Children’s general health

Children are not little adults (though they do know the score). That is why we have pediatricians like Dr. Craig Canapari and sites like


Good parenting affects lifelong health of progeny.

Be a good example for your kids – their life may depend on it – at least their quality of life.

This, and the right information, may be the only way to influence adolescents.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to tell them to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. – Friedrich Nietzsche

abuse and neglect causes cancer, stroke, anxiety disorder, social difficulties, behavior problems, poverty, psychosis (especially with sex abuse), obesity, and heart disease, and becomes a cycle

The effects of poverty show up as early as five.

Toxoplasma gondii (from cats) causes maternal violence

Child abuse is akin to bullying (see below),

air freshener caution and gas cooking asthma

air pollution kills lots of kids. Wild fire smoke is particularly harmful to kids’ respiratory health.

early alcohol consumption, and smoking, can damage and stiffen teen’s arteries

early antibiotic use causes gut flora disruption and adult diseases

question doctor’s antibiotic recommendation

antibiotic advice probiotics might help

asthma information (see also asthma elsewhere in this blog)

fast food begets childhood asthma, more, get them to bed on time

antioxidant foods (a plant-based diet) (and spices) may prevent asthma development

acetaminophen (Tylenol) may trigger asthma

own a dog

vitamin B1 (thiamine) for motor function and balance

a sad story about a metal BBQ bristle stuck in a boy’s throat

on behavior, more


beware of bribes

on self-regulation – a consistent routine helps

on oppositional defiant disorder

offer of rewards beats threats of punishment

Make sure the child knows why the other person feels bad before forcing an apology.

blueberries for a short-term cognitive boost, vs. juvenile arthritis

beta-cryptozanthin – from citrus and persimmons, for growth

maternal gut biome can increase offspring immunity – see the gut biome stuff in the longevity post

bisphenol A damages childrens teeth, and causes early puberty → future obesity

see Cancer Causative Stuff section for more information

do future generations a favor and avoid this stuff

BPA-free plastics may not be much better.

It can be hard to avoid significant BPA exposure.

window blind cords are a hazard for toddlers

body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) can, and should, be treated

good nutrition now to avoid hypertension later

A quality breakfast: There is not much of a connection between the positive claims and the nutritional content of the breakfast cereals. In fact, the actual correlation was almost zero. Here is how to choose a healthy breakfast cereal.

breastfeed!, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more

Despite dubious marketing claims, expert recommendations are that toddler milks are not necessary for toddlers and that breastmilk is superior to infant formula for infants up to 12 months.

Breast feed for six months minimum. Avoid sugary beverages while breast feeding – it can affect the child’s cognitive development.

supports cognitive development:

Works via oligosaccharide 2’FL.

Supported by a population-based birth cohort in the city of Sabadell (Catalonia, Spain).

Supported by a study of 391 healthy infants.

Supported by a study of 1312 Project Viva mothers and children.

Supported by a study of 846 first born singletons.

Breast feeding supports higher IQ.

Breast feeding is especially important for pre-term infants.

Breast feeding supplies Bifidobacterium longum.


anti-asthma, or maybe not


anti-celiac disease



better oral health

may help prevent type 1 diabetes

may help prevent type 2 diabetes in mom and kid

better infant gut biome, more, more

better emotion perception

less chance of conduct disorder

anti-obesity, more

anti-heart disease, even for mom.

better immunity

lets the baby benefit from mom’s immune system

  1. antibiotic-resistant infections
  2. potentially deadly diseases

less inflammation into adulthood

longer telomeres

taylor-made according to the baby’s gender

avoid bone loss during lactation: get adequate calcium – but not from milk

breast milk aroma vs. pain

resistance to candida and celiac via beneficial gut bacteria

improved gut biota

fenugreek tea may help

bromelain vs. breast enlargement

may help prevent multiple sclerosis in mom

might prevent some cases of autism by establishing gut microbial diversity

see the longevity post for gut microbial diversity information

the best baby formula vs. cows milk (see below) or plant milks

Long-chain Ω-3 fats in formula do not substitute for breast milk.

