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Thursday, October 18th, 2012
By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN
If your family eats peanuts, peanut butter, or other peanut products, you’re most likely concerned by the recent slew of recalls of some of these foods because of possible salmonella contamination. Thus far, an estimated 240 peanut products have been recalled, including popular brands such as Trader Joe’s and Hines Nut Company.
Last month, Trader Joe’s recalled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter and eight other products. Sunland, Inc. followed suit and announced a voluntary limited recall of almond butter, peanut butter (including the one made at Trader Joe’s) and cashew butters, tahini, and their roasted blanched products. Most recently, Hines Nut Company, Inc. voluntarily recalled its salted jumbo Virginia in-shell peanuts, distributed under Hines or Dollar General Clover Valley labels. The Hines products are sold at Wal-Mart and Dollar General.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35 people from 19 states have reportedly been infected with a strain of salmonella, likely resulting from the consumption of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt, manufactured by Sunland, Inc. Of those people contaminated, eight have been hospitalized, and almost two thirds of those reportedly sickened by the recalled products are children under age 10. At this time, no one appears to have gotten sick from any of the other recalled products and no deaths have been reported.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children and in other vulnerable populations (including frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems). Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and infection, and typically last between four and seven days. Although most healthy people can recover without treatment, in rare cases conditions such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis can develop.
CDC urges those who think they may have become sickened from eating peanuts or peanut butter (or any foods, for that matter) to speak with a physician, and to contact their state health department.
What Should Parents Do About Food Recalls?
Even if no one in your family has become sick, your natural instinct as a parent may be to scour your pantry and throw out all possible offenders. And, of course, it makes sense to not eat recalled items.
Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, urges parents to visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website to stay up to date on specific product recalls. For those who find a recalled product in their homes, CDC suggests you put the product in a closed plastic bag and throw it out in a sealed garbage can, or return it to the manufacturer for a refund.
But what other steps can parents take to play it safe—without going to extremes?
Krieger, a mother of three, suggest that you pay attention to the expiration dates used to determine which shipments of food have been recalled. If a product is released with an expiration date that is after the date on the recalled product, you should be safe.
Another option is to heat peanuts and any peanut products in question (you can make peanut sauce for noodles or a dip for vegetables). “Heating to 160 degrees or higher for at least 10 minutes will kill any salmonella the product may contain,” Krieger says.
But for those who aren’t comfortable with either scenario, and who are nervous as Halloween approaches, Krieger suggests being mindful of kids’ peanut and chocolate candy consumption. “Those who rather wait for the recall to be over before consuming peanuts or peanut products can opt instead to buy candy and other treats that don’t contain, or aren’t processed alongside, nuts or seeds.”
The bottom line? Don’t panic, get the facts, and make the decisions you’re most comfortable with when it comes to feeding your family.
