The V & A Museum of Childhood in London features child-related objects dating back to the 16th century until now. I wish the video featured more of the exhibits; however, it looks like a great place to visit in London with your children.
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31 July 2007
The V & A Museum of Childhood in London features child-related objects dating back to the 16th century until now. I wish the video featured more of the exhibits; however, it looks like a great place to visit in London with your children.
30 July 2007
My son received the Plan Toys Crane Setfor his third birthday. This toy is aesthetically pleasing and made of salvage rubber wood. All paint colors are derived from vegetable dyes. The Plan Toys Crane Setcomes in three pieces, which snap together. Our set was very difficult to assemble, and we eventually took a rubber mallet to pound it together. In the process, some parts broke off, which we used wood glue to fix. That is the nice thing about wooden toys.....wood glue can fix almost anything. I did read a review of the Plan Toys Crane Set, in which a family had quite the opposite experience assembling their crane set. Their set went together too easily, and thus fell apart often. Our Plan Toys Crane Sethas never fallen apart.
The Plan Toys Crane Setcomes with a construction sign, a street sign, a cement mixer, two workers, etc. The Plan Toys Crane Setpivots around and picks up small items. Plan Toys offer many smaller toys that make wonderful additions to the Plan Toys Crane Set
Plan Toys is currently my favorite toy company! They are a socially responsible company that makes beautiful wooden toys. Their prices are more expensive than plastic toys, but their prices is lower than many other wooden toy companies. We will be reviewing many Plan Toys in the coming weeks, thanks to our recent birthday celebrations.
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27 July 2007
As would be expected, Iraqi children living in Jordanian camps report witnessing gruesome events related to the war. These sorts of trauma leave indelible marks on children's social and emotional development. According to a World Vision report Trapped! The Disappearing Hopes of Iraqi Refugee Children, "43 per cent of children surveyed in Amman, Jordan witnessed violence in Iraq, and 39 per cent said they lost someone close through violence."
I can't imagine how it would be to grow up in a war zone or have to flee your home for a refugee camp. Even as refugees, the children do not feel safe. Electronic Iraq reports, "'These children have been kidnapped and held for ransom, witnessed brutal home invasions, suicide bombings and murders. Now refugee life offers them little option but to go to work as child laborers, exposing them to the threat of deportation,' said Ashley Clements, author of the report. Understandably, 25 per cent of the Iraqi refugee children World Vision surveyed did not feel safe in their Jordanian homes. This is a combination of past experiences, lack of refugee status, which leaves the entire family unsure, and the absence of healthy routines like going to school, the report says."
Studies have shown that one caring adult can help children develop resiliency to overcome dire situations. For Iraqi children, education offers such respite, although the infrastructure of Jordan is already overburdened. There are two million children displaced by this war (not all in Jordan). We need to end this thing now for their sake.
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26 July 2007
The Carrot Seed has just celebrated its 60th anniversary! This simple, almost Zen-like story tells of a young boy’s determination to grow a carrot, despite his family’s doubts and opposition. The little boy tends the seed, ever patient, keeping his expectations high. In the end, he is rewarded with a carrot so large, it has to be hauled with a wheelbarrow. Not only does this book teach the basics of growing a plant from seed to harvest, but also children learn how to persist in the face of opposition. It is unfortunate that the boy’s parents are not supportive of his efforts, but the boy triumphs in the end. Crockett Johnson’s simple illustrations, reminiscent of his other famous work Harold and the Purple Crayon, match this minimalist tale of gardening and positive attitude. Planting carrot seeds, especially in a root viewer, is a great extension of the story in the classroom.
For more great children's literature reviews on gardening books, please visit Green Family Values: Children's Literature on Gardening/Green Options.
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25 July 2007
Real Toys from Melbourne creates unique gifts for children from recycled and/or salvaged materials. These simple toys are charming, and I am a sucker for elephants. I do not have any first hand knowledge of the toys, but I felt they were worth mentioning on Eco Child's Play. Here is Real Toys bio from Etsy:
So many of the toys available today are mass produced, plastic, commercialised and increasingly associated with TV, movies or computer games.
As I work with children, I wanted to make toys that would be developmentally stimulating, simple, high quality and lovable– the way Real Toys should be.
(And they are so cute!)
