Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Happy Family Dynamic = Healthier Children

February 27th, 2014 by KneeBees

Found on www.spring.org.uk , written by Jeremy Dean. We think its an interesting new study.

Image taken from http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Family Problems In Childhood Affect Brain Development

Childhood adversity experienced between ages 0-11 associated with a smaller cerebellum.

New research finds that those who experience relatively common family problems early in childhood have an increased risk of mental health issues later on.

The study is one of the first to look at relatively common family problems–typically mild to moderate in severity–and tie these up to changes in the brain’s development (Walsh et al., 2014).

Parents of 58 teenagers were asked about negative life events their children had experienced from birth to 11-years-old. The teenagers themselves reported any negative life events that had occurred in the last 12 months at 14- and 17-years-of-age.

Brain imaging data from the teenagers at between 17 and 19 found that those who had experienced problems in the early years, like significant tension between their parents or lack of affection, had a smaller cerebellum.

The cerebellum is an area of the brain associated with learning new skills and regulating stress, amongst other things.

This could be a marker of psychological problems later in life as a small cerebellum has been consistently linked to serious mental disorders.

The study’s lead author, Nicholas Walsh, explained:

“We show that exposure in childhood and early adolescence to even mild to moderate family difficulties, not just severe forms of abuse, neglect and maltreatment, may affect the developing adolescent brain. We also argue that a smaller cerebellum may be an indicator of mental health issues later on. Reducing exposure to adverse social environments during early life may enhance typical brain development and reduce subsequent mental health risks in adult life.”

One fascinating–and unexpected–finding was that children who experienced significant problems when they were around 14-years-old actually showed increased brain volumes at 17-19.

This finding suggests that mild stress early in adolescence could help build up resilience.

It may be that it is partly the timing of early stressors which determines the eventual outcome–we know from other studies that the brain has a sensitive period in the early years of life.

During the early years the brain is particularly vulnerable to stress and other disadvantageous circumstances.”

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

February 14th, 2014 by KneeBees

Image taken from http://sherrisreadingjubilee.blogspot.com

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Interim Rule for Infant Formula Released by FDA

February 7th, 2014 by KneeBees

Found on http://www.foodsafetynews.com.  Please, share with all who can use this information.

BY NEWS DESK | FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Image taken from http://www.foodsafetynews.com

“FDA Releases Interim Rule for Infant Formula

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released an interim final rule and draft guidance documents regarding the manufacturing standards of infant formula.

Only 75 percent of infants in the U.S. start out being breastfed and by age three months, two-thirds rely on infant formula for some portion of their nutrition. The rule is meant to ensure that formulas for infants without unusual medical or dietary problems are safe and support healthy growth.

The draft guidance documents issued alongside the interim final rule address how manufacturers can demonstrate that their products meet the quality factor requirements of the interim final rule and information about manufacturing formulas made for infants with unusual medical or dietary problems

“Many families rely on infant formula as either the sole source of nutrition or an integral part of an infant’s diet through 12 months of age,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “The FDA sets high quality standards for infant formulas because nutritional deficiencies during this critical time of development can have a significant impact on a child’s long-term health and well-being.”

The interim final rule amends the FDA’s quality control procedures, notification, and record and reporting requirements for manufacturers of infant formulas. It also establishes current good manufacturing practices and requires testing for Cronobacter and Salmonella contamination.

FDA says that companies currently manufacturing infant formula in the U.S. already voluntarily conduct many of the current good manufacturing practices and quality control procedures included in the rule.

The agency will be accepting comments from the public on issues or information not previously considered in the interim final rule.”

© Food Safety News

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A New Way to Look at Temper Tantrums!

February 6th, 2014 by KneeBees

Found on www.lifehack.org, written by Allison Renner.  A more positive way to approach a child’s temper tantrum.  What do you think?

Image taken from www.lifehack.org

” 5 Reasons Why You Should Thank Your Child For Their Tantrums

Temper tantrums are one of the most annoying and most embarrassing things your child can do. Next time your toddler is screaming, crying, and beating their arms and legs on the floor at the store, instead of getting frustrated, try to remember that tantrums aren’t all bad. Here are five reasons you should thank your child for his or her tantrums.

