News Roundup September 11th

Screen Time Increases Odds of Low Communication Scores

A recent study looked at the connection between screen media use, media content, and language development among 119 Hispanic infants and toddlers recruited through an urban, Early Head Start program. Length of time and content of screen media exposure was measured along with language development, which was assessed at the beginning of the study and again at a 1-year follow up.  The research showed that children who watched more than 2 hours of television per day had higher chances of low communication scores. The findings support the mounting literature about the negative impacts of screen media on toddler’s language development. Click here to find out more about the study out of Columbia University: Abstract.

Babies Get Mom’s ‘Good’ Bacteria Via Breast Milk

Scientists at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health in Switzerland have learned that important ‘good’ bacteria arrive in babies’ digestive systems from their mother’s gut via breast milk.  This information supports the fact that ‘breast is best’ in terms of establishment of gut and immune health, however, a better understanding of how babies get good bacteria can also help to develop formula milk that more closely mimics breast milk. Learn more here.

Positive Caregiver-Child Verbal Interactions Appear to Buffer Children from Poor Language Outcomes

This research study looked at the mother’s language with her child at home and the verbal interactions between the caregiver and child in the child care setting. The sample included 433 rural children who were in child care at 36 months of age. They found, even after controlling for a number of variables, that positive caregiver–child verbal interactions in the child care setting appeared to buffer children from poor language outcomes concurrently and two years later if children came from homes where observed maternal language complexity and diversity was less. Click here for more information on this study out of University of North Carolina:  Abstract.

Good Asthma Control During Pregnancy is Vital

Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in pregnancy.  A recent review published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG) says good asthma management during pregnancy is vital as poor asthma control can have adverse effects on maternal and fetal outcomes including for instance hypertension in pregnancy, a higher frequency of caesarean section and low birth weight. The authors say in most women with well-controlled asthma there are no or minimal additional risks. Read more here.


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