December 5, 2008

DT Freakout Friday: No Strollers, No Peace Edition

What's the baby and parenting world coming to? Well for one thing, if you joke about the Obama inauguration's stroller ban to a Washington Post reporter, a hundred irate strangers will email you, calling you a shallow, self-centered parent so typical of this younger generation, who obviously has no concern for the president-elect's safety don't you know what happened to Lincoln and the Kennedys and Martin Luther King??

And for a bunch of other things, there's this batch of alarming but preliminary and/or inconclusive studies in the news to ruin your weekend:

  • "The National Institutes of Health and a nonprofit advocacy group, Common Sense Media, have another reason for President-elect Barack Obama to keep urging parents to 'turn off the TV.'

    "In what researchers call the first report of its kind, a review of 173 studies about the effects of media consumption on children asserts that a strong correlation exists between greater exposure and adverse health outcomes." Wait, so now I'm supposed to bring the kid to the inauguration after all?? Make up your mind, Barack Obama! [nyt, press release:]

  • According to the Texas CPS, co-sleeping surpassed drowning as the leading cause of infant death last year. From the data and recommendations, Texas defines co-sleeping as a) getting drunk and passing out on top of your kid or b) being so poor the whole family sleeps on one twin mattress. "We are not policing what people are doing in their bedrooms," said a spokesman from a different state where the police don't storm into gay peoples' bedrooms and polygamist compounds under completely fabricated pretenses. [houston chronicle via dt reader robert]

  • In a new study published by Make Magazine and Free Range Parenting, researchers found that due to helicopter parenting, children are no longer allowed to do anything anymore, including go outside or in the kitchen. Of course, by "study" I meant blog post. And by "researchers," I meant, some lady who's been on Dr. Phil. Still, the comments are entertaining. [ via dt reader cc]

  • Eating eggs while pregnant causes breast cancer. In the kid. "But there's an upside. The emerging science of epigenetics has yielded a breakthrough. For the first time, we've learned that we might be able to prevent breast cancer as early as a mother's pregnancy." So which one is it: is that Grand Slam Breakfast a death sentence, or did the epigenetics journal's publicist read the DT Freakout Handbook chapter on overselling? [abs: fasebj, pr: eurekalert]

  • Denmark's nationwide rollout of nuchal screening and CVS has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of babies born with Down's syndrome, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. Wow, who'd have thought a simple, non-invasive screening is able to cure almost half of all Down's cases? Go figure. And yes, they use 's in Europe. [abstract: bmj; press release: eurekalert]

  • The reality is grim and unjust, of course, so I do feel bad for laughing at the concept of Chinese workers rioting at a Nerf factory. [google/ap]

  • I thought it was just, "Carter tagless clothing either burns your kid's neck or it doesn't." I didn't realize there was a delayed reaction. [unfinisheddad]

  • After several weeks of panicked emails from all over, I've begun researching and making some calls. I've compiled a list of all the baby and children's product makers who will be driven out of business when the CPSC's new lead testing regulations go into effect in February 2009:FREAKING EVERYBODY. Admittedly, it's a first draft. [some background from the wsj]


    Manufacturers have known about the legislation for almost a year, have known what the new substrate lead requirements would be since July, and could have at least done some contingency testing on their products to see if it violates the lead ban anywhere along the way. By the time February rolls around, they will have had over 6 months to ensure their products comply. And because it is a lead limit (and not a testing requirement- that part goes into effect later next year), the manufacturer just needs to have enough info to be comfortable the children's product they are selling doesn't exceed the limits. one would hope that manufacturers and retailers have at least some idea of the lead levels in their products and be able to limit the number of products they have to worry about.

    "Mr. Woldenberg .... has written to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and congressional staffers, asking for an indefinite amount of time to sell off his older inventory."

    You know, the same inventory, that, "if ingested, it can cause irreversible neurological damage"

    I also ponder cost/benefit analysis of this:

    "Bob Glenn, president of Kipp Brothers, an Indiana-based importer of toys and gifts, estimates it would cost his company $200,000 to test the goods involved, which would "greatly exceed" the company's 2007 profit."

    What does it cost over the long haul to treat a one kid with led damage? And the resulting lawsuit. Seems like $200,000 might be a bargain.

    Dude, sorry you went for the big profits and bought a bunch of cheaply made Chinese products. Not our fault. Put on your big girl panties and clean it up.

    I read the breast cancer article, and actually the extra choline (the nutrient in eggs) caused the rat's offspring to have a slower growing tumor, and therefore a better prognosis. Both groups got cancer because the scientists treated them with a chemical that causes it.

    I hope eating eggs is good for your offspring because I have one daughter and another on the way and I've eaten an egg for breakfast everyday during both pregnancies!

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