Archive for the ‘ New Research ’ Category

Is It Safe to Travel With Your Infant on an Airplane?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Risk of Death for Infants Traveling on AirplanesIf you’re thinking of bringing your infant on a flight anytime soon, think again, new research suggests.

While in-flight deaths are rare, a new study has found a pattern among children who did die. Most were healthy children under the age of 2 who were sitting in an adult’s lap during a commercial airline flight, according to research published in the journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. The study tracked recorded incidents on thousands of medical emergencies on airlines from 2010 to 2013.

While this study is the first of its kind, research suggests that lap infants were at a greater risk of dying due to in-flight environmental factors, such as sharing a seat with an adult and dangerous co-sleeping arrangements, said Dr. Alexandre Rotta, lead researcher on the study and chief of pediatric critical care at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.It is also possible that lower oxygen levels on planes could harm infants’ immature respiratory systems, Fox News reports. The study also noted that there could be another factor that is causing these deaths that has yet to be identified.

“I hope our findings lead to further research on this important subject,” Dr. Rotta said. “It is my belief the pattern we discovered should promote the development of preventative strategies and travel policies to protect the health of all pediatric airplane passengers, especially infants.”

Follow our six tips for surviving air travel with kids.

It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions
It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions
It Worked For Me: Safety Solutions

Photo of sleeping baby courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Children’s Drawings Linked to Higher Intelligence Later in Life

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Children's Drawings Linked to Higher IntelligenceIf you’ve ever walked into a room in your home only to discover a crayon-created “masterpiece” on the wall, perhaps that portrait your preschooler left behind is really a blessing in disguise.

The way 4-year-olds draw pictures can be an indicator of their intelligence at 14, according to a recent study out of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. Researchers have found moderate associations linking the amount of detail 4-year-olds included in pictures they were asked to draw of another child to higher scores on verbal intelligence tests at age 14.

They determined this by accounting for the amount of detail that was included in the figure—the more comprehensive their picture (including facial features, hair, two legs, two arms etc.), the higher their intelligence score was later in life. The study is based off of an assessment developed in the 1920s called the “Draw-a-Child” test that was used to examine a child’s intelligence level at his current age.

But if your little one isn’t a budding Matisse, there’s no reason to panic. “The correlation is moderate, so our findings are interesting, but it does not mean that parents should worry if their child draws badly,” said Dr. Rosalind Arden, the study’s lead author. “Drawing ability does not determine intelligence, there are countless factors, both genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence in later life.”

You can learn how to decode your child’s drawings, or try out some other simple crafts with your kids. And if you really can’t keep them (and their art supplies) off your walls, consider this cool wallpaper that’s actually meant to be colored on!

Activity Tips: Drawing
Activity Tips: Drawing
Activity Tips: Drawing

Photo of boy coloring courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Could a Vitamin D Deficiency Make IVF Less Successful?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

vitamin DA small new study from Italian researchers, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, has found a surprising reason why in vitro fertilization (IVF) may not always work.

As Yahoo News UK reports, the researchers looked at IVF success rates in 154 women who were vitamin D-deficient and compared them to 181 women who were not deficient in the vitamin, and found that the women with sufficient vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have IVF success. And not only that—the women with healthy vitamin D levels were also more likely to have “high-quality embryos.”

“Our work is the largest study to date to examine how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing IVF,” one of the study’s authors, Alessio Paffoni, MSc, of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy, said in a statement.” He continued, “Although randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings, our results certainly suggest that low levels of vitamin D contribute to infertility.”

The researchers defined a healthy or sufficient level of vitamin D as 20 to 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

Find out which foods are smart sources of vitamin D.

Photo of vitamin D courtesy of Shutterstock

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CDC Report: Single Mom and Teen Births Declining

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

There are fewer people eligible to be on MTV’s Teen Mom, according to the latest stats from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report shows a continued decline in single motherhood, in all groups but the over-35 segment. Now, only 4 out of every 10 births occur out of wedlock—and more than half of those “single mom” births are within cohabiting couples who just haven’t decided to make their union official.

The biggest decline in birth rate occurred in the 15-to-17-year-old age bracket, where the number of births fell by almost a third over the last five years—and the older-teen birth rate also declined by more than 25 percent.

This slightly contradicts some earlier figures in a Johns Hopkins study, which showed that nearly 60 percent of births to the Millennial generation had occurred out of wedlock.

Still, both sets of data show that the wife-then-mom model may not be the scenario for many modern-day moms.

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Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail

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For Breech Babies, C-Section Is Safest

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

While many experts are concerned with the rise in C-section rates, there’s one situation where C-section is called for—when the baby is in breech position. That’s the latest finding in a Dutch study published in the journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Breech babies (those who present feet or buttocks first, rather than the head) who are born vaginally are 10 times more likely to die during childbirth as their counterparts who were born via C-section. In the retrospective study of 58,320 of breech births, the researchers found that  as elective C-sections for breech births have increased, from 24% to 60%, that resulted in a decrease of infant mortality from 1.3/1000 to 0.7/1000.

The takeaway? According to lead study author Dr. Floortje Vlemmix from the Department of Obstetics and Gynecology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, ”While elective C-section has improved neonatal outcomes there is still a good number of women who attempt vaginal birth. Our findings suggest there is still room for improvement to prevent unnessary risk to the infant. We recommend using measures to turn the baby (external cephalic version) to prevent breech presentation at birth and counselling women who want to proceed with a vaginal breech birth.”

Find out more about breech birth, and learn how to build a birth plan that covers emergencies.

Birth Stories: Planned C-section With Twins
Birth Stories: Planned C-section With Twins
Birth Stories: Planned C-section With Twins

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