1. Thank you for speaking up when something’s not right.
Your child is throwing a tantrum because—to them—something’s not right. They’re unhappy with how something is going, and while this fussing may be out of line, considering you are the parent and they are the child, at least they are still speaking up. As your child grows older, they can funnel this trait into the more adult solutions of speaking up for the underdog, or not letting themself get passed over for promotions at work.

2. Thank you for living true to a child’s nature.
Children have tantrums. It’s a fact, and it’s going to happen. Yes, it’s extra embarrassing when it happens in public, or when you can’t calm your child down. But everyone knows that it’s normal. Children have tantrums, and your child is just being a kid. They’re exploring their emotions and trying to advance as well as they know how. If this means throwing tantrums to deal with their confusing feelings, then this is what they should be doing. They’re not going to be children forever, and they’re not going to throw tantrums forever. They are doing what they feel they should do now, so they can learn and grow and do differently in the future.

3. Thank you for forgiving us as parents and letting us try again.
Children don’t hold grudges. They love you, and then they get angry at something, but then love just as strongly in the next moment. It’s a beautiful occurrence and it can only happen while your child is so young and naive, exploring the emotions and ways of the world. Let your child throw their tantrum, and be there to hug them and reassure them when they’re done. You’ll forgive your child and they’ll forgive you, and you can both start again from scratch. Think of it this way: it’s way easier than it will be when it’s time to deal with surly teenagers!

4. Thank you for trying to express yourself.
Face it, at their age, toddlers don’t have a great vocabulary. They can’t tell you exactly what they’re feeling and why. Imagine trying to express yourself but having extremely limited abilities. It would be frustrating, right? And imagine the person you’re trying to explain it to just doesn’t get it. You’d want to cry, right? And flail about on the floor until you’re comforted and understood? Well, maybe you wouldn’t do that, but that’s the only way children know how to express themselves, so at least they are trying! As they continue to throw tantrums and gauge your reaction to this behavior, they’ll be more likely to adapt and try to express themselves in different ways.

5. Thank you for caring.
Kids will react just like adults do—if you care about something, you’re going to react passionately about it. If you don’t care, are you going to react at all? Probably not! Your child’s tantrum shows that he or she cares about something, whether it’s something as seemingly petty as not getting a new toy, to being left out of a game with siblings. You should be thankful that your child is engaged with the world around them. They’re listening to what’s going on and reacting to it, even if that reaction has to come out as a tantrum.”

 

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Happy 2014 New Year !!!

January 31st, 2014 by KneeBees

Image taken from www.wallsbot.com

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Tyson Chicken Recall !

January 13th, 2014 by KneeBees

Important information found on www.fsis.usda.gov, reported by news desk. Please, take note!

Image taken from http://www.foodsafetynews.com/

“Tyson Recalls Mechanically Separated Chicken in Salmonella Outbreak

Tyson Foods is recalling 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The products are being recalled after being connected to Salmonella illnesses at a Tennessee correctional facility where the chicken was served. Seven patients have been identified with Salmonella infection, including two who have required hospitalization.

The chicken was produced on Oct. 11, 2013, and packaged in 40-pound cases containing four 10-pound chubs of “TYSON MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN.”

The recalled products bear the establishment number “P-13556″ inside the USDA mark of inspection, with a case code of 2843SDL1412 – 18.

The recalled products were only shipped “for institutional use” nationwide and are not available for consumers to purchase at retail outlets.

The FSIS defines mechanically separated poultry as a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones with attached edible tissue through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue. Mechanically separated poultry has been used in poultry products since 1969. In 1995, a final rule on mechanically separated poultry said it would be used without restrictions. However, it must be labeled as “mechanically separated chicken or mechanically separated turkey” (depending on the kind of poultry used) in the ingredients statement. The final rule became effective November 4, 1996.”

Found on www.http://io9.com/  , written by Robert T. Gonzalez.   What do you think?  We are willing to try washing hands with cool water. Who knew such a tiny thing can influence our climate?

