Not Worried Yet Today? And You Call Yourself a PARENT?

Readers kesibhdaif
— Here are two recent gems from my mailbox. I hope you can take a deep breath and summon the courage needed to face these gigantic problems. Try to be strong! – L.

Hi Lenore,

Hope all is well! I wanted to send along a story idea that’d be great for your readers. [Really? MY readers?] As the school year winds down and kids get ready for summer vacation, it’s important for parents to know how they can help them re-adjust their schedules to accommodate the lazy days of longer sunlight, hot temperatures and staying up late. [Yes, how CAN we help them adjust to something so daunting? Longer sunlight AND no school — I’m not sure any child has ever had to deal with something that complex before!]

Depending on a child’s age, summer can be a time of playing outside all day or partying all night and sleeping in late, therefore messing with the strict sleep schedule that school afforded earlier in the year. [And…are you saying that’s good or bad?] Although late summer sleeping can be nice, changing one’s sleep schedule too drastically can actually lead to negative long-term health effects [Yes, this press release is actually warning us of the LONG-TERM NEGATIVE EFFECTS of enjoying summer!] – so, how can parents help their children adjust to summer sleep schedules?  [HOW HOW HOW? I sure hope there’s an expert or book or app because otherwise my children might be harmed forever by that child destroyer: Summer vacation!]

Lenore Here — Naturally, the press release went on to recommend a summer adjustment expert, but here it won’t, because we’ve already got another thing to worry about: Filing your nails while pregnant!

Dear Lenore: Hope you’re having a fantastic day! [So glad you care…you person I’ve never met.] Many mommies-to-be want to keep their nails in tip-top shape throughout their pregnancy and while nursing, but going to the salon can be a major health detriment [Major?] as harsh grindings and filings [Do you get your nails done by a lumberjack?] can expose mom and baby to toxic chemicals. [Gosh! Have any moms or babies ever survived a visit to the nail salon? Doesn’t sound like it!]  Does this mean the stylish mama has to put all her nail beauty efforts on hold for the time being?

Nope! With Custom Nail Solutions artificial nail kits, pregnant and nursing women can keep their nails primped and fancy without having to go to salons and risk breaking in harmful substances. [“Breaking” in? Spell check alert!] The kits give women beautiful, natural-looking, non-chipping, and everlasting custom-fit nails that are antibacterial and antimicrobial. [Do they also emit a magnet forcefield to keep out nuclear rays? I would expect nothing less!] Finally [Yes, FINALLY. I know I, for one, have been waiting on tenterhooks] …a safe way for moms-to-be and new mamas to keep their nails glam throughout the entire pregnancy and beyond!

Lenore here again: Sure, it sounds safe,  but is it safe ENOUGH? Is anything????

Source: Custom Nail Solutions

84 Responses to Not Worried Yet Today? And You Call Yourself a PARENT?

  1. Earth.W June 24, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I am looking at starting up a business that sells something that prevents serious accidents possibly leading to fatalities created by the fallen leaves of Autumn.

  2. Coccinelle June 24, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I think chemical exposure is an area where I would never be able to be free-range. We are already exposed to thousands of chemicals whether we want it or not, why adding more unnecessary ones? If my kids want to have colored nails, I will find non-toxic nail polish for them but I will never allow them to use the normal stuff. They’ll have to be able to pay for it themselves and not use it in my house!

    @Earth.W That’s already invented to prevent falling injuries and it’s called a chain-saw.

  3. Warren June 24, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    So Coccinelle,
    You are not exposing your kids to the everyday chemical toxins, that we all deal with on a daily basis? For what reason, to not have your kids get sick, or to have you adult children get sick because they have not built up tolerances?

  4. Earth.W June 24, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Darn it, @Coccinelle, missed it by that much.

  5. Marni June 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Wait. A “summer adjustment expert?”

    This has to be a joke. Right? Please tell me this is a joke.

  6. Tana C June 24, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    The custom nail thing actually starts with taking an impression of your ‘professionally manicured nails’. This means I must expose myself and my unborn child to those horrible, deadly chemicals to even be able to use the custom fit nails. What if we don’t live through it?!

  7. QuicoT June 24, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Coccinelle brings up an interesting topic – Free Range Blindspots. What’s the one area where you just can’t relax and embrace the free range ethos?!

    I’m relaxed – or rather, fatalistic – about chemicals. There’s just no fighting it.

    I cannot relax about vaccines – and freak the hell out when an Anti-Vaxxer gets going. But that’s not me being crazy, leaving kids unvaccinated is genuinely deadly.

    Other than that?..

  8. Mel June 24, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Although I think worrying about getting one’s nails done while pregnant and buying a “safe” nail kit instead is beyond absurd, I do have to say that I personally choose to stay away from the chemicals found in nail polish, hair dyes, makeup, non-natural personal body care products, etc. We cannot build intolerances to these chemicals and the many other unnecessary chemicals in our environment… we as a society are suffering from overexposure to all this junk. Both of these are obviously advertisements sent to any blogger with the word child or parenting in the name, I am sure, and they are both silly and absurd. Occasional exposure to the harsh chemicals found in nail salons (unless one is spending her daily time there) is probably unlikely to have any affect on a fetus. I would also never deny my children the use of nail polish in my home; however, I do believe it is important to recognize the daily toxins in our environment, to do the best we can to avoid many of these toxins, and to simply teach our children about them.

