Health

Sick, fired and deported: what happens to injured or ill migrant farm workers in Ontario

Sub-title: 
Injuries such as tobacco poisoning accounted for more than a quarter of "medical repatriations"
Author: 
Nicole Bodnar with files from Kim Barnhardt, CMAJ Open

For migrant farm workers in Ontario, getting sick or injured can mean losing a job and getting deported, a practice that raises concerns for human rights and health equity, say researchers at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

With HIV rates at a 20-year high, AIDS researchers discuss next steps

Sub-title: 
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work professors share expertise
Author: 
Michael Kennedy

The scientists and activists who lead the world’s efforts to defeat one of the great medical scourges of our time met recently in Melbourne – among them three professors from the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

Back to School: how to create a healthy lunch

Author: 
Jim Oldfield

What is a healthy lunch for your child? And how can you encourage your kid to eat the lunch you pack or put on the table? 

These are two of the most vexing questions parents face, as they get their kids ready for school each day, so writer Jim Oldfield consulted an expert at the University of Toronto for ideas on how you can meet the nutritional needs of your child at midday.

Back(pack) to School: how much is too much?

Sub-title: 
Experts weigh in on how much children and youth can safely tote
Author: 
Erin Howe

Students are returning to class this week lugging backpacks filled with books and binders. But how much is too much to carry?

Debra Cameron, an assistant professor in the University of Toronto’s department of occupational science and occupational therapy, says the acceptable weight for a backpack depends on the child’s age and stage of growth. Younger children should carry no more than 10 per cent of their body weight, while older teenagers should carry no more than 15 per cent of their body weight.

Back to School: preventing concussions on the playing field

Sub-title: 
Sport-related concussions are a public health issue, says Dr. Ross Upshur
Author: 
Nicole Bodnar

As kids head back to school, hoping to make this year's sports teams, U of T public health professor and family doctor Ross Upshur is calling for stronger action to prevent sports-related concussion in children and youth.

Using iPod apps to help diagnose, treat alcohol withdrawal

Author: 
Marit Mitchell

It’s a common scenario in emergency rooms across Canada: a patient suddenly stops regular, excessive alcohol consumption and develops withdrawal – a potentially fatal condition.

The most common clinical sign of withdrawal is tremor, especially in the hands and arms. But judging tremor severity is harder than it sounds; it requires considerable medical expertise and even experienced doctors’ estimates can vary widely.

hitchBOT programmer uses speech recognition expertise to help people with dementia

Sub-title: 
Road trip part of U of T researcher's work on adaptive, responsive robots
Author: 
Jenny Hall

North America’s romance with the open road has taken a lot of forms. From Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to Thelma and Louise, we’re familiar with the trope of the free-spirited traveller setting off in search of something.

We’re just not used to it being a robot.

A hitchhiking robot, to be more precise.

Back to school: the ABCs of getting 40 winks

Sub-title: 
Associate Professor Shelly Weiss on helping students get the sleep they need
Author: 
Erin Howe

How early is too early for school?

The American Association of Pediatricians recently recommended middle and high school start times be set no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The organization says the natural sleep cycles of teenagers make it tough for young people to fall asleep before 11 p.m. and difficult for them to “rise and shine” first thing in the morning.

Breast cancer: women with severe, chronic health issues screened less often than healthier women

Sub-title: 
Researcher finds women with "severe disability, multiple chronic conditions, low income and lower education" have fewer screens
Author: 
Geoff Koehler

Women with severe disabilities and multiple chronic conditions are screened for breast cancer less often than women with no disabilities or no chronic conditions, a new study has found.

Of healing and henbane: what a medieval sedative says about modern medicine

Sub-title: 
Using modern pharmacokinetics to assess drug known as the "Great Rest"
Author: 
Jim Oldfield

“In fact, the history of medical treatment, until recently, has been essentially the history of the placebo effect.”
— Arthur and Elaine Shapiro*

For Nicholas Everett, the future of medicine may lie in the past.

Everett is an associate professor in the Department of History and an expert in the history of medicine. He argues that many ancient and medieval treatments, which were often mixtures of plants, minerals and animal products, were neither ineffective nor placebos – although he admits a few were lethal.

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