lower risk of arsenic, lead, and mercury toxicity

especially important for preterm babies

dietary fructose may be excreted in breast milk – maybe not a good thing

sucralose (Splenda) is excreted in breast milk – maybe not a good thing

Maternal obesity lowers breast milk fatty acid quality.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, eating 8 to 12 ounces per week of fish and other seafood may improve your baby’s health. However, it is important to choose fish that are higher in EPA and DHA and lower in mercury. Examples are salmon, herring, sardines, and trout.

beware of online-purchased human breast milk

being bullied can be deadly and can cause chronic disease and psychiatric disorders

The anxiety and depression from being bullied may decline over time.

exercise may help

caffeinated and artificially sweetened drinks → early puberty → future obesity

early cannabis use may cause later sleep disturbances

and may be a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer

it is, or is not, associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes

cannabis (marijuana) is not a gateway drug like tobacco and alcohol

but if it is started too early, may be a prelude to other drug problems

such as tobacco use

cannabis versus children’s epileptic seizures

car safety

breakfast cereals can be too fortified

telling kids they are special may foster narcissism

chamomile vs. colic

chlorinated swimming pools → abnormally low testosterone

Light therapy to strengthen the circadian oscillation can help teens sleep more.

Cuddle infants: it affects epigenetic expression. Babies know when you imitate them, and like it. Be like a hyena.

e-cigarette use → old fashioned cigarettes later

Juul e-cigarettes have addiction potential

on circumcision, more, more, more, more, vs. urinary tract infections, vs. AIDs

circumcision does not appear to reduce sexual pleasure

circumcision reduces the risk of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases which can cause cancer

citronella caution

Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 vs infant colic

co-sleeping is not safe, a rebuttal?

coconut oil massage for infants delivers nutrients through skin, and, rarely, epilepsy

cold showers for better immunity

constipation in babies

teach your child to cook, cook with your kid

coughing not eased by antibiotics, but by honey and bromelain

Honey beats dextromethorphan, then there is honey + coffee.

Cough and cold meds (usually) don’t work for children.

cow’s milk → future obesity, SIDS, constipation, and, rarely, epilepsy

also milk consumption is strongly linked to type 1 diabetes:

see the Avoiding Diabetes blog post

The hormones in milk are worrisome: early menarche?

avoid cramming for tests: Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance

or just nap before the exam, or practise testing, or tell a friend what you learned

don’tlet them cry

beware needless CT scans

exposure to culture → stay in school

beware cyberbullying

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) vs. cannabis and alcohol addiction

wheat bran  and probiotics (or not)vs. childhood diarrhea

vitamin D vs colds and influenza in the severely deficient, and versus critical illness

  1. asthma
  2. dental caries
  3. psychosis

for infant muscle strength

to prevent myopia

vitamin D and pathogens vs. type 1 diabetes (more, more, more)

especially when given in infancy

see also in this blog about cow’s milk being causative of type 1 diabetes


vitamin D vs. type 2 diabetes

dairy crib death, infant apnea, constipation, and gonadotropin suppression

cow’s milk constipation  and later prostate cancer

→ depleted iron → cognitive impairment

and it is polluted!

any animal foods → premature sexual maturation

→ a risk factor for a number of diseases in adulthood and reduced life expectancy

maternal dairy-free diet vs. infant colic

dance/bounce with your baby – it’s part of affection

deception and other social awareness start early – expect it

it can be a sign of good memory

encourage good dental hygiene to avoid dental anesthetic

deception and other social awareness start early – expect it

straitening teeth is of little value beyond cosmetic

Cloth diapers are better, and not much extra work.

dichlorobenzene caution

Let them play in the dirt and mud, and play with a dog to establish intestinal microbiota, or in the mud which also benefits by reducing invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells.

Dogs and dirt support a robust immune system and lower inflammation.

Having a dog or cat will lower a child’s risk of asthma, and it need not be hypoallergenic.

New parents shouldn’t be afraid of a little dirt — or fur: a dog might be a baby’s best friend when it comes to avoiding respiratory disorders.

Here is a dissenting opinion.

One caution: pit bulls and mixed breed dogs are most likely to bite children.

disaster preparedness

disruptive behavior does not appear to be contagious among siblings

A child’s dreams are to be encouraged, no matter how impractical. When a child shows you something you have to act amazed. Even if it is the most mundane thing in the world, you must show excitement.

drug testing does more harm than good

drugs for relief of cold symptoms are not proven for young children

household dust is hazardous

ADHD drug abuse can start early

early childhood programs prevent chronic diseases

eggs, while not recommended for adults (see the Cancer Causative post), may help kids who have stunted growth

electronic devices in the bedroom versus sleep

too much screen time and a poor diet may cause poor sleep

chronic late bedtimes have future health implications

the common teen habit of sleeping in on the weekends is bad news

exercise may help with sleep

Cultivating emotional maturity.

