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Life-saving lessons

Laurels to EMS paramedics and health-care professionals who’ve partnered to teach Rowan-Salisbury second-graders a life-saving lesson. The youngsters are learning basic CPR techniques through the school system’s Fit for Motion program, with Rowan paramedics teaming with Rowan Regional Medical Center to provide instruction in hands- only — or chest-compression — resuscitation. After learning how to check for a pulse and administer CPR, the students practice on mannequins. Spreading knowledge about CPR techniques is an inexpensive way to save lives, yet it’s estimated that only about a quarter of the population knows the basic techniques. If more bystanders knew how to administer CPR, the American Heart Association says it could significantly improve survival rates for the 380,000-plus Americans who suffer cardiac arrest each year outside of a medical setting.

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Dart to “sleep texting.” According to a CNN report, this is the digital-age version of sleep-walking. The people who track such things note an uptick in the number of people who report “messaging mishaps” in which they apparently send tweets or text messages during the night and have no memory of doing so when they awaken. The malady already has a name — “sleep texting disorder” — and it no doubt will soon have its own diagnostic code. Dr. Shelby Harris, director of behavioral sleep medicine at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, told CNN: “It’s like your brain is on autopilot. Think about the rate at which people are texting nowadays, and most people sleep right next to (their phones), so if they wake up it’s another automatic behavior. … This is sort of a form of sleepwalking.”

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Laurels to a bite of good news on the health front. Americans are eating less high-calorie fast food, and the obesity rate also appears to be leveling off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The report found that American adults got about 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food in 2010, a drop from about 13 percent in 2006. A separate report found that children and adolescents are consuming fewer calories than a decade ago, encouraging news for what’s been billed a nationwide obesity epidemic among the nation’s young. “The drop is significant, statistically,” says one of the study’s lead authors, Cheryl Fryar, a health statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics. “Historically, a lot of fast food has been high in fat, high in sodium … and frequent fast food consumption is linked to weight gain.”

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