Let a baby cry for better sleep, say researchers

Source: Let a baby cry for better sleep, say researchers – Medical News Today

One of the biggest challenges many new parents face is lack of sleep. But getting up on numerous occasions throughout the night to calm a crying infant is part of the job, right? According to a new study, it doesn’t have to be; letting a baby cry themselves to sleep may lead to a better night’s rest for all parties.
[A baby crying in a cot]
Ignoring a child’s cries may result in better sleep for infants and parents, say researchers.

The study suggests a behavioral technique known as “graduated extinction” – which involves letting a baby cry until they fall asleep – can lead to longer sleep duration for the child and their parents.

Study co-author Michael Gradisar, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Psychology at Flinders University, Australia, and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal Pediatrics. Continue reading

Health, well-being no different for children raised in same-sex parent families

Source: Health, well-being no different for children raised in same-sex parent families – Medical News Today

Among stable families, the health and well-being of children raised by parents of the same sex are no different to that of children raised by parents of different sexes. This is the conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
[Two mothers with their son]
The health and well-being for children raised in same-sex parent families is no different to those raised in different-sex parent families.

The number of same-sex parents in the US has increased significantly in recent years. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, there are currently 594,000 same-sex couple households in the US, of whom around 27% have children.

Most studies investigating the health and well-being of children within same-sex parent families have found they fare just as well as children from families with different-sex parents. Continue reading

9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home

Source: Life Hack Thursday: 9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home | CTV News

The staff working in hospital emergency and trauma departments see a lot of injuries come through the doors every day, including those they know could have been avoided.

So what are some unexpected things commonly found in many homes that cause easily preventable injuries? We spoke to a few doctors and a registered nurse to find out.

Microwaveable soups

“You know those heatable soups that come in Styrofoam cups? I’ve seen a huge number of people get burned very badly from opening those,” says Toronto-area emergency room physician, Dr. Brett Belchetz. Continue reading

The Ideal Amount of Sleep for Each Age Group, According to the Experts

Source: The Ideal Amount of Sleep for Each Age Group, According to the Experts

It seems like a question that’s as old as time itself: “How much sleep do I really need?” The nonprofit National Sleep Foundation and a panel of 18 prominent medical scientists and researchers reviewed over 300 sleep studies to try and finally answer it.

The short answer is, of course, “it depends.” There’s no perfect sleep number that can fit every person, but The National Sleep Foundation’s major report—recently published in their own Sleep Health Journal—has revealed an updated list of sleep duration recommendations for all age groups. Continue reading

Naturopaths should be restricted from treating children

Source: Naturopaths should be restricted from treating children. Here’s why.

You may be aware of Ezekiel Stephan, a 19-month-old boy, who died in 2012, after his parents chose home remedies and naturopathy for the treatment of viral meningitis. The parents currently are on trial in Canada for failing to provide the necessities of life.

Over the course of many days, Ezekiel’s condition rapidly deteriorated, but his parents chose to “give him as much natural product as possible,” including syrup, frozen berries and a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root. By the time Ezekiel began slipping in and out of consciousness, a family friend, who is a registered nurse, examined the boy and instructed the parents to take him to the emergency room under the suspicion of meningitis.

Instead, the parents took Ezekiel to a licensed naturopath. His condition was dire. His mother recalled that his body was too stiff to be placed in a car seat, so Ezekiel was put on a mattress in the back of the car. The naturopath then gave a preparation of echinacea without performing a physical exam and did not instruct the parents to seek emergency medical attention. Ezekiel stopped breathing that evening. Continue reading

Refusal to immunize linked to outbreaks of measles and pertussis

Source: Refusal to immunize linked to outbreaks of measles and pertussis – Medical News Today

Amid increasing concern about measles and pertussis outbreaks in the US, a new study shows that having incomplete or no vaccination significantly increases the chance of infection. The findings are published in JAMA.
[child with rash and fever]
People who do not have MMR or DTaP vaccines run a higher risk of contracting several diseases.

The symptoms of measles include a fever, cough and the characteristic measles rash all over the body. It can also lead to ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage and even death.

Immunization can cause minor side effects, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people to seek immunization rather than risk developing the disease. Continue reading

Younger siblings: are they better for older child’s health?

