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Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early

Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early

Many parents don’t follow guidelines that call for using rear-facing car seats until age 2, according to National Poll on Children’s Health data. Using a rear-facing car seat until a child is age two reduces risk of serious injury, but close to one-quarter of parents report they turned the seat around before their child was even one year old, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Newborns know more than we think

Newborns know more than we think

Free breastfeeding advice helpline

Free breastfeeding advice helpline

The Allegheny County Health Department’s Maternal and Child Health Program and Healthy Start, Inc. will collaborate to extend the Department’s free breastfeeding advice helpline hours for new mothers.

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Archive »Young Children

Steps to encourage an attitude of gratitude in children

Steps to encourage an attitude of gratitude in children

I am learning to practice gratitude as an adult. But what would it be like if we could introduce the concept of gratitude to our children when they are young? If gratitude just became a part of their vocabulary, a daily habit like brushing their teeth or eating dinner? If they can experience the magic of gratitude early, perhaps the practice wouldn’t feel so challenging or foreign to them.

 Everything we need to know about social media – we learned in

Everything we need to know about social media – we learned in

We live in a culture virtually enveloped by digital media, 24/7. For adults and children alike, social media has become central to our very identities -- both in how we interact with our close friends and family, and in the many ways we present ourselves to, and engage with, our broader worlds.

More books, better grades: Parents hope for improving resolutions

More books, better grades: Parents hope for improving resolutions

One in five (19 percent) parents of children under the age of 18 will be encouraging them to make a New Year’s resolution. Moms (23 percent) are more likely to want to steer their children towards making a resolution than their dads (15 percent) and much more likely than the men to hope for a resolution to improve behavior at home (21 percent women, 13 percent men).

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Archive »Tweens & Teens

How parents are negatively impacting  their kids’ future before college

How parents are negatively impacting their kids’ future before college

Expert says parents can save time and money by making sure they ask their future college students the right questions, avoid common mistakes like making the wrong decision about what to study or where to go to school which can have costly and time-consuming consequences. Switching majors or schools or even going back to school after you start working can all jack up the cost of obtaining a higher education and subsequent student loan debt.

Six smart things college students should do for their eyes

Six smart things college students should do for their eyes

While accurate vision plays a vital role in learning, college students can be susceptible to a host of vision and eye problems such as injury, infection and increased nearsightedness that can complicate life in and out of class.

BBB tips to avoid college financial aid scams

BBB tips to avoid college financial aid scams

The college application process is an exciting, but expensive time for high school students. Scholarships, grants and financial aid are all common elements in the process and unfortunately, so are scams. With a new school year right around the corner, your Better Business Bureau is warning college-bound students and their parents to be wary of financial aid fraud.

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Archive »Special Needs

The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seems to have increased significantly over the last thirty years, resulting in much speculation about the causes of this disorder. Everything from pollution to vaccines to labor induction/augmentation has been blamed, none of which has been supported by scientific research. However, autism has at least some heritable/genetic component because of the difference in rates between identical and nonidentical twins. A new study adds more evidence to the relationship between genetic factors and autism. Researchers from Kings College London led by PhD candidate Beata Tick used data from the Twins Early Development Study which included all twins born in England and Wales from 1994 through 1996. Evaluations were done on 128 twin pairs in which one twin had an autism diagnosis, using several common screening tools. Tools included a population-based measure (the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test), diagnostic measures (the Development and Well-being Assessment, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) and a best-estimate diagnosis. Researchers found that correlation on these measures was higher for identical twins compared to non-identical twins, with a heritability estimate of 56 percent to 95 percent. According to researcher Dr. Francesca Happe, “Our findings suggest environmental factors are smaller, which is important because some parents are concerned whether things like high pollution might be causing autism.” Now, many scientists are working to discover the specific genes that may contribute to a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Dr. Happe says there may be hundreds. ACSH’s Ariel Savransky says, “Hopefully this current study will help to debunk some of the misleading information promulgated to the public regarding the causes of autism. Although this study may be just the tip of the iceberg and there is a long way to go before researchers get definitive results regarding specific genes that may contribute to ASD, the fear that autism is caused by some factor associated with modern lifestyles should be at least partially allayed.”

Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Holidays bring joy and family traditions that warm the hearts of many. For those of us who have children with special needs, the holidays take on an entirely new dimension. Like everyone, we have shopping, cooking, decorating and preparation. However, there are additional ways in which we must ready our children for the holiday season. Children who have autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and self-regulation difficulties need some assistance to navigate the

Children with Autism who live with pets are more assertive

Children with Autism who live with pets are more assertive

Dogs and other pets play an important role in individuals’ social lives, and they can act as catalysts for social interaction, previous research has shown. Although much media attention has focused on how dogs can improve the social skills of children with autism, a University of Missouri researcher recently found that children with autism have stronger social skills when any kind of pet lived in the home.

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