Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Frequent Internet use, stressed-out parents who don’t have time to play outside, and too much time spent riding in cars are all cited by a non-profit organization’s Physical Activity for Children and Youth report card as contributing factors to poor physical activity and fitness levels among American kids. Reuters has more:
Only one quarter of children aged 6 to 15 meet the current guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, said Dr. Russell R. Pate, chairman of the non-profit National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Alliance, which issued the first U.S. report card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
“Fifty percent of waking hours are spent in sedentary activity,” said Pate, professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.
Fitness experts say it is up to parents and policy makers to get their children to be more active.
“It’s not about grading the kids,” said Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and chairman of the research committee that issued the report card.
“Kids want to be active, if they’re given the opportunity.” he said. “This is for us to change.”
Image: Kids playing outside, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Three types of devices designed to alert parents if they have left their babies strapped into car seats are not reliable, a new government report has found. The Washington Post reports on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s findings:
The performance of the devices — one that relies on a chest buckle sensor and two that use seat pads — is too inconsistent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
“These sense the presence of a child; they just don’t do it reliably enough,” said Kristy B. Arbogast, a researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who tested the devices for the federal agency.
“While these devices are very well intended and we do appreciate the manufacturers and inventors, we have found a number of limitations in these devices,” NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland said. “We don’t think they can be used as the only countermeasure to make sure that you don’t forget your child behind in a car.”
The three devices are the Suddenly Safe Pressure Pad, the ChildMinder Smart Clip System and the ChildMinder Smart Pad. There was no immediate response from the three manufacturers.
The NHTSA report said that, in some cases, spilled liquids caused malfunctions, cellphone use interfered with device signals, devices turned off and on during travel and an improperly positioned child caused seat pads to malfunction.
“In sum, the devices require considerable effort from the parent/caregiver to ensure smooth operation,” the report said.
Image: Child in car seat, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
A new study conducted by the insurance company Allstate has found that sixty percent of American parents whose children hold drivers’ licenses say the economic downturn has led them to cut back on driving expenses, including buying cars for their teens.
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Not surprisingly, income is a factor in spending and saving decisions.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of parents in households earning less than $30,000 per year say they are saving or spending less on their children’s driving, while just one-third (32 percent) of those in households earning more than $75,000 say the same.
Interestingly, among parents who already have a child with a driver’s license, 73 percent say their child has their own car, while another eight percent say their child shares a car with a sibling.
This rate of teenage car ownership is considerably higher than what parents experienced when they were first driving (just 48 percent had their own car or shared with siblings), and also much higher than what is expected among parents whose children do not yet have a license (just 48 percent expect their children to have their own car).