High fluoride levels may affect cognitive development

Some recent research suggests that children growing up in areas where there are high concentrations of fluoride in their drinking water have lower IQ scores. Several studies, many of them conducted in China, have found a link between a decrease in IQ and fluoride concentrations. Health Canada recently recommended a reduction in the maximum amount of fluoride added to drinking water, but this was meant to reduce the risk of fluorosis, a mottling of children’s teeth. The Canadian agency has concluded that the “weight of evidence” does not support a fluoride – IQ link. Unsurprisingly, dentists agree, although I’m not sure how dentists would measure IQ!

A systematic review of studies examining connections between cognitive scores and fluoride levels was conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto. Their review indicated that, although the evidence is not conclusive, there are at least 20 studies reporting a significant drop in IQ scores for children in high-fluoride areas.

You can read more here, here, and here.

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Partner Abuse, Part 1: Reducing Behaviour Problems in Children Who Witness Abuse and Supporting Womens' Mental Health

Over 7 million children in the United States are witness to severe forms of spousal abuse every year.  While statistics show that both men and women can perpetrate violence against one another, women are much more likely to be physically injured than men. In severe cases, women find themselves in shelters with their children. Once there, approximately 33 percent of children display serious behaviour problems that tend to persist after they have left the shelter. In addition, the extra stress of having to deal with children who are acting out their fears and frustrations, can lead to more significant mental health problems for women.

Project Support was developed to address child behaviour problems. More specifically, it was designed for individual families (mother and children) where the mother had been to a woman’s shelter because of domestic violence and at least one of her children was showing clinical level behaviour problems. The intervention includes two main components: giving practical and

Interview in the Toronto Star

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Dr. Giuseppe and I recently spoke with Ann Douglas, Toronto Star columnist and author of The Mother of All Parenting Books. We talked about recent research showing that teens who hold their own in discussions with their parents are less likely to bow to peer pressure.

You can find the article here.

 

Questions about your kids' mental health?

A survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S. found that 15% of parents questioned school staff or medical professionals about their kids’ behavioural and emotional adjustment, with parents of boys almost twice as likely to question their sons’ adjustment than girls’ parents. Boys were also twice as likely as girls to be medicated for attentional symptoms. When kids receive treatment for behavioural or emotional concerns, 39% receive it at school, and 27% at their doctor’s office.

You can read more here.

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