Each Real Toy is an original design, individually handmade and stuffed. Features are carefully chosen at the last stage to bring out the unique personality of every one. As they are crafted individually, each Real Toy is one of a kind.
Recycled clothes, scraps and remnants make up the eclectic mix of fabrics used. They are chosen based on their visual and textural appeal, as these are important in stimulating the senses of young children and developing their knowledge of the world.
Being resourceful in the materials I use contributes in a small way to the environmental problems we face, as well as demonstrating that everything need not be brand new to be beautiful.
Please note: Although great care is taken to affix buttons securely, they are not recommended for children under 3 as they could pose a choking hazard.
I agree completely with Real Toys and wish them well in their efforts to provide toys for children from recycled/salvaged goods.
If you don't know about Etsy,it is a place for people to buy and sell handmade goods. There are many unique items available, and I could spend hours perusing the content. Etsy is also a great place for artists and crafts people to find inspiration.
24 July 2007
Whether you vaccinate or not, use herbal medicine, etc., there are times when your child will need to see a doctor or visit an emergency room. If you are self-employed, your options for health insurance are very slim, especially if you have a child with a congenital heart defect like my son. He has been rejected on numerous occasions for private, individual health insurance, and without a state supported program for families above the poverty line, he would not be insured.
President Bush has pledged to veto a substantial increase to funding State's Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This program is used by states to fund health insurance for families who do not qualify, based upon income, for Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California). Without reauthorization, the funding ends September 30. Currently, states receive $5 billion in matching funds from the federal government. My children have recently enrolled in California's Healthy Families, which is primarily funded through SCHIP.
Why would our president want to veto something that is good for children's health? He's afraid this will start us down the slippery slope of a government-run health care system. He would rather millions of children not have health insurance than allow states to help your youngest citizens. There are many online petitions to support SCHIP in Congress, as we will need a strong majority to override a presidential veto. This reauthorization has bipartisan support, as children's health should be a priority in this country. With Sicko on every one's minds, I can't imagine this would be a popular move by the president.
23 July 2007
A few years ago, we received A Handful of Sunshineby Melanie Eclare for my daughter's birthday. This delightful gardening book follows the life of a gigantic sunflower grown by Tilda. Real photographs of Tilda's sunflower growing experience accompany the text of A Handful of Sunshine. I particularly like Tilda's sense of style with her rubber boots and striped sweater, as she digs and plants in the garden. She climbs a ladder to reach her sunflower head and discovers a toad in the garden. In the end, she saves the seeds from the sunflower she grew to plant next season. The end page of the book shows a simple time line in the life cycle of a sunflower. Planting sunflowers after reading A Handful of Sunshineis a natural extension to this great gardening book for children.
20 July 2007
Our family's first adventure into cooperative games was the Yoga Garden Game. My daughter and I started playing this game when she was three years old, as she had shown an interest in yoga. In the Yoga Garden Game, players work together to plant the flowers before nighttime falls. Players take turns rolling the dice to move a bumble bee around the circular game board. Depending on where you land, you get to plant a flower, put a nighttime piece on the board, do a yoga pose, or make up your own asana. The Yoga Garden Gameoffers a unique way for children to learn yoga in a cooperative game.
Eco Dad jokes that cooperative games are games where nobody wins, but this is not true. In cooperative games, everyone wins by working together. There is enough competition in our society, that a little cooperation can go a long way to teaching the values I want my children and students to learn.
The Yoga Garden Game was created by Yoga Kids. Z Recs recently featured a post called "Kids Musical Yoga and the Entrepreneurial Spirit", which you may want to visit for more information on yoga for children.
19 July 2007
Every parent's worse nightmare is to find their infant dead after putting them to sleep, and often, cosleeping is portrayed by the media as dangerous practice. While watching the news at my father's house, such a tragic death was discussed, and cosleeping was blamed. A child became trapped between the adult bed and the wall, and he lost his young life. The crying parents were featured on the news begging parents not to sleep with their children. As an avid cosleeping parent, I found the report misleading. It stated that 60 children a year die from cosleeping, but the real cause may lay elsewhere.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is also known as "crib death", and 1 in 1000 children die from it, according to a SIDS Foundation of Washington. The causes vary, and one researcher in New Zealand claims toxic nerve gases in crib mattresses are to blame. Other studies claim an abnormality in the brains of children that prevent oxygen release is to blame. No matter what the cause, it is definitely advisable to place babies on their backs and to remove bedding, pillows, etc. that can cause suffocation.
