This month's postings, November 2009
SIDS and cosleeping
A new British study finds that more than half of sudden infant death (SIDS) cases occurred when the baby was sleeping with a parent. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, also found that in almost one-third of the SIDS cases, the parent was either drinking or using drugs before bed … and that SIDS was more likely to occur when sleeping on couches than in beds. The researchers recommend this warning to parents: Don’t cosleep after drinking or taking drugs, and don’t fall sleep on a couch with your baby.
Gardasil for boys
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil is effective in boys, according to an FDA advisory committee, which is recommending its approval. The vaccine has already been approved for use in girls, where it’s been shown to prevent cervical cancer. Tests show the drug is 89 percent effective in preventing genital warts in boys, who can carry HPV and pass it to their partners. It’s now up to the FDA to decide whether to act on that recommendation.
Tibia or not tibia
That is the question! Ever hold your little one on your lap while going down a slide? Better not! Turns out, nearly 14 percent of all child tibia fractures are caused by that very thing. "Many parents think it is actually safer to hold their toddler while going down a playground slide, but this study may prove otherwise," says orthopedic surgeon John T. Gaffney, whose study is in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Kids ages 14–32 months are getting hurt two ways: by getting their leg stuck against the slide on the way down (while the adult and child keep moving down the slide) or by getting their leg twisted, resulting in a torque. Ouch! I’m liking the view from the bottom of the slide just fine, thank you.
Asparagus? Spare me!
If you, too, shun the greens, you’re part of a growing problem. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that just 27 percent of adults in this county eat the recommended three servings of vegetables per day. And just about a third of us so-called grownups eat the two servings of fruit we’re supposed to. For a handy-dandy calculator to figure out how much rabbit food you should be eating, click here. Hey! Set a good example: Eat your veggies!
Wii love to shop
Like to buy stuff for your kids? So do millions of Americans, who burn through more than $500 billion in spending on their kids each year. Market research and consulting firm Smarty Pants asked kids what their fave brands are. The top 10 winners of 2009: Wii, Nintendo DS, Oreo, McDonald’s, M&M’s, Doritos, Nickelodeon, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Cheetos and Disney. Read the full list here. Bring on the orange cheeze powder!
—Kristen Russell Dobson