What does your preschooler do in day care? Not much that’s active, study says 05.18.15 – The Seattle Time Kids in daycare and preschool may not be getting enough physical activity, according to a new study. Preschoolers in the Seattle study spent just a half hour playing outside and were offered less than an hour each day for indoor play at child care centers, the researchers found. Guidelines recommend at least one hour of adult-led, structured physical activity and one hour of unstructured free play time per day, according to lead author Dr. Pooja Tandon, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Children need daily opportunities for physical activity not only for optimal weight status, but because physical activity promotes numerous aspects of health, development and well-being," Tandon said. "Physical activity, which in this age occurs typically in the form of play, promotes cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and mental health and is associated with academic achievement."
Study rules out link between autism and MMR vaccine even in at-risk kids 04.21.15 – The LA Times "Controversy seems to follow autism like the tail on a kite," Dr. Bryan King, a researcher at Seattle Children's Autism Center and the University of Washington, wrote in an editorial published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. One that should be put to bed is any connection between autism spectrum disorder and the measles vaccine, according to a separate study published Tuesday in JAMA. It's the latest of at least a dozen studies, according to King, to show no connection.
Higher altitude states have fewer kids with ADHD 04.17.15 – NBC 12 The thin air of America’s higher-elevation regions may reduce the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests. Researchers reported that the occurrence of ADHD decreases substantially as altitude increases. For example, Utah has an average state elevation of 6,100 feet. That state’s ADHD rate is half that of states at sea level, they said. Dr. Mark Stein, a clinical pediatric psychologist at Seattle Children’s, called the findings “very interesting and provocative.” “A clear implication is that youth with ADHD should be encouraged to participate in outdoor activities, including higher altitude ones if available and safe, as opposed to sedentary activities. More summer treatment programs and physical exercise,” Stein suggested.
Parenting the YouTube generation: What kid-curated video apps won’t solve 02.27.15 – GeekWire With smartphones and tablets, children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of screen time on a daily basis. As with other tech toys, kids can pose a hazard to smart devices, possibly cracking the screen or dropping it a cereal bowl in the process. But how will exposure to these screens affect their brains and behavior? While these devices can function as simple viewing screens, smartphones and tablets can be more than a portable television. For one thing, they’re interactive. That opens the door to potential education and development benefits. “No app can read a child’s cues and respond contingently the way a caregiver can, at least not yet,” Radesky says. “But apps can respond to child prompts, taps or vocalizations.” This interactive facet might mean children could learn from small screen media at an earlier age than current recommendations suggest. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, advocated as much in an opinion piece in JAMA Pediatrics last May.