News of Interest to Moms August 3, 2009
News to know:
Study finds rise in student injuries in gym class
Injuries to American children during physical education classes increased by 150 percent from 1997-2007,according to a new study.
The increase in injuries may be caused by a lack of adult supervision, the study said, noting gym classes are larger and the number of school nurses has declined.
The study appears in the September issue of Pediatrics. Researchers found that boys had more cuts and broken bones than girls, while girls had strains and sprains.
Breast-feeding could save 1.3 million lives
Teaching new mothers how to breast-feed could save 1.3 million children's lives every year,the World Health Organization said on Friday.
Fewer than 40 percent of mothers worldwide breast-feed their infants exclusively in the first six months, as recommended by the WHO. Many women stop breast-feeding because they don't know how to get their baby to latch on properly or suffer pain and discomfort.
The WHO recommends that babies start breast-feeding within one hour of their birth, and ingest only breast milk for the first six months, avoiding water and other drinks and foods.
Studies: Millions of U.S. kids lacking Vitamin D
Millions of U.S. children have disturbingly low Vitamin D levels, according to two new studies. Vitamin D deficiency could increase children's risk for bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.
According to one analysis of federal data released today:
~About 7.6 million children, adolescents and young adults ages 1-21 have Vitamin D levels so low they could be considered deficient
~50.8 million have higher levels, but still low enough to be insufficient
Other research reported that low Vitamin D levels are especially common among girls, adolescents and people with darker skin.
Researchers and others blame the low levels of Vitamin D on a combination of factors:
~children spending more time watching television and playing video games instead of going outside
~covering up and using sunscreen when they do go outdoors
~drinking more soda and other beverages instead of consuming milk and other foods fortified with Vitamin D.
Chemical in plastic tied to preemie problem
Phthalate, a chemical used in many plastic products, is suspected of raising the risk of liver problems in premature babies, according to a new study.
At least one expert found the German study unconvincing. However, the researchers said their results show that hospitals treating newborns or preemies should turn to IV feeding equipment that doesn't contain DEHP, the phthalate studied. Some U.S. hospitals have made the switch.