Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't Leave Babies In The Car

GreatDad has a blog about a man arrested for leaving his 2-year-old in the car alone while he went to see a movie. Last year a 7-month-old baby died of heat exposure after being left by her parents in the car. Juggling full time work and daycare, the parents miscommunicated and didn't realize she was in the car. It was a terrible and tragic accident and it's hard not to feel bad for them, and angry at them too. Here's an excerpt from a KMOV article about the baby's death published September 2007, which has some interesting general statistics:
(KMOV) -- According to police, a 7-month-old girl died from extreme heat after being found in a vehicle in St. Louis on Thursday.

The baby was found around 12:15 p.m. on Thursday in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Washington University School of Medicine.

That's near the intersection of Clayton Ave. and Taylor near Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The mother of the baby is a pediatrician at Barnes Hospital and the father is a researcher at Washington University Medical Center. The names of the baby and the parents are not being released.

Authorities say the baby was left in the car after a miscommunication between the parents. Police say the parents became confused about which one was with the baby.

A witness tells News 4 that a passerby saw the baby in the car and the child was soaked with sweat. Several people then broke the window of the car with a rock to get to the child. They were unable to revive the baby.

We’re told that the baby may have been locked inside the vehicle for three and a half hours. and died due to extreme heat conditions.

Police say their child abuse unit is still investigating but no charges are expected.

According to a child advocacy group called Kids in Cars says in:

2007 22 children died

2006 29 children died

2005 43 children died

This is the 12th fatality of a child in a hot vehicle in Missouri since 1998, according to a research meteorologist who specializes in the dynamics of how sealed cars heat in the sun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free For One Year Olds

With the price of gas as high as it is and the cost of food skyrocketing, we wonder how anyone buys anything anymore (perhaps thanks to Mr. Visa and Mrs. Mastercard?). That's the great thing about babies -- they don't care if what they are wearing is new or a hand-me-down (wait until they turn 9, this all changes). Even if you are dying to get a closet full of new stuff, you may find yourself unable to buy, buy, buy given the downturn in the economy. The good news is, as we mention in The Baby Bonding Book for Dads, most of the best things to do with babies are free or cost next to nothing. Here are some ideas of free things for dads to do with one year olds:
1. Go to the pet store. Even younger babies get really excited about kittens and puppies and every kid likes to watch goldfish. If you don't have a pet store nearby, go give some love to the closest animal shelter.
2. The local wading pool. Ours costs less than $1. Babies love it.
3. Go for a hike. Walk in-town or discover a new spot in nature. Bring another dad and baby along for company.
4. Go to the library. Even when they are too young to read, babies soon discover that there are plenty of board books to drool on and crawl around space to escape from at the library.
5. Visit family (and leave the baby with the MIL while you go for a run or get coffee).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Book for Dads to Buy Their Wives

You want your wife to have this book. Believe us. It's called Hump, and it's by Kimberly Ford and it's about having sex (what's that?) after becoming a parent.

There's all sorts of good stuff in this book, including a chapter on vibrators and another on erotic dancing (stretch marks and C-section scars and all).

Here's the Web site (it's gorgeous, prepare for envy): Humpthebook.com.

Kimberly will be attending something like 30 house parties across the United States and she'll be in Ashland, Oregon on Thursday, August 14th. This one is women only (sorry guys. Send your wives!). If you want to be invited, contact Jennifer Margulis (at professormargulis [at] gmail.com) for details.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Disturbing Article on MSNBC

A recent article on kids and health on MSNBC reports that doctors are suggesting children as young as eight years old start taking cholesterol lowering drugs. We find this really disturbing and bizarre -- part of a growing trend in America to medicalize everything about our children's childhoods and treat every problem with drugs.

When drugs are given to children the people who stand to gain the most are the drug companies who profit from every sale.

When we were in Niger, West Africa for a year we had two kinds of health insurance. Neither would pay for the only malaria preventive medicine that was safe for our family (our son has a rare genetic condition, a G6PD deficiency (also known as favism) and he cannot take quinine-based drugs of any kind; I had a violently bad reaction to mefloquine, the anti-malarial of choice even though mosquitoes are resistant to it these days) even though the insurance companies would have been responsible if any of us contracted malaria. The pills we took cost $5 a pill and needed to be taken daily and we paid out of pocket for them until we realized that we were spending more than $1000 beyond what the Fulbright Fellowship stipend was giving us and that we simply didn't have the money. Then we stopped taking any malaria preventative medication. There's a lot wrong with America's health care system -- our inability to pay for needed medication and the recommendation that children take drugs for high cholesterol are two good examples of that.

Let's give our kids fresh air, exercise, and a healthy diet that does not include any processed foods or high cholesterol foods. Let's support organic farmers not irresponsible drug companies. Let's not give 8-year-olds cholesterol lowering medication. Okay?