Cosleeping is not to blame for children's deaths, but unsafe bedding practices, whether in cribs or adult beds pose a threat. In fact according to Healthy Child, "The benefits of co-sleeping are enormous as co-sleeping positively affects a baby's emotional and physical health. When safe co-sleeping guidelines are followed, SIDS rates for co-sleeping infants are actually lower than for crib-sleeping infants. Breastfeeding is known to reduce the risk of SIDS, and co-sleeping definitely allows for more frequent breastfeeding. Some doctors and researchers believe that during co-sleeping, the physiological regulation of the baby's breathing and heartbeat with the mother's makes co-sleeping safer regarding SIDS. Mothers who sleep directly next to their babies can sense the proximity of their babies in order to avoid smothering them. The sleep studies done in the laboratory of James J. McKenna, Ph.D. of cosleeping/bed-sharing mother and infant pairs (2 to 4 month olds) reveal that both breastfeeding mothers and their infants are extremely sensitive throughout the night - across all sleep stages - to the movements and physical condition of the other. Mothers who sleep with their babies can readily respond to changes in the baby's status - such as if it were choking or struggling to breathe." They also provide Guidelines for Sleeping Safely With Your Baby.
I cannot imagine the tragedy of losing a child to a preventable situation families experience; however, I believe that the media should not place blame where blame is not due. Cosleeping does not cause death. Unsafe conditions that may exist in adult beds and cribs can cause death, especially if the child is prone to lack of oxygen release.
18 July 2007
My daughter has long, waist length, thick hair. We have often engaged in hair battles over brushing her mane, and I have threatened to cut it short, which brings her to tears. She wants her hair long, and I do believe in giving her some autonomy in the way that she dresses and looks; however, I have also told her that she needs to take responsibility for her long locks. Recently, we discovered California Baby Calming Detangler Spray. This product has helped us conquer the snarls after baths. Just spray California Baby Calming Detangler Sprayon wet hair (my daughter does this herself), and the paddle brush/comb glides through her hair more easily. California Baby Calming Detangler Sprayis not a miracle product, but it does help tame the long locks and smells great.
17 July 2007
Yesterday, Cathy posted a comment and question that deserved its own post;
"Now that I have my baby, can you suggest any Mommy&Me DVDs? It's the only way I'd be able to get some yoga into my day! Thanks in advance!"
Although I do not have any experience with DVDs or classes on the subject, I do have some personal experience. After taking a two week break from labor, I gently began my yoga practice. Mostly, I would try to practice yoga when the baby was asleep, but with two children, there was always one around. I allowed the children to find ways to play while I practiced. During downward facing dog, they would crawl under my inverted body. During bridge pose, they would sit on my belly and enjoy the lift up. Sometimes this was very challenging and required me to let go of my previous notions of yoga as a quiet and peaceful time; however, I still felt the benefits afterwards in my body and mind. In addition, as my children grow, they love to imitate my asanas, and I encourage their practice. My three-year old son lying next to me in corpse pose is very sweet. There are times when they try to play that are not appropriate, such as when I am doing a difficult pose and fear I may fall on them or I need all my concentration to stay balanced. They have learned there are times they can play with me when I am doing yoga, and there are times when they need to give me space. It does get easier as your children grow.
I did a little research for Cathy, and some communities offer classes for mommies and their children, usually up to age five. One class I read about consists of 2/3 of the poses include children with their mommies/daddies. In addition, the children are allowed to explore the childproof room and socialize with one another. According to Dr. Feldman of Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital, "When you do yoga with children, what you are doing is introducing them to the language of the body, the structure of a class and to space in general and how the child fits in that space. It's giving them a sense of pleasure and doing it through accomplishments of the body." There are even mother and baby yoga retreats!
