Child Health & Safety News 8/20: Traces of Herbicide in Cheerios

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Safety News: Google is Tracking Android and iPhone Users – even with ‘Location History’ Turned Off – here is how to disable this…

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 20 events & stories.

  • When healthy children die: Pediatricians are not superhumans 2018-8-19
  • Report finds ‘worrisome’ levels of lead, arsenic in some baby foods (infant rice cereal & mashed sweet potatoes) if eaten daily 2018-8-19
  • Parents in prison: The child health crisis no one is talking about 2018-8-19
  • The Subtle Beauty of Child Development: What is Lost When We Push Too Hard 2018-8-18
  • At a Glance: 3 Types of Self-Control Issues for Special Needs Kids 2018-8-18
  • Back to School: Tips to keep your child healthy this school year 2018-8-18

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
Report Finds Traces of a Controversial Herbicide in Cheerios and Quaker Oats
Glyphosate declared probably carcinogen by WHO in 2015

  • New integrated child health system goes live in Wales Every child in Wales will have an active care record…and doctors will be able to access info about their health – past and present 2018-8-17
  • Why it’s important for kids to get a comprehensive eye exam as they head back to school? 2018-8-17
  • PetSmart Charities Grant Expands Pet Therapy Program at Children’s National More than 9,000 kids expected to benefit. 2018-8-17
  • How To Learn in the Age of Information Overload – Today’s Mama 2018-8-16
  • 76 Percent of Parents Concerned For Children’s Online Safety 2018-8-16
  • Child development: What to expect at each age 2018-8-15
  • Can Too Much Tech Cause ADHD Symptoms in Your Child? 2018-8-15
  • Here’s why safety is more important than style when choosing a child’s backpack, and here’s what to look for… 2018-8-15
  • Motorcycle Club delivers toys and smiles to children at two local hospitals 2018-8-13
  • ADHD Isn’t the Only Reason Kids Are Hyper 2018-8-14
  • 8 Discipline Techniques That Make Behavior Problems Worse 2018-8-14
  • Study raises concerns about young Muay Thai fighters and brain injuries. Some fighters are starting as young as 4 years old 2018-8-13

Thank you readers for your patience during our extended maintenance shut-down

Why You Need to Stop Giving Energy and Sports Drinks to Kids

First let’s differentiate between these two popular drinks. Sport drinks have water, sodium, potassium and sugar (among other things), while energy drinks include caffeine or other stimulants. For the most part, after moderate exercise, only water needs to be replaced and free access to water is key to training athletes. While large amounts of water can be lost in highly trained athletes, younger children will probably not lose an exceptional amount of anything, and water is the only thing necessary. Even in adult trained athletes, the amount of sodium and potassium lost through sweating is probably negligible; again water is the vital component needing replacement.

Also included in these drinks is a significant amount of calorie- containing sugars; highly trained athletes who have depleted their sugar resources might benefit from this addition as an immediate energy boost, but in younger children and non-training athletes, this only adds to the sugar intake and can contribute to childhood obesity and dental cavities. These same stimulants can be found in coffee and colas, also to be avoided in younger children.

The use of stimulants in children probably has more unwanted side effects than the possibility of any positive effects. Jitteriness, poor sleep, elevated blood pressure, and increased risk of dehydration through the diuretic effects of caffeine and other stimulants, can be just a few of these negative effects. Depending on the quantities consumed, it can even lead to cardiac irregularities with other potentially serious consequences resulting from that

Unfortunately, these products are promoted in every form of advertising by highly popular athletes in high profile positions and many parents have gotten the idea to have these drinks readily available for their children. Children may actually prefer this substitute fluid in place of other drinks during meals and other snack times. Milk and some juices are still important to the growing, developing child and should not be forgotten. By far the most important ingredient remains water and parents should promote it as the primary source of fluid intake.

Energy or health bars create the same dilemmas for parents and children and may also contain sugar, stimulants, fats, and vitamins and minerals that may not be appropriate for children or may be over the daily recommended intake for children since most are developed for adults.

Always read the labels carefully

Know How To Raise Your Child to Be Patient and Have Self Control?

Preschoolers aren’t exactly known for their patience and self-control. Have you ever counted how many times a day your young child says, “mom” or “dad” followed by some sort of question or request? Although preschoolers are still learning skills like patience, research is teaching us that how we interact with them may help them learn these lessons.

In a recent study, researchers followed children and their families from the time they were 7 months old until they were 4.5 years old. They wanted to delve deep into how the relationship between parents and children developed early in a child’s life.

