Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

29 September 2015

Effects of Acute Exposure to WIFI Signals (2.45 GHz) on Heart Variability and Blood Pressure in Albinos Rabbit

"These results suggest for the first time, as far as we know, that exposure to WIFI affect heart rhythm, blood pressure, and catecholamines efficacy on cardiovascular system; indicating that radiofrequency can act directly and/or indirectly on cardiovascular system."

Effects of Acute Exposure to WIFI Signals (2.45 GHz) on Heart Variability and Blood Pressure in Albinos Rabbit
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 40(2):600-605. September 2015. doi:10.1016/j.etap.2015.08.01.

Saili, Hanini, Smirani, et al.

Highlights

• ECG and arterial pressure measurements were studied under acute exposures to WIFI.
• Acute exposure of rabbits to WIFI increased heart frequency and arterial blood pressure.
• WIFI affect catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine) efficacy on cardiovascular system.
• Radiofrequency can act directly and/or indirectly on cardiovascular system.

Abstract

Electrocardiogram and arterial pressure measurements were studied under acute exposures to WIFI (2.45 GHz) during one hour in adult male rabbits. Antennas of WIFI were placed at 25 cm at the right side near the heart.

Is Anyone in Your Family Electrosensitive?

We liked this post on Mike Gerard's blog which is dedicated to aviation-related events around Geneva airport.

Mike writes, "EMF stress is surely something about which we should all be concerned, especially for our children (and grandchildren)."

Is anyone in your family electrosensitive?
by Mike Gerard, Tribune de Genève blog "Aviation Anecdotes", 1st June 2014

On 28 December of last year the paper "Le Matin" talked about electromagnetic effects and how they affected one sensitive person.

One specific person was said to have found that he is so sensitive to electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions that he gets migraines, sleepless nights, buzzing in the ears and other health problems when exposed to them. It was stated that whilst in France it is possible to consider the creation of "white zones", in Switzerland there is no recognition of this illness. The official statement of the Swiss public health office is that there is no scientific basis to prove its existence.

‘Zapping in Head’ from Mobiles Led Son to Kill Himself

A talented Oxford graduate killed himself because he was tortured by an allergy to mobile phones, an inquest heard.  Tragic violinist Michael Nield, 36, suffered from a condition called electro-sensitivity, which caused a painful reaction to all sources of electric fields including mobile phones and phone masts.  Michael's mother: “Unless people have electrosensitivity they just don’t realise what sort of effects it has."

‘Zapping in head’ from mobiles led son to kill himself
by Cambridge News, 6 November 2012

A university graduate committed suicide after a lengthy battle with a sensitivity to mobile phones, an inquest heard.

Oxford graduate Michael Nield suffered with electro sensitivity – the term used to describe someone who has an unhealthy sensitivity to a particular source of electricity.

In Michael’s case it was mobile phones and phone masts. He had to sleep with a microfibre tent over his bed to reduce the radiation.

He sometimes even had to wear a micromesh body suit when he was out, and his parents, Clive and Barbara, had to move from their home in Herefordshire to the small village of Wardy Hill, near Ely, where there was less exposure to mobiles and phone masts.

28 September 2015

Electrosensitivity - Has Society Lost Its Moral Compass?

Electrosensitivity - Has Society Lost Its Moral Compass?
Posted by Stop Smart Meters Australia, 10 October 2014

An ignored emerging global health, civic and human rights crisis

The following article raises some fundamental issues about how electrosensitive people are being treated around the world and is likely to become a burgeoning issue for Governments, health officials and the general public.

http://mieuxprevenir.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/the-electrosensitive-when-waves-ravage.html

While a number of countries recognize EHS (Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity) Australian authorities including government ministers, ACMA, ARPANSA and the Chief Health Officer of Victoria are using the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) claim that EHS is not a medical diagnosis as an excuse for inaction. This inaction is further demonstrated by many of the aforementioned parties continued refusal to formally investigate whether smart meters are causing Victorian’s to experience health issues. Instead technical studies are performed using Australia’s inadequate RF standards as a defensive wall to validate their claims of safety and appear to be hoping that if they ignore electrosensitives for long enough, they will simply ‘go away’.