  9. S June 24, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    My kids sleep schedule doesn’t change much in the summer. I’m not worried about long-term effects of staying up late and sleeping in…I just want the same kids-tucked-away adult time I have during the school year. But it probably is easier for us to adjust back to a school schedule. And it’s not as if I ever wake them up in the morning. They always get up on their own egregiously early, maybe 15 minutes later than they would have on a school day. Wish they’d sleep in in summer…

  10. Kelly D. June 24, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    From the title, “Not Worried Yet Today?” I am, indeed, already worried today but not for anything stupid. I promised to take my twins to the zoo (and meet two other sets of twins there) yesterday when I was feeling great. Today, I’m coming down with a cold, but when your barely verbal child wakes up yelling, “Zoo! Zoo! Zoo!” you just go to the zoo.

    Fake nails were not allowed in the NICU where we were, and I get a raging headache every time I go into a nail salon, so I understand that one a little better than the sleep “problem.” Not sure it needs to be a blasted warning to all parents to avoid all nail salons, though.

  11. Ben June 24, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    If getting your nails done was so incredibly dangerous, then how many people die from exposure to these chemicals every year? For that matter, which chemicals are we talking about. The most relevant I can think of is acetone which is usually part of a nail polish remover. As long as you do not drip it into open wounds or sniff its fumes, it’s not that dangerous. Besides, nail studios know many people worry about chemicals, so they too offer chemical free solutions, so you don’t actually have to forego your visit.

    Finally, if you’re pregnant, the sheer number of barriers a chemical needs to pass to even get into a fetus, makes it impossible for a nail salon visit to be dangerous to the unborn bundle of joy.

    People should really start learning about chemicals before spewing this nonsense.

  12. Emily, Mom of Independents June 24, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Sleep schedules are one of those things I fret about some. It’s a pretty easy solution though: A week before school starts, they go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. I had no idea that this made me an expert and that I could get paid for this advice.

  13. Craig June 24, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Oh good lord, my kids always had summer sleep schedules – ie. up late, sleep late. You know what happened when school started – they were tired for a week, slept hard the first weekend and then were pretty much back on school schedules. Why do parents think its so hard to adjust a sleep schedule? What are they going to do when they have a real job, college, etc when they have to sometimes go without sleep.

  14. Forsythia June 24, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I guess I should have hired “jet lag adjustment experts” when I brought my kids back from Europe and the school district just decided to start school several days early … and when my son came back from the school trip to Italy with one day to adjust at the end of a vacation week.

    I suppose getting back from Europe on August 24 will permanently reduce my son’s senior year grades. Oh woe!

  15. ValerieH June 24, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    the nail thing is ironic. usually the hormones and pregnancy vitamins give you great hair and nails. I can’t imagine needing artificial nails at this time. I agree with the comments about the toxic chemicals.

  16. Maggie June 24, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Gigantic problem # 1 completely fails to address the dreaded

    ‘Vacation Across Time Zones” !!!!

    Guess if you want to take the kids to Hawaii or Europe for summer vacation, you need to hire a therapist to help them adjust. *eye roll*

    Gigantic problem # 2

    Having attractive nails is an issue?

    Morning sickness, swollen ankles, aching back, clothes don’t fit, followed by sleepless nights, crying babies, and “new mommy worry”. Who cares about their nails? Trust me, this subject was NEVER broached by any of my pregnant or nursing friends. A comfortable nursing bra, yes. Nails, no.

    If for some reason having attractive nails during pregnancy / nursing is of utmost importance, neatly trimmed nails, buffed to a shine, is certainly a better choice than fake nails that are attached by chemicals.

  17. Eryn M. June 24, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Hey, Earth W, that could be a real thing. Fallen autumn leaves once caused me a mild concussion. But I was 28.

    I think most adults get really keyed up about these things because they affect us more as adults than they do children. I don’t know any children (ok, or any other adults either) who managed to concuss themselves via leaf pile, and I don’t know any children who suffer major symptoms from a shift in sleep schedule. As long as they’re getting enough sleep, it doesn’t really matter when they sleep. This is why very young infants sleep in three-four hour bursts and still manage to grow and thrive.

  18. Red June 24, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    @Earth.W: Personally, I don’t recommend riding a bike on a path littered with fallen autumn leaves.

    I destroyed a wheel and a helmet that way.

  19. Warren June 24, 2013 at 10:42 am #


    Just what vaccinations are you talking about? Because not all vaccines are recomended by all doctors. My kids do not get the flu shot or the chicken pox shots, at the recomendation of our trusted family doctor.

  20. Red June 24, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    @Eryn M.

    “This is why very young infants sleep in three-four hour bursts and still manage to grow and thrive”

    There are people out there who will warn you that “allowing” your infant to only sleep in three-to-four hour bursts and letting them set their own sleep schedule is setting your young infant up for failure his entire life.

    When my kid was a young infant, I remember having a neighborhood mother with a few-weeks-older infant basically having a nervous breakdown at me because her eight-week-old daughter was refusing to sleep 12 hours through at night and according to whatever child-raising manual she was using, that was a sign of “unnatural” sleep habits.

    I kind of blinked at her because my kid was slightly premature and small, thus I was still supposed to be waking him up every three hours to nurse per his doctor. When I told her that, she stated that his doctor was encouraging “bad” habits and that I’d live to regret it.

  21. Your mom June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Everybody thinks they have the answers, but I think one important part of being “free range” is understanding that there typically is no “right way” to raise a child. To accept that other parents may do it differently and still be doing a good job is important.

    @QuicoT, you say that not vaccinating is “genuinely deadly” but I would like to point out that vaccinating is ALSO “genuinely deadly”, having actually killed children just like polio and pertussis actually kills children.

