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More single dads than ever head US households

Friday, July 5th, 2013

father and sonA record eight percent of single dads are heading United States households, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. With fewer than 300,000 families led by single fathers in 1960, over the past 50 years, the number increased to 2.6 million in 2011. Now, a quarter of all single-parent families are led by men, which showcases a growing trend in American society—only two-thirds of U.S. homes are run by married couples as compared to the nearly 90% that fit this statistic in 1960, according to NBC News.

Some of the factors that may be contributing to this shift are: the growing number of babies born to unmarried couples (four in 10 births in 2008, according to Pew); higher divorce rates with more opportunities for child custody through an improved legal system; and an increase in the number of breadwinner moms that has nearly tripled the average amount of time fathers spend with their kids (from 2.5 hrs/wk in 1965 to 7.3 hrs/wk in 2011, according to Pew). In fact, 27 percent of fathers under the age of 30 are single parents.

Though the number of single dads in on the rise, they are still vastly outnumbered by single moms, which consisted of 8.6 million households in 2011. Pew found that single dads are more likely to be less educated and older than single moms, make more money, and live with a partner (41 percent of single fathers versus 16 percent of single mothers).

Image: Father and son, via Shutterstock

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Apple to Pay Back Parents $100M From Kids’ Unauthorized In-App Spending

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Apple is responsible for paying $100 million to parents whose children made unauthorized purchases in game apps, under the terms of a class-action settlement that was originally filed in 2011, according to ABC News.

There have since been multiple stories of children going on buying sprees on their parents’ iPhone and iPad applications where they are purchasing imaginary goods and services offered by some game apps. In one instance, an 8-year-old girl bought $1,400 worth of “Smurfberries” in the Smurf Village game app.

This issue was brought to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. Parents protested that the children playing these games may not be aware that the virtual coins or tokens used to buy imaginary goods through apps must be paid for by their parents with real money. Apple has since made changes to it’s policy that makes it more difficult for kids to charge their parents’ iTunes accounts without parental consent.

As a result of the settlement, parents may submit a claim through a special “Apple In-App Purchase Litigation” website prior to August 30, 2013. Claims from parents whose children accrued unauthorized charges of $30 or less will result in compensation for the parent in the form of $5 in iTunes Store credit or $5 cash if they no longer have an account. For claims exceeding $30, parents must also submit the date and amount of each purchase. Any U.S. citizen is eligible for compensation if the charge was accrued by a minor acting without the parent’s consent through a qualified app prior to May 2, 2013.

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16-Month-Old Baby Swims Length of Pool Alone

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Watch this astonishing yet controversial video of 16-month-old Elizabeth Christensen swimming alone in the pool.

Baby Elizabeth swims the length of the pool without any flotation devices or lifeguards. Her parents report that she swims three times a day and can dive in to get toys out of the pool. Elizabeth swims facing downward, using her legs and arms to propel her through the water, and rolls onto her back to catch a breath of air before continuing to paddle. More from Headlines & Global News:

Adam Christensen defended the video clip by explaining to the media that his daughter was trained by a certified professional. “When I first watched her in there, every time she went face down I was like ‘oh my goodness, she can’t breathe.’ I was just worried to death, but the instructor assured us that she was just fine,” he told CNN news. “We didn’t teach her ourselves. We wanted a professional, somebody that was certified to do that, but we still are able to recognize warning signs, when they’re fatigued.”

Christensen also wrote in the description of the YouTube video that he is a registered nurse trained in CPR and water safety along with his wife, who is a former life guard. He noted that Elizabeth was trained by an ISR (infant swimming resource) instructor.

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First-Ever Guidelines About Ear Tubes in Kids

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

doctor looking in child's earThe first clinical guidelines ever created regarding the use of ear tubes—medically named tympanostomy tubes—were released yesterday by the American Academy of Otolargyngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF).

These tiny tubes, about 1/20th of an inch, may be the best treatment for children suffering from ear aches, ear infections and middle ear fluid build-up. They work by allowing air to pass through the ear canal, which helps the fluid drain. The tubes are inserted into a child’s ear canal under light general anesthesia and will fall out naturally over time from wax and debris build-up in the ears.

According to Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, chairman of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, the insertion of ear tubes is the number-one ambulatory surgery in children and the number-one reason they undergo anesthesia. However, until yesterday, “no national society has ever published evidence-based guidelines on the best way to do this,” he told CNN Health.

Written by a panel of pediatricians, ear, nose, and throat specialists, and an anesthesiologist, among others, these new guidelines address the implantation of ear tubes in children ages 6 months to 12 years. The guidelines suggest that children who have frequent ear infections that hold onto fluid (in other words, don’t clear up quickly) are good candidates for ear tubes. Children experiencing fluid build-up in both ears for 3-months or more may also need tubes since the clogged hearing affects their balance, motor skills, and quality of life in group settings—such as in the classroom or social situations. Additionally, children at risk for fluid build-up related delays, such as those with autism, Down syndrome, or other developmental delays, should also be given ear tubes according to the guidelines.

Interestingly, the guidelines dictate that tubes should not be given to those children with frequent ear infections that do not have fluid build-up, which is a deviation from standard medical practice. Ask your doctor if your child has fluid build-up in his or her ears. If your child does not, ear tubes should be avoided according to these guidelines.

Image: Doctor looking at child’s ear, via Shutterstock


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Jessica Simpson’s Baby Boy, Ace Knute

Monday, July 1st, 2013

pregnant Jessica SimpsonJessica Simpson and fiance Eric Johnson welcomed their second child yesterday—a baby boy named Ace Knute (pronounced Ka-nute) Johnson. The baby was born via scheduled C-section, and both mom and baby are doing fine. Simpson, 32, and Johnson, 33, are also parents to their nearly 14-month-old daughter, Maxwell Drew. More from Us Weekly:

Gender wasn’t the only difference for pregnancy number two. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on March 7, Simpson shared that “this pregnancy is the complete opposite. Like with Maxwell, I felt amazing. Like I could do everything, eat everything. Do whatever I wanted. I had a lot of energy,” she recalled. “This time around . . . I’m like exhausted. Eating Tums. That’s my snack of choice.”

After about six months of dating, Simpson and Johnson, a Yale grad and former NFL player, got engaged in fall 2010, but were forced to postpone their nuptials twice due to her unexpected, back-to-back pregnancies. But a source recently told Us they’re hoping to (finally!) tie the knot soon.

At the Weight Watchers spokeswoman’s April 14 baby shower, she “was telling friends she wanted to get married a few months after the baby is born,” the source told Us. “Jessica said, ‘Let’s have this wedding already before I get pregnant with another one!’”

Image: Pregnant Jessica Simpson, via Shutterstock


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