Another great year for science has passed, but this year was especially important for parents with new born babies. In 2015 there have been several health findings that every parent should know about.
1. Reading to your children, positively influences their brains
In a study published in August 2015 in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers have found that kids who were routinely read to, had greater activity in the parts of the brain that is associated with comprehension and visual imagery, as compared to those who weren’t.
In 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics even changed their policy on their advice for parents, and recommend reading to your babies literally the day you get back home from the hospital.
They stated that the “word gap” or a child’s vocabulary is dramatically dependent on how many words a child hears during the first 3 years of its life.
Pediatrician M.D. Wendy Sue Swanson recommends reading to your children since the very beginning, every single day, to close this gap significantly.
2. Pizza consumption is bad for children’s health
If you are wondering what to order your kids for dinner, a new study can help you with what not to get.
Researches from the Illinois Prevention Research Center found pizza is a large source of calories, saturated fat and salt in kid’s diets.
Of course, we all know kids love pizza, but scientist say parents need to make sure they cut back on it.
When kids eat pizza, the slices can make up more than 20% of their caloric intake. On those pizza days kids tend to consume 600 calories more than they should be.
It’s also one of the top 10 saltiest foods to avoid, listed by the Center of Disease Control.
Seventy percent of infants and ninety percent of school aged kids are consuming too much salt, which increases their blood volume and blood pressure and changes their food preference toward saltier and unhealthy foods.
The experts say you don’t need to cut pizza completely from of your children’s diet, but you need to reduce it significantly.
3. Having a pet dog can reduce anxiety in kids
Man’s best friend turns out to be very beneficial to little boys and girls. A recent study done by Bassett Healthcare Network shows that owning a dog has been proven to reduce anxiety in children.
Scientists already know that owning a dog can increase the mental health as an adult, but little research has been done on children.
The scientists have conducted the study with more than six hundred kids and found that only 12% the of kids who were raised with dogs tested positive for anxiety, compared to 21% who were raised without.
Dr. Anne Gadomski, the author of the study, stated:
That might be because pet dogs can facilitate social interactions. They can make kids more of a magnet for interaction with other kids.
She also suggested that interactions with dogs could cause the release of the hormone oxytocin, which is known to reduce physical responses to stress.
4. Parents use kid’s car seats the wrong way
According to researchers at University of Michigan, many parents are using the children’s car seats wrong and, what is more alarming, they know they are doing it wrong.
Most accidents happen with damage to the front of the car, which means that if you have children in the rear seats, you want to make sure that they are strapped in properly and their car seat is facing backwards.
The anonymous pole concluded that most parents are turning the seat facing forward way too early.
Back in 2011 The American Academy of Pediatrics changed the regulation, recommending that your child has to be 2 years old or outgrow the car seat before they change it.
They checked back again in 2013 and found that 23% of parents admitted they were not doing this. Even more parents admitted changing the seats to face foreword before their kid even reached one year of age.
This could be really unsafe so, parents, take notes!