Archive for October, 2013

Do your college-age kids know when to see a doctor?

One day after class one my college students said “Can I ask you a mom question?”

I said sure. She said, “I have this pain in my chest. “

So I started asking her questions like I would with one of my kids. I asked her if her chest hurt or if her heart was beating quickly? And I immediately thought she’s probably had too much caffeine and asked her about her consumption.  But then she started pointing to an area more under her ribs. After asking if her bra underwire was sticking her in the chest (she said no) I worried it was asthma/breathing-related problems. At this point, I told her she needed to see the doctor on campus. I asked her if she had enough money to see the doctor and if she knew how to make an appointment and she said yes.  And I said, OK well you need to go because I have no idea what is wrong with you.

It made me wonder what most college students do when they have ailments other than the obvious head cold. Do they know when they need to see a …

Continue reading Do your college-age kids know when to see a doctor? »

Will the flu shot really make you sick? Science writer debunks flu shot myths

I know the effectiveness and safety of flu vaccines are a hot-button issue so I wanted to share this article from a science writer debunking common myths about flu shots.

It is written by science journalist Tara Haelle, and recommended as a good read by my friend and favorite science writer Maryn McKenna, who Is Senior Fellow at Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and Science of Health columnist and contributing editor at Scientific American.

Haelle, has gone through and addressed 25 myths about flu shots. I can only pull a few but you should go and read her entire article on her site.  She links out to other articles and explains why the myths are not true. I pulled some of the ones I hear the most from other parents.

From Red Wine and Applesauce: Health Science News for Moms:

“First, an important note: I am a science journalist but not a medical doctor. I’ve compiled research here to debunk common myths about the flu vaccine. You should always consult a …

Continue reading Will the flu shot really make you sick? Science writer debunks flu shot myths »

Study: Men do look at women’s bodies more often than their faces (but so do women)

A new study out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has found the men do look at women’s bodies more than their faces.

Lead author and social psychologist Sarah Gervais explained that the study used eye-tracking technology to prove out what women have long reported.

The surprising part of the study was the woman in the study also looked at the chest and hips longer too.

From USA Today:

“The participants – 29 women and 36 men – were outfitted with the eye-tracking system, which measures in milliseconds how long the eyes are fixed on certain spots. Their gazes reacted to photographs of the same 10 women, each with three different digitally manipulated body shapes – curvaceous, much less curvaceous and in-between. (Only women’s bodies were viewed by study participants.) Both sexes fixed their gaze more on women’s chests and waists and less on faces. Those bodies with larger breasts, narrower waists and bigger hips often prompted longer looks.”

“The explanation may …

Continue reading Study: Men do look at women’s bodies more often than their faces (but so do women) »

For your consideration: A family-themed costume for Halloween!

The Ney family of Gwinnett love to dress with a family theme. In this photos they were all doctors. Even the grandmothe got in on the action. Mom Amy says the kids are much more excited about the family theme costumes than when they go it alone.

The Ney family of Gwinnett loves to dress up with a cohesive theme for Halloween. In this photo they were all doctors. Even the grandmother got in on the action. Mom Amy says the kids are much more excited about the family theme costumes than when they go it alone.

I have never been this creative, but I love it when families dress as a theme for their costumes.

Here the Ney sisters were Powerpuff Girls! (I think this would still play.) Photos courtesy of Amy Ney.

Here the Ney sisters were Powerpuff Girls! (I think this would still play.) Photos courtesy of Amy Ney.

The Ney family in Gwinnett has five kids ages 5 to 17, and mom Amy says they do family-themed costumes every other year.

“We have been or seen: armed forces (all in camo and such), Mario Kart (Mario, Luigi, Peaches, Toad, Etc) Power Puff Girls (dating myself), last year we were Doctors with Mustaches (pic here on Facebook), Zombie Apocalypse (we were all zombies)…,” Amy told me via Facebook.

Even Amy’s mom has gotten in on the action the last two years – see photo above.

“On the “every other year” we aren’t …

Continue reading For your consideration: A family-themed costume for Halloween! »

Are you aware of kids with Sensory Processing Disorders?

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness month so I wanted to make people more aware.

From Chicago Parent:

“Sensory Processing Disorder is really confusing to explain, but here is how I do it: Brains have roadway systems that allow cars to get to point A to B without getting lost. Some roadway systems are not yet complete so cars will come to a screeching halt or will go Dukes of Hazzard and jump onto another road. Sometimes it causes traffic jams. This is when we see children (and adults) who cannot process what is going on in their environment. For example, while many of us can tune out the sound of a blender, my son couldn’t. Therefore the only way for him to “tune it out” was to cover his ears.”

“Now that I have kids with SPD, I can spot others with it. These kids are the ones who are constantly touching other kids (or their parents) to the point of annoyance or hugging on others, not understanding personal space. In order for them to understand their space, they …

Continue reading Are you aware of kids with Sensory Processing Disorders? »

Would you turn in your kid if you saw them on surveillance video on TV?

