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Millions of U.S. students home alone

October 31, 2000 Web posted at: 2:58 p.m. EST (1958 GMT) WASHINGTON — Call it a scare that working parents could do without this Halloween — 2.4 million children under the age of 12 are home alone before or after school, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census bureau. The report says 7 million 5-to-14-year-olds of working parents are left to care for themselves an average of six hours a week. Thirteen percent of them are home alone for 10 hours a week, according to the report. The statistics, based on 1995 statistics, show the majority, 65 percent, are middle-schoolers, ages 12-14; the rest are grade school-age. Megan, age 9, and her sister, Sarah, age 11, are among them. After they come home from school, they told CNN’s Holly Firfer, they grab a snack, do some homework and watch TV. “Some things we can do and some things we can’t, ” the girls said. “But usually, we can do anything we want.” It’s not a situation they or their mom, who asked that their full names not be used, prefer. “I wish I didn’t have to do it,” their mom says, “I wish I really had a job that I was home by 3 o’clock. And I know they would like that, too, but they understand it. It’s not in the cards right now.” The amount of time children are left alone concerns not only parents, but child advocates and researchers alike. “It very well may be they are taking care of themselves during the after school hours from 3 to 6,” Kristin Smith, Census Bureau...

Health on the Internet

Before doctor’s visit, many surf Internet for info Last Updated: 2003-02-13 12:55:50 -0400 (Reuters Health) By Hannah Cleaver BERLIN (Reuters Health) – One in four Internet users search online for medical information before or after a visit to the doctor, according to a new survey conducted in Germany. This growing tendency is seen as a two-edged sword by doctors, who feel that an involved patient is a better patient, but worry about the quality of information people are getting, an expert said. The poll showed that 7% of Internet users go online to search for medical information before a visit to the doctor, while 8% check things out on the web after an appointment and 10% look on the Internet before and afterwards. A further 53% of the more than 1,700 Internet users questioned by polling company TNS Emnid said they could imagine themselves using the Internet as a source of information in conjunction with a visit to the doctor. Roland Ilzhoefer, spokesman for the KVB, the association covering most general practitioners and non-hospital specialists, told Reuters Health there were two sides to such use of independent information sources. “On the one side it is good when a patient is interested in their injury or illness, interested enough to get information for themselves from whatever source, be that newspapers, magazines or books and of course the Internet.” Those patients are more likely to follow-through with prescribed treatments, he said. “But of course, on the other hand, the question remains of how dependable the information that the patient has found, actually is. And even if it is useful information, it...

Early Childhood and TV Viewing

Heavy TV Viewing Causes Problems Oct 1, 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – “CONSISTENT, FREQUENT TV VIEWING CAUSES BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS“ In summary: “Consistent, heavy television viewing (more than two hours a day) throughout early childhood can cause behavior, sleep and attention problems. In the new study, “Children’s Television Exposure and Behavioral and Social Outcomes at 5.5 Years: Does Timing of Exposure Matter?” researchers assessed data from the Healthy Steps for Young Children national evaluation effort pertaining to the effects of early, concurrent and sustained television exposure at age 2.5 years, and again at age 5.5 years. The effects of having a television in the child’s bedroom were measured at age 5.5. Sixteen percent of parents reported that their child watched television more than two hours a day at age 2.5 years only (early exposure), 15 percent reported that their children watched more than two hours of television daily at 5.5 years only (concurrent exposure), and 20 percent reported more than two hours of television viewing daily at both times (sustained exposure). Forty-one percent of children had a television in their bedroom at age 5.5. Sustained television viewing was associated with sleep, attention and aggressive behavior problems, and externalizing of problem behaviors. Concurrent television exposure was associated with fewer social skills. Having a television in the bedroom was associated with sleep problems and less emotional reactivity at age 5.5. Early exposure to television for more than two hours a day, which decreased over time, did not cause behavior or social problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television viewing for children under age 2, and no more...

Survey: Parental misconceptions about discipline

SURVEY REVEALS CHILD DEVELOPMENT KNOWLEDGE GAP AMONG ADULTS Need More Information about Discipline, Spoiling and Expectations of Young Children WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 4 – Results of a landmark survey released today raise questions about what Americans know about raising emotionally, intellectually and socially healthy children. “This lack of accurate child development information among adults has very real implications for American society,” said Kyle Pruett, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University Child Study Center, and president of ZERO TO THREE. “We’re potentially raising overly aggressive children who react to situations with intimidation and bullying, instead of cooperation and understanding; children who won’t be able to tolerate frustration, wait their turn or respect the needs of others.” “What Grown-Ups Understand About Child Development: A National Benchmark Survey” measured the child development knowledge of 3,000 adults and parents. Secondarily, it examined what the general public thinks about selected policies that impact children and families. The survey was sponsored by CIVITAS, ZERO TO THREE and BRIO Corporation, three organizations dedicated to the welfare of young children, and conducted by DYG, Inc., a nationally respected research company led by Daniel Yankelovich. “The results of the survey overwhelmingly indicate that adults need more and better information, delivered in more accessible ways,” said Suzanne Muchin, chief executive officer of CIVITAS, a not-for-profit communications group that commissioned the survey. The survey results show that specific areas of misinformation among adults include spoiling and spanking; adults’ expectations of young children at different ages; and the most beneficial forms of play. Parents Misunderstand: Babies Can’t Be Spoiled Parents are confused – and grandparents even more so...
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