With some scientists such as Örjan Hallberg and Gerd Oberfeld suggesting that up to 50% of the population could have EHS by 2017, this is not an issue that is likely to ever go away especially as wireless devices are become more pervasive in our everyday lives.

27 September 2015

Electrosensitivity: A Distinct Illness: Interview with Professor Dominique Belpomme

Prof. Belpomme reminds us of the recommendation
not to use a cell phone during pregnancy.
Electrosensitivity:  A Distinct Illness  
Interview by Johanna Amselem, faire-face.fr,
11 September 2015 (translated from French by the Editor of this blog)

The courts have just recognized the existence of a handicap linked to electrosensitivity to magnetic waves.  The symptoms are real but the cause has not yet been scientifically established.  For Professor Belpomme, cancer specialist and member of the Association for Research on Treatment Against Cancer (ARTAC), it is a distinct illness.

"According to the description of the afflicted persons, the physical disorders are due to an excessive sensitivity to ambient electromagnetic waves and fields":  this is the definition of electrosensitivity proposed by the 2016 edition of Larousse.  While the court has just recognized hypersensitivity to magnetic waves as a serious handicap, experts are still divided on this subject.  In 2013, ANSES issued a report in which it estimated that exposure to electromagnetic waves could provoke certain biological effects but that actual scientific data were not showing health effects.  For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized in 2005 that electrosensitivity was "characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual" and "are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity".  Prof. Belpomme treats those who suffer from it.  He expresses his opinion.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity - An Increasing Challenge to the Medical Profession

"It seems necessary to give an International Classification of Diseases to EHS to get it accepted as EMF-related health problems. The increasing exposure to RF-EMF in schools is of great concern and needs better attention. Longer-term health effects are unknown. Parents, teachers, and school boards have the responsibility to protect children from unnecessary exposure."

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity - an increasing challenge to the medical profession

Rev Environ Health. 2015 Sep 15. pii: /j/reveh.ahead-of-print/reveh-2015-0012/reveh-2015-0012.xml. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2015-0012. [Epub ahead of print]

Hedendahl L, Carlberg M, Hardell L.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
In 1970, a report from the former Soviet Union described the "microwave syndrome" among military personnel, working with radio and radar equipment, who showed symptoms that included fatigue, dizziness, headaches, problems with concentration and memory, and sleep disturbances. Similar symptoms were found in the 1980s among Swedes working in front of cathode ray tube monitors, with symptoms such as flushing, burning, and tingling of the skin, especially on the face, but also headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and photosensitivity. The same symptoms are reported in Finns, with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) being attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). Of special concern is involuntary exposure to radiofrequency (RF)-EMF from different sources. Most people are unaware of this type of exposure, which has no smell, color, or visibility. There is an increasing concern that wireless use of laptops and iPads in Swedish schools, where some have even abandoned textbooks, will exacerbate the exposure to EMF.

18 September 2015

Can Excessive Use of Wi-Fi, Gadgets, Trigger Headaches, Allergies?

The Indian government has adopted one of the strictest
global safety norms for EMF
Can excessive use of Wi-Fi, gadgets, trigger headaches, allergies?
indileak.com, 12 September 2015

Kolkata: Should you worry about ‘wireless allergies’?

Addressed with skepticism by most, the term electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or wireless allergy or gadget allergy, is ascribed to a range of non-specific symptoms like headache and fatigue apparently due to heavy use of wireless communicating devices, especially those that emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Common sources of this Wi-Fi tsunami include mobile phone signals, Wi-Fi hotspots, Wi-Fi enabled devices like tabs, cellphones, laptops and a plethora of other gadgets.

16 September 2015

An Overlooked Factor in the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

An Overlooked Factor in the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
by Krysteena Stephens, M.A., IMFT and Victoria L. Dunckley M.D,
23 December 2013

Is an overlooked source of childhood obesity staring us in the face?

