Skip to comments.Snow eating now endangered kid pleasure
Posted on 03/04/2008 1:53:50 PM PST by NormsRevenge
PITTSBURGH - To the list of simple childhood pleasures whose safety has been questioned, add this: eating snow. A recent study found that snow even in relatively pristine spots like Montana and the Yukon contains large amounts of bacteria.
Parents who warn their kids not to eat dirty snow (especially the yellow variety) are left wondering whether to stop them from tasting the new-fallen stuff, too, because of Pseudomonas syringae, bacteria that can cause diseases in bean and tomato plants.
But experts say there's no need to banish snow-eating along with dodgeball, unchaperoned trick-or-treating and riding a bike without a helmet.
"It's a very ubiquitous bacteria that's everywhere," says Dr. Penelope Dennehy, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on infectious diseases. "Basically, none of the food we eat is sterile. We eat bacteria all the time."
Children practically bathe in bacteria when they go to the playground, and Dennehy says they won't get anything from snow that they wouldn't get from dirt.
"We eat stuff that's covered with bacteria all the time, and for the most part it's killed in the stomach," says Dr. Joel Forman, a member of the pediatric academy's committee on environmental health. "Your stomach is a fantastic barrier against invasive bacteria because it's a very acidic environment."
There are exceptions. "Tiny kids on formula a lot of times don't have the acid in their stomachs," making them more vulnerable to bacteria in general, says Dr. Lynnette Mazur, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School. Also, Forman and Mazur say that Pseudomonas can be a threat to people with cystic fibrosis.
The study, published last week in the journal Science, didn't examine the effects on people. And "I can say that I'm not aware of any clinical reports of children becoming ill from eating snow. And I looked," Forman says.
In any case, because of ordinary air pollution in snow, it's probably wise not to eat a lot of the stuff, pediatricians say. For parents in search of guidance, Mazur offers this: Licking a little snow off a glove is probably OK. "A meal of snow" is not.
Some parents say they are not going to worry about their kids eating snow that looks clean.
"My snow-eating concerns are generally more of the dirt-urine variety," says Kristin Lang, 37, of Maplewood, N.J., whose 2-year-old son Charlie has swallowed his share of snow.
"When I heard bacteria, at first I went 'eew,'" says Tricia Sweeney, a mother of three in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. But as long as the kids eat snow as it's falling, "I think it's OK. I tell them not to eat it if it's on the ground."
I had an older brother. Sometimes I didn't have much choice in the matter.
I think there are more sickos that act on it because we are more urban, and thus:
(1) don’t have the same support structure (which lets the worst impulses take over) and, more importantly:
(2) people can more easily get away with stuff -— in a small villages, everyone knew who the wackos and the wacko families were
Serial killers started with large cities where people didn’t know their neighbors (jack the ripper, world’s fair, etc).
Well, I am 59 years old and I still like standing out in the snow trying to catch a snowflake on my tongue. It’s probably not a good idea to fill up on the stuff, but I am not going to worry about a little snow.
Don’t drink from creeks though....I’ve done that, only to find that the cattle were upstream. ;>)
The crux of the biscut is the Apostrophe(’)
And don’t forget all the traumatizing content on Sesame Street. We’re all ticking PTSD time bombs...
Bactrian Camels have to rely on eating snow as their only source of water during the winter in the Ghobi Desert.
However they only eat a small amount each day, less than their desirable intake, because they get sick if they eat any more.
looks like it's already caught up with the boyz
You had a tennis ball? Rich kid. j/k ;)
A great post, very nice reading. It’s nice to be reminded that imagination is wonderful. An ordinary stick could be anything, put on the mitt and you could be Whitey Ford or Mickey Mantle, or you name your childhood baseball hero.
This is not an old man rambling, digger, by damn, you struck a resonant chord.
Yep, living in Alabama now, not much chance of getting snow ice cream, but I sure would love a bowl full.
I loved that movie...:)
Looks like Jake has something going in his butt in THAT movie too
Yes. Dogs like to chew on cold things. Toss your dog an ice cube from time to time.
Damn straight they’re more noticeable.
50 years ago there were fewer Americans, by definition fewer wierdo Americans.
50 years ago a wierdo was local or state news. Today he is national news on the 24 hour news cycle, desperate for something to talk about.
There is a definite perception that there are more wierdos preying on kids than there used to be. As stated, I have seen no actual evidence that the perception reflects reality.
I guess so! :-)
Had snow ice-cream toady. Very good. We got 12 inches here in Arkansas. It was beautiful. It piled up 4 foot when it slid off the roof. Yea.