October 8, 2007 |
Playing with blocks helps young children gain language skills, a small study has concluded. After six months, language scores among half of 175 children ages 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 who were sent plastic blocks were 15% higher than a matched group that did not receive the free blocks, according to the study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.
August 9, 2007 |
A federal panel of scientists concluded Wednesday that an estrogen-like compound in plastic could be posing some risk to the brain development of babies and children. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is found in low levels in virtually every human body. A component of polycarbonate plastic, it can leach from baby bottles and other hard plastic beverage containers, food can linings and other consumer products.
July 16, 2007 |
NEWBORNS sleep about 16 hours a day. When infants reach a year, they stand on their own, or at least wobble. At age 4, many children can tell stories -- and in the decade that follows, motor skills become bike rides; memory skills become math solutions; language skills turn into back talk -- as the brain prunes its billions of nerve cells and refines its trillions of connections. And once they're 18, they may again sleep 16 hours a day.
June 25, 2007 |
Women who have a male twin are less likely to marry and have children, perhaps because of being exposed to their brother's testosterone for nine months in the womb, researchers have reported. A study of Finnish twins showed that women were 25% less likely to have children if their twin was a male. Those who did have children gave birth to an average of two fewer babies than women who had a twin sister.
June 22, 2007 |
Wading into an age-old debate, researchers have found that firstborn children are smarter than their siblings -- and the reason is not genetics, but the way their parents treat them, according to a study published today. The study of 240,000 Norwegian men in the journal Science found the IQs of firstborns were 2 to 3 points higher than that of younger siblings. (The average IQ is 100.
June 9, 2007 |
Scientists at Japan's Osaka University have developed a robot that acts like a toddler to study child development. The Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, is designed to move like a child between ages 1 and 3, although it stands just over 4 feet tall and weighs 73 pounds. It changes facial expressions and can rock back and forth. The robot moves smoothly with 56 actuators in lieu of muscle. It has 197 sensors for touch, small cameras working as eyes, and an audio sensor.
April 16, 2007 |
In the center of a field of fake grass, about a dozen 3- and 4-year-olds are attempting to learn soccer -- or a reasonable facsimile. Kicking and chasing after scaled-down balls, some charge ahead with glee, expertly guiding the balls with their feet. Others scoot along hesitantly, their faces masks of intensity. "Score it in the goal! Score it in the goal!" the coach yells excitedly nearby. One boy nails the goal with a single kick, while another takes three to four attempts.
April 2, 2007 |
AT an age when most children's parents have just started to consider toilet training, Samuel and Hannah had already completed the task. By 21 months of age, the Rothstein children no longer needed to be reminded to go to the bathroom, and they never had toileting accidents -- day or night. Their mother, Melinda, had taken a somewhat unconventional approach to toilet training. She started her son when he was only 8 months old and her daughter right from birth.
March 12, 2007 |
Girls seem to be growing up faster these days, and not just because they dress to show more skin. Compared with their mothers, they actually have more skin to show -- and that added fat seems to be altering their rate of development. Pediatric experts had noticed that girls appeared to be developing breasts (the first outward sign of puberty) at earlier ages -- and that they tended to gain weight around puberty. But no one knew which came first: earlier development or weight gain.