I found the following titles on Amazon that may help, although I do not have personal experience with any of them:
Yoga Mom, Buddha Baby
Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies
Yoga Mommies: Mommy and Baby Yoga DVD
The New Method: Baby and Mom: Postnatal Yoga DVD
16 July 2007
When I was pregnant with both of my children, I could not live without prenatal yoga. Pregnancy makes your body more limber, and yoga takes advantage of this new found elasticity and prepares mothers for labor. Squatting is the best method for delivering in a typical pregnancy, as it shortens the birth canal and is how women have been doing it forever, and prenatal yoga squats strengthen the legs in preparation. In addition, the deep, relaxing breath further prepares women for the upcoming challenges of delivery.
With both of my children I suffered from back pain, as I gained a lot of weight (45 and 55 pounds). I also had trouble sleeping and issues with my legs swelling, as well as really, really bad morning sickness in the first trimester. Prenatal yoga relieved all of these symptoms! There are certain poses you shouldn't do while pregnant, such as lying on your back in corpse pose when you have passed your first trimester, and most poses have appropriate modifications for your growing belly. In addition, you must remain hydrated, should not try any crazy poses that were not already part of your practice, and be aware of how your changing belly affects your balance.
Because I live 2 hours from the nearest town offering prenatal yoga classes, I had to read books and use videos to help me learn how to modify my practice appropriately for my growing belly. The following DVDs featured in the Amazon ads were ones I used when pregnant, although there may be better ones out there. I had trouble learning from books, and I found the videos the most useful for my home practice. After I had used them a few times, I no longer needed them and created my own practice. I donated my DVDs to my midwives' lending library for future mommas! Zen Mamawas my favorite DVD, and I love watching pregnant women do yoga. Their big bellies look so beautiful doing the asanas.
13 July 2007
Thankfully, my daughter has not entered the world of Bratz (with the exception of a toothbrush). Recently, Mothering.com asked readers to take action on this over sexy product. According to Mothering.com, "The Bratz—whose wardrobes include miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and bikinis—were recently singled out the by American Psychological Association for contributing to the sexualization of young girls." Bratz is marketed in schools through Scholastic via their book fairs and book clubs. If you feel this is inappropriate, please click here to tell Richard Robinson, President and CEO of Scholastic Inc., that commercially- driven, sexualized stereotypes do not belong in our schools.
Furthermore, Bratz dolls are produced in a sweatshop in China. Women are forced to work seven days a week, 94.5 hours a week for $4.13 a day. Furthermore, according to the National Labor Committee, "The factory wants to fire all the workers and then bring them back as temporary workers with contracts of just one to eight months, which would strip them of any legal rights they might have. As it is, the workers are denied sick days as well as work injury and health insurance." These workers are paid about 17 cents per doll they assemble, bringing the total cost of production to $3.01 per doll. In this country, the dolls are marked up 428 percent for retail sale. More bad news about Bratz from the National Labor Committee:
* Workers denied work injury and health insurance, in direct violation of China’s law.
* Taking a sick day results in loss of three days’ wages.
* Workers failing to meet their production goals must remain working—unpaid—until the target is met.
* Ten workers share a small dorm room, sleeping on metal bunk beds. There is no shower or TV.
* If a worker breaks a doll, she is docked five hours’ wages.
12 July 2007
How Groundhog's Garden Grew,written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry, is a wonderful book about gardening,and we are thankful we received this gift from our midwife! The story begins with Groundhog stealing food from his friend's garden, which of course leads to trouble. His friend Squirrel steps in to help teach Groundhog how to grow his own garden. Squirrel teaches him how to cut potatoes for planting, find seeds, space plants, etc. By the end of the book, Groundhog's garden is bountiful, and he celebrates with a feast of thanks for all his friends.
Lynne Cherry's illustrations are detailed and realistic, something that is often missing from children's books that try to create cutesy animals to entertain children. How Groundhog's Garden Grewis also full of very useful information about gardening, and as one reviewer wrote, "It would be impossible for a child to hear this story and not learn something of vital importance, about everything from the complicated interdependence of the natural world to the simple effectiveness of composting and going pesticide-free. Parents be forewarned: It’s also probably impossible to read How Groundhog's Garden Grew and not have your child want to plant a garden." How Groundhog's Garden Grew leaves the readers feeling good and learning important lessons about community participation and sharing,as well as gardening!
Check out other Lynne Cherry's books for your children too! She is great author and illustrator! We have previously reviewed one of her other books The Great Kapok Tree.