It may be best not to hide negative emotions from them.

Tea Time is a requirement. I do not care how manly you are. You will sit down in a chair that’s WAY too small and will enjoy some fake tea.

support from family and friends vs. depression

depression + video games suicide

energy drinks can cause more adverse effects that plain old coffee

exercise: only 3% get enough. It is a vital sign for overall health. Start at age 3. At age 7 kids get sedentary.

to be slim

for heart health

to avoid cancer

to avoid type 2 diabetes which is skyrocketing among kids

for future bone health

for future immunity to disease

to promote a healthy adult lifestyle

for better, longer sleep

exercise can reverse the effects of paternal obesity and fast-food diet

resistance training for kids

but maybe not too much on artificial turf

fitbit caution

inflammation in children should be minimized due to some worrisome concerns

This study of 229 of pubertal obese children from Mexico City showed that magnesium-deficient diets are determinants of inflammation, while high intake of refined carbohydrates is a risk factor for insulin resistance, independently of central adiposity.

check out the two posts here on inflammation

internet use → mental health caution for adolescents

simply limiting screen time is not the answer


but it may promote well-being, and reduce suicide risk

fathers are important for happiness and avoiding teen pregnancy

stressed fathers negatively affect children’s development

see the stress post

toddler feeding advice

dietary (not supplemental) fiber for less breast cancer risk later on

and for less risk of diabetes

soluble fiber for better calcium absorption

fire retardant exposure → more anger

fish, dairy, and meat endocrine disrupting carcinogenic pollutants and estrogens

contaminated fish oil supplements

also affect developing sex organs

Fish oil (toxin caution) for:


less chance of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes

less chance of nerve problems like demyelination

better eyesight

better sleep

just a bit of fluoride toothpaste – fluoride is not bad

a fluoride mouthrinse (available commercially) may work better at preventing cavities

Too much food in infancy → obesity and diabetes later.

forest bathing while exercising → lower blood pressure

kids need nature, especially girls

no fruit juice for the first year (or ever, ideally)

gardening → psychological well being

hearing damage can start early, due to “risky listening habits”

heart disease can start early, more

a hearthealthy lifestyle should begin in childhood

saturated fat caution

sugar/fructose is a culprit, and children are vulnerable

sets the stage for impaired cognition later in life

herbs for colic?

animal protein causes early puberty – which is bad news → future obesity

glyphosate (Roundup herbicide) found in breast milk!

glyphosate and adjuvants are endocrine disruptors

Grudges come naturally to kids – gratitude must be taught.

gummy prenatal vitamins are deficient

hormone disrupting chemicals vs. later generations

phthalates in household dust is an example

no access to guns to prevent tragedy

brightly colored laundry pods are a hazard to young children

high IGF-1 → cancer

the HPV vaccine prevents cancer – see the cancer causative post

infant formula iron caution

lavender aromatherapy vs. cholic

early lead exposure affects gene expression into adulthood

head lice may yeild to a coconut and anise spray – it might be better than permethrin

light at night (like mobile phones) → increased risk of cancer

being told to act like a man is toxic – boys are just as delicate as girls, even more so

but avoid over-parenting, more, more

some (explained) restrictions are helpful to create a wise consumer

how to grow up look forward to it!


maternal meat consumption during breast feeding → type 1 diabetes in offspring

meat bacteria exposure via shopping carts

raw milk caution

A midday nap, even at 10-12, is beneficial.

NSAID caution, more

ineffective at preventing febrile seizures

music versus pain, more

nutrition information

start feeding nuts early to avoid nut allergies

time spent outdoors in bright light versus myopia

recess (time spent outdoors) is important to prevent nearsightedness

avoid perfluorooctanoic acid

   from non-stick cookware, microwave popcorn bags

pesticides disproportionately affect children – especially rugrats

pets for social skills and emotional well-being

A plant-based diet to avoid early puberty and breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.

A plant-based diet minimizes exposure to environmental toxins.

Set a good example of healthy diet: kids can be a nutrition detective.

