Tag Archive for 'safety'

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Weekly Highlights (10/25/2011)

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:

Toddler Flees First Day of Preschool, Walks Home - After just a few hours of his first day of preschool, 3 year old Alfie Aldridge ditched his teachers, scaled a 3 foot wall, crossed a busy street, and walked home. Fortunately for Alfie, his mother was home, and when she confronted the school’s teachers, they had no idea he’d been missing. I’d be outraged. This is certainly an opportunity to teach Alfie a lesson about not leaving the sight of an adult, but the school is definitely at fault. There should be precautions in place (i.e. ratios, headcounts) to ensure such things don’t happen.

Childbirth as Performance Art - A performance artist is planning to give birth to her first child in front of a live audience in a Brooklyn gallery. With her due date just a month away, she has begun creating the environment of a birthing room for her display. Her natural birth will be an exhibition for 15 invited guests, selected from visitors to the gallery who have shown interest. In addition to “The Birth of Baby X”, she has previously done exhibitions re-enacting other aspects of her life including the loss of her virginity. Wow. For me, childbirth is a very personal experience and not something I want to share outside of my family. I wonder what is more important to her – the experience or the performance? What do you think of this woman’s “exhibition”?

Controversial Hormone Therapy Given to Pre-Teen Transgender Child - An 11 year old boy who has expressed interest in being a girl is being given hormone blockers by his parents in order to delay puberty and give the child more time to decide. I wholeheartedly disagree with the parents in disrupting the body’s natural course and subjecting their child to this procedure. There are options available to this child when he reaches a mature enough age to make the decision for himself.

Woman Born Without a Womb Will Receive a Transplant from Her Mother – After being born without a womb, two failed surrogacies, and years waiting for an adoption, an Australian woman will receive a womb transplant from her mother after which she will attempt a pregnancy through IVF. Absolutely amazing. This seems incredibly risky for both, but I’m sure they are aware of the risks and sincerely hope that it goes well for them both.

New Research:

Study Links BPA Exposure in the Womb with Behavior Problems in Toddler Girls
After tracking 244 Cincinnati-area mothers and their 3 year olds, the study concluded that mothers with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to report hyperactive, aggressive children. The results were found in girls but not boys. The study’s author suspects that the chemical leads to more testosterone in girls, affecting how their organs develop and their later behavior. This report is the first to link a young girl’s emotional behavior with BPA exposure in the womb, and while it is consistent with other finds that imply BPA affects brain development in animal research the authors caution that the results could have been skewed by the eating habits of the mothers. Those who ate more packaged foods were likely to have higher BPA exposure and eat a less nutrient-rich diet in general. 

Autism Diagnoses Growing by 10 to 17 Percent Per Year
The rate of occurrence of an autism spectrum disorder is now 1 in 110, based on the most recently published estimates of the CDC. Boys are 4 to 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed, and with a 10 to 17 percent increase each year, it is the country’s fastest growing developmental disability. Both genetics and the environment are suspected as factors, but isolating environmental causes is extremely difficult given the number of environmental toxins children are exposed to that were not a factor years ago. The main culprit in the increase, though, is suspected to be earlier and more diagnoses.

Good Reads:

You Really Need to Wash Your Food and Your Hands from The Huffington PostHow to properly wash your hands – Sing the ABCs twice and then wash a little more. My kids and I alternate ABCs and Happy Birthday – they like asking Mommy to sing while they wash their hands. P.S. We do the same while brushing our teeth.

Sibling and Family Halloween Costumes from The Huffington Post – Photos from around the web of theme-coordinated costumes for siblings and families. What will you and yours be doing for Halloween this year?

Nightmares Fear Factory’s Photostream from Flickr – This photostream from a haunted house in Canada captures the reactions of its guests during a seriously frightening moment providing pure entertainment for the rest of us. Here are  some of my favorites: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I think that last one must have burst an ear drum.

Recalls, October 19 – October 25:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/18/2011)

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:

Outrage in China After Toddler Run Over & Ignored - I can’t even watch the video included with the news story after the description I received from my husband. A small child was run over not once, but twice, by two separate vehicles in hit-and-runs and meanwhile passersby walked around her body. Fortunately for the child, a homeless woman comes to her aid, yet the child now lies in critical condition in the hospital. It’s absolutely horrifying, infuriating, and unfathomable.

