October 25, 2008

DT Friday Freakout: Uh, Better Late Than Never? Edition

You know, these days it just seems like there's no shortage of things to freakout over--but here are a few more kid- and parenting-related bits of news and research to ruin your weekend quicker'n a rainstorm at the World Series:

  • First up, the big story that I've ignored for weeks, mostly because I figured anyone whose kid didn't get a Carter's logo chemical-burned into his neck probably didn't need to hear about it. Well, I was wrong. The CPSC and Carter's have issued a [frankly rather tepid] advisory that some kids might get skin irritation from some "tagless" pieces of infant and toddler clothing from the Fall 2007 collection.

    The real story seems to be much more extensive and more complicated, and it's probably best to check out Z Recs, where Jeremiah & Co have been kicking heat-transfer label ass, ferretting out CPSC incident reports, fielding firsthand parent experiences, and building a network of public safety awareness blogs. [zrecommends; cpsc]

  • A Kaiser-Permanente study published in Human Reproduction found that depression during pregnancy can increase the probability of preterm delivery up to twofold. The study doesn't look at women using anti-depressants during pregnancy, though. [press release: eurekalert]

  • German scientists have identified a gene--their second finding--associated with male baldness. This one, on the 20th chromosome, is apparently related to "bald like your dad"-style hair loss, not "it goes on the mother's side"-style hair loss. Just wondering, has anyone ever done a study on whether hair loss patterns mirror the hair growing-in patterns of babies? Because I swear, sometimes it feels like I can look at a kid and just predict exactly how he'll go bald 30 years later. [press release: eurekalert]

  • This is just too apples and oranges and grapes and pears for me, so I'll just quote it: "Firstborn children of older parents have three times as much chance of being diagnosed with autism than later born children of younger parents...Mothers aged 35 and over were cited as having a 30% higher risk of having an autistic child than mothers in their twenties, while for fathers in their forties and over the risk was estimated to be even greater at around 40% higher when compared with fathers aged under 30." Got that? Because short of pulling a Levi Johnston, it doesn't sound like there's much you can do about it. From the American Journal of Epidemiology [via scotsman]

  • The study's still ongoing, so it's too early to say--which doesn't stop pediatric allergy specialist from Kings College London, Dr. Gideon Lack, from saying that feeding kids peanuts earlier may help prevent peanut allergies, not cause them. Dr. Lack: "Peanut allergy in English-speaking countries has almost trebled in the last 15 years and occurs in almost one in 50 primary school children. In traditional societies in Africa and Asia, however, it doesn't occur in children to the same extent. In these societies babies are allowed to eat peanuts from a very early age. The hypothesis is that by eating peanuts in the first year of life, babies become tolerant of those foods..." I love that now I can move from hyping published preliminary studies to not-even-completed hypotheses. But K2's been pounding pad thai for a couple of weeks now, and we only realized along the way that meant she was basically soaking in a giant peanut bath. Seems fine, so maybe we're lucky. Or Asian. [oh, well, it IS the UK Telegraph, so it could all be BS]

  • "Does jealousy begin in the cradle?" asks the Toronto Star headline. "Yes," says the study by Canadian psychologist Maria Legerstree, who baited 45 helpless babies to see what their response was. [thestar.com]

  • No Bastard Can Survive In My Palace - Alaafin I have no idea who the Alaafin of Oya is, but the Nigerian Star-Tribune sure knows how to write a headline that makes me want to read and find out. Apparently, he's the king of the Yoruba, and they do paternity tests by feeding the babies to the lions. [tribune.com.ng]

  • 2 Comments

    Now wait... Caydee got a rash similar to what they describe in the link from wearing a couple of different namebrand tagless item (not Carter's or any of their knockoffs -- though she's been bothered by those before too). So could the problem just be with tagless labels in general? Hmm.

    The Alaafin article is entertaining. Perhaps he is the hereditary entertainer of Yoruba land (Is he Alaffin out loud funny? Oh, yeah!)

    I wonder what Craig Ventor would say about their understanding of genetic testing?

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