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, is a Parents advisor. You can follow her on Twitter at @elisazied.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
More Evidence Flu Shot is Safe for the Egg-Allergic
With flu season approaching, a new study offers more reassurance that kids with egg allergies can be safely vaccinated against the virus. (via Reuters)
Controversial Bone Product Often Used in Kids
Nearly one in ten U.S. children undergoing spine fusion surgery get injections with bioengineered bone-growth proteins that have not been green-lighted for that use by health regulators, researchers have found. (via Reuters)
Graco Recalling Classic Wood Highchairs Due To Fall Risk
After receiving 58 reports of the highchair seats loosening or detaching from the base, Graco is voluntarily recalling its Classic Wood Highchairs. (via NBC News)
Women Who Have Heart Attacks More Likely to Call 911
Women suffering symptoms of a heart attack are more likely than their male counterparts to dial 911 – but there’s a lot of room for improvement for men and women, alike, a new study finds. (via NBC News)
German Cabinet Approves Bill Allowing Circumcision of Boys
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Germany’s cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday protecting the right to circumcise infant boys, which it says will end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews. (via Reuters)
Monday, September 10th, 2012
Private School Parents More Likely to Opt Out of Vaccines
A California school survey shows that parents who send their children to private schools opt out of immunizations more than their public school counterparts. (via AP)
Older Overweight Children Consume Less Calories than Healthy Weight Peers
A new study shows that children who become overweight in early childhood have difficulty losing weight even when they consume less calories than their healthy weight peers. (via Science Daily)
Infant Sleep Training Has No Long Term Effects
Using behavioral training to help babies fall asleep doesn’t seem to harm them emotionally or developmentally years later, but it doesn’t benefit them long-term either, according to a new study. (Reuters)
Breastfeeding in Infancy May Shield Adults from Depression
A German study suggests people who were breastfed as infants may have a lower risk of depression as adults. (via My Health News Daily)
‘Toys R Us’ Launches Children’s Tablet
Toys R Us Inc. is launching, ‘Tabeo,’ a new children’s tablet that will contain family friendly apps and parental controls for internet use. (via Wall Street Journal)
Toddler Death Prompts Window Blind Recall
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450,000 window blinds sold in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana have been recalled after a Detroit toddler was strangled by the blind cords. The blinds did not have cord stop devices. (via CBS News)
baby sleeping habits, breastfeeding, childhood obesity, depression, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, private schools, recalls, sleep, tablets, Toys R Us, vaccines | Categories:
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Nearly Half of Newborns At Tennessee Hospital Need Prescription Drug Withdrawal Treatment
Out of the 58 babies in East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s NICU, 23 of them are going through withdrawal from prescription pills, including OxyContin, Vicodin, and methadone. (via ABC News)
Rare Genetic Mutation Protects Against Alzheimer’s
The mutation appears to slow the production of the beta-amyloid protein, long considered to be the cause of Alzheimer’s. Researchers say a genetic test for the mutation is unlikely because it’s so rare and the mutation could be exclusive to the Icelandic population. (via CNN)
Growing IVF Loan Business Helps Families Finance Their Fertility
Many families are turning to fertility finance companies to help fund their IVF cycles when they’re faced with limited funding and their insurance company won’t cover the costs. (via MSNBC)
485,000 High Chairs Recalled After Injury Reports
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More than 485,000 Chico Polly high chairs are being recalled after a design flaw led to children getting cuts and bruises. Importer Artsana USA Inc. knows of 21 children getting injured from falling against pegs on the back legs of the chairs, which are meant to store the tray. (via Associated Press)
alzheimer, Fertility, fertility finance, genetics, high chairs, in vitro fertilization, IVF, newborns, Parents Daily News Roundup, prescription drug abuse, prescription drugs, recalls | Categories:
Monday, March 26th, 2012
Pregnancy Ups Risk of Heart Attack, Study Says
Pregnancy and hormonal changes that continue 12 weeks after giving birth increase a woman’s risk of heart attack, researchers said.
Parents Need Warnings About Multiple SIDS Risks, Study Says
More parents seem to have gotten the message that their infants need to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However they seem to be unaware that often multiple risk factors occurring at the same time increase the risk of SIDS, according to new research published Monday.
School District Told to Replace Web Filter Blocking Pro-Gay Sites
A judge has ordered Camdenton school district in Missouri to replace a filter that puts pro-gay sites in the sexuality category, but allows antigay sites, which are often classified as religious.
In Praise of Germs: Why Common Bugs Are Necessary for Kids
Attention, germaphobes. Exposure to the microscopic bugs is crucial for keeping kids healthy, according to new research in the prestigious journal Science.
Recalls of Unsafe Kids Products Down but Often Ignored
Children’s product recalls dropped 24% in 2011, but injuries and other incidents associated with these recalls grew 7%, a report out today says.
Aggressive Parents Force Egg Hunt Cancellation
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Organizers of an annual Easter egg hunt attended by hundreds of children have canceled this year’s event, citing the behavior of aggressive parents who swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg.