According to the American Heart Association(link is external), 1 in 3 children are considered overweight or obese, topping issues like smoking and substance abuseas the number one pediatric healthconcern today in the United States. Why is it that childhood obesity has tripled(link is external)in the last 30 years? When considering this question, factors like larger portion sizes, growing fast food chains, the decrease of nutritional value in food, and lack of physical activity come to mind. But is there another environmental issue being overlooked? One that’s relatively easy to modify?

Trends(link is external) in the obesity rate began a steady upward climb in the early to mid-seventies. Likewise, the first home gaming systems were released in the early 1970’s and we’ve been flooded with new screen developments ever since. Today, children and adolescents spend an average of nearly 8 hours a day(link is external) using devices such as computers, televisions, video game consoles, cell phones, and tablets—time that could easily be replaced with outdoor play, sports, and interpersonal activities. An emerging body of research points toward a strong association between screen-time and the development of obesity and other metabolic changes. Let’s take a look at some potential explanations behind this relationship:

15 September 2015

New Approach Needed to Deliver on Technology's Potential in Schools

New approach needed to deliver on technology’s potential in schools
OECD, 15 September 2015

View the OECD's infographic here.

15/09/2015 - Schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give every student the skills they need in today’s connected world, according to the first OECD PISA assessment of digital skills.

“Students, Computers and Learning: Making The Connection” says that even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science.

Computers 'Do Not Improve' Pupil Results, Says OECD

"I think people with budgets who are looking for magic bullet solutions have been focused on [technology] far too much. I think now it's up to teachers and schools to reclaim what we actually need in the classroom - rather than what people want to sell us.": British government's expert on pupil behaviour, 
Tom Bennett.

Computers 'do not improve' pupil results, says OECD
by Sean Coughlan, Education correspondent,
BBC, 15 September 2015

Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils' performance, says a global study from the OECD.

The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.

The OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised "too many false hopes".

Tom Bennett, the government's expert on pupil behaviour, said teachers had been "dazzled" by school computers.

14 September 2015

The Emerging Link between Wireless and Autism

The Emerging Link between Wireless and Autism
clearlightventures.com, 11 September 2015

Wireless radiation and chemical toxins are now being studied to determine if they play a role in rising autism rates. The concept that autism is a permanent genetic condition came into question after a study of identical twins at Stanford in 2011. The researchers concluded that genetics alone could only account for less than half of the condition.

Harvard’s Dr. Martha Herbert has been presenting a new model of autism as a state of overload that comes from many factors affecting the entire body and not just the brain (“total load” theory). In 2013, Dr. Herbert and wireless expert Cindy Sage published a paper that outlined a wide range of autism symptoms that match known symptoms of wireless exposure, including genetic damage to sperm, calcium channel mutations, and inflammation. It is important for parents to understand that the wireless signals our electronic devices send and receive are a form of microwave radiation and these signals are known to disrupt calcium.

13 September 2015

The Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on Man

The effects of electromagnetic fields on man
by Pierre Dubochet, Forum Sécurité, no.1, May 2015
(translated from French by the Editor of this blog)

Since the use of microwave emitters in the 1930's, we have observed biological effects. In some cases, harmless, in others, dangerous.

At the end of the 1960's, microwave experts from Eastern Europe produced a document showing that exposure of workers and members of the military to microwaves at non-thermal levels for many years results in, among others: fatigue, irritability, headaches, nausea, change in heart rate, hypo- and hypertension, somnolence, insomnia, troubles concentrating, skin allergies, increase in numbers of lymphocytes, perturbation of the electroencephalogram, and damage to sense organs.

Exactly the afflictions a growing percentage of people are now complaining about! NASA translated this text under the title "Biological Effect of Microwaves in Occupational Hygiene" in 1970. With "Biologic Effects and Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation", WHO took the same direction in 1973, emphasizing the cumulative nature of received doses. Science has proven that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) of microwaves below thermal thresholds leads to functional alterations, at times disabling, at times dangerous.

From the moon to the mobile phone

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota on Electromagnetic Field Radiation

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota  has an excellent newsletter on EMF, "The Weekly Buzz on EMF Radiation", a weekly roundup of news and opinions about EMF radiation and its environmental health implications.  To sign up for and view the EMF newsletter, click here.

