Tag Archives: children

Something mischievous? Who me? #blogdare

Something mischievous I did as a child…

Oh to choose just one instance is something I am finding to be quite difficult.

There was a time when I was probably about five years old. I dressed my little brother up as a girl in a turquoise one-piece swim suit, sunglasses, a sunhat and I believe there was a tutu or skirt involved and I named him Tina.

There is a two year age difference between my brother and I so he would have been three when this happened.

My Mom has a photo somewhere to document this event and I wish I had it now although if I posted it on this site my brother would most assuredly hunt me down and torture me.

Ah the joy of childhood.

Make lunch time fun

Sifting through e-mails I came across Found It.Loved It. from DivineCaroline and they posted about different things you can use at meal times with yourself or your family to make things a little bit more fun and thereby a bit more healthy.

What you see pictured here is one of their finds which I thought was cute and would also be helpful. They are called Keep Cups. The cups come in three sizes; small, medium and large. They all have lids and they can each fit in any cup holder which is very helpful if you have kids and are on the go a lot. The cups are made for hot things like coffee or soup, but I can see other dry cereal type uses for them as well. The small cup is priced at $12.

When I pack Braeden’s lunch I always write a little note to tell him I love him and hope he has a great day. His sandwich container has a plastic space on the lid where I can insert post-it note sized paper. There are lunchbox note papers you can buy or look at for ideas like these: PenPal Notes:Educational Lunch Box Notes – Tej and the Big Cats.

I absolutely love Bento boxes thanks to a friend of mine. And I found this super awesome Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar, which I think any child or adult would like. You can fill it with surprises and it keeps the food separated. Braeden hates when his food touches! Because this jar is made of stainless steel you can keep food hot or cold without trouble. I admit this particular one is a hefty investment and wouldn’t be practical for a child’s lunch at school, but it would be perfect for a trip to the beach.

For more fantastic lunch box ideas you should buy this book, The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox: Easy and Exciting Ideas for Your Child’s Lunches it has great pictures and is filled with fun ideas for making lunch special.

Health tips for “Natural Moms”

I have noticed while watching Lifetime TV there are more and more commercials for holistic healing and alternative healing products. I’m definitely a fan of trying a more natural approach with myself and my kids. And I do have the Sinupret from Bionorica which helps children nreathe easier with sinus, respiratory and immune support that’s safe, natural, and effective.

It’s always great to look around, grab more resources and find out safe ways to help your children feel better.

Bionorica, the world’s leading maker of clinically-proven natural remedies, today released a new educational resource for parents interested in natural health products for their families. A tip sheet on “Selecting Safe and Effective Natural Remedies for Children,” the second in an ongoing “Natural Moms” series, is now available on the company’s website.

Parents can sign up on the website for a free e-subscription to these Natural Moms tip sheets, with content contributed by pediatrician Robert “Dr. Bob” Sears, MD, co-author of the Sears Parenting Library and other best-selling titles for parents. In the months ahead, the Bionorica website will offer a “Natural Moms Corner” with webinars featuring well-known natural health practitioners, additional tip sheets, and other resources and information on topics related to family health and wellness.

“More and more people are looking for safe, gentle, all-natural products, especially for their kids,” said Dr. Sears. “Yet, many mainstream physicians don’t know enough about natural remedies to recommend them to their patients. Parents and doctors should be assured that there are high-quality, clinically-proven, plant-based remedies now available in the U.S. This tip sheet will guide parents on how to select them.”

Children are starving

There are 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world today.
There are 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world today.
Right now, 1 in 6 people around the world don’t have enough to eat. That number is skyrocketing, up 20% since 2005. In July, the G8 pledged $22 billion in new funding to combat hunger. But they still haven’t followed through on that commitment.

Every day, nearly 16,000 children die from hunger related causes. We have the power to save those children. Already, there is more than enough food in the world to feed the 1/6 of our population that is hungry. We just need our world leaders to respect their pledges and commit to a global hunger eradication plan.

