Healthy Kids: Babies in the news

Infants who eat rice products have higher arsenic concentrations:
  • Usually the first solid food introduced to babies.
  • JAMA Pediatrics study from Dartmouth College.
  • WHO = 200 ng/g inorganic arsenic in polished white rice.
  • FDA = limit for infant cereal is 100 ng/g
  • Arsenic affects growth, immunity and neurodevelopment.
Findings:
  • Many infant cereals contain too much arsenic.
  • Inorganic and organic arsenic pose health risks.
  • Cumulative amount of arsenic is most important.
  • Urinary arsenic concentrations were studied.
  • Water and apple juice could be hidden sources.
Music exposure benefits babies’ brains:
  • Aids development of perceptual skills.
  • Helps babies learn to speak.
  • Improves ability to process musical sound and speech.
  • Improves auditory skills
Results:
  • Improved nerve cell activity in hearing part of the brain.
  • Improved nerve cell activity in prefrontal brain region.
  • Better processing of sounds.
  • Better predictive coding
  • Results in better speech and pattern recognition.
Gender stereotypes may influence perception of babies’ cries:
  • Stereotypes start at birth – 3 months of age.
  • Involves: clothes and activities.
  • Pitches of babies cries were studied.
  • Higher-pitched cries = feminine
  • Lower-pitched cries = masculine
Results:
  • Not until puberty – differences in voices of boys and girls.
  • Adults wrongly apply gender to cries based on pitch.
  • High-pitched cries = more discomfort
  • Men perceive greater discomfort in baby boys’ cries.
  • Concern: ¬†child’s welfare and attention to needs.
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