Record Number of Booster Seats Earn Highest Rating from IIHS - A record 31 seats have been designated Best Bets this year, meaning that they position a seat belt on a typical 4 to 8 year old in just about any car. Notable this year – All five seats made by one manufacturer, Canadian-based Harmony Juvenile Products, made the Best Bet list as did an inflatable seat, the BubbleBum, marketed for vacations, car pools, and taxis.

Target commits to 100% sustainable, traceable fish by 2015 - Target is partnering with a nonprofit marine conservation group to identify and sell only sustainable, traceable fish by 2015. This will be no easy feat. I’m really excited to see them taking this step and hope it encourages other grocers to do the same.

Flame Retardant Added to California’s List of Cancer Causing Chemicals – The flame retardant, Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), recently found to be present in many baby products, was added last week to California’s Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing chemicals. The listing will not ban the chemical but could result in labeling of products containing the chemical.

FDA Petitioned by American Chemistry Council to Ban BPA in Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups - The American Chemistry Council has petitioned the FDA to ban BPA in bottles and sippy cups, noting that in many cases manufacturers have phased out BPA due to consumer demand and that a nationwide ban would ensure consistency and allow states to focus their legislative energies elsewhere. The FDA has not confirmed it will issue a regulation yet but it will issue a notice for comment. The EWG, on the other hand, is asking the FDA to extend the ban to baby formula and other canned goods. Not holding my breath on that one just yet.

New Research:

Have Penn State Researchers Found the Cure for Breast Cancer?!
Incredibly promising news came from Penn State this week as scientists there discovered a virus that kills breast cancer cells. The researchers applied the virus to three different breast cancer cell groups, representing three different stages of development, and the virus managed to kill 100% of the cells. In a particularly aggressive type of cancer cell, it took three weeks to kill 100% of the cells, but in the others it took only 7. The virus has also been successful against other types of cancer cells, including prostate and skin cancer. It currently works in a culture dish and in mice, but further animal trials and then human trials are needed before it can be considered for human treatment. Penn State is now stepping up its efforts to find the money to fund further research. 

Environmental Chemicals May be an Obstacle for Infertile Couples
New research has turned up evidence of a link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment and poor IVF outcomes. These chemicals disrupt a woman’s estrogen, making it more difficult to get pregnant. Higher blood levels of pollutants such as bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have been found in mothers with failed IVF attempts, according to a handful of recent studies. In the studies, high levels of PCBs and HCB were associated with failed implantation, and high levels of BPA were associated with low levels of a particular form of estrogen instrumental in the development of eggs. More research is needed to determine if the results could be generalized beyond couples undergoing IVF.

Good Reads (or vids):

Notes from a Dragon Mom from The NY Times Sunday Review - Absolutely heartbreaking, yet inspirational.

Bully-Proofing Your Kids from CNN Living - Things we can start now with our young children to help them navigate the later years.

20 Tips for Using Baking Soda Around Your House from The Huffington Post - I’ve used baking soda for stain and odor elimination with good results but was surprised by some of the others on the list.

Recalls, October 11 – October 18:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/11/11)

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:

Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know What’s In Our Food - A coalition of nearly 400 business and organizations has submitted a petition to the FDA calling for mandatory labeling of genetically-modified foods. Click here if you’d like to visit the coalition’s website and submit a comment on the petition to the FDA.

Woman Finishes Chicago Marathon, Gives Birth - Nearly 39 weeks pregnant with her second child, a woman completed the Chicago Marathon Sunday, grabbed a bite to eat, then headed for the hospital to deliver her baby. With the permission of her doctor, she ran half then walked half, finishing the marathon in 6 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds! Wow!

California Governor Signs The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers ActGovernor Brown signed a bill into law banning BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in California.

Fluoride Safety Debate Bubbles Up Again - While professionals say fluoride is safe in reasonable quantities, the EPA is reviewing its maximum allowable level in water supplies. Some communities are going ahead and removing fluoride from their water systems.

