Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels. If you see anything you think we should feature, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and we hope your week is off to a great start! - Jasmine
In the News:
Help for Postpartum Depression – The nation’s first inpatient unit for moms who suffer from postpartum depression at UNC Chapel Hill allows hospitalized moms to be with their babies, offers weekly therapy for mom and baby, as well as partner-assisted therapy for dad to learn how to be most helpful. The center has been open since August and sounds as if it has been a resounding success. If only more women could have access to this kind of therapy and support.
FDA to Decide on BPA by Week’s End - By the end of this week, the FDA is set to take a position on BPA in food packaging in response to a court order after ignoring a petition by the National Resources Defense Council. We’ve seen more research emerging as of late showing effects at even low doses. I’m with the NRDC – we need to get BPA out of our food, but we also need to ensure a safe replacement.
Sugar Takes Corn Syrup to Court - Sugar producers are taking on corn refiners as they accuse the corn industry of false advertising in its latest campaign that argues corn syrup is “nutritionally the same as table sugar.” In fact, corn industry reps are hoping to change the name from “high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar” in an attempt to improve its image. Call it what you want, but ultimately our society needs to reduce its overall consumption of sugars and sweeteners if we’re going to have much impact on the obesity epidemic.
Maryland Senate Proposes Ban on Smoking in Cars with Young Children - After a lively debate on the Senate floor, the Maryland Senate voted to send a bill to the House that would ban smoking in cars with children under the age of 8. While many opponents argue the intrusion of privacy, the dangers of smoking are well-established and in this case, I think the pendulum swings in favor of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
Early Exposure to Germs Does a Body Good – Some scientists think they’ve figured out the key to the “hygiene hypothesis”, the hypothesis that exposure to germs at an early age helps build immunity whereas a super clean environment increases susceptibility to allergic and autoimmune diseases.
In a recent study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital compared the immune systems of mice living in “germ-free” and normal environments and found that immune cells (invariant natural killer T cells) accumulated in the lungs and colon of the mice in germ-free environments and caused symptoms resembling asthma and colitis. When young mice were exposed to microbes during the first weeks of life (but not later as adults), on the other hand, they grew up with stronger immune systems protected from immune cell accumulation and disease.
The researchers caution that additional research in humans is needed, but the findings fall in line with years of research showing that exposure to microbes and parasites in childhood reduces the risk of autoimmune disease.
Spring Cleaning: 11 Germ Traps to Clean Today – Some surprising recommendations you might not think about.
The 4 Questions Anyone Struggling with Work-Life Balance Should Ask – A refreshing point-of-view on the idea of work-life balance. Her dialogue sure helps me feel better about my inability to keep up with life sometimes.
This week, we’re featuring pocket-size activities for your little ones – small enough to tuck away in your purse or diaper bag for a little entertainment on the go. The first feature comes from Made by Joel, an ingenious site that is full of DIY activities to do with your children. LOVE this site! I came across the second feature on Pinterest, and it comes to us from Etsy. I think I need to invest in some altoid tins. FYI – do a search for altoid tin crafts on google, and you’ll be amazed what else you might find.
If you’d like to follow us on Pinterest, find us here.
Recalls, March 20 – March 26:
CPSC Child Product Recalls
- Safety 1st Cabinet Locks Recalled Due to Lock Failure; Children Can Gain Unintended Access to Dangerous Items
Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.
- El Ranchero Del Sur, LLC Recalls El Ranchero Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese), Los Corrales Queso Fresco en Hoja de Platano (Fresh Cheese in Banana Leaf), and El Ranchero Queso Oaxaca (String Cheese) Because of Possible Health Risk
- Whole Foods Market issues allergy alert for undeclared walnuts in Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Texas Firm Recalls Beef Sausage Products Due To Possible Listeria Contamination
- FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Imported Canadian Ground Beef Patties
- Washington Firm Recalls Beef Patties Due To Possible E. Coli Contamination