Source: Younger siblings: are they better for older child’s health? – Medical News Today

Younger siblings are not always viewed in a positive light; they get into things, make a mess and then somehow seem to avoid all the blame. But a new study suggests that, despite their pesky behavior, younger siblings may lower the older child’s risk of becoming obese.
Siblings on a bike
Could a younger sibling be good for the older child’s health? The new study suggests so.

Results of the study – led by Dr. Julie Lumeng from the University of Michigan – are published in the journal Pediatrics.

Previous research has not been so kind to siblings. One study suggested infants are more likely to catch whooping cough from their siblings than from their mothers.

And another study declared that firstborn children have higher IQs than their younger siblings.

Dr. Lumeng and colleagues say previous research has already suggested that the structure of a family could influence weight, but theirs is the first to look at how children’s body mass index (BMI) changes with the birth of a younger sibling. Continue reading

School entry age may impact risk of ADHD diagnosis

Source: School entry age may impact risk of ADHD diagnosis – Medical News Today

The age at which a child starts school may influence their likelihood of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suggests a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

[A line of schoolchildren]
ADHD is one of the most common disorders of childhood.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is estimated to affect around 6.4 million children aged 4-17 in the US, making it one of the most common childhood conditions.

ADHD is characterized by poor attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. It is most commonly diagnosed at the age of 7, and boys are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than girls. Continue reading

A little alcohol in pregnancy puts future generations at risk

Source: A little alcohol in pregnancy puts future generations at risk – Medical News Today

Even a small dose of alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of alcoholism in the next three generations, according to a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
[pregnant woman with wine]
Drinking during pregnancy can have a lifelong impact on offspring.

Previous studies have shown that alcohol use and related disorders pose a significant threat to global health. Exposure to moderate amounts of alcohol in utero or during early life puts humans at greater risk for alcohol abuse in adolescence and adulthood.

Factors affecting teen drinking habits are varied and complex. They include the desire to engage in risk-taking and rebellious behavior, as well as the wish to impress and to sustain popularity among peers. Continue reading

The High Price of Pushing Kids Too Hard

Source: The High Price of Pushing Kids Too Hard | Psychology Today

Millions of kitchen tables and cell phones witness conversations between parents and friends about when to push foot-dragging children along the road to school readiness, summer camp, or whatever imagined goal line the parent frets some other child might cross first.

Waiting for a developmental skill to emerge in its own time seems just too passive in the 21st century. It leaves many parents today to conclude that pushing will work better than supporting. They wonder only how hard to push, not whether to push at all.

What is the better solution? Don’t push—period. Continue reading

9 Signs Your Child Has Entitlement Issues

Source: 9 Signs Your Child Has Entitlement Issues | Psychology Today

Most of us have watched as the youngster—your child or a friend or relative’s child—tears into her gifts. She sees what is in one package and quickly moves on to the next. A parent stands by reminding her to say “thank you,” often fruitlessly. Feeling somewhat helpless, the parent herself comments on how special the gift is, just what her son or daughter wanted.

Twin Design/Shutterstock

The birthday party, particularly the “over the top” extravaganza, is only one way parents indulge their children and cultivate their sense of entitlement. We delight in seeing our children’s faces light up when they receive exactly what they want, when we drop whatever we are doing to drive to someplace they have to be “right now!” or when we agree to finish their school project so they can get a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

Doctors worried about young people using medical marijuana

Source: Nova Scotia doctors worried about young people using medical marijuana – Nova Scotia – CBC News

Some Nova Scotia doctors are concerned young people are receiving prescriptions to smoke medical marijuana, despite the effects marijuana has on the developing brain.

Currently, there are no laws in Canada regarding the age at which people can receive prescriptions for marijuana and different organizations have different recommendations.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada says cannabis is not appropriate for anyone under the age of 25, while the Canadian Paediatric Society and Health Canada both recommend cannabis not be consumed by anyone under the age of 18.

