ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired

MONDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Because they can be nearly silent, hybrid cars pose a serious threat of injury and death to blind and visually impaired people, says the American Council of the Blind, which is pushing the auto industry and government officials to develop ways to reduce this danger.

"Traditionally, people who are blind or visually impaired learn to rely on their hearing and tactile cues to provide them with information about their environment, which they can use to navigate safely across streets and through other vehicular ways, such as parking lots. In so doing, the sound of traffic is their primary focus," Melanie Brunson, council executive director, said in a news release from the council.

"Traffic sounds provide information about such things as the position of vehicles, their direction of travel, their rate of acceleration, and the speed at which they are likely to move. With this information, the pedestrian can make informed decisions about when to cross a street or other vehicular way safely," she said.

Without those sound cues, a blind or visually impaired person is at serious risk.

"Imagine you are a blind person traveling independently with the aid of your cane, something you have done confidently for years," Dr. Ron Millman, chair of the council's public relations committee, said in the news release.

"You are crossing a fairly busy intersection. You listen for sounds of approaching cars. All cars seem stopped. Suddenly, you hear screeching brakes. Too late, you realize a quiet, nearly silent, hybrid car is only a few inches from you. Panic takes over. Every sense of survival says to run, but where? There is not time to escape as you face this horror and possible life-threatening situation."

But this danger isn't limited to blind or visually impaired people, said Dr. Karen Gourgey, a member of the council's environmental access committee.

"Recent studies have shown that even people who are fully sighted use hearing as well as vision to make street crossing decisions, though they may not realize it. And we haven't even mentioned children and older people," Gourgey said in the news release.

The efforts of the council and other advocates for the blind are having an effect. Last week, the U.S. Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration held its first public meeting on the issue.

More information

The American Council for the Blind offers tips on how to help blind people.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Council of the Blind, news release, July 2, 2008

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

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