- Forward-Facing Strollers May Stress Babies
- Hairspray May Increase Risk of Male Birth Defect: Study
- IKEA Blinds Recalled After Girl's Death
- Lung Cancer Drug Trial Halted
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Forward-Facing Strollers May Stress Babies
Using forward-facing strollers may cause babies emotional distress because they aren't getting face-to-face contact with their parents, according to researchers at Dundee University in Scotland.
The researchers studied nearly 3,000 parent-infant pairs and found that 25 percent of parents using rear-facing strollers spoke to their babies, more than twice as many as parents using forward-facing strollers. The researchers also found that babies in rear-facing strollers had lower heart rates and were twice as likely to fall asleep than those in forward-facing ones, Agence France Presse reported.
Facing their parents gives infants positive reassurance and reduces mental stress, the researchers concluded.
"Neuroscience has helped us to learn how important social interaction during the early years is for children's brain development," said Suzanne Zeedyk, of Dundee University's School of Psychology, AFP reported.
"Our data suggests that for many babies today, life in a buggy [stroller] is emotionally impoverished and possibly stressful. Stressed babies grow into anxious adults," she added.
Hairspray May Increase Risk of Male Birth Defect: Study
Women exposed to hairspray during pregnancy may be more likely to give birth to boys with a genital defect called hypospadias, in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis, instead of the tip, says an Imperial College London study.
The researchers interviewed 471 women whose boys were born with hypospadias and a similar number of women whose boys were normal. About twice as many women in the hypospadias group said they'd been exposed to hairspray through their jobs as hairdressers and beauty therapists, BBC News reported.
In recent decades, there's been a sharp rise in the incidence of hypospadias. Some experts suspect it may be due to hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates, which are used in hairsprays.
However, there's no proof that exposure to hairspray can cause hypospadias, said the authors of the study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
"Women shouldn't be alarmed. This study adds a bit more evidence to the general picture about these chemicals, but more research will be needed to demonstrate that the link exists," said study leader Professor Paul Elliott. "Pregnant women will need to make their own choices about whether or not to avoid these kind of exposures."
IKEA Blinds Recalled After Girl's Death
The choking death of a 1-year-old girl from Greenwich, Conn., has prompted the U.S. recall of 670,000 IKEA IRIS and ALVINE Roman blinds, the Associated Press reported.
The girl died in April when she became tangled in the inner cord of a set of blinds located above her playpen, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The blinds were sold at IKEA stores across the United States between July 2005 and June 2008. Another 4.8 million blinds were sold in other countries, the Associated Press reported. Consumers can return the blinds to any IKEA store for a full refund.
Another recall announced by the CPSC covers about 7,300 Green Mountain Vista insulated blackout roller shades and insulated Roman shades. In June, a 2-year-old girl from Bristol, Conn., nearly died after getting caught on the beaded-chain loop on a set of the shades. The girl was saved by her older brother, the AP reported.
The Green Mountain Vista shades were sold nationwide by a number of retailers from June 2005 through September 2008. The CPSC said consumers should inspect the shades to see if the tension device is attached. If not, contact Green Mountain Vista for a free repair kit and installation instructions.