Breast Cancer Charity Overstated Screening Benefits, Researchers Say
Researchers say Susan G. Komen for the Cure overstated the benefit mammograms have on survival rates of women with breast cancer. Komen’s messages stated 98 percent of women who get the screening tests survive at least five years, while 23 percent who do not get mammograms survive that long — a difference of 75 percentage points. (via NBC News)
New Pets May Help Autistic Kids Socially
Getting a pet may help children with autism to develop their social skills, if the furry friend is brought into the home when the child is about 5 years old, according to a new French study. The researchers discovered the children showed improvement in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort. (via Fox News)
Hidden Dangers in Vitamins & Supplements?
According to a new report in Consumer Reports, vitamins and supplements could do more harm than good in some cases. Between 2007 and mid-April 2012, the FDA received more than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events linked to dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs. (via CNN)
Disharmony in the Land of Nod
A new study suggests that even moderate levels of household conflict can alter basic brain function in infants, leaving them hypersensitive to negative emotions. Researchers found chronic family conflict made infants more likely to have abnormal brain responses to angry speech. (via Huffington Post)
Chile Bans Marketing of Toys in Children’s Food
A new law in Chile aims to take some fun out of fast-food by forcing McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and other restaurants to stop including toys and other goodies with children’s meals. The complaint also targets makers of cereal, popsicles, and other products that attract children with toys, crayons, or stickers. (via Associated Press)
Speaking Multiple Languages Can Influence Children’s Emotional Development
Researchers are investigating how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children’s emotional development. They propose the particular language used when discussing and expressing emotion can have significant impacts on children’s emotional understanding, experience, and regulation. (via Science Daily)
Why a Nightlight Could Cause Mild Depression
Constant exposure to light at night can cause depression, a new study on animals suggests. The findings suggest exposure to artificial light at night may have contributed to the rising rates of depression over the last 50 years. (via NBC News)
Parents, Docs May Clash on Quality of Kids’ Lives
About one in four parents of children with a serious and often fatal genetic condition say they feel judged by doctors when they want life-sustaining treatment for newborns, in a new study. (via Fox News)
Consumer Safety Panel Sues Magnetic Toy Maker
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is suing the maker of popular high-powered magnet “desk toys” to get them to stop selling their products. The magnets can pierce holes in the intestines, and some children have needed multiple surgeries and length hospitalizations. (via CNN)
To Boost Memory, Shut Your Eyes and Relax
New research suggests taking a brief break, relaxing, and closing your eyes for 10 minutes can help boost memory. The researchers ask participants to recall as many details as possible from two stories they were told. Those with some quick shuteye recalled more than those who were distracted with a new task. (via TIME)
Babies Born in Autumn May Live Longer
In a recent study, researchers looked at data from more than 1,500 people who lived to be 100 or older. The majority of people who lived an extra-long life were born between September and November. (via Fox News)
We used to call my daughter’s activity center “the office.” We’d put her in, and she’d sit with a determined expression and get busy with the toys, spinning herself slowly around to access all of them. Her seriousness about it was hysterical for the adults in the house. It also drove home to us the adage that “play is a child’s work.” Mastering toys is a baby’s job!
Does your baby have an activity center or jumper that he or she adores? If so, we want to hear about it for our American Baby Bests contest. We’re taking nominations for products that babies and parents love, and will turn those into polls that will go live in a few weeks. (Don’t worry, I’ll announce when they’re up!) In the meantime, you can vote for your favorite baby products here. You have to join our Parents.com community in order to post there, but the good news is, posting about your favorite products makes you eligible for a $250 prize! The rules for that contest are here.
Meanwhile, if you don’t yet have an activity center and need one…this could be your big break! We’re photographing this awesome Baby Neptune Activity Saucer, from Baby Einstein, for a summer issue. And we’ve got an extra one still in its box that we’re happy to ship out to a baby who seriously needs to play. Leave a comment below—you can leave a comment once a day—anytime between now and the end of the day Wednesday, March 21st. We’ll randomly pick a person to win this $90 supertoy. You can read the full rules here. Goody luck!
We all know that most kids are glad to speak their minds at any given time—talk about fearless! And Riley does just that. This admirable kiddie does just that by making a toy store aisle her very own platform to speak against the unfair marketing techniques companies are pulling on girls and boys. In her own words: “The companies try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of stuff boys want to buy.” Preach, Riley!
Now that the Christmas feast is over, get your kid off the couch and active again–just in time for the New Year’s parties. For this week’s toy selection, eBeanstalk is recommending playthings that will give your child a fun work out.
Awesome Ride On:
The classic-looking Deluxe My 1st Scooter from Radio Flyer has a broad base and three wheels to help your little one balance better. Just make sure to put a helmet on him! (2 years+, $90; click here to buy)
Your preschooler will jump for joy over the Little Jumpers Trampoline by Alex Toys. The padded trampoline has a cushioned, no-slip-grip handle for safety. (3 years+, $96.50; click here to buy)
Attach the Tizzler II spinner bar to a sturdy tree branch or swing set, and watch your kid have a blast twisting and twirling in the yard. (4 years+, $40; click here to buy)
In this week’s installment of top toys, eBeanstalk is rounding up some playthings that will puzzle your kids. Literally. Check out these fun puzzles just in time for the holidays.
Awesome for Little Ones:
Whether it’s stacking, sorting, or piecing together Hape’s Creative Rainbow Curve, this toy will boost your tot’s fine-motor skills. (2 years+, $25; click here to buy)
Learning Journey’s Search & Learn Series starts as a floor puzzle, but after it’s been arranged, it becomes an educational game. (3 years+, $15; click here to buy)
Four puzzles in one box, Briarpatch’s I Spy line has graduated pieces so your kids can continue to play as they become more skilled. It’s also loaded with I Spy riddles for extra fun. (4 years+, $11; click here to buy)
Cool for Big Kids:
Puzzles go 3D with this neat globe from Ravensburger that your child can piece together and then display in his room. (12 years+, $38.25; click here to buy)
There’s still time to heave over to the Parents Toy Store for your last-minute holiday shopping!
Due to technical difficulties yesterday, we’re just now bringing you eBeanstalk’s Toy Tuesday. But it’s worth the wait. Check out this helpful round-up of the top travel toys that will keep your kids entertained on the go.
Baby Best Bet:
Tiny Love’s genius Take-Along Mobile snaps onto a crib, a car seat, or a stroller to soothe and amuse your little one any time, any place. (0 months+, $27.50; click here to buy)
Cool Car Game:
Looking for a backseat boredom-buster? Give the I Spy Travel Edition Game from Briarpatch a shot. The memory cards challenge your family to make matches on the move. (4 years+, $11.50; click here to buy)
Cool Pre-K Activity Kit:
Avoid the Are-We-There-Yets with this Alex Toys’ spiral-bound pad that contains 75 pages of fun–plus, 8 chunky crayons. (4 years+, $8.50; click here to buy)
Cool Big-Kid Activity Kit:
Take a tour of America with this dry-erase set by Peaceable Kingdom that includes lots of popular games, such as mazes, word finds, Hangman, and much more. (7 years+, $15; click here to buy)
Come back next week for more plaything picks, and remember to visit our new Parents Toy Store for your holiday shopping.