Suggestions for safe trick-or-treating

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Before you let your little goblins out of the home for trick-or-treating this year, make sure they're safe and prepared. Here are some good suggestions for safe trick-or-treating and Halloween safety from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ensure that any accessories that resemble weapons (such as plastic swords) are flexible and short. Make sure costumes fit properly to avoid trips and falls. Instruct children to follow all traffic rules and stay on the sidewalk. Don't let children trick-or-treat without an adult or group of other children. Apply reflective tape to costumes and candy bags so drivers are able to see children. Kids also should carry a flashlight. Inspect children's candy before they eat it to make sure there are no choking or tampering hazards. Put a limit…
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Halloween Extra Scary When Kids Have Nut Allergies

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
For most kids, Halloween parties and trick-or-treating can be a mixture of fun and frightening, but for children with a nut allergy, the day can actually be dangerous, warns a doctor. Here are the details from HealthDay News: This type of allergy "can be a life-or-death situation. Just because a child only had a rash the first time exposed doesn't mean it won't be more serious the next time," Dr. Sean Cahill, an associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a Loyola news release. "Though having a nut allergy is serious, kids should still be able to have fun. The key is education. Make sure your child knows what he or she can eat," Cahill added. He offered the following suggestions for keeping…
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Halloween Chocolate a Serious Threat to Pets

Marriage and Family Health, Nutritional Health
Chocolate Halloween candy may be a treat for children but poses a serious threat to pets, warns an expert. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Pets who consume chocolate can experience vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, irregular heartbeat, tremors, seizures and even death, said Susan Nelson, a Kansas State University veterinarian. These problems are mainly caused by a substance in chocolate called theobromine. Different types of chocolate have varying concentrations of theobromine. Baking chocolate contains the most, semisweet and milk chocolate sport a medium amount, and white chocolate has the least, Nelson explained in a university news release. If your pet consumes a large quantity of chocolate, you should call a veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately, Nelson said. "Chocolate consumption is a very common problem among pets, dogs…
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Anastasha’s In Heaven

Bioethics, Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Parenting
For all of us who have been praying diligently for Anastasha and her family, many of our prayers were answered on her and her mother's birthday, October 26, 2010. And now, there's one more angel in heaven! Here's the post from my friend and Anastasha's daddy, family physician Craig DeLisi, MD: Our sweet princess was born yesterday at 12:39 PM. I pronounced her earthly death (and heavenly birth) at 1:29 PM.  Her passing was very peaceful. It was the best labor Tonya has ever had. We saw the Lord answer specific prayer after prayer after prayer. It was remarkable. Tonya said Anastasha was the best birthday present she could have hoped for. Tonya, the kids and I spent several hours with Anastasha after her death. Yesterday was one of the most profoundly painful…
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Does MSM Work for Hair Loss?

Men's Health, Woman's Health
Long-time readers know that I think that the Doctors of Pharmacology who publish the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database have one of the best, if not the best (evidence-based, trustworthy, and medically reliable) internet resources for natural medications (herbs, vitamins, and supplements). This month they've sent prescribers a warning about MSM for hair loss. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is best known as a remedy for osteoarthritis. But it's now showing up in products promoted for hair loss including: TriMedica Pure MSM Shampoo, Hair Loss Support Liquid, Hair Loss Alopecia Shampoo, Sulfur Plus, and many more. The thinking is that MSM contains sulfur, which is an element important for hair growth. And, some people who try it often say that it works. But, the NMCD experts tell us prescribers to "explain to patients that…
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Dancing in Heels Puts Toes Under Extreme Pressure: Study

Woman's Health
Wearing high heels while dancing may add an air of gracefulness to a woman's moves, but heels also place a great deal of extra pressure on a dancer's toes, scientists say. Hopefully, this study will help improve the health of your feet and may spur improved designs of high-heeled dance shoes. Here are the details from HealthDay News: British and Chinese researchers measured the forces exerted on the soles of the feet of six professional dancers. They found that when the study participants danced in their bare feet, the force was spread evenly between heel and toe. Dancing in high heels, however, resulted in more force being transferred to the front of the foot. The study findings were published in the International Journal of Experimental and Computational Biomechanics. Dancing in 10-centimeter…
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Note to Psychologists and Counselors: CE Credit for Reading One of My Books

