Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.
In the News:
FDA Agrees to Determine Safety of BPA - Well, sort of. In response to a lawsuit, they’ve agreed to decide by March 31, 2012 whether to ban BPA in food packaging. They may very well decide not to ban BPA, and nothing much will have changed.
NICVIEW Gives Parents a Virtual Window to Newborns in NICU - Webcams installed in NICUs allow family to keep watch. What a wonderful implementation of technology.
Some News Guests Paid to Promote Products on Air - The next time you see an “expert review” news segment touting the latest products in children’s safety, for example, keep in mind that you may just be watching a commercial in disguise. Despite being illegal, “Safety Mom” Alison Rhodes admits to being paid for her recommendations by the companies whose products she plugs.
Scientific Panel Finds Few Clear Environmental Links to Breast Cancer
At the request of Susan G. Komen For the Cure, a panel of scientific experts reviewed research on environmental risks and possible links to breast cancer. Their report released this week, however, makes only a few firm recommendations, one of which includes minimizing radiation from medical tests during childhood. Two or three abdominal CT scans give as much radiation as atomic bomb survivors received. Yikes! The review was unable to draw conclusive links in other areas such as BPA, but the link above gives a good summary of the results of the study.
Children’s Cereal: More Sugar Than a Twinkie
The EWG has released a new report which analyzed the nutrition in 84 popular cereals and found that you might as well serve most of them for dessert. The worst offender, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, coming in at 56% sugar by weight. The same serving of 44 other popular cereals, including Honey Nut Cheerios, has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! Cookies. While sugar was the top problem, many also contain too much sodium or fat or not enough whole grain.
The Anatomy of a Temper Tantrum
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have deconstructed the toddler temper tantrum and determined that most tantrums follow a similar pattern and rhythm. Based on audio recordings of toddler tantrums, they found that sadness tends to occur throughout a tantrum with peaks of anger in the form of yelling and screaming. The researchers suggest that the trick to ending a tantrum is to get the child past the anger, where only sadness remains and children begin to look for comfort. The quickest way to do that, they say, is to do nothing. Easier said than done, of course.
Good Reads & Videos:
The Coat: A short animated video of one child who gives selflessly to another. A great illustration of charity for little ones.
Chemicals In Your Child’s Car Seat from The Car Seat Lady - An excellent read on the issues/limitations of HealthyStuff.org’s study on flame retardants and other chemicals in childrens’ car seats that was released earlier this summer.
Recalls, December 6 – December 12:
CPSC Child Product Recalls
Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.
- Pacific International Marketing Voluntary Recalls Product Because of Possible Health Risk
- Voluntarily Recall of Limited Quantity of 12 oz Tejava® Premium Iced Tea
- See’s Candies, Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on 8 ounce Almond Clusters, Code SF 088/12
- Fair Oaks Dairy Products Issues Voluntary Recall For Fair Oaks Farms Fine Cheeses Half Pound Packages Because Of Possible Health Risk Due to Listeria Monoctyogenes Contamination
- **UPDATE** — Ocean Spray Voluntarily Recalls Limited Quantity of Original Flavor Craisins Dried Cranberries in Western U.S. Only
- Mars Food US Recalls Two Date Codes of UNCLE BEN’™S Whole Grain White Rice Garden Vegetable Due to Undeclared Milk
- Flying Food Group Updates Recall of Sandwiches Because of Possible Health Risk
- California Firm Recalls Chorizo Sausages Due to Misbranding and an Undeclared Allergen
- North Carolina Firm Recalls Oven Roasted Chicken Breast For Possible Listeria Contamination
- New Jersey Firm Recalls Frozen Stuffed Pasta Products Produced Without Benefit of Inspection
If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope your week is off to a great start!
Jasmine & Heather