Most adults know one of the keys to good health and freedom from common ailments is the simple act of frequent and thorough hand washing.
In an effort to install the same knowledge and practice in children, Kimberly-Clark has teamed up with Disney to promote its new Healthy Schools Project.
The UK Department of Education has released figures showing that thousands of British children are absent from nurseries and schools each day due to minor illnesses. Many of these are spread due to poor hand hygiene.
The project provides free resources and lesson plans about hand hygiene, allowing teachers to integrate them into the curriculum.
To get the message across in a cutesy way, Disney characters will be printed on hand hygiene dispensers and colourful posters designed for bathroom walls. Favourites including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck will be featured.
This child-friendly campaign aims to help teachers reinforce positive messages about the benefits of good hand hygiene while engaging children to take greater responsibility in washing their hands.
Dr Louise Vickerman, Education Manager at KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL, said, “It makes sense to introduce good hand hygiene to children when they’re young so that it stays with them their whole lives. By involving images of beloved Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, they are more likely to engage in the activity and learn about the importance of hand washing.”
Philippe Roucoule, Director, Food, Health and Beauty, The Walt Disney Company added, “We found that when a child connects with a character they are more likely to choose a healthier option, whether this is making a healthier food choice, or in this case practising good hand hygiene. Disney characters resonate with children of all ages and we’re pleased that some of our most established characters are featuring in the new campaign by KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL. Our characters are a great way to engage children and we look forward to them making their way into schools across the UK and Germany as part of The Healthy Schools Project.”
By Andy Merrett
Mar 2, 2012
This article contains no graphic visual images or disturbing videos, yet I’m going to warn you that this could well be the sickest thing you’ve read in a long while.
Moral Right To Life
According to a group of professors publishing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, babies are not “actual persons” and have no “moral right to life”.
Editor Prof Julian Savulescu suggests that anyone who speaks out against these views, which I’d suggest the majority of society would consider abhorrent, is a “fanatic opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.
We already know that abortion is a contentious issue, but whatever your view of that, surely the suggestion that newborn baby is no different to a foetus is a bizarre and flawed one.
Even if you believe that an unborn baby (i.e. one that is still in the womb) can be aborted at some particular number of weeks, it’s a stretch to consider there to be no difference once born.
On a logical level, of course, you can argue that the difference is a mere matter of hours. On an ethical and human level, the difference is immense.
From reading excerpts, it seems that there’s a distinction between a ‘human being’ and a ‘person’.
What Is An Individual?
The report suggests, “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus [sic] in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
This leads them to the suggestion that it’s “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.
They define ‘person’ to mean “an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”
This debate is deeply worrying. Academics are free to have discussions about what it means to be ‘alive’ and a person, but when it metamorphoses into the suggestion that newborn babies can be killed if they don’t meet the expectations of the parent, we’re coming dangerously close to the abhorrence of child sacrifice. The god we sacrifice to? A society which suggests that humans are only valuable based on what they do and what they can contribute, rather than on the very basic premise that they are alive.
The deeply shocking report concludes that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.
These sorts of arguments are not new. In fact, thinking logically about it (which seems to be the main concern of the publishers, who dismiss the idea that the majority of humans would have a moral viewpoint on it — or at least a notion of what is acceptable and unacceptable in a supposedly developed country) it’s merely an extension of the thinking that calls for a longer time frame for abortion.
Yet it is perhaps one of the starkest indicators of the value those, particularly in positions of power, place on human individuals.
Poor Reflection On Our Society
Our society is deeply flawed when it suggests that babies who do not meet an acceptable level of ‘perfection’ can simply be done away with on the grounds of inconvenience or financial burden on society.
The report singles out certain disabilities, such as Down’s Syndrome, with the implication that it would be far better to euthanise (kill) them at birth rather than let them live. That’s despite the fact that many recognise that people with such a disability are still incredible, valuable members of society with much to offer. And, regardless of that, they are human beings.
Has history not already taught us, time and time again, how wrong it is to discriminate to the point of life and death against certain races or abilities?
Let’s hope and pray this kind of thinking never makes it beyond the walls of academia into legalised action.
You can read the entire report here.
