Saturday, September 24, 2016
Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent
A Scandinavian baby care concept which has dramatically reduced infant mortalities such as cot deaths in Finland was introduced to Irish mothers-to-be yesterday.
Made from durable cardboard, the box can be used as a baby’s bed for the first eight months of life. The box prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies, which experts say can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The baby boxes come with a foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover and cotton sheet.
Education material with advice from healthcare professionals on reducing risks to babies, is also included in the baby box pack.
The use of baby boxes has been credited with helping reduce infant mortality rates in Finland from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.
Ireland’s infant mortality rate is 3.7 per 1,000 births.
The concept already adapted in Britain, Canada and the US was introduced to this country yesterday at UMHL, the first Irish maternity hospital to embrace the idea.
As well as the baby boxes, new mothers will be presented with clothing and educational materials.
Dr Mendinaro Imcha, consultant gynaecologist/obstetrician UMHL, said:
“The baby box programme is a proactive approach to improving the health and safety of the newborn child and parents. We are combining tradition with current technology and supporting the newborn child’s family with online education material covering a broad range of essential topics and postnatal care.”
Margaret Gleeson, chief director of nursing and midwifery at the UL hospitals group, said up to 5,000 baby boxes will be distributed to new mothers who give birth at UMHL over the coming year.
Ms Gleeson said: “The baby boxes are a thing of beauty and there is the invaluable education element of this initiative which makes this truly patient-centre.”
Tipperary-based tattoo artist, and expectant mother, Karen Smith did the artistic designs which decorate the UMHL baby boxes.
She said: “The whole meaning behind my design is rebirth. I thought the butterfly was the perfect symbol for the baby box. It is a symbolic creature in many cultures and lends itself to all manner of colourful and fanciful adaptations, in this case our beautiful baby box.”
Jennifer Clery, chief executive of the US-based The Baby Box Co, said: “We are delighted to expand our baby box programme to Ireland and look forward to this new collaboration here in Limerick at the University Maternity Hospital. The baby box is an innovative integrated programme to support parents and improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes globally.”
UMHL is the second largest maternity hospital in the country, outside Dublin and cares from women from Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, North Kerry, North Cork and areas of Offaly.
By Jon Healy
September 26, 2016
This year’s AFL and NRL grand finals could play host to two drought-breaking victories.
The Bulldogs, or Footscray Football Club, have not only gone decades without winning a flag, but have only reached one other season decider since taking out the title in 1954.
In that 1961 fixture, Footscray jumped out to an early lead, but kicked just 2.4 (16) in the second half while Hawthorn booted 67 points to hammer them by 43.
They had one shot, one opportunity, one moment, to seize everything they ever wanted … and they let it slip.
Cronulla, meanwhile, has been in the top flight rugby league competition since 1967 and never won it all, missing out in the 1973, 1978 (via a replay) and 1997 (Super League) grand finals.
So, can one or both of these teams shake the monkey off their backs and get off this list of some of sport’s most title-hungry teams?
Chicago Cubs — No World Series win since 1908
Baseball might do superstition better than any other sport, and the Curse of the Billy Goat is one of its best.
The last time the Cubs reached the World Series, in 1945, Billy Sianis tried to get into game four to watch his team go around against Detroit at Wrigley Field.
Unfortunately, Sianis had with him a goat — he was the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern — and security refused to let the animal in because you cannot bring random animals to sporting events, especially those that have a reputation for eating everything in sight.
The story goes, Sianis appealed Cubs owner PK Wrigley, who also denied the goat entry, prompting Sianis to exclaim: “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more.” And win they have not.
But, with the Cubs currently boasting the most wins in the MLB, and the Sharks and Bulldogs heading to deciders, 2016 could be the year for a hard rain to fall on some sporting droughts.
Toronto Maple Leafs — No Stanley Cup win since 1967
Think about Toronto as the NHL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs.
This hockey-mad city saw its Maple Leafs lift the Stanley Cup 13 times, but not once since 1967.
Once again, they have not even stumbled into the finals once in the interim.
Although, maybe that is for the best considering when the Vancouver Canucks, who have never won the title, lost their third finals in 2011 the city was almost burned to the ground.
Cleveland Browns — No title since 1964
Mercifully, LeBron James and the Cavaliers quenched the city of Cleveland’s thirst for a trophy by winning the 2016 NBA title, but football (and any other sporting) success still alludes ‘The Land’.
The Browns won an NFL title in 1964 but have not won or even reached the last game of the season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
With a miserable name like the Browns, voted by fans as an homage to former heavyweight boxing champion and Cleveland native Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis, making fun of this sorry lot is almost too easy.
Unfortunately, while some other teams on this list seem to have some upside and hope in the not too distant future, the Browns appear destined to be terrible for a while yet, having recently signed injury-prone quarter-back Robert Griffin III, who instantly got injured.
Liverpool — No League title since 1990
Some context is required to justify Liverpool’s spot on this list.
The streak is nowhere near as long as the others, but the Premier League is so top heavy that there really is no excuse for one of England’s most storied clubs to miss out for as long as the Reds have.
Of the 26 titles available since Liverpool’s last league win, which was its 11th in 18 seasons, 21 have gone to the other members of the ‘Big Four’ – Manchester United (13), Chelsea (4) and Arsenal (4).
Sure, Liverpool has been usurped by Manchester City in the awesome foursome but that only happened relatively recently and as the drought extends it is becoming increasingly difficult for Reds fans to keep saying their team is a major player in the league.