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A review of the research behind recent parenting and children's health news and advice in the media. As a mother of three children with a Ph.D. in psychology and nearly two decades of research experience I take on the evidence behind the parenting news, especially the misinterpreted or just plain poor research - including studies on autism, breastfeeding, childhood obesity, and peanut allergies.
I try to buy organic fruits and veggies, at least the dirty dozen. Organic milk too. Pasta, once or twice. Pajamas, never. So you may not be surprised to learn I read the new study linking ADHD to pesticides as my children gobbled up grapes that were not organic, this being New Jersey and not the West Coast where I imagine pesticide-free is an achievable if not cost-effect lifestyle. After finishing the article published in the curre........ Read more »
Bouchard, M., Bellinger, D., Wright, R., & Weisskopf, M. (2010) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides. PEDIATRICS, 125(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058
Do you think your teenager will drink alcohol? On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely do you think it your child will drink alcohol regularly as a teenager?Moms who underestimate the chances may actually prevent kids from drinking. That's good news, believing your kid won't drink can discourage your teen from drinking. But the opposite is also true... Moms who overestimate their kid's risk can end up promoting more drinking. We're talking self-fulfilling prophecy here. That's fancy talk........ Read more »
Madon, S., Guyll, M., Buller, A., Scherr, K., Willard, J., & Spoth, R. (2008) The mediation of mothers' self-fulfilling effects on their children's alcohol use: Self-verification, informational conformity, and modeling processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(2), 369-384. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1999
Pregnant Mom Alert #523: Clear out your cosmetics. Ditch the deodorant. Trash your toiletries. Contact your Congressperson.Phthalates, again! In your beauty regime. Seems they harm your unborn baby's developing brain eventually turning them into aggressive, surly kids, maybe even criminals. So says a Mount Sinai study published online in this month's Environmental Health Perspectives, sure to alarm even the more placid of pregnant folk. After measuring phthalates in the urine of pregn........ Read more »
Engel, S., Miodovnik, A., Canfield, R., Zhu, C., Silva, M., Calafat, A., & Wolff, M. (2010) Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901470
Children's Health... Read more »
Crystal, S., Olfson, M., Huang, C., Pincus, H., & Gerhard, T. (2009) Broadened Use Of Atypical Antipsychotics: Safety, Effectiveness, And Policy Challenges. Health Affairs, 28(5). DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.5.w770
No surprise autism imposes a heavy burden on families. But would you believe having an autistic child actually lowers your income?That's what researchers from The Children's Institute and University of Rochester conclude in their recent study in the journal Pediatrics. A "substantial loss of household income".Researchers Montes and Halterman pulled data from 11,684 children in kindergarten through eighth grade who participated in the National Household Education Survey. They ........ Read more »
G Montes, & J Halterman. (2008) Association of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders and Loss of Family Income. PEDIATRICS, 121(4). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-1594
Women who eat diverse, nutritious food are more likely to give birth to boys.Yeah, yeah, we know sex is determined by the dad-to-be's sperm but it looks like the maternal environment differentially influences the "viability" of male and female embryos. Yeah, blame mom again. According to Fiona Matthews and colleagues, it's what she's eating (or not eating) around the time of conception. The researchers from University of Oxford and the University of Exeter published the ........ Read more »
Fiona Mathews, Paul Johnson, & Andrew Neil. (2008) You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, -1(-1), -1--1. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0105
So you might have heard cold and cough meds send about 7,000 kids to the ER. If you're like me, you had some questions upon hearing this number. Where did it come from? How old were these kids? Did they take the correct dose? Did they help themselves to those candy-colored, fruit scented bottles?But then I read an article in this month's Pediatrics journal. Researchers Melissa Schaefer and her colleagues examined emergency room visits in 63 U.S. hospitals for kids up to age 11- specifi........ Read more »
M Schaefer, N Shehab, A L Cohen, & D S Budnitz. (2008) Adverse Events From Cough and Cold Medications in Children. PEDIATRICS, 121(4), 783-787. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-3638
Looks like the preschool director is not going nuts over nuts - she's got some new ammunition for those pesky parents pooh-poohing the no-nuts policy. A new study in this month's Pediatrics reports peanut allergies are showing up earlier and earlier. At 14 months for allergic kids born between 2000 and 2005 compared to 20 to 22 months for kids born between 1988 and 1999. For those of us with allergies in the genes - this news provokes some anxiety. If you can't stomach or get the ........ Read more »
T Green, V S LaBelle, P H Steele, E H Kim, L A Lee, V S Mankad, L W Williams, K J Anstrom, & A W Burks. (2007) Clinical Characteristics of Peanut-Allergic Children: Recent Changes. PEDIATRICS, 120(6), 1304-1310. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-0350
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