Risks of youth cannabis use

The brain isn’t fully developed until 25 and frequent cannabis use can have serious consequences for youth. Continue reading

Solid foods take over shaping of gut microbiota by 9 months

Source: Solid foods take over shaping of gut microbiota by 9 months – Medical News Today

By the time an infant is 9 months old, solid foods have the greatest impact on the gut microbiota, having taken over from the mother as the main influence, says research published in mSphere.
[baby feeding with spoon
By the age of 9 months, an infant’s gut microbiota is influenced more by solid food than by the mother.

The gut microbiota, or gut microbiome, refers to the community of 100 trillion plus microbial cells that live in the digestive tract.

Interest in the gut microbiome has grown in recent years, as researchers have discovered that it influences human physiology, metabolism, nutrition and immune function.

Disruption to the gut microbiota has been associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Continue reading

Do Today’s Parents Give Kids Too Much Say, or Not Enough?

Source: Do Today’s Parents Give Kids Too Much Say, or Not Enough? | Psychology Today

As parents, we tell our children what to do. It is our job to set limits and boundaries, and teach them how to behave and be respectful. I would imagine I bark orders at my kids at least twenty times a day. “Be nice to your sister,” “get dressed,” “sit up,” “chew with your mouth closed,” “clean up your toys” are just a few of the everyday utterances that leave my mouth. As a child being on the receiving end, I could imagine this may get frustrating. Nobody likes someone telling them what to do and just like us, children have opinions, desires, and needs. And so the power struggle begins… Continue reading

Recommendation: Screen Teens for Major Depression

Source: Recommendation: Screen Teens for Major Depression

Experts add that more research is needed to determine whether kids under 12 should also be tested.

Primary care doctors should screen all patients between 12 and 18 years of age for major depression, but not younger children, preventive health experts say.

Screening of adolescents needs to be accompanied by accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and appropriate follow-up, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said in a final recommendation released Monday. Continue reading

Parental depression lowers school grades

Source: Parental depression lowers school grades – Medical News Today

Children whose parents are battling depression are at greater risk of doing badly in school, and a mother’s depression is more likely to affect a daughter, says research published online in JAMA Psychiatry.
[sad mother and daughter]
Parental depression can have a detrimental effect on a child’s school grades.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that depression affects 7.6% of Americans aged 12 years and older, 3% of whom have severe depressive symptoms.

Economically deprived individuals are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, and the condition is more prevalent among women generally and in the 40-59-year age group. Continue reading

Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life

Source: Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life – Medical News Today

High blood pressure is a large and growing problem in the US. A new study that followed 1.5 million teens through to adulthood investigates the role of early psychological parameters on the likelihood of developing hypertension.
[Stressed teenage boy]
A new study links a teen’s ability to cope with stress and hypertension later in life.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is both common and dangerous.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, equating to around 70 million people.

Consistently high blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in America. Continue reading

What Is Microcephaly?

Source: What Is Microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a rare nervous system disorder that causes a baby’s head to be small and not fully developed. The child’s brain stops growing as it should. This can happen while the baby is still in the mother’s womb or within the first few years of birth.

How Does a Baby Get Microcephaly?

Your doctor may not be able to tell you why this happened to your baby. In most cases, the exact cause is unknown.

It can be brought on by:

A problem with your genes (congenital microcephaly)
Something in your environment (acquired microcephaly)

Congenital microcephaly is passed down through families. It’s caused by defects in genes linked to early brain development. Microcephaly is often seen in children with Down syndrome and genetic disorders.

Acquired microcephaly means the child’s brain came into contact with something that harmed its growth and development. Continue reading

Are BPA-free food containers really safe?

Source: Are BPA-free food containers really safe? – Medical News Today

Plastics that are “BPA-free” may not be better for you, say researchers, who have found that the replacement chemical, bisphenol S, has similar effects to the discredited bisphenol A. The findings are published in the journal Endocrinology.
[toddler and drinking cup]
Plastics containing BPA or BPS may cause reproductive problems.

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been widely used as a strengthening agent in plastics. Uses include water bottles, sippy cups, toys, contact and eyeglass lenses, water-supply pipes, compact discs, some cash register and ATM receipts, even dental sealants and composites. It is also used to line cans for food. Continue reading

Breastfeeding saves lives, boosts economies in rich and poor countries

Source: Breastfeeding saves lives, boosts economies in rich and poor countries – Medical News Today

The decision not to breastfeed harms the long-term health, nutrition and development of children – and the health of women – around the world, conclude leading experts in a new series of papers on breastfeeding published in The Lancet. They also detail how this loss of opportunity damages the global economy.