It is a tragic reality that the United States, one of the richest nations in the world, is also plagued with a poverty-driven hunger crisis. The statistics tell the troubling story. In 2005:

* 37 million people (12.6%) were in poverty

* 12.9 million (17.8%) children under the age of 18 were in poverty

* 20.5 million (11.3%) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty

* 3.6 million (10.1%) seniors 65 and older were in poverty, an increase from 3.5 million in 2004.

(Carmen DeNavas-Walt, B. Proctor, C. Lee. U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Heath Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005)

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 38 million people in our nation – 13.9 million of them children – live in households that suffer from hunger or live on the edge of hunger. This hunger and “food insecurity” are far too widespread in our wealthy society. Hunger in the United States is a problem that can be cured.

Hunger reduces a child’s ability to learn, decreases a worker’s productive energy, and weakens an elderly person’s resistance to disease. It weakens families, and prevents our nation from reaching its full potential.

The Campaign to End Childhood Hunger is a movement of people from all walks of life and vocations whose common mission is ending hunger among our children.

The Campaign is ensuring that children from families with low incomes are getting the food they need to be healthy and productive. Coordinated nationally by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the Campaign is being waged by hundreds of citizen groups across the country.

Poverty is at the core of the world hunger crisis. The regions across the world that are subjected to extreme poverty conditions are at more risk to have their terrible situation exacerbated by outside forces such as natural disasters and war/conflict, thereby further deepening their difficult situation.

“In short, the poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.”
World Food Programme

Antibiotic resistance is happening everywhere

Biofilms are everywhere – in dental plaque and ear canals, on contact lenses and in water pipelines – and the bacteria that make them get more resilient with age, finds a new study in FEMS Microbiology Letters.

Because bacteria in biofilms resist antibiotics, the study may have long-term implications for medical researchers seeking to develop better drugs and less infection-prone devices.

Biofilms are bacterial cities clinging to a surface. In addition to aiding infections, they can hamper industrial processes by clogging pipelines and gumming up machinery.

And as the study shows, biofilms may hold lessons for scholars of evolution.

Authors Steven Finkel and Alison Kraigsley of USC College found evidence of natural selection in a single-species bacterial biofilm. Finkel is associate professor of molecular biology. Kraigsley is a graduate student in Finkel’s group.

“The bacteria that originally formed the biofilm are not the same as the bacteria that we harvest from that same biofilm later,” Finkel said. “The mutants we find are more fit than the original founding strain.”

The biofilm experiment is a variation on the Finkel group’s best-known work: their studies of how starvation of microbes in a closed environment leads to the emergence of a dominant type of cells known as GASP mutants, for Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase.

GASPers, as Finkel calls them, outcompete bacteria from younger cultures. The key is not the age of individual microbes but the age of the culture they come from: young offspring of GASPers exhibit the same dominance as their parents.

Our five-year-old has chronic sinus infections, one of the specialists he has recently seen said the mucous might be resistant to antibiotics. We’ll hopefully be finding this out within the next couple of weeks.

The FDA says bacteria becoming resistant is a real threat.

“Bacteria and other microorganisms that cause infections are remarkably resilient and can develop ways to survive drugs meant to kill or weaken them.”

Although their page devoted to this topic has not been updated in several year.

I am sure by now you have heard about MRSA or more scientifically know as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria is resistant to antibiotics and is common worldwide. In recent years many countries have recorded MRSA infections in healthy people who had not been hospitalised or stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the previous year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 95,000 people in the United States developed serious MRSA infections in 2005 (the latest data available).

While the CDC cannot say how many children were infected, the agency reported the greatest increase in hospital visits were among those under 18 during an eight-year period ending in 2005.

I believe more and more of these types of strains will be developing at a rapid pace for years to come. And I specifically see this becoming more and more of an issue with young children which makes me incredibly sad.

