It's 2016, and we have self-driving cars and sleek phones that double as cameras. So why has no one has designed a better breast pump in the last 20 years?
That's the question one company has asked - and answered. With its new pump, Babyation vows to "revolutionize the way mothers pump milk." And goodness knows, a revolution is overdue.
When you consider that the pump was invented in 1854 (and wasn't used outside of hospitals), not a whole lot has changed since.
And yet modern moms - a huge proportion of whom work outside the home - increasingly rely on pumping as a means to feed their babies. The pumps on the market are often loud or cumbersome, and to use them working mothers must hide away in a cubby.
So what gives?
At last the pump is getting with the times. Babyation's prototype fits discreetly under clothing, using a shield that sits inside your bra, obviating the need to whip out your breasts in said cubby.
Plus, the pump is completely customizable and controllable via a smart phone app.
The Kickstarter campaign has already met its $50,000 goal, so expect this dream to become a reality next year. As with any "revolutionary" product, though, moms can expect to pay a premium.
The new, game-changing pump will cost *brace yourself* around $584. But for some moms that is a small price to pay to have the Rolls Royce of breast pumps at your disposal.
Despite Health Canada's warnings, one in five kids under the age of six are still given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, according to a recent study.
Federal guidelines were issued on children's cold meds since October 2009, yet two years later researchers reported a mere four percent drop in the number of parents giving the remedies to young children - even though such meds were possibly ineffective and potentially harmful.
Published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, the study of more than 1,000 children aged between one and five years in the Greater Toronto Area found that younger parents as well as families with older children were most likely to be dispensing the cold medicines to children under six.
Over-the-counter cold meds for kids aren't mere sugary syrups. They usually contain a mix of antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants and acetaminophen. These ingredients can cause side-effects like heart palpitations and high blood pressure, and in cases where an incorrect or overlapping dose is administered, children could suffer seizures or fall into a coma.
In some cases, the sedating effect of the medication can prove lethal.
"We know these medications are harmful," said lead researcher and pediatrician at St. Michael's Hospital, Dr. Jonathon Maguire.
"We know they're not recommended for use in children. We also know a lot of families seek them because, let's face it, when your child is sick with a cough and cold, it's a really tough time and parents are grasping for solutions for relief."
When your child is sick, you'll do almost anything to make them feel better. As a parent there's that feeling of urgency and desperation. You want to fix whatever's ailing your kiddo and have it gone already.
Given the findings of the study, though, many parents out there either aren't reading the labels or else they're actively ignoring them, which is a risky business.
Health officials would like to see cold medicines held behind the pharmacy counter, and more prominent warnings on packaging - two suggestions that make a whole lot of sense.
Clearly we all need to take a bit more time and care when doling out meds of any kind to our kids. Just getting the dose or the timing wrong could have health implications far worse than a barking cough or a scratchy throat.
What's your family's idea of a fun vacation? An all-inclusive resort with a kids' club... Long, lazy days by the pool, and maybe - for the really adventurous - day excursions in a rental car.
For an Australian couple, the ultimate family trip had to be both carbon-neutral and totally free. In other words, it involved cycling 6,000 kilometres and surviving only on the foods they foraged for themselves. That means wild plants, fish and *ahem* road kill.
Before you ask, Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman are not twentysomething backpackers with a wanderlust. They set out not only with their two young children in tow, but also with their Jack Russell terrier, Zero. The family dog was a key player as it turns out, since it was he who hunted - and in turn frequently fed - the family its dinner.
The trip took 14 months, and was clearly not for the fainthearted.
"I guess what we wanted to do is take our permaculture activism and our principles, through reading and studying permaculture and enacting it, and try to apply it to the road," said Jones.
When describing the adventure, Jones lamented the fact that in previous times people had a "far greater ecological literacy," being able to use the plants in their area for medical and nutritional purposes.
Incredibly, by the end of the trip the family had compiled the names and practical uses of 250 plants.
The couple is hoping that its example will persuade others to consider their own carbon footprint. "People look at how we are living and think it’s kind of extreme, but they don’t see that driving a car is extreme," said Ulman.
This trip wasn't a one-off. The family practices what they preach year long, by growing their own food and showering just once a week.
Radical though it may be, I can't help but think this family is onto something. While most of us are too lazy to leave behind our couch and our Netflix for a whole year, we could all take a leaf (no pun) out of this couple's book and try similar feats on a much less grand scale.
Even us city dwellers could do with harvesting more of our own food, at least during the mild months. We could teach our kids the names and features of plants around us so they learn that not everything that heals comes in pill format.
For a weekend, we could venture outside the city with nothing but a backpack and pedal power at our disposal.
I draw the line at road kill, though. Fortunately, it being Canada, a Timmies is never too far away.
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