Photo by Petras Gagilas via flickr

“Sure it feels nice, but it’s no more effective (not at temperatures safe for humans, at least), and can actually irritate your skin. Plus, if you’re washing with hot instead of cool, newly published research says you’re actually contributing to global warming, too (womp womp).

A recent study conducted at Vanderbilt University concluded that Americans could save 6-million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year by washing their hands in cooler water; according to Smithsonian magazine, that’s about as much CO2 as the entire country of Barbados emits in the same period:

Amanda Carrico, the lead author on the paper, surveyed 510 people about their hand washing techniques and then estimated how much energy they were using. Most people—64 percent in the study—prefer to use hot water when washing. When you multiply that by the eight billion times Americans wash their hands each year, and how much energy it takes to heat that water, you wind up with a surprising amount of energy—0.1 percent of the total annual emissions of the United States.
“Although the perception that hot water is more hygienic is based in some factual evidence … there are few, if any, hygienic benefits of using warm or hot water to wash one’s hands,” Carrico and her colleagues write. “It is true that heat kills bacteria; however, the level of heat required to neutralize pathogens is beyond what is considered safe for prolonged human contact.”

“In addition to causing skin irritation, the recommendation to use an elevated temperature during handwashing contributes to another major threat to public health – climate change,” write the researchers in The International Journal of Consumer Studies. “Health and consumer protection organizations should consider advocating for the use of a ‘comfortable’ temperature rather than warm or hot water.”

One of my New Years’ resolutions just became washing with cool-not-hot water”

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We have stopped using antibacterial soaps years ago, mainly because we have heard the information we are about to share.  But it was not official then.  Well, it may be official in the near future.  We believe antibacterial soaps with certain ingredients (listed below)  do more harm then good, and are not safe to use, especially for children.  Found on http://www.businessweek.com , written by Anna Edney and Lauren Coleman-Lochner.

Source: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Half of Liquid Soaps Face Limits as U.S. Probes Anti-Germ Claims

New safety standards would affect as many as 2,000 soap products such as Henkel AG’s Dial, though many companies have already started phasing out triclosan, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ:US) and Lysol-maker Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. (RB/) The rules also won’t apply to hand sanitizers such as Purell, and the FDA stopped short of addressing mouthwash, cosmetics and cleaners.

“It’s prudent for the FDA to take a step back and actually do a more thorough evaluation,” said Tracey Woodruff, director of the reproductive health and the environment program at the University of California in San Francisco. It’s “potentially misleading to consumers who aren’t that knowledgeable about this in terms of whether it’s really doing what it’s supposed to.”

Chemicals like triclosan were never intended for mass consumer use. The product began to be used as a surgical scrub in the 1970s, before slowly becoming prevalent as an ingredient in everyday household products, from soap to toothpaste to germ-resistant sponges.

Defining Safe

The FDA is giving the public six months to comment on the proposal and an additional 60-day rebuttal period, with the standards taking effect one year after the rule is made final. The agency may have to prepare itself for a fight with the American Cleaning Institute, which cited two dozen studies that it said have shown the benefits of using antibacterial soap.

“We are perplexed that the agency would suggest there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are beneficial as industry has long provided data and information about the safety and efficacy,” the Washington-based lobbying group for the $30 billion U.S. cleaning-products industry said in a statement.

Kline & Co., a market researcher, estimates that about $900 million in liquid soaps were sold in U.S. retail in 2012, with about half labeled antibacterial. The FDA has never said whether triclosan, the main active ingredient, meets its standard for being “generally recognized as safe and effective.”

Market Effect

“It probably wouldn’t be an underlying big impact on the businesses if they’re forced to replace this,” said Ali Dibadj, a consumer-products analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. “The real question is, does this open up fear of using these products, period?”

J&J has said none of its baby-care products contain triclosan, and the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company plans to eliminate the ingredient from adult items by 2015. Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. (PG:US), the world’s largest consumer-products maker, has said it will remove the substance by next year. Reckitt said in October it plans to remove the ingredient from all U.S. products by the end of 2014.

Henkel, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, said in an e-mailed statement it “will work with the FDA to ensure we are able to continue providing consumers with the safe, effective and high-quality products they demand.”