The authors say countries should see promoting breastfeeding as an investment that benefits not only their public health, but also their economies.

The two-part series is the most detailed analysis of levels, trends and benefits of breastfeeding around the world.

By not being exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of their lives, and not continuing to receive their mother’s milk for another 6 months, millions of children are being denied the important health benefits of breastfeeding, note the authors. Continue reading

Depression may pass from mothers to daughters

Source: Depression may pass from mothers to daughters – Medical News Today

Depression appears to be passed down from mothers to daughters, say researchers who have been looking at similarities in brain structures between generations. The research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
[depressed woman and baby]
Similarities in brain structure suggest daughters may inherit depression from their mothers.

Around 8% of Americans aged 12 years and over are affected by depression. It is commonly found in both mothers and daughters, previous human studies have reported. Continue reading

E-cigarettes: teen users three times more likely to smoke a year later

Source: E-cigarettes: teen users three times more likely to smoke a year later – Medical News Today

There is much debate about whether e-cigarette use is a gateway to conventional smoking. Now, a new study adds fuel to the fire, finding that teenagers who use the devices are more likely to smoke standard cigarettes a year later.
[A teenager using an e-cigarette]
E-cigarettes may be a gateway to conventional smoking for teenagers, research suggests.

The use of e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) is increasing among teenagers; last year, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2013-2014, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students in the US tripled. Continue reading

Children’s social and emotional well-being varies with parental debt

Source: Children’s social and emotional well-being varies with parental debt – Medical News Today

Children’s social and emotional well-being varies according to the size and type of debts their parents take on, according to a study that – for the first time – sheds new light on the link between debt and family well-being by focusing on children as opposed to adults.
Kids in a circle with their heads touching
The study found that higher total parental debt is tied to poorer child social and emotional well-being.

A paper on the study – by Lawrence M. Berger, professor in the social work department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, also in Madison, and Jason N. Houle, assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH – is published in the journal Pediatrics. Continue reading

Water dispensers in schools: do they lower obesity in students?

Source: Water dispensers in schools: do they lower obesity in students? – Medical News Today

Tackling the issue of childhood obesity in the US is paramount; during the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. But how can we launch an attack on such a widespread epidemic? A new study makes a simple suggestion: water jet machines placed in schools.
Water cooler
A simple solution: water jet machines placed in schools resulted in lower BMIs in students in New York.

It may sound simple, but, “sometimes, a very simple intervention can have a powerful effect,” write researchers in a related editorial to the study, which is published in JAMA Pediatrics. Continue reading

How Memory, Focus and Good Teaching Can Work Together to Help Kids Learn

Source: How Memory, Focus and Good Teaching Can Work Together to Help Kids Learn | MindShift | KQED News

Everyone has a pet theory on how to improve public education: better professional development for teachers, more money, better curriculum, testing for accountability, teacher incentives, technology, streamlined bureaucracy. Policymakers have been trying these solutions for years with mixed results. But those who study the brain have their own ideas for improving how kids learn: focus on teaching kids how to learn.

Continue reading

3 Things a Parent Should Never Say to a Kid

Source: 3 Things a Parent Should Never Say to a Kid | Psychology Today

We’ve all been there: A toddler is whining incessantly, or a teenager won’t stop arguing when we’ve already told them, “No.” On top of that, maybe we’re on a tight deadline for work, upset from an unpleasant interaction with a relative, or exhausted after a long day.

While it can be incredibly difficult to choose words carefully in these heated moments, our words do have a significant impact on our kids, especially when they are repeated regularly. If those words are often harsh or blaming, odds are our relationship with our kids will suffer. Continue reading

Mother’s education impacts child’s health from birth

Source: Mother’s education impacts child’s health from birth – Medical News Today

Babies born to mothers who did not finish high school, possibly due to socioeconomic stress, are more likely to be born with decreased chromosome protection, according to research published in the Journal of Perinatology.
[young mother and baby]
Babies whose mothers did not finish high school may have additional health risks.