Electromagnetic Field Radiation (EMF)

Common sources of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation exposures include: WiFi routers, cell phones, smart meters, cell phone towers, and baby monitors. Some devices emit radiation more frequently, and at higher levels, than others do.

On the one hand, these wireless technologies are convenient for many people and highly profitable for certain industries; and on the other hand they are harming people's health and can be torturous and/or disabling for those who are extremely sensitive to EMF.

For those who are not aware of when they are being harmed by EMF, it is sometimes hard to conceptualize how radiation from something as seemingly innocuous as a smart meter can be harmful.

12 September 2015

Hypersensitivity to Wi-Fi... Could It Be a Disability?

"If courts do begin to recognize EHS as an ADA disability, the big question will be whether affected people can be reasonably accommodated, especially in a world full of WiFi and the ever-growing Internet of Things."

Hypersensitivity to WiFi... could it be a disability?
by Alexis Kramer, bna.com, 
10 September 2015

Sure, WiFi is everywhere – but can it be harmful to your health?

Courts and other government bodies are grappling with precisely that question. The answer is very important for employers who must make “reasonable accommodations,” and public entities that are required to make “reasonable modifications,” for people with recognized disabilities.

The phenomenon is called “electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome,” or EHS. Symptoms vary, but they most commonly include fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness, nausea, burning sensations and rashes – all allegedly brought on by exposure to electromagnetic fields. The fields are all around us – not just from wireless Internet networks, but also from high voltage power lines, radio and television broadcasting stations, mobile devices, video display units, microwaves, automated highway toll systems and even fluorescent lights.

11 September 2015

Mother Who Kept Her Phone in Her Bra Every Day for 10 Years Is Convinced It Caused Her Terminal Breast Cancer

Ms. Holt was diagnosed with inflam-
matory breast cancer, a rare form of
the disease, and underwent chemo-
therapy.  The cancer returned in her
lungs and lymph nodes earlier this year.
Please heed this warning about keeping cell phones in bras from the Environmental Health Trust:

1. Cellphones are two-way microwave radios that should not be kept directly on the body.
2. The soft fatty tissue of the breast readily absorbs this radiation.
3. Case Reports are accumulating of young women with no family history getting a diagnosis of breast cancer. The tumors were unusually located directly underneath the skin where they placed their cell phones in their bra.
4. Doctors voice this precautionary advice: Women should not store their cell phones in their bra.

Mother who kept her phone in her bra every day for 10 YEARS is convinced it caused her terminal breast cancer
by Anna Hodgekiss for Mail Onlin, 9 September 2015

- Wendy Holt, 51, kept her phone in her bra so it would be within easy reach
- Was devastated to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer
- Says radiation from her phone caused it as she has no history of cancer
- The cancer has returned to her lymph nodes and she may not live past 53


A mother-of one believes keeping her mobile phone in her bra every day for a decade gave her terminal breast cancer.

Wendy Holt, 51, from Bracknell, Berkshire, fell into a habit of keeping her phone in her bra when she went out so it would be within easy reach.

However she now believes radiation from her phone was to blame for her breast cancer diagnosis in 2012, as she had no family history of the disease.

10 September 2015

20 Organisations Complain to the European Commission about the SCENIHR 2015 Opinion

20 Organisations Complain to the European Commission about the SCENIHR 2015 Opinion
by EMFacts, 9 September 2015

From the International EMF Alliance:

The Complaint from 20 organisations to the European Commission about the SCENIHR 2015 opinion on health effects from electromagnetic fields was sent on September 2, 2015 to Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Director General Xavier Pratsmonne, Deputy Director General Martin Seychell, Director John F. Ryan, Mr Stefan Schreck. We encourage you to post the complaint on your websites and send it to your national and European political representatives. We also encourage you to inform journalists and the media about the inacceptable biased expert report on EMF health effects from the European Commission. This has been going on for years, it has to stop. The experts behind the SCENIHR report are not representative of the scientific expertise in the field. They only represent the industry friendly single side of the expertise, in well known contrast to the opinion of a large and increasing number of scientists in the EMF scientific arena.

