Our Saturday green news bring you the latest on health, parenting and cool baby and kid products:
- Contraceptive pills and increased glaucoma risk: A new study has found a possible link between long term use of contraceptive pills and an increased risk in glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause blindness if left untreated.. Women who’ve been using oral contraceptives for several years or longer should have their eyes checked more regularly as they get older. Although this new research suggests that the pills may double their lifetime risk of developing glaucoma, the researchers don’t want to discourage women from using oral contraceptives, since the risk for the average woman over 40 remains fairly low.
- Overuse of acetaminophen during pregnancy could affect baby’s development: A new study from Norway published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a link between high use of acetaminophen painkillers (such as Tylenol) during pregnancy and development problems in children of these mothers by age three. According to head researcher Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen: “Long-term use of acetaminophen increased the risk of behavior problems by 70 percent at age three. That is considerable.” This study is the first ever to look at young children whose mothers took acetaminophen during pregnancy and involved a large number of women. Researchers also looked for any link to ibuprofen, but found no development problems tied to ibuprofen.
- Don’t calm your baby with a smartphone: The Japan Pediatric Association (JPA) has recently launched a campaign to raise awareness about the problems with “parenting via smartphones”. Their concern is a new trend of parents handing over their smartphones to babies and toddlers to calm them down or distract them. The president of the JPA believes this trend may impact a child’s development: “When children become upset, many parents give them a smartphone to keep them quiet. But if parents do this, they have fewer chances to communicate through pacifying their babies while watching how they react.” The same problem is happening in North America and other developed countries. One study found that seventy percent of children under age 8 have used a mobile device, forty percent of children under 2 also use mobile devices, and all of these children are spending triple the time on mobile devices than they did in 2011. Young children need a real-life interaction with their parents for their proper development, not a smartphone substitute.