Your Baby

No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

1.30 to read

A new study slated to appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that there is no association between the amount of vaccines a young child receives and autism. Some parents have worried that there may be a link and have opted out of having their child vaccinated or reduced the number of vaccines recommended.

The percentage of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased by 72% since 2007. Some experts believe that changes in the diagnostic criteria may account for some of the increase as well as better screening tools and rating scales.

According to a statement released from the journal, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Abt Associates analyzed data from children with and without ASD.

Researchers examined each child's cumulative exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body's immune system to produce antibodies to fight disease, and the maximum number of antigens each child received in a single day of vaccination, the journal's statement said.

The antigen totals were the same for children with and without ASD, researchers found.

Scientists believe genetics play a fundamental role in the risk for a child developing autism (80-90%), but recent studies also suggests that the father’s age at the time of conception may also be a contributor by increasing risks for genetic mistakes in the sperm that could be passed along to offspring.

Parents have worried about a link between vaccines and autism for decades despite the growing body of scientific evidence disproving such an association.

Source: Luciana Lopez, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/29/us-usa-health-autism-idUSBRE92S0GO20130329

Your Baby

Snoring Infants; Behavioral Problems Later

2.00 to read

Snoring is usually associated with adults, but even infants and toddlers can be prone to snoring. A new study suggests that snorers among this age group are more likely to develop behavioral problems by the age of seven.

The study, published online and in the journal Pediatrics, says that later in life behavioral issues such as hyperactivity and inattention, emotional problems such as anxiety and depression, conduct problems such as rule-breaking and aggressiveness and problems with peer relationship may be linked to snoring in infants and toddlers.

Researchers assessed more than 11,000 children in England and followed their progress for six years beginning when they were about 6 months old.

Parents were asked about snoring, mouth breathing and witnessed apnea -- when a child takes abnormally long pauses in breathing during sleep -- at various points throughout infancy and childhood. Taken together, those symptoms are called sleep-disordered breathing.

Parents also filled out questionnaires about their child's behavior at the ages of 4 and 7.

What they found was that the children with the worst snoring and sleep disturbed breathing were almost twice as likely to have behavioral problems by the age of seven than kids whose breathing was normal. Kids were considered to have behavioral issues if their parent's ratings were in the top 10 percent, relative to kids their age, for problem behaviors.

"Parents should pay close attention to their child's sleep, and if you think something is going on you should consult a pediatrician or a sleep specialist," said study author Karen Bonuck, a professor of family and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City.

The study did not show that snoring or sleep disturbed breathing actually caused the behavioral issues, only that there could be an association between the two. There may be several reasons for this. Just like in adults, a bad night’s sleep can affect how well children function through-out the day. By interfering with the quality of rest, sleep-disordered breathing leaves kids overtired. That may contribute to behavioral issues, such as being easily distracted, hyperactivity and irritability.

Other studies have shown that sleep -disordered breathing can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain, carbon monoxide buildup and abnormal gas exchanges. These can contribute to long-term health issues for children.

"We are sleeping to restore our brains, and sleep-disordered breathing interferes with that process," Bonuck explained. "For kids, these are critical periods in brain development."

Heidi Connolly, division chief for pediatric sleep medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said the study adds to a growing body of research showing that snoring, mouth breathing and sleep apnea in children should be taken seriously.

"These findings echo many of the other studies that show having sleep apnea and symptoms of snoring are bad for neurodevelopmental outcomes in children," Connolly said.

While snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, it can have other causes, such as nasal allergies. Other studies suggest that even snoring alone, without apnea, can cause kids to do worse developmentally, she added.

"We need to think of that in primary care settings, and screen children for snoring," she said. "Kids who snore need to be evaluated and treated promptly, as you would any other medical condition."

Snoring occurs when the palate and the base of the tongue vibrate against each other. In sleep apnea, the airway is blocked. When kids try to breathe, negative pressure squeezes the airway shut, Connolly explained. That causes kids to wake up partially to take a breath.

Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea in children, but normal-weight kids can get it, too.

"If your child is snoring on a nightly basis, not just when they are exposed to tobacco smoke or they have a cold or they just hung out with the neighbors' cat that they're allergic to, those children need to be evaluated for sleep apnea," Connolly said.

Treatments can include removing the tonsils and adenoids; topical nasal steroids or other anti-inflammatory medications; weight loss; and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.

