Let children live! That's what Dr. Mehmet Oz advises new parents to do. The cardiac surgeon and author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four! I recently had the chance to interview him and ask his expert opinion on popular parenting issues. Check out all he had to say.
Most kids turn out all right! That's something Dr. Mehmet Oz says nervous new parents should be reminded of. It's important to let children live! The cardiac surgeon and author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four! But, I recently had the chance to chat with him about hot topics from vaccines to diapering.
LilSugar: Is the threat of whooping cough a huge issue or a highly publicized issue?
Dr. Mehmet Oz: Well, I'm worried about it. These are Victorian era illnesses that we hadn't seen in a long time. My father who is 85 had siblings who died of Whooping cough — these are not rare events in the 20s and 30s. In NYC, there was a huge outbreak of adults and whooping cough, so I got vaccinated because I'm around patients a lot, and I don't want to give them something that could potentially be lethal to them if they were getting heart surgery. I think it also makes sense for children.
My wife and I were very cautious about vaccines. Lisa is very skeptical of a lot of the information that is in support of vaccines. I tend to believe it because it's my cultural background — to look at the information and tend to trust it, but there's schisms within families like mine (let alone in society). But, I do think that if you make sure your child is healthy when they get the vaccine, keep them nutritionally up-to-date, and keep them sleeping well when they get the vaccine, they will tolerate the inflammatory condition which is caused by a vaccine because there will be some inflammation around it. The majority of kids tolerate vaccines well, and for the majority of their life (if not their entire life), they are then immune from an illness that could be life-threatening. It turns out that whooping cough vaccine does not give you life-long immunity for a lot of people, which is why you have to get revaccinated. Certainly as a child, I would get vaccinated; that's not one of these new color vaccines that people moan and groan about. These are old time vaccines that have been in use before I was born (and I'm 50) with a pretty good track record.
To see Dr. Oz's comments on peanut allergies and the cloth versus disposable diaper debate, read more
Most kids turn out all right! That's something Dr. Mehmet Oz says that nervous new parents should be reminded. It's important to let children live! The cardiac surgeon and author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four! But, I recently had the chance to chat with him about a few important issues that should be of concern.
LilSugar: How conscious should parents be of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and how nervous should we be because it's in so many things from shampoo containers to dishes to bath toys?
Dr. Oz: I'm concerned about it. It's an estrogen disruptor. The younger the child is, the more concerned I am about it. As you get older, I'd probably relax a bit on the stuff because as an adult, it isn't all that important we don't think, but why would you take a chance? So hard plastics, I'd stay away from. Those receipts — those carbon receipts at the store — those have lots of BPA in them. Pay attention to the stuff. The big overarching concept is that you vote with your pocketbook every time you buy these things so if you are willing to buy stuff that isn't carefully prepared for you than people will keep making it! There's usually a reason why they are making it with BPA — it's cheaper.
LilSugar: Would you say BPA is in the top three concerns for a parent of a new baby?
Dr. Oz: Oh, yeah. I'd put it in top three. BPA and phthalates (in the plastics) and probably the hormones and pesticides and chemicals we find in our water and food supply now. I'd probably put those in the top three.
LilSugar: What do you think is the cause behind early on-set puberty?
Dr. Oz: I think the issue with early puberty is two things — obesity and chemicals released into the food supply because of pesticides and because of hormones given to animals. Those are the things I worry about. We throw away our prescription drugs into the toilet usually — we flush them away — but, they don't disappear, they just get dissolved into water. If you look at the water around big cities, there's almost no male fish anymore because there's estrogen compounds in all that junk and fish do not declare their gender until they are already born and maturing so they morph to that and you're getting all these female fish.
Check out other portions of our interview with Dr. Oz here!
Oh, those golden arches! How attractive a preservative-filled meal is to a tot. Most parents face the dilemma of deciding whether or not to take a spin through the drive-thru so I asked cardiac surgeon and talk show host, Dr. Mehmet Oz to give us his opinion. The author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four!
LilSugar: Parents wonder if they should let their children have fast food once in a while or never introduce them to it at all? How stringent should moms and dads be about fast food?
Dr. Oz: Your child should be allowed to taste everything because if they don't taste it with you, they'll taste it without you. We've always allowed our kids to eat what they want, we just make it hard for them to do it. The real issue is not that they have fast food once a month, but do they have fast food every day. We make it easy for our kids to do the right thing. When they did the wrong thing, they would have to try and work around what we were offering. I would never bring junk food into a home because that makes it easy to do the wrong thing, but if they are out at a friend's house and they are offered junk food, let them eat it because they should be able to taste it and see what they like and compare it and contrast it to what you're giving them. Otherwise, it's going to have an allure or an exotic element to it so they'll crave it.
Check back for more from our interview with Dr. Oz tomorrow! If you missed previous portions read them here!
Everybody wants to hold, hug, kiss, and love a new baby! But Dr. Mehmet Oz says parents should be a bit cautious. The cardiac surgeon and author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four!
LilSugar: Are there some general guidelines for protecting a newborn from germs?
Dr. Oz: I would not take the child out. There's no reason to expose the child to illnesses which they can easily weather as they get older. Infants are not small adults, they have very immature immune systems and are primarily protected by your breast milk (and if it doesn't come in normally then there are some gaps in their immune system) so why take a chance? In the first couple weeks, I'd limit visitation to very close relatives who are healthy and people can come and look at the child, but they just should avoid touching the child.
LilSugar: At what point is it appropriate to let people hold the baby?
Dr. Oz: I think a month is a pretty rational time period. It allows the child to work through some of the early problems with jaundice, breastfeeding issues, the umbilical cord would have fallen off. You know for six months they are a different species and when we learn about children in med school, we learn about the first six months and then the rest. For that first month, they are really fragile. Then you can loosen up a little. I'd still be cautious about having people come over who aren't feeling well. The child will be exposed enough to their siblings who are sick. The older the child is, the more I would expose them because you do want them picking up things that are out there and overcoming them, because it strengthens their immune system and helps them practice for life.
Check back for more from our interview with Dr. Oz tomorrow! If you missed yesterday's portion read it here!
Even kids try to avoid the food fight! But Dr. Mehmet Oz says there are five foods worth hassling your children to get them to eat. The talk show host, cardiac surgeon, and author recently took the time to chat with me about his latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14). And in the course of our conversation, the father of four explained why certain foods are necessary for growing children. Check out his picks and stock your pantry!
Check out other portions of our interview with Dr. Oz here!