Then, at 4 years of age, the children were asked to complete several tasks which assessed their skill at self-regulation. This included tasks that required patience, deliberation and restraint—all tasks that tend to still be difficult for young children.

What the researchers found was fascinating. Children who had close, mutually responsive relationships with their parents (particularly mothers), were more likely to regulate themselves better. They showed more restraint, patience and self-control. Not surprisingly, families with close relationships also used forced discipline less. In other words, in the context of a mutually responsive relationship, forceful discipline is not needed because the children respond to more subtle tactics.

You may wonder what it is about a responsive relationship that helps kids learn self-regulation better. The “old school” model of parenting would have parents force submission of kids by demand and physical force in some cases. Why does a mutually responsive relationship seem to work better?

It all comes down to trust.

Once a child feels that their parent understands their needs, will strive to meet them, and respects their feelings, a certain level of trust develops between parent and child. When this trust is firmly established, the child is much more likely to comply with the parents requests, even if it is difficult, because they trust that what the parent tells them is in their own best interest.

Children in these close relationships respond quickly to parents requests without the threat of force because they have come to trust in their parents’ care and respect for them. This is very important news in light of the well-publicized study of spanking in which many parents were found to spank their children for seemingly minor misbehaviors. Years of research has shown that exposure to this type of forceful discipline (i.e., corporal punishment) actually has the opposite of its intended effect—children tend to comply less and begin to show even more disruptive behavior.

Forceful discipline essentially breaks down the relationship of trust that otherwise could be established between parents and children. Forced compliance through tactics like spanking robs children of the skills they need to learn to regulate themselves.

Helping children learn to self-regulate is one of the major parenting goals in the early years of parenting. That, however, does not mean that it is easy. What this research reminds us is that self-regulation does not develop in a vacuum, but in the context of a supportive, responsive relationship. Every time parents are patient, responsive and kind, they are laying the foundation for a harmonious relationship that will reap benefits for you and your child years later.

Is There a Cure For Common Baby Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is the greasy, yellow scaly patches that sometimes appear on the scalps of young babies.

It is common, harmless and doesn’t usually itch or cause discomfort. Do not pick at the scales as this can cause an infection.

Cradle cap is not contagious and is not caused by poor hygiene or an allergy.

It usually appears in babies in the first two months and clears up without treatment within weeks to a few months.

What does cradle cap look like?

Cradle cap is easy to recognise by the large, greasy, yellow or brown scales on your baby’s scalp.

The scales flake and may make the affected skin look red. Sometimes the hair will come away with the flakes, but it will grow back.

It usually occurs on the scalp but can also affect the face, ears, neck, nappy area and armpits, and behind the knees.

Treatment for cradle cap

Most cases of cradle cap clear up on their own without the need for treatment within weeks to a few months.

Tips to help reduce the build-up of scales on the scalp:

  • regular washing of the scalp with a baby shampoo, followed by gentle brushing with a soft brush to loosen scales.
  • soften the scales with baby oil first, followed by gentle brushing, and then wash off with baby shampoo.
  • soak the crusts overnight with white petroleum jelly, or vegetable or olive oil, and shampoo in the morning.

If these methods don’t work, speak to your pharmacist about using a greasy emollient or soap substitute, such as emulsifying ointment.

There is usually no need to see your GP (*pediatrician) if your baby has cradle cap. However, you may want to ask them for advice if there is swelling to the scalp or if the cradle cap spreads to other parts of the body.

Special shampoos

You can buy special shampoo for cradle cap from a pharmacy. Always read the instruction leaflet to check it’s safe to use on your child.

Avoid getting the shampoo in your baby’s eyes. If you’re unsure about using it, speak to a pharmacist for advice.

Treating an infection

If these home treatments don’t lead to any improvement, your doctor may recommend an antifungal cream.

A mild steroid cream may also be recommended in some cases where the baby has a nappy rash.

When to see your GP (*Pediatrician)

Picture of baby with cradle capSpeak to your GP if your baby’s cradle cap:

  • itches
  • swells
  • bleeds
  • spreads to the face or body

What causes cradle cap?

It’s not clear what causes cradle cap, although it may be linked to:

  • high levels of an oily substance called sebum on affected areas
  • a reaction to a yeast called malassezia on the skin

Cradle cap is a type of seborrhoeic dermatitis, a common irritation that affects oily skin in children and adults.

Editor’s Note: * Clarification Provided for our U.S. Readers

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