Via The Telegraph
It’s never too early to start thinking about the oral hygiene for your children. Primary teeth have already grown in the newborn gums even before the baby is born. These primary teeth need protection from acids sitting on the gums.??
Infant Oral Hygiene
??Don’t give your baby a bottle of milk in bed when he/she is sleeping. Milk sitting on the gums for hours can harm the growth of the teeth that have not yet begun to show. Milk and juices in a bottle or sippy cup contain sugars. A bacterium starts to grow and eats the sugar that milk and juices leave behind in the mouth, and that turns to acid. This acid is what destroys the teeth if sitting in the mouth too long and could instigate issues with gum disease. Instead of milk give them a small bottle of water which will help rinse the gums. After you have fed your baby you should take a warm washcloth and wipe the inside of the child’s mouth to protect the gums. Train your toddler to use a cup as soon as possible and certainly by the time he/she is a year old.??
Sugars Turn to Acid
??Cavities form when foods that are full of sugar remain in the mouth for long periods of time. Sugar doesn’t come from just candy and sweets, but it also comes from carbohydrates that break down to sugar. Eating in between meals with candy or even crisps leave bacteria in the mouth, which turns to acid and causes decay. This acid eats away the enamel on the teeth. Fruits with the highest acid in them are those that have pulp like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and tangerines. ??
Healthy Foods and Snacks for Kids
??One of babies first foods is usually the good old Cheerios cereal. [not sure this was my first food, was it yours? Ed] Is it good for them? Four out of five paediatricians say that Cheerios are a healthy food for young children or people at any age. Cheerios are a whole grain oat with no artificial flavours or colours. With only one gram of sugar per serving, Cheerios is heart healthy and a handy little shape to hold onto.??For the development of the brain and body children up to the age of two should have whole milk. Nine to twelve month old children should have a cup of whole milk with breakfast; the fat content in a cup of whole milk is needed for proper growth. Add an infant iron-fortified cereal and some peaches and you have a healthy meal to start the day. By the time your child is two you can start giving him/her a reduced fat milk with their meals. ??Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day for everyone. Preschool and school-aged children need a good start to their day to do well the rest of the day. To make them a healthy breakfast you can add yogurt and fruit to their whole-grain cereal, or fix a whole grain waffle with peanut butter and jam. Toast made of whole-wheat with an egg makes a good start to the day. Snacks should be healthy too. Fresh fruits, cheese and crackers or cut up fresh vegetables are good to snack on or eat with a meal. You can make these ahead and keep them in the refrigerator so kids can help themselves.
Jem is a freelance writer concerned with the nations oral hygiene – or lack of it! If you wish to find out more about him or oral health issues follow him on Twitter @writerjem
A sport helps in all aspects of children’s development. Character building, personality, physical and mental attributes can all be developed by indulging in a sport. Sports helps a child develop certain characteristics which nothing else can develop, such as loyalty, teamwork, ambition, sportsmanship and many more.
The most important characteristic, which can be developed by any type of game, is determination. Determination is one rare element; those who get it can achieve anything in the world. It gives a child a ‘never die’ attitude which eventually takes him/her to greater heights in life.
The following list will categorize different types of sports and their role in a child’s development.
- Football: It transforms a child into a mature grown person. Football helps develop a drive in the child, eventually leading to competiveness. This competitiveness in the game requires teamwork and sportsmanship which a kid develops as much as he plays. Football also helps increase stamina and awareness of a child. Some other aspects which football improves are mental and physical toughness and reflexes and reactions.
- Basketball: It has almost similar outcomes as football. Sportsmanship and competitiveness are improved by playing basketball. As for physical attributes, the child gets extremely good jumping ability and can have a good height. The game also helps improve awareness and reactions better than football.
- Golf: It helps develop a perfectionist. Golf is a game which allows a low margin of forgiveness for error. One has to be very sharp and precise about his/her shot. Golf does not help significantly in physical development, only arm muscles grow strong. As it is with most other games, it develops competitiveness in a child.
- Rugby: Transforms a child into a man. Rugby is the most physical sport there is. It does not help in increasing mental abilities significantly, but its influence in physical development is second to none. The physical toughness and growth of a rugby player is far better than other sportsmen.
