PREGNANT AT 8
Imagine your daughter at age 7 or 8 with the ability to get pregnant? And without any psychological understanding of how her physical maturity appears to older boys or men. It is an auspicious day when you read that girls who are only two years out of pre-school - at age 7 - are starting to have acne, breast development. And according to the Pediatrics journal, it is not an isolated phenomenon. According to a leading endocrinologist, families need to "start living green" with less exposure to estrogens in plastics, chemicals and foods.
BREAST CANCER & OBESITY
The facts speak clearly with regard to breast cancer for those who have early menstrual cycles. In addition, many young girls end up with lower self esteem which can redirect toward sexually mature behaviors or lowered participation in physical education during school.
According to MSNBC (8/9/2010), one parent indicated that her daughter began to see bodily changes, yet, "She's still fearful about sleeping by herself. An 8-year old just isn't mature enough to handle this."
In the same article, a study by Dr. Luigi Garibaldi, a professor of pediatrics at the Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh, indicates that the reason why girls did not develop early in past generations was due to malnutrition. However as food has become more abundant, we also have to recognize that it is not typically a sit-down family meal, but often a fast-food option with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives or hormone injected meat or chicken.
As obesity has continued to rise, we see eight-year-olds who weigh 100 pounds, with parents who ignore the fact that their children spend less time exercising than playing on the computer or "fake-play on a Wii". And most importantly, a lack of exercise also tends to impact with bone strength, asthma, diabetes and social skills.
It is time to live eco-friendly. Some people may call it "living green", but the real focus is on the indoor air quality - ensuring that the products in your home have limited off-gassing, that the phtalates have limited exposure to your children and that you shop organically.
Easy steps include:
- remove the vinyl shower curtain and replace with a nylon liner
- remove the vinyl backed carpet and replace with wool rugs
- increase consumption of organic foods instead of hormone injected meats
The rise of childhood asthma, allergies and puberty are issues we must address now. These issues are related to indoor air quality, genetically modified foods & food additives, and the impact of the environment on our families. We must encourage continued studies, but in the meantime, it is imperative that more families learn about the simple solutions to eco-friendly living so that they can start at home...