Child development

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Vasopressin may be used to treat social deficits in children with autism. kids with ball, from shutterstock.com

Autistic kids low on vital social hormone, study suggests

Increasing autistic children's levels of vasopressin, a hormone that regulates social behaviour, could help treat the social deficits common to autism, research suggests.
During the first few minutes after birth a baby can receive 80-100 millilitres of blood – nearly a third of their blood volume. Paul Hakimata Photography/Shutterstock

Delay clamping babies' umbilical cords for better health and development

One of the most common surgical procedures undertaken in the world today – one that every human alive has undergone – is the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord at birth.
Does training relentlessly and regularly lead to greatness? "Nine" via www.shutterstock.com

To excel in youth sports, kids need couch time

Parents want to simultaneously support and push their kids. But when it comes to sports, this mentality can backfire in subtle ways.
Children love interactive devices and can’t recall a time without them, so it may be best to manage rather than ban them. Lars Plougmann/Flickr

Growing up in the age of apps doesn’t have to be all bad

Despite occasional panic about the negative impact they may be having on children's social and intellectual development, interactive devices give parents a much-needed break and can benefit kids.
Oh, that’s what you meant! By Artwork by Marco Bruschtein/Michael D. Fetters via Wikimedia Commons

Sifting the fact from fiction about baby sign language

What if babies could tell us what they want, before they start crying for it? Bring in baby signing, a system of symbolic hand gestures for key works such as “milk”, “hot” and “all gone” that are taught…
Watch your head. Soccer players via Wallenrock/Shutterstock.

What every parent should know about concussions

This fall, the deaths of three high school football players were linked to direct head injuries on the field of play and one collegiate football player’s death has been potentially attributed to unresolved…
Small hands need small sporting equipment … but what about less bouncy balls? PJMixer/Flickr

Why Santa should bring your kids the right-sized sports gear

Smaller footballs, lighter tennis racquets and mini playing fields: it makes sense to have these for children, right? Well, in recent years there’s been strong opposition against children playing modified…
Andreas Scheuer, secretary general of the German party considering proposals for make migrants speak German at home and in public. Sven Hoppe/EPA

Bid to force immigrants to speak German in their homes won’t help integration

A proposal in Germany to make all migrants speak German in public and at home has ignited a heated debate about immigration and language. The proposals come from the German Christlich-Soziale Union (CSU…
Children exhibit signs of psychotic illness in very rare cases. Philippa Willitts/Flickr

Rise in anti-psychotic scripts for kids is a serious worry

News this week that as many as 100,000 prescriptions for anti-psychotics were written for Australian children in 2013 is cause for concern. Though the drugs may be appropriate in a small number of cases…
He’s been reading for months already. Mother and child via Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

Stop blaming poor parents for their children’s vocabulary

While the reading wars in education have raged for decades, most people agree that literacy is crucial for children and that the path to strong reading and writing skills begins in the home. But focusing…
People who have been in care are more likely to have children at an early age and are at greater risk of having their own child taken into care. Mika Heittola/Shutterstock

We remove kids from abuse and neglect, but are they better off in the long run?

Most people reasonably assume there is evidence of good long-term outcomes for children who come into contact with child protection systems. Why else would we intervene in the lives of children and their…
Rural or metropolitan? Communities make a big difference when deciding how independent your kids should be. Peter Gordebeke/Flickr

What do parents fear? Unwrapping the bubble-wrap generation

We hear so much these days about fearful parents who “bubble-wrap” their children. So-called “helicopter parents” try to protect their children from life’s dangers and, in the process, prevent them taking…

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