Crib notes

Crib notes: Merit badges for all! Girl Scouts create prosthetic hand for tot

April 26, 2011 at 10:45 AM ET

A group of impressive Girl Scouts is doing a whole lot more than selling cookies. A troop of mini-MacGyverettes developed a prosthesis using plastic, foam and Velcro for a 3-year old girl who was born without fingers. The device has allowed the toddler to do everything from holding a fork and spoon to brushing her teeth for the first time. Their innovation won them a $20,000 prize, which they will use to patent their life-changing device. They should probably go ahead and start filling out their Ivy League scholarship applications while they're at it.

Womb for rent - nine month leases, inquire within. While the U.S. may be outsourcing more jobs overseas, one new industry seems to be thriving here - the international surrogacy industry. Couples from Europe and Latin America (often from countries that outlaw surrogacy) are increasingly turning to American women to serve as surrogates. A few states, including Illinois, Arkansas, California and Massachusetts have capitalized on this trend and allow paid contracts for surrogates.

"Good common sense tells us you don't tie children to a chair." So said Director-General Sharyn O'Neill of Australia's Department of Education. It would appear though that one Australian teacher wasn't granted that good common sense and now stands accused of tying a 5-year-old boy to a chair in front of his classmates. Public humiliation? Yes. Borderline corporal punishment? Yes. Teacher of the Year? Definitely not.

When it comes to risky behavior, obese teens are normal teenagers. A recent study shows that extremely obese teens are just as likely as healthy-weight teens to engage in risky behaviors like drinking, doing drugs and having suicidal thoughts. Researchers had expected to find that the extremely obese youth would be more socially isolated and therefore less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, obese teens were actually more likely to smoke, and while obese girls were less likely to have sex, they were more likely to drink or do drugs beforehand when they did have intercourse.

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.

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