- Cricket & Table-tennis: Cricket and table tennis are both reaction development sports. Both games require excellent reactions and reflexes. Both games have a small influence on the physical development; table tennis requires footwork and triceps whereas cricket requires speed and agility.
These were some of the sports which offer distinct benefits in a child’s development.
The amazing thing about sports is that one can learn a few important things about life without giving anything. It is a teacher who gives their students some great qualities for free. These teachings have been passed on for generations and millions of people have benefited from them.
Sometimes, a sportsman is lucky enough to find himself/herself leading their team. The pride and honour give a confidence boost like nothing else. It gives a sense of responsibility; the captain has to lead the team by example. He/she should have high motivational skills and an urge to make sure the team is going in the right direction. Leadership is a gift in sports; one who is lucky enough to be handed the role should definitely make the best of it.
Mike is a father of 2, interested in his children’s development. Mike thinks that sport is a great component in his child education, but also believe that toys and especially educational toys play an important role.
The amount of time young children are kept strapped in buggies or car seats should be kept to a minimum, while developing an active lifestyle should be a priority.
Not only is the amount of exercise a child a significant factor in avoiding obesity, but it’s also linked to healthy brain development.
An active lifestyle should be encouraged from birth, including playing on activity mats or going swimming. Once a child can walk they should be moving around for at least three hours every day.
Some parents may find it hard to believe that their child could fail to be active for just three hours every day, yet it’s a sad fact that some young children are not encouraged to exercise. Recent figures from the Department of Health suggest that just one in three children aged between two and 15 get the recommended amount of daily exercise.
The chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said that there was considerable evidence that allowing children to crawl, play or roll around on the floor was essential.
“Play that allows under-fives to move about is critical and three hours a day is essential,” she said.
“I think there are parents who are not aware how important it is for their children to be physically active for a minimum of three hours,” she continued. “Other parents are very busy and may not see how important it is to get that prioritisation and balance right.”
Sadly, that’s not always the case. Baby Hospital (ITV1, Tuesday 21st June 2011) followed three single mothers as they struggled to cope with the reality of a premature birth.
This fly-on-the-wall documentary was filmed inside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, considered to be a centre of excellence for neonatal science. Here, consultants and nurses give the absolute best medical care possible for babies born significantly early. Sadly, many children are born with illnesses and medical complications too difficult to treat, with inevitable deaths a part of everyday life at the hospital. Thankfully, many babies do make remarkable progress and become healthy enough to leave the hospital.
The documentary, sensitively narrated by Sue Johnston, first introduces Amy. Already a mother to five children, she had a tumultuous pregnancy. At 18 weeks, she separated from her husband of six years. At 20 weeks she contracted swine flu, a disease that poses significant and life-threatening risks to both mother and baby. At 27 weeks — four months prematurely — she gave birth to Alfie. He weighed just 1lb 6oz.
The fact Alfie survived at all was a miracle. As it is, he had severe problems with all the major organs — heart, lungs, kidneys and liver — as well as suspected brain damage. From an initial “50-50″ survival estimate, he gradually declined in health, suffering a burst lung, losing weight and gradually slipping away.
Amy’s rollercoaster of emotions, in which she spent a huge amount of time at the hospital and, as such, felt torn between her family at home and staying with Alfie, lasted five days before he passed away. Before that, his family gathered for a fairly impromptu baptism. Amy’s oldest son recounted how much Alfie had impacted the whole family despite him living for less than a week.
The documentary also followed two other mums. 28-year-old Rachel gave birth to Tyler two weeks early. She already has two other children fathered by two other men. Although she keeps in touch with Tyler’s father, and they remain friends, she laments, “Everyone wants the support of a man, but it’s hard to find one in Liverpool.”
Katie gave birth to Michael but found it hard to visit him in hospital because she already has two other children, lives 14 miles away and relies on public transport.
Michael needed heart surgery, to which Katie gave written consent, but it was often weeks between visits. “People look down on me but I’m not bothered by what they think,” she says, adamant that Michael is in the best hands right now and, when he comes home, will get the same 24 hour support her other two kids currently receive.
Thankfully, both Michael and Tyler survived and went home with their mums.