General Health
To all of my friends and readers who are psychologists or counselors: I received a note from Mark Durkin, MA, LPC. I don't know Mark, but he says: Hello Dr. Larimore, I just wanted to let you know that I have added your book, His Brain, Her Brain, to my website which provides Continuing Education credit to Christian counselors for reading books. The website is www.StudyCredit.com. No action is necessary on your part, other than to let other Christian counselors know about receive C.E. credit for reading your book. Thank you for writing in such a clear way the differences between men and women in how they think. This takes pressure off many marriages where both husbands and wives are left scratching their heads about the other! All the best to…
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The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 18 – Birth Day Tomorrow

Bioethics, Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Craig just sent this note out: Tonya's cervix is about 3 cm now. Sometime in the wee hours of this morning (prob around 5) she will take a dose of Cytotec to try to induce labor. We have an induction scheduled at 10 AM. We may be going in sooner depending on how effectively it works. We were at the same hospital earlier today visiting a friend who just had a C-section. It was really eerie walking past L&D, knowing that just hours from now we will be in that same place and will be experiencing the greatest pain we've ever known. I am thankful that our Savior had similar anguish the night before he was crucified, and yet completely trusted His Father (and was without sin). The "tomorrow" that…
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The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 17 – Birth Day This Week

Bioethics, Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting
We have all been following the journey of Anastasha Kalil. Now it appears her life may be very near its end. For the last four months, we have all been blessed by family physician, Craig DeLisi, who has shared the journey of he and his family as they prepare for the birth and death of their 9th child, Anastasha Kalil. This week the DeLisi family will, more than ever, need our prayers. Loved ones. We are near the end of Tonya's pregnancy, very grateful that we have had as much time as we have been given.  If Anastasha does not come on her own (and she might - Tonya has been contracting harder the last 2 days), then we will induce labor this coming Tuesday, Oct 26th.  Not only will that…
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Vitamin D Supplements Reduce the Risk of Flu – Especially in Children

Children's Health, Parenting
The doctors of pharmacology at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database are reminding us healthcare professions to inform our patients that vitamin D supplements may reduce the chance of getting influenza. Vitamin D levels decrease during the winter months, during the time that influenza is prevalent. Studies have also shown that lower serum vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory infections. As I've told you in a past blog, one research study now shows that school children who take vitamin D have a lower risk of developing the flu. Taking vitamin D3 1200 IU daily during the winter reduced the risk of flu by about 42% in children. So, the NMCD tells physicians to "explain to parents that this is promising, but preliminary. Advise parents to…
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Medicines Poison More Kids Than Chemicals

Parenting
Poisonings of children often stem from pills that family members leave out or that are left in a medicine cabinet. Of course, most parents these days are mindful of obvious poisoning risks to their children. They lock up household cleaners and keep chemicals and pesticides well out of the reach of youngsters. Now experts are emphasizing to parents that medications may even be more dangerous. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Health experts believe the most prevalent poisoning threat in a person's household isn't under the sink or in the garage -- but in the medicine cabinet. Two of every three pediatric poisonings that result in an emergency room visit are caused by medication overdoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the rate of…
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Absent Father Linked to Earlier Periods

Children's Health, Parenting
In my book, God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen, I discuss the disturbing phenomena of young girls having their periods at younger and younger ages. Researchers have suggested a number of possible causes, including family stress, in general, and the absence of the biologic father, in specific. Now, comes a new study with findings that add to previous research, but the experts still can't explain the link. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Girls growing up in higher-income homes without a biological father are likely to reach puberty earlier than others, new research finds. "In higher-income families, father absence predicted earlier puberty, but it did not in lower-income, father-absent [households]," said study leader Julianna Deardorff. "Girls in upper-income households without a father were at least twice as likely to experience…
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Study: Mental Health Deteriorates With Increased Television

