Health

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New Study May Stop Kids Eating Snow

March 09, 2008 08:43 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Research shows that children eating even the freshest snow are eating bacteria. The list of innocent but prohibited pleasures grows ever longer.

30-Second Summary

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According to a study in “Science,” even pristine white snow contains bacteria.

The study did not examine the health effects of eating snow. Indeed, the Associated Press interviewed a pediatrician, Joel Forman, who said he hadn’t found any reports of kids getting sick from catching snowflakes.

But if snow does prove dangerous to eat, it may become the latest in a litany of activities that children once enjoyed but are considered too dangerous today.

Gever Tulley founded the Tinkering School, a camp where kids can build things using tools that many parents would forbid them. He believes that children should play with fire, own pocket knives and throw spears, and argued his case in a lecture, “Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Child Do.”

“San Francisco Chronicle” writer Peter Hartlaub has bewailed the “wussification of American children” in his column. And Stacey Garfinkle of “The Washington Post” outlined the pressures children face that leave them with less time for recess and gym.

So, for those determined not to have their children cocooned by concerns for their safety, the University of Missouri Extension Office Web site carries a recipe for snow ice cream. It is made with milk or half-and-half, vanilla extract, sugar, salt and, it would seem, bacteria.

Whatever scientists decide about snow, the risks of eating it pale into insignificance when considered in the light of Radar Magazine’s most dangerous toys of all time list. Entries include an atomic energy lab from the 1950s that gave kids “very low-level” radioactive sources to play with, and a chewing doll that hurt children’s fingers.

Headline Link: ‘Snow Eating Now Endangered Kid Pleasure’

Opinion: Less scheduling, more ‘danger’

Reference: Books to get kids outside again

Related Topics: Snow recipes and really dangerous toys

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