BREAKING: NOT YOUR CAR SEAT

Oh, boy. Remember that Consumer Reports study blasting federal car-seat testing standards and insisting their super-tests proved that 10 of 12 leading models were unsafe at any speed, or at least any speed over 30 mph? Did it inspire you to toss your seat and secure the kids in the back seat with duct tape? Well, nevermind:

The magazine reported Jan. 4 that most of the seats it tested “failed disastrously” in crashes at speeds as low as 35 mph. In one test, it said, a dummy child was hurled 30 feet. . .

Consumer Reports said Thursday it had received information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing that the speeds at which its side-impact tests were conducted were higher than the 38.5 mph reported. In fact, the NHTSA said the crash tests were conducted under conditions that would represent being struck at more than 70 mph — twice as fast as the magazine claimed, said NHTSA administrator Nicole Nason.

The magazine has retracted its earlier results and says it will retest the seats and release a new report soon. In the meantime, it urges parents to walk or carry their children to all destinations until it issues further instructions:

The magazine asked its readers. . . “to suspend judgment on the merits of individual products until the new testing has been completed and the report republished.”

BUT YOUR HIGH CHAIR? YEAH, TOSS THAT IMMEDIATELY

About 100,000 Graco highchairs are being recalled for repair because they can collapse if they are not fully opened and locked into place from the storage position, U.S. regulators said Thursday. Graco Children’s Products Inc. is recalling the Graco Contempo Highchairs after receiving 18 reports of the chair collapsing. There was one report of an 18-month-old boy suffering a bruise on his foot, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. . .

The agency said consumers should contact Graco for a free repair kit, and can continue to use the highchair until they receive the kit as long as they make sure it is fully opened first.

OUR ADVICE: JUST LET THE KIDS "COUGH IT OUT" UNTIL CONSUMER REPORTS TELLS US WHICH COUGH MEDICINE YOU CAN USE

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, "about 1,500 children younger than 2 years old were treated in emergency rooms for adverse events associated with cough and cold medications. Three infants younger than 6 months old died after being dosed with the medications, and "blood levels of the decongestant pseudoephedrine at autopsy were far above what's normally expected after therapeutic dosing in children between 2 to 12."

The CDC now advises that parents “should not administer cough and cold medications to children in this age group without first consulting a health-care provider.” But the fascinating, buried news here is that the CDC also now says that controlled trials "indicate cough and cold medications are no more effective than placebo in children younger than 2."

Doctors now advise that for toddlers with colds, in lieu of medications, parents employ saline nose drops and a rubber suction bulb. But since we have an irrational,  pathological fear of sending some sort of deadly air bubble up into one of the kids' brains by using the bulb, that's not really going to work for us.

THE EARLY FRONT-RUNNER FOR THE FD.COM SADDEST STORY OF 2007

By now, you've probably read or heard the tragic story of Jennifer Lea Strange of California, who died of water intoxication after attempting to win a Nintendo Wii game console in a radio station's water-drinking contest. But this devastating kicker to AP's follow-up story just makes it worse:

Strange had showed fellow contestants photographs of her two sons and daughter, for whom she was hoping to win the Nintendo Wii. The game console sells for about $250.

IT'S LIKE WE'VE ALWAYS SAID: YOU CAN TAKE THE VAS DEFERENS OUT OF THE MONKEY, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE MONKEY OUT OF . . . THE OTHER MONKEYS, APPARENTLY

[A] female at a [Louisiana] chimpanzee sanctuary has given birth, despite the fact that the facility's entire male chimp population has had vasectomies. . . Workers have started collecting hair samples from the chimps for testing. Once they identify the father, it's back to the operating room for him.

Reached for comment, Jeff Goldblum said, "I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way."

ALL TOGETHER NOW: "NOBODY CHUANG CHUANG TONIGHT . . ."

Captxin10101280856thailand_giant_panda_x Not unlike FD himself, Chuang Chuang, a panda at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, has grown too fat for sex:

“Chuang Chuang is gaining weight too fast and we found Lin Hui is no longer comfortable with having sex with him,” said the zoo’s chief veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, adding that Chuang Chuang weighed 331 pounds while Lin Hui is only 253 pounds. . . As a result, zoo authorities are cutting out bamboo shoots in the daily meal for Chuang Chuang and giving the obese bear only bamboo leaves.

Zoo officials have been unsuccessful in all attempts to get Chuang Chuang and Lin Hiu to produce an offspring since they began renting the pair from China in 2003. Their quixotic campaign was the inspiration for Thailand's best-selling book, "Eats, Shoots Blanks, and Leaves."

POWER CORRUPTS, AND MINIMAL POWER CORRUPTS CUTELY

Several academic studies (and we've seen them) show that when young people are put in a position to assess or judge their peers, they are almost always harsher in their evaluations than adults or teachers would be in the same situations. Small Fellow now has direct evidence of this phenomenon: Starting this week, he and his fellow first-graders no longer bring home a printout listing their nightly homework assignments. Instead, they're responsible for writing the assignments in their homework notebooks themselves. To make sure everyone has copied the assignment correctly, the kids exchange their notebooks with the other three or four students who sit in their pod and put a check or an X on each other's pages after seeing whether they correctly transcribed the teacher's notes.

But Fellow came home last night and said that a certain other boy, drunk with power, "just put X's on everyone's notebooks! He made FOUR X's! And they weren't even wrong! But now everyone has X's! It's not fair! We told him, but he still made the X's!"

HE DOES HAVE HIS MOMENTS, THOUGH

Every night, we have a ritual with Fellow and Tiny: "Two Minutes." The kids get into their beds (ideally at 8:30) and we lie next to them for "two minutes," then give them a kiss and hug and, if they've gone to bed on time, a "throwdown" and two "catches." (We pick each one up while he or she holds a small stuffed animal, then drop them on their bed as they toss the animal across the room. From where it lands, we play two rounds of catch with the animal.)

The ritual is long-standing, but the kids going to sleep in the same place at the same time is a more recent development and so, as you can imagine, fierce debates have ensued over whose turn it is to get two minutes first. (Although one would think that going last is preferable. Whatever.) So now every date on Fellow's calendar has an "F" or a "T" in its box to indicate who goes first. Still, there have been conflicts over what to do when, say, Tiny Girl missed going first one night because she fell asleep on her own early in the evening, or when no one got two minutes because the family was out late and the kids fell asleep before returning home. We've decided to be a strict constructionist - whichever letter is on the calendar, that's who goes first, no matter what happened the previous day.

All of which is prefatory to this story: As we lay next to Fellow the other night, we, as we often do, gave him some gentle pats on the leg as he grew sleepy. And as we patted him, he turned to us and said, "I love you too, Daddy."

January 18, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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That's a frightening story !

Posted by: Sudoku Print Puzzles | Dec 31, 2009 12:47:11 PM

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