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In many previous blogs I've reminded you of the dangers of television exposure to your children and teens. Now, here's a warning for us adults: a new study has found that watching more than 4 hours of TV a day has an adverse effect on mental well-being. Here are the details from LifeSiteNews.com: The study was conducted by Mark Hamer, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, and research associates Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, and Gita D. Mishra, PhD. It analyzed the association of leisure-time sedentary behavior in adults, measured by television and screen-based entertainment (TVSE) time, and mental health. The researchers looked at mental health survey data of 3920 men and women between the ages of 35 and 65 years, from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey. The…
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Pre-Run Stretch May Hurt Endurance

Men's Health, Woman's Health
Runners who stretch before a run expended more energy and run shorter distances, according to a new study. Here are the details from WebMD: Some runners swear by their pre-run stretch as a sure-fire way to run better and stronger and reduce their risk of injury in the process. But according to a new study, distance runners who stretch before a run may not perform as well and may spend more energy than runners who skip the stretch. ''Overall, I don’t think it's worth it to stretch before a run," researcher Jacob M. Wilson, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science and sport studies at the University of Tampa, tells WebMD. "After a run, if someone is trying to work on flexibility, that's fine." Although his study was done only on…
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More Evidence That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism

Children's Health, Parenting
Children exposed to high, low levels of thimerosal had similar odds for the disorder as children with no exposure to thimerosal, a new study has found. This should be absolutely no surprise for two reasons: (1) since thimerosal has been removed from virtually all vaccines, there has been an INCREASE (not a decrease) in autism, and (2) no study has found any evidence of an association between thimerosal and autism. Here are the details from this newest study from HealthDay News: Infants exposed to the highest levels of thimerosal, a mercury-laden preservative that used to be found in many vaccines, were no more likely to develop autism than infants exposed to only a little thimerosal, new research finds. The study offers more reassurance to parents who worry that vaccination raises their…
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Natural Family Planning Method As Effective As Contraceptive Pill According to New Research

Bioethics, Marriage and Family Health, Woman's Health
Since the birth control pill has a potential post-fertilization effect (at times causing the unborn child to NOT implant in the uterus or womb and die), men and women who believe that human life begins at conception or fertilization are highly interested in methods of birth control that are NOT abortifacient. In past posts I've told you that modern, scientific natural family planning has the advantages of (1) not being abortifacient and (2) being highly effective. But, how does it compare to the birth control pill? Now, researchers are reporting a form of natural family planning that uses two indicators to identify the fertile phase in a woman's menstrual cycle is as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies if used correctly, according to a report published online in Europe's…
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Keep Health in Mind When Planning School Day Menus For Your Kids

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
As a parent preparing for your child's school day, it may be helpful to remember that healthy meals and snacks are essential for learning. Here are some helpful tips from the experts at HealthDay News: "Parents can make the school day easier for their children by providing nutritious and yummy breakfasts, lunches and snacks that promote optimal learning. Everyone is in a rush in the morning, but it only takes a few minutes on Sunday to plan healthy meals to fuel your child's week," Karin Richards, director of the Exercise Science and Wellness Management program, and director of Health Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. Richards offered the following advice for parents as they plan breakfast, lunch and snacks for their…
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Study finds later abortions linked to mental health risks, women pressured

Bioethics, Mental Health, Woman's Health
A new study finds the later a woman has an abortion the more likely it is that she faces mental health risks and is under pressure from a partner or others to have an abortion she may not otherwise want. Women getting later abortions also are more likely to be ambivalent about having an abortion. Here are the details from LifeNews.com: The results came from an online survey of 374 women who answered a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances leading to their abortions, their previous mental health history, history of physical or sexual abuse and emotional state following abortion. Although small, the study, published in the Journal of Pregnancy by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, is the first to compare the experiences of women having early abortions…
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The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 16 – Day of Life 242

