1. Efforts to keep kids safe is actually hurting them

    I was walking through the local park the other day and noticed the playground was fenced off for construction. Actually, it was more like DEstruction, because they were ripping out the swings.

    A worker there told me it was for "safety reasons" and then showed me a picture of what they were replacing it with: A two-level monstrosity with more bars than a prison, and more padding than an insane asylum.

    The entire second level looked like a jail cell with slides coming out of it. There were bars on the top level to stop kids from jumping off, and the slides were enclosed in tunnels to keep kids from jumping off those, too.

    And if any kid DID manage to break free, the entire surface surrounding the "play structure" would be soft as a sponge thanks to some weird rubbery material.

    This isn't just happening at my park. It's happening at parks, playgrounds and schools all around the country. Kids are being coddled and bubble-wrapped to the point where none of them will ever face danger or risk injury and it's downright maddening -- because bumps, bruises, scratches, scrapes, stitches, chipped teeth and the occasional broken bone are part of a NORMAL and HEALTHY childhood.

    But don't just take my word for it: New research finds that these modern playgrounds are actually TOO safe!

    Kids who have some reasonable risk in their play have better physical health, behavior and social development, according to the study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

    What's more, children who can climb, jump and even FALL are more creative and more resilient.

    A little risk gives children a chance to test their own limits and figure out what happens if they push it a little too far. It's the old School of Hard Knocks and while not every kid graduates with flying colors, most of them make it through just fine.

    So if you've got kids or grandkids or great grandkids, of course I want you to do your best to keep them safe... but sometimes, that means letting them be a little UNsafe, too.

  2. Mommy issues

    Children drugged in fertility study

    Little girls should be worried about tea parties, summer dresses, and homework -- not how well their baby-making equipment might work a decade or two down the road.

    But in a twisted experiment that never should have made it past an ethics committee, researchers pumped 8-year-old girls full of the diabetes drug metformin for four years to see how it would affect their fertility later on.

    None of the kids actually had diabetes, mind you -- so it's the researchers, and not the children, who were playing "make believe" here.

    The girls in the study all had low birth weight and early onset of pubic hair -- two risk factors for PCOS, the most common form of female infertility -- and they were compared to a second set of girls with the same risk factors who were given metformin at the age of 12 for just one year.

    By the time they reached 15, the girls who took the drug for four years were eight times less likely to show further signs of PCOS than the young ladies who took it for a year.

    Control group? Don't ask for a control group -- and don't even waste your time hoping for a comparison to young ladies given the types of dietary and lifestyle changes that have proven to beat PCOS before.

    The researchers aren't interested in any of that -- just metformin, a drug known for side effects that would shame any little girl: nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea, not to mention an odor from the pills themselves that can clear a room.

    That's the best these researchers could come up with?

    Here's an idea: Let's stop turning boys and girls alike into hormonal monstrosities with soy-based foods served in BPA-lined containers -- both of which have been linked to serious fertility problems in men and women alike.

    Get back to basics instead. Serve real fresh food, especially animal fats, and no sugar. I guarantee you the rates of PCOS would plunge inside a generation -- and, even better, we'd practically eliminate type 2 diabetes.

    I know, I know -- it's a pipe dream. But to heck with everyone else -- save yourself. Make these changes today, and protect your family tomorrow.

  3. Docs report uptick in kidney stones among kids

    Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that more and more kids are becoming afflicted with the intense pain of kidney stones. And some doctors are blaming salty junk foods.
  4. "Shocking" study finds the key to weight loss

    There's a new study that's been published in no less than the New England Journal of Medicine that states the less you eat, the more likely you are to lose weight.
  5. Bring back recess

    A new report in the journal Pediatrics promotes the idea that recess - a concept that's become increasingly alien in today's school systems - helps children behave better in class.
  6. ADHD drugs can give kids nightmarish hallucinations

    Well, they've found another side effect to ADHD treatments: "rare" cases of hallucinations.
  7. Kids poisoned by their own clothing

    A new study reveals that the problem with flame retardant chemicals and children is actually far more widespread than ever imagined.
  8. Power company enlists kids to be "climate cops"

    A new Web campaign by a British power company seeks to enlist kids as "Climate Cops" to actively keep watch over their parents and neighbors, and keep track of any "energy crimes" they commit.
  9. Taking a second look at nutrition labels

    A new study out of Britain reveals that nine out of 10 regular food items produced specifically for kids have incredibly poor nutritional content.
  10. Cholesterol wackos target kids

    Believe it or not, drug companies and some mainstream docs are cooking up a scheme that could put millions of kids on dangerous cholesterol drugs.

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