Postings for October 2010

Shot talkShot syringe
A major new study has found no link between early exposure to thimerosal — a preservative used in some vaccines — and autism. The study, carried out by 14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists and published in the journal Pediatrics, finds that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) actually had less exposure to thimerosal than did the children in the study who did not have an ASD. Read more at

Got bump?
Then get a flu shot! That’s the message from 10 leading national health organizations, which are urging doctors to advise pregnant women — and those planning to become pregnant — to have the flu vaccine. You only need one shot this year (last year, the CDC recommended two). Pregnant women are at an increased risk of suffering dangerous effects from an influenza infection.

Short-term mammary
Good news and bad news about breastfeeding from the CDC’s annual Breastfeeding Report Card: In 2007, 75 percent of the babies born started off on breast milk. There’s a bit of a letdown six months later, when only 43 percent are still nursing; at 12 months, that number deflates to 22 percent. Breast­feeding has been shown to benefit both baby and nursing mother; more about this is at

Mojo no-go
This just in from the University of No Duh: New mothers are just not that interested in having sex! A newly published review of nearly 50 studies finds that 83 percent of new mothers aren’t interested in sex three months after giving birth. But by six months after birth, nine out of 10 women are back to sexual activity. Reasons for the dry spell include . . . well . . . dryness and pain during intercourse, hormonal changes related to breastfeeding and a negative body image. The review is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (I know!); we’ll link to the story at

Innuendo no-go
You know those racy quips in some movies that “go right over” your kids’ heads? Turns out, they probably don’t. That’s according to a major new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The policy statement “Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media” paints a pretty ugly picture of what sexual messages in the media are teaching our kids: Exposure to these messages is a significant factor in a child’s intention to have sex. Read the full report — and find ideas for managing these messages — at

Sensory-friendly films

For kids with autism and other sensory disorders, going to a movie is a near impossibility. But two local AMC theaters — Kent Station and Woodinville — now have monthly “sensory-friendly” showings of first-run films. With the lights up, the sound down, and a welcoming attitude towards dancing, shouting and singing, these special showings may make it possible for some families to go to the movies together for the first time ever! Link to details at

Trick-or-treatersGreen Halloween
It’s one holiday that can be frightful for your kids’ health, your family’s budget — and even the planet — but you don’t have to let those boogeymen scare you! Check out, a website packed with ideas for keeping Halloween safe and healthy for all. Created by a local mom, it includes simple tips, downloadable materials, games, contests and more. Boo-tiful!

Fair Weather
One of our best events of the year is just days away: the ParentMap Education Fair! Join us as we present dozens of schools and education programs under one roof. Compare, ask questions, gather materials and mingle with PM staff and hundreds of like-minded parents. It’s free! The fair is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at Seattle’s Bell Harbor Conference Center; and on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center. More info is at See you there!

—Kristen Russell

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