… connecting parents of connected children.

Is this glop safe to put on my face? July 18, 2007

Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group. Skin Deep pairs ingredients in nearly 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind.

  • Makeup
  • Skin care
  • Hair products
  • Eye care
  • Manicure/pedicure products
  • Baby care products
  • Dental care
  • Fragrance — yes, even perfumes!

The ugly truth: Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.

And as the hot sun finally gets cranking for the summer in Dallas/Fort Worth, check out Skin Deep’s Sunscreen Summary — What Works and What’s Safe.


Bottle it up!

Last year, Americans tossed over 22 billion empty plastic water bottles in the trash, according to The Green Guide. In bottle production alone, the more than 70 million bottles of water consumed each day in the U.S. drain 1.5 million barrels of oil over the course of one year.

The plastic in both single-use and reuseable water bottles can present chemical hazards, so be stylish, healthy and practical — bring your own bottle! Check out these convenient and good-looking alternatives.


Kleen Kanteen




Read more about bottled water — as well as bottles, and water — at The Green Guide. Also read their plastic container report for more facts on plastic water bottles.


Get Mosquitos to Buzz Off — naturally July 16, 2007

Filed under: Natural Family Living, Green Family, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 10:24 pm

North Texas’ torrential rains this spring and summer have brought more than blessed relief from the summer heat. They’ve brought mosquitos … Swarms of hungry moquitos that are making play dates at the local sandbox a miserable experience for parents, babies and children alike.

“This sudden explosion of mosquitos is a result of the recent rains which have flooded low-lying areas where Aedes vexans mosquito eggs have laid dormant for two years,” explains Scott Sawlis, Entomologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS). “And while, these mosquitos do bite and are definitely a pest, they do not pose a risk of exposing humans to mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus. In North Texas, the culex mosquito or southern house mosquito is the vector for West Nile virus.”

But you don’t have to resign yourself to dousing your family in chemical-laden repellents for the rest of the summer — there are effective natural alternatives! “If you’re looking for an effective insect repellent without the potentially harmful chemical deet, you’re in luck,” writes Consumer Reports’ Greener Choices. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that two commercially available alternatives to deet are just as effective.” (more…)


Toxic Shock — Are Dallas Kids Soaking in a Stew of Chemical Pollutants?

Filed under: Green Family, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 1:25 pm

Toluene. Lead. Chlorodifluoromethane. Do you know what these substances are? You should. They’re the top-three chemicals released into the environment in Dallas, Collin and Denton counties respectively and they all pose potentially serious health hazards to your children.

Toluene (used in sealants and cleaners, among others) and lead are both recognized as developmental toxicants, which means they are known to cause adverse effects like biological or behavioral difficulties in your tiny tot. Additionally, chlorodifluoromethane (found in aerosol insecticides and lubricating oils) has suspected links to cardiovascular, endocrine and kidney problems.

Sound scary? Consider this — the United States manufactures and imports upwards of 15,000 chemicals at any given time, with an additional 67,000 on inventory and about 1,500 new chemicals that come under review annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Meaning? We are soaking in a big toxic stew with little or no knowledge about potential side effects. Whether through the inhalation of fumes, the consumption of tainted food and water or by chemical-to-skin contact, we are in essence polluting our bodies, even before we’re born.

Read more at DallasChild magazine.


A woman of the cloth July 12, 2007

Cloth menstrual pads? Eww, isn’t that messy, wet and … well, gross? “We thought so too — at first,” admits pad maker GladRags. “Then we tried them and we’ve never gone back. Safe. Simple. Smart. Good for you, good for the environment — no plastics, no perfumes, no over-packaging.”

Sound good? We think so, too! We tested the leading cloth menstrual pads to bring you the inside scoop on today’s softest, most comfortable and absorbent pads. Read on to find out our picks for pads that pamper. (more…)


Time to Rethink Your Secret Obsession With “New Car Smell” July 9, 2007

Filed under: Green Family, Products & Services, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 8:20 pm

You knew the plastic in your car and your little one’s car seat were giving off chemicals, but it was pretty easy to brush off without any real way of measuring the effects. Don’t rest too soon — the hard facts are in. Now, find out the real score at HealthyCar.org.