New Research:

Peanut Allergies – Have Scientists Finally Found a Cure?
In a promising study, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago were able to trick the immune system into tolerating nut proteins by attaching the proteins to white blood cells, causing the immune system to recognize the protein and become tolerant to it. The researchers also found that they were able to increase the number of regulatory T cells, the cells that recognize the nut protein, introducing balance into the immune system, and they were able to attach more than one protein to the cells indicating that other food allergies might be targeted.

Moms’ Hormone Use Linked to Cancer & Reproductive Health Problems
A study performed by the National Cancer Institute followed the daughters of women who took DES, the first synthetic form of estrogen prescribed to up to 10 million women between 1940 and 1971 to stave off miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. The researchers linked DES exposure in the womb to increased risks of 12 health conditions, including cancer, infertility, miscarriage, and preterm delivery to name a few. The drug was pulled in 1971 when the FDA found that it didn’t work and was causing cancer. Now it appears to be causing the symptoms it was intended to prevent, and this study further highlights concerns over hormone exposure in utero.

Pregnant Women Who Are Obese Put Their Children at Higher Risk of Asthma
A study of over 129,000 mothers in Sweden and their 189,000 children found that mothers who were very obese had a 61 percent increased likelihood of their children developing asthma by the time they were between 8 and 10 years old. Maternal obesity increases a child’s risk of obesity, which influences the infant’s immune system and its response to allergies.

Good Reads (or vids):

Lily’s Disneyland Surprise from YouTube - I guarantee this will make you cry.

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science from Lifehacker - I was surprised by a few items on this list. Perhaps you will be too.

Recalls, October 4 – October 10:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/3/2011)

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:

Baby Death From Shopping Cart Accident Serves as Warning - Very tragic. Please, please, please don’t ever place your child in a car seat on top of a grocery cart.

Some Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Unvaccinated ChildrenSome pediatricians, mine included, are now dropping families from their practice whose children are not vaccinated over concerns that it puts other children at risk. The AAP’s stance, however, encourages educational efforts first.

Illness, Deaths From Listeria-Tainted Cantaloupes Expected to Rise - Recent illnesses and deaths have made the latest listeria outbreak the deadliest food outbreak in the U.S. in decades. The CDC expects more to come because the incubation period for listeria is up to a month or longer. Do not eat cantaloupe unless you know where it’s from. Be especially careful for those with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women.

Junk Food Really Cheaper? - Debunking the myth that junk food is cheaper than real food. Interesting research cited on how eating junk food leads to a craving for more.

New Research:

Babies Can Hear Your Voice & Emotions While They Sleep
In a study of babies, aged three to seven months, researchers monitored the brain patterns of the babies while they slept. When they heard human voices making happy, sad, or neutral sounds, their brains showed patterns similar to how adults respond to the same emotional input when awake.

Early To Sleep, Early To Rise Lowers Obesity Risk For Kids
A study of children’s sleep habits in Australia found that despite getting the same amount of sleep each night, those who stayed up later and slept in later were more likely to be obese. In the sleep study, those who woke up early exercised 27 minutes more and watched 48 minutes less of TV than their late rising counterparts. Good reason to start early in forming good habits with our little ones.

Pools, Play-in Fountains Spread Diarrheal Disease
The CDC reports 134 disease outbreaks associated with recreational water in 2007-2008, a 72% increase from the previous report and largest number ever reported in a 2-year period. Cryptosporidium was the most common culprit, a bacteria that is fairly resistant to chlorine, and the highest risk places for contracting this bacteria are public sprinklers and fountains which often use recirculated water.

How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Foods
In a study aimed at making school lunchrooms healthier, Cornell University researchers found that putting fruit in a colorful bowl more than doubles fruit sales in schools. The researchers also suggest other changes including smaller cereal bowls, moving chocolate milk behind plain milk, and an express lane for those who choose healthy foods.

Good Reads:

A Beautiful Body from Our Regularly Scheduled Program - A tender, bedtime conversation that captures the essence of a message I plan to share often with my children.

The Perfect Play Haven from IHeartOrganizing - I am in LOVE with this play room. Fantastic ideas for organizing your kids’ toys!

Secrets of an Unflappable Working Mother from RealSimple - 10 surprisingly good tips from a working mom who’s been juggling work & family for years.

International Walk to School Day, Every Day from HuffingtonPost - One mother’s example why we should let go of our fears and take action, if necessary, to provide our children with a safe, positive school environment.

