Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

In Praise of the Plastic Wastebasket

Monday, February 13th, 2012

In my bedroom, we have a nice wooden wastebasket that, more-or-less, matches my parents’ antique dressers.  It was a good find at Costco some years ago.  For the kids, however, I’m not interested in anything other than an inexpensive plastic wastebasket.  Sure, it’s tacky and cheap looking and maybe even bad for the environment, but there’s a very good reason I wouldn’t have anything else.

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The Shallowness of Parenthood

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Yes, like just about everyone else these days, it seems, I’m on Facebook.  Most of my Facebook “friends” are either family, parents of my kids’ friends, or fellow writers from the parenting world.  It’s a good way to keep in touch and share ideas, news, and information with them.  Sometimes, however, it becomes a source of revelation and insight as well.  Such was the case last evening as I was catching up on the day’s posts at bedtime.

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Too Much Information

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

There is a lot of information that can help a teacher figure out how best to help a student learn.  Seemingly irrelevant data such as who the child lives with, what language (or languages) are spoken at home, and if the child has any medical issues are all clues a teacher can use tailor lessons to a child’s specific situation.  There’s one bit of information, however, that I simply can’t imagine anyone at a child’s school needing to know — but that didn’t stop one school district from asking for it.

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The Nuggets Really Are That Good

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

About once a month, we let our kids buy the school lunch.  It’s a welcome break for my wife who normally puts together their midday repast and there are a few menu items they really enjoy.  More so than any other, their favorite meal is the chicken nuggets.  They really look forward to that.  Apparently, they’re not the only ones with a special fondness for school lunch nuggets; two men in Florida really, really like them as well.

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Restaurant Responsibilities

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

How much responsibility does a restaurant have to ensure that healthy options are available for kids and families? At some restaurants, the only healthy item available might be a glass of water and that’s okay, if that’s the sort of establishment they want to be. How about, though, restaurants that try to be “family-friendly” and that offer a “kid’s meal”? Do they have any obligation to make healthy options available, at least as part of the kid’s meals?

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Anti-Vax’ers Lose In California

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Remember the bit I posted a while back about autism causing whooping cough?  Some parents, afraid that vaccines caused autism despite plentiful evidence to the contrary and even outright debunking of the original “study” that first made the claim, have been deciding not to get their children immunized, including opting out of the whooping cough vaccine.  Not surprisingly, that resulted in an increase in the incidence of the disease.  That won’t be happening in California any more, however, thanks to a new law going into effect.

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No Pot While Pregnant

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Did you know that you’re not supposed to smoke marijuana while pregnant?  I didn’t.  My wife didn’t.  No one told us during any of our three pregnancies.  Not that it was an issue; neither of us uses marijuana.  Still, given its prevalence and acceptance in California in general and the Bay Area in particular, I’m surprised it wasn’t part of the classes we took and that my wife’s doctors never mentioned it.  Sadly, we’re not the only ones who didn’t know.

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Kids Banned From Playing In The Snow

Monday, December 6th, 2010

“I’m a trained risk assessor,” says one parent “and this is not a health and safety issue.”  That’s the point of view most parents would take, I think.  In fact, some pay a lot of money just so their kids can enjoy this activity.  But what is this situation that is so dangerous that some schools in Scotland are banning it?  Playing in the snow, of course, because snow is, well, wet and cold.

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Beware the Juice

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Soda, it’s pretty well agreed, isn’t good for kids, especially the younger ones.  It rots teeth and, generally, contains caffeine, not to mention being a huge source of empty calories.  Milk, well, it does a body good, but it too can be fattening — something, sadly, I know from personal experience.  Of course, no one would recommend coffee for kids and, in the US at least, beer, wine, and other “adult” beverages are right out.  So what’s left, if your kids want something other than water?  Juice is one option — except that even that has problems now.

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The Dangers of Working at McDonald’s

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Like a lot of people, I did my time at McDonald’s, working at the Opera House McDonald’s restaurant here in San Francisco the summer before I started college.  I am quite convinced that taking advantage of the free, unlimited access to soda was directly responsible for some serious dental issues I suffered subsequently.  I don’t blame the company, however; it was completely my own fault.  I should have known the damage excessive amounts of soda could do to my teeth and, perhaps more importantly, no one forced me to drink the soda.  One store manager in Brazil, however, faced a different set of circumstances.

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