Amazing new finding on helping preemies! –
A major international study that involved 312 babies from Aotearoa New Zealand has led to life-saving changes in the care of premature babies around the world. Findings from the Australian Placental Transfusion Study (APTS), taken together with data from similar trials, showed that simply waiting 60 seconds after birth to clamp a premature baby’s umbilical cord dramatically improves its chances of survival. This week, the University of Sydney-led study – which involved New Zealand researchers – won the prestigious Australian Clinical Trials Alliance Clinical Trial of the Year award presented by the Australian Minister of Health.
Source: NZ babies in study that showed waiting a minute can save premature babies’ lives | New Zealand Doctor
Why pollution matters even to our littlest ones! –
Shutting down coal and oil power plants has been linked with a drop in premature births by a new study. The closure of eight power plants in California prompted researchers to examine the impact this had on births in the surrounding community.
They found the year following the shutdown of each plant saw a decline in the rate of premature births in the local area – an effect that was particularly pronounced in African American and Asian women. Lead author of the study, Dr Joan Casey of the University of California, Berkeley, said she was “excited to do a good news story in environmental health”.
“Most people look at air pollution and adverse health outcomes, but this is the flip side.
Source: Closing coal and oil power plants leads to healthier babies being born, finds study | The Independent
Another reason to get your little ones out and about! –
Not encountering the right germs during the first year of life may be one of the main causes of the most common form of childhood leukaemia. Mel Greaves, at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, has suggested that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia could be prevented by priming infants’ immune systems by exposing them to harmless microbes.
In a review of more than 30 years of research, Greaves has concluded that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is most likely triggered by a variety of infections in children who are predisposed to the disease because their immune systems have not been properly primed.
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is rare, affecting around one in 2000 children in the UK a year. It is more common in affluent societies, and a wide range of possible triggers have been proposed, from radiation exposure to chemical pollutants. But Greaves thinks the condition is caused by a two-step process of genetic changes that lead children to have abnormally formed immune systems.
Source: Babies should mix with other children to lower leukaemia risk | New Scientist
Oh no! That’s one less excuse…! –
Expectant mother Sam Lawry is sick of being told she’s “eating for two”. The Canberra midwife is 22 weeks pregnant with her first child and very aware of the risks of gaining too much weight before childbirth.
But new research from the University of Canberra has de-bunked the common perception that pregnancy is a trigger for long-term weight gain in women. The findings, contradicting years of previous study, surprised even lead author Professor Deborah Davis. “It was a shock because what we experience as women seems to be…you’ve got two kids but you also have an extra 10 kilos hanging around,” Professor Davis said. “We blame babies for our pelvic floors and the like, but it seems we can’t blame them for this.”
The study, which sampled more than 8000 Australian women over a 16-year-period, found the two factors that put women most at risk of weight gain were depression and not having a paid job, regardless of income. Women who had had five babies or more were significantly heavier than other women in the study but, once factors such as education and socioeconomic status were taken into consideration, Professor Davis said the difference was not statistically significant.
Source: Having babies doesn’t make you fat, according to new research
Why plastic pollution has to stop now –
1. Conventional Plastic Is Made From Fossil Fuels
The vast majority of scientists agree that the primary driver of global climate change is the burning of fossil fuels. And guess what? “Almost all plastics are made from fossil fuels, often by the same companies that produce oil and gas,” Dr. David Suzuki writes. The production of plastic uses around 8 percent of the world’s oil production.Suzuki notes, “We don’t have to stop using fossil fuels and producing fossil-fuel-derived plastics overnight, but we can’t continue to regard the industry as the backbone of our economies and ways of life, and we must stop being so wasteful.”
2. We’ve Thrown Away Most of the Plastic Ever Made
Since the 1950s, when plastic production started to take off, more than 9 billion tons of plastic have been generated, distributed and discarded. Climate News Network explains, “Of that waste, only 9 percent has been recycled, 12 percent incinerated and 79 percent of what is essentially indestructible man-made material is either in landfill or polluting the environment.”
The three ways we get rid of plastic has its own problems. When it sits in a landfill, harmful chemicals used to produce plastics such as BPA can leach into our groundwater. As for the small amount that gets incinerated, burning the plastic is a major source of air pollution and thus harmful to human health. And while recycling is always encouraged, not only is the process energy intensive, plastics (for now) are not infinitely recyclable. As ScienceNews explained, when plastics break down, they usually break down into molecules that can’t be easily reshaped into plastics or other useful items without going through many different chemical processes.
3. Oceans Have Become a Dumping Ground for Plastic Waste
An estimated 8 million tons of plastics leaches into the oceans each year. The material can be found in the deepest ocean trenches or circulating around and around the world’s five gyres, where it can potentially entangle, choke or kill aquatic life.
Source: 5 Things to Know About Plastic Pollution and How to Beat It
Such a helpful list! –
So what’s changed in the last few decades since your mom had a baby?
1. Car seats stay rear facing for longer.
Since 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised keeping car seats rear facing until the child is 2 years old, instead of the previous milestone at 1. “Facing forward, there’s more stress on the neck when the car lurches forward in an accident,” Slade said. “So rear facing helps prevent more serious neck injuries.
2. A safe sleep environment is important.
While the “Back to Sleep” campaign started in 1994 to raise awareness of the importance of putting infants to sleep on their backs, Slade said these days, there is added emphasis on a safe sleep environment: no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or bumpers in cribs. Additionally, the drop-side crib has been banned in the U.S. since 2011.
