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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Thursday, August 3, 2000

Law enforcement academy planned

Pecos Technical Training Center of Odessa College will sponsor the new Law Enforcement Academy, from January 2001 until November 2001.

Applications are not available.

Financial Aid Applications need to be turned in by Sept. 1, in order for them to be processed by January 2001 when the academy begins.

Late applications will delay financial aid.

Tips help students on first day

Before the first bell rings, both parents and children need to gear up for the start of the school year.

"Sometimes those first few days of school can be a big adjustment for a child," said Dr. Lou Ann Mock, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The following techniques will help prepare a child for the first day of school:

· Get up early on the first day, so no one will feel rushed.

· Make sure to eat a good breakfast.

· Get everything ready for school the night before.
. Let the children pick out their own clothes for the first day.

Make sure children get plenty of sleep. Missed sleep causes most of the day's experiences to be stored inefficiently in the brain, making it harder to remember lectures, and interactions with teachers. In addition, it is important for children to begin settling into a good homework routine the first day of school.

Studies look for safe dosages

There is more to prescribing medicine to children than meets the eye.

Studies under way at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have been designed to determine the proper doses of medication for children and eliminate some of the current guesswork.

"One practice has been to give a child who weighs half as much as an adult half as much medication," said Dr. Susan Blaney, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor. "That isn't necessarily a rational way of prescribing. A lot depends on how the body handles the drug."

Eight medications, from antibiotics to antacids, are the focus of studies. The Houston site is one of 13 that serve as the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit Network.

The nationwide network gives investigators access to a large pediatric patient base and experienced physicians in a wide variety of subspecialities.

A primary purpose of the network is to provide the data necessary for FDA approval for new drugs and drugs already on the market that will be given to children.

"In the past, there has not always been adequate information on drugs used in children. Not only is there a difference in prescribing medication for children compared to adults, but there may also be differences in newborns, toddlers, and teenagers," said Blaney.

The way children's bodies metabolize the drugs at different ages will be a key factor in the studies. Age and organ function are the usual indicators in how a child will handle a drug, according to Blaney.

"Weight is not necessarily a factor. You can have a 7-year-old who weighs 40 pounds and a 7-year-old who weighs 65 pounds, but their organ maturation and function could be similar," she said.

Two primary types of studies will be conducted. In pharmacokinetic studies, blood samples are drawn at regular intervals over a period of hours to determine how the body is processing the drugs. In efficacy studies, the research focuses on how well a drug works in children compared to what is considered standard for that disease. The efficacy studies take a longer time.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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