Watch Out, Baby!

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I both work and we have our 2-year old daughter in a lovely home daycare. We really like the provider—she makes organic food for all the kids she takes care of, and does a lot of fun activities with them. But we recently found out that she also has the kids in front of the TV or playing video games for several hours every day. It’s so hard to find good-quality, affordable childcare these days, plus our baby really loves her caregiver. How bad is it for toddlers to watch a little TV?

A: Unfortunately, the whole issue of babies and TV is far from being black and white. The official position of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that kids under two should have as close to zero time in front of screens as possible, and kids older than two should limit screen entertainment to an hour or two per day (not including time on computers that are being used for homework, of course). The point is that children should spend a lot more of their time interacting with other people than with electronics.

In an ideal world—where most of us don’t happen to live—that’s definitely the right approach. But we all have situations that call for a little rule bending, and an hour of TV while you’re taking a shower or making a phone call probably won’t cause any long-term damage. And neither will the parental magic trick most of us perform when trying to tame loud or restless kids: pulling out the tablet or smartphone and putting it gently into those little hands.
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Do You Know Your Numbers? Why Blood Pressure is Important to Your Well-Being

Author: The Measure Up/Pressure Down © Campaign

high blood pressure2The next time you’re sitting in the bleachers at a sporting event or in a pew at church, take a look around. Odds are that someone sitting next to you – or you – has high blood pressure.

Nearly one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, also called hypertension by medical professionals.

May marks National High Blood Pressure Education Month – a time for raising awareness about the disease and encouraging men and women to get in control. [Read more...]

Holiday Tips with Unexpected Foods to Help You Lose Weight

With the holidays in motion, it’s no secret that losing weight will be easy; in fact, it can be downright frustrating.  Contrary to popular belief, weight loss is not just about exercising furiously or eating a diet of solely fruits and vegetables.  Whether it’s because they speed up your metabolism or because they keep you feeling full, there are some foods that can help you lose weight, despite not being considered “healthy.” [Read more...]

Artificial Sweeteners: Friend or Foe

Despite intense scrutiny of artificial sweeteners for years, the product continues to be popular with dieters, diabetics and many just looking for a sweet fix. Even in the face of declining soda sales, the market share of diet soda continues to expand, with the second most popular soda being a diet variety. At the same time, the global market for non-sugar sweeteners has had impressive sales in recent years. In 2010, over 9 million dollars were spent on non-sugar sweeteners, with the industry anticipating continued growth in coming years.

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‘Robotic’ Sperm to Fight Infertility

Up until recently, health and medicine was basically a hit or miss affair. We would discover interventions such as drugs that had benefits, but also many side effects. With recent research information from Dresden, Germany sperm can now be trapped in nanotubes (grown in a lab with a cylindrical structure that exhibits heat and electrical properties, which are then fabricated on a wafer or “chip”). Then a magnet is used to direct the sperm to the egg, giving the patient a larger chance for impregnation or fertilization. The problem when sperm is released naturally, it can travel anywhere. You start off with millions of sperm that typically last for two days, but unfortunately only one sperm makes it to the egg.

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