Satire: The Mildly Disturbing Future of Youth Sports in America

A physician fed up with constantly treating sports-related injuries in children recently relayed his frustration in an op-ed in The New York Times. Ron J. Turker, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, decried the intensity of youth sports today.

“[O]ur very young kids play harder, and for more hours, than ever before,” Dr. Turker wrote. “… As parents, we want what’s best for our kids but we’ve abdicated our parental rights and duties to the new societal norm. Youth sports have become big business.”

Assuming parents and coaches don’t heed Dr. Turker’s criticism, what might the future of youth sports and, say, youth sports summer camps look like? I had one idea …

Dear Parents,

We are thrilled that your young athletes are joining us here at Camp Run And Play this summer. Their one-week stay will be chock-full of every challenging and enriching activity a budding sports star could possibly imagine! Rest assured that although 98% of youngsters fail to secure college athletic scholarships, the thousands that you are paying in camp tuition for our professional training program will at least somewhat improve your son or daughter’s depressingly minuscule chances of being among the coveted two percent. Way to go, Mom and Dad!

Read more on Babble.com.

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NASA Selects Woman to Be First Breastfeeding Mother in Space

aliceastronaut-200x200I am proud and humbled to announce that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected me to be the first breastfeeding mother in space. I am excited for this opportunity to serve my country with both my mind and my mammary glands.

This June, I will join a crew of three highly trained and decorated astronauts on the inaugural flight of the Orion spacecraft on a three-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS.) Although I lack the academic and military credentials of my space-bound peers, NASA officials have assured me that my fifth-grade field trip to the Kennedy Space Center and my repeated viewings of the film Gravity have more than prepared me for the challenges of low-Earth orbit…   Read more on Babble.com.

The Next Best Thing to a Mother’s Beating Heart?

It is one of the most iconic images of motherhood: A new mother, still recovering from labor but beaming as she holds a newborn in her arms. But the mothers of fragile preemies too often miss this amazing moment.

“All those dreams I had for bonding with my new baby are now nightmares because I couldn’t even hold my baby for the first few days,” wrote preemie mom Jennifer Sweetman on the site preemiebabies101.com.

The makers of a new device hope that parents like Sweetman will someday rest assured that even when pre-term infants are separated from their mothers for days or weeks at a time, they can still feel the sensation of being near their mothers and reap health benefits as a result.

Read more on Yahoo.

Thank You, “Parentese,” for Growing Baby’s Vocab

Do you speak “parentese” with your baby? If not, you might want to start. A new study has found that infants and young toddlers exposed to more “parentese” through one-on-one interactions with their caregivers had much larger vocabularies by age 2 than their peers.

The findings “are consistent with the idea that infants’ early speech and later word production may be related to the social context and the style of speech directed toward the child,” researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Washington wrote in an article to be published in the journal Developmental Science.

So what exactly is “parentese”? Think baby talk, but less “googoo, gaga” and more “shooooes” and “diiiaper.”

Read more at Yahoo.

High-Chair Injuries: Why Are Children Getting Hurt?

Lainie Gutterman is changing her ways. Sometimes, the New York mom of two admitted, she didn’t always fully strap her children into their high chairs.

Not anymore.

“I will no longer be lax,” said Gutterman, who blogs at Me, Myself and Baby I, noting that she was “glad we haven’t had a casualty yet in (the) past four years.”

Gutterman’s about-face comes in response to a new study reporting that more than 9,400 children are treated each year for high chair-related injuries.

Read more at Yahoo.

Why Do Dead Plants Make Babies Smile?

There’s a dead, leafless plant in the corner of my living room. I haven’t discarded it yet because its pot is heavy and hard to move. Besides, I have better things to do, like pose my baby next to said pot and snap photos, like the one you see here.

I never really gave much thought to the fact that my son is smiling in this photo. He’s generally a happy guy and, being a baby, I figured he probably didn’t realize that a dead house plant shouldn’t necessarily warrant a grin.

But the results of a recent study gave me pause–maybe, just maybe, he was smiling out of relief. Maybe he was actually happy that the plant has met its maker… because he KNOWS that plants can’t be trusted!

Yale University psychologists Annie Wertz and Karen Wynn have found that infants take an average of five seconds longer to touch plants than other objects put before them, according to a study published in the January 2014 issue of the journal Cognition.

Read more at Yahoo.

Will Getting Your Kids Outside Save Their Eyesight?

When her two elementary school-age boys were toddlers, New Jersey mom Ilana Friedman followed long-held conventional wisdom on children and outdoor time: the former should get lots of the latter.

“We always went for walks and went to the park–things like that,” she told BabyZone.

But with her youngest son, now 3, Friedman has even more reason to make sure he gets out of the house and into the sunlight.

“I don’t think many of us have been as aware as we have been in the last year or two about the increasing evidence showing that outdoor light is beneficial for children and visual development,” she said.

Friedman is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Read more at Yahoo.

Why Aren’t Baby Girls Given Their Mothers’ Names?

My mother-in-law’s name is Edith. Her mother’s name, not coincidentally, was also Edith.

“She liked her name,” Edith said of her late mother, a tall woman often called “Big Edith” in contrast to her daughter, “Little Edith.” (No relation to the Big and Little Edies of “Grey Gardens” fame.) “She wasn’t quite sure what to call me, so she named me after herself.”

A new study has confirmed what I’ve long suspected: When it comes to women being named after their mothers, my MIL doesn’t have much company.

Read more at Yahoo.

New Study Suggests Fast Food Companies Should Limit Advertising to Children

Michelle McCaffrey says her two young boys, ages 1 and 3, don’t know what fast food is.

“They haven’t ever had it, and we stream shows (online instead of watching TV), so they haven’t ever seen a commercial either,” the Pennsylvania mom said.

McCaffrey’s kids may be in the minority.

Researchers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity have found that on average, children between the ages of 2 and 5 see more than 1,000 advertisements for fast food each year.

Read more at Yahoo.