Cocktails, snacks and ultrasounds
This week’s hottest parenting news is the big announcement that Kim Kardashian is indeed carrying Kanye West’s baby. While the proud papa-to-be crowed about the news to thousands of fans at a recent concert, Kardashian admitted that pregnancy is “not as easy as people think. There’s a lot of growing pains.”
In other news:
The latest in pregnancy oversharing: Forget the baby shower, the newest way moms are celebrating their babies-to-be is by inviting friends to join them for an ultrasound. Ultrasound salons are accommodating groups of friends and family, complete with cocktails and snacks, to gawk at in-utero images. But this use (or perhaps misuse) of the technology is not approved by the FDA, and some experts warn that extra exposure to fetal ultrasound -- when it isn’t medically necessary -- should be avoided.
Recess isn’t just for fun: That time on the playground is the best part of the school day, according to many kids. And The American Academy of Pediatrics seems to agree with them. The organization has issued a new policy statement about the importance of recess during the school day. Sure, it’s great fun and gives kids a much-needed outlet for letting off steam, but that’s not all it does. The report mentions the cognitive, social, physical and emotional benefits of that time spent engaging in unstructured play or physical activity. Without it, they say, academic achievement may be negatively affected.
Luck favors the prepared: If the various disasters of 2012 -- both natural and human-inflicted -- taught us anything, it’s the importance of having a family emergency plan. In addition to packing a disaster kit, which includes necessary supplies like food, water, medications, diapers, flashlight and batteries, you need to have a plan for staying in touch. Your family is likely to be in different places, such as school, work or home, so make sure everyone knows how to find each other in the event that disaster strikes. For more details and tips, check out http://www.ready.gov.
Search: Learn more about Emergency Preparedness
The perils of dating violence: Beyond on the obvious emotional and physical impacts of your teen being in an abusive relationship, turns out there may also be long-term health issues. A new study found that teen girls who were victimized by a boyfriend were more likely to smoke, drink heavily and experience symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts five years after the relationship. Boys can be victims, too, and when they are, the study found, they are more likely to use marijuana and report antisocial behaviors and suicidal thoughts.
Cut salt to cut sugar: You know how chips and soda just seem to go so well together? Well, apparently, that connection is not lost on kids. A new study found that the more salt kids consume, the more sugary drinks they slurp down. According to the research, for every gram of salt kids consumed per day, they consumed 17 grams of sugar-sweetened beverages. And not surprisingly, the kids who consumed the most sugary drinks were 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. So limiting salty snacks and cutting down on other sources of sodium is not only a healthy choice, it may also be a way to keep your kids’ weight in check.
What’s worse in pregnancy -- depression or anti-depressants? Pregnant women are often forced to grapple with the dilemma of how to handle depression during those nine months. Between fears of how antidepressants may affect the fetus and what effects a depressed mom may have on her growing baby, deciding whether to take medication can be tricky. But a recent study may help. Researchers followed nearly 30,000 women who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during their pregnancies and found no significant association between their use and risk of stillbirth, neonatal death or postneonatal death.
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