Sunday, July 17, 2011
High court strikes down law that would have banned violent video game sales to minors.
In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down a 2005 California law banning the sale, rent and play of violent video games like Call of Duty, Full Spectrum Warrior and Postal 2 to children under the age of 18. This is a real win for video game manufacturers and First Amendment advocates but a real loss for consumer protection. The California law had proposed that video games with excessive violence display a label, 18, and that retailers would face a $1,000 fine for the rental or sale to those under 18. Excessive violence is defined by California as games where players choose to kill, maim, dismember or sexually assault an image of a human being or games that would appeal to deviant or morbid interests. Many of these …
Sunday, June 26, 2011
"Broad Spectrum SPF" formulas above 15 are the only lotions that offer protection from UV rays.
Having only an SPF of 30, dare 15, warrants the occasional glare or snarl from other the parents who, apparently, have been bamboozled by clever marketing to believe there is a difference in SPF’s of 50, 70 and 100 or that their chosen brand of sunscreen effectively blocked cancer causing UVB and UVA rays while protecting their child from sun burn. This is just a false sense of security, though. “There is no evidence that SPF values greater than 50 provide any additional benefit,” said FDA dermatologist Jill Lindstrom. On June 17, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the Final Rule concerning the labeling and effectiveness of over-the-counter sunscreen the changes of which attempt to help consumers make sense of confusing …
Sunday, June 19, 2011
How young is too young to be left unattended?
Each summer, working parents are faced with the challenge of trying to figure out what to do with their children while they are away at work. While some decide to enroll their children in structured activities or camps, others will choose to allow their child to stay at home alone. “We get lots of responses on this issue,” said Mike Darrel, Crisis Intervention for Northampton County Children and Youth Services, “Everything is looked at on an individual basis. There is no canned response.” The laws are vague at best in determining when the threshold towards neglect has been crossed. Depending on the situation, leaving a child unsupervised could be considered neglect but it is not necessarily illegal. “In Pennsylvania there is no minimum …
Sunday, June 12, 2011
First Lady helps launch new graphic interpretation of federal nutritional guidelines.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Along with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a USDA’s new icon in a press conference Thursday, reshaping the food pyramid into the spherical “My plate,” that gives parents a graphic representation of the mealtime configuration of food. The plate is divided into four segments with half of the plate designated to fruit and vegetables groups, the other half to a proportionally larger grain than the protein group and a small circular dairy group in the upper right hand corner. “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we're eating” said Obama, “as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the …
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Is "gender-neutral" parenting harmful to children?
How can an infant raise a storm? Answer, when the parents won’t disclose the gender of their four month old child to more than six people. This has raised many questions. Will failing to disclose the biological sex of baby Storm have any impact at all on the social or emotional development of the child? How much impact does culture really have on gender identity, after all, isn’t it biologically determined? Should children have the opportunity to choose anything let alone their gender identity? Canadian parents David Stocker and Kathy Witterick say they want Storm to discover him/herself by shielding Storm from cultural influences that would otherwise influence gender identity. They arrived at this decision due to their son Jazz’s “intense…
Sunday, May 29, 2011
New legislation points fingers at mom and dad for academic failure, but are they really to blame?
With American math and reading scores falling behind their global competitors, legislators are looking past their budgets to lay blame for academic underachievement somewhere else. First it was the allegedly “overpaid” teachers with their “undeserved” summer vacations and benefits and now the failure of academic underachievement is falling on parents. Indiana State Rep. Linda Lawson introduced a bill requiring three hours of parent involvement per semester. Florida House Rep. Kelli Stargel recently proposed House Bill 255 to hold parents accountable for student performance by grading their involvement. Alaska has proposed fines on parents for habitual truancy and California has taken it a step further by adding charges from the district …
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Designer drug may be banned, but then what?
Not since huffing spray paint and aerosols has a more seemingly innocuous product been used to get a high than the elusive bath salts that is creating a scare across the country and especially with parents. Now, you can’t even buy a can a spray paint at the Home Depot without flashing your driving license. I imagine that bath salts will also follow in this vain if they don’t just get banned altogether in Pennsylvania and across the country. For parents who don’t know, the common ingredients are methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV, and mephedrone, and, while the label on the package says they are for enhancing the bath this is just a cleaver ruse to disguise the real purpose of getting people high. Ingesting MDVP can cause chest pains, …