Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
The Rise of Tablets as Textbooks
Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks. Welcome to the new digital bookcase, where traditional ink-and-paper textbooks have given way to iPads and book bags are getting lighter. (via Huffington Post)
CPS Sex Education: Nation’s Third Largest District Extending Lessons to Kindergarteners (VIDEO)
Is five years old too young to begin receiving sex education lessons? Last week, Chicago Public Schools’ Board of Education approved expanding expanding sexual education in their schools as a means of addressing the high rates of gonorrhea and Chlamydia cases among the city’s teens, as well as a teen HIV rate that has risen 43 percent since 2000, DNAinfo Chicago reports. (via Huffington Post)
New Video Game Detects Vision Problems in Children
Technology is changing the way we view the world, and the American education system is no exception. With as many as one in four children living with undiagnosed vision disorders that may be affecting their performance in school, it’s more important than ever for kids to get screened early. (via Fox News)
New Allergy Guidelines Advises Giving Babies Peanuts Earlier
An article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal highlights a new approach to combating food allergies: Introducing allergenic foods like peanut butter and eggs to babies as young as 4 to 6 months old, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. (via Fox News)
Parents to Congress: Police No Solution to Mental Illness
Liza Long’s son first went into the juvenile justice system at 11. He’s mentally ill, but the woman who wrote the viral Internet essay “I am Adam Lanza’s mother” told Congress the police are often the only authorities who can help deal with violent, mentally ill children. (via NBC News)
Rate of Caesarean Deliveries Varies Widely Across U.S.
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The rate of Caesarean deliveries, the most common operating-room procedure performed in the United States, varies drastically among hospitals across the country, a new study has found, ranging from 7 percent of all births at the hospital with the lowest share of Caesarean deliveries to 70 percent at the hospital with the highest rate. (via New York Times)
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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Indiana Teacher Gun Threat? Lake Station Teacher On Leave Over ‘Guns’ Message On Chalkboard
A northwest Indiana teacher is the subject of a police probe over a threatening message he scrawled on the chalkboard of his classroom. (via Huffington Post)
Transgender Student Rights Would Be Guaranteed Under Proposed California Law
A California lawmaker has introduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing transgender students the right to use public school restrooms and participate on the sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders. (via Huffington Post)
Mom’s Placenta Reflects Her Exposure to Stress and Impacts Offsprings’ Brains
According to a new study by a research group from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, if a mother is exposed to stress during pregnancy, her placenta translates that experience to her fetus by altering levels of a protein that affects the developing brains of male and female offspring differently. (via Science Daily)
Is Baby Still Breathing? Is Mom’s Obsession Normal?
A new Northwestern Medicine® study found that women who have recently given birth have a much higher rate of obsessive-compulsive symptoms than the general population. (via Science Daily)
U.S. Baby’s Cure From HIV Raises Hope, New Questions
The remarkable case of a baby being cured of HIV infection in the United States using readily available drugs has raised new hope for eradicating the infection in infants worldwide, but scientists say it will take a lot more research and much more sensitive diagnostics before this hope becomes a reality. (via Reuters)
Michelle Obama: I Don’t Talk About Weight With My Daughters
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Michelle Obama offered a peek inside the first family’s healthy habits on Monday, revealing there’s one thing they never talk about at home: weight. (via Today)
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Monday, March 4th, 2013
Study: Childhood ADHD May Lead to Troubles Later On
Nearly a third of people diagnosed as children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) still have the condition in adulthood, according to a large new study that also found they’re more likely to develop other mental disorders and to commit suicide. (via Reuters)
K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents
An education technology conference this week in Austin, Texas, will clang with bells and whistles as startups eagerly show off their latest wares. (via Reuters)
U.S. Baby’s HIV Infection Cured Through Very Early Treatment
A baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard HIV drugs, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims. (via Reuters)
Rewards Get Kids Active, But Don’t Improve Health
Children will meet activity goals to earn rewards, but the extra effort doesn’t necessarily affect their weight and health, according to a new study. (via FOX News)
Los Angeles Board Race Attracts National Attention and Money
