July 11, 2008

DT Friday Freakout: Eat, Drink & Be Merry edition

It's late, I know--almost midnight on the east coast--but it's not too late to ruin your weekend by jumping to conclusions based on preliminary results from the world of kid-related research:

  • Got HPV-laced milk? A Finnish government-sponsored study of HPV, the sexually transmitted virus most often associated with cervical cancer, shows that it might be possible for HPV to transmit to a baby via breastmilk. Or breastfeeding, they're not sure. The study also shows a correlation between fathers' HPV status and presence of the virus in breastmilk sampled on Day 3 after birth. "Transmission could have occurred by the spouse, from the mouth to the nipple and then to the breast, or it could have occurred from the mother's hands, [Dr. Stina] Syrjanen said," which makes it sound like there's no six-week, no-sex waiting period in Finland. [reuters]

  • Eating lunch at your desk? A UIUC study shows that 9-mo kids who are cared for by non-parents are fatter, breastfeed less, and start solid food earlier. Coincidentally, these are also factors for childhood obesity. [jama]

  • Drinking in the bathtub? Kids whose parents drink to "escape" stress are more likely to hate the smell of beer and associate it with negative emotions. Did I say parents? The study only included moms. Dads, after all, don't drink to escape; they escape to drink. Totally different. [eurekalert]

  • Did you know that even though it's a US protectorate, kids in the Marshall Islands have, like, Austin Powers-grade bad teeth? Me neither, but the concentrated population sure makes it easier to study sub-standard dental hygiene. Which occasionally leads to brreakthroughs, such as: kids who regularly use xylitol syrup/mouthwash/rinse/gum/what-have-you show significant reductions in tooth decay. The same holds true for kids who regularly let their dads eat the whole box of Honeycombs cereal, hint hint. [eurekalert again]

    baby_cage_wgn.jpg

  • And last, but not least, a dad in Chicago has been arrested for taking his kids to work with him. He works as a junk collector, and he kept the kids, ages 2 and 5, in a makeshift cage in the back of his crew cab pickup. Honestly, except for the apparent absence of car seats, is this any different than nailing the baby's pants to the floor in Little Rascals? What's a junk collector who can't afford a sitter supposed to do? [chicagotribune]

  • 3 Comments

    I'll probably get slammed for this but assuming he kept the a/c on for the kids, he was probably in their presences more often than not since he was driving around. Of course, if he wasn't using carseats, that's a problem but at least a) he was working and b)cared enough about them to not leave them home alone which actually happens a lot here in the dumbshine state of Florida.

    Of course I meant "presence" not "presences" — which reminds me...your preview feature is not working :)

    And the A/C will filter out the CO, CO2 and NOX? Actually, I almost agree, assuming they weren't unattended for long periods of time. I guess the behavioral psychology racket doesn't pay what it used to. BF Skinner joke.

    On Friday, I was talking with a coworker about our inability to go to a movie; being childless, he suggested leaving X on a blanket with a pile of books & toys. I had to explain about the nature of 18-month-olds, and childcare in general. Out Art Director chipped in a story about his stepmother—a behavioral psychologist in the Boston area—who used to go out to dinner, leaving her toddler in the car for the duration. In a restaurant, no one can hear you scream.

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