Apr 112014
 

A new study indicates that children who view a simulated forest environment whilst exercising are more likely to experience health enhancing effects after the activity.  A UK university study of children aged 9-10 years, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Health, found that after a series of 15 minute moderate intensity cycling activities the children’s post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower than it was without the simulated forest environment, indicating that the nature scenes promoted positive health effects.

Walking can increase life expectancy

Dr Michael Duncan, lead author of the study and associate head of the Department of Applied Sciences and Health at Coventry University, said:

“If there is indeed a correlation between viewing scenes of nature and a lower blood pressure post exercise, as indicated by our data, it could have very positive implications in encouraging public health practitioners to prescribe outdoor exercise to reduce health risk.”

More information:  http://blogs.coventry.ac.uk/researchblog/health-benefits-green-exercise-kids-shown-new-study/

Mar 282013
 

Boy with Autism Recovers After Gluten-free Casein-free Diet

Many parents know that diet and environment can change children’s behaviour. In this video a mother and Dr Kenneth Bock discuss how a gluten and dairy free diet helped her son recover from autism.

Dr Bock recommends also that children and families avoid chemicals, pesticides and other possible contributors to autism such as phthalates in plastic.

‘Growing Greener Children’ is a great first step comprehensive resource for parents wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

Mar 102013
 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a new report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s).

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, EDC’s, include Bisphenol-A (BPA), PCB’s, phthalates and agricultural pesticides that are in everyday items such as plastic water bottles, shower curtains, beauty products (including nail polish, hair spray, shampoo, deodorants, and fragrances), vinyl floor coverings, and more. The joint study highlights a range of health problems associated with EDC’s including breast cancer in women; developmental effects on the nervous system in children and attention deficit hyperactivity in children.

Theo Colborn, Ph.D., President of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange talks about chemicals, parents and dreams of the future for our children.

Theo asks ‘Where are parents going to get information to help understand the myriad of factors in the environment and the effect on their children’. ‘Growing Greener Children’ is such a resource for parents.

Further information : Common Household Chemicals Linked to Human Disease in Landmark UN Study’ Dr Mercola’s website

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 082013
 

… as things stand we’re all being used as guinea pigs in the great test of new product safety.”
-Mark Bittman, The Cosmetics Wars, The New York Times, Feb. 6, 2013

Mark Bittman’s article on cosmetics testing in The New York Times highlights the fact that personal care product makers don’t have to prove that the ingredients in their shampoos, toothpastes or other cosmetics are safe before you use them.

The Environmental Working Group (E.W.G.) offers a database of more than 79,000 personal care products, from soap to lip plumper ranked by level of hazard. The database is an excellent way to find out what is in you and your children’s products.

 

 

 

 

Dec 052012
 

“For the child…it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow…. It is more important to pave the way for a child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts that he is not ready to assimilate.”
Rachel Carson

“First and foremost, our job as heart-centered educators must be to understand the potential of each ‘seed’ we are nurturing.  The great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals said it well: ‘The child must know that he (or she) is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him (or her).’  Supporting the miracle of each child’s uniqueness does not lend itself to standardization.  It is not ‘convenient.’  It may seem easier to find a one-size-fits-all way of delivering and assessing learning, but if we pay attention, the natural world will help us realize the futility of trying to do so.  Nothing in nature, including human beings, can be completely ‘standardized.’ (1)

We need to advocate for an education based on the understanding of our children’s uniqueness. This is a fundamental right of every child.

Jane Hanckel

(1) http://www.childcareexchange.com/eed/view/3223/

Sep 122012
 

A must watch segment on ABC TV’s Catalyst program on plastic waste and our environment.

Plastic Oceans

Oceans are silently choking on our plastic waste. Plastic and synthetic materials are the most common types of debris in our oceans and are having horrific impacts on marine wildlife and systems. As an island continent ‘girt by sea’ marine debris is of particular importance for Australia. Creatures get entangled in plastics and drown and ingested concentrated toxins from plastics pose a threat to the health of the food chain. Plastics also transport and introduce species into new environments. Anja Taylor catches up with the CSIRO research team spearheading the Marine Debris Survey, a world-first study of the plastics around our coastline.

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3583576.htm

Sep 032012
 

 

Harvard scientists have studied effects of fluoride in drinking water and found that high levels of fluoride lowers children’s IQ. They looked at 27 studies from across the world and found a direct link between IQ scores and the levels of fluoride in the public water supply.  The study’s aim was to investigate the effects of increased fluoride exposure and delayed neurobehavioral development. (1) Children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. The children studied were up to 14 years of age, but the investigators speculate that any toxic effect on brain development may have happened earlier, and that the brain may not be fully capable of compensating for the toxicity.

“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” says Phillipe Grandjean adjunct professor of environmental health, Harvard School of Public Health. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.” (2)

How to avoid fluoride in your water?  Installing a rainwater tank or using a reverse osmosis filtration system are two practical solutions. For more details on reverse osmosis see link. Speak to your local council and express your views on fluoride in your drinking water.

(1) Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012; published online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104912

(2) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi.html

 

Aug 262012
 

 

Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.  From the makers of the Story of Stuff www.storyofstuff.org

Being a citizen is about acting on our responsibility to stand up for the planet and our children.

Eco parenting is currently developing an innovative, engaging and interactive 3D ‘look inside the human body’. This 3D pilot will demonstrate a child’s wellbeing and the links to diet, lifestyle and environment. If you would like to support this project and receive a one on one consultation with Jane Hanckel and a signed copy of her book then please click here.