We take a look at what’s happening in the world this week, covering all things baby, children and family.

Children are weaker than they were 16 years ago

Children are less fit than they were 16 years ago, reports a recent study. Children scored worse in sit-up and grip strength tests, and the decline is speeding up. Researchers at the University of Essex have been carrying out fitness and strength tests on 1,200 children since 1998. Children are taller and heavier nowadays, and so the authors expected that they would be stronger and more powerful but the opposite has been the case. BMI has stayed mostly the same, but inactive lifestyles are thought to be to blame to the general decline in strength.

Toddlers are watching more online content than ever

Children under five are watching on average two hours and 48 minutes watching video content every day. Three out of four children under-five has access to a smart phone, tablet or computer, according to market researcher Childwise. The most popular app is Youtube, while children’s favourite channel is the BBC’s Cbeebies. Voice recognition tools, including Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are also becoming very popular amongst young children who can ask them to sing nursery rhymes and answer questions.


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Could technology be making children less inquisitive?

iPads are making children passive and less inquisitive, claims the head of Britain’s biggest head teachers’ association. Children are no longer active learners because parents are using iPads as “soothers” to keep children quiet, claims the president of NAHT Andrew Mellor. Further, children are becoming used to one-to-one attention, which is what iPad gives them, and so struggle to readapt in a classroom environment.

Why are food allergies in children on the increase?

7% of children are believed to have a food allergy and numbers are still growing. There is currently no cure for food allergies but there are promising probiotics and drug treatments that can lessen the effects of an allergic reaction. However as a society we are more allergic to things than ever but nobody seems to know why. Weaning, pollution, gut health and a lack of vitamin D have all been suggested to be part of the problem. Here Leonora talks about how she allergy weaned her baby.

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Are mother and baby screenings traumatic for young children?

Mother and baby screenings have come under fire this week, as some adult films may cause emotional trauma to young children. While children can’t fully understand what is happening on-screen, images and sounds can be frightening. This is the reason Bath and North East Somerset council gave for refusing a Bath cinema’s licence to show 15- and 18-certificate films at mother-and-baby screenings. What do you think? Would you take your baby to a Fifty Shades of Grey screening?

Social media guidelines to be put in place for young children

Medical experts have been tasked with drawing up guidelines for young people spending time on social media. This comes as an increasing amount of parents are worried about the impact social media has on their children’s mental health. Government guidelines should help parents enforce a reasonable time limit, rather than forbidding socialising online altogether.

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