The ends of chromosomes are capped and protected by molecules called telomeres. Telomeres have been likened to the “plastic tips of shoelaces,” and are repeating units of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. Continue reading

Using Ritalin to Treat ADHD: Expert Q&A

Source: Using Ritalin to Treat ADHD: Expert Q&A « WebMD Interviews

Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) is commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but a new analysis finds children taking it are more likely to have sleep problems and decreased appetite, among other issues.

The researchers looked at the results of 185 previously published clinical trials involving more than 12,000 children and teens. They did find that the medication somewhat improved symptoms, such as reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity and helping concentration. They published the findings late last month. Continue reading

Children’s blood bears evidence of mom’s smoking in pregnancy

Source: Children’s blood bears evidence of mom’s smoking in pregnancy – Medical News Today

fetusExposure to tobacco smoke toxins while in the womb can linger in the body and potentially affect children’s health years after they are born.
The study shows that an epigenetic memory of the mother’s smoking during pregnancy can remain in the child’s blood as long as 5 years after birth.

This was the finding of a study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, and published in the journal Environmental Research.

The researchers suggest further investigation may well reveal similar findings about prenatal exposure to other toxins – including less obvious ones such as chemicals in plastics or contaminants in drinking water. Continue reading

Crib bumpers: infant deaths are on the rise

Source: Crib bumpers: infant deaths are on the rise – Medical News Today

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised that all babies should be placed to sleep on their backs, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, a new study reveals that the number of infant deaths and injuries resulting from crib bumpers has significantly increased in recent years. And researchers are warning parents that they should never, ever be used.
Baby in crib with bumperThe new analysis shows that infant deaths due to crib bumper use have significantly increased in recent years.

Crib bumpers are liners that go around cribs and were originally designed to protect infants’ limbs and heads from getting through crib slats.

However, since 1973, federal regulations require crib slats to be narrow enough to keep a baby’s head from going through them, rendering the bumpers unnecessary. Continue reading

Why we must get vaccinated: to protect the people who can’t

Source: Why we must get vaccinated: to protect the people who can’t | ideas.ted.com

Romina Libster (TED Talk: The power of herd immunity) has witnessed first-hand the devastation a virus can wreak on an unvaccinated community. As one of Argentina’s leading infectious disease researchers, she’s on call at the first sign of an outbreak. And too often, lying in the quarantine beds are society’s youngest and most vulnerable patients.

That’s why she has an urgent message for anyone who considers vaccination a matter of personal choice: It’s not just your life hanging in the balance. Vaccination, she argues, is a communal responsibility. Here’s why every shot counts. Continue reading

New study suggests we’re sending our kids to school too young

Source: New study suggests we’re sending our kids to school too young – ScienceAlert

How old should our children be before they start a formal education? That’s the question asked by new research from academics at Stanford University in the US, and it turns out that it might be better for our youngsters if they started school later – a whole year later in the case of the Danish children involved in the study.

Researchers used surveys filled out by tens of thousands of parents in Denmark, where youngsters typically start kindergarten at the age of six. Those who started aged seven showed lower levels of inattention and hyperactivity, factors known to be influential in improving self-regulation, which in turn is linked to academic achievement. The effects persisted up until age 11. Continue reading

Children of Same-Sex Couples Turn Out Just Fine

Source: Children of Same-Sex Couples Turn Out Just Fine | Big Think

One of the major arguments against same-sex marriage holds children in question: How do the children in these relationships turn out? Well, the scientific community has weighed in.

In a recent study looking at the collective literature on the issue, researchers led by associate professor Jimi Adams from the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies at CU Denver College write “that the literature on outcomes for children of same-sex parents is marked by scientific consensus that they experience ‘no differences’ compared to children from other parental configurations.” Continue reading

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

Source: Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy | Psychology Today

Children or teens who are “revved up” and prone to rages or – alternatively – who are depressed and apathetic have become disturbingly commonplace.

Chronically irritable children are often in a state of abnormally high arousal, and may seem “wired and tired.” That is, they’re agitated but exhausted. Because chronically high arousal levels impact memory and the ability to relate, these kids are also likely to struggle academically and socially.