    A parent can choose to not vaccinate, especially understanding the risks associated, and still be a good, free range parent. It’s the same as co-sleeping. Some people say you will kill your baby, others say it prevents SIDS.
    As a parent, I make decisions to the best of my ability and one of those choices is to not freak out about letting my kids run wild and sleep late and experience summer to its fullest. I feel like I am doing it right, for me, but I understand that other parents may choose differently and be doing it right for them.

  22. elsiroomom June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Was there any mention of the chemicals in the artificial nails??? Or any mention of the mental trauma upon new mothers when seeing that creepy faux hand?!

  23. Tsu Dho Nimh June 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    “The press release went on to recommend a summer adjustment expert” and that will no doubt have to be followed by a “school adjustment expert” to ease the child into the “strict sleep schedule that school affords” lest they suffer “negative long-term health effects”.

    Good grief!

  24. Sadie Jay-Edwards June 24, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Yeah, I think I am with Coccinelle on the toxic exposure thing. I can sure see the positive effect of kids eating their mud pies for their daily allowance of the pounds of dirt we intake in our lives anyway. Children should play in dirt (grown ups too) and get dirty and have plenty of exposure to the microbes in the world around us. Anti microbial and anti bacterial liquids need be employed very sparingly for targeted situations so that a healthy immune system can develop. There seems to be a big difference between building up immunity and building up toxins in a kids system. There are so many toxins dumped into our environment that we can not avoid, being mindful of toxins that can be avoided gives us, and our kids options to make good choices.

  25. lollipoplover June 24, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I consider myself a summer adustment expert. Here’s my *free* recommendation:

    Let them play outside all the livelong day. Let your children tire themselves out and let them sleep until they are naturally rested. Unlike during the school year when they are cooped up for 7+ hours a day, kids can let loose and play freely in summer. It’s vacation- stop worrying and have some fun.

    The negative long-terms effects of trying to micro-manage childhood are far worse than a summer sleep schedule that allows flexibility for summer adventures. There- no charge.

  26. Coccinelle June 24, 2013 at 11:36 am #


    I really don’t know what to answer to that. I can’t even imagine why you would think we can build up resistance to chemicals as normal living people, but now that we are talking about a developping foetus, I’m speachless.

    “People should really start learning about chemicals before spewing this nonsense.”

    And where did you learn that the placenta is that godsend super barrier that never allow anything harmful to reach the baby?

    For the records, I believe that a few drops of alcohol or a small cup of coffee once in blue moon does not harm a foetus. So I guess I’m not at all level headed and I’m entirely biased against chemicals.

  27. Ben June 24, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    @Your mom

    Not vaccinating kills children who get a deadly disease and miss the antibodies to fight it. Vaccinating can kill children who suffer adverse effects from receiving the vaccine.

    So far you’re right, but what you’re failing to see is that the benefits far outweigh the risks. The numbers of kids dying from a lack of a vaccine is many times higher than kids who suffer negative effects or die from vaccines. There is no such thing as complete risk avoidance. You’ll have to choose for an option that carries at least some level of risk. Yes, it’s bad when a kid dies as a direct result of a vaccine, but that doesn’t mean a vaccine that saves millions of lives should not be administered.

    It irks me when parents choose not to vaccinate their child because don’t know what vaccines are and how they work.


  28. Brian June 24, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    This article on The Atlantic website is really interesting. It is about the advice given to parents about infants and toddlers touching their genitals in the 1910s-1940s. The author takes the perspective that seeing how wacky some of the advice out there can be should help us to realize that some of the things we are doing now will be looked back at as equally silly.

  29. Vanessa June 24, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    I haven’t done anything to help my teenage daughter adjust her sleep schedule. She’s been on vacation for four days and has already begun the process of becoming completely nocturnal all on her own. 😛

  30. E. Simms June 24, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Artificial nails? Yuck. They amount to individual petri dishes for each finger.

    I’m glad that my mother didn’t make me “practice” for the start of school by going to bed earlier the week before. The night before the last day of vacation was a big deal in my neighborhood. We would have sleepovers and stay awake as late as we could. Being sleepy the first couple days of school didn’t kill us.

  31. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    @ Coccinelle and Sadie –

    I doubt there is such a thing as non-toxic nail polish, don’t kid yourself. Remember the whole BPA craze with baby bottles? They took BPA out of plastic bottles and then used a substitute that has similar problems. That being said, I would worry more about salon workers that have constant exposure than consumers who have a minute amount of exposure.

    Flame retardants, plasticizers, PFC’s, pesticides, etc. We’ve all got them in our bodies to varying degrees and it’s ridiculous to think otherwise. You’re absolutely right about that.

    There is a lack of education about chemicals, as Ben said, but that goes both ways. People are afraid of what they don’t know. But people are also dismissive of very real concerns BECAUSE they don’t know. Or because they won’t see the effects of chronic exposure for another 30 years. Or because they think they’ll build up a resistance to formaldehyde like building up resistance to dead polio cells.

    Take sunblock, for example. Europe uses safer UV blockers than the states. We use hormone disruptors that penetrate the skin. Why isn’t anyone aware? I don’t know. But I don’t consider myself to be overly paranoid by only using sunblock with oxides as active ingredients. Nor do I consider myself to not be free-range because I don’t freeze water in plastic bottles, or leave said plastic water bottle in the car and then drink the water from it later. Or use saran wrap in the microwave, or any other plastic that is not specifically designed to withstand the conditions of a microwave.

