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.
In Australia the Green Party have created a new poll to understand parents perspectives on early childhood education and care. The Green Party has said it’s time to hear what parents thought about childcare.
Is Western education superior? We have an institution globally that is branding millions and millions of innocent people as failures. They are the in-between people and they are falling through the cracks of an in-between world. We have moved from wisdom to knowledge and now we are moving from knowledge to information. We have moved from wisdom to knowledge and now we are moving from knowledge to information. Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden is set in Ladakh and examines the long-unquestioned assumption that the western model of education and schooling improves lives wherever it goes.
“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.”
“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.
Dr Pat Kuhl provides an analysis on the baby’s brain and how they learn languages.
Interesting to note in her presentation on TEDxRainier that the baby when exposed to learning language by television and audio show very little increase in response to the artificial stimuli. The baby’s brain is wired to respond and learn from people.
It confirms many parents instinct regarding television. A study of sixty 4 year olds were randomly assigned to watch a fast paced television cartoon or an educational cartoon. The study found that children who watched the fast pace television cartoon performed significantly worse in executive function tasks.
The conclusion the researchers drew –‘just 9 minutes of viewing a fast-paced television cartoon had immediate negative effects on 4-year-olds’ executive function. Parents should be aware that fast-paced television shows could at least temporarily impair young children’s executive function.’
There is a need for the growing body of scientific evidence, linking obesity and other chronic diseases to toxins in our environment, to become acknowledged in public policy.
This was highlighted in the letter, Metabolic Lottery, (1) in the Sydney Morning Herald – ‘obesity is due to metabolic damage wrought by a food supply high in toxins and low in nutrients’. In the past year $36 billion has been spent cost on treating obesity-related ailments. 25% of children in Australia are overweight or obese. ‘In 1985, the proportion of overweight or obese Australian children (7-to-15-year-olds) was 11.1 per cent. If the trend continues, 65 per cent of Australian children will be overweight or obese by 2020.’ (2)
In ‘Eco Parenting – Growing Greener Children.’ Jane Hanckel provides easy access to information about everyday toxins in our environment and presents an eco parenting model to help parents make healthy choices for their children and their families.
(1) Metabolic lottery‘The fortunate choose foods low in toxins and high in nutrients. The determined starve themselves and exercise frantically. The majority play the metabolic lottery which has many losers. It will be a dark day when our governments begin penalising those losers while still subsidising the toxic food supply.’ Dr Dave Liddy Belrose
Physicians Speak Out on the Importance of Play for Children’s Health
Dr. Ken Ginsburg, pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, and Dr. Marilyn Benoit, Chief Clinical Officer at Devereux Behavioral Health and former president of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, address critical issues facing children and families today — rising levels of stress and anxiety, obesity-related health problems, dramatically reduced time for free play and play outdoors, hectic and overscheduled family life — and offer solutions to addressing these problems.
The promotion of creative, free imaginative play, along with healthy food and natural environments are key principles of the Inspir=EdSpirit of Childhood early childhood programs which have had great success in introducing imaginative play and healthy food in communities across Australia. www.spiritofchildhood.org
Marc Weisskopf, Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, discusses a study that finds children exposed to higher levels of pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (2:02)