Archive for the ‘ New Research ’ Category

Division of Household Labor May Not Be As Equal As Parents Think

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

New parentsAs a modern mama, you probably expect (or at the very least hope) that your partner spends as much time on household chores and various other duties as you do. But new research suggests that the division of household labor grows unequal once the couple enters parenthood.

Researchers at the Ohio State University studied 182 opposite-sex couples before and after having their first child. During the “before” interviews, couples were able to accurately measure how many hours of housework and paid work they were doing— and men and women spent approximately the same amount of time on each duty.

Unfortunately, that didn’t hold true once they became parents. The couples were reevaluated when their babies were 9 months old. Once child care was added in, each partner reported performing approximately 90 hours of total work (that includes paid work, household chores, and childcare) in each week. And while that was an overstimation—both parents actually worked less than that—it turns out that the new dads overestimated their workload more than the new moms, and actually did less. Men reported doing 35 hours of housework and 15 hours of child care, but were actually only doing 9 hours of housework and 10 hours of child care. Women reported doing 27 hours of housework and 28 hours of child care—but in reality were doing 13.5 hours of housework and devoting 15.5 hours to child care.

Typically, with the new addition of child care, women’s workload increases by 21 hours while men’s increases by 13, according to the report.

To combat this eight hour discrepancy, researchers suggest confronting any inequalities in household labor before routines are established and become harder to break.

Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips

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The Best (and Worst) Places for Moms Around the Globe: See Where the U.S. Ranks!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Holding HandsWith Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all mothers, not just our own. Save the Children released its 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report yesterday to shed light on the places where life for mothers can be most improved. The report takes into account the well-being of mothers and their children in 179 countries across the globe.

Multiple factors of women’s well-being, such as lifetime risk of maternal mortality, gross national income, and participation of women in national government, are taken into account, along with a number of factors reflecting children’s well-being—including under-5 mortality rate and expected amount of schooling. The 2015 report focused on the state of mother’s in urban areas—where more than half of the world’s population currently lives. (That number is expected to reach approximately 66 percent by 2050.)

Scandinavian countries rank within the top 10 best countries for mothers and countries in sub-Saharan African rank in the bottom 10. The United States has not ranked within the top 10 in nine years, and ranked 33rd this year—dropping two spots from last year.

In fact, among the report’s more startling finding was that Washington, D.C. has the highest infant-death risk and greatest inequality of any capital city in developed countries, with a mortality rate of 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (the U.S. average is 6.1).

Related: Jennifer Garner Wants You to Join the #GlobalMoms Discussion

Overall, urban slums are one of the worst places for mothers to bring up her children. The report states that the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest urban children. This is because of social and economic disadvantages, deprivation and discrimination. Although urban areas have more health facilities, these facilities are often unable to reach those who are in the most need due to lack of funding.

In order to lessen the gap between rich and poor mothers, Save the Children stresses the need for universal health coverage and nutritional services, and the mobilization of resources to end preventable child deaths in urban slums.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Hungry Home
The Hungry Home
The Hungry Home

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Prenatal Air Pollution and Poverty: The Combination That Can Lower a Kid’s IQ

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Black and white girlThe one-two punch of maternal poverty and prenatal exposure to air pollution can have a negative effect on a child’s IQ, researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health have found.

A new study, published in Neurotoxicology and Teratology, focused on 276 mother-child pairs living in urban areas from pregnancy to early childhood. It found kids who were born to moms who experienced both economic hardship during pregnancy and exposure to air pollution (specifically, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) had lower IQ scores at the age of 5 than children who were exposed to fewer pollutants in utero and born to more economically secure mothers.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the environment may come from such sources as cars and trucks, oil, and smoke emissions.

“The findings add to other evidence that socioeconomic disadvantage can increase the adverse effects of toxic physical “stressors” like air pollutants,” the study concluded. Furthermore, the association between the PAH exposure, which was found in cord blood, and the lowered IQ was “significant only among the group of children whose mothers reported high material hardship. These results indicate the need for a multifaceted approach to prevention.”

 

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

3 Things to Raise a Successful Student
3 Things to Raise a Successful Student
3 Things to Raise a Successful Student

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Peanut-Allergic Kids Are More Likely to Be Exposed to Nuts at Home Than School

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

PeanutsAs the number of school-aged children with nut allergies continues to rise, so has the number of entirely peanut-free classrooms and schools.

However, new findings published in Clinical and Translational Allergy discovered that children who are allergic to peanuts are actually much more likely to be exposed to peanuts in their own home than at school.

Researchers at the University of Montreal followed 1,941 children of all ages who were already diagnosed with a peanut allergy. These children were examined for an average of 2.9 years and during the observational period 567 unintended exposures occurred in 429 of the participants.

Of the accidental exposures, 37 percent happened in the child’s own home. Other people’s homes (14.3 percent) and restaurants (9.3 percent) also accounted for a portion of the exposures.

The number of exposures that happened at schools or daycares, on the other hand, were much fewer: just 4.9 percent occurred at peanut-free facilities and 3 percent happened where peanuts are allowed. Researchers believe there was little difference between schools that prohibit peanuts and those that don’t because schools that allow peanuts have an increased awareness of the issue. Furthermore, according to the study, “peanut-free policies may create a false sense of security and foods brought to such facilities may inadvertently contain peanuts and children who are allergic may believe that it is safe to share foods as they believe they are guaranteed to be peanut free.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Food Allergies: Keeping Medication in Schools is Crucial
Food Allergies: Keeping Medication in Schools is Crucial
Food Allergies: Keeping Medication in Schools is Crucial

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Wow: Babies As Young as 6 Months Are Getting Screen Time!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Boy with tabletThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns against allowing babies to use computers, televisions, smartphones and tablets before 2 years of age—but we all know that these devices—especially smartphones and tablets—are a staple for many young kids. Now, new research, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting last weekend, sheds light on just how young some kids really are when they begin using these devices.

More than 350 parents of children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, who were at a pediatric clinic that serves a low-income community, filled out a 20-question survey about media use by children that was developed by researchers. (It was adapted from Common Sense Media’s Zero to Eight national survey.)

It turns out that more than one-third of the kids were using entertainment media before they could even walk or talk. And researchers found that one in seven toddlers uses a device for at least one hour per day by age 1.

Of kids less than a year old, 52 percent watched TV shows; 36 percent touched or controlled a screen; 24 percent had called someone

Across all ages, “results also showed 73 percent of parents let their children play with mobile devices while doing household chores, 60 percent while running errands, 65 percent to calm a child and 29 percent to put a child to sleep,” reports the AAP.

Related: Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

A positive correlation was also found between a child’s age and the amount of time spent on mobile devices. While it may be getting harder and harder for parents to discourage their children from using technology, it’s important that they’re educated about negatives as well as the positives.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Digital Devices and Children
Digital Devices and Children
Digital Devices and Children

Image: Boy with tablet via Shutterstock

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