The Check-Up: Hospitals Report Hurricane Baby Boom

Plus more of today’s top health and fitness headlines

• Ok, I know you’re probably sick of the hurricane news, but indulge me just this once: MSNBC has a story about East Coast hospitals reporting a baby boom during the storm, with several clocking double-digit deliveries over the weekend. Some people point to the drop in barometric pressure as the cause, but studies have found little or no links between the two. Experts say it’s more likely that expectant moms were just a bit more trigger happy than usual, heading off to the hospital—and delivering—earlier than the normally would have, given the weather conditions and forecasts. The best news in the whole story is buried near the end, though: reports of two baby girls named Irene, and one given Irene as a middle name. Awwww.

• And lest we leave out last week’s other nature-related oddity, here’s a story (picked up by the LA Times, of all places) about a Baltimore baby born during the earthquake.

• Moving on! The Inquirer had an interesting story over the weekend about fluoride levels in Pennsylvania drinking water. Apparently Philly’s all up to snuff on the stuff—for decades, the federal government has been recommending that communities add it to drinking water to help with dental health—but the rest of the state has been slow on the uptake. According to the article, only half of Pennsylvanians have access to fluoridated water, compared with 70 percent nationwide. And the article reports that some PA communities that were doing it in the past have stopped all together. I said yesterday that I’ve never had a cavity, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s due in part to all the fluoridated water I’ve swigged over the years. So it begs the the question: Why mess with a good thing? Isn’t this a no-brainer? And before you point to budgetary issues, blah blah blah, the article points out that for one community which recently voted to nix the added fluoride, it saved a measly $40,000 a year. Pardon the pun, but that’s hardly a drop in the bucket.