Cyprus: ‘Technology Harming Our Children’ MPs Say

Studies show that children and teenagers spend 78% of
their free time on laptops, phones and other
electronic devices.
‘Technology harming our children’ MPs say
by Andria Kades, cyprus-mail.com, 
10 September 2015

Lawmakers yesterday discussed what Greens leader Giorgos Perdikis called damning evidence of psychological and physical effects on children from using mobile phones, tablets, laptops and Wi-Fi.

Speaking after a session of the House environment committee, Perdkis said the Green Party would be tabling the issue to the House for a reduction to the acceptable limit for electromagnetic radiation.

An EU Council Recommendation in 1999 limits the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields from 0Hz to 300 GHz.

Perdikis said that based on the evidence, children and teenagers should be banned from using such technology, and went as far as to say that it was criminal to allow children to access electronic devices.

He recommended a series of measures such as banning the use of mobile phones to minors, not building primary schools and nurseries near mobile phone antennas, and axing Wi-Fi at schools.

09 September 2015

United Kingdom: How the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is Providing Relief for People with Dementia

Taking a bow at the BUDI orchestra summer
2014 concert.
I fell on this article by chance when looking for the 2015 Bournemouth University study on dementia.  It particularly speaks to me as a musician playing piano for persons afflicted with dementia.  Their response to the music - singing, tapping feet and hands, dancing - is wonderful to see.

Breakthroughs in Bournemouth: how the BSO is providing relief for people with dementia
by Harry T. White, The Guardian, 
22 June 2015

A new initiative launched by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth University is providing support to people living with dementia and their carers – with moving results

Fifteen months ago, Pam Winter’s husband Richard, now 75, was diagnosed with dementia. The couple, who live in Bournemouth, were enjoying an active retirement; they were season ticket-holders to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and had a wide network of friends. But Richard’s diagnosis and the development of his illness were the catalyst for a dramatic change.

08 September 2015

Wearable Devices for Pets Set to Grow Into a Multibillion Dollar Market

Wearable devices for pets set to grow into a multibillion dollar market
by Aaron Saltzman, CBC News,
7 September 2015

Helicopter pet owners use devices to check in on Fido
Forget the FitBit. Ignore the Apple Watch. The hottest new wearable devices aren't worn by humans, they're for our pets.

Dozens of exhibitors showed off the latest technology for four-legged friends at this summer's "We Are Wearables" conference in Toronto. And the market is growing quickly: Sales of the devices are expected to reach an estimated $2.6 billion US by 2025.

"You can track activity of a dog — their sleep habits and patterns — you can even eventually feed a dog remotely through your phone," Zayn Jaffer of BestBuy, which carries some of the devices, told CBC News.

Take the FitBark.

Brain Cancer and Cell Phones Addressed By U.S. House of Representatives

Brain Cancer and Cell Phones Addressed By U.S. House of Representatives
posted by RFSAFE on Youtube, 7 September 2015

Capitol Hill better act fast as it continues to overlook cell phone radiation is most likely the source for America’s surge in Brain cancer among politicians who have died at alarming rates since the explosion of wireless communications.

It only took one Google search to reveal 23 potential political occupational brain tumor victims that have died since 1995, the source itself makes a disclaimer it is still incomplete from 1922-2010. The list separated for comparison (1995) is the year RF Safe’s Founder last held his daughter as a result of a birth defect attributed to RF Radiation exposure.

That’s at least 23 political figures in 15 years that have died from brain cancer during the vast expansion into the wireless age we live today.


07 September 2015

Kazakh Factory Produces School Uniforms that Protect from Cell Phone Radiation

New school uniform that protects from mobile phone
radiation.  Photo source:  Khabar.kz
[This could become a big business for companies, but why not just keep cell phones switched off and install wired Internet connections in schools?]

