FABLES AND MYTHS ABOUT BABIES AND CHILDREN

 

PICASSO 1                        “MOTHER AND CHILD” BY PABLO PICASSO
 
 
HERE ARE TWENTY FIVE COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BABIES AND CHILDREN :
 
1.  MYTH: “FORMULA FEEDING IS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE TO BREAST FEEDING”:
 
BECAUSE OF MANY SOCIO-ECONOMIC REASONS, UNFORTUNATELY BREAST FEEDING HAS BEEN DECREASING ALL OVER THE WORLD. THIS SHOULD BE ONE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE TO BE ADDRESSED WORLDWIDE. THIS PROBLEM SHOULD BE ADDRESSED BY DOCTORS AND POLITICIANS ALIKE. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT HEALTH ISSUE AS WELL AS AN ECONOMIC ISSUE.
BREAST MILK IS THE PERFECT FOOD FOR HUMAN BABIES. BABIES DO NOT NEED ANY OTHER FOOD AT LEAST UNTIL SIX MONTHS OF AGE.
 
BREAST MILK IS A LIVE TISSUE CONTAINING ANTIBODIES AND INFECTION FIGHTING CELLS, AS WELL AS NUTRIENTS, AS WELL AS MILLIONS OF DIFFERENT STRUCTURES, THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IMITATE BY FORMULA MAKERS.
PREMATURE BABY’S MOTHER’S MILK IS DIFFERENT THAN TERM BABY’S MOTHER’S MILK. IT HAS INGREDIENTS TARGETED SPECIFICALLY FOR PREMATURE BABY’S NEEDS.
INFANT FORMULA IS MADE FROM ANOTHER SPECIES’ MILK; COW’S MILK. IT IS PERFECT FOR CALVES BUT NOT FOR HUMAN BABIES. IT DIFFICULT TO DIGEST THE COW’S MILK FOR BABIES, BECAUSE IT HAS FOREIGN PROTEIN MADE  FOR THE CALVES BUT NOT FOR HUMAN BABIES.
MILK PROTEIN SENSITIVITY IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE FOR ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT FOR BABIES; INCLUDING CHRONIC ABDOMINAL PAIN, IRRITABILITY, INTESTINAL GAS, DIARRHEA, CONSTIPATION, SPITTING UP OR REFLUX. 
MOST FORMULA FED INFANTS HAVE CONTINUOUS “TUMMY ACHE”  BECAUSE OF DIFFICULTY DIGESTING ANIMAL PROTEIN. THEY ALSO HAVE MORE GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX.
 
BREAST MILK TASTES DIFFERENT EVERY DAY DEPENDING ON MOTHERS DIET. ON THE OTHER HAND, FORMULA FED BABIES EAT SAME TASTING FOOD DAY AFTER DAY; LIKE A PANDA BEAR EATING BAMBOO SHOOTS ALL THE TIME.
BREAST MILK HAS A PLEASANT TASTE.
FORMULA HAS AN  UNPLEASANT, ACTUALLY OFFENSIVE TASTE. EVERY PARENT SHOULD TASTE THE FORMULA BEFORE GIVING IT TO THEIR BABY. I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYBODY WHO IS NOT DISGUSTED WITH BABY FORMULA’S TASTE.
 
FORMULA IS THE FIRST “JUNK FOOD” INTRODUCED IN A PERSON’S LIFE. IF JUNK FOOD CAUSES “ADDICTION” THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS. THEN ONE CRAVES FOR “JUNK FOOD” THE REST OF HIS/HER LIFE.
BREAST MILK IS INEXPENSIVE, ACTUALLY FREE, WHILE FORMULA IS COSTLY. BREASTMILK  IS ALWAYS READY TO CONSUME, AND ALWAYS FRESH AND STERILE. (FREE OF GERMS). IT DOES NOT REQUIRE MIXING, SHAKING, WASHING AND STERILIZING BOTTLES. UNLIKE FORMULA FEEDING, BREAST FEEDING DOES NOT POLLUTE EARTH.
 
NUMEROUS SCIENTIFIC STUDIES CLEARLY SHOW THAT, FORMULA FEEDING INCREASES OBESITY IN INFANTS AND LATER IN TODDLERS AND LATER IN ADULTS. THUS INCREASING DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, HYPERTENSION, STROKE AND ALL OTHER MORBIDITIES ASSOCIATED WITH OBESITY SUCH AS SOCIAL STIGMA, POOR HYGIENE, BEING LESS ATHLETIC, MORE FALLS AND BONE FRACTURES BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY DECREASED LIFE SPAN. INCREASE IN FORMULA FEEDING PRACTICE IS THE MAJOR CAUSE OF INCREASE IN OBESITY WORLDWIDE.
BECAUSE OF INCREASE IN FORMULA FEEDING, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT HUMAN LONGEVITY WILL DECREASE IN COMING DECADES.
 
