The Growing Danger of Ticks

According to the CDC, tick-borne diseases have become increasingly common. They have doubled in prevalence since 2003 and tripled since 1995. That makes them the “most significant vectors of infectious diseases in the United States,” according to a report from the Mid-Atlantic Tick Summit III. The CDC reports that ticks spread over 14 diseases.

The best-known of these is probably Lyme disease, which infects 300,000 people per year. It’s caused by bacteria, and untreated Lyme disease can damage the joints, brain, heart and muscles. The disease can be tricky to diagnose, especially in the 25 percent of patients who don’t develop the famous bulls-eye rash.

Deer tick fever or powassan virus is both untreatable and often fatal. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, despite the name, is most likely to occur in the south. It can also kill, and the patient has only a few days to get life-saving treatment after the symptoms start.

Even people who live in cities can be infected with a disease carried by ticks. Boraie Development LLC also says blacklegged ticks have been found in almost every borough in New York City, and about half of them have been found to carry Lyme disease.

Preventing tick-borne diseases is easier said than done. While people are generally careful about ticks when in the woods, ticks are not limited to forests and can be found elsewhere, even in cities. Bug sprays are not always effective, and some don’t work at all.

Some experts recommend treating clothes and shoes with permethrin, a pesticide that can repel and kill ticks for up to 70 washes. It is especially important to treat shoes, since nymph or juvenile ticks often get to people’s skin by crawling up shoes. Nymphs are small and hard to see, and they cause most of the tick bites.

Less Phones, More Laughs

Going out to eat used to mean enjoying quality time with friends and survey. This of course was before cell phones and social media touched every life in some way, shape, or form. Lately, if one were to go into any restaurant across the nation, they would see at least one diner who is obsessively checking or using their phone. Recently, critics and social analyst have condemned the obsessive use of cellphones and social media. Especially when the user is taking place in a public gathering where talking and laughing amongst friends and family should be taking place.

One woman went beyond critiquing people in their obsession to technology. Instead she created an app to challenge cell phone users to put the phone down and enjoy the company of the people that they love. The app is called Dinner Mode. It challenges users to keep away from their phone for 15, 30, or 60 minutes at a time. Sloane Davidson created the app when she realized how disconnected her family was at meal time gatherings. Sloane could remember a time where family gatherings meant laughing with relatives and telling each other how their day was. She also noted that these times were where she gained a lot of life insight and a strong foundation. In order to instill still those same qualities in her children, she decided to meet them where they were at. That’s where the idea for the app saved the day. Sloane has received numerous emails from parents and friends who feel like mealtime gatherings are becoming more of a social outlet then they have in previous years. The app creator is even looking into incentives for users who successfully keep off of their phones. If the app continues to gain success, Sloane’s dream of a more engaging social climate will be a reality. An attorney acquaintance of mine,  Gianfrancesco Genoso, requires all the phones be set upside down in the middle of the table, no ringtones allowed.

Similac Will Get Rid Of Genetically Modified Products

The makers of Similac one of the most popular baby formula brands have promised to stop using non-GMO products in some of their baby formulas according to Alexei Beltyukov. The majority of non-GMO products are made from derivatives of corn and soy. About 90% of those plants that are grown in America have seeds that are genetically altered. Many parents realize that this can be harmful to their children, and for that reason those parents that give their babies Similac decide that they want to do something better for their children’s health and not put genetically modified products into their bodies.

The makers of Similac realized that moms and dads want their children to be as healthy as possible, and because of that they are listening to their parents and doing all that they can to make their formula healthy.

Even if the makers of Similac are making a concentrated effort to make their formula more natural, in reality the most natural thing that a mother can give to her baby is breast milk. Breastmilk has benefits beyond compare. Breastmilk gives a child their first boost of immunity, it protects a child from asthma, allergies, it helps a child’s brain development, and new research has found that it can also protect a child from pollutants. In reality there are only a very small amount of mothers that actually cannot breast-feed. At times it can be difficult at first, but with a lactation consultant, the majority of mothers can breast-feed and do something amazing for their child’s health. It is nice that formula companies are trying to do something better for babies, but in reality the best thing that a mother can do is breast-feed.