2016 Deadline

The FDA first floated a plan in the 1970s to limit the use of triclosan and acted yesterday largely because of a lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The New York-based environmental advocacy group prodded the FDA to act specifically on triclosan, though after review, the agency proposed evaluating a wider array of chemicals.

The court-ordered deadline for the final rule is 2016. If companies haven’t provided data to support germ-killing claims by then, they will either have to remove the antibacterial ingredients or eliminate the claims from the products’ labeling.

The proposal is positive for consumers if companies reformulate the soaps to remove the chemicals in question, Wu said. If they choose only to relabel the product as a regular soap, allowing them to keep triclosan in the hand washes, consumers won’t be protected, she said.”

Please, read. This is important news for parents with very young children who are considering enrolling in daycare or preschool in the future. We found this on www.nydailynews.com.

 

Image taken from www.nydailynews.com

UPDATED: Board of Health Votes To Require Mandatory Flu Shots For Kids 

BY ERIN DURKIN

City kids under age 5 who attend daycares or pre-schools will be required to get annual flu shots after the Board of Health voted Wednesday to approve the mandate.
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The board, controlled by Mayor Bloomberg, unanimously signed off on his latest public health crusade – requiring the vaccine for tots as young as six months old.

The requirements will apply to about 150,000 kids, officials said.

City officials say the rules are necessary because young kids are especially vulnerable to catching and passing on the flu – and more likely to develop serious health complications if they do get it.

“Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of both contracting influenza as well as suffering severe complications including hospitalization and deaths,” said Dr. Jay Varma, a deputy health commissioner.

Some 167 kids died from the flu in the 2012-13 season, including 4 in New York City, he said.

The requirement will also protect adults because germy toddlers often spread the flu, he said.

The rules will apply to kids from six months to four years and 11 months who attend daycare centers and school-based programs. It doesn’t apply to kids who go to daycares housed in someone’s home because those are regulated by the state.

For the first year, health officials will only warn centers about the rules, but starting in December 2014 they will be subject to fines.

Opponents say it’s an unnecessary government intrusion on parents’ choices.

“The board here just decided preschool and daycare children in New York City are the only people in the state of New York now who have to get flu shots by law, which is somewhat absurd,” said John Gilmore, executive director of the Autism Action Network.

“I don’t think you could get any more authoritarian than that,” he said. “We think that they wildly exaggerate the benefits of the flu shot and they completely dismiss any potential risks.”

Opponents held a protest against the new rules on the City Hall steps Tuesday.

Varma said there’s no scientific basis for concerns about the safety of the vaccine.

“That is a constant struggle between the rights of people to determine what goes in and out of their body, but also those rights have limits to them of course when you’re dealing with infections which can be readily transmitted among people and lead to outbreaks,” he said. “Vaccination requirements are one area in which the health and benefit of the community trumps individual civil liberties.”

Other advocates support the requirement. “It will save lives,” said Richard Kanowitz, president of Families Fighting Flu, whose daugher Amanda died of the flu at age 4 in 2004. “It’s our belief that if she had been vaccinated she would be here today.””

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Plum Organics Recall!

November 14th, 2013 by KneeBees

We use Plum Organics brand fruit in pouches all the time. Very important recall, please spread the word. Found on www.huffingtonpost.com. 

“Plum Organics has announced a voluntary recall of some food products from its Baby Stage 2, Tots Mish Mash and Kids lines after discovering that a “manufacturing defect” may have led to swelling and spoilage.

The company released a statement that says recalled products have “‘Best By’ dates ranging from 08/05/14 (August, 5 2014) to 12/08/14 (December 8, 2014) and the letters ‘AT.’” Yahoo reported that nausea or diarrhea may occur if affected products have been consumed.

Anyone who has purchased the above products can call the Plum Organics Consumer Hotline at 866-495-3774 or email info@plumorganics.com asking for a replacement voucher.”

Below is the recall letter from the company with lot numbers in pdf format (just copy and paste the link in your browser window):

http://www.plumorganics.com/Nov13Recall.pdf