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An early indication of autism can be identified in babies under six months old, a study suggests. US researchers, writing in Nature, analysed how infants looked at faces from birth to the age of three. They found children later diagnosed with autism initially developed normally but showed diminished eye contact - a hallmark of autism - between two and six months of age. More...
A baby's first smile is an exciting moment. But what can it tell us about their understanding of the world? Boasting about the speed of childhood development is the sport of choice for many a doting parent. From the 12-week scan right through the early years, monitoring the physical and mental progress of their pride and joy is a source of both excitement and concern. Especially rewarding is the onset of smiles, squeals and laughter - the kind of milestones that make all the disturbed nights worth it. More...Tags:Baby Health
Parents are risking their babies' health because of a surge in the popularity of swaddling, according to an orthopaedic surgeon. The technique involves binding the arms and legs with blankets and is used to help calm a baby and prevent crying. But Prof Nicholas Clarke, of Southampton University Hospital, said swaddling was damaging developing hips. The Royal College of Midwives and other experts advised parents to avoid tightly swaddling a child. More...Tags:Baby Health
The number of young people affected by strokes is increasing worldwide, according to an 11-year study released today. The Global and Regional Burden of Stroke in 1999-2010 study is in Thursday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet, which takes a comprehensive look at stroke rates by country and region. "Now we have over 80,000 children and youth affected by stroke every year," said study author Prof. Valery Feigin, director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. "This is incredible." More...Tags:Health
Children who don’t have a fixed bedtime show more behavioural problems than those who go to bed at the same time every night, a new study has found. The data also showed that as the children grew from age three to age seven, the behaviour problems - including hyperactivity, conduct problems, problems interacting with peers and emotional difficulties - worsened among those whose bedtime varied. "What we've shown is that these effects build up incrementally over childhood," said Yvonne Kelly, and the lead author of the study, in a statement Monday. More...Tags:Kids Health,Kids Care
Post-menopausal women who walk for an hour a day can cut their chance of breast cancer significantly, a study has suggested. The report, which followed 73,000 women for 17 years, found walking for at least seven hours a week lowered the risk of the disease. The American Cancer Society team said this was the first time reduced risk was specifically linked to walking. UK experts said it was more evidence that lifestyle influenced cancer risk. A recent poll for the charity Ramblers found a quarter of adults walk for no more than an hour a week - but being active is known to reduce the risk of a number of cancers. More...
A baby has been born through a new technique to "reawaken" the ovaries of women who had a very early menopause. Doctors in the US and Japan developed the technique to remove the ovaries, activate them in the laboratory and re-implant fragments of ovarian tissue. The 27 women involved in the study became infertile around the age of 30 due to "primary ovarian insufficiency". The condition affects one in 100 women who essentially run out of eggs too young, leading to an early menopause. More...Tags:Pregnancy
Getting young children to take an hour-long nap after lunch could help them with their learning by boosting brain power, a small study suggests. A nap appeared to help three-to-five-year-olds better remember pre-school lessons, US researchers said.University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers studied 40 youngsters and report their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More...Tags:Kids Health,Kids Care
A dose of sugar given as a gel rubbed into the inside of the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage, say experts. Dangerously low blood sugar affects about one in 10 babies born too early. Untreated, it can cause permanent harm. Researchers from New Zealand tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care and, based on the results, say it should now be a first-line treatment. More...Tags:Baby Health
The economist Emily Oster, on becoming pregnant, was surprised by how woolly much of the medical advice was – how restrictive, and how many of the restrictions seemed to be without foundation. "The key to good decision?making," she writes, "is taking information, the data, and combining it with your own estimates of pluses and minuses." Naturally, as anyone who has been pregnant will know, that is the exact opposite of the way things work: you are given no data, you are told which decision is the best, and if you ask about data, the medics give you a look as if to say: "One more smart alec remark and it's the child-protection register for you, chum." More...Tags:Pregnancy,Pregnancy Care
Pregnant women are actually driven to clean and organize because of an adaptive behaviour from humanity’s history, according to a new study from McMaster University. It's commonly known as nesting, and it’s characterized by unusual bursts of energy and a compulsion to organize the home, which researchers say stems from an evolutionary mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby. “Nesting is not a frivolous activity,” says Marla Anderson, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. More...Tags:Pregnancy
At least 23 Canadian women who were taking two of the most commonly prescribed birth control pills in the world have died, CBC News has learned. According to documents obtained from Health Canada, doctors and pharmacists say Yaz and Yasmin are suspected in the deaths of the women, who mostly died suddenly from blood clots. More...