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On Tuesday, voters in Los Angeles will go to the polls for a mayoral primary. But much of the attention will also be on the three races for the school board, a battle that involves the mayor, the teachers’ union and a host of advocates from across the country — including New York City’s billionaire mayor — who have poured millions of dollars into the races. (via New York Times)
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Friday, March 1st, 2013
Transgender Mississippi Student ‘Leah’ Supported by High School While Students Protest
Students at a Batesville, Miss. high school are protesting because they believe that a transgender classmate is receiving “special treatment.” As WLOX 13 reports, over 30 students at South Panola High School have vocalized their opposition to a transgender girl identified only as Leah, who has been allowed to wear female clothing. (via Huffington Post)
Zero Degrees? Time for Baby’s Outdoor Nap
American parents may think they’ve got the naptime drill down, ensuring that their infant is on her back with no loose covers or pillows, possibly in a sleep sack if it’s chilly. But Nordic parents add one element to the mix: fresh air, even in winter. (via Fox News)
BPA Exposure Linked to Asthma in Kids
The list of adverse health effects from BPA exposure continues to grow. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is commonly used to line food and beverage cans, and helps to keep plastics flexible, but studies suggest the compound can leach into the foods we eat. (via TIME)
No Clear Benefits for Kids’ Blood Pressure Checks
There’s no evidence that checking kids’ and teens’ blood pressure – and treating them if it’s high – can reduce their heart risks in adulthood, according to a new analysis. (via Reuters)
Eating Junk Food While Pregnant May Make Your Child a Junk Food Addict
Here’s another reason why a healthy diet during pregnancy is critical to the future health of your children: New research published in the March 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests that pregnant mothers who consume junk food actually cause changes in the development of the opioid signaling pathway in the brains of their unborn children. (via Science Daily)
Action Video Games Boost Reading Skills of Children with Dyslexia Study Suggests
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Much to the chagrin of parents who think their kids should spend less time playing video games and more time studying, time spent playing action video games can actually make dyslexic children read better. (via Science Daily)
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
While there are countless perks that come with being a new mother, it’s no secret that forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and a foggy brain are often some of the unwelcome consequences! Doctors explain that a lack of sleep, a need to learn new skills, and a concoction of raging post-birth hormones can all send your weary brain into a tailspin.
When mom Christine Schmidt, who also founded the online store Yellow Owl Workshop, heard the phrase “mommy brain,” she decided to take action with a social media-oriented project she dubbed #getwise2013. The project combines Twitter and Instagram with her crafty and artsy skills to teach/re-teach herself (and others) one new thing every day this year. She researches different topics and then writes and illustrates facts on paper, all while keeping a sense of humor. In the interview below, Christine shares what inspired the #getwise2013 project and the pros/cons of having “mommy brain.”
Has the feedback you’ve received from #getwise2013 been encouraging? How long do you plan to continue with the project?
Through great feedback, I am learning that a lot of other moms are in the same boat. As much as I’d like to think of myself as being so much like my fun, childless friends (drinks at 9 P.M.? SURE!), I am learning to embrace my life as a new parent. #getwise2013 is my New Year’s resolution. I knew I could not stick to a resolution that involved sweating or prohibiting carbs from my life. I will continue teaching myself something new every day until the end of this year.
Where do you find the facts you teach yourself every day? Any favorite sites?
I most often research stuff I have at hand or actually in my hand, like crayons. What are these suckers made of? I usually start with Wikipedia and then I just cruise trusted websites until I have figured the answer out. I never trust anything on forums where anybody, unchecked, can make up stuff. That is a practice I honed first as a pregnant lady. Google one query about, say, baby fingernails, and prepare for an anxiety spiral that proves your heartburn will cause in-utero polio.
What was the progression of your “mommy brain” like? Was it worse during pregnancy or right after?
I think “mommy brain” really hit me after my daughter, Emmy, was born. Of course the lack of sleep did not help. But as I emerged from those sleepless nights (or were they days?), I just felt this fog that I could not shake. That being said, I also think “mommy brain” really does have benefits because it seems to block out the noise. I am able to focus on what is really important right now. For example, I might not be able to remember state capitals, but I can tell you what my daughter Emmy ate last Monday, which brand of diapers give her a rash, and that her favorite part of a new gift is the paper tag — which, even with my back turned, I can tell she is eating right now!
Any advice for new moms suffering their own bout of “mommy brain”?
