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For patient compliance

AirZone, a new, general purpose peak flow meter, is available from Clement Clarke Inc. The meter--small, inexpensive, and easy to read--has low flow impedance, which encourages patient compliance, according to the manufacturer. Each meter is packed with instructions, patient record chart, and zoning markers. The meter meets all ATS/NHLBI recommendations, and has been independently verified at University Hospital, Birmingham, UK and the Monash University Medical School, Victoria, Australia. From the same company, a VM-1 Enhanced Mini-Spirometer will download readings of FEV1, FVC, PEF, FEV1/FVC and a volume-time curve to a regular printer (cable supplied). It's portable and battery driven. For more details, call 800-848-8923.

Educating parents

Beansprout Networks has introduced on-line customized health-education information on more than 100 of the most common childhood illnesses and developmental issues at no charge to pediatricians or parents. Pediatricians can modify Beansprout's tools based on the needs of their practice. Once a pediatrician registers with Beansprout and sets up a site, parents can use specific passwords given to them at the pediatrician's office in order to log on to the service. Parents can research many topics on line, including fever, asthma, diarrhea, immunization, toilet training, car seats, and other topics. Telephone 781-648-2826 or E-mail for more details.

Taking temperatures

SensorTouch Temple Thermometer is a noninvasive, infrared thermometer that has been clinically proven to be as accurate as rectal readings, according to the manufacturer. The thermometer uses infrared sensor technology to measure heat emitted from the temporal artery in the forehead. The user simply glides the thermometer across the forehead, over the temple, and toward the hairline. The sensor uses a patented algorithm to read core body temperature and displays it digitally on the thermometer. A joint effort from Philips Personal Care and Exergen Corporation, the thermometer comes with a one-year warranty. For information, call 203-973-0200.

Easy dosing

Giving infants the right dose of medicine can be difficult. A new product from Sharn Inc. aims to solve the problem. The product combines a nipple with a clearly marked dosing cup showing 2.5 mL and 5 mL marks (1Ž2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon). As the baby sucks on the nipple, the medicine is delivered to the back of the tongue, bypassing most tastebuds. Because the baby is sucking and swallowing at his own pace, there is little chance of the infant gagging, the manufacturer said. Call 800-325-3671 for more information.

Help with oily skin

Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel) microsphere 0.1% may help patients with oily skin as well as acne. A prescription product, it uses Advanced Polymer System's Microsponge system. This system captures tretinoin in microspheres (round microscopic particles made of synthetic polymer) and formulates them into a gel. The medication can be applied immediately after patients wash their face, unlike Retin-A, which requires a 20 to 30 minute waiting period. In clinical studies, the medication's irritation profile was similar to a mild, local irritant. The most common adverse reaction was mild to moderate irritation of the skin. Severe cutaneous irritation occurred infrequently. Six percent of patients discontinued use of the medication due to irritation. As with all topical retinoids, some individuals develop excessively dry, red, swollen, or blistered skin, according to Ortho Dermatological. Call 908-218-6041 for more information.

Popping vitamins

It's no surprise that children are not getting all the daily recommendations for vitamins in their diet. According to estimates, only 1% of children over age 2 are getting all the vitamins they need from their diet, and kids' meat and fish consumption drops off sharply after age 3. So a daily vitamin supplement is a good idea, says Popeye Chewable Multi-Vitamin, a new, all natural vitamin brand, made with spinach, of course, and produced in shapes of characters Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Brutus. Targeted to those concerned about allergies, it is produced without gluten, dairy, peanut, wheat, yeast, rice, salt, soy, corn, artificial flavors, and preservatives. It is available in two formulations, as a multivitamin and multivitamin with extra vitamin C. For more information, call 888-POPEYE 4 or log on to the website at

Chew, chew

Xylitol helps prevent middle ear infections in children, according to a three-month clinical study of 900 healthy children from local day-care centers conducted by the Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu in Finland. Ford Xtreme Xylitol Gum comes in three flavors: peppermint, spearmint, and cinnamon. All are sugar free, have no artificial flavors or colors, and are predominantly sweetened with xylitol. Each unit is individually sealed in a blister pack. Call 847-573-0800 or E-mail for more information.

Iris Rosendahl. New Products. Contemporary Pediatrics 1999;10:181.

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