ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
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
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Football Can Shrink Players
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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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