When a plant-based diet is combined with fried food, sweets, refined grains, red meat and processed meat, benefits are diminished.

Poor diet → obesity → liver disease in children as young as 8.

→ adolescent drinking,

interactive play is important

playground equipment is frequently filthy

porn caution

probiotics (or not) versus eczema and atopic sensitization (becoming hyperallergic)


Prebiotics may help prevent infectious diseases.

processed food (fast food, or anything in a can or package) may contain BPP

protein is important during bone growth

potty training guidelines

potty training Vietnamese style

Expect behavior problems at puberty.

kid’s safety, but don’t overdo it, such as in helicopter or snowplow parenting, more

A helpful site on preparing out kids for the future.

Police and schools don’t mix.

the Santa myth may not be entirely benign

toddlers as young as 2-1/2 can when others hold false beliefs

School lunches are, um, less than ideal. Brown bag it?

Excessive screen time + snacking → diabetes.

Excessive screen time impulsive behavior.

self esteem, including not believing one is ugly, is incredibly important

sensory-based learning is the most effective

adolescents should be warned about the oral sex – cancer connection

teens should be warned about the sexting-violence connection

help for sextortion

LGBQ youth are especially vulnerable to suicide

a suicide prevention hotline

children without siblings displayed NO differences in terms of IQ, BUT HIGHER levels of flexibility—one measure of creativity—and LOWER levels of agreeableness

sing to baby or hold him this way to keep him calm

about infant sleep, and childhood sleep

   sleeping on belly, loose bedding, swaddling, other factors → SIDS

   obesity → poor sleep

   the new sleep guidlines

    good childhood sleep habits → healthier teen years

   sleep vs. childhood type 2 diabetes, impulsivity, and risk taking

           such sleep patterns in adolescents may be delayed sleep phase disorder

circadian clock information is in the longevity post

cell phone use at night caution

teen sleep improves with better parent bonding, less risky behavior

encourage social activity

   fermented foods may help


less sugar overall, according to the American Heart Association


sugar withdrawal, not sugar, results in hyperactivity, maybe even substance abuse

The baby food industry is culpable.



solid foods too early → asthma

except oats and other grains

see the asthma post

a standing or stand-biased desk improves attention and fights obesity

sugary soda asthma

soy formula and food excess may cause future infertility and hormonal imbalance

   but some soy in adolescence may prevent breast cancer later

do not smoke tobacco around kids (see long-term cognition for help on quitting)

tobacco smoke → SIDS

Smoking around a toddler is bad news: Set a good example.

It may predispose them to COPD in adult life.

Youthful smoking substance abuse via epigenetics.


secondhand smoke

→ serious respiratory infections

aggressive behavior

bladder problems

→ asthma short-term and into teenage years


Infants and toddlers are especially at risk from second and third-hand smoke.

Even third-hand smoke is hazardous, and lingers for a long time.

Vaping tobacco compounds is not much better, will not deter smoking.

do not spank! more, more: may impair social development, cause antisocial behavior.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in on-board with this.

Physical punishment such as spanking is harmful to children’s development and well-being. Parents hit their children because they think doing so will improve their behavior. There is clear and compelling evidence that physical punishment does not improve children’s behavior and instead makes it worse.

Marijuana or alcohol use may make discipline quicker/more likely.

Just 10 days of sugar restriction will improve kid’s metabolic health.

sun exposure is a bigger threat to children than to adults

stress in kids has long-term impact digestive problems, and deviant behavior

social media can be a potent stressor

public swimming pool caution

on tantrums

running a temperature does not mean kids should be kept from school

live theater → literary knowledge, tolerance, and empathy

thumb sucking → less allergies

tick bites may be the cause of chronic urticaria/hives

tonsils are important

do vaccinate!, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more

Vaccines are a way of training the immune system for a big fight, so that when it comes up against the same opponent in the future, it knows exactly how to defeat it. The anti-vaccine movement is based on suspicion of authority, beginning with medical authority. It’s no small irony the movement is based on fraudulent data, published by the now disgraced Andrew Wakefield, an English gastroenterologist, claiming that all subsequent reports, which show no connection between vaccinations and autism, are cover-ups. The anti-vaccine movement imitates science. In the end they offer nothing but suspicion. That’s paranoia, not science. Vaccines are a risk/benefit tradeoff where the benefit far outweighs the risk. The association between neurological disorders and vaccinations is an urban myth.

