Good sleep habits for your children
Cut down TV time and increase the ZZZs, or your child may end up grumpy, inattentive, and obese!
The latest research examining children and sleep sounds the alarm about the possible effects of too much TV and too little nighttime snoozing.
Along with an increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems, a Harvard study suggests infants and toddlers who get less than twelve hours of sleep and/or watch more than two hours of TV a day may face an increased risk of being overweight by age three.
Earlier research has implied TV before bedtime may be linked to poor sleep habits in children.
"I think a lot of people hear that TV causes obesity, or it might cause ADD, or maybe it causes autism. TV really gets a bad rap, and really we haven't pinpointed that TV does any of these things," admits Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and author.
"TV is very addictive. If you look at adults or kids, they’re sitting there in front of the screen, their mouths are hanging open -- it's real hard to get off the couch. And so you’re creating a lifestyle habit," she explains.
In fact, another study found teens with television sets in the bedroom were less likely to eat healthy foods or exercise.
The take-home message for parents is that a quiet ritual like reading, and sticking to a standard bedtime, are lifestyle habits that can help children of all ages get a good night's sleep.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 70-percent of children have television sets in their bedrooms.
So how much sleep do kids need?
Once they're past the newborn stage, babies and toddlers need to clock in around twelve hours a night.
Children five to twelve need 10 to 11 hours, and teens need around eight or nine.
A promising breast cancer vaccine
A breast cancer vaccine is showing promise against one of the deadliest forms of the disease.
Researchers say the vaccine significantly reduced the risk of recurrence for women whose cancers are marked by the protein called HER-2/neu.
That accounts for about a quarter of cases.
Mortality was reduced by about 50-percent among women with high expression of the protein, and 100-percent among women with low or medium expression.
A biotech firm has licensed the vaccine and is planning additional studies.