• Article from newspapers,  Health Concern,  Home Improvement,  Personal,  Sharing Information

    Allergies and Indoor Air


    Here is an interesting article from HealthNewsDigest.com which have been published on StarFit4Life, sunday 3rd February 2013.  For our information, this makes me want to take part time cleaner to do house cleaning every week.

    Even for those of us without allergies, poor indoor air quality is an often overlooked health issue.  Recent research has shown that the air inside some buildings can be more polluted than the outdoor air in the most industrialised of cities.  And since many of us spend some 90% of our time indoors, cleaning the air where we live and work might be one of the most important things we can do for our health.

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists three basic strategies for improving indoor air : source control, improved ventilation and air cleaners.

    Source control, whereby emissions from individual sources of pollution are eliminated or reduced – for instance, finding somewhere outside the home to store old paint and construction supplies – is typically the most effective strategy.

    If the sources of pollution are beyond your control, bringing in more air from outsiede through better ventilation is the best bet.  “Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house,” the EPA warns.  “Opening window and doors, operating window or attic fans when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open, increases the outdoor ventilation rate.”

    The agency adds that local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors also remove contaminants while increasing the outdoor air ventilation rate.  Air cleaners (either mechanical filters or electronic cleaners) can also help reduce or remove some forms of indoor air pollution.  “Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others, including most table-top models, are much less so,” reports the EPA.

    “People with sensitivity to particular resources may find that air cleaners are helpful only in conjunction with concerted efforts to remove the source.” Some of us swear by our housplants for keeping our indoor air free of pollutants.  Mother Nature Network reports that certain plants are known to filter out specific contaminants : aloe removes airborne formaldhyde and benzene; spider plants scrub carbon monoxide and xylene; and gerbera daisies take the trichloroethylene left over from dry-cleaned items out of your air.

    The EPA, however, does not consider houseplants to be especially effective at air filtration, and even warns that over watered indoor house plants can, in and of themselves, present a health hazard, because damp soil may promote the growth of allergens.

    Good housekeeping also can go a long way toward improving indoor air.  WebMD reports that regular mopping and vacuuming (with a HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum cleaner), keeping interior moisture levels low, maintaining a smoke-free environment, and ditching chemical air fresheners are all key to maintaining good breathing space inside.

  • Article from newspapers,  Business,  Children,  Health Concern,  Sharing Information

    Fish and Fruit found to be safer bet

    Many parents of children with asthma and allergies will already be watching carefully their chil’s diet since certain foods – notoriously nuts – are known to trigger allergic reactions.

    With news that studies show apparently bland burgers, nuggets, pasties and similar fast foods could contribute to the risk, they will be keen to know what research suggest are the safer options for family dinners.  One better bet appears to be a Mediterranean diet.  Asthma UK cites research carried out in Athens in 2011 by Grigoropoulou and colleques, which compared children in the city with those in the rural part of Greece.  They found the urban children were more likely to get asthma, but eating a diet in vegetables, fish and oils, appeared to protect them.

    Fish oils on their own, however, did not do so well in a study from Edinburgh University published in 2009.  This was a review of a number of studies where children had been given omega-3 and omega-6 supplements in the hope of preventing allergies, while other comparable children had been given placebos.  The researchers found no clear evidence that the supplements had any protective effect.

    “Our systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that supplementation with omega 3 and omega-6 oils is probably unlikely to play an important role as a strategy for the primary prevention of sensitization or allergic disease,” they concluded.

    Trans fatty acids have been linked to asthma and allergies before, in addition to raising cholesterol levels and the NHS advises people to reduce their intake.  The fast food study suggest the best advice for parents wanting to protect their children from asthma and allergies is to ensure they have a healthy diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and to steer clear of fast food.

    Story shared from StarFit4Life – Sunday 27 Jan 2013 / Guardian News and Media.

  • Children,  education,  Family,  Personal,  Reflection of life

    Schools and Education

    Well after long time leaving school, I am be able to discover who I really am.   Now sending my children to a government school, the familiar environment and most subject in bahasa Malaysia it is easier and ease burden in learning but when I found out about a teacher who scolded my son, I went to see her.  I went to the classroom, I look at the teacher from outside, she was busy yelling at a few students standing next to her.  When she saw me, instead of coming out, she asked me to go in there, so in front of the class, slowly I speak to her, to give time to my son as he is not use to bahasa Malaysia, he have been learning mandarin for few years and he have speech delay so he is a little bit slow, she said “kau lah ajar dia bm” you teach him bm.  I also told her that putting him at the back of the class won’t be good because he can’t really focus… with her irritated voice “mana lah saya tau”, suddenly she ask the student in front of the class “kau pigi belakang, Sean kau pigi depan” .. what the … is this teacher.  She was screaming asking the students to keep quit, “sapa tu jatuh? Nanti patah kaki amacam?” .. slowly all this anchored my all time, those days when I see myself being bullied by teachers.. being emotionally abused by them.  She even said “ini kelas paling nakal bah, saya stress”!  I feel like slapping her face in front of the students.. ya seriously.  I then say out loud looking at the students.. ‘kamu nakal kah?’ tidaklah some of them replied.. well I say I don’t see you nakal, cuba dengar saja apa ni cikgu cakap baru dia tidak marah”   Looks like the students happy somebody siding them, and the teacher look irritated but well that is school.. a place to learn not a place where you label anyone, calling them slow or stupid.

    Out of hundreds of teachers whom have taught me those days, I only remember a few, the worse and the best.  As human, I keep those the encouraging words from them and the hurtful one.  Nobody is perfect, yes.. but being a teacher, your role is to teach.

    Nobody, not even a teacher should label a child, that is emotional abuse, abuse of power.. as an educated adult, she should know well, as a mother, she should know better.  Calling a child slow learner, screaming at them everyday, would that make a different, a child still doesn’t know to challenge themselves to improve better if being push in such a way.  I believe if she understands her purpose of being an educator or just being a human being, she would not react in such manner.

    I too, sometimes lose temper on my children but after that I will shower them with love and security, telling them what was wrong.  We are adults, we have been through childhood, try to take time and understand them, listen to them and let them express what they feel.