Have a look at the dreadful diseases prevented by vaccines.

Immunization represents one of the greatest public health achievements.

Vaccines  prevent antimicrobial resistance.

Vaccines are not an autism risk or an allergy risk

Vaccines are not even risky for those who are genetically at risk for autism.

Vaccines do not cause autism when administered during pregnancy.

Vaccines contain only a tiny amount of mercury in the form of ethyl mercury that the body flushes out easily. Mercury was removed from most vaccines in 2001. Also, the aluminum adjuvant should also not be cause for concern.

Vaccines were proven by an Australian study of one million children

Vaccines were proven by a meta analysis of 1.26 million children

Shown by a cohort of 657,461 children born in 1999–2010.

Autism Speaks is on board: no vaccine-autism link

WHO is on board: no vaccine-autism link.

Vaccine hesitancy is one of the top ten global health threats.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: no vaccine-autism link

Pediatrics journal: no vaccine-autism link

The efficacy of vaccinees was shown by a study on 79 monkeys

Kids who get all of their shots on time are not at risk for autism.

Vaccination rarely causes febrile seizures, which are not serious, and are not epilepsy.

Vaccines work, even prenatally! Consider vaccination to be a social contract.

Vaccines prevent deaths and medical impoverishment.

Here are vaccination photos.

The entire vaccine schedule is evidence-based. Includes the HPV vaccine.

cannabis may treat any HPV vaccine side effects

The CDC has excellent vaccine information here.

This site suggests that the original studies vindicating vaccines were tainted. Studies since then, though, have shown that vaccines are safe, side-effects are rare.

Think for yourself, and don’t delay! Don’t risk your kid’s future!

Russian trolls and bots have spread misinformation about this.

Vaccination is less risky than measles.

Measles can weaken the immune system for the following three years.

Chicken pox vaccination reduces the chance of later shingles.

Anti-vaccine points refuted a thousand times

The greatest story never told. Busting vaccine myths.

Don’t let conspiratorial ideation threaten your kid’s health

Avoid the anti-vax echo chamber. Maybe visit the hospital to see the sick?

Kids on the spectrum are actually less likely to be vaccinated.

Count yourself lucky to have vaccine access.

Vaccination is a social contract.

Andrew Wakefield is a fraud.

Twitter bots and russian trolls amplify the vaccine debate

8 of history’s most misguided anti-vaxxers.

The fascinating history of vaccination and anti-vaccination.

How the antivaccination movement took root in America.

Why vaccine manufacturers are granted immunity from prosecution.

vacuum cleaner dust → infant botulism → SIDS

video games → behavior problems – a little is good, a lot is bad

good for children with poor vision

but unlikely to lead to violent behavior

beware of wild claims made for vision therapy

xylitol gum vs. ear infections


Good nutrition takes some effort.

Have healthy snacks around the house to encourage good choices at school.

A good diet is key to kid’s health and happiness.

Food advertisements are not helpful.

acrylamide caution

blood pressure problems can start early, so limit salt early

old-fashioned glass bottles will minimize exposure to industrial toxins

limit breakfast cereal, more → sugar overdosing cavities: the box is more nutritious


children especially vulnerable to food-borne toxins

Eat together for better nutrition. No mush!, Here are tricks to get kids to eat healthier, even at school. Be French about food. Avoid foods marketed toward children, Family meals can boost vocabulary.

fructose warning

cow’s milk and whey protein messes with hormones, causes acne (more, more, more)

gluten (wheat) too soon may trigger celiac disease

a case report of glute-triggered psychosis in the absence of celiac

including oatmeal in the diet encourages healthy eating

introduce peanuts early to avoid peanut allergy

PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) for mitochondria development – see the energy post

raisins versus junk food

solid food too soon may cause allergies

but if the baby reaches for solid food, it is probably safe

choice in veggies is best, cut into small pieces

a vegan diet vs. asthma, cancer,  and learning disabilities, but get adequate B12 and calcium

but get adequate iron, fat, B12, calcium and zinc

fruits and veggies muscles!

children are disproportionately affected by toxins in food

why kids resist veggies (ways to overcome this) why this is important

water before school for better grades

By Otto

I am a health enthusiast, engineer, and maker.

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