If you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you might not be aware that Google, once known solely as an internet search engine, currently offers many other services, including street and satellite maps of a goodly portion of the world. In addition, for many cities, you can access their “Street View” — 360 degree images as seen by cameras mounted atop roving vehicles. For some, it’s a great way to explore the world but for others, it’s an invasion of privacy. Such is the opinion of Claire Rowlands of Walkden, Greater Manchester in England.
Archive for June, 2010
Whooping cough is at the top of its five-year cycle and, according to Mike Sicilia of the California Department of Health, is “on track to surpass our 50-year high.” So why is a disease that can be fatal to infants on the rise, especially since we have a vaccination for it? That’s an excellent and important question and some doctors think they have the answer. Furthermore, I happen to agree with them.
There has been quite the campaign to promote breastfeeding as the best option for newborns and I fully support it. My wife breastfed all three of our children for more than a year each — no small feat for a woman working fulltime or more and certainly more than most American mothers do. On the other hand, I certainly understand when a woman — for whatever reason — is unable to breastfeed. Certainly, “Breast is Best” but that’s not always possible. But what about when a woman is perfectly capable of breastfeeding but chooses not to?
“Oh my God, I sound just like my mother!”
Of course, haven’t we all said that?
Have you heard yourself saying something crazy to your spouse or to your kids? Has someone said something to you that, in retrospect, seems completely off -the-wall? Let us know!
A new policy approved by the Provincetown, Massachusetts school committee would, in theory, make condoms available to kindergarteners without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Naturally, this has a lot of people in an uproar — mostly the sort of folks who are opposed to sex in general. The policy is an “absolute push to promote sexual promiscuity,” according to Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, an organization apparently dedicated to stamping out anything fun. “This is the theater of the absurd to hand condoms to first-graders who don’t even know what their purpose possibly could be, who can’t even spell sex,” he added.
In addition to the issue of general water safety and that whole not-letting-the-kids-drown thing, there is another issue that needs to be dealt with these days — sun protection. Sunburn is no laughing matter, even if it doesn’t always lead to skin cancer — it’s bloody painful in its own right. As parents, it’s part of our job to keep our children safe and that includes making sure they are not exposed to too much sun.
If just staying indoors isn’t an option (and, truthfully, would you want to be stuck in the house all summer with your kids?) then sunscreen is an absolute must. But for the parts that don’t get sunscreen, is a t-shirt and swim trunks enough? Perhaps — and perhaps not. A lightly woven, wet t-shirt doesn’t really offer that much protection. So what can one do, short of staying indoors?
I’m spending a few days by the pool with my kids right now and, although the older two are both excellent swimmers, I am well aware of how very easy it is for even an expert swimmer to drown. After five years of swim lessons, I feel comfortable sitting on the side of the pool keeping an eye on my kids instead of being in the water with them — but I make sure that I keep an eye on them. The little one, at two-years-old, requires constant, hands-on, in-the-water attention. Even with a swim ring, it would be too easy for him to flop over, end up upside-down, and not be able to right himself. Sadly, not everyone understands that.
So abstinence education doesn’t work — even Bristol Palin admitted that. Teenagers need realistic, accurate information about sex and pregnancy. It simply makes sense that teenagers get that kind of information as part of an overall biology/health education program in school, so that what is taught is both correct and consistent. The alternative is to have kids learn about sex on the playground or, even worse, from potential (hopeful?) lovers. That’s where ideas like “you can’t get pregnant the first time” and “if you love me, you’ll let me” come from. So, yes, sex education is a good thing. But should it really come from a talking cow?