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Many U.S. Kids Still Getting Too Much Daily Screen Time, Says CDC

Screen Time

For years, doctors have been advising parents to limit the time their children spend daily watching television or on a computer — the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get no more than two hours a day of non-school-related ‘screen time.’ But the message isn’t getting through to all families.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted two national surveys among children between 12 and 15 years of age. Close to three quarters of all the youths reported spending at least two hours in front of the TV and using a computer. Fifteen percent of those surveyed said they spent four or more hours watching TV every day; while 12 percent used a computer for four or more hours a day. The survey did not ask about use of smartphones.

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Eating Lots of Fortified Foods, Plus Taking Vitamin-Mineral Supplements Could Be Bad for Your Child

The smiling girl holds a medicinal capsule in a hand

A report released recently by the Environmental Working Group cautions parents to watch out for their children getting too many vitamins and minerals in their diets from fortified foods.

According to the report, the problem could arise when children eat lots of servings of fortified foods, such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and nutrition bars, especially when these children also take daily multivitamin + mineral tablets or ‘gummies’.

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Parents Who Don’t Get Enough Sleep May Increase Their Children’s Risk for Obesity, Says Study

sweet dreams

A new study has found that parents who regularly don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to have young children who, likewise, don’t sleep enough. Lost sleep in turn puts these youngsters (and the parents) at higher risk for being overweight or obese.

The study, done by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, assessed the weight of 337 preschool-age children and their parents, also examining factors known to help protect adults and children from becoming overweight or obese.

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Could Regular Exercise Make Children Smarter?

Exercise Make Children Smarter

We know that adults can improve their concentration and help guard against memory loss as they age, when they get regular exercise. Similarly, a new study found that kids may gain cognitive benefits from being physically fit, as well.

Researchers at the University of Illinois found that children who are in better physical shape tend to have better language skills than their lesser fit peers. The brains of the fitter kids responded faster and more strongly during reading, which translated into better reading performance and comprehension.

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Many Simple Steps Your Family Can Take to Help Save the Planet!

Earth in children`s hands

Parents do well to teach their children the importance of doing what we each can, to help save our planet. The efforts of one person alone don’t amount to much, true; but when you add many, many people, and many families, we collectively surely can make a big difference.

Below are many simple, easy things that you and your family can do around the home, to help keep your surroundings environmentally friendly. These steps won’t cost any more money; in fact, they will often save you money!

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Having a Dog Can Help Ease Symptoms, Improve Behavior in Children with Autism

Dog_Kid

Parents of autistic children know how difficult it is at times to manage all of life’s responsibilities, and to care for a child with special needs. Autism has aspects that can make parenting and teaching autistic children that much harder. Many parents are turning to dogs to help their autistic children: dogs can make an autistic child happier, less prone to throw tantrums, and strengthen the child’s sense of security.

Centers have opened in some American cities to specifically train dogs as companions for children with autism spectrum disorders; still other centers that train dogs for special-needs children now also train canines for autistic children.

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Violent Video Games Linked to Aggression in Children, Says Study

Emotions during the computer game

A study of more than 3,000 school-age children found that playing violent video games a lot seems to increase the odds that children and teenagers will engage in aggressive behaviors in real life.

Researchers said that frequent exposure to the violence in these games causes children to start seeing their world in a ‘more aggressive way,’ with children being more apt to expect others to behave aggressively toward them; kids who often play violent video games are also more likely to think that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems.

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Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks Linked to Unhealthy Behaviors in Teenagers

Teenage_behavior

A new study has found that teenagers who regularly consume energy drinks and sports drinks are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Teens who often drank energy drinks like Red Bull and ROCKSTAR were more apt to smoke, use illicit drugs and drink alcohol. And teens who drank either energy or sports drinks regularly tended to spend more hours watching TV and playing video games.

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior; it’s one of the first studies to show that consumption of these drinks may be part of an overall pattern of unhealthy behaviors for growing numbers of teenagers.

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Natural Remedies for Children’s Allergies

Children's Allergies

If you are the parent of a child who suffers from allergies, eczema or asthma, you look for ways to bring relief and comfort to your son or daughter — but you want natural, better alternatives to antihistamines, skin-altering cortisone creams, chemical inhalers, or even nasal rinses (the latter could be too much to expect a young child to be able to do, in any case).

Thankfully, there are many natural, hands-on, more pleasant remedies that you can try for your child.

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Rising GI Infections in Children Linked to Heavy Antibiotic Use: CDC

Washing Hands

Antibiotics prescribed by doctors are linked to rising numbers of serious bacterial infections that can cause severe diarrhea in children, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 71 percent of Clostridium difficile infections in children 1 to 17 developed soon after the children took antibiotics prescribed in doctors’ offices to treat other conditions. Most of the children had gotten antibiotics to treat ear, sinus and upper respiratory infections.

Previous studies had shown that 50 percent or more of antibiotic prescriptions are given to treat upper respiratory infections, which do not require antibiotics, according to the CDC.

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