I Don’t Want To Take A Nap

I have been told that it’s a well-known fact that children need to take a nap for their health.

“The impact of night sleep on children’s development and health is increasingly documented, but to date there is not sufficient evidence to indicate the value of prolonging napping, whether at home or in childcare contexts, once sleep has consolidated into night,” write the researchers.

The idea that naps are good for two-year-olds is not supported by science. However there is some incomplete evidence that napping may negatively affect overall sleep quality.

Seven Times As Likely To Have ADHD

Compared with children who had less than 30 minutes of screen time per day, children exposed to more than two hours were five times more likely to exhibit clinically significant “externalizing” behavioural problems such as inattention — and are more than seven times more likely to meet the criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),

This is a new study from Canada.

Current Canadian guidelines call for no more than two hours of screen time a day at that age. But our research suggests that less screen time is even better.

Government guidelines vary from country to country. The worldwide scientific consensus is that the best amount of screen time including smartphones, tablets, and televisions, is zero.

Books Are Made Of Paper

A study shows that toddlers are more interested in books than the same story read from an electronic screen, and are more interested in you when you’re reading from a book than a screen.

Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found parents and toddlers interacted more when reading print books together.

“Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.”

Rewards And Punishments Become A Prison

Researchers investigated the impact of parenting practices on the amount of time young children spend in front of screens. They found a majority of parents use screen time to control behavior, especially on weekends. This results in children spending an average of 20 minutes more a day on weekends in front of a screen. Researchers say this is likely because using it as a reward or punishment heightens a child’s attraction to the activity.

We don’t use rewards and punishments because they have unpredictable results!

Advertising Works

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests toddlers are more likely to demand specific breakfast cereals after viewing television advertisements for these products.

This naturalistic study demonstrates that child-directed high-sugar breakfast cereal TV advertising was prospectively associated with brand-specific high-sugar breakfast cereal intake among preschoolers. Findings indicate that child-directed advertising influences begin earlier and last longer than previously demonstrated, highlighting limitations of current industry guidelines regarding the marketing of high-sugar foods to children under age 6 years.

Fibber Island

Children know when you’re fibbing, and they don’t like it.

Stanford researchers found that children as young as 4 years old, under certain conditions, can discern “sins of omission” – misleading but technically accurate information. The researchers found that the order in which information is presented makes a dramatic difference for the study’s youngest participants.

Born To Run

As a long-distance runner, I’ve always wondered why about one-third of runners require corrective shoes for overpronation. I had a hunch that it’s probably related to the fact that in the west we wear shoes basically from birth, whereas the world’s best runners practice barefoot.

At least this one study makes it looks like yup.

Researchers show that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, this is the first study to assess the relevance of growing up shod vs. barefoot on jumping, balancing and sprinting motor performance during different stages of childhood and adolescence. Results suggest that regular physical activity without shoes may improve children’s and adolescents’ balancing and jumping skills.