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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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Autism Rates Increasing Rapidly: CDC

Angry girl

Autism rates in the United States rose by 30% between 2008 and 2010, and by 120% between 2000 and 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 68 8-year-old children had been diagnosed with autism by 2010, up from 1 in 88 two years earlier, says the report. These are staggering statistics, compared to the 1 in thousands ratio of American children who had been diagnosed as autistic in 1970.

The study, published online in late March, 2014, found that five times as many boys as girls are being diagnosed with autism. The CDC estimates that 1 in 42 boys has autism, and 1 in 189 girls. Caucasian children are diagnosed most frequently, followed by Hispanics, then African-Americans. The average age at which children are diagnosed has fallen, but remains above age 4 (diagnosis is possible by age 2).

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Overweight Teens’ Life Expectancies Not Increasing?

Overwieght_teen

It’s common knowledge that people’s life expectancies in developed countries have increased in the last 50 years, as science has uncovered new ways to prevent, treat and cure illnesses. But a study has found that people who were obese or overweight as teenagers are not living longer than similar people did five-plus decades ago.

The life expectancy of an American born in 2011 was 78.7 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the average lifespan has increased by more than 10 years since 1950. But the death rate for people in the study who had been obese or overweight as teens did not show improvement during that time.

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