Kazakh Factory Produces School Uniforms that Protect from Cell Phone Radiation
by Kamila Zhumabayeva in NATION / astanatimes.com, 7 September 2015

ASTANA – One domestic factory is sewing clothing for school pupils that manufacturers believe protects wearers from the electromagnetic radiation of mobile phones, Khabar.kz reported Aug. 17. The approximate price for the new uniform is 15,000 tenge (US$62).

“Kids nowadays are very tech savvy and spend too much time with their phones,” Aigul Naushabayeva, mother of a 12-year-old daughter, told The Astana Times.

She thinks this type of uniform will definitely be in demand for parents who want their children to be protected from the harmful effects of mobile phones. “Children should wear such uniforms as health is priceless,” she added.

04 September 2015

International Scientific Declaration on Electrohypersensitivity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Press Release and Statement


PRESS RELEASE

International Scientific Declaration on Electrohypersensitivity and 
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 


The WHO is invited by scientists to recognize Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) as genuine pathological entities including them in the International Classification of Diseases


Paris, September 4 th 2015, 

Following the fifth Paris Appeal congress, which took place on the 18th of May, 2015, the attending European, American and Canadian scientists unanimously decided to create a working group and to write a Common International Declaration to request an official recognition of these new diseases and of their sanitary consequences worldwide. 

The declaration calls upon national and international bodies and institutions and particularly the WHO, for taking urgently their responsibility for recognizing electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as real diseases, including them in the International Classification of Diseases. 

03 September 2015

When Gadgets (Allegedly) Cause Allergies

"Although [EHS] is not recognised in the UK, it is a possibility that it may be taken more seriously following the ruling."

When Gadgets (Allegedly) Cause Allergies

posted by Unlock the Law, 3 September 2015

A French court recently formally recognised that a health condition associated with exposure to gadgets and laptops, called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), is a disability (albeit not an illness). The result is that Marine Richard, a former radio producer who suffers from the condition, has been granted a disability allowance of around £580 a month.

WHAT IS EHS?

The Academy for Radiation Protection and Environmental Medicine, Geovital, define the condition as: 'a physiological condition, which is characterised by neurological and physiological symptoms which flare or intensify when, or after, the exposure to electric fields and electromagnetic radiation.'

EHS has been classified as an occupational disease in Sweden and Germany. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises EHS as a condition only, and does not link the condition to electromagnetic exposure.

United Kingdom: Sir Michael Wilshaw: "Any Head Worth Their Salt Should Stand Up and Ban Mobiles"

Mobile phones have become a common classroom feature.
Photo:  John Lewis
Sir Michael Wilshaw: 'Any head worth their salt should stand up and ban mobiles'
by Javier Espinoza, Education Editor, The Telegraph, 29 August 2015

As the new academic year begins, the head of Ofsted [The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills] calls for more comprehensives to instil order and a 'grammar school ethos'

Mobile phones should be banned in secondary schools in an effort to raise standards, the chief inspector of schools has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw called for more comprehensives to implement a“grammar school ethos” and also take the lead of independent schools where pupils stand when teachers enter a classroom.

The Decline of Play in Preschoolers - and the Rise in Sensory Issues

(iStock)
[There is no mention here of use of mobile technology as being one of the major causes of sensory, motor and cognitive issues plaguing children today.  Shame on this child health care provider!]

"We are consistently seeing sensory, motor, and cognitive issues pop up more and more in later childhood, partly because of inadequate opportunities to move and play at an early age."

The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues.
by Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, 1st September 2015

Here is a new post from pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, author of a number of popular posts on this blog, including “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today,” as well as “The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class” and “How schools ruined recess.” Hanscom is the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England.

by Angela Hanscom

I still recall the days of preschool for my oldest daughter. I remember wanting to desperately enrich her life in any way possible – to give her an edge before she even got to formal schooling. I put her in a preschool that was academic in nature – the focus on pre-reading, writing, and math skills. At home, I bought her special puzzles, set up organized play dates with children her age, read to her every night, signed her up for music lessons, put her in dance, and drove her to local museums. My friends and I even did “enrichment classes” with our kids to practice sorting, coloring, counting, numbers, letters, and yes….even to practice sitting! We thought this would help prepare them for kindergarten.