Fight Right

Observing parental disagreements may help children learn how to handle conflict in their own life, as long as the disagreement is respectful. A study of families with children ages 5–7 published in a 2009 issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found children actually felt more emotionally secure when they witnessed episodes of constructive marital conflict.
But, study authors point out, it’s vital children
also be allowed to experience the resolution of
the argument.  

Sports Injury Prevention

Bodies and BrainsMultiple studies show over half of all child sports-related injuries in this country are caused by overuse. To prevent such injuries, physicians at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggest kids play multiple sports rather than focusing on one. They also recommend kids take at least one day off from sports each week and a minimum of one season off from a specific organized sport each year.

Packing Snacks

Kids are snacking their way through mealtimes, according to research from NPD Group, Inc., an information and advisory group that tracks retail sales. The group reports the average kid has four snack-type foods per day with 90 percent of the snacks carried from home or consumed there. Experts attribute the rise in snack food sales to convenience. The top snacks for 6- to 12-year-olds included potato chips, fruit, fruit cups or applesauce, meal kits, and yogurt. 

Diabetes/Multiple Sclerosis Link

Children with Type 1 diabetes may be at higher risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), say researchers in Germany. A recent study at the Medical University in Munich Germany revealed children with juvenile diabetes were three to almost five times more likely to also develop MS. Study authors suspect environmental factors such as low maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy may play a role, but stress this is only a theory. Both diabetes and MS are autoimmune diseases.

Bodies and BrainsHoliday Toy Safety Tips

December is Safe Toys and Gifts month. During the holiday giving season, Prevent Blindness America offers the following recommendations:

• Make sure all gifts are age appropriate.

• Ensure batteries are secure and toys are durable with no sharp edges.

• Avoid giving toys with small magnets to young children.

• Include protective gear with sports-equipment gifts.

• Don’t give toys with long strings or cords to  infants and young kids.

• Only buy toys too large to fit inside a toilet paper roll for children under 3. 

Nuts for Breast Health

Pre-adolescent girls may reduce their risk of benign breast disease (BBD) by upping their intake of vegetable protein and fat, according to a study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. Females, ages 9–15 who ate a daily serving of peanut butter, nuts, beans, or corn had lower risk of BBD (a non-cancerous breast condition).The foods significantly lowered the risk of BBD in girls with a family history of breast cancer.

Bodies and BrainsPallet Time

Afternoon naps can boost memory in preschoolers, say researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A small study found that preschoolers were better able to transfer new information from temporary to permanent storage when naptime was included in the curriculum. Researchers compared recall in children who napped for 80 minutes to that of children who skipped it and found nappers recalled 10 percent more than the non-nappers the next day. 

Flu Shots for Egg-Allergic Kids

Children with egg allergies should now be given flu shots without added precautions, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters. Current recommendations call for egg-allergic children to undergo a 30-minute observation period after receiving the shot. An update in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology says thousands of children with egg allergies have taken flu shots with no reaction over the past several years, prompting the group to recommend the extra precautions be dropped. 

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