Archive for the ‘ Parenting News ’ Category

Many Parents Are Still Confused About Antibiotics

Monday, July 20th, 2015

ReceivingPillThink you know whether or not your kid needs antibiotics? It turns out, many parents are still unsure of what antibiotics do and when their children should receive them, according to a recently released study.

In fact, the research, which appears in the journal of Pediatrics, found that American parents with Medicaid (government-run program) insurance are more likely to have misconceptions about antibiotics than parents with private commercial insurance.

Researchers examined about 700 parents with kids under the age of 6. The parents—roughly half had Medicaid and the other half had private insurance—were asked questions regarding their knowledge of antibiotics. Less than half of parents with Medicaid (44 percent) answered correctly when asked if antibiotics are needs for the common cold or flu, while almost 80 percent of parents with private insurance answered correctly.

Related: Why Too Many Antibiotics Aren’t Good for Kids

“While not confirmed, it is possible that the combination of health literacy and underlying socioeconomic factors could contribute to both the misconceptions and expectations for antibiotics,” notes Louise Vaz, M.D., assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases and medical director of the Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy Program at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

Experts concluded that the overarching issue is education. It’s clear that many individuals don’t realize that the majority of infections people contract are viral, and viruses don’t respond to antibiotic treatment. In order to combat these misconceptions, it’s especially important for patients to create a relationship with their doctor so that they receive consistent messages.

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.

Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor

Image: Child receiving pill via Shutterstock

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Here’s ANOTHER Reason Why Too Much TV is Bad for Your Tot

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Boy being bulliedIf your toddler watches hours of television, he may be more susceptible to being bullied in middle school, according to new research.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, found that with each additional hour (above the average of approximately 1.5 hours each day) a child viewed a TV program, there was an 11 percent increase in the amount he or she was bullied in middle school.

Researchers from the University of Montreal followed nearly 2,000 2-year-olds who were taking part in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. Children were asked about how often they watched TV, and parents were asked about whether their child’s behavior was impulsive or aggressive. Years later, when the children reached sixth grade, researchers administered a questionnaire to find out how often the children were teased or bullied.

The findings were clear: more than about two hours of TV watching per day takes away from engaging activities where children learn how to socialize, according to psychologist and the study’s coauthor Linda Pagani. And the pattern remained even after family characteristics (income, functioning, and mother’s education level) and the child’s behavior were taken into account.

Related: Teaching TV Responsibility

However, experts note that cutting TV out of your toddler’s daily routine doesn’t mean she won’t be bullied. It’s important for parents to encourage their children to engage in activities—and when kids do tune into their favorite show, parents can play a more active role by discussing it alongside them.

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.

How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying

Image: Boy being bullied via Shutterstock

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Not Sure Why Your Child Is Acting Out? This Might Be Why

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Screaming boyIf your child is particularly aggressive these days and you can’t seem to figure out why, new research might have the answer: An international study from Duke University suggests that if children are hypersensitive to hostility from others, they are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior themselves.

Researchers examined 1,299 8-year-old children and their parents in nine countries (representing 12 cultural groups) for four years. One universal pattern was found across all cultures: “When a child infers that he or she is being threatened by someone else and makes an attribution that the other person is acting with hostile intent, then that child is likely to react with aggression,” said the study’s lead author, Kenneth A. Dodge M.D.

The findings, which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that the way a child is socialized is key. If children are socialized to be defensive, there is a greater chance for aggressive behavior.

When it came to the countries with the highest and lowest rates of child aggressive behavior problems, children from the United States (Durham, N.C. to be exact) who participated in the study came out somewhere in the middle.

“By teaching our children to give others the benefit of the doubt, we will help them grow up to be less aggressive, less anxious and more competent,” Dodge notes.

Related: Genetics May Determine Toddlers’ Aggression

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.

Handling Aggressive Behavior
Handling Aggressive Behavior
Handling Aggressive Behavior

Image: Screaming boy via Shutterstock

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Your Child’s Favorite Cartoon May Influence His Eating Habits

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Boys watching cartoonsHere’s more proof that the media influences children—and not always in a good way: A new first-of-its-kind study found that kids are actually more likely to consume unhealthy foods after viewing pudgy, “egg-shaped” cartoon characters.

Even though these characters are completely imaginary, kids still attributed human body norms to character’s body shapes, the researchers found. After watching a cartoon with a plump character, it was found that children were almost twice as likely to consume high-calorie, indulgent foods when compared to children who viewed healthier looking characters or no characters at all.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder collected data from approximately 300 children, broken up into three groups by age—averaging 8, 12, and 13 years old.

But don’t switch off your kids’ cartoon programs just yet! The study also found that even when a child viewed an overweight cartoon character, if they were reminded about healthy eating habits before digging into cookies and candy, they made more healthful choices.

Related: The 20 Best Snacks for Kids

“Kids don’t necessarily draw upon previous knowledge when they’re making decisions,” lead author Margaret C. Campbell said in a press release. “But perhaps if we’re able to help trigger their health knowledge with a quiz just as they’re about to select lunch at school, for instance, they’ll choose the more nutritious foods.”

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.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Boys watching cartoons via Shutterstock

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A New Poll Shows How Parents Feel About Vaccines Now

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Girl getting vaccineIf there’s anything positive to come from the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, it may be this: More American parents now view childhood vaccinations as being safe and beneficial, according to the findings of a new poll.

According to a recent C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital poll, conducted in May, 25 percent of participants responded that their “confidence in vaccine safety has increased” in the last year, and 34 percent believe being vaccinated is more beneficial than they previously thought. (Just 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, now believe vaccines are less safe and less beneficial than they did a year ago.)

The poll also found that 40 percent of parents believe their children are at a higher risk of contracting these diseases than a year ago. And 35 percent of parents are now more supportive of vaccination requirements at daycares and schools.

Related: Should Schools Ban Unvaccinated Kids?

Experts believe the shift in opinions is due to the numerous measles and whooping cough outbreaks that have made news across the country over the past year, as well as efforts by health professionals to increase knowledge about the benefits of vaccines.

Related: California Outlaws Personal and Religious Beliefs as Valid Vaccination Exemption

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 Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Mom with daughter receiving vaccine via Shutterstock

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