Posts Tagged ‘
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
US Preterm Birth Rate Lowest in a Decade
The percentage of babies born early in the United States in 2011 was the lowest in a decade, according to a new report from the non-profit March of Dimes. (via NBC News)
Fantasy-Reality Confusion a Primary Cause of Childhood Nighttime Fears
In a new study, published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, researchers found that preschoolers with persistent nighttime fears were far less able to distinguish reality from fantasy compared to their peers. (via ScienceDaily)
When Babies Eat Fish Could Be Link to Asthma
Babies who first ate fish between the ages of six months and one year had a lower risk of developing asthma-like symptoms later on than babies who ate fish before six months or after their first birthdays, according to a Dutch study. (via Reuters)
Road to Language Learning Is Iconic
Languages are highly complex systems and yet most children seem to acquire language easily, even in the absence of formal instruction. New research on young children’s use of British Sign Language (BSL) sheds light on one mechanism — iconicity — that may play an important role in children’s ability to learn language. (via ScienceDaily)
Preschool Education Deserves Expansion, Investment: National Education Policy Center Brief
In a brief released Tuesday, National Education Policy Center managing director Dr. William Mathis urges policymakers to invest in high-quality preschool education, citing its universally acknowledged economic and social benefits. (via Huffington Post)
Columbus Officials Will Likely Face Criminal Referrals For Falsifying Ohio Student Data
As state officials said there’s a “strong likelihood” they’ll refer Columbus school employees for criminal prosecution at the end of their student-data probe, the district confirmed yesterday that federal authorities also are investigating. (via Huffington Post)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: asthma, Babies, childhood, education, fish, language learning, learning, nightmares, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, preschool, preschoolers, preterm birth rate
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Mobile Apps Make Reading Fun for Children With Dyslexia, Occupational Therapist Says
Mobile apps and daily visual activities can encourage children with dyslexia to participate in reading exercises, says Lenin Grajo Ed.M., instructor of occupational science and occupational therapy at Saint Louis University. (via ScienceDaily)
Acetaminophen in Infancy Again Tied to Asthma, Study Suggests
Babies given acetaminophen for fevers and aches may have a heightened risk of asthma symptoms in their preschool years, according to a Danish study. (via Fox News)
Dance Intervention Improves Self-Rated Health of Girls With Internalizing Problems
A dance intervention program improved the self-rated health of Swedish girls with internalizing problems, such as stress and psychosomatic symptoms, according to a new study. (via ScienceDaily)
CPS ‘Healthy Snack And Beverage’ Proposal Could Ban Gatorade, Whole Milk, Sugary Drinks
Chicago Public Schools this week could move to ban the sale of a swath of snacks and drinks deemed unhealthy as part of its broader “Healthy CPS” initiative. (via Huffington Post)
Kansas Board Of Education To Discuss Role Of Cursive Writing In School Curricula At Tuesday Meeting
The Kansas State Board of Education will discuss the role of cursive handwriting in school curricula during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Wichita Eagle reports. (via Huffington Post)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: acetaminophen, asthma, Babies, Chicago Public Schools, cursive writing, dyslexia, girls health, handwriting, healthy eating, healthy snacks, Kansas State Board of Education, mobile apps, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Five Year Olds Are Generous Only When They’re Watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can’t see them, according to new research. (via ScienceDaily)
Dentists Offering Cash for Halloween Candy to Benefit Troops
While many children are chowing down on their Halloween candy, dentists are hoping to provide kids with some incentives for trading in their sugary treats—all in a way to help the troops. (via Fox News)
Is Childhood ADHD a Gateway to Smoking in Adulthood?
Children diagnosed with ADHD are twice as likely to pick up smoking than youngsters without the disorder. (via Time)
Breast Milk During The Storm: With Power Gone, Moms Safeguard their Stash
With power out in much of New Jersey and swaths of New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, breast-feeding moms have been frantically making arrangements, scouting out freezers and using Facebook to link up those with thawing breast milk with those who have electricity and freezer space to spare. (via Time)
Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two new surveys of teachers. (via New York Times)
Many Women Stop Their Asthma Meds While Pregnant
Almost a third of women on asthma control medications stop using them during the first few months of pregnancy, despite advice that a mother’s uncontrolled asthma is more dangerous to the developing fetus than the drugs. (via Reuters)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: ADHD, asthma, breast milk, dentist, education, five year olds, Halloween candy, Hurricane Sandy, medication, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, smoking, technology
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
I was in New Orleans for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) annual conference this past weekend, where roughly 8,000 pediatricians convened to share the latest research and policies surrounding kids’ health. If you’ve been following the news (or our blogs) this week, you’ve probably already heard about some of the big stories to come out of the meeting, including research showing that boys are experiencing puberty at earlier ages and the AAP’s conclusion that there’s no evidence showing that organic food improves health or lowers risk of disease. Beyond that, these are among the takeaways that stuck with me:
1. In a presentation by one of our advisors, Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and author of the must-be-bookmarked blog Seattle Mama Doc, Dr. Swanson noted that that more and more parents are confusing experience for expertise. Though she didn’t single out this person, you can consider Jenny McCarthy a perfect example: Her experience with her son’s autism is clearly being confused by some as having an expertise in autism.
