Monday, October 22, 2007

How Quickly They Pick Stuff Up

Infants and toddlers are amazing in their ability to learn vast amounts in a small amount of time. Their vocab starts with just repeated monosyllabic sounds (da-da is often first) and then grows so fast that you can't keep up and next thing you know they are putting together sentences.

But vocabulary isn't the only thing they are picking up in 18 months. Check out this article from CNN. A mother of two young children had her kids tested for industrial chemicals in their blood and the results were rather unsettling. She speaks on her younger son's results; "He had two to three times the level of flame retardants in his body that's been known to cause thyroid dysfunction in lab rats."

How is that possible? Dr. Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City , speaks on the issue.
"Pound for pound, they eat more food, they drink more water, they breathe in more air... And so [children] carry a higher body burden than we do.

Rates of asthma, childhood
cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders have exponentially increased, and it can't be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we're being exposed to."

What can parents do? Do their best to reduce unnecessary plastics, food preservatives and chemical cleaners and try not to worry. Our children will still likely live long happy lives as the life expectancy rate has only been increasing over the last 150 years.

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