If you notice that your infant or toddler is snoring, or doesn’t seem to be sleeping normally, talk to your pediatrician about it. Not only because of this study, but staying on top of this health issue is an important step to helping your child rest well and develop well.

Source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/03/05/snoring-to...

Your Baby

Safer Baby Cribs

1.45 to read

Good News for Babies! After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib production.There was excellent news from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for babies, parents and caregivers yesterday! Consumers will see a new generation of safer cribs for sale at local and national retail stores.

After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib manufacturing. Safer cribs will mean a safer sleep for babies across the country. On December 15, 2010, the CPSC voted unanimously to approve new mandatory crib standards, establishing the most stringent crib safety standards in the world. Beginning immediately, all importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers must offer only cribs that meet the CPSC’s new and improved full-size and non-full-size crib standards. The new rules prohibit the manufacture, sale, or resale of traditional drop-side cribs. Mattress supports and crib slats will be strengthened, crib hardware will be made more durable and safety testing will be more rigorous. "A safe crib is the safest place for a baby to sleep. It is for this reason that I am so pleased that parents, grandparents and caregivers now can shop with confidence and purchase cribs that meet the most stringent crib standards in the world," said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "From the start, our goal has been to prevent deaths and injuries to babies in cribs, and now the day has come where only stronger and safer cribs are available for consumers to purchase." CPSC has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs since 2007. Drop-side cribs with detaching side rails were associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective crib hardware. The new standards aim to prevent these tragedies and keep children safer in their cribs. Starting on December 28, 2012, child care facilities, including family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, as well as places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, and rental companies must use only cribs that comply with the new crib standards. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) required the CPSC to update the old crib standards, which had not gone through a major revision in more than 30 years, to ensure that the standards provided the highest level of safety possible. If you already own a drop-side crib, contact the crib manufacturer to find out if your crib has been recalled or if it will send you a bracket that will immobilize the drop side. For more information on crib safety you can go to www.cpsc.gov/cribs

Your Baby

Manufacturers Move to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs.A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs because of concerns over infant deaths, injuries and a series of recalls in recent months.

Officials familiar with deliberations of a committee that sets industry standards say the proposal would end production of drop-side cribs - where one side moves up and down. The proposal would require cribs to have four immovable sides. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposal has not been finalized. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least three children have died in drop-side cribs in the last 18 months. The agency knows of more than two dozen incidents in which drop-sides detached from cribs.

Your Baby

Arsenic In Fruit Juice

2.00 to read

There’s been a lot of media coverage about the pros and cons of giving children fruit juice to drink. Now a new study conducted by Consumer Reports says that 10 percent of juices tested by the magazine had arsenic levels higher than allowed in water by the Food and Drug Administration.

Brands including Apple & Eve, Great Value, Mott's, Walgreens and Welch's had at least one sample that exceeded the 10 parts per billion threshold, it said. Other juices with low arsenic levels include: America's Choice Apple; Tropicana 100% Apple; and Red Jacket Orchards 100% Apple.

One of the big concerns is that so many children drink fruit juice daily. Arsenic can accumulate in children’s bodies over time, and raise their risk for cancer, and other serious illnesses.

The 88 samples came from 28 apple and three grape juice brand products that were purchased by Consumer Reports. They included ready-to-drink bottles, juice boxes and cans of concentrate from different lot numbers at stores around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Juice Products Association responded to the report by saying that comparing juice to water was not appropriate.

The FDA has different guidelines for juice than it does water. While the guideline for water is 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic, juices are allowed higher levels at 23 ppb.

"Fruit juice producers are confident the juice being sold today is safe," said Gail Charnley, a toxicologist for the juice association.

“They showed that the juice samples they tested met the Food and Drug Administration’s limit on arsenic in juice,” Charnley said. “The toxicologists and the food safety experts at the FDA set that limit in a precautionary public health based kind of way. And the food industry is committed to meeting those limits.”

The FDA is willing to look at it’s fruit juice standards and possibly make some adjustments.

"We welcome the research that Consumer Reports has undertaken and look forward to reviewing the data that formed the basis for their story and their recommendations,” the agency noted. “We continue to find the vast majority of apple juice tested to contain low levels of arsenic, including the most recent samples from China. For this reason, FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice consumed in this country. By the same token, a small percentage of samples contain elevated levels of arsenic. In response, FDA has expanded our surveillance activities and is collecting additional data”

Consumer Reports also found about one-fourth of all juice samples had lead levels at or above the federal limit for bottled water, it said.

The advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, Consumer Union, said in the report these findings should be enough to prompt the federal government to establish arsenic limits for juice.

The FDA has conducted recent tests on fruit juice after Dr. Mehmet OZ talked about high levels of arsenic, in children’s fruit juice, on his television show. The FDA said its results showed very low level of total arsenic in the samples it tested.

One of the issues the FDA had with Oz’s study was its failure to separate out measurements of inorganic and organic arsenic. Studies have linked inorganic arsenic to a variety of cancers. But many consider organic arsenics – especially the types commonly found in seafood - to be safe.

As far as Consumer Reports is concerned, that’s not a proper way to evaluate arsenic in drinks and food.

“Questions have been raised about the human health effects of other types of organic arsenic in foods, including juices,” the magazine noted. “Use of organic arsenic in agricultural products has caused concern. For instance, the EPA in 2006 took steps to stop the use of herbicides containing organic arsenic because of their potential to turn into inorganic arsenic in the soil and contaminate drinking water.”

Beyond this, there’s evidence that organic arsenic converts into the inorganic form when chickens consume feeds that contain the compound, Consumer Reports researchers noted.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has also weighed in on giving kids fruit juice to drink.  Their website notes that drinking too much juice can contribute to obesity, the development of cavities (dental caries), diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain.

The AAP suggests that:

  • When you give your child juice, it should be 100% pasteurized fruit juice and not fruit drinks.
  • Infants under 6 months of age should not be given juice, although many Pediatricians do recommend small amounts of juice for children that are constipated.
  • Infants between 6 and 12 months can drink up to 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day, but should do it only in a cup, not a bottle.
  • Younger children aged 1 to 6 years should have only 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day.
  • Older children should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces of juice a day.
  • Instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.

The arsenic study will be featured in the January, 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine and is available online.

 

{C}{C} {C}

Sources: 

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45491242/ns/today-today_health/#.Tt6znZgzJnY

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/us-arsenic-juice-idUSTRE7AT231...

Your Baby

Starting Baby on Solid Foods

Your goal over the next few months is to introduce a wide variety of foods. If your baby doesn't seem to like a particular food, reintroduce it at later meals. It can take quite a few tries before kids warm up to certain foods.Starting baby on solid foods can be an exciting and perplexing time for parents. What foods should I start with? How much? How often?

The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends gradually introducing solid foods when a baby is about 6 months old. Your pediatrician, however, may recommend starting as early as 4 months depending on your baby's readiness and nutritional needs. Be sure to check with your pediatrician before starting any solid foods. Is your baby ready? Breast milk or formula is the only food your newborn needs. Within four to six months, however, your baby will begin to develop the coordination to move solid food from the front of the mouth to the back for swallowing. At the same time, your baby's head control will improve and he or she will learn to sit with support — essential skills for eating solid foods. If you're not sure whether your baby is ready, ask yourself these questions: •       Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position? •       Can your baby sit with support? •       Is your baby interested in what you're eating? If you answer yes to these questions and you have the OK from your baby's doctor or dietitian, you can begin supplementing your baby's liquid diet. What Foods to Start With. Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula as usual. Then: •       Start with baby cereal. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 to 5 tablespoons (60 to 75 milliliters) of breast milk or formula. Many parents start with rice cereal. Even if the cereal barely thickens the liquid, resist the temptation to serve it from a bottle. Instead, help your baby sit upright and offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day. Once your baby gets the hang of swallowing runny cereal, mix it with less liquid. For variety, you might offer single-grain oatmeal or barley cereals. Your baby may take a little while to "learn" how to eat solids. During these months you'll still be providing the usual feedings of breast milk or formula, so don't be concerned if your baby refuses certain foods at first or doesn't seem interested. It may just take some time. Do not add cereal to your baby's bottle unless your doctor instructs you to do so, as this can cause babies to become overweight and doesn't help the baby learn how to eat solid foods •       Add pureed meat, vegetables and fruits. Once your baby masters cereal, gradually introduce pureed meat, vegetables and fruits. Offer single-ingredient foods at first, and wait three to five days between each new food. If your baby has a reaction to a particular food — such as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting — you'll know the culprit. •       Offer finely chopped finger foods. By ages 8 months to 10 months, most babies can handle small portions of finely chopped finger foods, such as soft fruits, well-cooked pasta, cheese, graham crackers and ground meat. As your baby approaches his or her first birthday, mashed or chopped versions of whatever the rest of the family is eating will become your baby's main fare. Continue to offer breast milk or formula with and between meals. Foods to Avoid for Now. Some foods are generally withheld until later. Do not give eggs, cow's milk, citrus fruits and juices, and honey until after a baby's first birthday. Eggs (especially the whites) may cause an allergic reaction, especially if given too early. Citrus is highly acidic and can cause painful diaper rashes for a baby. Honey may contain certain spores that, while harmless to adults, can cause botulism in babies. Regular cow's milk does not have the nutrition that infants need. Fish and seafood, peanuts and peanut butter, and tree nuts are also considered allergenic for infants, and shouldn't be given until after the child is 2 or 3 years old, depending on whether the child is at higher risk for developing food allergies. A child is at higher risk for food allergies if one or more close family members have allergies or allergy-related conditions, like food allergies, eczema, or asthma. Introducing Juice. Juice can be given after 6 months of age, which is also a good age to introduce your baby to a cup. Buy one with large handles and a lid (a "sippy cup"), and teach your baby how to maneuver and drink from it. You might need to try a few different cups to find one that works for your child. Use water at first to avoid messy clean-ups. Serve only 100% fruit juice, not juice drinks or powdered drink mixes. Do not give juice in a bottle and remember to limit the amount of juice your baby drinks to less than 4 total ounces (120 ml) a day. Too much juice adds extra calories without the nutrition of breast milk or formula. Drinking too much juice can contribute to obesity can cause diarrhea. Infants usually like fruits and sweeter vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, but don't neglect other vegetables. Your goal over the next few months is to introduce a wide variety of foods. If your baby doesn't seem to like a particular food, reintroduce it at later meals. It can take quite a few tries before kids warm up to certain foods.

