Playtimes April 2014 - page 16

finger on
the pulse
Two-thirds of parents say they don’t always follow the
advice they get from their child’s doctor, according to
findings from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s
Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. The findings
showed that 56 per cent of parents said they follow the
advice they’re given most of the time, while 13 per cent
said they follow it only occasionally. Among parents who
said they follow advice only occasionally, they were most
likely to heed recommendations on nutrition, dentist visits
and using car seats. But 40 per cent of parents in this group
said they didn’t follow advice on discipline, 18 per cent said
they didn’t follow sleep recommendations, and 13 per cent
didn’t follow advice about watching TV.
NBC News
There are clear benefits to raising a bilingual child, but
open-mindedness isn’t necessarily one of them. New
research from Concordia University shows that, like
monolingual children, bilingual children prefer to interact
with those who speak their mother tongue with a native
accent rather than with peers with a foreign accent. The
study, published in the journal
Frontiers in Psychology
expands on earlier research showing that children who
speak one language prefer to interact with those who
share their native accent. The authors initially thought that
bilingual children would prove more open-minded than
their unilingual peers. The results, however, show that they,
too, prefer exchanges with “accent-free” speakers.
While parents use DVDs and other media in an attempt
to teach their infants to read, these tools don’t actually
instil reading skills in babies, a study has found. “While
we cannot say with full assurance that infants at this age
cannot learn printed words, our results make clear they did
not learn printed words from the baby media product that
was tested,” said Susan Neuman, a professor at New York
University. However, there was one undeniable effect of these
products – on parents. In exit interviews, parents indicated
that they
their babies were learning to read and had
benefited from the programme in vocabulary development.
Science Daily
Devices that produce soothing sounds in order to lull
infants to sleep can be loud enough at maximum volume
to damage their hearing, researchers have reported.
Sleep machines emit white noise or nature sounds to
drown out everyday disturbances to a baby’s sleep.
Researchers at the University of Toronto evaluated 14
popular models at maximum volume and at a distance
of 30 centimetres – about the distance one might be
placed from an infant’s head – and found that they were
all dangerously loud. Safe use is possible, the study’s
authors suggest. “Farther away is less dangerous, a lower
volume is better and [for] shorter durations of time,” one
of the researchers said.
The New York Times
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