Anne Buboltz, a postdoctoral fellow in veterinary and biomedical sciences at Penn State, explains that “antibiotic resistance is a natural result of evolutionary pressures.” Just as animals evolve to evade predators or survive in harsh climates, bacteria evolve to withstand the things that threaten them-and these include antibiotics. “Bacteria with an antibiotic resistance gene can survive where non-resistant bacteria do not,” says Buboltz. These survivors then reproduce, and the resistant strain becomes more common.

Have we unwittingly forced this natural process into overdrive? Buboltz believes so, noting, “The widespread use of antibiotic drugs creates a greater force of selection for bacteria with antibiotic-resistant genes.” And that use is on the rise. Some of the increase is due to other miracles of modern medicine: many diseases that used to be deadly can now be treated with transplants or chemotherapy, and as ill patients live longer, they often require long and repeated courses of antibiotics.

We’ll see how it all turns out.

Vaccine, search for truth continues

February 2009 turned out to be a month when vaccine science was put on trial in the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C., in mainstream media and on the internet, in the British Medical Journal and in vaccine safety research initiatives by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The month began with a Feb. 6 CBS-TV news report on new information released by NVIC on serious Gardasil risks, which was followed within 48 hours by a highly orchestrated and very well publicized transatlantic attack on MMR vaccine researcher Andrew Wakefield, M.D. in preparation for a Feb. 12 public announcement by the U.S. Court of Claims denying federal compensation to three children, who regressed into autism after MMR vaccination. The same day that three autistic children were denied federal compensation in the U.S., the British Medical Journal published a Cochrane Collaboration analysis revealing that influenza vaccine studies are more likely to be published in medical journals and rated highly if they are funded by pharmaceutical companies, even when the vaccine studies are of poor quality.

Finally, it is a hopeful sign that at the end of February a joint statement was signed by a diverse group of vaccine stakeholders who met in Salt Lake City Feb. 20-21, 2009 to discuss national vaccine safety research priorities. Assisted by expert facilitators from The Keystone Center, the CDC sponsored Vaccine Safety Writing Group included federal and state public health officials, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, immunologists, vaccine developers, health policy analysts, child vaccine advocates and representatives from vaccine safety and autism groups including NVIC, SafeMinds and Autism Speaks.

The vaccine stakeholder group stated that the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) should “charge an expert panel with evaluating study designs for research on the impact of the standard schedule of vaccination on an array of health outcomes of significant public interest. This draft charge is responsive to issues raised at community meetings in Alabama, Oregon and Indiana as well as the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee request for collaboration with the National Vaccine Program Office.”

On March 16, 2009 from 9 to 5 p.m. at the Hubert Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., the National Vaccine Advisory Committee will hold an open public meeting for citizens to discuss the government’s draft vaccine safety research agenda. To register to attend, contact Kirsten Vannice at: Kirsten.vannice@hhs.gov. To join the meeting via telephone or by webscast, go to this website.

SOURCE: National Vaccine Information Center

Wonderful grant news for Curing Kids Cancer

Curing Kids’ Cancer today awarded the annual Killian Owen Research Grant to the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

$80,000 was donated to the Aflac Cancer Center’s Clinical Research office in memory of Killian Owen, who lost his battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2003 at the age of nine after a four year battle with the disease. Killian is the inspiration for the charity Curing Kids’ Cancer.

“It is virtually impossible to explain how valuable Curing Kids’ Cancer is to the children of Atlanta and the surrounding southeastern region,” states Dr. William G. Woods, Director of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “Philanthropic entities like Curing Kids’ Cancer make it possible for our staff of physicians and nurses to fight pediatric cancer and get kids back to being kids.”

Curing Kids’ Cancer has two national grassroots fundraising programs — Coaches Curing Kids’ Cancer and Teachers Curing Kids’ Cancer. Both programs urge parents and children to donate money to pediatric cancer research in the name of their coach or teacher rather than buying them traditional gifts.

Inspired by nine-year-old Killian Owen’s battle with leukemia, Curing Kids’ Cancer Inc. is a unique, national grassroots movement which aims to raise both awareness and money to find cures for all types of childhood cancer.