Can chewing gum make you smarter?
Warning: Kissing frogs may be hazardous to your health! News this week from a new study found that kids are at risk of getting salmonella from pet frogs. So the less contact with their amphibian or reptilian buddies (and the more hand washing) the better.
In other news:
Chew gum, get smart?: Next time your kids beg you for a piece of gum, you might think about saying yes. A new study found that chewing gum can help you stay focused longer and improve concentration while doing tasks that involve audio memory. Researchers had people listen to a list of numbers being read out in random order and then scored them on how accurately and quickly they were able to recall the sequences. Those who were chewing gum had quicker reaction times and more accurate recall than the non-chewers.
In defense of video games: For kids with dyslexia, the answer may be yes. A new study has found that playing video games can improve reading skill (including speed and accuracy) and attention in children who suffer from condition. Researchers think that the improves in the ability to pay attention—even in the presence of other distractions—correlates to improvements in reading. So maybe buying that xBox isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Attention deficit doesn’t disappear: Turns out, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder isn’t just a problem in the classroom. A new study that followed children diagnosed with ADHD into adulthood found that nearly 30 percent of them still suffered from the condition at age 27. More surprising, the adults who’d been given a diagnosis of ADHD as children were also 57 percent more likely to have another psychiatric disorder and were five times more likely than those without childhood ADHD to commit suicide. The takeaway: Kids who are diagnosed with ADHD may need to get lifelong care for the condition in order to maintain effective treatment.
Buckle up, moms-to-be: Some women worry that wearing a seatbelt could be hazardous to an unborn baby, but a new study has confirmed that the opposite is actually true. Researchers analyzed data from women in their second and third trimester who had been in car accidents. Among the women wearing seat belts, 3.5 percent of their fetuses died; while among women who were not wearing seat belts, that mortality rate jumped to 25 percent. So continue to buckle up during those nine months to protect both yourself and your baby.
Beware of magnet eaters: New high-powered magnets are 10 to 20 times stronger than older ones—powerful enough that if two are swallowed they can adhere to each other through the bowel and cause life-threatening perforations, according to a new case study. The researchers also found that the number of emergency room visits due to magnet ingestion has been on the rise in the past decade. If your child swallows one magnet, it’s probably OK to wait for it to pass on its own. But if he downs two or more (or you’re not sure) a trip to the ER is in order.
Kids can exercise away stress: We all know that kids (and adults!) need to stay active in order to stay healthy. And now we can add yet another reason to the list of why we should get some exercise. A new study found that when sedentary kids are exposed to everyday stresses, they experience a surge of the stress hormone, cortisol. But in the same situations, active kids had little or no increase in cortisol. And the effects increased the more exercise the kids got, with the most active showing the least rise in cortisol. Since chronic exposure to cortisol can have negative effects on both mental and physical health, daily exercise is a wise prescription.
Keep your family healthy with tips from The Healthy Household every Friday on MSN Healthy Living
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