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Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Newborn APGAR test may predict teens’ school success
The test of health given to all infants just moments after they’re born may also indicate trouble in school for a few of those infants once they become teenagers, a new study shows.
Training of Teachers is Flawed, Study Says
The National Council on Teacher Quality, an advocacy group, is to issue a study on Thursday reporting that most student-teaching programs are seriously flawed. The group has already angered the nation’s schools for teachers with its plans to give them letter grades that would appear in U.S. News and World Report.
Sperm Donor’s 24 Kids Never Told About Fatal Illness
Rebecca Blackwell and her 15-year-old son Tyler were curious about his sperm donor father, whose identity had been anonymous since the moment of conception. Through good detective work, they were eventually able to find “John” three years ago.
Mammograms should start at 40
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Doctors should offer all women in their 40s the chance to get annual screening for breast cancer, according to new guidelines from an organization of women’s health professionals.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, so take some time to thank the teachers (school instructors, tutors, coaches) who spend everyday nurturing your child’s education and development. Even if you don’t have time to pick out the perfect gift, a thoughtful note, a gift card, or an appreciative word would surely be welcome.
If you don’t have time to do something today, it’s National Teacher Appreciation Week all week long, so you can still celebrate teachers. In 1984, National PTA instituted the first week of May as a way to thank teachers for their ongoing efforts in helping children learn. In a recent press release, National PTA offered these suggestions for honoring teachers:
- All-school events: Host a breakfast or lunch. Plan a school assembly or classroom program to honor teachers.
- Parents’ thanks: Send a notice home with all students to request that parents take time to write a personal note to their children’s teachers or ask parents to e-mail teachers a note of thanks during the week.
- At the car wash: Coordinate a car wash and invite the school staff and teachers to get their vehicles washed for free. Hang a banner outside the school entrance to let the community know that “We love our teachers and staff.”
- Priceless thanks: Try arranging a few different ways for children to say how they feel about their teachers: personalized notes, poems, decorated paper flower petals, construction-paper clouds, or colorful handprints are some good ideas.
- Stress away day: Request a few professional massage therapists to come and give 15-minute head, neck, shoulder, hand, or foot massages to the teachers and staff during planning or lunch periods.
You can visit PTA.org for more ideas on how to thank teachers or join the Thank-A-Teacher Facebook group to share your ideas.
How are you thanking teachers this week? What are your ideas?
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Friday, March 11th, 2011
Under Pressure, Firm Shutters Line That Made Tainted Wipes
A Wisconsin medical supplier that made millions of recalled alcohol prep products now blamed for serious infections and at least one death is shutting down the line that produces the wipes — at least for now. But the parents of two children harmed by infections blamed on contaminated Triad products said the move is too little, too late, and raises more questions about why government regulators haven’t taken stronger action against the firm. [MSNBC]
Coffee May Reduce Stroke Risk
Women in the study who drank more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22% to 25% lower risk of stroke than those who drank less, according to findings reported Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the USA, behind heart disease and cancer. The findings add to the growing body of research showing coffee appears to have hidden health perks. A study done by Larsson in 2008 on men who drank coffee or tea had similar results. One of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee contains large amounts of antioxidants that improve health. Other research has suggested coffee can help prevent cognitive decline and can boost vision and heart health. It is also associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer. [USA Today]
Dog Kisses: Is It Safe to Smooch with a Pet?
