Happy Leap Day! Sorry for the delay this week, as I managed to land myself with crutches after a rough spill and a badly sprained ankle. Nevertheless, welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels. Enjoy!
In the News:
Baby Born with Cancer is a Medical Mystery - In the rarest of medical occurrences, a baby was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma shortly after her birth. Earlier this month, her mother lost the battle with the same cancer that they believe she passed on to her baby in utero. Now baby Addison is fighting the cancer and being treated with an experimental FDA-approved medication approved only for her and not covered by insurance. To help the family with the cost of care, donations can be made to the “Cox Family” donation account at Arizona Federal Credit Union. Account #826604.
Recall: Birth control pills Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol—Tablets out of order - We wanted to bring to your attention another birth control pill recall - Generic birth control pills Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol sold between September 21 and December 30, 2011.
California Bill Would End Use of Toxic Flame Retardants - A new bill was introduced Friday seeking to change the state’s outdated flame retardant standard. While the new bill doesn’t require the phasing out of toxic flame retardants, it does set a standard that most furniture items could pass without the use of toxic chemicals, and that is a step in the right direction.
I’ll Take a Sperm Test to Go: First DIY Male Fertility Test Now Available - Very few men get tested early on or at all in struggling couples, but now a new screening test approved by the FDA, SpermCheck, can assess sperm count with 98% accuracy in 10 minutes in the privacy of your own home.
CPSC Adopts New Federal Standard for Portable Bed Rails - Bed rails intended to keep children from rolling out of an adult bed have entrapped young children and killed infants. The CPSC has adopted a new standard requiring testing and improved warnings stating that rails should never be used with children under 2. Portable bed rails must also not create a dangerous gap with the mattress or contain hazardous edges or small parts.
That New Car Smell is Toxic
That new car smell is actually the smell of chemicals off-gassing from interior auto parts like the steering wheel, dashboard, seats, and trim. It’s amazing how the smells we’ve been conditioned to associate with new and clean can be so toxic to our health. Over 275 different chemicals have been identified in vehicles interiors, including bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers); lead; and heavy metals. These chemicals have been linked to a variety of health problems such as allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer.
Healthystuff.org has tested over 900 vehicles since 2006 for these chemicals, and in its latest release the 2012 Honda Civic topped its list as the least toxic whereas the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander was the organization’s worst pick. Some general observations to note: Honda has virtually eliminated PVC from its fleet, with 83% of 2011/12 models free of PVC. North American-produced vehicles lag behind Europe- and Asia-produced vehicles in PVC and brominated flame retardant use, as the U.S. has the weakest regulatory system for chemicals in consumer products and provides the fewest incentives. How does your car stack up?
Memo to Pediatricians: Screen All Kids for Vitamin D Deficiency, Test Those at High Risk
As numerous studies have shown the fundamental role of Vitamin D on health and disease, which often develop in childhood, pediatricians are recommending that children be screened for risk factors and tested when at high risk. The AAP recommends 400 IU daily for breastfed infants under one and 600 IU daily for toddlers. I give my girls, one of whom refuses to drink milk, Carlson Labs Vitamin D supplement which comes in the form of liquid drops of vitamin D3 in fractionated coconut oil. It’s tasteless, so they don’t notice a few drops added to their water.
Kids Get More Added Sugar From Foods Than From Drinks
While soda is still the single largest source of added sugar in children’s diets, new government data shows that processed and packaged foods are the leading source in their diets with 63% of calories from added sugars consumed at home. “Soda consumption is high, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the added sugars in foods such as muffins, cookies, sugar-sweetened cereals and pasta sauces,” says Cynthia Ogden, senior author on the report and an epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics.
Getting Kids to Eat Veggies Can Be Sticky Business
A recent study found that rewarding children with stickers increased their affinity for a previously disliked vegetable. In the study, 173 families were assigned to three different groups: one that rewarded tiny tastes with stickers, another that rewarded with praise, and a control group that used no special tactics. Over the course of 12 days, the researchers found that the children rewarded with stickers gave higher yum factor ratings to vegetables they’d previously disliked and the results seemed to last, whereas praise seemed to have little effect. While rewards can be controversial as may lead to an expectation of reward, the researchers suggest that it about 10 days was enough to change a child’s attitude toward the vegetable.
Solutions for Siblings from Positive Parenting - I’m fortunate that my children get along most days, but sometimes they and I need a little help diffusing a situation. This article provides some great ideas for minimizing sibling rivalry and creating an environment where children can feel safe, loved, and valued.
Get Closer from YouTube - An inspiring human message.
Recalls, February 22 – February 29:
CPSC Child Product Recalls
- Kelty Recalls Jogging Strollers Due to Fall and Injury Hazards
- PapaBear Loungeabouts Children’s Pajamas Recalled by Retailers Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard
Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.
- Glenmark Generics Inc. Announces a Nationwide Recall of Seven (7) Lots of Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg (Generic) Due to Possibility of Out of Sequence Tablets
- Voluntary Recall Of Goya, Great Value, Hatuey, Mr. Special, Polar, Publix, Regal, And SuperMax Brand Malta Beverages In 7-oz Bottles Due To Possible Health Risk
If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.