Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 17 June 2013

Toddlers with guns kill more Americans than terrorists -

Toddlers with guns kill more Americans than terrorists - 

Americans hate terrorists and love our kids, right? So you might be shocked to know that preschoolers with guns have taken more lives so far this year than the single U.S. terrorist attack, which claimed four lives in Boston.

This is admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but one has to wonder if the NSA's PRISM program would have saved more lives had it been monitoring toddlers - or gun owners - rather than suspected terrorists.

11 Deaths in Five Months Where Shooter Was 3 to 6 Years Old

Listed below are the 11 gun fatalities I found where a preschooler pulled the trigger (from Jan. 1 to June 9, 2013). Starting with a list of five toddler shooting deaths The Jewish Daily Forward published in early May, I unearthed six additional cases. This tragic, unthinkable event has happened every month, like clock-work.

Jan. 10: 6-year-old playmate shoots and kills 4-year-old Trinity Ross, Kansas City, Kan.

Feb. 11: 4-year-old Joshua Johnson shoots and kills himself, Memphis, Tenn.

Feb. 24: 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt dies after shooting himself in the stomach while his father sleeps, Houston.

March 30: 4-year-old Rahquel Carr shot and killed either by 6-year-old brother or another young playmate, Miami.

April 6: Josephine Fanning, 48, shot and killed by 4-year-old boy at a barbecue, Wilson County, Tenn.

April 8: 4-year-old shoots and kills 6-year-old friend Brandon Holt, Toms River, N.J.

April 9: 3-year-old is killed after he finds a pink gun that he thinks is a toy, Greenville, S.C.

April 30: 2-year-old Caroline Sparks killed by her 5-year-old brother with his Cricket "My First Rifle" marketed to kids, Cumberland County, Ky.

May 1: 3-year-old Darrien Nez shoots himself in the face and dies after finding his grandmother's gun, Yuma, Ariz.

May 7: 3-year-old Jadarrius Speights fatally shoots himself with his uncle's gun, Tampa, Fla.

June 7: 4-year-old fatally shoots his father, Green Beret Justin Thomas, Prescott Valley, Ariz.

At least 10 more toddlers have shot but not killed themselves or someone else this year (see hereherehereherehereherehereherehere and here). In the first three cases, the shooter was only 2 years old.

I also found nine instances where children and teens 7 to 19 years old accidentally killed themselves, a family member or friend since January (see herehereherehereherehere,herehere and here).

Of course, most if not all of the above deaths and injuries can be attributed to careless adult gun owners. 

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Royal baby to give almost $400 million bump to British economy -

Royal baby to give almost $400 million bump to British economy - 

From Union Jack booties to “Born to Rule” sleepwear, the British royal family has joined retailers in offering baby products to mark the arrival of the royal heir.
Analysts estimate the baby fever could boost the economy by 240 million pounds ($384 million).
A baby sleepsuit modelled on a guardsman’s outfit is one of the gifts on sale at palace shops by the Royal Collection Trust, which uses all profits for the upkeep of the royal palaces.
Prince Charles, the grandfather-to-be, is selling handmade baby shoes through a shop on his country estate Highgrove, while the mother-to-be’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, have added a range of baby goods to their party goods business.
Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), estimated that the arrival of the baby, due in July, could add more than 240 million pounds to the British economy.
“This is a good news story and there really is no downside. With the birth coming in July, people will have time to get involved, and that means additional spending,” Bamfield told Reuters after the release of the CRR’s report on Monday.
“There has been a lot of interest across the Atlantic as well, as the younger royals are very well thought of in the United States, so we are expecting good sales of souvenirs.”
The birth of the royal baby, who will be third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William, is the latest in a run of royal and sporting events.
Prince William married Kate Middleton in April 2011 and Queen Elizabeth marked her Diamond Jubilee in June last year. The London Olympics last summer added to the buzz.
Richard Cope, trends director at market researcher Mintel, expected the duke and duchess’s baby to have a positive impact on consumer spending, which only ticked up 0.1 per cent between January and March this year.
“I think the biggest commercial opportunity is going to be with tourists,” Cope told Reuters, pointing to a 13 per cent rise in tourists arrivals in April.
Bamfield forecast 4.8 million people would splash out 62 million pounds ($99 million) on alcohol to wet the future monarch’s head and spend 25 million pounds ($40 million) on food for baby parties.
He expected 156 million pounds ($249 million) to be spent on commemorative china and other collectables, toys, books, DVDs and media.
Bamfield said another knock-on effect of the birth would be sales of baby products as other new parents copied the duchess.
The “Kate-effect” is already well known as sales of anything the duchess wears or uses soars. A Dalmatian coat she wore last week to launch a new cruise ship sold out within an hour.
“One of the biggest factors will be the unintentional royal brand endorsement,” said Bamfield.


Preschoolers with poor eating habits have greater risk of heart disease as adults, study finds -

Preschoolers with poor eating habits have greater risk of heart disease as adults, study finds - 
The trouble with watching television while eating, experts say, is that people pay less attention to the cues that tell them when they’ve had enough.
You are what you eat. And where and how.
A new study says the way preschoolers eat — at the table or in front of a television — is just as important to their health as the types of foods they consume.
“What we’re really trying to do is promote healthy behaviours in young children that prevent things like heart attacks or strokes later on” says Dr. Navindra Persaud a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and the lead researcher for the study, Association between serum cholesterol and eating behaviours during early childhood, released June 17 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
For this study, researchers looked at 1,076 children ages 3 to 5 recruited from seven primary care practices in Toronto between 2008 and 2011.
Parents filled out questionnaires assessing eating behaviours such as television and computer screen time while eating, dietary intake, parental concerns about activity level and growth and supplements.
Researchers, who controlled for other factors that could impact the result, compared eating habits and serum levels of non–high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which is a key marker of later cardiovascular risk.
“We wanted to make sure that the relationship we found was really actually proven by eating behaviours and not by some other factor” Persaud says. “We found a stronger relationship between eating behaviours and cholesterol than between recorded intake and cholesterol.”
Curbing those behaviours is not always easy, says Guelph mother Tanya Bendo. Her kids, Talyssa, 3, and Liam, 5, love eating in front of the tube.
“I don’t always let them but if they can get away with it, that is their preference,” she says.
The trouble with watching television while eating, says Persaud, is that people pay less attention to the cues that tell them when they’ve had enough. They also eat less variety, he adds.
“If they’re eating in front of the TV they’re just kind of shovelling it in their mouth” he says.
Drinking juice or snacking all day are among the other bad habits that can ruin mealtimes, he says, adding those early routines tend to become patterns in life.
Heather St. Bernard-John, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the early years with Toronto Public Health, says parents must be good role models for their kids.
Having regular meals and snacks, following Canada’s food guide, dishing out appropriate portions and eating as a family are all important tips for promoting healthy eating habits, she says.
“Involve the children in food shopping and preparing,” suggests St. Bernard-John. “You can use it as a teaching moment for them.”
Making food fun can also entice kids to eat well. Focus on the colours of a rainbow, present food in different shapes and make up silly names for items. If your child has refused a certain food, she recommends offering it again another time.
“Our results support previous arguments for interventions aimed at improving the eating behaviours of preschool-aged children,” the authors of the story write. “To do so, evidence suggests promoting responsive feeding, where adults provide appropriate access to healthy foods and children use internal cues (not parent-directed cues or cues from the television) to determine the timing, pace and amount they consume.”
Further research will look at whether eating behaviours are linked to other health problems like diabetes, insulin and glucose levels and hormones, Persaud says. They will also find ways to teach family doctors to promote healthy eating habits.

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