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Climate change impacting kids' time outside — and more

Medical Watch Digest for Feb 12.

Climate Change & Playing Outside

A new report says climate change is making it more dangerous for kids to play outside.

Peer-reviewed research by the climate analytics firm First Street Foundation says two decades in clean air quality gains are being wiped out.

It projects by midcentury, the increased levels of microscopic soot particles and ozone molecules entering Americans’ lungs will be back to 2004 levels.

It says 10-percent of households can expect to experience at least a week of “unhealthy” air quality days from the EPA each year. 

Two weeks of bad air a year in hotspots, which includes Chicago.

Women & Autoimmune Diseases

Researchers at Stanford University are closer to understanding why women are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

A new study suggests it might have to do with how the female body handles its extra “x” chromosome.

The predominantly chronic conditions involve an off-kilter immune system attacking its own cells and tissues.

The research involving experiments on mice is preliminary, and further study is needed.

But, researchers are hopeful this observation could help inform new treatments and ways to diagnose the diseases.

Treating diarrhea in children

A proven treatment for “fatal diarrheal” disease isn’t given to enough children.

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea is the second leading case of death among children under five globally.

A cheap and effective treatment is “oral rehydration salts” made of glucose and electrolytes.

But a new study found it’s being under-prescribed in large part because doctors assume patients wouldn’t want the treatment.

In many instances, patients weren’t aware it was an option.

Researchers say an education campaign is needed to inform patients about the treatment and ask doctors for it.

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