Nov 032015

The American Academy of Pediatrics is alarmed by the high rate of increases in childhood cancer across the country in the past 40 years. The incidence of childhood cancer has increased over 50% from 13 per 100,000 in 1975 to an estimated 21 per 100,000 in 2014 (ages 0-19). These increases are most evident in leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, soft tissue cancers, kidney cancer, and brain and nervous system tumors. Cancer now accounts for 58% of childhood deaths (ages 1-19), more than all other causes combined.

Researchers suggest that exposure to environmental toxins have driven this dramatic increase—because young children receive greater doses of the chemicals than adults. In proportion to body weight, children ingest 2.5 times more water, up to 4 times more food, and 2 times more air. And let’s be real, young children like to put things in their mouths and live more hours of the day either on the floor or closer to the ground where many of these chemicals settle.

We can be a part of improving child health by cleaning up our environments What’s at least one thing in the coming week that each of us can do to reduce childhood exposures to chemicals?


  • Reading labels on foods we buy
  • Choosing Bispheol A (BPA) free products
  • Choosing organic
  • Reducing/eliminating pesticides used inside and outside our homes
  • Choosing chemical-free products

Sources/Links for More:

CureSearch post at based on Source: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program ( accessed November 2, 2015.

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Pesticides at accessed November 2, 2015.

The book and film “Living Downstream” by Sarah Steigraber, PhD, see accessed November 2, 2015.

Environmental Working Group analysis of issues related to Toxic Substances Control Act at accessed November 2, 2015.

Hawaii Center for Food Safety report on Pesticides and Children’s Health at accessed November 2, 2015.

Sep 102015

James Perrin, MD, immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has focused his career on the dramatic rise of chronic health problems in young children in the past 50 years; he calls these “the new epidemics,” including ADHD, asthma, autism, obesity, childhood cancer. No one source has been identified as a cause for these increases, yet research has demonstrated that increased exposure to “environmental toxins” represents one main contributing factor to increases in early childhood chronic health problems.

Abundant evidence from the behavioral and the neurobiological sciences has documented a wide range of environmental threats to the developing central nervous system, including environmental toxins beginning early in the prenatal period. Chemicals that can mimic or block estrogen or other hormones are commonly found in thousands of products around the world, including plastics, pesticides, furniture, and cosmetics. Exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals is likely leading to an increased risk of serious health problems costing at hundreds of billions of dollars a year in every geographical zones across the globe.

Islands in Hawaii have a long history of contamination by extensive and continuous chemical use in sugar cane and pineapple production, and Hawaii’s communities continue high, year-round exposures to biocides as agrichemical companies have researched and commercialized seed development across the state for over 30 years. In 2014 alone, Hawaii Department of Agriculture reported amounts of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) shipped into Hawaii included over 900,000 pounds of RUPs for corporate agrochemical seed research and development.

Approving stronger regulations and ensuring these regulations are met must be at the top of our agenda in the next year. DISCLOSURE: requiring large scale RUP users to disclose the name and amount of the chemicals they are using, the time and place. BUFFER ZONES: requiring large scale RUP users to create buffer zones around schools, pre-schools, elder care facilities, hospitals, all serving Hawaii’s most vulnerable populations. What a difference this could make to our keiki, families and communities!

Apr 102015

Check out this great study from Baby’s Oral Health Program, from University of North Carolina–Durham

The importance of the age 1 dental visit has been expressed for decades. In this retrospective study, the authors sought to establish whether an early dental visit (defined as having the first dental visit before age 4) resulted in less treatment being performed in the subsequent 8 year period and to determine the cost savings associated with early age at first visit. The authors established a cohort of 42,532 subjects whose treatment data was obtained from corporate dental treatment centers. Subgroups were established with 40% of the subjects falling into the early starter (<4 years at first visit) sub-cohort and 60% of subjects falling into the late starter (≥4 years at first visit) group. Results indicated a statistically significant reduction in amount of treatment and lower expenditures in the early starter group as compared to the late starter group. On average, the late starters underwent 3.58 more dental treatments and spent $360.13 more on treatment than the early starter group.
Nowak J, Casamassimo P, Scott J, Moulton R. Do early dental visits reduce treatment and treatment costs for children? Pediatr Dent 2014; 36:489-93.


Aug 222014

FROM:  Too Small to Fail: A Joint Initiative of Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. 8.21.14

** Family Routines Make Starting School Easier———————————————–

Parents of young children know that life is anything but routine with their little ones around. Things can be even more chaotic when kindergarten, preschool or daycareis thrown in the mix—it can be tough to plan for school schedules while balancing family life. Establishing routines with young children can feel like an uphill climb at first, but there are benefits that make it worthwhile. Routines are an important way to help children learn how to manage social situations and to establish good habits early on that will help them grow up healthy and ready to learn.

Researchers have found that family routines—establishing a regular bedtime, for example—are good for social-emotional health in young children. In fact, according to a study by the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, children who regularly sing, play, story-tell, and eat dinner with their families do better in school.

When children know what to expect on a daily basis, they are better able to handle stressful situations that come along later in life. In addition, establishing routines help children better manage simple tasks like brushing their teeth and eating breakfast, which will help them (and you!) when they begin school or daycare.

Families with young children can set up routines that encourage good habits by starting early. Snuggling on the couch and reading a book every night before bed will teach even a very young baby to look forward to going to sleep. Also, singing songs with toddlers while driving in the car or eating dinner together a few times a week will make the whole family feel more connected and maintain good health.