FORMULA FEEDING INCREASES SUDDEN INFANT DEATH (SIDS), EAR INFECTION AND ALL RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES, ASTHMA, ECZEMA AND GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES. 
AN EXPERIENCED PEDIATRICIAN CAN TELL IF A BABY IS FORMULA OR BREAST FED BY ONLY LOOKING OR TOUCHING OR SMELLING THE BABY.
 
BREAST FEEDING DECREASES BREAST CANCER AND OVARIAN CANCER RATE IN MOTHERS SIGNIFICANTLY. 
 
BREAST FEEDING BABIES ARE HAPPIER, MORE CONTENT AND SLEEP BETTER. BREAST FEEDING MOTHERS ALSO SLEEP LONGER AND BETTER.(BREAST FEEDING IS SEDATIVE FOR BOTH MOTHER AND INFANT)
ONE STUDY SHOWED, BREAST FEEDING BABIES FATHERS ALSO SLEEP BETTER BECAUSE OF LESS NIGHT AWAKENING. 
BREAST FEEDING BABIES’ STOOL HAS NO BAD ODOR. BREAST FEEDING BABIES’ SKIN IS SOFTER AND SMELL GOOD.
INFANTS ON FORMULA FEEDING ARE ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL 10-20 TIMES MORE OFTEN THAN BREAST FED BABIES.
THERE ARE STUDIES SUGGESTING THAT BREAST FEEDING BABIES HAVE 8-10 POINTS HIGHER IQ.
 
FORMULA FEEDING IS A SIGNIFICANT BURDEN ON ECONOMY BY INCREASED MEDICAL EXPENSES, AND POLLUTION.
 
 
2. MYTH: “Immunizations especially mercury containing vaccines cause autism”.
This myth originated from a hoax study published in medical journal “Lancet”IN 1998. Since then there has been numerous double blinded controlled studies carried out and every single study disproved this claim. Unfortunately, this false claim caused a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. Although, no link has been found, now mercury has been eliminated from all vaccines.
“Lancet” withdrew this publication and co authors apologized and admitted that data has been tampered.
Principle author ANDREW WAKEFIELD is no longer licensed in the UK as a physician, and is not licensed in the US.
 
3. MYTH: “Cold or wet weather causes colds”
 
Only indirectly. Colds are infections of the upper respiratory tract caused by viruses. They are not caused by getting wet or cold. They are caused by coming in contact with the infected nasal secretions of other people who have colds. Getting wet or cold DOES NOT weaken the immune system to the point that it would cause a child to catch a cold. Colds are more frequent during cold or wet weather, simply because children stay INDOORS, in closer contact with each other, at these times of year. This creates a breeding ground for viruses to spread from child to child.
People in warm climates DO NOT get less upper respiratory illnesses (“colds”). Neither the Eskimos suffer more from it.
 
 
4. MYTH: “Thick yellow-green discharge from the nose during a cold is a bacterial infection and needs antibiotics.”
 
This is ALMOST NEVER true. It can be the normal end stage of a cold running its course. Nasal discharge from a cold generally starts out clear and watery and can become more cloudy and thicker and finally turn green or yellow at the end of the cold. In an era of antibiotic overuse, it is important not to over treat a green runny nose. 
Treatment should be considered for a green runny nose that does not clear after seven to 10 days or the cold symptoms do not go away by 10-14 days. With vial upper respiratory illness, having greenish yellow nasal discharge in the morning clearing later in the day is expected; it does not mean child has bacterial infection.
“SINUSITIS” IS VERY RARE IN CHILDREN UNDER 2 YEARS OLD because their sinuses have not even formed in full yet. Sinusitis has been over diagnosed probably to justify unnecessary antibiotic prescription.
 
 
5. MYTH; “Children get ear infections because they do not keep their ears covered.”
 
Ear infections are not caused by not wearing a hat or getting water in your ear. Ear infections occur in a small area behind the eardrum called the middle ear cavity. This space is connected to the back of the throat by a small tube called the eustachian tube. When a child is congested, either because of a cold or allergy, the eustachian tube doesn’t work properly, and fluid builds up in the middle ear space. This fluid acts as excellent culture medium for bacteria, which then multiply causing a middle ear infection. Most common predisposing factors for ear infection is 1. Genetic predisposition (anatomy of Eustachian tube is inherited), 2. FORMULA FEEDING, 3. cigarette smoke exposure, 4. and drinking from bottle in lying position, 4. premature or low birth weight. and for older ages, allergies.
 
 
6. MYTH: “High fever causes brain damage.”
 
Fever itself is not likely to cause brain damage. This myth got started because one cause of fever, meningitis (an infection of the brain and spinal cord lining), often results in brain damage.
 