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Stairs at Home Remain a Childhood Hazard
Nearly 100,000 children each year are taken to hospitals for injuries they sustained on a staircase, usually in the home.
Gerber Recalls Baby Formula Because of Odor
Gerber Products Co is recalling some of its Good Start Gentle powdered infant formula because of an off-odor, the Florham Park, New Jersey, company said.
Circumcision Tied to Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
New research suggests circumcision may protect against prostate cancer, adding a new reported benefit to the procedure. Circumcision can help prevent inflammation and infection, including sexually transmitted infections that may cause prostate cancer, the study found.
How Mom’s Weight Before Pregnancy Can Affect a Baby’s Brain
Researchers say that cognitive deficits found in premature babies can be traced to a number of mom-related factors, and one of them is a woman’s pre-pregnancy weight.
Nonfiction Curriculum Enhanced Reading Skills, Study Finds
According to a new study, children in New York City schools who learned to read using an experimental curriculum that emphasized nonfiction texts outperformed those at other schools.
Young Arms and Curveballs: A Scientific Twist
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Recent studies seem to show that, despite conventional wisdom, curveballs pose no greater danger to young pitching arms than other pitches.
baby formula, baseball, circumcision, formula, Gerber, pregnancy weight, reading, recall, recalls, safety, stairs | Categories:
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Another Batch of Birth Control Pills Recalled
Glenmark Generics is issuing a nationwide recall of seven lots of birth control pills. The pills are labeled “norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets.”
2nd Victim Dead after Ohio School Shooting
A student wounded in a deadly school shooting has been declared brain dead, authorities said Tuesday, a day after one student was killed and three others injured when teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school.
Flu Shots for Expectant Mothers Add to Babies’ Birth Weight
Flu shots for mothers appear to increase the birth weights of their babies, making it more likely they will survive, according to a new study done in Bangladesh.
Autism Not Diagnosed as Early in Minority Kids
Early diagnosis is considered key for autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children.
Frozen Embryo ‘Open Adoption’ Raises Hopes, Questions
Meet the modern “open adoption” family — at least two hopeful humans and one embryo, brought together by science, trust, complicated legalities and a goodly bit of luck.
Yoga for Babies: Is It Safe?
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They may not be able to walk or talk, but they have no problem arching their bodies into the downward dog pose. Yes, toddlers and babies are doing yoga — studios now offer classes for kids as young as 6 weeks old.
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Friday, December 16th, 2011
Warnings and news stories continue to come out against the Bumbo seat, and Parents News Now blogger Holly Lebowitz Rossi recently wrote about a lawsuit against the company involving a 9-month-old who fractured his skull after falling out of the chair. In October 2007, Bumbo issued a voluntary recall of the chairs and though they remain on the market today, they carry a warning label advising parents not to use the product on elevated surfaces. More recently, in November 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a release urging parents to use caution when using the Bumbo because serious head injuries continue to be documented despite the recall and warning label. These accidents have occurred when the seats were placed on chairs, countertops, tabletops, or other high surfaces, but also when used on the floor (cases have been reported of babies falling and hitting their heads on a hardwood floor or plastic toy). Children can fall out of the seats by arching their backs, leaning forward or sideways, or rocking.
Since the Bumbo is still sold in stores, we encourage you to take the following precautions if you have one in your house:
- Don’t use the Bumbo or similar seats on a tabletop, chair, countertop, or other elevated surface or on a hardwood floor.
- Keep your eyes on your baby at all times while he’s in the seat.
- Take your baby out of the seat as soon as he starts arching his back, leaning, or rocking in it.
What do you think? Should Bumbo be obligated to tweak its product so it’s safe, even when there’s no parental supervision? Or is it enough to put a warning label on the product and say it must be used with parental supervision? Do you own a Bumbo? Why or why not? Were you previously aware of these warnings, and have you ever left the room while your baby was in the seat?
Image from Bumbo.com
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