11 July 2007
Today, July 11th, is World Population Day, a day set aside to increase awareness about global population issues and the strain it creates on the environment. In a time when it seems like there is a day set aside for every issue that requires more than one day of action and awareness, World Population Day will not be celebrated with gifts, cards, and flowers. This year, men's role in family planning is the focus.
World Population Day was established by the United Nations Development Program on the day in 1989 when the Earth's human population reached five billion people. Almost 20 years later, we have reached over 6.6 billion humans on this fragile planet with approximately 77 million people added each year. The question that must be asked is when will we no longer be able to support the our global population or have we already reached this point?
Info for Health's Population Report sums up the issue well:
As the century begins, natural resources are under increasing pressure, threatening public health and development. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, loss of forests, air and water pollution, and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. As the world's population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.
Most developed economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards. As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs, are we destroying resources needed for the future?
There are so many issues involving global population growth and the controversy surrounding it. Public health, food supply, freshwater, coastlines and oceans, biodiversity, and global climate change are all affected by our increasing population. We may not feel the effects in the United States directly yet, but if we look to developing countries and the natural resources available, it is easy to become alarmed. Of course, there are those people who deny this is a problem and feel human ingenuity will sovle any issue that arises.
If we want to insure a livable future, we must increase our sustainabilty practices, as well as stabilize the human population on Earth. With 1 billion people being added to the planet every 13 years, we must slow this growth to enable us to address sustainability issues and preserve a higher standard of living for all people. Voluntary family planning in all countries should be supported, including eliminating the Global Gag Rule. Even though the United States population grows mostly due to immigration, there are still large families in this country with eight or nine children. However, 99% of the population growth does occurs in developing countries, where two in three people lack clean drinking water. Family planning education that targets both men and women, as well as aid should be a priority as we look to stabilize population growth. As the Sierra Club states, "When women and men can choose the size and spacing of their families, they tend to have smaller, healthier families. This has a ripple effect that benefits communities socially, economically, and environmentally."
This post also appears on Green Options today.
10 July 2007
We have finally done it! After being inspired by my friend Teri's guest post in February, my daughter and I have finally made our own Waldorf doll from a Magic Cabin Doll Kit. The Magic Cabin Doll Kit comes complete with mohair yarn for hair, wool for stuffing the body, embroidery floss for eyes and mouth, and skin stretch fabric. In addition, you will need matching thread for the skin tone and hair, as well as a long dollmaking needle, a sewing machine, and fabric for clothing.
Making your own doll takes between 6 to 12 hours, depending on your skills and your child's involvement. Our doll took about 7 hours to make, including the dress. My six-year old daughter's participation was limited to stuffing the wool into the body and winding the hair around a book, but she was attentive and watched me sew (and bounced around in excitement) during the whole process. Going to the fabric store to pick out the dress was also a fun experience for us.
The directions included in the Magic Cabin Doll Kit are very clear. I was never confused, although I do have lots of quilting and sewing experience, I have never made a doll. The most difficult part was feeding the elastic through the casing on the dress collar, but other than that, I was surprised at how smoothly the process was for our doll. The Magic Cabin Doll Kit does come with patterns to make five different articles of clothing.
Waldorf dolls typically are very simple, allowing your child's imagination to fill in the details. The natural materials and soft wool stuffing, make this doll far superior to plastic ones. My daughter really appreciates this doll, and it has become her favorite one, replacing other Waldorf dolls we have purchased. She is old enough to appreciate the doll is handmade with love, and she showered me with compliments when I was sewing. She was amazed her mommy could create such a lovable toy, thanks to theMagic Cabin Doll Kit.
09 July 2007
The breast crawl is a technique for initiating breastfeeding advocated by UNICEF. It is recommended that all babies should breastfeed within 1/2 hour of birth, which in my experience helps tremendously with latching on and other issues. The breast crawl involves placing the baby on the mother's chest with the breasts exposed. The baby will then seek out the breast on its own. My midwives used this technique with my first child, and it worked very well. My second child had health issues, so his breastfeeding was delayed somewhat, and he did struggle with latching on. It took him three days to learn to breastfeed, but we never gave up and never used formula. Our pediatrician and midwives were very supportive and set minimum standards about how much breastfeeding was necessary each day until my son got the hang of it. The breast crawl uses the baby's natural motivation and inclinations to nurse, and the video should be shared with doctors, midwives, doulas, and expectant mothers around the world. Pay special attention to the cheek to cheek method.
