Back(pack) to the Future

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter’s backpack is insanely heavy. I’ve mentioned this to her teachers and they say that textbooks aren’t used much at school and that students shouldn’t have to bring them in every day. But because my daughter spends half her time with me, and the other half with her mother, she’s worried that she’ll leave a book at the wrong house and won’t be able to do her homework. I get that, but I’m really worried that she’ll hurt herself. She doesn’t want a wheely backpack (says it’s not cool). How should we handle this?

A: You’re absolutely right to be worried about your daughter’s backpack. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 14,000 backpack-related injuries every year, 5,000 of which are bad enough to land the child in the emergency room. Most of those injuries involve muscles and the skeleton. But a study done by researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering found that heavy backpacks can also cause short- and long-term nerve damage by pressing on the nerves that go through the head, neck, and shoulders.
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Is ObamaCare Bad for Men and Boys? Sure Looks That Way…

Despite claims by many that the economy is “turning around” and unemployment is dropping, the fact remains that millions of Americans are in serious financial straits. As individuals, families, and employers look for ways to cut expenses, more and more of them are increasing their health insurance deductibles as a way to save money by [...]

Numbers of Food-Related Choking in Children Continue to Climb

choking baby

Choking is a leading cause of injury among children, and can sometimes be fatal, especially in children 4 years of age or younger. The number of children who choke on food is particularly high, especially because the size, shape and consistency of certain foods make them more likely to be a choking hazard. In the study, “Nonfatal Choking on Food Among Children 14 Years or Younger in the United States, 2001-2009,” published in the August 2013 Pediatrics (published online July 29), researchers investigated nonfatal pediatric food choking-related emergency department (ED) visits from 2001 to 2009 using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. The authors found that an average of 12,400 children ages 0 to 14 years of age were treated in EDs for nonfatal food-related choking annually, which equals 34 children per day. Hard candy caused most choking episodes (15 percent), followed by other candy (13 percent), meat other than hot dogs (12 percent), and bones (12 percent). Other high-risk foods, including hot dogs and seeds and nuts, were more likely to require hospitalizations. Boys accounted for just over half (55 percent) of all cases, and children 0 to 4 years of age experienced the highest rate of food-related choking. In line with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, study authors propose implementing improved monitoring of food-related choking incidents, placing warning labels on foods that pose a high choking risk, and developing public awareness campaigns to educate parents and the public about the danger of food-related choking among children.

Toilet Seats: An Argument in Favor of Leaving Them Up

Let me say up front that I understand why women want the men and boys in their life to put toilet seats down. I’ve got two sisters, three daughters, a mother, and several ex-wives, all of whom reminded me more than once about the unpleasantness of falling into the toilet. So, yeah, I get it. But I just came across a study that makes a pretty good case for why leaving the seat up may be necessary.

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Lessons from a Military Family + Boys Should Be Boys + Debunking Medical Myths

www.amazon.co.ukSarah Smiley, author of Dinner with the Smileys.
Topic:
One military family, one year of heroes, and lessons for a lifetime
Issues: The heartwarming story of a family’s commitment to fill a deployed servicemember’s place at the family dinner table with interesting people–teachers, Olympians, politicians, athletes, authors, comedians, and more.


www.amazon.co.ukMeg Meeker, author of Boys Should Be Boys.
Topic:
Secrets to raising healthy sons.
Issues: Why moody and rebellious boys are not normal; single sex education; teaching boys to survive in a world that doesn’t value masculinity; what parents and teachers can do to support and encourage boys.


www.amazon.co.ukGuest 2: Lara Zibners, author of If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay.
Topic:
How to know if your child’s illness or injury is really an emergency.
Issues: There’s no such thing as a fever that’s too high; You don’t really need to keep a child awake after a head injury; Why car seats are important—even if you’re “just going around the corner”; Ear infections don’t require antibiotics; and more myths debunked

Child Safety, Part II: Even More Accidents Waiting to Happen

child safety - trampolines may be too dangerous

In Part I of our series on child safety we talked about risks associated with bouncing around on those seemingly innocent horsey rides at stores or in bouncy houses.

Speaking of bouncing, let’s talk about those backyard trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics. a group that’s always concerned about child safety, now recommends against using trampolines. Their data show that 70 children per 100,000 are injured on them (compared to only 5 per 100,000 who are injured in bouncy rooms). The majority of the injuries happen when several kids are bouncing on the trampoline at the same time—especially when there’s height/weight difference between them (smaller kids tend to get launched into the air or smacked into by bigger ones). A real child safety disaster.
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