Dr Chris Dewhurst, Consultant Neonatologist, sympathises with the situation many lone parents find themselves in. He rebuffs the stereotype that women become pregnant in order to get a house and benefits. At the same time, he worries about the life that awaits some of the babies discharged from the hospital.
Lead Sister for Neonatal Developmental Care, Jan Waugh, is also upset when parents can’t come to visit. She sees the benefits associated with human touch, massage, and skin-to-skin contact, saying that it’s vital for babies. If they don’t get it, particularly from a parent, they miss out and don’t grow as well. The touch, which helps in bonding a parent-child relationship, can even prevent infection and reduce pain.
The documentary is sensitively made and doesn’t come across as being judgemental. The staff give the best to the 1,000 or so babies who come into the hospital every year, regardless of their background or the social situation their parents are in.
I was also careful not to cast quick judgements over the parents featured. It would be easy to wonder how a mother might stay away from the hospital, or lament the wider situation of lone parenting, but neither is particularly helpful.
Parenting as a lone mother (or father) is a juggling act even with healthy babies and children, particularly if extended family or close friends are in short supply. I simply can’t imagine dealing with the extreme emotions of having a very ill baby, trying to look after an existing family, and deal with all the other issues that everyone goes through.
I welled up during Alfie’s hospital baptism. My hope for that family is it draws them closer together. Even the snapshot this documentary provided suggested it might. The death of a child might seem like the end, but in fact it’s just as much a beginning, though not one any parent would choose.
To the watching world, and eventually to the hospital and the medical professionals who looked after them, those three mothers and babies will become mere statistics. Yet the documentary captured part of life that, mercifully, most of us will never have to cope with.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch the programme on the ITV Player until mid July.
Did you watch the documentary. What did you think?
There are many health benefits associated with weight loss for those with obesity, but regaining fertility may not be the first you’d think of.
Yet a study suggests bariatric surgery — commonly known as gastric bypass surgery — may provide hope for morbidly obese women of child-bearing age who are currently infertile.
The reason is that the surgery can be used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance that affects up to 10% of women and between one-third and a half of overweight and obese women.
“Not many patients come to a bariatric surgeon to treat infertility problems,” said Mohammad Jamal, MD, FACS, study co-author and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. “But this study suggests that women with morbid obesity, who are infertile secondary to PCOS, may have a new surgical option. Many other studies have shown bariatric surgery can improve or resolve a multitude of diseases and conditions. It appears that infertility now joins that list.”
In the study, researchers from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics report that 100 percent of the morbidly obese women who were diagnosed with PCOS related infertility, and desired children, became pregnant within three years following gastric bypass surgery.
A review of medical records of 566 morbidly obese women who had gastric bypass surgery over a period of nine years revealed 31 patients between the ages of 22 and 42 who had PCOS before surgery. Six post-menopausal patients, and five patients lost to follow-up, were excluded. The remaining 20 patients, average age 32, were contacted by telephone. Fourteen of them were fertile prior to surgery or did not desire to become pregnant after surgery.
The remaining six women, who had been diagnosed with infertility before surgery, and still desired pregnancy, became pregnant within three years of gastric bypass surgery. Doctors advise women not to try to conceive until at least 18 months after bariatric surgery due to surgery-related changes that could affect fetal development.
Before surgery the women had an average body mass index (BMI) of 52, and after surgery had an average excess weight loss of nearly 60 percent. Menstruation corrected in 82 percent of the women and nearly 80 percent no longer had Type 2 diabetes.
You can read more about the study at Newswise.
It sounds like a doctor’s recommendation from an episode of Friends, but in fact there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest a number of activities can help bring on the start of labour.
Of around 200 women who responded to a survey undertaken by a US Midwestern hospital, over half took it upon themselves to speed up labour’s onset by their own means.
There’s no medical evidence to suggest that these techniques work, though the exact trigger for the start of labour remains unknown. It’s likely caused by certain hormones produced by the foetus, and though it’s not impossible that external factors might have some influence, it’s still generally outside of mum’s control.
Jonathan Schaffir, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Ohio State University and lead author of the study noted, “despite all of these women trying to go into labor and end their pregnancies, it winds up mostly being something moms have no control over.”
He suggested that, although many of these techniques would cause no harm, “Obstetricians and midwives may want to offer some additional reassurance to make patients feel like they don’t need to pursue these other techniques.”
