Posts Tagged ‘
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Child Care Centers Overhaul Proposed By Federal Health Officials
Federal health officials say they will propose Thursday to overhaul federally funded child care centers across the country, beefing up safety standards including background and fingerprint checks for employees and requiring states to better monitor the facilities. (via Huffington Post)
Slightly high lead tied to less reading readiness
Children with even slightly elevated blood lead levels are less likely to be ready to read when starting kindergarten, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Cracking the Tech Job Talent Crunch by Teaching Kids to Code
For all the parents losing sleep over their kids’ prospects in such a tightfisted job market, I can see at least one recourse: teach them how to code. The earlier, the better.(via Huffington Post)
Judge declines to nix ’79 NYC child-killing case
A man charged with murder decades after one of the nation’s most infamous child disappearances can be brought to trial, a judge ruled Wednesday, turning down the man’s claim that the case was too thin to proceed. (via Yahoo News)
Pop-Tart Gun Suspension: Attorney For Suspended Student Says No Resolution Has Been Reached With School
An attorney for the family of an Anne Arundel County 7-year-old suspended from school after being accused of nibbling a pastry into the shape of a gun says he met with school officials Wednesday in an attempt have the student’s suspension expunged, but no resolution was reached. (via Reuters)
Parents sue South Carolina, hospital over child’s sex assignment surgery
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A couple filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state of South Carolina for what they say was an unnecessary sexual assignment surgery performed on a toddler they later adopted. (via Fox News)
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Student Fires Police Officer’s Handgun On Northern Virginia School Bus
A student accidentally shot a police officer’s handgun on a Northern Virginia school bus on Monday. Four students were on the bus at the time, along with the police officer, the bus driver and a bus aide, and no one was hurt. (via Huffington Post)
Bed rest during pregnancy could worsen risk for premature birth, study shows
New research is raising fresh concern that an age-old treatment for troubled pregnancies – bed rest – doesn’t seem to prevent premature birth, and might even worsen that risk. (via Fox News)
Video Game to Help Kids Fight Cancer
Re-Mission 2 is a collection of six free online games–accessible via Web browser or Apple iPad–that share the theme of taking the fight to cancer. They do this by arming patients with a virtual arsenal of chemo, radiation and targeted cancer drug attacks designed to crush advancing malignant forces. (via Yahoo News)
Philadelphia doctor guilty of murdering infants in late-term abortions
A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty on Monday of murdering three babies during late-term abortions at a clinic serving low-income women. (via Yahoo News)
Buena Vista School District Officially Closes For Year, Offers ‘Skills Camp’
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For the 400 or so students in Buena Vista, Mich., school is over, even though the academic year isn’t supposed to end until the middle of June. Instead, they will likely attend “skills camp.” (via Huffington Post)
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Friday, May 3rd, 2013
There’s been a steady stream of gun tragedies involving young kids. This one could be the worst: On Tuesday, a 5-year-old Kentucky boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with his own gun. The .22-caliber Crickett rifle, a child-sized model, was a gift that the boy received on his birthday last November. The firearm, marketed as “My First Rifle,” is one of many children’s firearms made by Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms LLC, according to USA Today, and comes in colors including blue and pink.
Although teaching children to use rifles may be an age-old tradition in parts of this country, 2-year-old Caroline Sparks’ death should serve as a stark warning of the dangers of allowing children access to firearms.
The AAP recommends that all kids’ environments be free of firearms. But if you choose to own one, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe. Teach him what to do if he sees a gun:
2. Don’t touch.
3. Leave the area.
4. Tell an adult.
If you haven’t done so already, take the Parents Gun-Safety Pledge to show your support for protecting kids from gun accidents.
Image: Boy playing with toy gun via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Growing up with a dad who is a homicide detective, gun safety was always a normal topic of conversation in my home. According to my father, children are naturally curious, and simply saying “don’t touch” isn’t enough. Every so often, he would let us look at—and even touch—his gun. He would always empty it, and then have my siblings and me put one finger in the chamber to make sure that he didn’t miss anything. He had a strict rule that the barrel should never be facing anyone. “I don’t think that you’d want anyone you love to get hurt, would you?” he would often say. Then he’d lock it away in his room out of our reach and tell us that if we ever wanted to see it again, all we had to do was ask.