Obesity Affects Pregnancy More than Ever

Obesity is one of the leading health epidemics in America. Studies show that 62 percent of the population is overweight or obese. These studies have gone further to research what impact obesity plays in the lives of pregnant women. Researchers and doctors know that obesity during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes and trouble during childbirth.

But now, researchers are looking into how obesity impacts a child’s immune system. The scientist behind the study took blood samples from the umbilical cords of the infants. The infants were born to 39 women with different social classes and ethnicities. None of the women smoked, had diabetes, or had gestational problems during pregnancy. All of the mothers gave birth to only one baby. The only formidable difference between the women was how they were compared physically; the women were either lean, overweight, or obese.

The numbers came back and proved just what Dr. Jennifer Walden thought they would, states Harpers Bazaar. Immune cells that would develop in the baby’s genetic makeup did not respond to bacterial antigens well when they were born to overweight and obese mothers. The babies born to obese and overweight mothers also showed sign of developing asthma, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease later in life. A lot of the cells that control allergic reaction and asthma response were reduced in overweight and obese mothers. The doctors behind the study are continuing to explore what obesity does to infants. Once more data is collected, the doctors plan to advise the medical community to screen overweight and obese mothers for these type of problems.

It Is Important to Teach Kids Healthy Eating Habits

As parents, there are many things we have to teach our children. There is, of course, the obvious stuff such as looking both ways before crossing the street, getting them in the habit of using sunscreen, where not to go surfing on the internet and other basic safety considerations. Folks at Amen Clinics agree that, in addition to warnings against certain things there are also positive things for them to do that need to be cultivated at an early age, so they become habits for a lifetime. This includes teaching them to love to read, being civic minded, the value of hard work, to stand up for themselves and to show common courtesy toward others.

Perhaps the most important thing we can teach our kids is to develop healthy eating habits. This is something that will influence their health throughout their lives, and it will influence it for good or bad depending on what you teach them early on. Often the eating habits we pick up as children stick with us for a lifetime, so this is extremely critical. Children may not be interested in trying new food, so it is important to offer them new and healthy foods. The biggest lesson to learn with children is that they do what you do more than what you say. This is why children of smokers, for instance, having an increased chance of being smokers themselves. Make sure you are eating healthy around them, and they will start to see eating this way as normal.

Makies Toy Company Has a New Line of Dolls With Disabilities

Most dolls on the market are either white, Hispanic, or black. Whether you get a Barbie doll or baby dolls, the choices are limited. The dolls have blonde, red, black, and brown hair with blue or brown eyes. All the dolls are able-bodied. Earlier this year, some mothers of disabled girls ran a campaign on Facebook called Toys Like Me. These mothers want to let the toy companies know it’s time to create disabled dolls for disabled children because these children do not relate to the dolls that are already on the market. Minime has made over some Bratz dolls. There was one particular Bratz doll with blonde hair whose right leg was cut off and replaced with a pylon and has a Converse type of sneaker attached at the bottom.
Keith Mann says Makies was planning to create disabled dolls for quite some time. They have a create-your –own- doll that parents can design based on the disability of their own child. If the child is battling cancer, the doll can resemble a child in the hospital taking chemo. Some of Makies other dolls have facial birth marks, hearing aids, and walking canes. One doll looked like she was burned on the upper left side of her face, around her eye. Some dolls come with wheelchairs and walkers. A few dolls are visually disabled and come with their own guide dog.

