Even small amounts of nicotine can be hazardous to infants and toddlers, and now a candy-like smokeless tobacco product has researchers concerned. Recent data from poison control centers shows that over 70% of toxic tobacco ingestions involve children less than 1 year of age and that smokeless tobacco products account for a rising proportion of ingestions by kids under 6. The new product-designed to give smokers a nicotine fix when they can’t light up-not only dispenses flavored pellets that look like candies, it also contains more “free,” or un-ionized, nicotine (a form more rapidly absorbed in the mouth) than cigarettes, which may be more toxic if ingested. Though the product is sold in childproof packaging, experts are wary that adults may dispense several pellets at a time and inadvertently leave some lying around. They urge extra vigilance in keeping all forms of tobacco out of the reach of children. Source: Pediatrics 125 (2010): 896-99.
As teenagers mature into their senior year of high school, many parents begin to feel more comfortable about letting them drink alcohol. But new research from brain scientists and parenting experts suggests loosening the reins on drinking may not be a good idea in the long run. And, researchers say, parents’ approach to addressing teen drinking does influence a teen’s behavior.(NPR Webisite)
Jennifer Lopez, singer, actress and mother, and the March of Dimes launch a national whooping cough education campaign. This new initiative focuses on educating new parents and their families about pertussis, a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease for infants. The 60-sec PSAs featuring Ms. Lopez are available in both English and Spanish. The video encourages new and expectant parents to help protect their babies by making sure that anyone who is, or will be, in close contact with a young infant has been vaccinated against pertussis.