

It's a costly process though, with each dog costing £45,000 to be trained during its lifetime.

All hearing dogs are retired at 11 years of age but they are usually kept on by the families.

"The bond between family and dog and child and hearing dog is so strong. It's a joy to see. They just become part of the family," says Ms Jennings."

Child Wellness

Five Ways to Relieve Your Child's Anxiety At ...
  By Karleia Steiner   A visit to the dentist doesn't need to be synonymous with a visit to see the boogeyman. The fear that comes with dental visits is a learned one. If practiced while children are young, dental visits can be as cool as the mint mouthwash at the end of a cleaning. Listed below are five ways to relieve your child's anxiety at the dentist.   1. Dental Hygiene Habits As soon as a child receives their first tooth, make a big deal about it. Celebrate it as a milestone that marks their growth. Allow them to take a picture and proudly smile to show it off. While the excitement lingers, stress the importance of taking good care of the teeth. A child should own (and use) their special toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Make it an unavoidable part of their daily routine. This will help oral health be viewed as a priority and a joy!   2. Regular Visits As often as recommended by the dentist, make regular visits a priority. The more a child visits the dentist, the more they'll get used to the environment and the anxiety will eventually dissipate.   3. Conversation  A child will naturally ask questions about a visit to the dentist. Keep the conversation as positive and upbeat as possible. It's important not to lie to a child but don't use words that might scare them out of the chair like needle, drill, or bloody mess.   4. Choice of Dentist Do personal due diligence and find a dentist that will cater to the needs and sensitivities of a child. Not all dentists know how to be kind and pleasant to little clients. Sometimes, dental visits for children might arrive with the infamous meltdown. Dentists with good bedside manor like Dr. Bryan Murrayare expectant of these situations from children and are well-equipped to handle them. Selecting the perfect dentist can literally make or break the situation so choose wisely.   5. Special Event When it's time to visit the dentist, make it a special event the child learns to be excited about. Create an itinerary for the day so that the dentist is just a stop in between other fun places like the zoo and the child's favorite restaurant. With such a fun-filled day, it's hard to make the dentist seem like a chore or an unwanted place to visit!   While these tactics can help relieve a child's anxiety about a visit to the dentist, keep in mind that things may go south just because children are creatures of unexpected behavior. One minute, they might be excited. After sitting in the chair for a while, they might get frustrated. As the parent, be supportive, loving and compliant with what the dentist requests so that the experience can be a smooth as possible for everyone involved!  
5 Steps to Treating Spider Bites in Children...
  By Karleia Steiner   While many insect bites are harmless, a spider bite can become a concern for any parent. When a spider bite is suspected on a child, it is important for parents and caretakers to be aware of the various kinds of reactions that may be encountered. For instance, when symptoms are confined to the area of the bite, a local reaction occurs. This type of local bug bite will cause some discomfort, but usually does not present a significant medical threat. However, there are serious signs to recognize for what are termed systemic symptoms. Below are five steps to treating spider bites in children.   1. Immediate Care The main goal in treating localized spider bites on children is to provide immediate comfort and relief. Apply a cold compress or use frozen packs or ice when an insect bite is discovered. This can control and shorten the localized reaction significantly. Apply an itch relief ointment, calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream after the cold compress has begun to take effect.   2. Recognizing Symptoms One of the more common spiders is the black widow, whose bite is often painless. The first symptom is usually pain and cramping in the abdominal area, which could become hard to the touch. Breathing often becomes more difficult, along with nausea, shaking and vomiting. When this occurs, seek medical attention immediately. If at any time the child experiences hives or external swelling, this can also be an indication of a systemic allergic reaction. Since in some cases this can become serious quickly, contact a doctor immediately.   3. Serious Symptoms More serious spider bite symptoms involve increased difficulty breathing that may include wheezing. In rare cases, the child may become lightheaded and dizzy, perhaps fainting. Consider dispensing a child's dose of Diphenhydramine (known as Benadryl) to temporarily relieve allergic reactions until medical help can be obtained.   4. Prepare for a Doctor Consultation Regardless of whether immediate medical care is necessary, it is important to discuss the situation with the child’s physician. Have as much information available as possible to assist the doctor in deciding if further treatment is necessary. For instance, try to determine what type of spider was involved and gather information such as when, how and where the bite occurred. If the spider bite is only a localized reaction, treatment will probably be focused on the area affected. The doctor will also check if dead tissue or infection exists. Systemic reactions can likely require an adrenaline injection. Sometimes, the insect bite may require drainage which can be done on an outpatient basis. If the doctor suspects that the child is allergic to insect bites in general and a fear of future severe reaction exists, the doctor may recommend an emergency kit containing epinephrine injectors. Parents and care givers should be sure that they thoroughly understand when and how they should be used.   5. Prevention While hives are not always a medical emergency, it could be that the child may be more likely to experience a severe reaction to future bites. Therefore, take the opportunity to engage a service such as Green Mango Pest Control to avoid repeat episodes. A professional service such as this understands how to eradicate infestations of poisonous spiders such as the more common Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders, to the more exotic species. While the more unusual spiders are generally not located around the home, it is possible that they could take up residence in a suitcase while traveling. Bites from poisonous spiders are a real fear for many parents, but knowing the symptoms and how to respond will provide the knowledge necessary so that the proper remedy may be accomplished expediently  

