Posts Tagged ‘ study ’

No Child Left Inside

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Should kids get an hour of gym every day? 

With physical activity as a proven brain booster, the Institute of Medicine is recommending that schools provide opportunities for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for students.

Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, 44 percent of school administrators report slashing big chunks of time from physical education, arts, and recess in order to boost classroom time for reading and math. Mandatory PE classes can help lower our nation’s childhood obesity rates, increase brain power, and add a healthy dose of fun to our kids’ school day, experts say.

A recent study by the Delaware Department of Education and the nonprofit Nemours Health & Prevention Services analyzed the records of more than 80,000 Delaware public-school students. It found that the kids who were more physically fit generally performed better on reading and math tests than their less-active peers.

Another study done by researchers at the University of Rome found that the test scores of 8-11 year olds improved by an average of 10 percent when they exercised right before an exam.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that PE be adopted as a core subject.

Do you think PE should be a core requirement?

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Playground made from trash gets children back in the swing
Ruganzu Bruno and his troupe of fellow eco-artists created a playground made of recycled materials to raise awareness about environmental degradation. (via CNN)

Pregnancy Hormone May Predict Postpartum-Depression Risk
Levels of a stress hormone released by the placenta could predict a woman’s risk of developing postpartum depression, new research suggests. (via Yahoo! News)

NYC School Principals Send Letter Refusing To Consider Recent State Test In Fall Admissions
Principals around New York City are fighting back against what they see as flawed state tests. (via Huffington Post)

Report: Nation’s kids need to get more physical
The prestigious Institute of Medicine is recommending that schools provide opportunities for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for students and that PE become a core subject. (via Yahoo News)

Parents Argue School Is Violating Separation Of Church And State
Does teaching yoga in public schools violate the separation of church and state? That’s what two parents are contending in a lawsuit against Encinitas Union School District in California. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

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’
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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What I Saw When I Watched My Daughter Sleep

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

My daughter, Leeana, has plenty of charming quirks, like her little sweaty feet, and the way that she breathes through her mouth when she’s really focused. But these little nuances became a big worry, when she began snoring.

This wasn’t the cute purring that some kids do in their sleep. Leeana’s snoring actually woke her father up in the middle of the night. It made me uneasy, so I brought her into our bed so that I could monitor her sleeping, and what I saw shook me to my core.

My daughter stopped breathing in her sleep at least 6 times while I watched. She would jerk herself awake, gasp for air, and continue snoring until she stopped breathing again.

When I took her to her pediatrician the next morning, she told me that Leeana has sleep apnea. An estimated 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, according to SleepApnea.org, many of them being between 2 and 8 years old.

Our pediatrician also explained to us that her sweating and heavy breathing were symptoms of her condition. She said that, while it wasn’t something to run to the emergency room for, sleep apnea does have several long-term side effects.

“As many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep,” reports SleepApnea.org. “Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, other hormonal and metabolic problems, even failure to thrive can be related to sleep apnea. Some researchers have charted a specific impact of sleep disordered breathing on ‘executive functions’ of the brain: cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal.”

Our pediatrician said that sleep apnea could be a result of oversized tonsils or adenoids. She also mentioned that a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine might help keep the airways open during sleep. The machine delivers pressurized air through a mask to hold the airways in the throat open.

I looked into these machines and found that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a study on them last year. Researchers found that kids who used PAP machines had significant improvements after three months, even if the kids didn’t use it all the time. Although I’m worried about how comfortable she will be wearing it to sleep, if we do have to go that route, hopefully Leeana won’t need to use it for longer than a few months.

If your child is snoring, or has symptoms such as heavy breathing and sweating, be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician. It may also be worth it to stay up one night and monitor their sleep.

Leeana has an appointment with her ENT later this week. Hopefully a good night’s sleep is in her near future.

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New Study: Preschoolers Sleep Worse After Watching TV

Monday, June 27th, 2011

kids-watching-tvIn a not-so-surprising new study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, research reveals that watching too much television (especially shows with violent images) has negative affects on the sleep patterns of preschoolers. 

Reported by CNN.com, the study focused on 600 preschoolers in Seattle, Washington and kept track of when they watched television to determine sleep disturbances.  Preschoolers who watched age-appropriate TV shows during the day slept well while those who watched the same type of shows at night, before bedtime, were more susceptible to nightmares, frequent wakings, and fatigue.  In particular, preschoolers who watched shows with violence (shows meant for adults or the daily news reports) before bedtime were also more likely to experience nightmares.

