Here’s a sure-fire way to calm screaming babies, according to this story by NPR’s Patti Neighmond.
John Harrington, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA, did a study, published in the journal Pediatrics, that proves Los Angeles pediatrician Harvey Karp’s calming system works. Karp calls it the five S’s: swaddle, put on stomach, swing, shush (LOUD shhhh), and offer the baby a pacifier to suck on (although the video shows that’s not always necessary). Essentially, Karp’s mimicking the environment of the womb. The bad news: this method stops working when a baby’s around 4 months old.
TO THE LIST OF TOXIC STRESSORS that shorten our genes to age us prematurely — smoking, radiation, and taking care of a chronically ill person — add violence, says Liz Szabo in today’s USA Today. Research published in Molecular Psychiatry found more evidence that our social environment alters genes. The genes of children who were exposed to two or more types of violence — witnessing domestic violence between the mother and her partner, experiencing physical abuse or bullying — shorten faster. This can lead to early onset of aging diseases, such as heart disease or memory loss.
TRAUMA CAN LEAD TO EATING DISORDERS if no support is provided, according to research in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. An overview of the study can be found on ScienceBlog.com (along with lots of ads for eating disorder treatment….let it not be said that web ads don’t target!). This is interesting because the researchers interviewed 26 people between the ages of 17 and 64; they had suffered eating disorders for an average of 20 years. Each could pinpoint when the eating disorder began and tie it to a traumatic event. These events included sexual abuse, death of a family member and starting at a new school. The common theme was that all felt alone and had no support from family or friends.
[…] Tuesday’s roundup featured a story about how exposure to child abuse and bullying affected our DNA, showing that stress leads to accelerated biological aging. Stephanie Pappas did a good story about the research in LiveScience, in which she quoted Dr. Elissa Epel, a University of California, San Francisco, health psychologist who studies stress and cell aging. “Now we have some evidence that indeed children’s immune-system aging can be adversely affected by severe stress early in childhood, a scar that could last possibly decades later,” Epel told LiveScience. “This study underscores the vital importance of reducing violent exposures for children — both serious bullying and abuse in the family.” […]