Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
J&J to Remove Harsh Chemicals from Baby Products
Johnson & Johnson plans to remove potentially cancer-causing and other dangerous chemicals from nearly all its adult toiletries and cosmetic products worldwide within 3 1/2 years. (via MSNBC)
Early Anesthesia Tied to Language Problems in Kids
Babies and toddlers who went under anesthesia during surgery ended up having slightly worse scores on language and reasoning tests as 10-year-olds, in a new study. (via Reuters)
Chickenpox Down 80 Percent Since 2000
Signaling the retreat of a childhood rite of passage, the incidence of chickenpox in the United States fell by 80 percent from 2000 to 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. (via New York Times)
As Circumcision Rates Drop, Costs Increase: Study
As gaps in insurance coverage lead to fewer male babies being circumcised in the United States, related health costs could end up increasing by millions of dollars every year, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Cramming May Hurt Kids’ Grades, Study Suggests
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High school students who choose to sacrifice their sleep to get extra studying time in may fare worse academically the next day compared with their well-rested peers, new research suggests. (via ABC)
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Friday, April 29th, 2011
A new study published in the journal Developmental Science reveals that speech fillers such as “um” and “uh,” also known as language disfluencies, may actually help toddlers’ language development.
The research was conducted at the University of Rochester and studied three groups of children, ages 18 to 30 months, who each sat in front of a monitor that tracked the children’s gazes. Two images were shown on screen, one image of a familiar object and one image of a made-up object. While a recorded voice said short, fluid sentences about the familiar item first, most infants looked at both images equally.
When the recorded voice then said, “Look at the, uh…,” most 2 1/2-year-old toddlers recognized the word stumble and looked at the made-up object, expecting to learn something new. Kids 2 and under rarely picked up on the word stumble.
Researchers aren’t certain how kids understand these disfluencies–whether they realize “um” and “uh” signify a pause in speech to recall the next word or a pause in speech to introduce new words.
Celeste Kidd, the lead researcher quoted on ScienceDaily.com, noted “We’re not advocating that parents add disfluencies to their speech, but I think it’s nice for them to know that using these verbal pauses is OK — the “uh’s” and “um’s” are informative.”
Read more about the research
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