07 July 2007
Robert's American Gourmet has expanded its recall to include Super Veggie Tings. If you have a bag of this snack, please dispose of it immediately and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for reimbursement. Super Veggie Tings is a corn stick snack that has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella can cause serious or fatal infections in young children, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly. Healthy people can experience vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and fever from salmonella. In addition, the infection can spread to the bloodstream and cause endocarditis, arthritis, and arterial infections. The recall is precautionary, as the product contains some of the same ingredients as the previously recalled Veggie Booty.
In addition, the Minnesota State Health Department positively tested Veggie Booty for Salmonella Wandsworth. Preliminary independent tests suspect the veggie seasoning to be the source of the contamination. And as you might expect, the source of origin for the seasoning is China!
The problems with products from China continue to reveal themselves: Lead paint in toys, deadly dog food, tainted toothpaste, etc. Thanks to Thingamababy, I read about a family that lived a year without "Made in China" products and a NY Times article titled "As More Toys are Recalled, Trail Ends in China". Thingamababy also reports about a journalist that was retained in China when trying to investigate the Thomas the Tank Engine recall. For the safety of our children and our planet, we need to end our addiction to cheaply made Chinese products.
Lawyers are already springing up to represent Veggie Booty recall clients. I am not sure how I feel about this. If it was my child that was poisoned, then I would be angry and want some sort of compensation. On the other hand, I feel we need to improve our food industry by eliminating Chinese imports or somehow strengthen the quality control of overseas production, and I am not sure personal lawsuits in this country will bring about the global change that needs to occur. I welcome your thoughts on this issue.
Thank you Sheri for alerting us to this expanded recall.
06 July 2007
Ebay can be a great place to buy wooden, handmade, vintage, or discount natural toys. Everything from blocks to trains to puzzles is available on Ebay. Some toys are used and some toys are new in their boxes. Ebay is also a great source for handmade Waldorf dolls.
If you are interested in learning how to save money while doing the laundry, please visit Green Options Tip o' the Day: Clean the Lint Trap on Your Dryer and Save Energy!
05 July 2007
Many of the shoes marketed for children light up when they take a step. These shoes range from sandals to tennis shoes, and many adults and children think they are very cool. These light up shoes are very popular and inexpensive in our mainstream culture, but the batteries in these shoes pose a risk to our environment and children's health.
Before 1980, most household batteries contained mercury. By using alternative materials, such as silver oxide, most batteries are now mercury-free; however watch style, small, "button" shaped batteries still contain mercury. These types of batteries are found in light up children's shoes. Although some websites claim the batteries in children's light up shoes have been mercury free since 1997, a 2006 report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services states, "Mercury is found in items such as thermometers, switches, thermostats, light-shoes, jewelry, some batteries, and fluorescent lights." IndustryWatch.org implies children's shoes still contain mercury by writing, "The future of light-up shoes is on the rocks" in an article posted June 26, 2007 about mercury reduction legislation. Many states, like an Ohio ban that begins in April 2008, have outlawed mercury in consumer products such as footwear, toys, games, greeting cards, holiday ornaments, candles, etc. "Compliance deadlines have been extended in many states for consumer products whose only mercury is in the button-cell battery required to operate them, because the battery industry has imposed its own deadline of 2011 for eliminating the mercury those contain," explains IndustryWatch.org.
Remember the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? The term "mad as a hatter" refers to the mercury poisoning hat makers experienced up until a ban in 1940s. Hat makers experienced nervous disorders, mental illness, odd behavior, quarter size holes in their brains, and death as a result of their mercury exposure. High levels of mercury still exist in rivers and soil around hat making facilities on the east coast. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that enters the food chain through contaminated water. In children, the effects of mercury exposure can cause developmental delays, learning disabilities, attention problems, kidney damage, and problems with their nervous and digestive systems. Mercury does occur naturally in rocks and minerals, such as cinnabar; however, burning coal, natural gas, and oil are major contributers to acid rain and mercury in our food chain, especially fish. Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter first appeared in 1865, yet we have still not learned from this character of children's literature.
To read more, please visit Green Options: Green Family Values: Some Children's Light Up Shoes Contain Mercury.