Placebo effect may work to aid minor coughs in infants and toddlers

Placebo effect may work to aid minor coughs in infants and toddlers

A recent study found that a placebo may be the best cure for minor coughs among infants and toddlers.

Researchers studied 119 children, aged two months to four-years-old, with coughs lasting seven days or less. The children included those with nonspecific acute coughs, eliminating those with signs or symptoms of more treatable diseases, such as asthma or pneumonia, or a history of lung disease or other chronic illness.

“Cough is one of the most common reasons why children visit a healthcare professional,” the study reads.

A placebo is “a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.”

The children were divided into three groups. The first was given a dose of agave nectar, the second grape-flavored water, and the third no treatment at all. Agave nectar has a similar consistency and sweetness to honey. Honey is not recommended for children under one, due to the risk of botulism — a serious bacterial disease. The researchers predicted the nectar could alleviate coughing for all children.

The researchers concluded that the nectar and placebo were significantly more effective than no treatment, and the parents reported that the nectar and placebo worked equally well.

The lead author, Dr. Ian M. Paul, a professor of pediatrics at Penn State, said the placebo was most likely working on the parents, not the children, but either way it may be a good option for pediatricians to recommend.

“[A cough is] something you always get better from anyway,” Paul said. “So which is more important — that the child actually coughs less or that parents feel they’re coughing less and then don’t call the doctor, don’t ask for unnecessary antibiotics? There are positive benefits to parents simply feeling better about their child’s condition.”


Sex trafficking victims forced to abort pregnancies, Planned Parenthood turns a blind eye

Sex trafficking victims forced to abort pregnancies, Planned Parenthood turns a blind eye

“When I turned 13 I’d had enough of the abuse [at] home and ran away.”

The girl – whose name was changed to Kayla to protect her identity – found herself scared, alone, and vulnerable. After a man took advantage of this vulnerability, Kayla found herself caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking.

Now a survivor of the industry, Kayla recalled the horrors of her experience for a study published by the Annals of Health Law on the health consequences of sex trafficking. Conducted by the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, the report documented Kayla’s story alongside numerous others.

“I had forced unprotected sex and got pregnant three times and had two abortions,” Kayla said. “Afterwards, I was back out on the street again.”

Annals of Health Law surveyThe study revealed the terrifying fact that many victims of sex trafficking are forced into abortions at various clinics, including those operated by Planned Parenthood. According to several interviewed survivors, they were pressured into having abortions at these clinics.

The report notes that survivors had “significant contact with clinical treatment facilities, most notable Planned Parenthood.”

At these clinics, the health care providers never questioned the girls’ motives or possible influences. An intriguing fact, considering many of the interviewed survivors reported frequent, scarring physical abuse.

One survivor reported having multiple abortions performed by a doctor at a clinic, who also happened to be a client.

“At least one of my abortions was from Planned Parenthood because they didn’t ask any questions,” she said.

Mark Crutcher, president of the national pro-life group Life Dynamics, described tape recordings  of the National Abortion Federation conventions in which officials discussed cases of women being forced into abortions.

“The prevailing attitude expressed in these sessions may best be described as one of ‘convenient indifference,’” Crutcher said in an interview with LifeNews. “Attendees will acknowledge the problem’s existence and talk about it in disapproving tones, while making it clear that they feel no obligation to let it influence the way they deal with these women.”

“Their philosophical position seems to be that, even if a woman chooses to have an abortion she doesn’t want because of threats from others, it remains within the ‘pro-choice’ purview since she was still the one who ultimately made the decision,” he said.

The findings of this study only add to the weight of recent allegations concerning Planned Parenthood’s failure to report cases of rape and repeated sexual abuse of minors.

The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking report acknowledged that health care providers have a unique position to reach victims of trafficking and sexual abuse. The study concluded with a challenging admonition for health care providers in hospital and clinical settings:

Because they are “first responders” health care providers have unique opportunities to intervene on behalf of trafficking victims. Health care institutions must develop protocols for training, identifying, and treating sex trafficking victims. Medical personnel must increase efforts to understand the nature and scope of the problem of sex trafficking in the United States in order to improve their capacity to identify victims. This is especially true when they have the ability to speak privately with victims in a context where their statements may be admissible in a later prosecution of their traffickers. To this end, medical staff, particularly in hospital emergency rooms and local clinics should be alert for the most common physical and psychological conditions and symptoms these victims experience, especially in the context of reproductive health. By doing so, the medical community can play a vital role in the ongoing fight to eliminate modern-day slavery.