You’d think such gun-safety measures would be a no-brainer for parents, but sadly that’s not the case. The latest evidence: Yesterday, a 6-year-old New Jersey boy was accidentally shot and killed by his 4-year-old neighbor while they were playing. According to the town’s police chief, the children were outside the 4-year-old’s home when he went inside, got his dad’s rifle, and shot the 6-year-old. It’s unclear whether he pulled the trigger intentionally or the rifle accidentally discharged.
If this tragedy sounds like an exception, you’re sadly mistaken. On Saturday, a pistol in the hands of a 4-year-old boy in Tennessee went off, killing his aunt, the wife of Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Fanning. It happened while Fanning was showing off his loaded gun collection. Then there’s the tragic February death of 3-year-old Tmorej Smith, who shot himself, thinking his mother’s pink gun was a toy. These shootings have one thing in common: In every case, a young child had easy access to a loaded weapon that belonged to a family member.
The AAP recommends that all kids’ environments be free of firearms. But if you choose to own a weapon, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe. Teach him what to do if he sees a gun:
- Don’t touch.
- Leave the area.
- Tell an adult.
But don’t stop there. Locking guns in a safety box and storing the ammunition separately could be the difference between life and death. More than 1.5 million children live in households where firearms are kept unlocked and loaded, and 140 kids are killed accidentally by guns every year. Is your child safe?
Take the Parents Gun-Safety Pledge to commit to keeping your child safe.
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Monday, March 11th, 2013
Pet Frogs Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Kids: CDC
Small water frogs marketed and sold as pets are linked to an outbreak of Salmonella infections from 2008 to 2011, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (via Reuters)
Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Wanes
Protection against whooping cough starts to weaken a few years after preschool children get their final diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) shot, a new study confirms. (via Reuters)
Study Recommends: Buckle Up During Pregnancy
Despite some women’s worry that seat belts or air bags could harm a baby in utero in the case of an accident, expectant mothers who are not wearing a seatbelt during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)
Guns in Classrooms: South Dakota Governor Signs Law Allowing Teachers to Arm Themselves
Teachers are now allowed to bring guns into the classroom in South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1087 into law Friday, enabling state school boards to “supervise the arming of school employees” or hire security personnel. (via Huffington Post)
How Would Preschool for All Work: Is it All About Play or ABCs?
Not many would take issue with President Obama’s recent call to make high-quality preschool a reality for more U.S. kids. Even before Obama announced his intentions, both Democrats and Republicans had already lined up in their home states to push preschool programs, with more than a dozen states considering bolstering early education. (via TIME)
When Food is Scarce, a Smaller Brain Will Do
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A new study explains how young brains are protected when nutrition is poor. The findings, published on March 7th in Cell Reports, a Cell Press publication, reveal a coping strategy for producing a fully functional, if smaller, brain. The discovery, which was made in larval flies, shows the brain as an incredibly adaptable organ and may have implications for understanding the developing human brain as well, the researchers say. (via Science Daily)
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Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Simpsonville S.C. Places Police Officers in Elementary Schools at No Extra Cost
Every school day, Simpsonville, S.C., police officer Justin Chandler patrols the halls of Plain Elementary School. But Chandler is not a school resource officer, a position typically filled by specially trained officers who are stationed at schools to bolster security. Unlike many armed guards in public schools, Chandler’s position comes at no extra cost to local taxpayers. (via Huffington Post)
Seattle School Discipline Practices Under Investigation for Racial Bias
The U.S. Education Department is investigating whether Seattle’s public school district discriminates against black students by subjecting them to tougher and more frequent discipline than white students, agency and district officials said. (via Huffington Post)
U.S. Doctor’s Gutsy Move Led to Baby’s Cure from HIV
The doctor who cured an HIV infected baby for the first time is happier talking to children than to adults and is finding all the attention since the news came out a little overwhelming. (via Reuters)
Do More Women Need Diabetes Care When Pregnant?