    I work with polymers, I know their limitations. That’s not being paranoid and has nothing to do with free range. I wish more people were aware.

    Sure, people can say that they’ve been doing x, y, z for years and nothing bad happened to them. Sure. We’ve also got people on this site who said that they used to ride in the back seat of a car without seat belts, and nothing bad happened to them. Or maybe they used to eat paint chips all the time as a kid, and nothing happened to them. George Burns smoked cigars until he died of old age at 100. So what? Does that mean that they built up a “resistance” to paint chips? I call that being dangerously naive. Everyone is different. Some people get side effects when taking medicine, some people don’t.

    You say, “I think chemical exposure is an area where I would never be able to be free-range.”

    And you shouldn’t even have to say that. Free-range means raising kids to be independent and to be able to rely on themselves. What does that have to do with looking out for yourself and your family? You teach your child to look out for themselves, and to be wary of real dangers, not to dismiss them naively.

    Exposure to chemicals is a valid worry. Would a free-range parent say, “Let them eat the paint chips, the calcium is good for their bones.”? Or “What’s the problem with second hand smoke? I smoke, and I’m fine.” Except now we know that can cause brain damage and lung cancer, respectively. There are so many chemicals, new and old, that we do not know of the effects of for chronic exposure. No, a parent who is either ignorant or negligent would say that.

    And once we do know, it takes time for that to translate into action. The flame retardant in furniture controversy is an excellent example of this. Have you heard of MTBE in our water supply? Probably not. The only reason I did was because someone in my department worked on purifying water. There’s no end to it, and change only happens after the crisis.

    If the world keeps chugging away the way it is, non-pregnant people will have to limit their fish intake too.

    But that’s our world.

    It’s better than dying from malnutrition, small pox, flu, pneumonia, polio, infection, freezing to death in the winter. People used to have 9 kids and 3 would live to be 18.

    Now we have cancer, and any other number of maladies caused by chemicals that we can’t entirely specify or quantify because it’s difficult to isolate a direct cause/effect scenario in a system that has so many variables. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

    In short, yes, I believe you should limit chemical exposure as best you can. But, there’s only so much you can do. And at least you’re wary. People don’t know what the difference is between microwave/freezer safe and not. Or why a car seat has an expiration date. They don’t understand plastics, and so they dismiss these labels as useless.

    My view on chemical exposure is like this: If you smoke a cigarette, you’re fine. If you smoke a pack a day for 30 years, you’ve got a pretty high chance of doing permanent damage to your health whether you stop or not. Granted, not all chemicals will damage you. But we don’t always know which ones will before people start exposing themselves to them.

    And re: the vaccination discussion – perhaps someone working in the medical field could clarify, but inoculating above a certain percentage of the population will ensure that there is no outbreak and that the old, weak, young, sick, will not contract the disease. So no, not vaccinating your child is not just about your special little snowflake. Your snowflake is part of the population distribution.

  32. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    E. Simms – petri dishes. So true.

  33. Warren June 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Yes your body can build up tolerances to chemicals and toxins. It does it all the time. In my line of work I have been exposed to many toxins and chemicals, and yes I have built up a certain amount of tolerance to them.

    As for vaccinations, do not trust yourself, do not trust your preacher, trust you doctor.

  34. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    @Ben –

    If it can get into your blood stream – it can get to the fetus.

    If you breathe in vapors and they traverse through the lungs to your blood stream, or if it penetrates through your skin and into the blood stream – it will get to the fetus.

    Organic solvents cause topical damage, of course, but they can also get into your blood stream.

  35. Warren June 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Don’t mistake tolerances for immunity or resistance.

    As for Natalies snowflake response, well her sense of entitlement is showing again. My child, my rules. If I do not want to vaccinate my child against certain things, on our doctor’s recomendation, then it sucks to be you and your snowflake. Your kids health and welfare are not a concern when I am making health and welfare choices for my kids. Sorry, but that is life.

  36. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Warren – doctors are not a monolithic entity. They have different opinions. That’s why there is a controversy.

    Coal miners don’t build up tolerances to coal dust. They die of lung cancer or other respiratory problems if they don’t have adequate protection. Some don’t. They got lucky with their genes.

    If you’re building up a tolerance to iocane powder, okay, I’ll give you that. That’s different.

    But you can’t make sweeping generalizations about chemicals. They’re all different. And you have no way of knowing if you’ve built up a resistance to the chemicals you use. What does your resistance consist of? Why do you think you’ve built one up?

    That’s part of the problem with chemical use. You have no idea what it’s doing to you. You are demonstrating my point about people not knowing, and therefore not considering it a worry.

  37. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I’m not telling you what to do or not do with your child, Warren. I’m just saying that some people think that the decision to vaccinate or not only affects their child.

    It doesn’t.

    For the record, I didn’t give my girls flu shots, and I only did the chicken pox because it was required.

  38. JaneW June 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    @Warren: “Your kids health and welfare are not a concern when I am making health and welfare choices for my kids.” About many things, you’re right. Where contagious diseases are involved, I beg to differ.

    I will have a child this winter, and I’m glad you care so much about whether my newborn is exposed to whooping cough, measles or influenza before he or she is old enough to be vaccinated. When whooping cough strikes newborns, it is always very serious and frequently fatal. And maternal immunity doesn’t always work, or last long enough.

    Vaccination is not like buckling your seatbelt. It’s like maintaing the breaks on your car. Your decision affects other people, including people you may not even know.

    So yeah, I can free-range a lot of things. But for all of human history up until just a few generations ago, MOST children died of contagious diseases before reaching adulthood. Currently, the death rate from contagious disease among children is wonderfully low, but if we’re stupid, it’ll go back up.

