Category Archives: Parenting

Study Says Dads Need To Speak Up to Improve Infant Vocabulary

Several studies have shown how a parent influences infant vocabulary. For example, this landmark 1995 study showed that 86 to 98 percent of the words children use by the age of three came from their parent’s vocabulary. Also, infant vocabulary was found to be very similar to caregiver vocabulary in terms of average number of words used, speech patterns and duration of conversation. This may seem like common sense, but it has serious implications when considering what the study also found: the vocabulary knowledge at age three was a predicting factor in language performance at ages nine and ten. In other words, a child’s vocabulary at age three is a good indicator of their language development, vocabulary and reading comprehension many years in the future. Now, a new study is claiming that dads may need to pick up some slack in this department.

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Medication Errors Affect Children Every 8 Minutes

There are plenty of studies indicating that hospital mistakes are far too prevalent. So prevalent, in fact, that the rate at which hospital errors contribute to preventable death is reaching downright epidemic proportions. One study, published in the Journal of Patient Safety last year, says that between 210,000 and 440,000 preventable hospital mistakes contribute to patients’ death each year. This would make medical errors the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer in the U.S. Those numbers are pretty depressing, but a newer study published this week in Pediatrics reinforces the fact that everybody – not just professionals – can be guilty of making medical mistakes. Parents of young children are so bad at administering medicine, in fact, that medication errors have occurred over 200,000 times every year from 2002 to 2012 – that’s one every eight minutes.

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WHO Says Energy Drinks Are Dangerous – Especially for Young People

Energy drinks, the caffeine-filled, carbonated beverage of choice for people seeking an energy boost, are big business. According to Red Bull’s website, around 5.387 billion cans of the drink were sold just last year. In 2012, a total of 12.5 billion USD was made in the energy drink industry. Estimates from the European Food Safety Authority indicate that 30 percent of adults and 18 percent of children under the age of 10 consume energy drinks. The most staggering estimate, however, is that 68 percent of adolescents drink the highly caffeinated beverages. So what’s the big deal? Well, energy drinks have been associated with several health issues for years, mostly involving heart palpitations, nausea, jitteriness and emergency room visits in young people. They have also even been linked with risky behavior. Now, researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) are calling for action.

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Debate Rages Over Helicopter Parenting

Now that it’s officially back-to-school season, parents and students across the country are adapting to all sorts of new changes. It goes without saying that parents of college freshmen often have to deal with the most drastic changes, including children moving away from home and having to take care of themselves for the first time. It’s in these situations that some parents become extremely overprotective of their children, warranting the derogatory buzz-phrase “helicopter parent.” Helicopter parenting got it’s name from parents who “hover like a helicopter” while their children are away at college or summer camp. Helicopter parenting actions include calling children to wake them up for class or contacting university personnel to confront them about grades. Many people believe that helicopter parenting is further spoiling an already entitled generation – but not everyone agrees.

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Health Agencies Call for E-Cigarette Regulations

Electronic cigarettes, often viewed as a “safer” alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes, have increased in popularity across the globe in the past few years – and they’re virtually unregulated. According to the American Heart Association, there were 466 brands of e-cigarettes and 7,764 different flavors available earlier this year. Additionally, it’s estimated that sales of e-cigarettes could eventually surpass traditional cigarettes and become a $10 billion industry by 2017. According to USA Today, sales of e-cigarettes increased from only 50,000 in 2008 to around 3.5 million in 2012. Also, one in five smokers in the U.S. had at least tried e-cigarettes as of 2011.

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