Posts Tagged ‘children’
Two new studies add to the growing evidence that spending time outdoors may help prevent or minimize nearsightedness in children. A study conducted in Taiwan, which is the first to use an educational policy as a public vision health intervention, finds that when children are required to spend recess time outdoors, their risk of nearsightedness is reduced. A separate study in Danish children is the first to show a direct correlation between seasonal fluctuations in daylight, eye growth and the rate of nearsightedness progression…
In one of the new studies, an elementary school in Taiwan required its 333 students to spend recess outdoors for a year from 2009-10 so that researchers could learn whether this would reduce myopia rates. A similar school nearby served as the control group and did not require outdoor recess. The children in the intervention school, many of whom had formerly spent recess indoors, now spent a total of 80 minutes per day outdoors.
Students at both schools received eye exams at the study outset and one year later. The results showed that significantly fewer children became nearsighted or shifted toward nearsightedness in the school that required outdoor recess, compared with the control school. The researchers recommend that elementary schools in Asia and other regions add frequent recess breaks and other outdoor activities to their daily schedules to help protect children’s eye development and vision…
“Because children spend a lot of time in school, a school-based intervention is a direct and practical way to tackle the increasing prevalence of myopia,” said the leader of the study, Pei-Chang Wu, M.D., Ph.D., of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
A separate study on the impact of daylight exposure on eye development analyzed data collected in a 2005 clinical trial that included 235 Danish school children with myopia. The participants were divided into seven groups, each of which represented a different seasonal interval. Because daylight hours fluctuate markedly with the seasons in Denmark, from seven hours in winter to nearly 18 in summer, access to daylight was distinct for each group. Axial eye length — the distance from the front to the back of the eye — and vision were tested in each group of children at the beginning and end of their seasonal interval. Axial length is an important measurement because elongation of the eye indicates that the person’s myopia is worsening. In the children with access to the fewest hours of daylight, eye growth averaged 0.19 mm; in those with access to the most daylight, eye growth was just 0.12 mm.
“Our results indicate that exposure to daylight helps protect children from myopia,” said the leader of the study, Dongmei Cui, M.D., Ph.D., of Sun Yat-sen University, China. “This means that parents and others who manage children’s time should encourage them to spend time outdoors daily. When that’s impractical due to weather or other factors, use of daylight-spectrum indoor lights should be considered as a way to minimize myopia.”
Bravo! Great start to in-depth research. Tell your local beancounter school board to pay attention.
The King Family in Poulsbo, Washington received a little surprise on their dining receipt after having a meal at Sogno di Vino restaurant. On there was a small discount for the family, under the label “Well-Behaved Kids.”
Turns out, the servers had been so impressed with the behavior of the three children, that they decided to show the family just how grateful they were. Owner of Sogno di Vino, Angela Scott, said, “You would never even know that children were in the dining room. We just wanted to say, ‘Awesome! You guys were so good!’” Not only did they get the well-behaved discount, the restaurant also gave the kids some free ice cream at the end of dinner.
The King family says that they never expected something like this to happen and merely expect their children to behave a certain way when they are in public. I’d say the Kings are doing a damn fine job.
Let me play the age card.
When I was a kid, children were expected to behave well. Especially during those rare occasions when we ate out.
I know, I know. But, I don’t do it very often. Yes, times change.
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has given a rare interview to promote her new website advocating the “Dream Act” for immigration reform.
Powell Jobs spoke with Yahoo’s The Lookout news blog and revealed her interest in the Dream Act was sparked by College Track — an after-school program she founded in 1997 to help underprivileged high school students prepare for college.
The website is called “The Dream is Now,” and it can be found at thedreamisnow.org. It features videos from illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — the same people who would be aided by the “Dream Act,” which provides an opportunity for permanent residency.
Powell Jobs completed the project, which launched on Tuesday, with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. He was previously responsible for the films “An Inconvenient Truth,” which features former U.S. vice president and current Apple board member Al Gore, as well as “Waiting for Superman.”
The Dream Act has floated around congress since it was first introduced in 2001, but has failed to pass. It would allow people under the age of 30 who illegally entered the U.S. before they were 15 and who have lived here for more than five years to earn legal status. From there, they could potentially become U.S. citizens.
Roses with the faces of the murdered Sandy Hook students and adults
She came to speak from the heart — and from bitter experience.
Former Arizona congressman Gabrielle Giffords, who barely survived being shot in the face by a madman, arrived Friday in Newtown, Conn., hoping to console the heartbroken families of the first-graders and teachers who were slaughtered in the Sandy Hook school massacre.
Limping slightly and leaning on astronaut husband Mark Kelly for support, Giffords smiled as she entered town hall and embraced Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson.
“We’re so glad you came,” Robinson said. “Thank you…”
Then Giffords was ushered inside for a private meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D—Conn.) and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.
“I am sorry, but there is no public aspect of this meeting,” town official Patricia Llodra said. After that sitdown, Giffords was expected to go meet the families, most likely at a private home.
Giffords brought with her a perspective that only a select few share — that of a person who came face-to-face with the kind of madness that left 20 innocent children and six school staffers dead on a cruel December morning.
Giffords’ congressional career was cut short and she was left an invalid almost two years ago when a deranged man armed with a legally-purchased Glock 9-mm. semiautomatic shot her just above the left eyebrow in a massacre that killed six people and wounded another 13…
Giffords’ visit came a day after some 400 surviving Sandy Hook students trooped back to class for the first time since the mass shooting — only in a new building, and in a different town…
“When will we address this problem as a nation?” Kelly tweeted in the aftermath. “The time is now.”
