PANDAS Stole My Child

girl jumpingI guess it was inevitable. Steep yourself in information about rates of childhood illnesses spiking to epidemic proportions, and you’re bound to become a maternal hypochondriac. But when my then four-year-old daughter first displayed symptoms of serious illness, I panicked. And as it turns out, my panic was justified.  [Read more…]

How to Avoid Chemicals Linked to Autism

latino nurse giving african american girl an injectionIn case you haven’t noticed, there’s a serious debate going on among parents about whether or not vaccinations cause autism. And no wonder, as the numbers keep going up: New statistics from the CDC show that autism now affects a staggering one in 68 kids and jumped more than 400% in 20 years. Everyone wants to know why. And a recent study brings new evidence to support the theory that our environment—not our vaccines—is causing the autism spike. [Read more…]

Vaccines, By The Numbers

young boy receiving a shotI know that this post will get a lot of attention, and not all of it positive. The last time I wrote about vaccines—when Jenny McCarthy joined “The View”—it sparked a serious debate in the comments section.

But given the recent news of a New York City measles outbreak linked to so-called “anti-vaxxers,” I decided to break vaccines down by the numbers, as part of an month’s infographic-driven series. The facts are below, but here are three that I didn’t add:

In 2013, the Journal of Pediatrics found no connection between vaccines and autism.
In 2011, the Institute of Medicine found no connection between vaccines and autism.
In 2010, Andrew Wakefield, who first proposed the connection between vaccines and autism, was stripped of his medical license for fraud.

What do you think of the vaccine numbers? They seem incontrovertible to me. Is there something I’m missing? [Read more…]

7 Steps to Avoid Lead Poisoning

Neurotoxic lead is virtually impossible to detect, without testing. Here are a few important things you can do to protect your family from lead poisoning.When I was a kid, one of the things I never understood was why we had to fill the pasta pot with cold water. If I filled it with the hot water that we’d been using to wash dishes, for example, I’d have to run the tap until it was cold again before I filled up the pot to cook.

I’m not even sure if my dad knew why he did this, it’s just the way it was supposed to be done. But now I know that using cold water in cooking is important because of one thing: Lead poisoning. [Read more…]

Jenny McCarthy is Viewless on Vaccinations

Jenny McCarthy’s opinion about parenting inevitably circles back to one idea: vaccinations cause autism. But the facts prove she's wrong—and dangerous.Jenny’s McCarthy’s appointment to the chair vacated by Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” has critics up in arms. The new post gives Jenny McCarthy the opportunity to share her opinions with three million viewers—many of them mothers—each day.

With two books and countless speaking engagements behind her, Jenny McCarthy’s opinion about parenting inevitably circles back to one idea: vaccinations cause autism. But do the facts support her opinion? [Read more…]

Why You Should Care About Chemical Safety

capitol building with white clouds behind itAutism, ADHD, asthma and allergies — increasingly, they’re all being linked to chemicals in our environment. Babies are now born pre-polluted with more than 200 industrial chemicals in their blood, just from pre-natal exposure. How can that not have an effect?

Yet the manufacturing industry’s position remains firm, lobbying that regulating chemicals will hurt small businesses, leading to increased production costs and job losses.

As a result, there are still 84,000 chemicals used in commerce that have never been tested for children’s safety. They are supposed to be regulated by the Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TSCA) but it doesn’t have a lot to do with chemical safety.

Guess how many chemicals have been restricted since TSCA was passed in 1976? Five. Yes, you read that right. Five. But luckily, there are changes afoot. [Read more…]

2 Steps to Eliminate Food Dyes Linked to ADHD

adhd inducing food dyes in bright colored candyDo your kids get hyper after eating candy? It might not be the sugar—but could be the color. Studies have found a link between food dyes and hyperactivity in children.

Some even see a link between food dyes—which trigger the release of histamines, part of the body’s immune system—and allergies, as well as ADHD, which affects 5.2 million American children.

Yet in 2012, an FDA advisory committee determined that the science was too weak to support a ban on artificial food dyes or a warning label on foods that contain them.

Apparently, that’s not the case in Europe, where regulations require such a warning label, forcing European companies to substitute natural colors for dyes. [Read more…]

Want a Natural Pregnancy? 12 Tips to Protect Your Baby for Life

little girl listening to her mom's natural pregnancy bellyGetting ready for baby—or pregnancy? Congratulations! Going green for your growing belly—or for when you bring that baby home—sounds good on paper, but is a natural pregnancy doable in reality? Yes! Here’s how:

1. Eat organic: The dangers of common pesticide exposure are equal to those of smoking during pregnancy: low birth weight and early labor. Studies have shown that eating organic for just five days can eliminate many of the pesticides—linked to cancer, among other health problems—in our bodies. Following the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen lists can reduce your family’s exposure by 80 percent. [Read more…]