More than advice, I wish I could just give all new parents a hug and tell them they are doing an amazing job! When my husband. Evan. and I took Emmy to her first doctor’s appointment, we were so proud and pleased with ourselves. Parts of being a new parent were challenging (especially breastfeeding) and stressful, but we followed all the books, took charge of every detail, and ceremoniously handed the doctor this baby while expecting roses and balloons to fall from the ceiling. Surely we are the best parents this doctor has ever seen! They will write books about our pro skills! I hope I lose all the baby weight before they take my portrait for Mother of the Year. The doctor took one look at our daughter and told us she was jaundiced and losing weight because she was not receiving enough breast milk. The doctor immediately fed Emmy a bottle of formula. Devastated, I fell into a sobbing puddle. We have failed as parents. I am an inadequate mother that starves her baby. I cannot do this! As we left the doctor’s that day, I wish one of the parents in the waiting room, who could no doubt see my puffy, tear-stained face, would have just given me a hug and said, “You are doing a good job.”
Visit Christine’s Yellow Owl Workshop design blog to see photos of her #getwise2013 project. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram to learn funky facts.
Images: Yellow Owl Workshop Blog and Yellow Owl Workshop on Facebook
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
6-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Not Allowed To Use School Bathroom
At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn’t think much of their son’s behavior. Coy took his sister’s pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas. (via Huffington Post)
Is One of the Most Common Drugs Prescribed During Pregnancy Safe for Your Baby?
Many expectant mothers are wary of taking drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy, as this time period can be crucial for the development of their baby. However, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure just what kind of effects medications can have on an unborn child. (via Fox News)
Texas Ten Commandments Resolution Calls For Prayer, Religious Displays In Schools
Texas state Rep. Phil Stephenson (R) filed a resolution on Monday calling for more “acknowledgement” of Christianity in public schools, encouraging Ten Commandments displays, prayer, and use of the word “God.” (via Huffington Post)
Children With Autism Show Increased Positive Social Behaviors When Animals Are Present
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia. (via Science Daily)
School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan’s Sequestration Hype
On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. (via Huffington Post)
First Lady Announces Effort to Help Kids Exercise
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Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks? Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise. (via Yahoo!)
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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Philadelphia School Lunches Get Fancy With ‘Eatiquette’ Program (Photos)
It sounds more like a restaurant order than a school lunch menu: baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding. But that’s one of the meals offered in the cafeteria at People For People Charter School in Philadelphia. And it’s served family-style. Students pass serving dishes around circular tables, where they eat off plates, not cafeteria trays, and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. (via Huffington Post)
NYC Schools After Sandy: Destruction, And Restoration Showcased in New DOE Images
Hurricane Sandy ravaged public schools in low-lying areas across the city — and new photos released by the Department of Education Tuesday show just how bad that damage was. (via Huffington Post)
The Legacy of Lead: How the Metal Affects Academic Achievement
Lead exposure may be on the decline, but it’s still taking its toll on children’s performance in school. Legal requirements to remove lead from gasoline, paint and other common products have led to decreases in lead exposure. But remnants of the metal remain, according to the latest study, and this legacy may be enough to affect children’s cognitive functions. (via TIME)
Sleep Reinforces Learning: Children’s Brains Transform Subconsciously Learned Material Into Active Knowledge
During sleep, our brains store what we have learned during the day ‒ a process even more effective in children than in adults, new research shows. (via Science Daily)
Increased Risk of Sleep Disorder Narcolepsy in Children Who Received Swine Flu Vaccine
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A study finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England. (via Science Daily)
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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Call the ‘sitter, it’s Hollywood’s biggest night out!
Some of our favorite celebrity parents attended the 2013 Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (February 24). From mom-of-three Reese Witherspoon, to power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, to parents-to-be Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, let’s look at the best – and worst – dressed of the evening.
Parents-to-be Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum rocked the red carpet on Hollywood’s biggest night. Jenna dressed her baby bump in a body-hugging black lace Rachel Roy gown with cap sleeves and a deep V-neck.
The mom-to-be accessorized with one-of-a-kind Irene Neuwirth earrings and Christian Louboutin’s Aida clutch in nude satin.
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck – parents to daughters Violet, 7, and Seraphina, 4, and son Samuel, 1 on Wednesday – looked every bit the glam Hollywood couple.
Walking the red carpet in style, Jennifer looked stunning in a custom Gucci gown paired with Neil Lane jewels and a Roger Vivier clutch. And Ben didn’t look too shabby in his dapper tuxedo, accessorized with his shiny trophy!
Helen Hunt went eco-chic in an H&M couture midnight blue gown in silk satin. The actress – who is mom to 8-year-old daughter Makena – debuted H&M’s eco-friendly initiative with the environmental group Global Green.
Going equal parts glam and down-to-earth, Helen paired the strapless gown with $700,000 worth of jewels by Martin Katz which were sewn right into the dress.
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