October 1, 2007

DT Headline Roundup: Cold Medicine, Zimbabwe, Sperm Banking & Photostealin'

Part of me feels like I've gotta clear these browser tabs, but part of me feels everyone can read the NY Times on his own:

  • Slow-mo Infant Cold Medicine Ban Rolls On--Slowly: Instigated by pediatrician activists in February and finally agreed to in August, the FDA's undertaking a safety review of infant cold medicine. It recommends banning cold & flu medicines for kids under 6 [6!]. The industry selling $2 billion/yr of the stuff suggests warning labels and uniformly sized dosage cups. I wish someone would suggest paying attention and not overmedicating and overdosing your kid. Out of tens of millions of kids, the review identified like 3 deaths/year from the medicines, but over 1,500 health complications, most in kids under 2yo. [nyt]
  • Parents in Zimbabwe, we learn, choose a child's name "to convey a specific meaning, and not, as is common in the West, [according to] the latest fashion." Uh-huh. Turns out the latest fashion in Zimbabwe is to give your kid an English name: you know, stuff like Godknows, Hatred, Wind, Have-A-Look. Though technically, since those people are all adults, it was a trend a while ago, too. Oy. [nyt]
  • You knew that stocks of Scandinavian sperm were dwindling, right? Did you know it was because of Mad Cow Disease? Me neither. And did you know couples pick sperm samples from donors who look like the husband, while single ladies pick samples from donors who look like Dolph Lundgren? Or at least they did. [slate]


  • We know that hell breaks loose if a company uses a kid photo without permission. But what happens if a giant pack of Orkut monkeys make a sport of pilfering flickr photos for their own profile-building amusement? Heck breaks out. As one who does not post pictures of his kid in public, I won't say I told you so, but I can't really say, "you know what, it's in public, it's out there, the punks are in Brazil, eh, let it go," either. But just think about Chriggi's pic above, which has gone around the world millions of times as part of Jonathan Coulton's "flickr" song. [note; I always thought the kid wet his pants, but no.] [supernaturale via dt reader jasmine]


    Proper dosing? The problem is that the cold medicine had no positive effect on kids that age and is essentially a placebo with side effects.

    I think they should be banned. Of course then they'll just re-brand and sell them as toddler nighttime juice or an "herbal" supplement. (I'm too cynical aren't I?)

    [not cynical enough, I'm sure. But in August, the FDA said that most of the problems appeared related to over-dosing or mixing medicines. -ed.]

    There are sperm shortages all over! In the UK, and also the Netherlands, they have passed laws that no longer allow donors to remain anonymous. The idea is that the child born from donors have a right to some knowledge of their biological parent and medical history, even if that conflicts with what the donor or parent wants. This historically has not been the case, and some of the children who are now over 18 are finding ways to connect with their donors and half sibs. For example: www.donorsiblingregistry.com

    While some say the drop in donors is because of this new "open" policy, others say its more about a lack of awareness. BCC did something on it recently:


    On the whole "used without permission" front, I just came across this...

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