Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Greetings everyone, I'm back!!!!
I know it's been a while since I've written anything on here. There are so many things I want to write about that I tend to stress myself out trying to figure out how to approach it, as well as by the time I can get around to it, most of the skeptical and science podcasts and writers have already covered it, so I think "What other information could I possibly add? I'm just a skeptic with a little, poorly written and opinionated blog in Oklahoma." Due to recent developments, as well as a request from my wife, my muse has finally returned. (I hate it when they go AWOL). Something anyone that is expecting a child will notice is all the odd advice and products aimed towards new parents. There are a ton of different things out there, so I won't cover them all. I'm just going to look at a few that have caught my attention recently.
Homeopathic Teething Medicine
Recently it was brought to my attention that Orajel is now offering a homeopathic version of their teething gel, with the added label of "Belladonna Free". The name of this product line is Orajel Naturals. The reason for this is because in 2010, Hyland's, a very popular manufacturer of homeopathic baby medication, had a recall of their teething tablets due to" FDA notified consumers that Hyland’s Teething Tablets is being recalled because the tablets may pose a risk to children. The tablets are manufactured to contain a small amount of belladonna, a substance that can cause serious harm at larger doses. For such a product, it is important that the amount of belladonna be carefully controlled. FDA laboratory analysis has found that Hyland’s Teething Tablets contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna. " (From the FDA website. The entire article is here) This is actually rather ironic in that a homeopathic medicine actually had a detectable amount of a substance in it, other than sugar and water. For those that don't know, belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is a poisonous plant that, to be honest, can have medicinal effects in the proper dosages. If the dose is wrong, however, it is extremely toxic, with symptoms including, according to Wikipedia: dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. Death is also a possibility, with a sufficient amount. Of course, the dose makes the poison, and generally, in homeopathic medicine, there are no active ingredients in the final product. (For more information on homeopathy, see my post here). I have personally had an issue with Hyland's for years because of the homeopathic baby medicine, and now Orajel, which has always had a pretty good product, is jumping on the homeopathy bandwagon. I imagine that if a person were inclined to contact them and ask why are they selling these alt med products, they would probably give the standard line of "People want it". I'm really getting tired of hearing that bullshit line. You know what? People want tanks. People want to set things on fire. People want to do lots of shit that really isn't good for them. We don't, as a society, let them do this things. Why should companies be able to sell products that don't work and just say "people want it"? I know a few of the readers out there are saying "What about X pharmaceutical company?" With the big companies that actually make real medicine (and yes, I know a lot of them have gotten into the homeopathic and naturopathic products) have years of testing and re-testing before a product gets to market. Yes, there are occasionally bad batches, or unforeseen side effects, but as a whole, they are fairly dependable, and actually do something, other than draining your wallet. A major issue with homeopathic medicines is that there is very little regulation or oversight. The fact that this isn't even close to the first time that actual medicine (or in this case, poison) has turned up in homeopathic medicines should demonstrate the lack of controls. So, to all the new or expecting parents out there (and I know you guys are getting tired of everyone throwing advise at you) stick with the real Orajel or similar products when junior starts teething. Just be careful and use it only when it's absolutely needed.
I'm going to try and keep it short (if you have a new baby you may not have gotten this far) and only discuss one other topic that I see a lot, and to be honest, pisses me off.
Don't. Just fucking don't do it. There is absolutely no reason that a baby or toddler should ever be taken to a chiropractor. (which I plan on doing a stand alone post on soon) Your childs reoccurring ear infections, colic, autism (yes, some do claim to treat autism) or other childhood issues will not be mended by fixing the subluxations in the spine. What can happen is permanent damage to the spine or neck, strokes, or death. As I've said in the past, chiropractors may be able to help with some back pain, but not much else. To top it off, a respectable chiropractor won't touch a baby due to the extreme risk of permanent injuries. There are, of course, chiropractors that claim they specialize in treating children. They always seem to have a ton of clients, and lots of great recommendations that they successfully treated this problem or that. If you want to read some truly horrible stories, just Google the following: Child, Chiropractor, and Injury. There are constantly stories cropping up of children being crippled or worse because a treatment by a chiropractor went wrong. Chiropractic is rarely an answer to an adults problems, and never to a childs problems.
I'm just going to say Be good, Be Skeptical, and Be sure to rotate your tires.
The Skeptical Okie