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FDA Says It Found Asbestos In Makeup At Claire's

March 11, 2019

From NPR News:

U.S. regulators say several makeup products from Claire's stores tested positive for asbestos, a mineral that has been linked to deadly cancers.

The Food and Drug Administration tested makeup from Claire's and the retailer Justice, both of which market their products to young girls and teens. In a statement Tuesday, the agency reported that it found that three product samples from Claire's and one from Justice contained the substance, and it released a safety alert about the products.

Claire's says that "out of an abundance of caution," it has removed the three products -- eye shadows, compact powder and contour powder -- from stores and is "also removing any remaining talc based cosmetic products." Talc is a substance that sometimes contains asbestos and has been linked to lung cancer in miners.

But Claire's says its "products are safe" and disputes the test results, saying they "show significant errors." The retailer says the tests "have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos."

Claire's, which sells jewelry and accessories and pierces ears, is a common sight at shopping malls, with more than 2,400 locations in North America and Europe as of last August.

For more, visit NPR.

Teenagers Say Depression and Anxiety Are Major Issues

February 22, 2019

From The New York Times:

Most American teenagers -- across demographic groups -- see depression and anxiety as major problems among their peers, a new survey by the Pew Research Center found.

The survey found that 70 percent of teenagers saw mental health as a big issue. Fewer teenagers cited bullying, drug addiction or gangs as major problems; those from low-income households were more likely to do so.

The consistency of the responses about mental health issues across gender, race and income lines was striking, said Juliana Horowitz, an associate director of research at the center.

The survey also asked respondents if they considered alcohol consumption or teen pregnancy to be major problems among their peers. Half of the teenagers from households earning less than $30,000 said alcohol was a major problem; that number decreased to 43 percent among teenagers in households earning more than $75,000.

Teenagers diverged most drastically across income lines on the issue of teen pregnancy. Fifty-five percent of teenagers in lower-income households said it was a major problem among their peers. Just 22 percent of teenagers in wealthier households agreed.

The survey of 920 teenagers ages 13 to 17 in the United States was conducted online and by phone in the fall. In their report, the researchers broke down results by income level and gender but not race or ethnicity, citing the small sample size.

Some psychologists have tied a growth in mental health issues among teenagers to increased social media use, academic pressure and frightening events like terror attacks and school shootings.

Teenagers who grew up in the post-9/11 era, and amid many school shootings, may have anxiety tied to an environment filled with dire warnings about safety, said Philip Kendall, director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University in Philadelphia.

For more from The New York Times, click here.

Medical Anthropologist Explores 'Vaccine Hesitancy'

February 22, 2019

From NPR:

Distrust of vaccines may be almost as contagious as measles, according to medical anthropologist Elisa Sobo.

More than 100 people have been infected with measles this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Over 50 of those cases have occurred in southwest Washington state and northwest Oregon in an outbreak that led Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency on Jan. 25.

Some public health officials blame the surge of cases on low vaccination rates for this highly infectious disease.

Clark County, Wash. -- the center of the current spate of cases -- has an overall vaccination rate of 78 percent, but some schools in the county have rates lower than 40 percent.

Washington is one of 17 states that allows a parent to send his or her child to public school not completely vaccinated because of a "philosophical or personal objection to the immunization of the child."

What makes some families reluctant to vaccinate their children? Sobo, a professor at San Diego State University, says it may be driven in part by the desire to conform in a community where many parents are skeptical of vaccines.

To better understand how parents decide not to vaccinate, Sobo interviewed families at a school with low vaccination rates in California. She found that skepticism of vaccines was "socially cultivated."

Parents who believe that vaccines are dangerous persuaded other parents to believe the same thing by citing fears of "mainstream medicine" harming their children. Enrolling in the school even seemed to change the beliefs of some parents who had previously followed the state-mandated vaccine schedule: They started to refuse vaccines.

For NPR's interview with medical anthropologist Elisa Sobo, click here.

Snow Closing

February 20, 2019

Due to the snowstorm, the office will be closing at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.