September 18, 2009

DT Friday Freakout: Back To School Edition

Just some news and science to freak out over this weekend:

  • School officials summoned police to confront a family who rode their bikes to school together. They were told they were "out of compliance." [streetsblog via dt sr wtf correspondent ponch]

  • Related: a 2007 British freakout/lament about how, over a couple of generations, children have lost the freedom to roam and/or leave the house. [dailymail uk, I know but]

  • Another stranger did not randomly smack another kid in another store this week; the lady at the Salvation Army was just moving her hand in a spanking motion. If the kid happened to get in the way, it was entirely his fault. [ via obscurestore, thanks ponch]

  • A study of 2,600 poor folk found that "spanking (but not verbal punishment) at age 1 predicted child aggressive behavior problems at age 2 and lower Bayley mental development scores at age 3." And so on and so on. [related pr: physorgabstract: child dev]

  • Babies who drink formula with DHA have "superior cognitive skills"! [Uh, compared to those who drink un-DHA formula. [physorg]

  • Does background TV negatively affect parent-child interaction? Yes, by distracting and hypnotizing parents. [pr: physorg; abstract: child dev]

  • The same gene that makes you an absent father will probably make your kid have sex earlier. [physorg]

  • A British mom is on trial for...uh, being drunk on a plane? changing clothes in her seat? yelling at a flight attendant? ignoring her 2-yo while she made out with some random guy who was flying with his girlfriend? This jumbled BBC article is basically a transcript of a pack of gossipy schoolgirls. It makes no sense. [bbc wtf via dt freakout sr correspondent sara]

  • Haha, about half the H1N1 vaccines contain thimerosal, which totally doesn't cause autism, never did, never will. Oy. [physorg]

  • Haha^2, while all the crazy vacctivists in Central California try to avoid mercury exposure from a crucial vaccine, the EPA has ignored the "Day-Glo orange" runoff from hundreds of mercury mines that flows into the watershed. [ap/physorg]

  • In the presidential election a million years ago in 2008, researchers say that parenthood makes moms more liberal [i.e., communist] and dads more conservative [i.e., racist]. "'Mortgage Moms' and 'More Responsible Dads,'" a hopelessly titled paper presented at the American Political Science Association 2009 Annual Meeting in Toronto. Wait, where? [uselessly vague pr: physorg]

  • Those 450,000 plush Hungry Monsters that Weight Watchers sold between April and July 2009 have been recalled. At least two sewing needles have been found embedded inside. Also, 150k units/month? That is pretty impressive. []


I think this little dandy from a Dr. Sears article struck me the most about the good ole H1N1 vaccine...

Although I don’t think this new vaccine has an increased risk, what I DO worry about is that infants will be getting FOUR (count them, FOUR) flu vaccines this year – two doses of the regular one, and two doses of the swine flu vaccine. That’s unprecedented. We’ve never given anyone four doses of a flu vaccine in one year. There is no way to predict what the side effects might be.

I am not at all anti vaccination, not one bit, but seriously, that seems like overkill. "We don't know the side effects, but let's give it to bazillions of healthy kids and I guess we'll find out soon enough."

Oh... I should probably give a link to the article from wince that came before people get all up in my gravy boat, bout quoting without my sources *wink*

the single dose h2n1 vaccine has no thimerosal. it all makes constant handwashing sound really smart.

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Good handwashing, showers or baths after school/daycare and teaching general good hygiene (ya know -- don't pick your boogers... or your friend's boogers), they go a long way in preventing ALL illnesses.

As far as the Dr. Sears quote, I think the main concern wasn't so much the mercury in shots (though I may be wrong because I haven't studied this stuff), it was the risk of Guillian-Barre Syndrome from the shots. I mean, if the risk associated with the normal annual flu shots is about 1 in every million, then if you double the number of shots a person gets (and yes, the H1N1 is labeled as a 'single' dose shot, but every parent I've talked to at work has said their peds have told them it will be given in two shots about a month apart??), or, even if you simply add just the one extra shot... will that only merely double the risk of GBS, or will it increase it exponentially to something we aren't prepared for.

It's not like we're only doubling the amount of shots given in a year... we're doubling the amount of shots given in each person. Even adding one in such a short span of time for kids who've recieved their regular flu shots within the last month or so, seems risky as hell.

Anyway, I'm rambling... sorry. I'll just be sticking to the handwashing/hygiene theory over here.

Seasonal flu vaccine does not increase risk of GBS. The risk of GBS is what it is, whether you get the flu vaccine or not....

It's like trying to link a vaccine to the risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident.


but all those extra doses require more trips to the doctor, which means more driving. which means more risk of an accident. BUT also more HFC emissions. Has anyone calculated the carbon offsets required for all this vaccinating? Because we can't save ourselves by murdering our planet!

What was I thinking, teeing one up like that?

I should really think my arguments through a little better...


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