You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

From the wire:

“In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics has said swim classes might give toddlers and parents a false sense of security. Now the group says it’s fine to enroll children as young as 1.

A few small studies suggest toddlers may be less likely to drown if they’ve had swim lessons…”

The real reminder comes at the end:

Parents know they should be vigilant while children swim, but trouble can occur in an instant of inattention, said Dr. Jeffrey Weiss of Phoenix Children’s Hospital and lead author of the policy.

“It’s not a lack of supervision, it’s a lapse of supervision,” Weiss said.

A recent article in the Times Herald looks into the possibility of our schools buying food from local farmers.  From the article:

“We’d love to do fresh, but it all comes down to the bottom line,” said Washingtonville Schools Food Director Robert Gellman.

That’s enlightened thinking. Yes, forget about the health of the children. And as the article points out, all that “cheap” industrially produced food (often the cafeteria suppliers buy up government surplus) is heavily subsidized. We recently ran an op-ed piece in our other mag, Hudson Valley Life, about the true cost of food.

Here’s another food director quoted on the subject:

The Newburgh School District receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for three of its schools, said Andrew Calvano, the district’s food services director, who adds that the jury is still out on whether it has made any difference.

“We can give kids all the fresh fruits and vegetables they want, but getting them to eat it is up to them,” he said.

No, Mr. Calvano. It’s not about “getting them to eat it.” It’s about teaching them what good food is, by example and in science and health classes. It’s about integrating that with discussions of the local economy, of their neighbors who farm for a living. It’s about taking a plot of unused grass on school grounds and growing a vegetable garden as part of an ecology class. Science, nutrition, health, economics, home economics, community, ecology, math, literature–it’s all right there. And all these food directors can talk about is the bottom line and making kids eat their vegetables! What imaginations.

 Hudson Valley Parent will take an in-depth look at healthy school lunches in later this summer.

Yesterday while scrolling through our RSS feeds I saw an article headline that caught my eye: “Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children.” I literally gasped aloud after reading that line. I know that’s how they get your attention, through shock and awe, but I after reading through the article I do believe it is an important topic to look in to. The article states that  “New research suggests that exposure to high levels of organophosphate pesticides, commonly found on berries, celery and other produce, could raise the odds for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. At this point, though, there is no evidence that pesticide exposure can actually cause ADHD, stated the authors of a paper appearing in the June issue of Pediatrics.”

Now, there is no concrete evidence that these pesticides are causing ADHD, but this may be a good time to look at the food we are putting in our bodies and serving to our families. Taking a trip to your local farmers market even just once a month could start a healthy trend in your household and it is a fun weekend trip as well. If you are unsure of where the closest market to you is, we have made a comprehensive farmers market guide that is broken up by county. Happy shopping!

An article about food allergies in today’s New York Times relates well to a piece we did this month, “Food Allergy Follies?” Our article is about conflicting studies as to the optimum time to introduce solid foods to your baby to help prevent allergies. My feeling after reading the reports was that the science to pinpoint this is just not there. Glad to see the NYT is following up on our breaking news!

How many of you loyal blog readers know that we have a newsletter filled with the latest parenting news, events for families and giveaways? I hope that the answer is “of course!” But, if this is your first time hearing about the newsletter, I highly encourage you to sign up. We never sell any contact information you may give us, our only goal is to help parents parent. And, the giveaways are fabulous! We are constantly drooling (no baby pun intended) over the new products we receive here in the office.

For example, if you sign up for our newsletter by June 1st you are entered to win a family vacation at 1000 Acres Ranch Resort in Stony Creek, NY. No strings attached. I know it sounds too good to be true like one of those “congratulations you’ve won a cruise!” phone calls (we get those here at the office too), but this really is a dream vacation come true. I hope you visit Hudson Valley Parent for all our resources, especially our newsletter. It’s our way of giving back to all our readers, we really appreciate all of you.

There was recently an article on the Examiner that discussed a “joint study conducted by the Universities of Montreal and Michigan  concluded that  for children under the age of 5 watching too much television is becoming a major health issue. The study which followed 1300 children concluded that negative effects on children after age 10 rose dramatically for every hour of TV watched when the child was a toddler.” You can find the rest of the article here.

The biggest concerns in the article revolved around the correlation between watching too much television and bad eating habits, as well as “evidence that the children who watched more than 2 hours a day of TV also showed:

  • less ability or inclination to participate in classroom activities,
  • a decrease in math skills, and
  • were more likely to be bullied, teased and even assaulted by classmates.”

What do you think? Do the results of this study surprise you? Do you limit the amount of TV time in your home? Tell us in the comments!

When my partner recently accepted a full-time job, we had to put our 5-month old son into day care. Aside from the issue of choosing one we were comfortable with, we did have to get on a waiting list. But it’s nothing like the situation appears to be in Japan, where day care, or the lack of it, is cited as a major reason for that country’s aging population.

 “The HPV vaccine: Does it promote promiscuity or save lives?” is one of our featured health articles in our May edition. If you are a mom with a daughter, we would like to hear your opinion.

Have you had your child vaccinated? Do you plan to? Read the article, then go to our home page and scroll down a bit. You’ll see our poll in the left column, under Your Community.

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