Recalls, September 28 – October 3:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (9/27/2011)

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:

How Safe is Your Indoor Swimming Pool? - Chlorine can mix with sweat, hair products, makeup, etc. to form byproducts that may be harmful to health. Scientists are researching the long-term effects, but meanwhile, a good shower with soap before entering the pool can go a long way.

Hospitals Ditch Free Formula in Record Numbers - The number of hospitals distributing free formula samples is decreasing as the U.S. Surgeon General, medical organizations, and health advocates call for more support for breastfeeding.

Play Yards: What Parents Should KnowThe CPSC issues a warning to parents about the dangers of play yards. Meanwhile, they are also pursuing safety standards for the equipment.

Blogger Living off His Wife’s Breast Milk - After his wife produced an abundance of excess breast milk, a man is attempting to live off of his wife’s breast milk and blogging about it. The couple argues that they were unable to donate the milk, yet many commenters on their blog are clammoring for it. Do you believe them?

New Research:

A Better Way to Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Kids 
A recent study highlighting the effectiveness of behavioral therapy to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders affirms earlier research and may lead to better coverage by insurance companies. Children who received medication and therapy compared with those who received only medication showed twice the improvement.

Premature Babies May Face Long-Term Health Problems
Researchers at Stanford followed over 600,000 individuals born in the 1970s into their 30s, 5% of whom were born preterm, and found that babies born premature had a higher risk of death up to age 5 that waned and then reappeared by young adulthood. The primary factor was heart defects, but respiratory and endocrine problems were also cited. The risk of mortality is still low, 1 in 1,000, but the takeaway is that individuals born preterm need to monitor their health more closely and avoid other risk factors like obesity and smoking.

Are Pediatrician’s Visits Too Short?
A third of parents surveyed in a study published in the journal Pediatrics say that their well-child visits last less than 10 minutes, and only about half of them included a developmental assessment. Another 47% reported that their visits lasted between 11 and 20 minutes, yet most parents report a high level of satisfaction with the short visits indicating that either a lot of ground is covered in a short amount of time are parents just don’t know what to expect. How do you feel about your visits?

Good Reads:

Why Toddlers Don’t Eat Vegetables from Mamapedia Voices - How we influence our children’s food choices.

Waking Up Full of Awesome from Pigtail Pals - Remember when you were 5 years old and you woke up full of awesome? It’s time to get it back. I love one of the commenter’s ideas – Frame a picture of your awesome 5 year old happy self to look at every day.

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! from WendysLookBook - Makes me want to go out and stock up on scarves.

Recalls, September 19 – September 27:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (9/13/2011)

 

Photo source

“Nothing is worth more than this day” - Goethe

May we treasure each moment as we remember those who were lost.

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:

Hug Your Children While You Can - The most important lesson we can take away from 9/11.

Parenting While Grieving - About 3,000 children lost a loved one on 9/11. A look at grief support and how families cope. As a friend or family member supporting someone who has lost, the best thing we can do is be there and be understanding.

In Manhattan, Children Still Battle 9/11-Related Illnesses - 10 years after 9/11, children are battling respiratory illnesses as well as acid reflux disease and a variety of behavioral, learning and mental health issues. Families struggle to admit their children are sick and cope with the fact that 9/11 may still be with them.

Head Lice Treatments Worse Than the Pest Itself? - Questioning the safety of pesticide-based treatments for head lice in young children, particularly when misused.

FDA Creating New Nutrition Label - In an attempt to improve the way Americans eat, the FDA is working on a redesign the nutrition label on foods to provide more useful information, such as more accurate serving sizes and a greater emphasis on calories.

Council Bans Sale of Crib Bumper Pads in Chicago - Sending a message to federal regulators, Chicago becomes the first city in the nation to ban the sale of crib bumper pads due to concerns over suffocation risk to babies.

New Research:

Birth Control Pills Affect Memory
A study of women on birth control pills found that it changed the type of information that women were able to recall. Women on the pill were able to recall more clearly the gist of an emotional event while those not on the pill recalled more details. The idea is that contraceptives suppress hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which have been previously linked to a woman’s left brain strong memory.