  39. Warren June 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm #


    The chicken pox is required by the schools here as well. They threatened to not allow my youngest into school, without it. One phone call from our family doctor straightened out the whole thing. I do not know how things work where you are, but here the school`s cannot force someone to go against their doctor`s recomendations.


    Let me see your fears vs our doctors advice………… sorry you lose. So until our doctor changes his mind about the chicken pox and the flu, you and yours best avoid me and mine.

  40. Warren June 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm #


    The way you came across it sounds like you believe cancer is something new, that no one died of cancer centuries ago?

    How many deaths were attributed to natural causes or old age over time, that were cancer, or heart attacks, or whatever?

  41. Papilio June 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Lenore ranting is always a good read 😀

    Am I the only one who thinks fake nails are ugly anyway?

  42. JaneW June 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    @Warren: A lot of primary care doctors have trouble staying up to date on every medical issue in the universe. That’s why I obey the CDC, instead, along with MY doctor, who’d whack me upside the head if I didn’t get it. (Of course, I also read the studies myself.)

    What I don’t get is why you don’t WANT the flu vaccine. Sure, if your kids are school-aged, the probability of serious complications are low, but nobody wants to have the flu. Is there a moral benefit to your child suffering illness? I’m confused. Please don’t tell me it’s about “vaccine toxins,” because that’s the tinfoil hat brigade’s utter nonsense.

  43. Coccinelle June 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm #


    1. I’m sorry I’ve triggered you to write all that because I agree 100% with everthing you’ve said.

    2. I thought henna was non-toxic.

    I’m just happy someone who knows more than me about this subject is speaking up because I have absolutely nothing to back my claims… it’s totally not my domain.

  44. Violet June 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I WAS a little worried that my teen has turned into a slug who sleeps into noon. Thanks for the jolt into reality! He may never get to do that again until he retires!

  45. Violet June 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    JaneW: we can get sanctimonious lectures elsewhere. Tone it down!

  46. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm #


    My first thought when I see people with ultra long nails is – how do they wipe? I guess they need one of those fancy voice activated Japanese toilets that Yan Seiner was telling us about.


    I didn’t get the flu vaccine because the prior year I got the flu immediately following the vaccine. Which can happen, not all the time, but sometimes. I don’t know what the odds are. So I decided I’d take my chances after that. Also, I’m lazy in getting to the doctor’s office. I don’t have a big official stance on vaccines.


    Don’t worry, I enjoy writing long posts! 😉 It helps pass the time when I’m doing lab work.
    Also, yeah, I would think henna would be non-toxic. Is that what they’re using in the non-toxic nail polish? I didn’t know that. Henna would be the solid that stays on the nail. I would look at the other ingredients, those that evaporate after leaving the solid, that the henna is mixed in with, and the solvent. But again – using nail polish as a consumer, I don’t think that’s a big deal, I think the issue is people who work with it all day.

    If you ever want to know the safety hazards of a chemical, you can look up the Material Safety Data Sheet. They’re available from several companies for free on-line. (I just looked up henna – it’s fine) Although, some of the jargon is difficult to understand for someone who isn’t accustomed to reading them – you’ll probably have to wikipedia a few things. And then, they’ll scare the bajeezus out of you. Remember that a lot of studies are by direct exposure to a rat and do not imitate your level of exposure or the way in which you are exposed.

    Think of alcohol. Yes, fetal alcohol syndrome exists. Yes, you can still have that glass of wine. Yes, some people are more highly susceptible to fetal alcohol syndrome than others.


    People have been dying from cancer forever. (fun fact – medicine was better than you think it was – people knew about several types of cancer for centuries, and knew how to treat it) You also could have added that part of the reason that cancer is so common nowadays is because more people are living longer than they used to.

    BUT it’s also caused by a class of chemicals called carcinogens (or radiation). Obviously, you’ve heard of the term. If you have chronic exposure to this class of chemicals, your chances of getting cancer increase whether it’s 1066 or 2013.

    The fact that people always got cancer doesn’t mean that the chemicals that we are exposed to today don’t cause cancer and other problems. It’s not either/or. It’s both.

    The fact is, there are many more chemicals in existence now than in the past. Many, many, many more. A lot of them are harmful. And they’re in our water, food, medicine, toiletries, clothing, furniture, air, and our bodies. And you don’t always build up a resistance to them over time, in fact, it’s the opposite. They can accumulate in your body until they reach a point where they disrupt your normal body functions.

    Again, I can take alcohol as an example. Some people get drunk quicker than others, they have less tolerance. But that doesn’t mean that the people with “tolerance” won’t get alcohol related health problems. The body is more complex than that.

    And it’s not just cancer. Cancer (which has so many forms you can’t count them) is just one grain of sand (or a pile of sand, considering how many types there are) on the beach. There are other problems such as enzyme inhibitors, hormone disruptors, and many more that someone with a better background would be able to explain to you.

    Just because you open a can of turpentine, take a whiff and don’t pass out doesn’t mean that you have built up some kind of survival of the fittest resistance. You have no idea what’s going on in your body. Not now, not 30 years ago, not 30 years from now. You’ve probably got more fire retardants in you than anything else anyway.

    Also, the chicken pox vaccine thing wasn’t an issue for me. If I would have pressed the issue, against my doctor’s recommendations (since my doctor is for vaccinating against flu and chicken pox), maybe I could have gotten an exception as well. But it’s too much trouble over something that I don’t feel strongly about.