7. MYTH: “Sugar causes hyperactivity.”
 
It certainly would be nice if this were true. We could then treat hyperactivity with special sugar reduced diets instead of medication. Repeated research published in medical journals, however, tends to disprove this theory. These studies find no discernible difference in behavior between children eating sugar and those who are not. This myth probably started as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Parents believe that sugar affects behavior, so when their child becomes overly active, they blame the sugar. Children ingest higher amounts of sugar during exciting events such as holidays and parties and therefore it is common for adults to blame a child’s behavior changes on the increased sugar intake. More than 100 research studies done on this subject all point to little if any effect of sugar on children. There is also no difference between the effect of sugar on ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) children and non-ADHD children with regard to behavior. Furthermore, Sugar does not cause ADHD,
 
8. MYTH: “Standing will bow a baby’s legs.”
 
This myth originated years ago when children suffered from rickets, a Vitamin Deficiency that caused softening of the bones and bowing of the legs. Today, rickets has all but disappeared and there is no danger that standing will bow your baby’s legs. The legs of most babies are already bowed at birth from being wrapped tightly around their bodies inside their mother’s womb. It takes years for them to straighten out but allowing a baby to “stand” on their legs does not cause the bowing
 
 
9. MYTH: “If let alone, children do not eat enough.”
 
NEVER INSIST CHILDREN TO EAT MORE. NOBODY EVER DIED OR GOT SICK FROM “NOT EATING” IN PRESENCE OF FOOD.
CHILDREN, (OF ALL AGES) SHOULD DECIDE THEMSELVES “HOW MUCH” TO EAT  AND PARENTS SHOULD CHOSE THE PROPER FOOD. IE. QUALITY IS PARENT’S CHOICE , QUANTITY IS CHILD’S.
Babies triple their weight or gain about 6 kilograms (13-14 pounds) first year of life but gain only 3-5 pounds/year during the following years. Therefore, their calorie requirements do not increase significantly during toddler years.
IF YOU FORCE YOUR CHILD TO EAT MORE THAN HE/SHE IS WILLING, YOU WILL HAVE AN UNHAPPY CHILD, UNHAPPY PARENTS AND AN OBESE CHILD, AND POSSIBLY OBESE ADULT. 
 
10. MYTH: “Going outside with wet hair can cause a cold”
 
See Myth #3, Actually, viruses cause “cold”; not water, drafts, or cold weather, causes colds.
 
11. MYTH: “Feeding infants cereal at night makes them sleep longer”
 
Research has consistently shown that giving solids before bedtime will not change when an infant will start sleeping through the night. Most babies will not develop a dependable sleep cycle until somewhere between 3 and 6 months of age. When a child sleeps through the night is more dependent on how they are put to sleep, where they are put to sleep, and how parents respond when they do wake up at night. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, cereal and other solids should not be started until 4 to 6 months of age in order to reduce the risk of allergies
 
12. MYTH: “Teething often causes a fever and diarrhea.”
 
Medical “experts” since Hippocrates have blamed fever, diarrhea, and colds on teething. Recent research has not shown a relationship between teething and the onset of such symptoms. TEETHING CAUSES/RESULTS ONLY TEETH.
Teething does not cause diarrhea, but swallowing more saliva during teething will make stool somewhat softer.
Babies have increased “drooling” after age 4 months. This does not mean teeth will erupt soon.
 
13. MYTH: “Acne is caused from not washing your face.”
 
Acne is not related to dirt on the skin or greasy foods. It is caused by inflammation under the skin, not dirt on the skin’s surface. Keeping the face clean is always good, but scrubbing could make acne worse.
Extensive scientific studies have not found a single connection between diet and acne. In other words, chocolate, french fries, pizza and other fast foods do not cause acne. It does make sense to limit fatty foods to prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease, however. Studies have shown that foods with a high iodine content (such as shellfish) may aggravate existing acne, but does not cause it.
 
14. MYTH: “Vitamins will provide children who have poor appetites extra energy.”
 
Vitamins cannot supply extra energy since they contain no calories. Unless your child has a specific vitamin deficiency, their energy level will not change if you give them vitamin supplements. IRON SUPPLEMENTATION IN AN IRON DEFICIENT TODDLER WILL INCREASE APPETITE.
 
15.MYTH: “When children crack their knuckles, it will cause arthritis.”
 
There is no evidence that cracking joints will impair joint development or lead to arthritis.
 
That annoying popping sound is caused by the breaking of the vacuum in the joint and bubbles of nitrogen gas form in the joint fluid. The cracking noise happens when those bubbles collapse.
 
16. MYTH: “Children’s aspirin is best for treating children’s fevers”
 
Taking aspirin is not recommended any more for children unless recommended by the youngster’s doctor. Aspirin has been linked to serious medical problems, such as Reye’s Syndrome.
 