Fatherhood Lowers Testosterone Levels
A new Northwestern University study provides compelling evidence that men are wired to respond biologically to fatherhood. The study followed a large group of Filipino men who were not fathers and observed whether their hormones changed after becoming fathers. The study found that the men who started with high testosterone were more likely to become fathers, and once they did, their testosterone levels decreased consistent with the level of involvement that they took on in child-rearing.

Phthalates Affect Child Development
A study of pregnant mothers and their children that began in 1998 finds a significant link between a pregnant woman’s exposure to phthalates and negative impacts on their child’s development. After controlling for a long list of factors, levels of phthalates in the mothers’ urine were compared to several development tests on their children. As the levels went up, the child’s motor development went down significantly.

Mother’s Diet Influences Baby’s Allergies
A possible link between what a mother eats during pregnancy and the risk of her child developing allergies has been identified. The research found that if a mother’s diet contains a certain group of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) — such as those found in fish, walnut oil or flaxseed — the baby’s gut develops differently. The PUFAs are thought to improve how gut immune cells respond to bacteria and foreign substances, making the baby less likely to suffer from allergies. The findings were performed using porcine intestine which is thought to be a good model for the human intestine, but research will continue to see if the results translate to humans.

Kids Who Live With Smokers Have More Ear Infections
A new research paper, which reviewed 61 prior studies, concludes that kids whose parents smoke are more likely to get ear infections and have hearing problems.

Roundup Chemical Found in Water & Air in Two U.S. Farm States
Significant levels of the world’s most-used herbicide have been detected in air and water samples in Mississippi and Iowa. “This is one of the first studies to document the consistent occurrence of the chemical in streams, rain, and air throughout the growing season,” according to one of the researchers on the study, from the U.S. Geological Survey. It was found in every stream sample examined in Mississippi in a two-year period and in most air samples taken. Recent studies have already raised concerns about toxicity to humans and animals, but further research is needed.

Good Reads:

Talking to Your Kids about Tough Topics from Mamapedia Voices - In light of 9/11, a mother who started a news website for children shares tips on discussing tough topics with them.

Mr Printables - Fun resource with free printables for kids crafts and activities

Recalls, September 5 – September 12:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (9/5/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

5 Toxic Chemicals You Should Banish From Your Home -From synthetic pesticides and fragrances to coal tar sealant on your driveway, 5 chemicals you should avoid.

Babysitting Bill in California Legislature - A bill making its way through California’s legislature is likely to kill the babysitting industry for sitters over the age of 18.

Life’s Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks - Major health organizations unite in a campaign to reduce the consumption of soda and other sugary drinks in an effort to reduce rates of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet and account for half of all added sugars consumed.

Women Getting C-Sections Need Protection From Blood Clots - New advice for pregnant women getting a C-section included in new guidelines from the nation’s obstetricians suggest wearing compression devices on your legs during surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots. Similar devices are already used in other major operations, such as hip replacements.

MRSA: Protect Your Kid From a Superbug – 5 things parents should know about MRSA as infections among children have been on the rise in recent years.

New Research:

Toxic Chemical Remains in Dry-Cleaned Clothes
Researchers, led by a 15 year old high school student from Arlington, VA, found that perchloroethylene, a dry cleaning solvent that has been linked to cancer and neurological damage, stays in fabrics and that levels increased with repeat cleanings, particularly in wool. Squares of wool, silk, cotton, and polyester were sewn into the lining of seven identical men’s jackets and then cleaned from one to six times at various cleaners after which the samples were tested. The study raises important questions about how much perc is retained in clothing and then breathed in or absorbed through the skin.

Mom’s Stress is Linked to Baby’s Health
In one of the largest studies to date on the link between prenatal environment and health after birth, a recent study in Denmark concluded that life stress during pregnancy (versus emotional stress) was associated with an increased risk of serious infections in childhood. The study interviewed 60,000 mothers pre- and post-partum and followed their children for at least seven years.

Phthalate DEHP Found to Alter Important Memory System in Male Rats
Exposure to the phthalate DEHP changed brain development in young male rats when exposed during a critical development phase. The male rats formed fewer cells and nerve connections in a memory-related region of their brains. The same exposure did not affect females. This is the first research to connect phthalate exposure at a critical time of development with these effects and highlights the need for further study, particularly for the potential for human impacts.