At some point, a child with these symptoms may be given a mental-health diagnosis such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or ADHD, and offered corresponding treatments, including therapy and medication. But often these treatments don’t work very well, and the downward spiral continues. Continue reading

2-Minute Memoir: The Son Who Was a Daughter

Source: 2-Minute Memoir: The Son Who Wasn’t | Psychology Today

On a cold January night six years ago, shortly before his 20th birthday, my son Steven told me he was a woman. He was home from college for winter break, and we were relaxing in the living room, chatting late into the evening as we often did. The conversation touched on Steven’s fervent involvement in women’s rights as well as gay and lesbian issues. Then we started talking about a new friend of his, a young transgender man I was curious to know more about.

I had only a fleeting awareness of what it meant to be transgender. Steven carefully explained that it was a condition in which people feel themselves to be a gender that’s disharmonious with their body, and such was the case with his friend. I found this interesting and in no way alarming. Steven hung out with all kinds of people. He had never meshed perfectly with social conventions himself, and I wondered if he was now exploring this territory in the hope of finding companionship. But something about his demeanor and the passion in his eyes led me to feel strangely suspicious. My stomach tightened. I wanted swift reassurance that this budding exploration of gender identity was just another one of his many intellectual interests.

“How about you?” I asked nervously. “Do you feel harmony between your brain and your body?” He was silent. When no answer came in the seconds that followed, I knew that my world was about to implode. Continue reading

Are they the world’s most relaxed moms? What we can all learn from the Dutch.

Source: Are they the world’s most relaxed moms? What we can all learn from the Dutch. in Strong mind, body, and soul curated by Regina Catipon

Why are Dutch kids so happy? (iStock)

Studies have found that Dutch children are the happiest kids in the world, and that their mothers are pretty happy too. After seven years of living among them, I think there’s a pretty good chance they may also be the most relaxed moms in the world.

I moved to the Netherlands with a 3 and 1-year-old and quickly added a third child to the mix. Since then I’ve clocked up many hours at the park and school pick-ups and am easy to spot. I don’t just stand out physically among the impossibly tall, blonde and svelte Dutch moms, but I also seem to be the only one even remotely frazzled. Continue reading

Convert Picky Eaters Over Time With the “Three Rs”

Source: Convert Picky Eaters Over Time With the “Three Rs”

Cooking for picky eaters can be frustrating, but a recent study suggests three simple things that can convert the pickiest of eaters over time.

The study, conducted by researchers Clare E. Holley, Emma Haycraft, and Claire Farrow, and published in Appetite, suggests you can transform picky eaters as long as you have enough time and persistence. It all comes down to the “Three Rs”:

  1. Repetition
  2. Role modeling
  3. Rewards

Essentially, you need to offer the particular food they don’t want to eat at different meals Continue reading

Anti-vaccine websites are misinforming parents, study says

Source: Anti-vaccine websites are misinforming parents, study says – Medical News Today

[baby vaccination]Many anti-vaccination websites use a “considerable amount” of misinformation, as well as pseudoscience and anecdotes to reinforce the perception that vaccines are dangerous, according to research presented this week at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
Researchers are looking for ways to counter skepticism about vaccination.

Childhood vaccines are key to preventing diseases and epidemics, but growing numbers of parents choose to delay or refuse vaccination, for a variety of reasons. The Internet is often cited as a source of vaccine information – and also controversy. Continue reading

Why Sleeping May Be More Important Than Studying

Source: Why Sleeping May Be More Important Than Studying | MindShift | KQED News

Getting enough sleep is an under-valued but crucial part of learning. Contrary to students’ belief that staying up all night to cram for an exam will lead to higher scores, truth is, the need for a good night’s rest is even more important than finishing homework or studying for a test.

A recent study in the journal Child Development showed that sacrificing sleep in order to study will actually backfire. The study followed 535 Los Angeles high school students for 14 days, tracking how long they slept, as well as how well they understood material being taught in class and how they performed on a test, quiz, or homework. Continue reading

Oxytocin spray improves social skills in some children with autism, world-first study shows

Source: Oxytocin spray improves social skills in some children with autism, world-first study shows – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A world-first study has found a hormone commonly used to induce labour in pregnant women, oxytocin, has significant benefits for some children with autism.