  47. lollipoplover June 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Toxins or harmful substances aside- how do you change a newborn’s diaper with Edward Scissorhands?

    My pregnancy nails grew like nuclear talons on those prenatal vitamins, but I had to clip and file them down to avoid stabbing the baby. Not to mention the poop under the nails- so not glam.

  48. Papilio June 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    @Natalie: Yes, exactly! 🙂 And, eh, *cough* another activity involving that region… *cough cough*
    I guessed the shower, but you Americans have those awkward fixed showers, so that won’t work…

  49. Lauren June 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    You guys, YOU GUYS. This is a “Free Range Kids” website. Meaning that we think about actual risks, and perceived risks, and we find what is acceptable to us. No need to get in a debate about toxins and/or vaccines! We each have our “hot buttons” or “free range blind spots” based on our personal experience, and that’s okay.

    Some people choose to be more careful about toxins, and that’s okay. Some people choose not to worry about toxins, and that’s okay too. Chances are neither family of kids is going to benefit drastically from one point of view or the other.

    Some people choose to vaccinate their kids. Some people choose not to. Chances are neither family of kids is going to benefit drastically from one point of view or the other. (This would not have been true several years ago, but it IS true today, when most kids are vaccinated and create a herd immunity.)

    Look at the statistics and decide for yourselves, but don’t go bashing on someone’s else’s decision who has lived their lives differently than you. Gawwwd.

  50. Yan Seiner June 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    @Lauren: But the vaccination RATE is falling, because of the mis-information out there about vaccines. The one “study” purporting to tie vaccinations with autism has been thoroughly discredited, yet people still chose to believe that it’s somehow related.

    So we’re slowly but surely losing the herd immunity. This is where it fails the free range test. When we lose herd immunity, we ALL suffer. In the meantime, those who chose not to vaccinate because of some tiny perceived risk are freeloading on those us who do vaccinate.

  51. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    It’s an issue that motivates me because of the way things are handled and the lack of education of the populace. You dont have to read the post if you dont want to. obviously this is of interest to quite a few people. Comment threads roam. It’s what makes them interesting.

    Do you think a company can perform adequate chronic exposure tests before the release of a new product? No, that’s not realistic. What they have to go by is what society let’s them get away with. And if society takes a laizzez-faire attitude, they get irresponsible business practices.

    The labs I work at used to dump in the local lake. It was general knowledge that they did this, and people still swam in the lake. It wasn’t until multiple cancer cases started cropping up that they had to stop. And that took time. Companies don’t volunteer to do things that cost them money. If people don’t care what they’re exposed to, companies don’t.

    Why would someone swim in a lake that’s being dumped in? Because they don’t know any better. Or maybe they do know, but think that statistically, nothing will happen to them. And maybe nothing did happen to them. Not everyone gets cancer.

    Google fire retardants in the news. Or pfc’s and C8 compounds. It’s not a made up issue backed by hippies living on an organic farm commune in the middle of Costa Rica.

    I’m not saying you should do anything, I just know that many people are not aware.

  52. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    @ papillo
    They probably have battery powered solutions for that.;)

  53. pentamom June 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    I don’t think the point was really that Free Range means not caring about chemical exposure. It’s more just that stirring up horror stories about every little thing you do isn’t a free range mentality. Sure, if you know of something that contains unnecessary, potentially toxic substances, and wish to avoid it, great. But the mentality that everything we do is fraught with hazards and darn it we’re going to find them if we have to look REALLY HARD is what rubs the wrong way.

    After all, the pitch isn’t, “Hey, here’s something less toxic for your nails that might be better for you.” It is YOU AND YOUR BABY WILL DIE IF YOU GO TO A NAIL SALON. Regardless of whether the specific concern is merited or not, the paranoid approach to life is not compatible with the Free Range approach. I really think that’s all Lenore is getting at.

  54. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Sure pentamom, I agree with what you say. I’ve tried to explain that very sentiment while at the same time trying to relay actual issues and concerns. It didn’t really have much to do with Lenore’s post so much as what people had said afterwards.

    If you ask me, I don’t know why people send her these things. It’s like phoning in to Howard Stern with your life story.

  55. S June 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    I’d prefer to read articles and have your comments at the bottom. It’s distracting otherwise.

  56. Natalie June 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    So go make an app where you can tag certain commentors that you don’t want to deal with, and have the app redisplay the site with those commenters shuffled to the bottom. Even better, have the app delete the comments entirely.

    Problem solved, and the app may even relieve your need to insult people.

  57. JJ June 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I really don’t know where that summer sleep schedule letter was going. I’ll say this though. I had a big-time freak out last week, the first full week of the kids’ summer vacation, at about 10:45 pm when I found myself screaming some version of “unlike some people I know, dad and I still need to get up at 5:30 even in summer and I know I am being crabby, I am crabby because you are keeping me up…” Last night we wised up with mandatory bed times again. I think we go through this every June.

  58. hineata June 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    @J.J – gosh that is so true! But it’s the middle of winter here and we still have that problem with my jolly son, who seems to think that stomping around taking showers at 11pm won’t disturb anyone. Next time you have a freak-out, please, please consider posting it on You-Tube so I can play it at full blast to my progeny, who doesn’t seem to ‘get it’ when it’s only me telling him, LOL! Might even pay for a good one…now there would be a business opportunity :-).

    @Jane W, while I’m mostly with you on the vaccine thing, it’s not going to change, and forcing vaccination on people except in extreme circumstances is likely to be counterproductive, so all you can do is educate a little at a time and hope for the best. Vaccination is one of those things that really gets peoples’ blood going. At least people like Warren are taking the advice of their doctors, not the current local ‘health guru’.

