Friday, May 15, 2015

Cancer From Soda?

A new report from Johns Hopkins University found that dark sodas may contain a carcinogenic compound known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI.  The agent is known to cause cancer, and researchers found that a single 12 ounces may contain as much as 353 micrograms of 4-MEI.  Though the FDA has no official guidelines on what is considered safe, California passed a law requiring any product with 29 micrograms or more to carry a cancer warning.

Click here for more health and medical information.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bits of Wisdom:

What it means to be free
“Freedom ultimately means the right of other people to do things that you do not approve of. Nazis were free to be Nazis under Hitler. It is only when you are able to do things that other people don't approve that you are free.”
- Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, writing the The Las Vegas Review Journal (12-5-08)

Importance of Parental Acceptance
“A child needs to see a parent in the most positive light possible, even if you have to cushion the blows - just because you know better. ...Every child wants – needs - to feel loved by both parents; that is the way a human being comes to know that he is lovable, worthy of inhaling and exhaling, of walking the face of the Earth.”
- Hara Estroff Marano, responding to a letter about why a child would continually seek the affection and attention of an abusive and neglectful mother, in Psychology Today (April 2008)

Letting your guard down
“When a situation feels dangerous to you, it's probably more safe than you know; when a situation feels safe, that is precisely when you should feel on guard.”
- Tom Vanderbilt in ‘Traffic: Why we Drive the Way We Do’

Cell Phones & Driving
“In 2004, a young woman, distracted by her cellphone, ran a red light and killed my 12-year-old son, Joe. The driver, a good person, was on the phone with her church, where she volunteered with kids Joe's age. I am convinced if she knew of the danger, or if there was a law in place, she would not have been using her phone while driving and my son would be alive today."
-David Teater, writing in USA Today (7-29-09)

Marital Partnership
“We expect one person to give us what an entire community used to-family life and stability and economic support and be a trusted confidant and a passionate lover and experience adventure with the same person.”
- Esther Perel, a couples and family therapist in New York City, writing on unrealistic ideals that get many couples into trouble, in USA Today (7-1-08)

Monday, April 20, 2015

E-cigaret Danger to Teens

E-cigarets have surged in popularity over recent years.  Largely because people assume them to be a safe alternative to cigarets. Yet a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine casts serious doubts on the claim: it found that e-cigaret vapor often contains formaldehyde levels that are up to 15 times greater than that found in traditional cigarets.

"It has the potential to distribute deeply into the lungs and collect there," say lead researcher David Peyton, nor are e-cigs likely to help you stop smoking.  Since they deliver such high concentrations of nicotine, it's very easy for people to become addicted.

This may help explain the sky-rocking use of e-cigarets among young people, many of whom try "vaping" at a party or from a friend who smokes.  E-cigs have an added technological lure to them, making them seem interesting, and potentially driving many more kids to experiment.

According to a new report from the CDC, the percentage of teens using these cigarets tripled between 2014 and 2014.  Overall, the study found that 13.4% of high school students used e-cigarets in 2014, up from 4.5% in 2013 and just 1.5% in 2011.  Use by middle-schoolers increased from 1.1% in 2013 to 3.9% in 2014.  Since 90% of addicted smokers first started in adolescence, have a frank talk with you child about smoking -- no matter what form it takes.

Learn more about teen life issues.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Missing Kids Found Chilling Out in Front of a TV

In Johnston, Iowa, the frantic search for two young boys that were reported missing on Tuesday ended when the youngsters were found . . . watching TV by themselves in a neighbor's house.  The kids admitted they had let themselves in through an unlocked back door.  If only all missing child stories could end like this -- with parents being the ones wanting to strangle the child.

For tips on child abduction prevention visit

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Carbon Monoxide Kills Family

A lack of power may have led to the deaths of seven children from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Police discovered the bodies of Eric Todd, 36, along with his seven children on April 6, 2015, all dead of apparent Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  Police found a gas generator in the kitchen that had run out of fuel.  The two boys and five girls ranged in ages from 6 to 13, and appeared to have died in their sleep.

Let this be a reminder to everyone else: make sure your home has carbon monoxide detectors, since this orderless invisible gas kills between 400 and 500 people each year.  You can find additional tips on protecting your family from this threat in our section on carbon monoxide poisoning in our online child safety book.