The time is long overdue. I’ve been a gun owner for decades. I still own target handguns plus a bit more I acquired after threats from nutball fundamentalists who consider it their God’s duty to assassinate environmental activists and other agents of the anti-Christ. Or so they say.
So what? I still don’t mind going through testing, certification, registration for any firearms I own – no more than I would decry testing and licensing for any level of driving motor vehicles.
The silliness that leads people to blather about regulation and oversight being anti-Constitutional is as insane as any of the ideological crap that seems to fester in some people’s brains like a paranoid cancer. Government is assigned responsibilities along with rights. If you disagree, there are legal and political processes that aid dissent. Otherwise, start caring more for your fellow human beings than your fear of what hides beneath the bed at night.
A Santa Claus was left dangling from the ceiling after his beard became trapped while abseiling inside a Reading shopping centre as part of a Christmas lights switch-on show.
He was stuck for about 30 minutes about 15ft off the ground in the Broad Street Mall on Saturday afternoon.
Eyewitness Ryan Gaudreau said: “Everyone was laughing at him – he didn’t really know what to do.”
“He could have just taken his beard off and let himself down but he was such a professional and he didn’t want to let the children down,” she said…
“Some people were absolutely mortified while others thought it was the funniest thing ever.
Fortunately, Saint Nick made it to his proper place on the sales floor without further incident.
Detectives investigating complaints of sexual abuse in the Church of England have arrested a retired bishop on suspicion of eight sexual offences against eight boys and young men ranging in age from 12 to early 20s.
Officers from the Sussex police serious crime directorate involved in a six-month investigation into historic allegations at the diocese of Chichester arrested the Rt Rev Peter Ball, former bishop of Lewes and later bishop of Gloucester, on Tuesday morning at his home address near Landport, Somerset.
Ball is thought to be the most senior figure in the church to be arrested in connection with a sex abuse investigation. The bishop, now 80, has connections to Prince Charles, whom he has described in the past as “a loyal friend”.
Police also arrested a 67-year old retired priest at his home address near Haywards Heath on suspicion of two separate sexual offences against two teenage boys in East Sussex between 1981 and 1983.
Detectives carried out a “comprehensive and painstaking” three-month analysis of two reports from Lambeth Palace, “which contain reviews of church files relating to certain child safeguarding issues within the Chichester diocese from between 20 and 25 years ago”. They also reviewed internal church files containing details of clergymen’s careers in the diocese, including Ball’s.
A spokeswoman for a group representing the survivors of abuse by clergy said the arrests were “historic in terms of the seniority of the people being looked at“. “This is the first bishop we have seen arrested over abuse allegations,” said Ann Lawrence, of the Ministry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors Group…
Overdue, of course. That portion of any investigation must not be overlooked in the prosecution of the charges currently laid at the Bishop’s feet. When all is over and done – someone needs to determine how and why this took decades to come to police attention.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a national inquiry into the Catholic church’s responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests.
Gillard made the announcement on Monday in the wake of claims by a senior policeman that a Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales destroyed evidence and silenced investigations.
“There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil,” Gillard said. “I believe in these circumstances that it is appropriate for there to be a national response through a royal commission…”
Gillard had been under growing pressure to establish a national inquiry after the recent allegations but she said the probe would be broader than just the Catholic Church.
“This is not a royal commission targeting any one church,” Gillard said…
In early November, a senior police investigator…alleged that the church had covered up sexual abuse of children in the Hunter Valley, just north of Sydney, to protect paedophiles and its own reputation.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox said it was his experience that the church not just covered up, but silenced victims, hindered police, alerted offenders, destroyed evidence and moved priests to protect the church…
Gillard said the more recent allegations were heartbreaking.
“These are insidious, evil acts to which no child should be subject,” she told reporters in Canberra.
Gillard said she did not yet know how far back the commission would investigate. She commended victims for speaking out.
Overdue. Long justified. Something you cannot count on churches to do on their own.
But, then, self-policing usually concerns itself more with “self” than “policing”.
Not even up to 5-year-old standards
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can’t see them…
Adults are more likely to behave in ways that enhance their reputation when they are being watched or their actions are likely to be made public than when they are anonymous, but this study examines the origins of such behavior in young children for the first time. For their study, the researchers presented five year olds with stickers and gave them the option of sharing one or four stickers with another five year old. The authors found that children were more generous when they could see the recipient than when the recipient was hidden from view, and were also more generous when they had to give stickers in a transparent container rather than an opaque one (meaning the recipient could see what they were receiving). They also found that these behaviors were independent of how many stickers the children were given to keep for themselves.
According to the authors, these results show that children as young as five can make strategic choices about whether to be generous, depending on whether or not a recipient is aware of their actions. Kristin Lyn Leimgruber explains, “Although the frequency with which children acted antisocially is striking, the conditions under which they chose to act generously are even more interesting and suggest that children likely use much more sophisticated prosocial strategies than we previously assumed. Much like the patterns of charity we see in adults, donation tendencies in children appear to be driven by the amount of information available to others about their actions — for both adults and children, the more others know about their actions, the more likely they are to act generously.”
Har. Warms the cockles of my heart when independent research offers mild appreciation for my cynicism about our species.
More of the original research over here.