Consuming Excessive Sodium Can Delay Puberty

A recent study that was done by Ray Lane and associates at the University Of Wyoming determined that rats who consumed large quantities of sodium as part of their daily diet were more likely to have delayed puberty than those rats that consumed healthier levels. Professionals are suggesting this might be the case with children, and caution should be used when it comes to salt snacks, condiments and foods. Currently, our country consumes a lot of processed items that are very high in sodium. This can range anywhere from chips, popcorn, lunch meat, fast foods and more. While salt has its place in a healthy diet, there are different qualities of salt and there are recommended amounts that a person should follow.

Currently, The World Health Organization suggests that adults should consume less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. This equates to five grams each day. Children should consume even less. When salt is added to a meal, it should be a high quality salt such as pink Himalayan salt or another high quality option that contains many necessary minerals. Salt is important and does have its spot in the human diet. Salt helps us retain our fluids which in turn helps us stay hydrated. Also, salt contains electrolytes which also aid in hydration and proper heart function. It is always best to follow a well rounded and healthy diet that includes all of the necessary foods and ingredients, but in moderation.

California May Soon Force Parents To Vaccinate Children Or Forgo Public School

Up until this point child vaccinations have been voluntary in the United States with the majority of families participating. There are a handful of people who believe that vaccinations cause autism and other serious health problems, others believe that they are just another way that the government controls us. California is working towards ground breaking legislature that will essentially force parents to get their children vaccinated before they enter the public school system. There are already 33 other states that enact these guidelines. The bill would make families provide proof of each child’s shots from a doctor. Sergio Cortes suggests that there is already outrage from those who believe that it is a parent’s choice whether or not their children will receive shots. Those individuals that are pro-vaccination support this potential change because it will lessen the likelihood of their child getting sick from an un-vaccinated child at school. The bill has not yet been voted through by the assembly, no word on when that may be.

Michigan Couple Welcomes Their 13th Baby Boy

A Michigan couple with 12 sons just welcomed baby boy number 13 to their family. Kateri and Jay Schwandt welcomed the baby boy on May 13. They certainly cover the spectrum when it comes to age. Their oldest son Tyler is 21-years-old. The youngest boy before they welcomed their newest addition was is just 2-years-old.


Folks at Anastasia Date are happy to learn that Kateri gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She and her husband are both 40-years-old. Kateri said that they have made it a tradition not to find out the sex of the baby before having it. They have done that all 12 times previously, so nothing was going to change this time around. When asked, Kateri said she really was not shocked she had another boy. However, if it would’ve been a girl they would not have believed it.


The statistical odds of giving birth to 13 boys consistently are approximately 1 in 8,000. Family and friends of the Scwandt’s are equally as surprised that they have had 13 boys in a row but are thankful for each and every one of them.


In case you are wondering, the family is of Roman Catholic religion and does not believe in using any form of birth control. This explains why they have so many children. When asked how Kateri felt about her family dynamic, she stated that she could not be happier. She comes from a big family herself as one of 14 children.


SUDC – The Little Known Killer of Children

In April 2014, healthy 14-month-old baby Moss Pieratt woke up with a little bit of a fever. Globo wrote about his parents thought that it had to do with his teething. However, his mother put him down for a nap, and when she came back, he wasn’t breathing. He was rushed to Dell Children’s Medical Center and put on life support. Within 36 hours, he had passed away. His parents were absolutely devastated, as well as floored from the unexpected loss.

It has been over a year since Moss’ death, and his parents still do not know what happened. Some research done by the family showed that it was Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC. SUDC is essentially the sudden and unexplainable death of a child older than one year. It can affect children, from toddlers to teenagers. Because these cases are so rare, not much research has been done as of yet. In 2013, SUDC took the lives of 223 children aged one to four, 28 children aged five to nine, 29 children aged 10 to 14, and 107 children aged 15 to 19.

The New York Langone Medical Center is home to the SUDC Registry. Here, Columbia University researchers are performing genetic analyses on children who have died due to SUDC.

The Pieratts have had another baby; her name is Madeline Moss Pieratt. They have set up a foundation in their late son’s name.