NO, WE DON'T THINK THE MEDIA HAS UNDUE INFLUENCE ON OUR KIDS, WHY DO YOU ASK?

Fellow has been desperate to finish off his tube of Winnie the Pooh Oral B kids toothpaste - because waiting on deck in Mommy's bathroom is a tube of Power Rangers Oral B toothpaste. For a week, he's brushed at night, then said, "It's finished now! Let's throw it away!" Exasperated by this impractical urge to dispose of perfectly good toothpaste, we've assured him there is NO difference between the two tubes. "No, Daddy," he told us, "the Power Rangers toothpaste has POWER INSIDE it!"

As you can imagine, it was hard to argue that point.

TURNS OUT, NOT SO MUCH BETTER THAN ONE   

The Egyptian girl from whom doctors successfully removed a "parasitic twin head" a year ago has passed away, at almost two, from a brain infection. His is not the most common view, to be sure, but William Saletan at Slate argues that this was no tragedy:

Tragic view: Why couldn't doctors save her? Grateful view: Are you kidding? Head separation surgery had never been done in the Middle East before, and she's the first kid to survive such surgery anywhere, not to mention five more surgeries and a full additional year. Hats off to her doctors.

BREAST MILK: IT BEATS DYSENTERY (NO, LITERALLY)

Elsewhere on Slate, a counterintuitive take on the benefits of breastfeeding: The belief that it transmits critical antibodies to your child is in large part a myth, but there are still important advantages to an infant diet made up exclusively of mother's milk - in the Third World, that is:

Breast-feeding protects against diarrheal ailments in three ways. Infants who nurse are not drinking formula, which is a perfect medium for bacteria if it's not refrigerated and if it is reconstituted with contaminated water, as is typically the case in nonindustrialized countries. And if infants are exclusively breast-fed during the vulnerable first six months of life, they're also not taking in contaminated food. Finally, the maternal antibodies in a baby's gut deactivate swallowed bacteria and viruses that might otherwise infect the cells that line the intestine or penetrate the lining. Most often this prevents bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, which presently kills 1.6 million children worldwide a year.

5_threephasesJUST CHECKING: IT'S WRONG FOR US TO BE TURNED ON BY THIS DIAGRAM, ISN'T IT?

Last one from Slate, which is definitely feeling mammalian this week: A slide show history of the breast pump, explaining how Swedish engineer Einar Egnell, father of the Medela line, devised an ingenious way to get thousands of women to pop open their bras at the office - without once being charged with sexual harassment.


THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB DAY CARE IS - YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB DAY CARE

A soldier and his wife were caught on videotape coaching their 3-year-old girl to beat up the 5-year-old boy for whom they were babysitting. It sounds like quite a show:

... the tape shows the soldier commanding his daughter to knock the victim down, kick him and hit him in the face. The girl follows her father's instructions as the boy cries and pleads for her to stop, police said.

The couple is being held in Texas on $100,000 bail each, charged with causing injury to the child.

SIMILARLY, THE FIRST RULE OF STRIP CLUB IS - WELL, YOU GET THE IDEA

His father told the boy that if he left the car he would be eaten by monsters. But after waiting a half-hour for Pop to return, an Oklahoma preschooler left alone in a rainy strip-club parking lot eventually went inside the joint to look for him. A noble bouncer called the police, and now Lap-dance Dad is charged with the crime of (wait for it) "encouraging a minor child to be in need of supervision."

The Man will never take us in on that count: Despite our best efforts, we've never successfully encouraged Tiny Girl that she was in need of supervision.

060323_jewelry_hsml_8a0vsmallIT'S NOT THE REASON WE WOULD HAVE GIVEN FOR WHY YOU SHOULDN'T PUT A REEBOK CHARM BRACELET ON YOUR CHILD, BUT IT'LL DO

Reebok is recalling 300,000 children's charm bracelets after a Minnesota four-year-old died from swallowing a piece of the jewelry, which has been found to contain dangerously high levels of lead. The giant shoe manufacturer had been giving the bracelets away to families who purchased Reebok kid's gear and for some reason thought it would be cool to have their children wear a piece of jewelry with a sneaker company's logo on it.

March 29, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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