“Everyone knows that cars are a major source of air pollution,” notes the site’s introductory page. “But most people don’t know that it isn’t only what comes out of tailpipes that’s the problem, but what’s inside cars as well. ‘New car smell’ for example, comes from toxic chemicals being released from plastics, foams and fabrics used to make steering wheels, dashboards and seats. These chemicals are inhaled or ingested by drivers and passengers through dust and air, potentially causing allergic or other acute reactions or even long-term health impacts such as birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in a car every day, toxic chemical exposure inside vehicles is becoming a major source of potential indoor air pollution.

“Child car seats also contribute to the problem. They are made with some of the same chemicals as car parts, and also off-gas inside the car.”

Ok, so maybe you already knew that — but this site comes through with more facts, from healthiest choices to least healthy choices and more. Read more at HealthyCar.org.


What Should I Eat, Coach?

Filed under: Healthy Eating, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 1:55 pm

One year ago, the Wellborn family from Plano needed help. Eleven-year-old Brecken was growing broader faster than he was growing taller and some of the kids at school were beginning to tease. Additionally, the Wellborns suspected that 13-year-old Makenna, a competitive gymnast, needed more protein in her diet to get her through her intense schedule of practices. “We were going through a period of poor eating habits,” recalls mom Pam Wellborn, “and we wanted to nip it in the bud.”

So Wellborn and her kids headed to the Cooper Clinic in Dallas for nutritional coaching. Fast forward one year: Brecken has lost 18 pounds and grown three inches taller, Makenna has added more calcium and carbohydrates to her diet and stabilized her weight and energy needs, and Wellborn has lost weight and gained the satisfaction of seeing her family thrive.

“This is not a diet,” Wellborn explains. “It’s a lifestyle change. And it’s been awesome for all of us.”

Read more at DallasChild magazine.


Vaccines featured on KERA’s “Think” July 2, 2007

Filed under: What's Happening, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 10:03 am

KERA 90.1

KERA “Think”
Thursday, 7/05,

Last month the U.S. Federal Claims Court began hearings concerning alleged links between vaccines and autism. How can vaccination, a procedure that has saved millions of lives be so controversial? We’ll discuss the case and the history of vaccination with Slate’s “Risk” columnist Arthur Allen, who explores the subject in his recent book “VACCINE: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver.” (Norton, 2007).


Learn About Bach Flower Essences June 26, 2007

Filed under: What's Happening, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 4:04 pm

What are Bach Flower Essences? Are they used like aromatherapy? How do they work? Why in the heck should you care? Learn indications for all 38 essences plus Rescue Remedy. Learn how safe they are — even for children and pets!

Bach Flower Essences 101
with Lisa Price, BFRP*

Saturday, July 21

Positive Touch Massage
504 Business Parkway
Richardson, Texas 75081

Cost: $45.00 (more…)


ADHD: The Diet vs. Drug Controversy June 25, 2007

Filed under: Healthy Eating, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 1:47 pm

There may be something to the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Some experts have long questioned whether sugar, chemical additives and fatty foods could be to blame for ADD and ADHD (a more destructive form of ADD), claiming kids are all hyped up, buzzed out on sugar and driven to distraction. Whatever the cause, the sheer number of children being diagnosed with this learning disability is alarming. Estimates range anywhere from 5 million to 20 million in the United States alone. And while many parents and teachers at their wits’ end have been turning to Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs since the late ’80s — some claiming great results — for other parents, Ritalin is not the magic pill, and possible side effects have them pursuing other approaches, trying to figure out the nuances of out-of-whack body chemistry.

Read more at DallasChild magazine.


Soy what? June 23, 2007

Filed under: Vegetarian & Vegan Living, Healthy Eating, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 5:47 pm

Soy used to be considered the golden child of nutrition, a food that could fight heart disease, promote stronger bones, reduce the risk of some kinds of cancer and help people lose weight. But suddenly, soy bashing is all over the media. Adding to the confusion, you find soy in just about everything you eat nowadays, plus a whole range of meat and dairy substitutes: soy hot dogs, soy garden burgers, soy cheese, milk and butter, breads made from soy flour, soy power bars, soy “meats” - not to mention vegetarian standbys like tofu, miso and soy sauce.

So who’s right? Is soy safe?

Read more at DallasChild magazine.


The local scoop: Earth, Health and Animal Newsletter June 21, 2007

Green families, listen up: The Dallas/Fort Worth Earth/Health/Animal Newsletter is one green resource you want landing in your mailbox every month! As the name implies, news ranges from eco-happenings and local issues, to holistic and alternative health, to veg lifestyles, to animal compassion. The newsletter lists dozens of local events and resources. Stop by — but make sure you have plenty of time, because this list is a great read!