Good Reads:

I Don’t Love Your Kid from HuffPost Parents -A mother shares her thoughts on misbehaving children.

Dear Whys Guy: “My Husband Needs Child Care Advice!” from Redbook - 4 tips for Dads on caring for a horse…er, young child. A good laugh.

Recalls, August 29 – September 4:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (8/29/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Washington State to Require Chemical Reporting for Toys! - A new law took effect this week in Washington which will now require manufacturers of toys, cosmetics, jewelry, and baby products to report when their products contain certain harmful chemicals – from a list of 66 chemicals identified as unsafe. Let’s hope this will spur action in other states, or better yet at the federal level.

Is Gender Selection of a Fetus Ethical? – A new maternal blood test can determine a fetus’ sex as early as seven weeks into pregnancy. The test is not yet available but has sparked a heated ethical debate. Would parents use this to perform sex-selective abortions??

On Food Safety, a Long List but Little Money – The FDA is facing an uphill battle to implement the food safety law passed last year on limited funding. While I have my issues with the FDA, I do think we need to find a way to allocate resources so they can fulfill the responsibilities they’ve been given to keep our food safe.

Food Safety in China, and the Risk to the U.S. - Another food safety crisis in China (reported by the AP here). In the second vinegar scandal this month, vinegar contaminated with antifreeze has killed 11 and sickened 120 in China. This article highlights the continuous spate of scandals in China and the risk they pose to us as imports from China are increasing in the U.S. and the FDA is struggling to keep up. What are we to do? Buy fresh, buy local as much as we can.

The Color of Controversy - A pretty good summation of the history of food dyes, related health studies, and controversies.

Patience, Mom: More Hospitals Say No to Scheduled Delivery Before 39 Weeks – A number of hospitals are now prohibiting scheduled C-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary in light of recent research showing that babies experience a lot of critical development during their final weeks in utero, and mortality rates are cut in half by waiting until 39 weeks versus 37.

New Research:

Global Rates of Obesity Doubled in 30 Years
Three new studies published recently in The Lancet, a British medical journal, say that rates of obesity have doubled worldwide, even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped. People in the Pacific Islands are the heaviest, but among developed countries Americans are the fattest.

New Report Finds Few Adverse Events Linked to Immunizations
A panel of scientists assembled by the Institute of Medicine says there are relatively few health problems caused by most commonly recommended vaccines. The IOM included experts in pediatrics, immunology, neurology, epidemiology, and statistics. The review of more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies represents the most comprehensive review of the available literature on the potential side effects for eight vaccines – MMR, chicken pox, influenz, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HPV, DTAP, and meningococcus. The article describes some of the conclusions drawn by the panel.

Could the Way We Mate and Marry Boost Rates of Autism?
An interesting theory as to why autism rates are on the rise – people with certain traits are increasingly meeting and marrying and having children more likely to be on the spectrum. Cited reasoning: The recent surge in autism rates has coincided with certain social changes, such as an unprecedented movement of women into math and science professions and the dotcom boom making more technically-minded people more sought after as mates. The theory is still largely speculation, but interesting nonetheless.

What Makes Some Preschools Better than Others?
A Vanderbilt University professor suggests that preschool teachers who engage children and use rich and varied vocabulary influence the children’s vocabulary and reading abilities later on.

Kids with Nut Allergies Feel Teased, Excluded
A study in the UK in which 26 families dealing with nut allergies were interviewed found that they routinely encountered skepticism and hostility over their children’s allergies.

Good Reads:

8 Month Old Gets a Cochlear Implant from YouTube - Heartwarming, tear-inspiring video of a child hearing his mother’s voice after a cochlear implant.

When Kids Bring Up Same-Sex Marriage from CNN Living - Several parents share their thoughts on how they address questions about same-sex marriage with their children.

Monsanto’s 5 Most Dubious Contributions to the Planet from TakePart.com – Before bovine growth hormone and GM seeds, there was Agent Orange and styrofoam.

Recalls, August 23 – August 29:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (8/22/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

Beginning this week, we’re moving Weekly Highlights to Mondays to recap the week before. But of course, because we missed last weekend you’ll get two weeks in one today. Happy reading!