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting
We have all been following the journey of Anastasha Kalil. Now it appears her life may be very near its end. Tonya is 36 weeks pregnant today. That is further along than she carried Amalyah, Cale, or Caius. We both assumed that Anastasha would have been born by now, but the Lord apparently has other plans. We are at 2 cm and holding. So we wait... Throughout this pregnancy, I've been particularly drawn to read about how Jesus himself handled trial and suffering. What did His emotions look like? Was He stoic or emotionless? Did he stand above the emotional roller coaster that many people experience during trials? How did He relate to His Father during these trials? I know He did not sin in these times, so I am…
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Many Americans Don’t Even Know They’re Fat

Nutritional Health, Obesity
A recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found that 30 percent of overweight Americans mistakenly think they're normal size. Do you think you're normal weight, overweight, or obese? you might be surprised. You can find out for sure here. In the meantime, here are the details from HealthDay News: Many Americans have skewed perceptions when it comes to their weight, often believing they are thinner than they really are, even when the scales are shouting otherwise, a new poll finds. As part of the Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey, respondents were asked to provide their height and weight, from which pollsters calculated their body-mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. Respondents were then asked which category of weight they thought they fell into. Thirty percent of those in the "overweight" class believed they…
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Sleep-Deprived Teens Eat More Fat, Study Finds

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In my best-sellilng book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat (currently on sale for $1.99 here), I discuss how a good night's sleep reduces the risk of obesity in children. Now, out comes yet another study showing that those children who get less than eight hours a night are at significant risk for obesity. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Teens who sleep less than eight hours a night are more likely to eat a high-fat diet that puts them at risk for obesity and the many health problems connected with it, new research shows. The study, published in the journal Sleep, found that these sleep-deprived teens consumed 2.2 percent more calories from fat, and ate more snacks than those who slept eight hours or…
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To Not Sleep, Perchance to Shorten Your Life

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In past blogs, I've discussed the studies showing that if you chronically have a poor night's sleep or you are chronically sleep deprived, that will result in a wide variety of poor health outcomes. Now comes a study showing that insomniac men are more likely to die earlier. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Shortchanging yourself on sleep could shave years off your life if you're a man. So claims a new study that found men who reported having insomnia or who slept for short periods of time were much more likely to die over a 14-year period. "Insomnia has potentially very severe side effects," said study co-author and sleep researcher Edward Bixler. "It needs to be treated, and more effort needs to be put into sorting out better treatments."…
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Susan Boyle: Docs Told Mum to Abort Me

Children's Health, Parenting
Barb and I are fans of the international singing phenomenon Susan Boyle, who has just revealed in a new autobiography that doctors had told her mother to abort her, because they thought the pregnancy was risky Here are the details from Edinburg, Scotland: Boyle soared to stardom in April 2009 after appearing on the UK television program, Britain’s Got Talent, when the plain-looking Scotswoman shocked audiences with a powerful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. But the 49-year-old native of Blackburn, a village in West Lothian, Scotland would never have dreamed the dream of singing on the international stage, if her mother had agreed to abort her on the advice of doctors. In her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To…
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How to Create a Spoiled Brat: 9 Parenting No-Nos

Children's Health, Parenting
Kids need to know their parents love them. But some moms and dads think that the way to show love is to accept children's bad behavior. And that can turn even good kids into spoiled brats, says parenting guru Nancy Samalin, New York City-based author of "Loving without Spoiling" and other books on parenting. Here are Nancy's nine parenting no-nos from a report on CBS News: 1) Mistake: Always "Rescuing" Your Child Are you a "helicopter parent," always hovering overhead to make sure your child does things right - and swooping in at the first sign of trouble? Big mistake. Kids need to experience disappointment. They need to know what it's like to struggle with a problem. If it's a matter of protecting your child's safety or health, by all means…
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Friendly Bacteria (Probiotics) Help Calm Colicky Babies and May Help Constipated Babies