Your Baby

Can Babies Learn Nursery Rhymes in Utero?

2.00 to read

Can a fetus learn from experience before he or she is even born? Absolutely, says an interesting new study.

Researchers from the University of Florida say that they began their study with 32 women who were in the 28th week of pregnancy. They had them repeat the verse of a nursery rhyme, twice daily to their babies, between weeks 29 and 34 of their pregnancy.

Four weeks later, the moms were brought back into the lab to determine whether the rhyme had been learned.

The problem was how to test the fetuses to see if they actually were learning the verse. While tricky to figure out, the scientists came up with a simple solution.  As it turns out studies have shown that a late term fetus’s heart rate will slow down when something familiar is heard.

During the testing, the moms listened to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with headphones so they couldn’t hear what was being said. During that time, a stranger recited the same nursery rhyme that the mothers had repeatedly spoken to their babies.

The researchers found that when the babies heard the stranger’s voice recite the nursery rhyme their moms had recited, their heart rate slowed down. But, when they heard the stranger’s voice recite a different rhyme, their heart rate remained the same.

“We were basically asking the fetus, if your mother says this repeatedly, will you remember it?” said the study’s lead author, Charlene Krueger, an associate professor in nursing at the University of Florida. “As a take away message I would want mothers to understand is that their speech is very important to the developing fetus. When a mother speaks, not only does the fetus hear, but also the whole spine vibrates.”

Speech isn’t the only thing that babies absorb while in the womb. Studies have shown that around the 20th week of pregnancy the sensory systems for taste and smell have developed. That allows the baby to experience some of mom’s favorite foods as nutrients pass into the womb.

An earlier study by Dr. Christine Moon, an affiliate associate professor in the department of speech and hearing sciences at the University of Washington and a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, may show that Kruger’s pre-term research is on the right path.

Moon’s study showed that when healthy one- hour- old infants heard recordings of their mother’s voice, they began to suck faster on a pacifier than babies who heard a recording of a stranger.

Krueger’s study is pushing the envelope as far as when babies actually begin to learn, but the results may suggest that they are capable of acquiring recognition much earlier than originally thought.

While interesting, this type of research is still very much in its infancy.

The study was published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development.

Source: Linda Carroll, http://www.today.com/parents/fetuses-can-learn-nursery-rhymes-moms-voice-study-finds-1D79962083

Your Baby

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers

1.45 to read

Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumpers are being recalled due to impact hazard, the sun toy can snap.

About 400,000 units in the U.S. have been sold and 8,500 in Canada.