According to an article in WebMd, not even doctors and veterinarians agree about kissing a dog on the lips or vice versa. Thinking that dog’s tongue is clean is off base, says veterinarian William Craig, but don’t stop there. “Dog spit isn’t chemically cleansing. It turns out that it’s the dog’s rough tongue that helps to physically remove contaminants from an open wound” and likely the reason why many wounds do not get infected,” he told Pawnation. Craig adds “people tend to brush their teeth regularly and rinse with mouthwash. Dogs tend to lick themselves and eat things off the ground.” “Humans and dogs have different bacteria in their mouths,” explains Nelle Wyatt, a veterinary technician at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. “Not all of the bacteria are capable of causing disease in the other species.” [USA Today]
Boy Toddlers Need Extra Help Dealing With Negative Emotions, Experts Urge
The way you react to your two-year-old’s temper tantrums or clinginess may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and behavior problems down the road, and the effect is more pronounced if the child is a boy who often displays such negative emotions as anger and social fearfulness, reports a new University of Illinois study. [Science Daily]
Passive Smoking Increases Risk of Stillbirth and Birth Defects, Study Suggests
Pregnant non-smokers who breathe in the second-hand smoke of other people are at an increased risk of delivering stillborn babies or babies with defects, a study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has found. [Science Daily]
Teacher Who Twice Threw a Chair at 7th-Grader Tries to Clear Her Name
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A longtime teacher at a Joliet junior high who last year “snapped” and twice threw a chair at a seventh-grade boy, striking him once in the head, is trying to clear her record so she can teach again. After Filak tried to get the boy to do his work, he instead told her to “leave me alone, fool,” witnesses said, according to a judge’s ruling that found the chair-throwing incident was child abuse. [Chicago Tribune]
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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
Vitamin D Helps Kids’ Breathing, Study Says: Are Supplements Smart?
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Strong bones aren’t the only benefit of vitamin D. A new study suggests that the “sunshine vitamin” helps prevent breathing problems in infants and young children.”Our data suggest that the association between vitamin D and wheezing, which can be a symptom of many respiratory diseases and not just asthma, is largely due to respiratory infections,” study leader Dr. Carlos Camargo, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in a written statement. [CBS News]
Madonna Plays Santa for Malawi Children
Madonna wasn’t able to visit Malawi this Christmas, but she let the children in the six orphanages she funds there know they were very much on her mind this holiday season. Boxes of toys, chocolate, other sweets and clothes were shipped with a handwritten note from the star, which read, “To my Malawi children on Christmas and Boxing Day. I wish I was with you. See you soon M.” Inside the goodie boxes were miniature Christmas cards signed by Madonna, Lourdes and Rocco. [CNN]
Teacher Effort Is Linked To Difficult Students’ Inherited Traits
Challenging students take up more of their teachers’ time – and the difference between a tougher student and an easier one appears to be genetic, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The study looked at young twins in the U.K. and asked their teachers how much of a handful they are. [Medical News Today]
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Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Parents: How to raise a creative genius: Exposure to creative pursuits early in life is key to helping children get motivated to do creative things themselves, said Shelley Carson, a psychologist at Harvard University and author of “Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life.” [CNN]
Recall of contaminated celery may expand: Texas health officials shut down the SanGar Produce & Processing Co. plant in San Antonio and ordered a recall of all of the produce that had passed through the plant since January. The plant is linked to contaminated celery that sickened at least six people this year, four of whom died. [MSNBC]
Teachers, students and Facebook, a toxic mix: The New York Post reported this week that three New York City teachers are accused of inappropriate “friending” — and worse. One teacher left comments like, “This is sexy,” under girls’ pictures, school officials told the paper. Others made lewder comments, and some even used Facebook to initiate real-life relationships with students, it said. All three have been fired. [MSNBC]
A mother’s suicide, more than a father’s, predicts her offspring’s likelihood of attempting suicide: In the life of a child or adolescent, a parent’s sudden death is an event so psychologically devastating, it’s hard to imagine it could get any worse. But when that sudden death is self-inflicted, the psychological fallout definitely does mount, possibly compounded by the effects of genes and a parent’s behavior in the years leading up to his or her suicide. And when the suicidal parent was Mom, there’s an even greater likelihood a child will go on to make a similar attempt than when Dad was the one to kill himself. [Chicago Tribune]
Prosecutor proposes jail time for parents who miss teacher conferences: A county prosecutor in Michigan is proposing a law that could punish parents with jail time for repeatedly missing their children’s parent-teacher conferences. [CNN]
Is that right? Scarrots for trick-or-treaters?: As part of a multi-million-dollar “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food” campaign, and just in time for Halloween, the carrot farmers — identified as “A Bunch of Carrot Farmers” and led by the big Michigan grower Bolthouse Farms — have packaged baby carrots in multi-bag packages that are purposely reminiscent of trick-or-treat candy packs. These “Scarrots” are available at stores such as Walmart. [Washington Post]
Study: Young people less empathetic [MSNBC]
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