In the News:

Adult-Inspired Lingerie Marketed for Young Girls - A French lingerie company aims to create a new market for loungerie (lingerie inspired loungewear) for girls ages 4-12. Much controversy ensues. What’s your take?

FDA Says Walnuts Are Illegal Drugs - I can think of better ways that the FDA can spend their time.

Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria – A back-to-scratch movement is taking shape in schools in response to concerns over obesity and nutrition in our children. Let’s hope this movement gains momentum.

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves - Investigative reporting highlighting concerns over imported honey.

Tax-Free School Shopping Underway - Sales-tax holidays are taking effect in various states over the next few weekends.

Babysitter Charged After Putting a Baby In a Stroller in the Back of a Moving Pickup Truck -”It’s not like they give you a handbook…” What??

New Research:

Window Falls Remain a Childhood Hazard
Based on data collected from 6,100 hospital emergency rooms over a 19 year period ending in 2008, an average of nearly 5,200 children a year — about 14 a day — are admitted to hospital emergency rooms after falling from windows.  83% of these falls were from windows with screens. Take note: A window with a screen is not enough.

Diabetes, Pesticide Link Intensifies in New Study
“Another study has drawn a link between high levels of pesticides in blood tests and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly in individuals that are already overweight.”

Preschoolers Lunches Carried Into the Danger Zone
An examination of 1,361 food items in packed lunches of 235 preschool children (ages 3 to 5) found only 22 items at food-safe temperatures…even though 49 percent contained ice packs and another 12 percent were stored in a refrigerator. Read the article for tips on packing safe meals.

Toxicity of Insecticides = The Sum of its Parts
A study of pyrethyroid insecticides commonly used on food crops found that their combined effect on rodent brain cells was equal to the sum of the effects of each individual insecticide. The study verifies prior animal studies and confirms that mixtures of these insecticides produce an additive effect when combined.

Good Reads:

Q. What’s With the Turkey Recall? A. Same Old, Same Old. from Food Politics - How the USDA has dragged its feet in the latest turkey recall.

Family Happiness and the Overbooked Child from The NY Times - Let’s relax, and enjoy life along with our children at a slower pace.

GoodGuide Toolbar: Help for Busy Parents Seeking Safer and Greener Products from Non-Toxic Kids - An internet toolbar that helps you identify products that are safe, healthy, green, and socially responsible? Sounds like something I’d like to look into.

Recalls, August 7 – August 22:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (8/7/11)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, a weekend post that will recap important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels. Happy weekend reading!

In the News:

Insurance Coverage for Contraception is Required - New standards issued this week require insurance coverage for contraception and other preventative services for women.

China Arrests 2,000 in Food Safety Crackdown - Serious punishment coming to those who mess with China’s food system as the country tries to overcome numerous contamination scares.

How Safe is Your Soil? - Lead and other heavy metals may exist in your soil. Consider soil testing, remediation and/or raised beds before growing fruits and vegetables at home.

New Research:

Flame retardants and other chemical additives found in children’s car seats
A review of over 150, 2011-model car seats found that more than half contained one or more “chemicals of concern”, including brominated flame retardants, chlorine (indicating the presence of PVC), arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. However, the 2011 results show a 64% improvement over 2008 test results, indicating improvement in manufacturing. Click through the link above to see healthystuff.org’s list of the best and worst car seats based on level of contaminants.

Favorite flavors may be programmed in early infancy
Recent research shows that flavors consumed in early infancy impact later food choices. Other research noted in the article indicates that many processed baby and toddler foods are loaded with excessive calories from simple sugars and too much sodium. Introducing healthy, unprocessed foods in infancy could promote healthier eating habits later in life.

Good Reads:

For Three Years, Every Bite Organic from The New York Times - For three years, Dr. Greene, a pediatrician, embarked on a 100% organic diet and learned a few things…

I Love Giving Birth from Hello Giggles: The best birth advice – “There is no one perfect way to have a baby…Do whatever feels right to you in that moment”

How to Win Over Stubborn Children from Parenting.com - Excellent tips for “negotiating” with your young child.

Recalls, July 30 – August 6:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! What did you like? If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! We hope you’re having a lovely weekend! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather




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