2. Another doctor spoke about the importance of a pediatrician getting a family history from patients. It’s not easy, since lots of families don’t necessarily know their health history. In fact, one study showed that only 1/3 of people have ever tried to gather and organize their family’s health history. Have you? It’s most helpful for docs to have info on three generations: yours, your parents’, and your grandparents’ (and, of course, your partner’s parents and grandparents).
3. Along those lines, it’s really important to let your pediatrician know if anyone in your family (or your partner’s family) has died suddenly, or if there’s a new family history of cancer. Your child’s doctor can use this information to consider recommending certain health screenings, either now or down the line.
4. Firearm safety was a big focus at this year’s meeting. Did you know that when you look at the rate of deaths in children up to age 14 in 23 high-income countries, 87% of them occur in the United States?
5. The AAP’s position has not changed: The safest home for a child is one without guns. The next-best option is a home where guns are stored safely (as in locked up), unloaded and separate from the ammunition.
6. Pediatricians are noticing a disturbing trend in the country, where they may find themselves limited by the kinds of information they can share with patients. One example is asking parents whether they have a gun in their home–and then talking to them about gun safety. You may remember the controversial Florida law that passed in 2011 restricting pediatricians from having this conversation. The law was determined to be unconstitutional and was overturned, but Florida’s governor is appealing it.
7. Sexual abuse was the subject of a crowded session. One doctor shared this stat: When a child decides to share that she has been abused, she’s more likely to tell a peer than anyone else. (Abused children tell their peers 53% of the time; an adult relative 32% of the time; a non-related adult 10% of the time, and school personnel 3% of the time. 2% of kids tell someone who falls into an “other” category.) This means, said the expert, that there’s an “underground railroad” of kids who know about other kids being abused. She made a point that we didn’t address in our recent story about sexual abuse: We have to teach our children that if a friend tells them that he’s been abused, they should try and help this friend tell an adult who can do something about it.
8. Several sessions dealt with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)–more than I can remember from past conferences. It’s encouraging to know that 70% of those children who experience trauma have no lasting symptoms. Of the 30% who do have lasting symptoms, though, half recover, and half have a chronic form of PTSD. So it’s important to make sure a child who has suffered a trauma–whether that’s abuse, a car accident, witnessing a violent episode, among other examples–gets help.
9. For everyone with a child who has a food allergy, or diabetes, or asthma, or a similar chronic disease: Emergency medical bracelets are always a good idea, especially if your child goes to a day care center or school. Your child’s usual caregiver or teacher may be very well aware of his condition and how to manage or treat it, but new caregivers or substitute teachers can definitely benefit from the info.
10. Last week, a report came out noting that three major health organizations around the world recommend that kids under 6 get three hours a day of physical activity instead of the one hour that’s currently suggested by groups like the AAP. For those of us who have a child younger than 6, this can feel daunting. (And by younger than 6 we’re not talking about, say, newborns–this guideline is meant for kids who are awake at least 12 hours each day.) But a professor who gave an interesting talk called “The Reluctant Athlete: How To Get the Sedentary Child Off the Sofa” put it into context. The one-hour recommendation is for “moderate to vigorous” activity–and that’s just hard for a young child to pull off–so changing it to three hours gives kids more time to be active. It works out to about 15 minutes per hour, which seems doable.
Image: Female pediatrician checking cute baby with stethoscope via Shutterstock.