The Friends reference may not be so far from the mark, in fact. Most women reported that the advice came from family and friends rather than medical professionals.
When I talked with a male friend about this, he suggested that only a man would have dreamt up the notion of eating spicy food and having sex. Who knows? It’s not exactly clear where these stories came from, but they do seem to be fairly widely used.
At the end of the day, though, it seems Mother Nature knows best and, however uncomfortable it may be, labour begins exactly when She chooses.
We’d love to hear your pregnancy stories. Did you try to speed up labour? What method worked for you? Are these myths and old wives’ tales? Share in the comments below.
While it can be easy to point to various lifestyle issues such as smoking, and some research has identified soya in the diet as a detrimental factor, there’s no definitive list and more research is needed.
A huge (and frankly depressing) list of potentially harmful factors is as follows:
- Occupational: Chemicals such as heavy metals, solvents, fumes (welding fumes).
- Physical agents: Heat, vibration, extremes in temperature and pressure.
- Radiation: Radiation and electromagnetic radiation (cell phones).
- Lifestyle: Cigarette smoking.
- Infection: Chlamydia trachomatis, a common sexually transmitted disease.
- Pollutants: PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). PCBs were banned by the EPA in 1979, but exist in the environment including landfills, lakes and streams.
Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the California Teratogen Information Service Pregnancy Health Information Line, said, “Dad is sometimes an afterthought when it comes to pregnancy. But the bottom line is it’s often just as important to consider dad’s impact on a developing baby before, during and after pregnancy as it is mom’s.”
Women with a history of physical or sexual abuse or an eating disorder are more likely to develop depression during and after their pregnancy, according to new research from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. So reports Medical News Today.
158 pregnant and postpartum women undergoing treatment at UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic were surveyed. One-third of those reported a history of eating disorders while many had a history of abuse.
Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, the lead author of the study and director of UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Program, said that mental health screening tools which include questions about a patient’s history should be a part of routine prenatal care.
“Screening by obstetrical providers is really important because they can refer patients for appropriate treatment,” she said. “And that can prevent long-lasting problems for mom and baby.”
It’s so important because children often inherit much from their mothers. Children of depressed mothers may develop their own mental health issues. It’s a similar story with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia and anorexia.
The condition occurs in up to ten per cent of all pregnancies and seriously affects both mother and baby. It leads to high blood pressure and other complications.
However, it’s not possible to predict when and where it will occur.
Coventry University is the only British university to be selected to aid in research, Coventry Telegraph reports
The trial was awarded to obstetric and gynaecology consultant Manu Vatish with biochemists Dimitris Grammatopoulos and Steve Smith at the UHCW NHS Trust.
Many professionals advocate complete abstinence from alcoholic drinks during the nine months of pregnancy, yet some have suggested moderate amounts of alcohol are no bad thing.
It’s ironic that the latest people to side with alcohol avoidance are from the drinks industry.
Diageo is funding a training scheme, run by National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS-UK) and already in its second year, that teaches midwives to advise expectant mothers about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, the British Medical Journal reports.
Yet the advice differs from that given by the British Government, which says that if mums-to-be do drink they should consume no more than 1-2 units once or twice a week.
An Infant Feeding Survey conducted in 2005 found that one-third of pregnant women gave up drinking altogether during pregnancy, while 61% drank less and 4% didn’t change their drinking habits.
Susan Fleisher, from NOFAS-UK, said the scheme would have have huge benefits.
“The thing that’s so fantastic is that they’re helping us with prevention, we can actually prevent children being born with foetal alcohol brain damage,” she said.
“But it costs money, and thanks to Diageo we expect we will be educating in the next three years 10,000 midwives. Ultimately, if it all goes well, they will reach at least a million women.”
Yet some people are concerned that a drinks company is supporting an initiative to cut people’s alcohol consumption.
“They certainly have a conflict of interest because it’s in the interest of the drinks industry for people to continue to drink and it’s in the interest of health for people to drink much less, and certainly not to drink during pregnancy or to drink really minimally,” said the British Medical Association’s Vivienne Nathanson.
What do you think of the new advice on drinking during pregnancy? Are mixed messages from different organisations causing confusion? What are your own views?