** Resources for Sharing: ———————————————————–

* This article

( from

ZERO TO THREE outlines how parents can use routine to guide positive behavior and set good habits. * Practical tips in this article


from NAEYC about how parents can help their toddlers transition to kindergarten.

* This article


from Raising Children Network explains how family routines work—and how they can help young kids prepare for school.!bGXAOg


** Video


This news clip featuring Camille Maben of First 5 California offers five tips for parents on establishing routines at home! >>





Jul 222014

Amazing new year for HCAP Head Start!!

HCAP Head Start has a new commitment to expand preventive oral health strategies.  Congratulations!!  And thank you to Family Advocates, Teacher Mentors, Comprehensive Services + the Health and Wellness Team, and Program Managers for such a successful July 14th training on WHAT THE TOOTH FAIRY FORGOT TO TELL US/PROMOTING ORAL HEALTH THROUGH POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS!!

You are so on it!! Check it out at


OUR INSPIRATION THIS YEAR!!  Educate, Motivate, Activate!

Jan 102014

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Whether you’re a member of the dental team, a teacher or a parent, the ADA has free online resources that can help you with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom and coloring and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. We also have booklets, videos and other materials available for purchase through our ADA Catalog.

Please direct all questions to


Check out our Baby’s First Smiles Trailer…share it with a friend

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!  “Baby’s First Smiles: Pass It On”  Click here
For every purchase on Amazon, Same Small Boat will donate one DVD to a parent in an Early Head Start Program.

For bulk purchases contact Same Small Boat directly Click here


Jan 012014

Great article from

Infants Need to Hear Adults Talk

Infant-directed speech plays a huge role in language development; Published on December 10, 2013 by Art Markman, Ph.D. in Ulterior Motives

By the time kids start school, there are already differences among them in their language abilities. These early differences can have an enormous impact on their performance in school, because teachers do most of their instruction by talking to kids.

Where do these early differences come from?

A growing body of evidence suggests that a huge influence on early language development is the number of words that children hear as infants and toddlers.  The more that parents speak to their infants and in front of their infants, the better infants get at understanding speech and learning words.

This issue has been explored in some previous work that has compared children who grow up in low socioeconomic status (SES) and high SES homes.  An interesting paper in the November, 2013 issue of Psychological Science by Adriana Weisleder and Anne Fernald examined this question just within a sample of low SES Spanish speaking homes in the United States.

They had 19-month-old infants wear an audio recorder for at least one full day. Many infants wore the recorder for several days, and the longest recording day was selected.

Using software, the recordings were analyzed to identify all of the words spoken in the infants’ presence during that day.  In addition, the researchers classified the speech by whether it was directed at the infants or whether it was just speech that the infants overheard.

Both when the infants were 19-months-old and again when they were 24-months-old, the researchers measured their efficiency at understanding speech. In these tests, the infants were seated in front of a screen. They saw pairs of pictures displaying common objects (like a dog or a ball). They heard the Spanish word for one of those pictures spoken and the researchers measured how much the infant looked at the picture corresponding to the spoken word as well as how quickly the infant looked at that picture after the word was spoken. In addition, at 24 months, the parents used a checklist to estimate the size of their child’s vocabulary.

Within this sample, there was a huge difference in the number of words that the infants heard.  Some infants heard fewer than 2000 words in a day, while some heard over 15,000. In addition, there were big differences in child-directed speech. Some families spoke fewer than 1000 words to their children in a day, while others spoke over 10,000 words to their children.

The number of words spoken to children at 19 months was a significant predictor of the child’s vocabulary at 24 months.  In addition, the number of words spoken to children predicted how quickly and effectively children looked at the picture associated with a word they heard.  Statistical analysis demonstrated that the ease of identifying the words in speech was an important reason why infants who heard more words had a larger vocabulary at 24-months than infants who heard fewer words.

This early language experience compounds itself over time. Not only do infants who hear lots of words understand language better than those who hear fewer words, they are also more likely to start vocalizing and speaking words earlier. When children talk more, adults talk back to them more often. So, the early advantage in language ability gets bigger over time.

This research demonstrates the importance of a rich environment for infants. Infant brains are developing rapidly, and that brain development is strongly influenced by what is going on around them. The more that these infants are embedded in a complex language environment, the more that their language abilities develop. And that early development gives them a huge advantage as they start school.

Dec 012013

Sharon and Lynn will be heading off to Atlanta with Baby’s First Smiles research advisor, Barbara DeBaryshe and Carla Juarez, one of the EHS Home Visitors on the project. We’re presenting a session on oral health leadership impacting young children with parents and staff of Early Head Start from across the country.  Congratulations to the Office of Head Start for it’s long-term commitment and recognition that mobilizing parents and families is the way to go!

Nov 252013

Our “Baby’s First Smiles” Video would not have been possible without the assistance from the Maternal Child Oral Health Resource Center. Here’s a shout out to Katrina Holt and Jolene Bertness who’s guidance on baby’s oral health made our Early Childhood Oral Health for Young Families video possible!! Check out Maternal and Childhood Oral Health Resource Center website on focusing on “Dental Home”.  MCOH recommended great tips for young parents on the University of Colorado AHEC Program Cavity Free Kids by Three, click on “Educating Parents”’ll find Baby’s Oral Health in many languages,