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"Pediatric News Updates" are reported from actual news sources,
but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Families United on the Net, www.thefunplace.com. For the well-being of all children, parents should not try to diagnose their children, but should seek the advice and care of a pediatrician or family physician.
INFANTS DEVELOP NORMALLY REGARDLESS OF SLEEP POSITION
November, 1998 - Babies who are put to sleep on their backs reach developmental milestones within normal age ranges, despite temporary delays in the early months of life, according to recent studies published.
Although the study reported that infants who sleep on their stomach achieve milestones such as sitting, creeping, crawling, and pulling to stand sooner then those who sleep on their backs, there was no significant difference in the ages when the infants walked. The differences in achieving these milestones could be attributed to infants who sleep on their stomachs are encouraged to use their upper body strength, which is necessary for many infant motor milestones. They recommend for infants who sleep on their backs to be placed on their stomachs during awake times to maximize upper body strength. Recommendations also still state that infants should sleep on their backs for prevention of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. The researchers emphasize that differences in these milestones are not developmental delays, but rather are still within well-accepted normal ranges for development.
DECLINES IN TEEN PREGNANCY AND ABORTION RATES
November 1998 - Between 1991 and 1995, teen pregnancy rates in the United States declined by 13 percent according to a recent study and abortion rates declined more than birth rates. Almost one in 10 teens became pregnant each year from 1991 to 1994 and more than one in five sexually active teens became pregnant in 1995. Abortion rates may have declined in recent years due to more teens choosing to give birth, increased public acceptance of births to unmarried mothers, controversy about abortion, chances in funding availability for abortions, laws restricting teens' access to abortions, and fewer abortions providers.
SMALLER-THAN-AVERAGE INFANTS AT GREATER RISK FOR CHRONIC DISEASE LATER IN LIFE
November 1998 - A new study of more than 4,000 children found that smaller than average infants, particularly if they later become overweight, may have a greater risk for chronic disease than infants born at a larger than average size. Researchers monitored the children from 2 months to just under 4 years. Findings were that smaller-than-average infants tend to remain lighter and larger-than-average infants heavier through early childhood. Infants who were smaller-than-average and who may have been malnourished in the womb showed reduced muscularity that caused delays in motor development in infancy. Later in life, smaller-than-average infants may be prone to a number of conditions, including impaired glucose tolerance (a pre-diabetes condition) and relative adiposity (high percent body far). Researches suggest smaller-than-average infants and children may benefit from nutritional and physical management to help them build the muscle they are lacking and prevent them from becoming overweight.
WATCHING TELEVISION AND MUSIC VIDEOS CAN LEAD TO TEEN DRINKING
November 1998 - Watching a lot of television and music videos can increase the likelihood of teen alcohol use, according to a new study conducted with more than 2,600 ninth-grade students. Findings were conclusive that for every extra one hour per day of watching music videos, young teens were 31 percent more likely to begin drinking over the next 18 months. In addition one extra hour of watching television per day increased teens chances of drinking by nearly 10 percent over the next 18 months. Unlike music videos and television, increased use of computer and video games and video movies did not increase the risk of alcohol use.
PARENTS DO NOT CONSIDER VEHICLE SIZE AND WEIGHT IMPORTANT SAFETY FACTORS FOR TEENAGE DRIVERS
November 1998 - A new study found parents do not consider vehicle size and weight as important as other less effective safety features when choosing cars for their teens to drive. Automotive safety factors should be especially important to teens, who are four times more likely than older drivers to be in a car crash. The driver death rate in a small vehicle is more than double that of a driver in a large vehicle. Parents ranked automatic transmission (66.8%), repair record (60.7%), presence of anti-lock brakes (57.3%) , age of vehicle (51.2%), low gas mileage (51.2%), and presence of airbags (48%) as important or very important when deciding which of the existing family vehicles the teenager would drive. Forty percent of respondents reported that large size of the vehicle was important or very important. The researchers concluded that teenagers and their families needed to be educated about the importance of vehicle size and weight in vehicle safety.
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