Categories: Babies, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, Your Child | Tags: AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, asthma, diabetes, food allergy, gun safety, organic food, physical activity, PTSD, puberty, sexual abuse, trauma
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
Asthma Drug May Stunt Growth Permanently
An inhaled drug commonly used to treat children with asthma cuts about half an inch off their height permanently, researchers reported. (via NBC)
Organic Food No More Nutritious Than Non-Organic, Study Finds
Organic produce and meat typically isn’t any better for you than conventional varieties when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content, according to a new review of the evidence. (via Reuters)
Students Who Skip School Don’t Get the Consequences, Study Says
Teens who skip school are less likely to graduate and attend college, but they don’t see it that way. (via Time)
Harvard Students in Cheating Scandal Say Collaboration Was Accepted
Harvard students suspected in a major cheating scandal said on Friday that many of the accusations are based on innocent — or at least tolerated — collaboration among students, and with help from graduate-student teachers who sometimes gave them answers to test questions. (via New York Times)
Preventing Pain from Heavy Backpacks
Dr. Jeff Goldstein, director of The Spine Service Division at New York University Medical Center, said parents would be surprised by the average weight of backpacks. (via Fox News)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: asthma, backpacks, cheating, Harvard, Noelia de la Cruz, Nutrition, organic, Parents Daily News Roundup, students, teens
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Paternity Blood Tests That Work Early in a Pregnancy
Now blood tests are becoming available that can determine paternity as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy, without an invasive procedure that could cause a miscarriage. The testing requires a blood sample from at least one of the possible fathers. (via NY Times)
Chemicals in Baby Shampoos Lead to False Marijuana Positives
Commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns’ marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. Just 0.1 milliliters or less of the cleansing products were found to cause a positive result. (via TIME)
Health Groups Criticize Allergy Drug Promotion
Public health advocates on Wednesday accused the drug company Merck of improperly marketing an over-the-counter allergy medicine directly to children using animated characters from the movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” (via NY Times)
Dogs Can Help Prevent Childhood Asthma
The microbes living on your pet dog may help to strengthen your immune system and prevent childhood asthma, according to a new study. (via msnbc.com)
Watching Violence Makes for Angry Kids, Study Shows
Children exposed to violence in video games and on TV display similar reactions to those who witness war and acts of violence in real life, according to an Australian study. (via Fox News)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: allergies, asthma, baby shampoo, Dogs, marijuana, paternity test, pets, Television, TV, violence
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
U.S. Lags in Global Measure of Premature Births
The United States is similar to developing countries in the percentage of mothers who give birth before their child is due, according to the World Health Organization and other agencies.
Avery Lynn, Baby with Bucket List, Dies
Five-and-a-half-month-old Avery Lynn Canahuati, the Texas infant stricken with spinal muscular atrophy, whose parents created a bucket list and a blog for her — which went viral — died on Monday.
Bronzed NJ Mom: Girl’s Sunburn Not from Salon
A deeply tanned New Jersey mother accused of causing skin burns to her young daughter by taking her into a tanning booth pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a child endangerment charge, and the tanning salon’s owner appeared to corroborate her story.
Family Fights for Autistic Son to Play Baseball
A Michigan family is fighting to allow their autistic son to play on a Little League team. The coach, Tim Frisbie, has expressed concerns over the safety of the boy and his teammates.
Asthma Rates at Record High, CDC Says
Asthma rates in the United States increased over the past decade to their highest level ever, according to a new government report.
Pesticide Linked to Brain Abnormalities in Kids, Research Finds
Pregnant women exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos may be putting their kids at risk for potentially irreversible brain changes linked to lower intelligence, according to a study published Monday.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Exposure to Common Chemicals May Weaken Vaccine Response
A study finds disturbing evidence that chemicals found in furniture, fast-food packaging and microwave popcorn bags may compromise children’s immune systems.
Government Requires More Fruits, Veggies for School Lunches
Today the government is releasing new nutrition standards for school meals that spell out dramatic changes, including slashing sodium, limiting calories and offering students a wider variety and larger portions of fruits and vegetables.
Top 10 States to Raise Your Child
If you want a great place to raise kids, the Garden State ranks tops. So says the Foundation for Child Development, which put out its annual Child Well Being Index (CWI), a state-by-state comparison of quality of life for kids.
Heartburn Drugs Don’t Aid Children’s Asthma
An acid reflux drug often used for hard-to-treat asthma doesn’t help children with the breathing disease and may cause side effects, a study in 300 children found.
Calif. Cuts Whooping Cough Deaths to Zero
For the first time in two decades, no one in California died from whooping cough last year, a public health victory that followed the deaths of 10 babies in 2010.
Olympics’ Baby-Seat Policy Prompts Wails of Protest
Some parents were gobsmacked this week to learn that babes-in-arms would be required to have their own tickets for Olympic events.