Health Canada has recalled Loki Lemur and Neon Loki Lemur plush toys in various colours, from Specialty Toys Direct.
Before you plan that detox on the heels of the holiday binge, read this. You may want to sit down first. According to a British complementary medicine professor, the whole concept of a detoxification—whereby nasty toxins are flushed out of your body—is a con.
"There are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t,” says the Exeter University professor, Edzard Ernst. While there is merit to a detox program for drug addicts, the other variety is simply a "a bogus treatment."
The professor claims that, generally speaking, our bodies don't need detoxing. After all, if our organs up and quit filtering out toxins, then we'd be dead or at least on death's door. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” says Ernst. “There is no known way—certainly not through detox treatments—to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”
In 2009, a network of UK scientists rounded up 15 detox products—everything from "dietary supplements to smoothies and shampoos." But when grilled about which toxins exactly were being flushed out, manufacturers went mum. They had no scientific proof to back the claims on the back of the box. Ditto for colonic procedures, many of which Ernst alleges are dubious bordering on dangerous.
You only have to look at the shelves of health food stores and pharmacies to see that the detox market is booming, in part because we want to believe in unicorn and mermaids, even though we've never seen them. Pills, teas, face masks, bath products... These products retain their lustre because we want to reach for an easy remedy to purge ourselves of residual pig-out guilt. And manufacturers of detox elixirs are getting minted on our gullibility.
A Dietitian's Advice: Why You Should Let Yourself Indulge Over The Holidays
Indulge in December? Don't worry. Just gulp this down in January and all is forgiven. It's the allure of the clean slate. And sure, you'll probably feel noticeably better (and you may even drop a size) from subbing junk and booze for fruits and vegetables. Your liver will thank you, if only for giving it a breather. But don't kid yourself into thinking you've somehow worked magic.
There's nothing wrong with aiming for a healthier lifestyle, just recognize it for what it is—and what it isn't.
This Toronto dad is a superstar. But when he helped put a sexual predator behind bars, he claims he was just doing what we all should do to keep our kids safe online. In case you missed it, Cliff Ford was in the practice of monitoring his 12-year-old daughter's social media accounts. When he noticed an email entitled "Hey sexy" from someone she'd met in a chatroom, he took over for the next three days.
Posing as his daughter, Ford began corresponding long enough to fish around and uncover the man's identity and proof of sexual exploitation, ultimately leading to a 22-year jail sentence. Turns out, the 30-year-old Ohio man belonged to an online child pornography ring. Busted!
5 Tips for Families to Use Tech Safely and Responsibly
"We had these rules in place for just this type of situation," Ford said. "Parents can be empowered and can watch out for their kids. It's simple steps that they can do that'll make sure that their kids are safe online."
Simple, yet how many of us pay close enough attention? The 'what ifs' are enough to make your skin crawl. What if that email had somehow slipped past Ford that day? What if his daughter had revealed personal information or images of herself?
It's unthinkable how this dad kept it together long enough without wanting to jump through the screen and throttle the man. He stayed cool even though this guy was sending disgusting messages and even images of himself masturbating to Ford's young daughter.
Though it played out well in Ford's case, parents are cautioned against having direct engagement with online predators, which is best handled by specialist police units. It's a good idea to take screen shots, save incriminating messages and any information that could prove vital in an investigation.
Bill Belsey, the creator of Bullying.org and Cyberbullying.org, says Ford was on the right track. Rather than banning or blocking or snooping around his kids' online accounts, he kept an open policy, sharing access to logins and passwords because the internet is a "privilege not a right."
Kids who don't comply, lose access to smartphones and the internet—period.
Some telltale signs that a child is being harassed online are available here. Always keep the lines of communication open and make kids aware of tactics used by predators so they know what sexploitation looks like before it happens.
To report suspicious activity, parents are advised to submit a report to Cybertip.ca or call the police.