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Around the Green Parenting Web: CPSC & Babywearing, Home Birth, Fluoride Facts, BPA & Infants, Rice Cereal

Posted Dec 03 2010 12:00am
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Photo:   AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by  harryalverson CPSC issues new guidelines for baby slings

CPSC issues new guidelines for baby slings

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Infant slings and wraps have been used for thousands of years in many different cultures. For many parents across the United States, “babywearing” promotes a positive bond between child and parent. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to make sure that parents and caregivers are aware of important safety information related to the proper use of slings…

Suffocation/asphyxiation can occur when babies are contained entirely within the pouch of a sling with their face, including nose and mouth, pressed against the adult’s body, blocking their breathing. Suffocation can occur within minutes.

Because of the nature of the product and its use, some slings tend to keep an infant in a curled, chin-to-chest position, which can interfere with breathing. When an infant is in the chin-to-chest position, suffocation can occur. Both scenarios are serious concerns to CPSC. Many of the babies who died in slings were twins in separate slings and infants with breathing issues.

CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers:

It was recently suggested on a (mainstream) pregnancy forum that those who birth with a midwife at home or in a birthing center do it only for the “experience”, and that the safest place to give birth is in a hospital “just in case” anything goes wrong. When I replied that midwife-attended homebirths were statistically safer than OB-attended hospital births, I was asked why that was. So, in my typical concise fashion (ha!), I replied.

An obstetrician’s training is in the pathology of pregnancy – finding and treating the things that go wrong with pregnancy. A midwife’s training is in normal birth. The difference in training focus typically means a difference in the way the two caregivers approach birth…

So no, I have not planned a homebirth for the experience, for my own personal satisfaction, or because all the cool pregnant ladies are doing it. I have a planned a homebirth because for my low-risk pregnancy, a homebirth is the safest option.

1) . This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. (While some European countries add fluoride to salt, the majority do not.) Thus, rather than mandating fluoride treatment for the whole population, western Europe allows individuals the  right to choose , or refuse, fluoride.

2)  (to prevent tooth decay). All other treatment chemicals are added to treat the water (to improve the water’s quality and safety – which fluoride does not do). This is one of the reasons why most of Europe has rejected fluoridation. For instance:

In  Germany , “The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compulsion medication.”

In  Belgium , it is “the fundamental position of the drinking water sector that it is not its task to deliver medicinal treatment to people. This is the sole responsibility of health services.”

In  Luxembourg , “In our views, drinking water isn’t the suitable way for medicinal treatment and that people needing an addition of fluoride can decide by their own to use the most appropriate way.”

The developing fetus and baby are the most vulnerable to BPA,s and their toxic effects. Sadly, babies are often exposed to more BPA than any age group.

Prenatal exposure, even in very low doses, can cause irreversible damage in an unborn baby’s reproductive organs. ” According to Marc Goldstein, M.D, director of the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine. He also states “Fertility rates have been declining for quite some time now, and exposure to synthetic estrogenespecially from the chemicals found in plastic productscan have an adverse effect.

Although completely eliminating exposure to BPA may not be possible, there is good reason to take every step you can to reduce your babies exposure. The FDA estimates that babies have 12.5 times more BPA exposure than adults, and EWG is concerned that FDA underestimates exposures for many babies .

When infants are ready for solid food, experts say, start them first on rice cereal, available in a box, mixed with breast milk or formula. Babies have launched their eating careers this way for 60 years, says Alan Greene, a pediatrician at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children Hospital.

In the 1950s, Greene says, baby food companies trumpeted the benefits of white rice cereal, telling mothers that it was easier for babies to digest than anything they could make at home. “The ads said, ‘You can’t feed children as well as we can,’ ” says Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green.

But David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children’s Hospital Boston, says “there’s no scientific basis for this recommendation. That’s a myth.”

Concerned about increasing childhood obesity and growing rates of diabetes, some pediatricians want to change how babies eat.

Greene is encouraging parents to abandon white rice cereal in favor of more nutritious brown rice cereals or even a homemade brown rice mash or vegetable purée. “They won’t mind,” says Greene, who launched a “WhiteOut” campaign last week. “They’ll thank you for it.”

He is concerned that babies are getting hooked on the taste of highly processed white rice and flour, which could set them up for a lifetime of bad habits, such as a weakness for cakes and cookies.

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