Lawn Chemicals and Kids: Should Parents Be Concerned?

Dr. Claire Gervais, with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine, is also a member of the City of Madison Pest Management Advisory Committee and President of Healthy Lawn Team. She discusses the issue of lawn chemicals and children.

1. Should parents be concerned about pesticides?

I’d like to first explain that often people think the term pesticide means only insecticide. Actually, pesticides include insecticides, herbicides and fungicides; chemicals that kill insects, weeds, and fungi.

Children are at greater risk of pesticide effects because they are smaller and their brain, liver, and immune systems are still developing. Also, they spend more time in direct contact with grass and more often put things in their mouth. Besides an increased risk of childhood cancers, such as leukemia and neuroblastoma (the most common brain cancer), the latest research shows that exposure to environmental chemicals contributes to the rise in childhood disorders such as autism and ADHD. A recent study shows that kids with ADHD have more pesticide metabolites in their urine.

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Max’s Story

Our son, Maxwell, was born in September, 2011 in Madison WI. The pregnancy had been uneventful, so we were taken by surprise when we learned that Max would need to be taken up to the NICU due to having difficulty breathing. We were soon informed that our newborn son was placed on a ventilator and would need to be rushed to American Family Children’s Hospital. We were able to go to the NICU and touch Max’s feet as the hospital staff was scurrying around organizing the specialized transport that Max would need to make his journey across the city.

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Stay Active and Engaged This Summer

Stay Active and Engaged This Summer

Stay Active and Engaged This Summer

Did you know kids are actually less active during the summer? On average, they also read less too. Without the daily school schedule it can be easy to pass the hours by watching TV or playing computer games. Starting June 11th, we’ll feature a weekly post with information and resources for parents to help keep kids of all ages active and engaged. Answer the question at the end of each post, and you could win the weekly prize including gift certificates to the Farmer’s Market, book store, sporting goods store and more.

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Cold or Allergies?

When your child is experiencing symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference. Sneezing, itchy nose and throat, nasal congestion and coughing are just a few of the common symptoms of airborne allergens, such as pollen or ragweed.

If your child has cold-like symptoms that last longer than a week or two, or if he or she develops a “cold” at the same time every year, your pediatrician can help determine whether a referral to an allergist is appropriate.

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The Reality Behind the Documentary – UW Health’s Pediatric Fitness Clinic

When film crews visited the UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic, it wasn’t for the latest Hollywood film – though it felt a little bit like that. It was for a documentary about the very real crisis of obesity in the U.S.

HBO and the Institute of Medicine, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, created the four-part documentary series that brought together the nation’s leading research institutions. Part three, “Children in Crisis” focused on childhood obesity and the challenges facing kids and parents today. The Pediatric Fitness Clinic and a few of its patients were featured in the episode.

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