A change in testing could nearly triple the number of women diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, but would catching milder cases help mother or baby? A government panel is urging more research to find that out before doctors make the switch. (via Fox News)
News Corp. Has a Tablet for Schools
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For nearly two years, Joel I. Klein helped Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation weather a phone hacking scandal at the company’s British tabloids with the promise that he would eventually be able to return to the role the company hired him for: to spearhead News Corporation’s new venture into the public school market. That day has finally come. (via The New York Times)
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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
I had the privilege of sitting down with Vice President Joe Biden last week at the White House (well, technically the Old Executive Office Building behind the president’s actual house). The topic was gun safety and reducing gun violence, the questions came from you, our readers and Facebook fans, and the venue was a live video feed carried on our Facebook page as well as the White House website.
As you can see from watching the video of the interview, Biden’s answers were thorough, substantive–and occasionally unexpected. He sparked a media frenzy with his advice to “buy a shotgun” instead of an assault weapon, a remark that was picked up and replayed on major news shows, political sites, and in newspapers nationwide.
But if all you know of the event is the shotgun remark, it’s worth watching or reading more of our discussion. The interview also addressed school safety, guns at home and on playdates, and the effects of violent video games. I found his comments about that last issue particularly interesting: He pointed out that the federal government is legally barred from funding research on gun violence, and so we simply don’t have enough data to make a judgment about the effects of violent media on spurring gun violence.
Biden and some members of the media expressed surprise that these questions came from Parents readers. But these are the questions you are interested in, and they deal with that most fundamental of needs–protecting our families. Some of you define this as the right to own whatever gun you want while others see it as restricting the types of guns that are allowed. But as Rachel Maddow astutely put it, when you have the ear of the Vice President, Americans (you, our readers) will ask “hard questions” about policy and public safety.
As for the substance of the shotgun remark, Biden has said similar things before, and he’s always made clear that he is an advocate for gun rights even as he pursues restrictions on certain types of weapons and ammunition. So it didn’t strike me immediately as big news, even as it did surprise me with the forwardness and bluntness of the advice. But within an hour or so, it had gone viral, and I spent much of my trip back home to N.Y. reading and watching the first wave of coverage.
I am grateful that the Vice President made time to speak with us about this essential issue. It’s not every day that the VP sits down with a representative from the parenthood-focused media. It is a sign of the power and influence that you, the moms and dads of America, wield. Your voices matter to those who are shaping our country’s policies, so keep making those voices heard.
See the whole interview with Joe Biden about gun safety and reducing gun violence.
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Monday, February 11th, 2013
Cantor: Children of Illegal Immigrants Should Get U.S. Citizenship
A top U.S. Republican lawmaker said on Sunday he would support granting citizenship to children who are in the country illegally in a sign that conservatives who oppose immigration amnesty will be playing defense as Congress takes on immigration reform in the coming months. (via Reuters)
Joe Arpaio, Steven Seagal Train Posses To Guard Schools
The self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” joined forces this weekend with action movie star Steven Seagal to train volunteer armed posse members to defend Phoenix-area schools against gunmen. (via Huffington Post)
Boys’ Classroom Behavior Impacts Grades, Study Finds
When your elementary school-aged son gets in trouble for acting up in class or playing too rough with another student, you might not be surprised if the teacher keeps him in from recess. But what if acting up was hurting his math grade? (via Today)
What Heals Traumatized Kids? Answers are Lacking
Shootings and other traumatic events involving children are not rare events, but there’s a startling lack of scientific evidence on the best ways to help young survivors and witnesses heal, a government-funded analysis found. (via Associated Press)
Bobby Jindal Shills For Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Education Reforms; Warriors Vs. Worriors: Ed Today
As Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) continued his push for education reforms in Virginia, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) stopped by for a little nudge in the right direction, reports the Associated Press. (via Huffington Post)
Striking New York City School Bus Drivers Hold Rally
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Thousands of striking school bus drivers and their supporters staged a protest Sunday, calling New York’s mayor “heartless” a day before the city opens competitive bidding for new contracts. (via ABC News)
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