    I think vaccination is a bit of a free range issue, in that vaccinating one’s child does help to protect the community at large, and promoting community is important to free-ranging. But that’s my opinion, and not everyone is going to share it, so in the meantime I just need to keep my immune-stuffed child away from the unvaccinated during ‘epidemic’ time. As for you and Bubs, definitely my advice would be to stay away from the unvaccinated while you’re pregnant – supposedly one of the things that may have caused my daughter’s PID was exposure in-utero to measles. PID is rare, but there are other more nasty complications arising from measles in-utero.

  59. hineata June 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    @Warren – regarding the building up of resistance to chemicals, as a total non-expert, I would still be inclined to be a bit careful. The dioxins that eventually killed my dad in his mid-sixties he was exposed to mainly in his early twenties in saw mills and on farms. There was a spate of men in our ‘healthy rural community’ at about the same time who all came down with chemical-based cancers at the same age, and that is still happening. The hope is that this generation’s young ag and forestry workers won’t suffer the same things because now we are more careful. .

    Not sure what chemicals you are exposed to, but ‘feeling’ tolerant might not mean your body actually is…..I suppose that’s where regular health checks, particularly for those working in ‘chemical-exposed’ industries are a good thing

  60. Brooks June 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Uh, Lenore – A magnet force field probably wouldn’t repel a radioactive wave.Maybe lead. concrete or a wall of dirty diapers, but not magnets.

  61. Emily, Mom of Independents June 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    My kids get TLA Syndrome (Tiny Little A-Hole) when they’re tired. Heck, yeah, I’m going to have them get to sleep a little earlier to prep for school.

    Now, my free-range blind spot? I refuse to let my kids go to an air show. I’m rationally sure that they go on without incident just about every the weekend but the crashes scare heck out of me. I don’t want me or my kids to witness that.

  62. Taradlion June 25, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    @ Natalie- I *think* S was referring to the fact that LENORE made comments in throughout the post…her post, her blog, her awesome sense of humor.

  63. Aimee June 25, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    @Warren – “My child, my rules. If I do not want to vaccinate my child against certain things, on our doctor’s recomendation [sic], then it sucks to be you and your snowflake. Your kids [sic] health and welfare are not a concern when I am making health and welfare choices for my kids. Sorry, but that is life.”

    The only thing I can congratulate you on is succinctly stating exactly what is wrong with society. It’s NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. We are an entire species, no, an entire planet of living things, and the choices you make DO affect us all.

  64. Natalie June 25, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    @S- if I misinterpreted your comments I apologize.

    Thanks Taradilion.

  65. Papilio June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    A free-ranger with a Lenore-allergy? Tough combo…

    @Natalie: Another sign of the consumer society…!

  66. Warren June 25, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    No not really. When it comes to sticking something into my kids bodies, I really do not give a rat’s ass about the rest of the species. I do what is best for my kids. When it comes to vaccines, medicines, or medical procedures, you are DAMN RIGHT IT IS ALL ABOUT ME!!!!!!!! I will be damned if I or any member of my family has to submit to an injection, pill or whatever just to make you self righteous ass happy. You would make a good Comrade Aimee.

    We do not take the flu shot because there is no need to. We are all healthy individuals, in the lowest risk category. So there is no need to inject crap into our system, in the hopes they picked the right strain. The actual numbers on the flu shot even when they get the right strain are less than stellar. And a healthy person, with a good diet, and good hygeine practices actually have better odds of not getting the flu, than the shot gives you.
    As for the chicken pox vaccine… I want my kids to get the chicken pox? Yes. The immunity they pick up is stronger than the vaccine, and they just build up their immune system in general.

  67. Warren June 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I cleared that up earlier. That tolerance does not mean resistance,or immunity.

    All I am saying is that if you go to far in sheltering kids from the chemicals and toxins of the world, they will be screwed when mom isn’t there to sheild them.

    Chemicals and toxins surround us and there is not much one can do about it.

  68. Warren June 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm #


    Do you really believe the flu shot works? The flu shot has some of the worst performance stats out there. And yet you are willing to inject it into your otherwise healthy body? And you “obey” the CDC? Sorry, your motives seem to be suspect, more than mine.

  69. Donna June 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    @JaneW – I don’t get the flu vaccine for the same reasons as Warren – we are healthy and the vaccine is hit-or-miss. I also think that getting the vaccine makes people more careless about things that can actually prevent the flu (hand washing, staying home when sick etc), a big problem when the vaccine is hit-or-miss. And I’ve never had the flu so why mess with perfection?

  70. Donna June 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I am more ambivalent about the chicken pox vaccine. I don’t care about chicken pox at all but shingles is pure misery and very common as you age. Chicken pox vaccine = no shingles. Ultimately, it wasn’t worth the fight to me and my daughter got the vaccine but I definitely don’t think that it should be mandatory and don’t feel that parents are harming the population if they choose not to yet it (unlike measles, pertussis, polio and other vaccines for more serious illnesses).

  71. Joan June 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    If these people did a little research they would know that teenagers have a tendency to turn nocturnal. It’s a proven scientific fact. Why aren’t they bitching about schools for working against nature with early start times? As for fake nails, if a pregnant woman doesn’t want them, that’s her decision. But I find it ironic that the people who are so concerned about chemicals are silent about growth hormones in milk. Back when I was a kid cows didn’t get injected with hormones, maybe that’s why my generation was skinnier! Oh wait, that’s lazy parenting. Duh.

