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Study: Limited Screen Time, Set Meal and Bedtimes Cut Child’s Obesity Risk

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017

In news out of the UK, researchers, who monitored 11,000 children as part of a long-term study on obesity found that parents of preschoolers who regulate their child’s mealtimes, bedtimes and limit screen time are less likely to raise obese youngsters.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found a link between preschool routines and the ability for young children to self-regulate, leading to better emotional health and less risk for weight gain.

The Millennium Cohort Study found that age 3, 41 percent of children studied had a regular bedtime, 47 percent had a regular mealtime schedule and 23 percent had a screen time of one hour or less. By age 11, about 6 percent were obese.

Researchers also found that of the three routines, a regular bedtime appeared to be the most important, with the absence of a regular preschool bedtime routine leading to the greatest obesity risk.

While not an complete predictor of a child’s obesity risk, the study gives some insight to the need to start routines at an early age and stick with those routines throughout childhood.

Read more at US News

Tags:  mealtimes  screen time  sleep  study 

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Study Shows Flu Shots Save Lives

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A recent study in the April 3 online issue of Pediatrics found that children who receive the flu shot were less likely to die of flu complications.

According to the study, three-quarters of U.S. children who died of complications from the illness between 2010 and 2014 had not received the vaccination prior to their death. The study, which was completed by the United States Centers for Disease Control, goes on to state that  it’s estimated  that 65 percent of those deaths could be prevented with an annual flu shot.

The reality is that children without medical complications – those who are otherwise deemed healthy – can and do die from the flu, if it causes complications, like pneumonia. The risk of death is compounded by children with medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.

The findings were based on 358 children and teens who died from the flu and were confirmed by lab testing throughout the four-year study. Of the 153 children with high-risk conditions, 31 percent had gotten the flu shot. Researchers then compared those children with three groups of children whose vaccinations had been tracked – of which, 48 percent had received the flu shot.

The reluctance to vaccinate, according to researchers, comes from the belief among some parents that the flu shot is ineffective and uncertainty of what the flu is, confusing it with the common cold or stomach infections and thinking that if they become at all ill after receiving the vaccination the shot did not work.

Read more about the study here.

Tags:  medical study  study 

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Study: Sleep Apnea May Stunt Children’s Brain Development

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Although more research needs to be completed, a study out of the University of Chicago in conjunction with researchers at the University of California Los Angeles investigated the effect of sleep apnea on the brains of 16 children with obstructive sleep apnea – where the muscles in the throat relax and obstruct airways, causing breathing pauses during sleep.

The children, aged seven to 11, were evaluated at the University of Chicago’s pediatric sleep laboratory, underwent neurocognitive tests and had an MRI. Those results were compared with nine children without sleep apnea. All children were matched for gender, age, weight and ethnicity and data was compared with 191 MRI scans of children with sleep apnea from the National Institutes of Health database.

The study found that children with sleep apnea had substantial reductions in information processing part (gray matter) of the brain. Losses appeared in the frontal cortex (problem-solving, movement, language, memory, impulse control and judgment), prefrontal cortex (behavior, personality and planning), parietal cortex (sensory input), temporal lobe (hearing and selective listening) and brainstem (respiratory and cardiovascular).

While the study confirms a loss of gray matter, it could not determine the impact of the deficit. Additional research needs to be done, but the study was published in the Scientific Reports journal. Read more information here.

Tags:  study 

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Study: Children With Excessive Screen Time Habits at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In a study conducted at the University of London found that children who spent three or more hours a day in front of television, tablet or computer screens were at a higher risk for developing diabetes.

According to the study, children who turned in play time for screen time scored higher on measures of body fat and had higher levels of resistance to insulin to peers who spent an hour or less engaging in sedentary activities.

Recently published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the study analyzed data of almost 4,500 children between nine and 10 collected between 2004 and 2007 from the Child Heart and Health Study in England. Researchers looked at the length of time children spent watching TV or playing video or computer games. It took into consideration physical measurements, body fat and 2,031 of the children’s physical activity.

Children who reported spending three or more hours in front of the screen scored higher in levels of insulin after fasting, estimated insulin resistance and levels of leptin, a hormone that helps control appetite, all of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.

Parents should encourage their children to have an active lifestyle and eat healthy, balanced diet to help counteract screen time. Read the entire study here.

Tags:  study 

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Study: Babies Injured by Nursery Items Every 8 Minutes

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A study published in the Pediatrics journal this week said that more than 66,000 children under the age of three find themselves in the emergency room for accidents involving nursery products.

Averaging out to one emergency visit every eight minutes, the study examined emergency room data over the period of January 1991 through December 2011, with nursery product-related injuries jumping nearly 25 percent over the study’s final eight years.

The most common injury was a fall and the most common culprits were baby carriers (20 percent), cribs/mattresses (19 percent) and strollers (17 percent). In a whopping 81 percent of cases, injuries affected the child’s head, face or neck.

New safety standards in June of 2011 make cribs made prior to then no longer compliant and parents are encouraged not to use used car seats because there is no way to track if the safety system had been involved in an accident. Further, the study suggests parents use the four Rs of safety: research, check for recalls, register the product and read the entire manual. Recall information can be found at www.recalls.gov. Read more at USA Today.

Tags:  emergency room  study 

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Report: 1.7 Million Children Die Each Year from Pollution

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Updated: Monday, March 6, 2017

In heartbreaking news, the World Health Organization is reporting that more than 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die every year from the effects of pollution, including second-hand smoke, dirty water, poor sanitation, inadequate hygiene and indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Released on Mar. 6, the report, “Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment,” analyzes how polluted environments are connected to the most common causes of death among children across the world (maladies include: diarrhea, asthma and other respiratory illnesses, malaria and pneumonia).  

The report states pollution problems can begin in the womb but stresses that the health issues are preventable. Further, the report breaks down the numbers, reporting that 570,000 children under 5 die from respiratory illnesses and infections (pneumonia caused by air pollution and second-hand smoke), 361,000 die from diarrhea resulting from not having access to clean water and poor sanitation and hygiene, 270,000 die before they reach one month old, 200,000 deaths are caused by malaria and 200,000 children die from injuries related to hazardous environments, which includes poisonings, falls and drowning.

Countries with high rates of infant and toddler mortalities are almost exclusively poverty-stricken and either under- or- over-industrialized. One over-industrialized country of note is China, where environmental protections are still in their infantile stages. To compare, urban areas of child average 61.83 micrograms of air pollution – small enough to enter the bloodstream through the lungs – per cubic meter of air, while urban areas in the United States average 8.51 micrograms.

In the US, the growing concern comes from electronic waste from mobile phones and other devices that are not properly discarded. The chemicals released from electronic items are linked to lower IQs, attention deficits, lung damage and cancer and is expected to increase by 19 percent by 2018. Proper recycling is key to curbing the problem before it becomes an epidemic.

Read the full story here.

Tags:  pollution  study 

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