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Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that about 2,270 children are injured each year in accidents that involve pacifiers, sippy cups, or bottles. CNN.com reports on the study, which cites facial lacerations, dental injuries, and cuts to the lips and tongue as the most common injuries associated with the items:
“Teeth were either knocked out, chipped, pushed back up into the gums or knocked sideways,” says Sarah Keim, lead study author and a researcher at the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The study also found that one-year-old children were injured the most often.
Dr. Garry Gardner is a pediatrician in Chicago and chairs the Injury, Violence and Poison Control committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He’s not surprised by the results of this study, especially that the majority of children injured were about 1-year-old.
“They toddle along and they’re not very coordinated and it’s amazing to see these kids trip over nothing – and they do it all the time.”
If there’s anything in a child’s mouth, he says, it’s going to cause an injury to the mouth or hurt a tooth.
Image: Child walking with pacifier, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, April 9th, 2012
Nearly half of three- to five-year-old children do not have daily outdoor playtime with parents or caregivers, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The study collected data on 9,000 families, and found that though mothers took children outside more often than fathers, half of the children did not get regular outdoor playtime at all.
CNN.com has more:
“There’s a big room for improvement in how parents prioritize their time and what they’re doing in the time they’re spending with their pre-school children,” said lead study author Dr. Pooja Tandon of Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children play outside as much as possible, for at least 60 minutes a day. Physical activity is not only good for weight control and preventing childhood obesity; previous research also suggests playing outside improves motor development, vision and vitamin D levels.
“There is evidence that play – just sort of the act of playing – is important for children’s development of their social skills and their peer interactions,” Tandon said. “Being outdoors affords children an opportunity to play in ways that they may not get to when they’re indoors.”
Researchers suggested that families address outdoor time with child care centers or preschools their children attend, or work with community groups and friends to devise creative ways to incorporate more outdoor play into kids’ routines.
Image: Empty playground, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
A new study published in the journal Science is reporting that when mice are exposed to germs early in their lives, they are ultimately healthier and better able to fight infections than mice that were not exposed to germs. The findings are being touted as encouragement to parents who worry about their children getting sick during toddlerhood and their early school years, concluding that those sniffles and bugs are actually teaching young immune systems to react–but not overreact–to potentially dangerous infections. Medical ethics professor Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania writes on MSNBC.com:
Parents are constantly being told to make their kitchens spotless, to kill 99.9 per cent of the germs lurking in their bathrooms and to wash themselves and their babies all the time.
This world of purity sounds good but it does not fit how we are designed. We are meant to encounter some microbes and dirt when we are young. It is how we built our immune systems. We need a certain amount of grunginess as kids to be healthy adults.
As the Harvard study shows, filth can be good — at least in tiny amounts when you are very young.
Image: Taking a child’s temperature, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
A new 15-year study shows that the ways parents play with their children at age 2 has a direct correlation with how well they perform academically throughout their school years. Researchers from Utah State University’s department of Family, Consumer and Human Development (FCHD) followed 229 children from low-income families. Mothers, fathers, or both parents played regularly with the children, and some of the children also received Early Head Start educational experiences.
The study isolated four types of play that had a direct effect on later academic performance:
- Encouraging and engaging in pretend play
- Presenting activities in an organized sequence of steps
- Elaborating on the pictures, words, and actions in a book or on unique attributes of objects
- Relating play activity or book text to the child’s experience
The role of each parent also was a factor. The researchers looked at two different family types, those who lived with biological fathers and those who didn’t. They found that in both these family situations, children perform better academically when mothers teach more during play with their toddlers. When live-in biological fathers teach during play with their toddlers, they make an additional positive contribution to their child’s 5th grade math and reading performance.
Image: Mother and daughter playing with blocks, via Shutterstock.
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Monday, February 13th, 2012
The Chicago Tribune reports that a two-year-old girl is in serious condition after being injured by a falling television and dresser last week. She is the fifth child in the Chicago area to be struck by a falling television since October.
The toddler was trying to climb up the dresser when the television fell on her, police reports said. The child’s mother was in another room with her son when she heard a crash. The child was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, and her condition was upgraded from critical to serious over the weekend.
But in the four other cases in the Chicago area, all four children died of their injuries. There’s been a wave of similar accidents nationwide: Hospitals saw 40 percent increase in the number of children treated at emergency rooms for “furniture tip-over” injuries from 1990 to 2007, said Dr. Gary Smith, president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in a previous Tribune article.
From the Tribune:
Televisions account for nearly half of those cases, and young children are the most common victims, Smith said. Nine out of 10 children killed in tip-over accidents from 2000 to 2010 were 5 or younger, according to a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“They are actually, unfortunately, common. There is a real need to do something about this,” Smith said.
There appears to be no clear reason for the rise in injuries, Smith said, though it is theorized that more children are being injured by televisions because people tend to put flat-screen televisions in places that are easier for children to reach.
To keep chidren safe, Smith recommends securing all heavy furniture, including televisions and dressers, to walls with attachments such as straps and anchors.
Click here for more from Parents.com on keeping your toddler safe at home.
Image: TV on dresser via Shutterstock.
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