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Italian researchers have published a study that may offer some hopeful news for parents of colicky babies: a daily dose of "good" bacteria may help their child to cry less. Here are some details from Reuters Health: After three weeks of treatment with probiotic bacteria, babies cried for an average of about a half-hour a day, while infants who received a placebo were still crying for an hour and a half daily. At the study's outset, babies in both groups were crying for five to six hours a day. The cause of colic, traditionally defined as inconsolable crying for at least three hours a day, on at least three days in a week and lasting for at least three weeks, isn't clear. It affects up to 28 percent of babies…
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Omega-Enhanced Margarines a Heart-Saver? Or Not?

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
They taste like butter and offer a boost of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but these omega-enhanced margarines may NOT actually help your heart, according to new research from the Netherlands. Now, before you read the details, this study examined only older patients (age 60 - 80) living in the Netherlands and thus may not be applicable to the general United States population or to younger people as our diets, lifestyles, and risk factors differ. That said, this new study of almost 5,000 patients who had previously had a heart attack, eating a daily serving of omega-3 charged margarine had NO effect on the likelihood of a second heart attack. In other words, it didn't help or hurt. So, what should you do? Here are the details from ABC News: Margarines…
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Breastfeeding May Lower Moms’ Diabetes Risk

Children's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Most of us are aware of the many, many benefits to the baby when the mom chooses to breastfeed ... especially when mom exclusively breastfeeds for at least six months. But, did you know that there are benefits for the breastfeeding mom? And, it's not just psychological. Here's a study showing that breastfeeding your baby for only one month may help prevent diabetes in the mom in the future -- and this may be especially helpful information for moms with gestational diabetes, as they are more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Here are the details from WebMD: Breastfeeding for a month or longer appears to reduce a woman's risk of getting diabetes later in life, according to a new study. The breastfeeding and diabetes link has been reported…
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Medicine Errors Harming Children. What Can A Parent Do?

Children's Health, Parenting
Australian researchers are claiming that many parents are incapable of giving their children the correct dose of liquid medicines. Using household spoons to measure them out could mean a potentially dangerous overdose, they say. And, children under five are at the highest risk of accidental overdose. The study, presented at a medical meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, tested 97 adults and found: 61% measured the wrong dose, 17% measured an overdose, and 44% did not give enough. Ouch! All the more reason for parents to follow my advice to always use an oral syringe to administer any medication to a child. These oral syringes are readily available at your pharmacy and very inexpensive. Here are some additional details from the BBC: Dr Rebekah Moles, from the University of Sydney, recruited 97 people…
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Can Calcium Supplements Cause Heart Attacks?

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Calcium supplements are coming under scrutiny due to concerns that they might increase heart attacks. A new study shows that patients over 40 who take 500 mg/day or more of calcium have an increased risk of heart attack. And, the theory is plausible as too much calcium might lead to vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. But it is WAY, WAY, WAY  too soon to jump to any conclusions for at least a couple of reasons: The analysis only looked at people taking calcium supplements alone. It doesn't address the role of dietary calcium or taking vitamin D along with calcium. Especially since some research suggests that taking calcium plus vitamin D does not significantly affect coronary artery calcification. The Doctors of Pharmacology at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database tell prescribers this:…
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The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 15 – Day of Life 235

Bioethics, Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Many of us have been following, week by week, the life of Anastasha. She is unborn, but carries the  terminal diagnosis of anencephaly. She continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb, but the end of her pregnancy and, barring a miracle, the end of her life. Here’s the latest update from her fahter, family physician Craig DeLisi” We've decided on a middle name for our littlest princess. Kalil (Kah-LEEL) is a Hebrew name that means "complete". We've known of and liked this name for over a decade, but it seemed fitting to go with Anastasha (Greek name for "resurrection") since she will be made "complete" at the "resurrection." Since our last email, we've been blessed to have some special events for our daughter. The first one was an evening of prayer and…
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