Tag Archives: early life and childhood

Early Life and Childhood/Youth Prompt 1

Parents or parents-to-be are vulnerable consumers, same as everyone else. There are many unnecessary or unsafe products being marketed towards them. I do not have kids at this point in my life so I had never really thought about this issue, but in reading the articles there is a surprising amount of unnecessary practices and products being marketed to parents. For example, in the medical field, childbirth is stereotyped as this painful, scary process, but it is not always like that. There is also a pressure on women to do a cesarean delivery rather than a vaginal delivery, and most hospitals do not give them an option if they have done a C-section on a previous birth. Most women do not know that, I certainly did not before reading the articles. I always thought a C-section was only if it was really necessary, but I was surprised to find how common a practice it is these days for something that is not needed in most cases. There are now people who post videos of their childbirth process to show that there are other options, and that it is a common thing that there is choice in.

Another example of parent consumer vulnerability was shown in the article The Cord Blood Controversy by Jeannette Moninger. The article details the new fad of parents having their baby’s stem cells frozen on the idea that if the worst happened then the stem cells could be used to help save their lives. The Dones family chose to do this for their newborn, and when the newborn was sick and needed the stem cells, the stem cells were found to have the same genetic defect the baby had and were thus unusable. The cord bank never mentioned to the Dones family that the cells could be diseased. They were taken advantage of through false advertising and fraud in this situation.

I believe parents and pre-parents should have information available to them and someone to talk to about their options. Those giving birth should know that C-sections are not generally necessary, and that doing one could prevent you from other birth options in the future. They should know that there is an option of home birth or that Washington allows consumers to choose the services of a certified midwife if they wish. Parents should also be aware of the dangers of products and services, nothing should be taken at face value. Parents should look into a product and see what they are actually getting before they commit to it.

Resources:

MacGregor, H. (2017). The birth of a trend: Posting childbirth videos online. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-birth-movies-20120809-story.html

Moninger, J. (2017). The Cord Blood Controversy. Parents. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy/

Roan, S. (2017). Birth options: More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html

Walden, R. (2017). CDC and Consumer Reports Track Cesarean Birth Rates. Our Bodies Ourselves. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/2014/06/ddc-consumer-reports-track-cesarean-birth-rates/

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Early Life and Childhood/Youth – Prompt 1

Being a mum-to-be I look closely at details when it comes to my unborn child. I look at safety and hazardous precautions as much as I can, given what is provided to me through labels and constant googling of things. In some way this to me confirms that people planning families are vulnerable to those selling them unneeded or unsafe stuff. For example, when I looked for best bottle recommendations or stroller recommendations you get a list of many. You find that some of the products are safe and some provide labels that are just beyond confusing to understand. So where does that leave you as a consumer? You then continue the search for every little thing on that label to ensure it is in fact safe and by the time you exalt all that energy into looking at every little speck on that label you finally just give in because well everyone is doing it. You see parents following the trends of what they see in the media or of others that surround them. You hope that people near and dear to them would give them great reviews of what are good and safe products, but those parents only know just as much if not a bit more than you because they’ve actually used the product. More and more products today are reaching the surface, but aren’t completely necessary; actually a lot are. In fact, I have come across many articles that find many products listed on registries unnecessary. In this society stuck in a media craze families are the most vulnerable audience to speak to because parents will do anything and everything to provide the best for their families. Even if that means getting them 20 different bottle sets, 3 different strollers, 2 types of car seats, 7 different pacifiers, 1 rocker, a bouncer and just about anything else you could imagine. Parents want to know that no matter what their child has it will be the best option in safety, preference and aesthetics. They want to know that they are giving their child the options while providing them what they think is the best in safety.

Early Life and Childhood

Prompt One: 

Parents are very vulnerable consumers. They want the best for their children and worry about their future. Companies and organizations feed on these fears, selling them ideas/products which are unneeded, do not work as intended and/or are downright harmful.

I believe that what parents want and what they often get, are different things. We have little to no regulation for DTC internet advertisements and companies can manipulate the truth and misrepresent information with very little liability. Today we have access to so much information thanks to the internet but only a small fraction of this is tested, verified and/or scientific.

When I was initially working through this material, I thought about the harmful ideas parents are sold by companies or groups regarding health products (perhaps it’s because I recently did a project on vaccination.)

Vaccination is a highly controversial consumer health item in the US. Many parents are choosing to opt out of childhood vaccination due to anxieties about vaccine safety, even though childhood vaccinations have been proven safe for the large majority through extensive testing.

A newborn is supposed to receive a Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine 12 hours after birth. HBV is a contagious disease spread through blood and other bodily fluids. Infants are at high risk of infection and 90% of them who contract the initial disease will develop lifelong symptoms, often resulting in liver cancer and cirrhosis (CDC, 2016). The disease is preventable only with vaccination which is 95% effective in averting HBV (NCIRD, n.d.).

So, why would a parent, who wants the best for their child refuse this vaccine? Ideas such as “vaccines cause autism” or “they inject your children with toxic chemicals” are being ‘sold’ to parents based on misrepresented or false data. It’s clear that any parent worried about vaccinations is thinking about their child’s health and their goal is to protect them from possible harm. But they are getting their information from the wrong sources and making important health issues based on the unscientific information.

In this example, what the parent wants; protect their child from injury, and what they are getting: false information meant to instill fear, are very different.

 

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). The ABCs of Hepatitis. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/resources/professionals/pdfs/abctable.pd

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention. The Pink Book-Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (pp. 149-174). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/hepb.pdf