Description: This recall includes Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumpers with model number 90564. The model number can be found on a tag attached to the underside of the seat. These stationary activity centers have a support seat covered in blue fabric attached to a large white metal frame and include a variety of brightly colored toys surrounding the seat. The yellow sun toy is attached to the seat frame on a flexible stalk with either three or five brightly colored rings. A date code is located in the lower right corner of the sewn in label on the back of the blue seat pad. The following date codes, indicating a manufacture date prior to November 2011, are included in the recall: OD0, OE0, OF0, OG0, OH0, OI0, OJ0, OK0, OL0, OA1, OB1, OC1, OD1, OE1, OF1, OG1, OH1, OI1, OJ1 and OK1.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 100 reports of incidents including 61 injuries. Reported injuries include bruises, lacerations to the face, a 7-month-old boy who sustained a lineal skull fracture and a chipped tooth to an adult.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact Kids II for a replacement toy attachment.

Sold at: Target, Toys R Us and other retails stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com between May 2010 and May 2013 for about $90.

Importer: Kids II Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.

For more information on this recall you can go to; http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2013/Kids-II-Recalls-Baby-Einstein-Activity-Jumpers or

Consumer Contact: Kids II toll-free at (877) 325-7056 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.kidsii.com, then click on the Recall link at the bottom of the page for more information.

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers

Your Baby

223,000 Peg Perego Strollers Recalled

1:45 to read

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Peg Perego USA Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., is announcing a voluntary recall of about 223,000 strollers due to a risk of entrapment and strangulation.

A 6-month-old baby boy from Tarzana, Calif. died of strangulation after his head was trapped between the seat and the tray of his Peg Perego stroller in 2004. Another baby, a 7-month-old girl from New York, N.Y., nearly strangled when her head became trapped between the seat and the tray of her stroller in 2006.

Entrapment and strangulation can occur, especially to infants younger than 12 months of age, when a child is not harnessed. An infant can pass through the opening between the stroller tray and seat bottom, but his/her head and neck can become entrapped by the tray. Infants who become entrapped at the neck are at risk of strangulation.

The recall involves two different older versions of the Peg Perego strollers, Venezia and Pliko-P3, manufactured between January 2004 and September 2007, in a variety of colors. They were manufactured prior to the existence of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller's tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings that prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

Only strollers that have a child tray with one cup holder are part of this recall. Strollers with a bumper bar in front of the child or a tray with two cup holders are not included in this recall.

The following Venezia and Pliko-P3 stroller model numbers that begin with the following numbers are included in this recall. The model number is printed on a white label on the back of the Pliko P-3's stroller seat and on the Venezia stroller's footboard.

Pliko-P3 Stroller Model Numbers: IPFR28US3, IPFT28NA63, IPFT28NA64, IPP328MU10, IPP328MU09, IPP328US09, IPP328US10, IPP329US10, IPPA28US32, IPPA28US33, IPPA28US34, IPPD28NA34, IPPF28NA32, IPPF28NA57, IPPF28NA65, IPPF28NA66, IPPF28NA67, IPPF28NA68, IPPO28US32, IPPO28US34, IPPO28US62, IPPO28US69, IPPO28US70, IPPO28US71

Venezia Stroller Model Numbers: IPVA13MU09, IPVA13MU10, IPVA13US09, IPVA13US10, IPVA13US32, IPVA13US34, IPVC13NA32, IPVC13NA34

"Peg Perego" and "Venezia" or "Pliko-P3" are printed on the side of the strollers.

The strollers were sold at various retailers nationwide, including Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby from January 2004 through September 2010 for between $270 and $330 for the Pliko P-3 stroller and between $350 and $450 for the Venezia stroller. They were manufactured in Italy.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact the firm for a free repair kit. Do not return the stroller to the retailers as they will not be able to provide the repair kit.

For additional information, call Peg Perego at (888) 734-6020 anytime or visit the firm's website at www.PegPeregoUSA.com

CPSC and Peg Perego warn consumers that these strollers may be available on the secondhand market, in thrift stores or at yard sales. Consumers should not buy or sell these recalled strollers until the repair kit is installed.

NOTE: When using a stroller, parents and caregivers are encouraged to always secure children by using the safety harness and never leave them unattended. To learn more about the importance of stroller safety, see CPSC's safety alert: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5096.pdf

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12232.html

Pages

Please fill in your e-mail address to be included in our newsletter.
You may opt out at any time.