Monday, July 30, 2018

Pediatricians Recommend Avoiding Plastics

The AAP is telling parents to avoid lunches like these for our kids

For almost 9 years I have been writing about the potential harmful heath effects that plastics can have on our children and recommending to stop, when possible, using plastic and switching to safer alternatives like glass and stainless steel.  This week, FINALLY the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sent out a statement  urging families to limit the use of plastic food containers and consume less processed foods and food additives in order to lower children’s exposures to chemicals in food and food packaging that are tied to health problems.

Today, more than 10 000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food contact materials in the United States, either directly or indirectly

Monday, July 23, 2018

Easy Make-At-Home Boron-Free Slime

Slime. Its hard to find a kid who doesn't like or isn't fascinated with slime. Its... slimy... and, well just fun.  It has also been having a moment - for about a year now countless kids throughout the nation have been obsessed with slime.   More than 1.2 million results appear on YouTube from a search for "homemade slime" as of March of this past year.

This is why it is especially worrisome that Which? , a U.K.-based charity, this week published the results of their testing of 11 popular slime products which found 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Squishies Giving Off Dangerous Chemicals

Are your kids into squishies?    I have seen them everywhere - especially hanging from kids backpacks all around
town.  Fact is, squishies are a thing- a big thing.  These soft colorful toys made from memory foam, have gained
popularity world wide- so much so that New York Magazine called them “ the next fidget spinners”. The toys have
captivated the attention of kids everywhere, especially 5-12 year olds, who either collect them or, basically, just
squish them (kind of like a stress ball). Squishies are available in larger sizes and key chain size and just about
everywhere from Target to Walmart to your local toy store and of course all over the internet.

This summer, authorities in Denmark ( their local EPA) decided to test the toys after noticing the chemical and fragrant smell they emitted.  The testing found that:

Monday, July 9, 2018

Tech detox

beautiful things can happen when we disconnect from tech
- but its not always easy

Usually I talk about detoxing from everyday exposure to harmful chemicals but equally as important for many children ( and parents especially!) is detoxing from electronics.

We are a generation addicted to being connected all the time- constantly checking emails, Instagram and Facebook and twitter. We have access to news and information all day and our children are growing up with parents that are connected to tech all day long and that are disconnected - often- from their children.

Kids who abuse screen time are more likely to suffer from everything from chronic irritability, mood disregulation, inattention, speech delays etc. Mobile technology also has the added danger of commutative exposure to EMF radiation.  Unfortunately, screen time continues to rise- just mobile media time  for zero-to-eight year-olds has tripled between 2013 and 2017, from an average of 15 minutes per day to 48 minutes per day. Tweens log an average of four hours and 36 minutes of screen time per day, and teens spend an average of six hours and 40 minutes on a screen. 

Knowing all of this, we have somewhat strict rules at home regarding screen time. In a nutshell: no tv or screens during the week- these can only be used ( usually for a max of 2 hours per day) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The boys choose if they want to use their time on video games or tv or movies. Special circumstances do arise that allow for bending the rules ( ie if mom or kids are sick or just really tired and usually when the grandparents visit) but, generally, we all know the rules.

This summer, however, during our week long trip to Iceland we decided to implement a no screen policy for the entire trip ( excluding the 10 hour plane ride- we are not masochists!). Considering we drove around Iceland a lot ( almost every single day we were in the car between 3-5 hours) it meant a lot to not allow the kids to use their ipads.

Was it worth it?