  72. Buffy June 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    @Joan, I don’t know if it’s necessarily “silence” or irony. This post really, really wasn’t about growth hormones in milk.

  73. Natalie June 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    @Buffy- is that your real name? Or are you a fan of the series?

  74. Warren June 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    To all those parents that think I should vaccinate my kids to keep their kids safe………..

    If these shots are so all fired effective, and you get your kids shot up………..then what does it matter if I vaccinate mine……….yours are protected are they not?

  75. Donna June 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    @Warren –

    There are many people who can’t get vaccines due to age, an allergy to something in the vaccine or some other medical reason. They rely on everyone else getting vaccinated to keep them from getting ill. As more people choose to not get vaccines, instances of the illness increase and the risk to those who can’t get vaccinated rises. This effect is most important for infants who are too young to get vaccinated and are often unable to fight off the diseases due to an immature immune system.

    For me it doesn’t matter whether your kids get vaccinated or not. My kid and I are vaccinated against anything I care about. For my neighbor who can’t get a measles vaccine because his sister had a serious allergic reaction to hers (severe brain damage), everyone who can get a measles vaccine getting that vaccine is the only thing that can keep him from getting the measles. For the parents of young infants, it matters greatly as well.

  76. Warren June 26, 2013 at 12:44 am #


    For the most part we have come a long way in vaccinating against deadly diseases. Which is a good thing. Unfortunately though society wants a vaccine against everything now. And I am a firm believer that we as a species are going to vaccinate and antiboidic ourselves into a state of vulnerability.
    At some point as a species we are going to be naturally immune weak, because we do not let our bodies do the work.
    We are fighting nature, and natural selection. Living far longer than our bodies were designed to, and artificially fighting bacteria and virus’. Nature is a far superior force than our species is, and one day it will win.
    Our species is the only species that efforts to keep the elderly, the weak and the ill alive. Any other species in nature weeds out the elderly, the weak and the ill.
    It is very arrogant to think we can beat nature.

  77. Reader June 26, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    I’ve got to say, given the strong smell of nail salons, I don’t think it’d be safe to work at one while pregnant. But going ONCE to the salon… if that were a problem, surely the government/real experts would tell us, not an ad that happens to be for a product to “solve” the “problem”.

  78. Donna June 26, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    @Warren –

    I don’t disagree when it comes to generally minor illnesses like the flu and chicken pox.

    I do have a problem with the refusal to vaccinate when it comes to serious, life-threatening illnesses. My father spent 2 years in an iron lung as a child and had lifelong foot problems ultimately resulting in him having both his feet broken in his 40s to repair the damage as a result of polio (and he was extremely lucky). This is not a disease we need a resurgence of if it can be avoided. There has recently been a large upswing in infant deaths from pertussis specifically caused by the refusal to vaccinate. Not weak or ill infants, just infants with no immunity due to being new.

    Nor do I think your attitude is any different or less arrogant than the medical care system. Of course our species is going to cease to exist one day. Every other life form that has ruled the planet for a time has also disappeared. It is arrogant to think humans are anything special in this regard. It simply appears that the human species will be wiped out by our own efforts rather than a widespread disease. Extinction is extinction whatever the cause.

  79. Warren June 26, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    I am not really talking about infants.

    My comments are more to the fact that far too many minor illnesses are being treated with drugs, more for the sake of convenience than anything.

    And I know I will take alot of heat for this, but the Flu is a minor illness. For the healthy and strong the Flu is not a threat. For the already ill and weak, it is. Natural selection.

  80. Sharon June 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Summer vacation is the time to loosen up a little and have fun. Considering my daughter has finished her math packet and has really been working on her reading I have gone out of my way with little rewards and a couple have been not clock watching.

    My birthday (the only summer one in my house) is two weeks from Friday and we usually celebrate it for about a month. Free desserts if we go out to eat and extra hugs which I appreciate more with an 11 year old.

  81. Buffy June 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    @Natalie, “Buffy” is not my real name, but a nickname I’ve had for many years. I have never watched the series but it is on my long-term to-do list!

  82. Natalie June 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re in for a treat. First season is shaky but it gets very good quickly.
    I think it’s on Netflix streaming

  83. Caleb June 27, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    For me vacation was a life-saver. At school I was always a square peg in a round hole. Or a round peg in a square hole. In some ways the discipline was good for me, but in others it was stunting, for it was my heart’s desire to write, and believe it or not I was always getting in trouble for writing at school. If I wasn’t writing at the wrong time then I was writing about the wrong thing. By June I was feeling battered and harried, and needed a good, long rest.

    One terrible thing about graduating from school was that it was the end of such June-to-September vacations. The good thing was that I could write whenever I felt like it. Of course, I did get fired from some jobs for failing to attend to business, but I’d get over it and get another job. I’ve lost count of how many jobs I’ve had; over a hundred; but by being a free man in a free country, and living a free-range life, life itself in some ways became the vacation.

    I now run a Childcare at my small farm, and notice children are always seeking a way to take a vacation from rules and regulations. I describe the outlaw nature of children in the first part of the following essay:

  84. Daniel June 28, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    The rabbis of old taught that stepping on fingernail clippings could cause a pregnant woman to miscarry (see for example Moed Katan 18a & Niddah 17a). I would imagine they would have a field day with the idea of an expectant mother going into a shop where there are microscopic bits of fingernail filings flying around where she might not only step on them, but possibly inhale them. The Chassids actually burn their nail clippings. Oy!