Family Medicine

War on the Homefront: Best Ways to Win Agains...
  By Brooke Chaplan   The home is where families feel the most comfortable and relaxed. It is the place where you are tucked away from the world, safe within your own haven. But germs can post a threat to your health and happiness even at home. From the laundry room to the bedroom, bacteria is surprisingly resilient when it comes to surviving and even thriving within a home. For those that are ready to win the war against viruses and diseases lingering in their own home, it is important to take a methodical approach to cleaning.   Start with Hand Washing Hand washing should be a consistent habit for any family, especially when flu season begins to roll around. Every sink in the home should have anti-bacterial soap, and the entire family should thoroughly wash their hands for at least 20 or 30 seconds when they first get home, before touching anything in the kitchen, and after exercising.   Replacing Hygienic Items Hygienic items are actually a breeding ground for bacteria, and one of the most likely places to contract an illness. Some of the most common items to be careful of include toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and razors. These items should be changed as often as possible, and replaced immediately after a family member has gotten ill.   A Look at the Laundry Room While a washing machine was designed to remove bacteria from the clothes, the actual tub within these appliances is the ideal environment for bacteria. With heat and moisture, bacteria can spread to clothing with each and every load, and this is why these appliances should be sterilized at least once a week. This can be done by running the washing machine on empty and the highest settings with one cup of bleach.   Removing Bugs and Critters Having bugs and other critters around the home is pretty natural for most of us, yet many do not realize that it is one of the most common ways pathogens are spread. Animals such as cockroaches and rats can spread diseases ranging from E. coli to salmonella. This is why all homeowners should regularly schedule appointments with a Surrey pest control pest detective at least twice a year, or any time visible signs of an infestation are seen.   Beds and Pillows Beds and bedspreads are not only a good place for mold and germs to spread, residents will continue to be exposed to them night after night. All linens should be washed once a week, and pillows should be replaced yearly. The mattresses themselves should be replaced every seven years, dependent on use. From dust mites to microbes, one can never be too careful in their own home. With a wealth of bacteria throughout your property, these habits should become second nature in order to avoid common illnesses.  
Medical Advances that Make Surgery Less Invas...
    Often, when a patient went in for even minor surgery it was invasive, painful and might even have required a night in the hospital. On top of this, the surgery would require a recovery period that would keep the patient away from their job for a period of time. Now, technology has made many of these surgeries far less invasive. The results are less pain, a shorter recovery period, a lower risk of infection and other complications and sometimes no time spent overnight in a hospital. Here are some of the medical advances that have made surgery less invasive:     Laparoscopic Surgery   In this type of surgery, tiny incisions are made in the area. Then, an equally tiny camera can be inserted. The surgeon operates with miniaturized instruments while being guided by a video monitor. This type of surgery is used in everything from repairing herniated disks, to joint surgery to removing diseased internal organs to certain types of weight loss surgery. Laparoscopic surgery can also be used to replaced valves in the heart and in the aorta. Normally, these types of surgeries would require large incisions and time in the hospital. Now, some of these operations are considered outpatient procedures.     Laser Surgery   Laser surgery has become so accurate that the targeted laser beam can repair or destroy the exact area where it's needed without damaging surrounding tissue. Lasers can also cut down on blood loss by cauterizing blood vessels in the surgical area. Lasers are now extensively used in everything from laser spine surgery, cataract surgery, surgery to correct refractive errors of the eye and cosmetic procedures. These include the removal of scars, birthmarks, liver spots and other signs of aging.     Magnetic Resonance Imaging   This is a scan to see into the body that's more accurate than CT scans or sonograms and is far more accurate than X-rays. MRIs use powerful magnets and radio waves to see internal organs, bones, blood vessels and other components of the body. Because an MRI scan can find conditions that other types of scan might miss, it can obviate the need for exploratory surgery.     Robots   Robots are everywhere and that includes the operating room. Robotic surgery can be an adjunct to laparoscopic surgery, except the instruments are wielded by a robotic arm that can be controlled by a computer or by the surgeon. Robotic surgery can be even more precise than laparoscopic surgery and can be used for very delicate procedures that involve blood vessels or nerves.   Medical technology is advancing every day and the benefits for the patients are many and increasing.  

