May 10 2012

Public Health News Roundup: May 10

FDA Issues Draft Recommendations to Improve Imaging Safety in Kids

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released draft guidance for the x-ray manufacturing industry recommending that new X-ray imaging devices be designed with protocols and instructions specific to children, or include a label that the machine is not intended for pediatric use.

According to the FDA, the use of X-ray equipment settings designed for adults can result in a larger radiation dose than necessary to produce a useful image for a smaller pediatric patient. The FDA will hold a workshop in July to discuss the draft guidance.

USDA Awards Grants to Increase Farmers' Market Participation in SNAP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of grants to help states expand the availability of wireless technology in farmers' markets not currently participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. Farmers' markets typically don't have access to phone lines or electricity, making it difficult for them to redeem SNAP benefits electronically. There are currently more than 1,500 farmers' markets that do have the technology to accept SNAP benefits electronically, and since 2008, SNAP expenditures at farmers' markets have risen by 400 percent.

The USDA National Farmers Market Directory lists farmers markets that accept SNAP and other federal nutrition programs.

Some New York Hospitals to Stop Giving Free Baby Formula Samples

The New York Times is reporting that the New York City health department began a campaign this week urging hospitals not to give mothers free samples of baby formula, in an effort to support and encourage breast-feeding. Under the new campaign, in which 23 New York City hospitals are participating so far, the hospitals will not give formula samples unless the mother asks for it or the doctor orders it. Read more on maternal and infant health.

Tags: Maternal and Infant Health, News roundups, Nutrition, Poverty