3. No alcohol on the umbilical cord.
While parents were once instructed to pour alcohol on the umbilical cord to help it fall out, studies show that keeping the cord dry is better for healing. “While the umbilical cord is still attached, it’s recommended for babies to have a sponge bath only,” said George, who added that babies don’t need to be bathed every day, but every two to three days.
4. No baby powder.
The AAP recommends against using baby powder. “No matter how careful you are with it, it gets up in the air and the baby can inhale it, which opens them up to respiratory problems and infections,” Slade said.
Source: 10 things that have changed since your mom had a baby – Chicago Tribune
Nothing beats the sound of mummy’s voice! –
When they were played recordings of their mothers reading children’s books, babies in the NICU slept better and woke up less often, according to a new abstract presented at this week’s annual meeting for Sleep Medicine hosted by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
“In the hospital, we take care of babies who are not in their usual environment, which can hinder their ability to have normal sleep,” says lead author Renée Shellhaas, M.D., M.S., a pediatric neurologist at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“Even though we do our best to make the ICU as quiet an environment as possible, there are hospital disruptions that are unavoidable. Alarms, monitors, ventilators, bedside care and even just the building’s heating and cooling noises may be disruptive. We designed this study to see how the sound environment in the NICU potentially influences sleep and to see if there are relatively simple interventions that may make a difference.”
“What we found was that babies in the NICU were more likely to stay asleep when the recordings of their mothers’ voices played than they were without them.”
Source: Mom’s Voice May Help Babies Sleep Better in the NICU
India turned their hosting of this year’s World Environment Day into far more than a symbolic act when it announced plans Tuesday to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022, UN Environment reported.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day was “Beat Plastic Pollution,” and India’s decision could be a “game-changing” part of that effort, since it is home to 1.3 billion people and is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, head of U.N. Environment news and media Keith Weller told CBS.
“This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India,” Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said in the press release. “India has made a phenomenal commitment and displayed clear, decisive and global environmental leadership. This will inspire the world and ignite real change.”
The announcement was officially made by Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who touted it as a way to “achieve the India of our dreams.”
Source: India Announces ‘Game-Changing’ Single-Use Plastics Ban
Always read those labels! –
Latanya T. Benjamin, MD, medical director of pediatric dermatology at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, doesn’t advise it. “There are many chemicals that a child could potentially absorb or have an adverse reaction to,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle in a previous interview.One ingredient particularly worth being wary of is p-Phenylenediamine, an organic compound found in many hair dyes, also known as PPD. “PPD can trigger an allergic response to anyone at any time,” Benjamin explains. “A person can be sensitive to color at any point in life. Therefore, there is no safe age to start experimenting without prior patch testing to chemical ingredients.”
Colorist Maddison Cave of Rita Hazan Salon in New York City gives parents an alternative for a safer hair dyeing experience when it comes to children. She advises starting out with highlights or a sectioned pop of color on kids. “It’s a technique that doesn’t require color to touch the scalp,” she says. “Most color has ammonia or peroxide, so it is best to do color in the salon with good ventilation and off-the-scalp application.”
Semi-permanent colors, however (which could even be what Willow has on her locks), are also safe options, as they usually don’t contain ammonia — though the dye job won’t last as long. Although experts agree it’s always best to do a patch test before proceeding with hair coloring.
Source: P!nk’s daughter has purple hair
A ban in Queensland on supermarket plastic bags will finally be implemented at the end of the month. Chile’s already several steps ahead! Come on Queensland! –
Chile is set to become the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags to help protect the environment and especially the ocean. Congress unanimously approved the measure on Wednesday. The bill was initially designed to outlaw plastic bags in Patagonia, but was later extended nationwide. President Sebastian Piñera celebrated the news. “We have taken a fundamental step to take better care of Chile and the planet. Today we are more prepared to leave a better planet to our children, grandchildren and the generations to come,” he tweeted Wednesday.
Source: Chile to Become First Country in the Americas to Ban Plastic Bags
Why pollution matters, and has a huge effect even on our littlest ones! –
Alzheimer’s Disease may begin far earlier than we thought. A study has found that living in cities with high air pollution puts children younger than even one-year-old at risk for Alzheimer’s.Researchers led by Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, a professor in the department of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Montana, examined the autopsies of 203 residents of Mexico City and published their findings in Environmental Research. The respondents’ age ranged from 11 months to 40 years.
Medical News Today defines Alzheimer’s disease as a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. The researchers specifically looked at levels of two abnormal proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease — hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid. Many of the bodies displayed heightened levels of these two proteins in the brain, even in children less than a year old. Evidence of early signs of Alzheimer’s disease was found in 99.5% of the subjects examined.These results stress how important it is to reduce air pollution, Calderón-Garcidueñas told Newsweek in an interview. While some disease risk factors are not modifiable, such as genetic disposition, air pollution is.
Source: Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms found in 11-month-old babies in polluted cities | health | Hindustan Times
Why how even natural ingredients are treated and processed before they get to you is so important! Getting to know the people who make the products you buy is key –
Investigators have begun to answer a growing consumer concern: How are toxic chemicals called phthalates (THAL-eights) getting into cheese and other dairy products?
A new report released today by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging may provide answers that won’t make cows, farmers, or consumers happy. The first-of-its-kind report confirms that some plastic and rubber farm equipment used to milk cows still contains these hormone-disrupting chemicals.
“Shockingly, the most toxic phthalate DEHP is still used in food processing, even though it’s banned in Europe and in children’s toys,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center. “With the U.S. Food & Drug Administration failing to act, it’s up to manufacturers to phase out all remaining uses of phthalates in order to protect dairy farmers and their customers.”
Source: Cows won’t like this, and neither will you: New report finds farm equipment may be source of toxic chemicals in food