Insurance

5 Tips to Accident Compensation for Back Inju...
Back injuries following an accident can have long-lasting consequences, so it is imperative for you to look into your options if someone else's negligence was at fault. After all, back problems can be one of the most difficult things to heal from, and this could even make it necessary for you to alter your lifestyle and career. Additionally, the medical bills associated with this type of injury are often extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are a few different techniques that you can utilize to help you collect compensation for this medical problem.   1. Retain an Experienced Accident Attorney  Regardless of whether your back injury occurred at work or as a result of a traffic accident, you have the legal right to take action against any negligent party that was involved in the incident. Although the state you live in will determine exactly what you can sue for, it is common for accident attorneys to help you gain compensation for lost wages, medical bills, punitive damages and pain and suffering. For example, if you are injured on the job in Miami, an accident lawyer can help you determine if it makes more sense to file a lawsuit than a workers' compensation claim.   2. Adhere to Your State's Statute of Limitations  One of the best reasons to hire an attorney immediately is to help ensure that you do not let too much time pass. Unfortunately, your state's statute of limitations restricts your ability to legally file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you will not be able to receive any compensation for your injuries.   3. Document and Keep Record of Everything  If you end up in a courtroom, it will be critical for you to be able to provide documentation that verifies your injury and how it occurred. Due to this, you should keep a copy of everything that your physician gives you, and it is also a good idea to photograph the scene of your accident if possible.   4. Keep All of Your Medical Appointments  It can be difficult to convince a judge or jury that you should receive compensation for your back injury if you fail to take the proper medical steps to help yourself get better. Therefore, you should be prepared to prove that you want to every medical appointment, including any that were scheduled for you by your employer.   5. Do Not Take Any Unnecessary Risks Some people destroy their chance of winning an injury lawsuit by doing something unwise such as helping a family member move before they are completely healed. Taking this unnecessary risk could cause you to deal with additional medical complications that will not be covered by your lawsuit, and it can also provide the defendant with the opportunity to photograph you doing something that will conflict with your injury claim.   Although a back injury is extremely painful, you need to make sure that you do not let this cloud your judgment and get in the way of your ability to take legal action. Therefore, you should contact an attorney right away because they will be able to advise you step-by-step throughout the entire process.     About the Author: Lisa Coleman shares several tips on how to help ensure compensation for injuries following an accident. She recently read at http://www.miamicaraccidentlawyers.net/ about the different kinds of compensation an accident victim can receive for such injuries.     Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/5477269910/
Rethinking Short-Term Disability Coverage...
Life insurance is the primary focus for most families when planning for their financial future. The loss of the breadwinner can be crippling both emotionally and monetarily yet few individuals think about having disability insurance. Because you are likely to experience a disability sometime in the span of your career, you may want to rethink your short-term disability insurance needs, especially if you hold the brunt of the financial duties in your household. Planning for the Unexpected As the major breadwinner, it is your responsibility to make sure your family does not lose everything because of your illness or injury. Short-term disability insurance allows you to take time off work when you have a critical unforeseen medical issue or a difficult pregnancy or after the birth of your child. Having this type of disability insurance in place has advantages for both you and your employer that includes job security, improved long-term health, and financial compensation. It protects everything that you have. Sometimes, an illness or injury can immobilise you. You might be faced with a mountain of hospital bills. You might be facing depression. You might be stressing over your health or the health of your baby. Don’t feel that you have to tackle all of it alone. You might want to consult with therapists, financial advisers, or a local attorney, such as Auger & Auger if you reside in North Carolina for instance, who deals with personal injury cases. Planning for Job Security For individuals without short-term disability insurance, staying on the job may be difficult, especially if you’ve been injured or have suffered a protracted illness. If you are unable to return to work, your employer must search for a replacement to take up the slack. And you are now faced with uncertainty for your future. Short-term disability provides a respite, so the employee can remain on the payroll books until their physical hardship has passed. Planning for Those Bills Since short-term disability covers typically two-thirds of the worker’s income, you’ll still have money coming into your household, and you’ll still be able to cover a portion of your monthly expenses. It’s the goal of your employer and insurance company to have you return to work as soon as possible so your full salary is not going to be covered. This is their incentive for you to not delay your return. Because Federal and State laws are in place, short-term disability can protect your position while you’re away. The laws are designed so that you can take the necessary time off to deal with the birth of a child or work through an injury or illness without having to worry about losing your job too. Since the laws are dependent on the particular state where you reside, you need to check with your employer first before requesting short-term disability insurance. Planning for Good Health A worker who doesn’t have short-term disability insurance may feel the need to work through the injury or illness. This could worsen their condition and place their health in jeopardy. By having this type of insurance, you can feel comforted knowing that you can seek the proper medical attention for your ailment, even if you have to miss work to do so. Knowing that you have a position when you return can even help you heal a lot faster. Getting the problem corrected immediately leads to better long-term health and fewer future headaches. Short-term disability insurance can be one of the most beneficial policies that you’ll ever purchase. Besides the advantage of earning income while being sick or injured, it allows you peace of mind knowing that your position will be secure when you are healthy and well again, and your family is able to stay afloat financially. Debbie Nguyen is a designer, writer and mother in the Atlanta area. Maintaining her health is key since she’s a freelancer. Auger & Auger is a personal injury law firm in the Charlotte, North Carolina area helping those faced with short-term disabilities.