 
17. MYTH:”Going barefoot causes flat feet”
 
Going barefoot is probably best for kids. It allows their feet to develop naturally. There is no evidence that children’s feet develop any differently with or without shoes. The only real reason kids should wear shoes is to protect their feet from injury and cuts.
 
18. MYTH: “A baby’s eye color at two months is their adult eye color.”
 
It has always been thought that no changes in a baby’s eye color occur after 2-3 months of age. A recent study, however, disputes this widely held belief. The research found that eye color did not become stable until age 6 months in 90% of children. Of the remaining 10%, half continued to show changes, either lighter in shade or darker. Therefore, it looks like parents will have to wait a little longer in order to find out their child’s final eye color!
 
19. MYTH: “Don’t give milk when a baby has a cold. It will increase mucus production”
 
Many parents believe that drinking milk when a child has a cold will increase mucus production in the respiratory tract. A number of recent studies have concluded that there is no association between milk intake and the amount of respiratory tract mucus produced during a cold. Children need milk for both its protein and calcium and to withdraw such an important food item during a cold makes no sense. While some children prefer other fluids when they are sick (fruit juices, for example) parents can give milk if the child wants it without worrying about making their child worse. (Milk allergies, on the other hand, may produce a stuffy or runny nose.)
EXCESSIVE MILK INTAKE (>30 OUNCE/DAY) MAY CAUSE IRON DEFICIENCY AND POSSIBLY RELATED ANEMIA.
 
 
20. MYTH: “Rubbing the skin with alcohol will help bring down a child’s fever.”
 
This widely held belief could make the child sicker. Alcohol evaporates so quickly that it can bring on chills, which signal the body to raise its temperature even higher. Furthermore, there have been cases of alcohol intoxication if too much is applied and it is absorbed into the skin of a child. Remember that fever is a symptom, not a disease. In fact, fever may be helpful in fighting infections. If the fever is making your child not feel well, parents can make them feel better by giving (on the advice of their doctor) acetaminophen (such as Tylenol or Tempra) or ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil).
 
21. MYTH: “The child should not be vaccinated if they have a fever, cold and cough.”
 
There is no proof for that this widely held belief is true. Unfortunately, many parents still believe it and their child falls behind in their immunization schedule. In case of mild fever, cold, or cough a child can be safely vaccinated along with symptomatic treatment. Immunizations are only contraindicated when the illness causing the fever is severe. A mild illness (such as an ear infection) is not a reason to withhold a vaccine, even if the child has a fever.
 
22. MYTH: “Walkers will teach a baby to walk sooner.”
 
This myth is not only false but dangerous. Many infants have been injured tipping over or falling down stairs. In addition, the infant can now reach things that are up higher than she could normally reach. Furthermore, walkers may actually delay walking since the muscles used in scooting around in a walker are different from the ones used in walking.
 
23. MYTH: “A baby is “constipated” if they do not have a bowel movement at least once per day.”
This is not true. Constipation is defined by stools hardness not frequency. As long as the bowel movement is soft, a baby can go every two or three days. For some babies, especially breast fed babies, may have bowel movements as infrequently as every 7 days. Babies that are solely breast-fed sometimes have a bowel movement as infrequently as once a week! For breast fed babies once every feeding to once a week may be normal.
A baby is not constipated when they grunt, squirm, turn red, or cry while having a bowel movement. If the result of these gyrations is a soft stool, the baby is fine!
 
 
24. MYTH: “It is safe for young children to ride in the front seat of cars without air bags or the air bag turned off.”
 
Compared to children seated in the front seat, the risk of a child dying while seated in the rear is 41 % less. If there were passenger seat airbags and children sat in the rear there were 46% less deaths, thus confirming previous studies. Rear seating was found to provide the best protection in front end collisions and rollovers. Even a child sitting in the front seat of a car without airbags but who is properly belted in is in more danger than a child sitting in the back seat with the same restraints.
 
 
25. MYTH:  : “Children must be made to eat what’s good for them whether they want to or not.”
SEE MYTH #9
 
Study after study has shown that very young children will eat what’s good for them even when surrounded by unhealthy, rich foods, if they are left alone. It serves no purpose to force kids to eat things they dislike or to eat more than they want. Rather such practice cause food to become a tool used for resisting authority and sets kids up for eating disorders later on in life. Pressuring a child to eat has been implicated in causing anorexia, bulimia, or obesity later in life. While it is always appropriate to limit kids’ consumption of junk foods, it is best to let the child’s appetite be your guide. Children eat more when they are growing and less when they are not in a growth phase. Don’t make mealtime a battle ground.  
               “MOTHER AND CHILD” BY PABLO PICASSO
PICASSO 2

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