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Friday, July 20th, 2012
CDC: 1 in 13 Pregnant Women Say They Drink Alcohol
A government survey shows 1 in 13 pregnant women drink alcohol and some even go on binges. (via AP)
U.S. Whooping Cough Cases Could Be Worst In More Than 50 Years
Whooping cough is causing the worst epidemic seen in the United States in more than 50 years, health officials said Thursday, and they’re calling for mass vaccination of adults. The epidemic has killed nine babies so far, and nearly 18,000 cases already have been reported nationwide this year. (via TIME)
Entire Genetic Sequence of Individual Human Sperm Determined
Stanford University researchers have sequenced the entire genomes of 91 human sperm from one man. The results provide a glimpse into naturally occurring genetic variation in one individual and are the first to report the whole-genome sequence of a human gamete — the only cells that become a child and through which parents pass on physical traits. (via Science Daily)
In Utero Exposure to Diesel Exhaust A Possible Risk Factor for Obesity
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Pregnant mice exposed to high levels of air pollution gave birth to offspring with a significantly higher rate of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood than those who were not exposed to air pollution. These findings suggest a link between diesel exhaust exposure in utero and bulging waistlines in adulthood. (via Science Daily)
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Yesterday, I found myself a little awestruck when I met Debbie Phelps (mom of Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps), who is a warm, effusive, and gregarious woman — someone I could see myself talking to and with for hours, over endless cups of coffee and warm pastries.
Debbie was in New York City with her daughter, Hilary, on behalf of The Century Council, a non-profit with the mission to fight underage drinking and drunk driving through their Ask. Listen. Learn. program. Debbie had appeared on the Today Show before sitting down for an intimate lunch with some mom bloggers and online media folk to talk about her involvement in the program and to share some parenting stories from her 2009 memoir, “A Mother for All Seasons.”
She discussed her son’s own arrest for a DUI at age 19. Even though he had been taught that it was wrong and dangerous to drink and drive, he still made the mistake. “We all fall on our faces,” she said, but the key was to continue teaching values. “We need to instill what’s already known to [our kids] and to enforce and enhance it.” According to The Century Council, parents are the leading provider of alcohol to underage kids and the average drinking age is 11. As a result, it’s important for “parents to model good and bad behavior through what they do and don’t do.”
Even after Debbie and her husband divorced, she didn’t stop or slow down her busy schedule. Before relocating to Baltimore to be closer to a better swim facility, she drove her three kids (Hilary, the second daughter Whitney, and Michael) two hours each way, at different hours and on different days, to various swim practices and competitions. Both her daughters trained at Olympic levels before Michael became the youngest swimmer (at 15) to make the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In the midst of kinetic and emotional moments, known as “DP moments,” Debbie and her family relied on having “calmness and composure,” always taking time to release tension and address big issues with quiet steadiness. To remind herself and her children to always maintain an even-keeled manner, she cups her hand into a “C” and holds it up as a sign.
As Michael heads to the London Olympics (which is being touted as his last Olympics), Debbie is looking forward to taking a real vacation with her family (after having put off a trip to Disney for years). Even though she is a principal at a middle school in Baltimore, she is thinking about heading back to school herself and getting a post doctorate degree. She aims to live life to the fullest.
When asked about the best parenting advice she received, Debbie shared two. For swimming it was, “Never pack or carry [your child's] swim bags” (translation: let your child be independent and self-sufficient!). For raising kids it was, “Let them think for themselves” (translation: let them be individuals!).
Follow Debbie Phelps on Twitter at @mamaphelpsH20 | Read blog posts by Hilary Phelps at hilary-phelps.com
More Parents.com features on the Olympics:
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2012 Olympics Games, debbie phelps, drinking, drunk driving, hilary phelps, London Olympics, michael phelps, Olympics, Olympics 2012, summer olypmics, the century council, underage drinking | Categories:
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
Exercise by Breastfeeding Moms Unlikely to Harm Infants’ Growth
A new study out Monday suggests that regular exercise by women who breastfeed does not slow weight gain in infants. The total effects of exercise on breast milk, however, are still unknown. (via Reuters)
Daily Caffeine Fix Affecting Elementary Students’ Performance
According to a recent study by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, caffeine from soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate is a major factor for sleep problems in children, hindering their ability to concentrate in school. (via Fox News)
Son Holds “Homeless” Sign as Form of Punishment
When a Maryland teen didn’t call home on time after wanting to spend the night at a friend’s house, dad Kevin Burks crafted an unusual form of discipline. (via The Today Show)
Light to Moderate Drinking May Be Safe During Pregnancy, Study Says
New data from Denmark suggests that light drinking early in pregnancy — up to eight drinks a week — doesn’t have ill effects on the developing fetus. (via TIME)
Charter Schools Still Enrolling Fewer With Disabilities
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Disabled students represented 8.2 percent of all American students enrolled during the 2009-10 year in charter schools, compared with 11.2 percent of students attending public schools, according to a Government Accountability Office analysis. (via NY Times)
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Alcohol Risk to Fetus is Highest at End of 1st Trimester
Any drinking during pregnancy increases the odds of fetal alcohol syndrome, but the risk to the fetus is highest if a pregnant woman drinks during the second half of her first trimester of pregnancy, a new study finds.
Health Sector Takes on Childhood Obesity
As one of the many outgrowths of the sweeping federal health care law, health insurers and employers must now pay the cost of screening children for obesity and providing them with appropriate counseling.
NJ Parents Say Mentally Disabled Girl, 3, Denied Transplant; Experts Say Situation is Complex
The parents of a 3-year-old New Jersey girl say she’s being denied a kidney transplant because of her mental disabilities, but experts caution the situation may be much more complex.
Fat Dad, Fat Kids: New Research Points to Fathers’ Influence
If you want to predict whether a baby is going to have a weight problem, new research suggests, look at his or her dad.
Tiger Tamer! Study Challenges Theory that Asian Parenting Makes Kids Succeed
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Prof. Desiree Qin takes on ‘Tiger Mom’ author Amy Chua over harsh discipline in study at Stuyvesant HS that finds Chinese-American students more anxious and depressed.
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Here, Tweeting Is a Class Requirement
Big consumer-products companies are going back to school. (Wall Street Journal)
Dad, I Prefer the Shiraz
Parents teach their children how to swim, how to ride a bicycle and how to drive. Should they also teach their teenagers how to drink responsibly? (Wall Street Journal)
Making Kids Work on Goals (And Not Just In Soccer)
Thirteen-year-old Jackson Sikes has been struggling for years to raise his test scores in math. When he got a 33% last year on fractions, Jackson says, “I didn’t know how I was ever going to learn them.” Battling his homework just made him frustrated, says his mother Linda, of Gilmer, Texas. (Wall Street Journal)
Cancer During Pregnancy on the Rise
Lisa Peterson Bender is coping with two conflicting but very real truths: She’s eight months pregnant. And she has breast cancer. (Aol Health)
21 Priests Suspended in Philadelphia
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it had suspended 21 priests from active ministry in connection with accusations that involved sexual abuse or otherwise inappropriate behavior with minors. (New York Times)
Snoring: Nuisance Or Serious Health Problem?
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Whether it’s a loud sawing or one of those grating, breathy affairs, snoring can be irritating for both snorer and significant other alike. So irritating, in fact, that recent Department of Health advertisements promoting marital health highlighted snoring as a potential source of tension. (Huffington Post)