Navigating Early Development in Today’s Girls

Louise Greenspan and Juliana Deardorff, co-authors of The New Puberty.
Topic:
How to navigate early development in today’s girls.
Issues: Why girls are developing earlier and what it means for their long-term health; things that can trigger early puberty (excess body fat, hormone-mimicing chemicals, emotional stressors at home); strategies to help prevent and/or manage early puberty.

29% of High School Students Use E-Cigarettes

National data have shown teen use of e-cigarettes is increasing steadily each year. A new survey of high school students in Hawaii found 29 percent have used e-cigarettes, which is substantially higher than previous estimates. The study, “Risk Factors for Exclusive E-Cigarette Use and Dual E-Cigarette Use and Tobacco Use in Adolescents,” in the January 2015 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 15), surveyed 1,941 high school students in Hawaii in 2013. Students reported their use of e-cigarettes, tobacco cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, as well as psychosocial factors related to substance use, such as parental support, academic involvement, peer smoking and sensation-seeking behaviors.

Researchers found 17 percent of students reported using e-cigarettes only, 12 percent used both e-cigarettes and cigarettes, and 3 percent used cigarettes only. Students who only used e-cigarettes had fewer psychosocial risk factors than students who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. According to the study authors, this raises the possibility that e-cigarettes are recruiting medium-risk adolescents to cigarette smoking who otherwise would be less susceptible to tobacco use.

New HPV Vaccine Even More Effective than Before

The Food and Drug Administration just approved Gardasil 9, which covers nine types of HPV (Human Papillomavirus). The previous version of Gardasil covered only 4 types of the virus, which is responsible for many cancers and other conditions. According to the FDA, Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers, and genital warts. Current recommendations are that boys and girls be vaccinated starting at age 11. Anyone under 26 who hasn’t been vaccinated should be.

You’d think that with results like that, parents would be lining up to get their children vaccinated. But you’d be wrong. Way wrong. The New York City Health Department found earlier this year that only 47% of boys aged 13-17 and 64% of girls aged 13-17 in have received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. In order to be most effective, three doses are recommended. But just 40% of girls aged 13-17 and 22% of boys aged 13-17 in New York City have received all three doses. Those numbers varied greatly, depending on the section of the city. In Manhattan, 45.5% to 60.2% of girls aged 13-17 and 15.7% to 26.1% of boys aged 13-17 received all three dose, says the Health Department. But in Staten Island, Central/Southern Brooklyn, and Greenpoint/Williamsburg, just 5.8% to 25.1% of girls aged 13-17 and 0% to 5.9% of boys aged 13-17 had received all three doses.
[Read more…]

Employed and At-Home Moms + The New Puberty


Deborah Kahn, author of The Roads Taken.
Topic:
Complex lives of employed and at-home mothers.
Issues: Is there an ideal work status? why do mothers change–or not change–their work status? can we really have it all? who gives us support? advantages and disadvantage of working or being at home; where do we go from here?

Louise Greenspan and Juliana Deardorff, co-authors of The New Puberty.
Topic:
How to navigate early development in today’s girls.
Issues: Why girls are developing earlier and what it means for their long-term health; things that can trigger early puberty (excess body fat, hormone-mimicing chemicals, emotional stressors at home); strategies to help prevent and/or manage early puberty.

Are We There Yet? Patience Patience…

The relentless holiday frenzy that started just after Halloween is almost done. But plenty of us haven’t finished our holiday shopping. Here are some great, almost-last-minute gifts that you and the pre-tweens, actual tweens, and teens in your life will love doing together.

bouce off mattelBounce-Off (Mattel)
Bounce-Off’s playing field is a 6×6 grid; you and your opponent bounce colored ping pong balls into that grid, trying to match the design one of nine challenge cards. It’s simple—but not easy. It’ll probably remind you of one of those carnival games at the county fair where you spend $50 trying to bounce a ping pong ball into the mouth of bottle so you can win a giant panda that you don’t really want (and could have bought for $25) and is too big to fit into your car anyway. But it’s a lot cheaper and a lot more fun. For 2-4 players ages 5+. $17.99 at places like Target. http://www.mattel.com/

future car revensburgerScience X Fueling Future Cars (Ravensburger)
Sure, everyone talks about solar power and fuel cells, but does anyone know exactly how they work? By the time you’re done putting together this very cool model, you and your child certainly will. Start with the guide, which explains what an electric car is and what the components are. Then the real work starts. The kit comes with almost all the switches, solar cells, magnets, and other stuff you need to conduct nine separate propulsion-related activities (you supply the battery). You and your child will have a great time discovering the future of automotive technology. And the cars you build actually work. Ages 8+. $44.99. http://www.ravensburger.com/us

girlmazing jeep jadaGirlmazing (Jada Toys)
This is a line of remote controlled cars aimed at girls. You can get a Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, Lamborghini Murcielago, and a Jeep. All are 1/16 scale and customizable (each one comes with lots of colorful stickers). And speaking of colors, they’re pink. I honestly don’t understand why so many products for girls have to be pink—as the dad of three daughters, I can assure you that girls are interested in other colors as well. But pink or not, they’re a great way for parents (especially dads) to connect with their daughter. The Jeep is $24.95, all the rest are $19.99. At your favorite retailer. http://www.jadatoysinc.com/

hyper charger rc jadaHyperCharger R/C vehicles (Jada Toys)
Bye-bye batteries! The vehicles in this new line come with a built-in, rechargeable battery—just plug in to almost any device with a USB port. Choose from a Bentley Continental, Camaro, Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Scion, Chevy Silverado, and Ford F-150. Great fun for the R/C enthusiast and his or her children (yes, that means you have to share). Ages 6+. Cars are $19.99, trucks are $24.99. Available at Walmart and Amazon. http://www.jadatoysinc.com/

skinz studio roseartGraphic Skinz Design Studio (RoseArt)
A really unique, fun toy that tweens and teens will want to use over and over. The concept is similar to those rub-on tattoos, but it’s a lot cooler. It starts with a battery-operated suction chamber. Then, grab any object that will fit in that chamber, pick one of the full-color skinz, and let ‘er rip. Chambers are around $29.99 and the kits (each includes a snap-together-and-apart model and six skinz) run $12 – $20. Available at retailers everywhere. http://www.roseart.com/

mrdad seal of aproval And Finally…
If you’re looking for gifts especially for the dad who’d rather spend time with the kids than get another tie, check out the winners of the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval for the 2014 Holidays. More than 30 great