Jan 28 2017

Can Sitting Harm Children?

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 4:30 pm

Classroom workstations could be improved. Children Know Better Children do not sit still easily. They have good reason not to: Prolonged sitting day after day can lead to organ damage, muscle strain and degeneration, cancer, impaired brain function, and other adverse health outcomes (nicely summarized in a 2014 Washington Post article entitled, “The health hazards of Sitting).” Although most research has been aimed at adults, children may already be suffering. A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to childhood obesity (along with diet and… Read more

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Sep 27 2016

California Foster Care Children Over-Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 11:42 am

I previously wrote about research questioning the long-term use of Ritalin for ADHD. More recently, the State of California conducted an audit of psychotropic drug prescriptions in four representative counties, including Sonoma (the county in which I myself live). Apparently, foster children are prescribed too many of these drugs and often at too high a dosage. Furthermore, proper court authorization procedures are not always followed. I first read of this at the Argus Courier’s website article from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. For more… Read more

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May 03 2016

Free Online Children’s Health Summit This Week

Category: Alternative Education,HealthAdmin @ 11:34 am

The “Children’s Health Summit” webinar is going on this week, once again hosted by Carla Atherton, a functional nutrition coach specializing in children and families. It started yesterday and continues through Saturday, May 7, 2016. Each day’s presentations can be watched for free for 24 hours. You may also purchase the entire set of interviews during or after the conference. The price will go up when the conference is over. Today features: Judy Converse (“Nourishing Children with Special Needs”) Dr. Jill Carnahan (“Autoimmunity,… Read more

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Apr 24 2016

Children and Mental Illness

Category: Health,SafetyAdmin @ 9:40 pm

Learning disabilities may be in vogue, but they are not the only reason that some children have trouble in school or in life. One child’s emotional meltdowns can make it difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, it can take years before a child receives what he or she needs. Liza Long knows first-hand how bad the mental health care arena can be. Her son is better now, having finally been accurately diagnosed and then properly treated, but reaching that point took years. She has written about their struggles – and the sorry state of mental… Read more

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Dec 16 2015

Fetal Medicine for Down Syndrome

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 10:16 am

Down syndrome, also called trisomy 21, is perhaps best known for its role in delayed intellectual development and obvious physical characteristics. Possible errors in over 200 proteins encoded for by the DNA can wreak health havoc. Medical researchers are beginning to focus on ways to fix the biochemistry, giving hope that early detection will result in actual treatment options beyond today’s stark choices of whether or not to abort the fetus and subsequent special education and medical support once the child is born. Regarding intellectual… Read more

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Sep 29 2015

Could Your Child be Colorblind?

Category: Health,LearningAdmin @ 6:06 pm

Color blindness can be problematic. One test for it is the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test. The online version is less accurate than the eye doctor would have, since monitors and room light variations may affect the outcome. Nevertheless, it’s worth trying because it is free and a high score indicates that further testing is warranted. Let me relate a true story about a boy whom I’ll call Justin. Justin was completely confused about his math assignment, which depended upon reading graphs. His red-green color blindness made the red lines… Read more

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Sep 25 2015

Toxic School Lunches

Category: HealthAdmin @ 4:19 pm

Healdsburg Patch has a good article about a study of BPA in children’s school lunches. Here’s one more reason to send lunch from home if you can afford it and to take political action either way: Low-income children are particularly at risk of BPA exposure because they are more likely to eat federally funded meals instead of bringing lunch from home. Increasingly, students are eating not only lunch but also breakfast and sometimes dinner at school, exposing students to potentially dangerous levels of BPA. Click the article title to learn… Read more

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May 12 2015

New Story for Young Children Supports Nature as Natural

Category: Health,Learning,Play,Self-Directed LearningAdmin @ 3:41 pm

To counteract "Nature-Deficit Disorder," a new release from Barefoot Books, Outdoor Opposites, plays with words for opposites while portraying children enjoying the natural world. Macy Koch has written a nice description of the book (for ages 3-7) here. It is good to see a book that reminds children and parents how much fun playing outside can be while teaching an early “academic” skill in a fun way. Playing outdoors helps children develop physical and social skills while keeping their bodies, minds and hearts healthy. Watch any… Read more

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Apr 15 2015

Recommended Books are Back

Category: General Spark a Playful Mind (SAPM)Admin @ 3:06 pm

I put up a “Recommended Books” page again, this time with my own brief descriptions for many of the books. Check it… Read more

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Mar 30 2015

What is Healthy Eating for Children?

Category: HealthAdmin @ 11:36 am

Is the “normal” U.S. diet harming your family? Since it is now estimated that one-third of people in the U.S. will end up with diabetes by the end of their lives, here is some good news: Type 2 diabetes is reversible! Roy Taylor, MD, a researcher at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, discussed the implications of diet and more in his interview at the Diabetes Summit. Fascinating. Dr. Tom O’Bryan and others at the Diabetes Summit made a good case that wheat may also be implicated in diabetes, especially type 1 but also type 2…. Read more

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