Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good News for SSRI Takers

The New England Journal of Medicine posted two studies today with the same overall conclusion: taking SSRIs during early pregnancy was not associated with increased risk in birth defects.

Between the two studies, 19,471 newborns with birth defects and 9,952 without them were observed. The first study states in it's conclusion,

"Our findings do not show that there are significantly increased risks of craniosynostosis, omphalocele, or heart defects associated with SSRI use overall. They suggest that individual SSRIs may confer increased risks for some specific defects, but it should be recognized that the specific defects implicated are rare and the absolute risks are small."

This is fantastic news for those taking SSRIs and contemplating pregnancy. Both mother and child can be healthy and happy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

From Comedies to Autism

Jenny McCarthy cracked us up when she wrote Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs, but now she's coming out with a new book this fall about autism. Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism comes out September 6th. Pictured here with Evan in Disneyland yesterday, looks like both are doing well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little William and the Wii

Doctors are holding off on listing Video-Game addiction as a mental disorder in the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual serves as a guide in diagnosing mental illness for the American Psychiatric Association. Some doctors are saying that video game addiction is similar to alcoholism in nature and that "in extreme cases it can interfere with day-to-day necessities like working, showering or even eating".

I don't doubt the truth to the statement, and certainly I agree with a later statement in the article that "
the more time kids spend on video games, the less time they will have socializing, the less time they will have with their families, the less time they will have exercising", which is obviously not ideal.

However, it makes me wonder how the video-gaming got that far in the first place. I know of a friend who's father insisted No Nintendo Till Nine while they were growing up. The kids had to eat dinner, get homework done and do chores first. His father later admitted that Nine was arbitrary and that he just liked the
alliteration, but the rule worked nonetheless.

In the end, doctors decided they need more studies, so they will reevaluate if it will go into the guide as an official disorder in 5 years. I'll be curious to see what they find!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sneaker-skate Warning

This week the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has decided to recommend helmets, wrist protectors and knee and elbow pads for children wearing hybrid sneaker skates. The most popular brand is called Heely's, they are simply sneakers with one week in the heel of the shoe. While I am all for safety, I think this is a little overstated. From this article it sounds like it may be a good recommendation while the kids are getting used to them initially, but the number of actual injuries is small.

From September 2005 through December 2006 at least 64 roller-shoe injuries were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Ok, so in 14 months, 64 reported injuries. Compare that to basketball injuries, where in one year nearly 200,000 children and adolescents ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries according to Children's Hospital Boston.

Safety is always always important, but I often get the feeling that these types of articles are just written to scare parents. Perhaps it is a slow news day, so they throw out a story about injuries and caution. Make sure your kids have the proper safety gear, and make sure they know how to keep themselves safe, and make sure you put statistics into perspective, otherwise we'd all go crazy worrying about children's safety.

Birth Order and IQ

A study coming from Norway's National Institute of Occupational Health and Norwegian Armed Forces Medical Services is in the AP news today. They are stating that according to their findings from following more than 240, 000 men that the first borns statistically score higher than second or third borns. The twist is that if raised as a first born, because the actual first born died at a very young age, the IQ was higher. It seems to be the social setting more than anything else, they write
"The older child benefits by having to organize and express its thoughts to tutor youngsters, he said, while the later children may have no one to tutor."

I have mixed thoughts on studies like this. When talking about birth order there are so many variables that could also play a large role, age of the mother at time of birth, number of years apart siblings are born, etc. What about an only child or twins? Or siblings born very close in age?

I'm waiting on more evidence.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Of People magazine's top 5 most read articles today, 3 are about celebs and their expanding families. One caught my eye; Keri Russell who was carrying her new little boy in a sling baby carrier. She appears to be still adjusting to using it. The reason the sling carriers are so great is that you can go hands free, but she still is supporting the little guy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Peanut Butter? Not for that guy!

I love love love peanut butter. If any of my kids ever develop an allergy to it, I don't know what I'd do. I was on an airplane once and they announced at the beginning of the flight to avoid eating anything with peanuts in it (you know how the air recirculates constantly) because we had someone on the plane with a severe peanut allergy. I was starving, but all I had was a peanut butter Nature Valley granola bar. I was good and managed to muster my way through the flight without it, but it makes you think about how bad those allergies can really be. Had they not made a special announcement, I would have likely eaten that granola bar and that person would have been in big trouble.... which brings me to Jeeto!

Jeeto! makes patches, stickers and tee shirts with cute cartoons alerting people of special allergies. Sew them onto your kids backpack and any literate adult will know what the deal is. Genius! Now, let's hope my kids never need 'em... because I'd miss my peanut butter banana sandwiches.

The Snozberries Taste Like Snozberries!

I never thought I'd see the day. Scented wallpaper! You got it, just don't let the little ones lick the walls of the nursery.

Flavor Paper out of New Orleans makes Scratch and Sniff wallpaper in a variety of scents so that you can get both visual and "olfactory satisfaction from your walls". Their Fruit Cocktail Collection includes papers named B-A-N-A-N-A-S, Cherry Forever and Tutti Frutti.

So if you are going to a charlie and the chocolate factory theme... check out

Slowing down... a nice change

I liked this idea. With soccer practice, ballet lessons, cub scouts and everything inbetween, it is nice to know that some schools are slowing down and introducing the concept of awareness and focusing on reducing stress in kids. I have a friend who's son would get so worked up about school projects he literally made himself sick. He couldn't eat or sleep normally, and he was only in 4th grade!
The article made some very interesting points, including:
- Parents and teachers tell kids 100 times a day to pay attention...but we never teach them how.
- If we can help children slow down and think, they have the answers within themselves

NYTimes article: