Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do We Need To Burst The Safety Bubble and Give Me An "I" For Injury: Relevant News Flash (8:7)

Safety in the news:

  • Keeping our kids safe, and what extents we should go to are hot topics in parenting circles. But, in eradicating the dangers on our playgrounds, are we creating other unintended consequences? An editorial in the Wall Street Journal recently asserts that our obsession with safety is playing into our childhood obesity epidemic.
  • Families and child advocates are celebrating the passage of the toy safety law. President Bush signed the bill into law this week, which also infuses funds into the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for enforcement.
  • Recently the FDA declared that the concern about BPA was unfounded, and will hold a hearing next month to discuss consumer concerns.
  • Tummy time can be a bit nerve wracking for a paranoid new parent; however, researchers urge parents not to avoid it, since it is essential to normal infant development, they say.
  • Maybe it's the skirts, but cheerleading has really never gotten it's due when it comes to acknowledging the athleticism of the sport. In fact, it's also the most dangerous sport for girls and young women when one factors the rate of injuries. I, myself, am one of the legion of former cheerleaders who was injured, which was my one and only ambulance ride as an youth, thankfully. Because it is not taken as seriously, perhaps sometimes the safety guidelines and procedures are not as assiduously followed as in other sports. This was certainly the case in my experience, as our faculty coach was almost never present at our practices, and wasn't the day of my injury. A risk to be aware of if your daughters are interested in joining the squad.
  • If you have a gun safe, be aware of the risks and take precautions to prevent young children from becoming locked inside, as happened to three young boys in a Texas sporting goods store recently.
  • This young couple was probably a candidate for "The Baby Borrowers." When they were stopped their 4 week old infant was not strapped into the car seat, and they had taped the pacifier to the baby's mouth!

Issues of access:

  • This may come as news to many Little League parents, but written into the bylaws of the organization by the founder is the encouragement NOT to charge fees of participants, so access is assured for all that want to play. But the reality of the organization flouts this rule regularly.
  • As the issue of childhood obesity worsens, weight loss camps, or "fat camps," have sprung up to meet the market for families seeking weight loss solutions for their kids. However, unless you can pay, there aren't to many options to gain access to these programs.

Hot Button issues:

  • Recently doctors in Denver, Colorado, performed a heart transplant on some desperately ill babies, harvesting the organs from severely damaged newborns. The controversy arises over the timing of the harvesting. The hearts were taken a mere two minutes after the babies were disconnected from life support, and some critics and ethicists question whether the children were allowed to fully die in that amount of time. The debate highlights sharp divides between those striving to maintain the viability of the organs to extend another life, and those fighting for proper respect for the dying.
  • Access to adequate health insurance coverage is no longer a problem for the poorer classes of American society, but extends well into the middle class, and profoundly affects children. Some states have gotten in some hot water with the current administration over their decision to extend coverage programs meant for the poor to the middle class as well. The Bush administration however is now retreating from their threats to penalize states that do this.
  • As the rates of Autism has dramatically increased, so to have the debates over how much to accommodate those with the condition. People on both sides of the divide are struggling with the balance of the needs of the one versus the needs of the many.
  • In recent years there has been a serious push to limit where convicted sex offenders can reside. Now some are claiming that these residency requirement laws are in conflict with the constitution, and must be reconsidered.
  • Many people swear by it, and many call it a case of marketing fraud. However, the FTC challenged the makers of Airborne's claims, and a potentially $30 million dollar settlement has been reached to reimburse consumers for up to six purchases of the product. While still on the market, Airborne's packaging has been significantly redesigned to remove any suggestion that it cures the common cold.
  • Even though the economy is tough, a kid still needs school supplies. Suffering from lagging sales, retailers are pulling out all the deals they can to entice wary and weary consumers into the stores for the critical back to school season. Deals are out there to be found, just don't fall into the impulse buying trap!

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