One in 68 Australian children is diagnosed with the disorder, which affects their communication skills and makes it difficult for them to interact socially. Continue reading

Allergies: When to Use Auto-Injectors

Source: When to Use Auto-Injectors

You can’t predict allergic reactions. They can be mild one time and serious the next. An attack can quickly become intense, sometimes leading to anaphylaxis — a severe, often life-threatening reaction. An auto-injector — such as EpiPen, Twinject, or Auvi-Q — can treat extreme allergic reactions with an early, life-saving dose of epinephrine.

Epinephrine is adrenaline, a hormone your body naturally produces. Among other things, it can help improve breathing, raise blood pressure that’s dropping, and reduce swelling.

When you or a loved one has an allergic reaction, it’s common to wonder if the shot is needed. Experts say if there’s any doubt, use the device. It’s much more dangerous not to get epinephrine when you’re having a severe reaction than to get a dose you don’t really need. Continue reading

Sing rather than talk to babies to keep them calm

Source: Sing rather than talk to babies to keep them calm – Medical News Today

When an infant shows signs of distress, a parent’s first instinct may be to engage in baby talk in an attempt to calm them down. But according to a new study, singing may be a much more effective strategy.
[Mother singing to her baby]
Researchers found singing to babies kept them calm twice as long as talking to them, regardless of whether they used baby talk.

Continue reading

To Teach Children to Give, Tell Them How Much Your Family Has Been Given

Source: To Teach Children to Give, Tell Them How Much Your Family Has Been Given – The New York Times

If you want to teach your children about money, giving them an allowance is a great place to start. They’re going to need a place to put it, which is how the three-jar system came into existence: one for spending, one for saving and one for giving.

Almost every child understands the first jar and has a long list of things they want to spend money on right now. The save jar teaches patience, a concept that parents are constantly trying to reinforce in all sorts of ways.

But the give jar is more mysterious. Give to whom? And why give at all? Quite often our instinct is to answer children’s questions about giving in the abstract: Because it’s the right thing to do. To give back. Our religious tradition requires it. Continue reading

Cutting Sugar Boosts Kids’ Health Immediately

Source: Cutting Sugar Boosts Kids’ Health Immediately

Cutting most of the sugar from a child’s diet can immediately improve health, even if the diet still contains the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as before, a new study suggests.

Researchers put a group of 43 obese kids on a nine-day diet that severely restricted sugar intake, but replaced added sugars with starchy foods to maintain the children’s intake of calories and carbs.

That diet caused immediate reductions in their high blood pressure and improvement in their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the investigators found.

“Every aspect of their metabolic health got better, with no change in calories,” said study author Dr. Robert Lustig, Continue reading

Therapy dogs have calming effect on children having cancer treatment

Source: Therapy dogs have calming effect on children having cancer treatment – Medical News Today

There are many stories of the positive effect that therapy dogs can have on children with cancer and their families. But until now, there has been little hard scientific evidence to back them up.
young girl with dog
The study suggests therapy dogs can have a calming effect on young cancer patients.

A new trial presents some of the first solid data to support anecdotal reports of the positive impact dog therapy programs can have on children with cancer and their families. Continue reading

Police warn parents if your child gets this in their trick-or-treat bag, it’s not candy

Source: Police warn parents if your child gets this in their trick-or-treat bag, it’s not candy | fox13now.com

JACKSON, Miss. — The Jackson Police Department is sharing a strong warning ahead of Halloween.

If your kids get these for Halloween candy, they ARE NOT CANDY!!!
They are the new shapes of “Ecstasy” and can kill kids through overdoses!!!
So, check your kid’s candy and “When in doubt, Throw it out!!!”
Be safe and always keep the shiny side up!!!

The picture shows pills of various shapes and colors including dominoes, Nintendo icons, Facebook icons and Superman logos.

The police department reminds everyone, “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Some commenters on the department’s Facebook page claimed this concern was unfounded.

According to Snopes.com, there is some truth to this warning, and some false information as well, including the claim that these are “new” forms of ecstasy intended to appeal to children. Snopes also doubts that the pills are likely to end up in trick-or-treat bags.


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