Young children perceive intuitively that the world is designed. In 1929, child psychologist Jean Piaget called children “artificialists” who tend to regard everything as “the product of human creation.” Piaget’s claim that young children’s minds are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between human and nonhuman causes was controversial, and subsequent studies have shown that he was wrong. Yet he was right in saying that children start out with the intuition that the natural world was made for a purpose. In 2004, child psychologist Deborah Kelemen suggested that young children are thus “intuitive theists” who are “disposed to view natural phenomena as resulting from nonhuman design.” By the time they are adolescents, many children have suppressed their intuition of design. This suppression is largely due to influences from the community, especially from parents and teachers striving to acculturate children to a secular society, often in the name of “scientific literacy.” “Intervention” usually refers to an action taken to help someone give up an abnormal addiction. For these psychologists, however, it means convincing children to give up a normal intuition. Thus education becomes indoctrination.
Once again, our country’s disadvantaged kids are being unnecessarily medicated nearly three times more often than other countries. According to CDC officials, more than 10,000 American toddlers—children who are just 2 or 3 years old—are being medicated for alleged attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are few studies on the impact of psychostimulant ADHD drugs like methylphenidate (Ritalin) or amphetamines (like Adderall) in children this young. However, we do know that the side effects of ADHD drugs include stunted growth, insomnia, hallucinations, high blood pressure, involuntary movements, aggressive behavior, heart attack, brain hemorrhage, stroke, migraines, and seizures. Emerging evidence also suggests that Ritalin can cause long-term damage to developing prefrontal cortexes, resulting in “rigid behavior, difficulties with multitasking, or problems with short-term memory” later in life. What kind of society treats its children this way? Is nothing more important than drug company profits?
Last Wednesday, the New York City Board of Health decreed that all children under age 5 who are enrolled in city-licensed preschools or daycare centers must receive an annual flu vaccine. This is in addition to the seven other vaccinations already required for NYC preschoolers. Tripedia for DTaP, as well as Fluzone, Afluria, and three kinds of Fluvirin for flu, contain trace amounts of thimerosal, a preservative that contains deadly mercury. Tell the NYC Board of Health to repeal mandatory flu shots for preschoolers! If you live in New York, please take action today. If not, please educate yourself and your loved ones about the threat of mandatory flu vaccinations—what happens in NYC today could happen in your state tomorrow.
While the national media has been running that the use of psychotropic drugs in children has decreased based on a “sample study” of only 43,000 kids, the fact is, according to data obtained from IMS Health, the number of children 0-5 on psychiatric drugs has increased 42% since 2009. In 2012, there were 1,085,410 children aged 0-5 on psychiatric drugs, which is the highest the number has been in the last decade.
The number of children on Medicaid taking antipsychotic drugs has tripled in just ten years—and shockingly, many of them are under the age of three. Note that these are not just antidepressants, which are bad enough. We are talking about strong antipsychotic drugs. These are so strong that many adults stop taking them because of severe side effects. How can a three-year-old protect himself or herself from the toxic effects of these drugs on their undeveloped brains and bodies?
If you want your child to reach his or her maximum intellectual potential, the research is clear that plentiful intake of the omega-3 fat DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is essential. In the US, most kids get hardly any of this healthful fat, found primarily in seafood, in their diets, and may be missing out on this simple opportunity to boost brain performance. Low levels of the omega-3 fat DHA were associated with poorer reading, memory and behavioral problems in healthy school-aged children.
The Drugging of Our Children documentary details the devastating consequences of the excessive medicating of US children, with a focus on children who have been given the diagnosis of ADHD. Drugs prescribed for ADHD are "class 2" narcotics, regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a controlled substance because they can lead to dependence, heart attack, stroke, seizures and stunted growth; other mind-altering drugs commonly prescribed to kids can cause aggressive and violent behavior, suicide and more. The long-term effects of medicating children with mind-altering drugs during their key formative years are largely unknown, but likely devastating.
Doctors continue to prescribe a myriad of psychoactive drugs that have neither been properly studied nor proved to be effective. Today, children are being prescribed these stimulant drugs at an alarming rate. No one stops to consider the effects of diet and nutrition on a growing child's mental health. I have always marveled at the power of Big Pharma. They can take a dangerous class of medications—stimulants—which are addictive and prone to serious adverse effects, and convince both doctors and parents they are safe to give to children.
A recent article in the New York Daily News highlighted study findings that a steady consumption of diet soda can result in the same type of tooth decay and erosion as that caused by methamphetamines and crack cocaine. Soda, whether regular or diet, has no positive place in a healthy diet. There’s simply no reason to ever give your child soda.
by Vera Sharav
Alliance for Human Research Protection
FYI / Action
A public meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, January 14-15, to be held at the University of Miami Hospital Seminar Center, Florida:
The stated topic for discussion is “ethical issues associated with the development of […]