UPDATE as of Oct. 28, 2013 – From an updated AJC story:

A woman who identified herself as Shondra Carter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution during a phone call Sunday that she did not turn her son in to the police.

“In fact, I had not even seen the news before that time,” she said in a follow-up email.

“Dorian called me to let me know what was being said and wanted to turn himself in and that’s just what he did. I only called the GSU police to let them know he was coming and I drove him to the station.”

When reached for comment, Mullis said he had not spoken with Carter and had no other information to add to her account.

With the prevalence of surveillance cameras, it’s no surprise that parents and friends are seeing people they know on TV suspected of crimes. So the question is what would you do? Would you turn in your child or friend to the police?

On Thursday, a mother recognized her son in surveillance video of the recent Georgia State University …

Continue reading Would you turn in your kid if you saw them on surveillance video on TV? »

Regular bedtimes equal fewer behavior problems

Researchers have found that there are benefits to regular bedtimes for kids other than just parents’ sanity.

From The New York Times Well blog:

“British researchers interviewed mothers when their children were ages 3, 5 and 7, asking how often their children had a regular bedtime: always, usually, sometimes or never. The mothers and the children’s teachers also completed questionnaires about behavioral difficulties.

“Almost 20 percent of 3-year-olds had no regular bedtime, compared with 9.1 percent of 5-year-olds and 8.2 percent of 7-year-olds. After controlling for many social, economic and parental behavioral factors, the scientists found that children with a regular bedtime, whether early or late, had fewer behavioral problems. And the longer irregular bedtimes persisted, the more severe the difficulties were.

“The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, also found that children who had irregular bedtimes at ages 3 and 5 had significant improvements in behavior …

Continue reading Regular bedtimes equal fewer behavior problems »

Would you mind if the snack shelf at the grocery store sized you up?

From ads following you on the internet to your “saver’ shopping cards that track every purchase, we all know that companies are constantly doing market research about our buying habits. But what about a grocery store shelf? Would you mind if the shelf sized you up and then offered suggestions or deals based on your demographics?

From The Washington Post:

“Mondelez International, whose properties include Chips Ahoy, Nabisco, Ritz and other high-profile snack brands, says it’s planning to debut a grocery shelf in 2015 that comes equipped with sensors to determine the age and sex of passing customers.

“The shelf, which is hooked up to Microsoft’s Kinect controller, will be able to use basic facial features like bone structure to build a profile of a potential snacker, Mondelez chief information officer Mark Dajani told the Wall Street Journal. While pictures of your actual face won’t be stored, aggregate demographic data from thousands of transactions will be.

“The …

Continue reading Would you mind if the snack shelf at the grocery store sized you up? »

Canned corn and beans: Did the 1970s ruin vegetables?

I didn't try a fresh beet until I was 40 years old. My mother always served them from a can. Roasted beets are a revelation to me. My kids loved them but they were kind of messy to make. I posted this shot on Facebook and food writer Elizabeth Lee Greene had some wise advice for me for the next time. (I will post her advice below.)

I didn't try a fresh beet until I was 40 years old. My mother always served them from a can. Roasted beets are a revelation to me. My kids loved them but they were kind of messy to make. I posted this shot on Facebook and food writer Elizabeth Lee Greene had some wise advice for me for the next time. (I will post her advice below.)

I’ve been trying to introduce more vegetables and new vegetables to our family each year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the vegetables that I grew up eating.

I’m not sure if it was my mother’s cooking or just the 1970s but our vegetables were almost always canned and almost always awful.

Canned yellow corn or canned green beans were served each night with a meat and a starch – rice or mashed potatoes. Occasionally we would have canned white corn niblets or canned beats, which I thought were gross.  Sweet potatoes were sometimes baked but those were served more as a starch than a vegetable. Broccoli was about the only thing served …

Continue reading Canned corn and beans: Did the 1970s ruin vegetables? »

Does dad mocking tantrum help or lengthen it? (video)

A dad mocking his daughter’s temper tantrum has become a viral video on  YouTube, with more than 826,000 views at the time of publication.

News 96.5 – Orlando

“The video was posted to YouTube by Kathy Sterner, who writes:

“My 6 year old daughter had been in her room wigging out for about an hour, and there was no talking her down. I was getting fed up, so my husband decided to lighten the mood.

“For the record, she’s not typically a beast child – she’s actually a pretty awesome little kid who was having a rough day.”

The article suggests that the dad was just trying to lighten the mood but you can hear the little girl yelling from the bedroom stop laughing. So my question is does the dad mocking the tantrum help the situation or just lengthen the tantrum? Does it degrade the child (you can’t see her) or is it just a way for parents to release on a frustrating situation without yelling at a kid? Is it all in good fun or mean …

Continue reading Does dad mocking tantrum help or lengthen it? (video) »