Michelle Garrison, Ph.D., who conducted the study, points out young kids still can’t separate reality from fantasy, which is why they’re more frightened by what’s shown on TV.  In addition, letting kids fall asleep with the TV still on is a no-no, since it keeps the child stimulated, not relaxed.  Instead, parents should turn off the TV at least an hour before kids go to sleep.  The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that televisions be kept in a common room (not in a child’s bedroom), and young children should watch only 1-2 hours of TV per day.

What kind of TV shows do you let your kids watch?  What are the ways you limit your child’s TV consumption?

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New Study: Two Types of Fathers in America

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A new study released by the Pew Research Center have found there are two dominant types of fathers in America: fathers who are actively involved in family life vs. fathers who are not because they live apart from the kids.

According to CNN.com, the Pew study found that today’s fathers are more active in their kids’ lives than 50 years ago, but fathers who live outside the household have also more than doubled since the 60s.  Those who live with their families are more in tune with their kids, with 93% talking to their kids a few times a week, over 50% transporting their kids to activities, and 9 out of 10 eating a few weekly meals together.

Education, income, and race are still factors that determine fatherhood – white fathers with higher education and incomes usually lived with their familes.  Only 21% lived apart.  Even though 44% of African-American fathers lived apart from the family, they were still the most active group of fathers who lived outside.

Another Pew survey revealed that 69% of the survey takers believe fathers living in the house contribute to a child’s happiness.  Not surprisingly, it’s important for fathers to be actively involved with their families, no matter if they’re living inside the house or not.

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New Study: Working Parents Too Stressed to Have Sex

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

ss_101704105Do working parents have more stress in their lives than non-working parents? While it’s clear that being a stay-at-home mom or dad is certainly no walk in the park, a new national survey from Care.com implies the answer is ”yes.”

 According to the survey, sixty-two percent of working parents revealed they are too stressed from managing their jobs and families to go to the gym, call a friend, or even have sex with their spouses. 

Another key finding? The majority of those surveyed would be willing to trade in a higher paycheck for less responsibility at work. A quarter of working parents (25%) reported that they would leave their current jobs for less or considerably less money if that would provide more flexibility in their lives.

Results go on to show the issue of childcare as a major stress-inducer. With more than a third (34%) of parents relying on their nannies or babysitters to make their lives run smoothly, 62% find that it is stressful to extremely stressful when a childcare crisis, such as a sick nanny or babysitter or a school closing occurs.  And while more than half (58%) of parents have a childcare back-up plan, only ten percent rely on their employers to provide emergency back-up care as a benefit.

Still, the greatest source of stress for the working parents proved to be the difficult task of managing work-life balance.  More than a third of parents – (35 percent) cited work-life as most stressful while a quarter of parents (24%) felt that finding a trusted care provider for their child is more stressful than keeping their relationship with their spouse happy (18.4%) and excelling at their jobs (11.3%).

“While the White House recently announced the great strides of women in the workplace, this survey shows that the work-life balance for so many working parents remains elusive,” said Wendy Sachs, Editor-in-Chief of Care.com.

 “This survey finds that despite successful careers, our work is impacting our personal lives in unhealthy ways.  Working moms, particularly those with young children, are exhausted and stressed by a workday that for many never ends because we are tethered to technology 24/7,” Sachs said.   “It’s no surprise that moms who are toting buzzing BlackBerries in their bags chock full of work emails, can feel tapped out and not eager for sex. Stress kills the libido.”  

What are your thoughts on this survey? Share your opinions along with the biggest sources of stress in your life and how they relate to being a working or stay-at-home parent (SAHP’s should also be considered a ‘working parents’ in my opinion!). 

Note: The Care.com survey was conducted via an online survey at Care.com among 600 adult parents 18 years of age from February 22 – March 1, 2011.

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Children with Self-Control May Become Successful Adults

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

disciplineIf your 3-year-old shows remarkable self-control, congratulations: Your child will most likely become a successful adult.

A New Zealand study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involved scientists following 1,000 children from birth to adulthood.  The study analyzed the children’s “health, wealth, family and criminal status when the participants reached age 32, then looked for correlations between the self-control score and these outcomes, correcting, for I.Q. and socioeconomic status” (MSNBC.com)

The study revealed that children who displayed self-control at 3-years-old made less bad judgments when they were teens, such as smoking cigarettes, taking drugs, dropping out of school, and getting pregnant.  According to ScienceDaily, self-control was defined by factors such as a child’s threshold for tolerance, persistence in sticking with and executing goals, ability to think before acting, and patience in waiting.  Children who either learned or grew up teaching themselves discipline and self-control had a better future that didn’t include credit card debts, substance abuse, or low self-esteem. 

So instead of just natural intelligence, self-control can be important in propeling children to success.

Does your child have good self-control? What parenting tips do you have to help your kids to be more disciplined?

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