A new study is examined whether counselling can help parents reduce their children’s screen time.
A Canadian Press story reports that the study, headed by Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children Dr. Catherine Birken, looked at physician-based intervention during which parents were counselled about how to cut screen time.
One group of families received 10-minute counselling sessions on strategies to reduce time watching TV or at computers, such as removing screens from bedrooms, eating away from TVs and alternative activities for preschoolers. The other group received a talk about Internet safety.
UNICEF is drawing attention to problems faced by indigenous children around the world through a report it presented to the United Nations earlier this month.
World-wide, indigenous peoples make up 15 per cent of the poor, as well as a third of the extremely poor rural population. As a result, UNICEF says children are often deprived of access to education, health services, birth registration and social protection.
The report, Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is co-drafted by UNICEF and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on behalf of the Secretary-General and is presented annually to the Third Committee by UNICEF at UN headquarters in New York.
The report lays the foundation for debate on this year’s General Assembly resolution on the Rights of the Child with a focus on indigenous children.
Province temporarily suspends all immunization clinics
All public influenza immunization clinics in Saskatchewan are on hold until further notice. The decision follows a Health Canada recommendation that flu vaccine made by the pharmaceutical firm Novartis not be used pending a review of the discovery of clumping of particles in the vaccine in Europe.
Ontario doctors are taking a stand against unhealthy food with a new campaign that calls for strong graphic warnings, Canadian Press reports along the lines of those on tobacco products.
Citing data showing the growth of childhood obesity since the 1980s, the Ontario Medical Association also wants higher taxes on unhealthy foods, lower taxes on healthy foods, and sales restrictions in venues used by children and teenagers.
Week celebrates foster families
This is Foster Families Week in Saskatchewan, with events across the province to honour dedicated, caring foster families.
A Globe and Mail piece on the “marshmallow test” was the top story on Google News earlier this week.
The earliest tests began in the 1960s as a way to test a child’s ability for self-control or delay gratification. The child would be presented with a marshmallow and told if they could resist eating it for a few minutes they would get a second. (The tests were one of the topics on the agenda at this spring’s Imagine Our Future conference in Moose Jaw.)
The recent Globe story covered new research into the topic. Researchers from the University of Rochester have found that environment plays as much of a role in a child’s ability to self-regulate as any innate sense of self-control.
A University of Manitoba study has found links between children’s neighbourhood socioeconomic status with their health and education outcomes, CBC News says.
The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy produced the study, How are Manitoba’s Children Doing, which examined almost all Manitoba children 19 and younger between 2000 and 2010.
In general, it found children living in the north or in poorer neighbourhoods were not as healthy, needed more interventions from health or social services and did not perform as well in school.
Fish, mercury may be linked to ADHD risk
A child’s risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as they get older could be tied to the amount of fish his or her mother ate during pregnancy, says Reuters.
More than one quarter of families in Prince Albert are headed by single parents, according to new data released by Statistics Canada.
The agency released national census data from 2011 this week that provides an in-depth look at the Canadian households and an ever-evolving picture of the family.
The StarPhoenix has put together a report on the new census information with stories and interactive maps, which look at stepfamilies, same sex marriage and common law relationships, among other trends.
The entire Statistics Canada report can be found online.
Almost a third of kids are overweight, obese
More than 31 per cent of Canadian are overweight or obese, says new census data from Statistics Canada.
Saskatchewan is the province in which children are most likely to be exclusively raised by grandparents, CBC reports.
The story is follows up on last week’s census data from Statistics Canada that looked at Canadian households’ health, living and social conditions.
For this province, the data show that 1.4 per cent of children 14 and younger live in so-called “skip generation” families where they are cared for by at least one grandparent and with no parents in the home.
The figure is almost three times higher than the national average of 0.5 per cent.
UN again raises question of children’s rights in Canada
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is raising the issue of children’s rights in this country.
Students, dignitaries and provincial government, Saskatoon Public and Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division representatives marked the start of construction on a brand new $35.3 million joint-use education facility and an integrated childcare facility on Sept. 11.
The two school divisions and the City of Saskatoon will see two projects form the joint facility at Willowgrove Elementary and Holy Family Elementary. The schools share land that will accommodate instructional space for both public and Catholic students and house a joint-use child care centre
Even short bursts of exercise can help kids
A new study finds that quick periods of intense exercise each day can bring heart health benefits for children and teens, says a Canadian Press story.
The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, looked at Alberta children between nine and 17 and found that those that took part in even as little as seven minutes a day of intense physical exercise showed significant weight and blood pressure benefits.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal is questioning the practice of spanking in a recent editorial.
Editor-in-chief John Fletcher describes the practice as anachronistic and argues that it time for the law to catch up. Currently, Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the law to allow for “corrective” force by parents, as long as it is reasonable.
However, Canadian research from earlier this year that examined 20 years of studying effectiveness of spanking found it to be no more effective for children’s behaviour than other means. As well, there could be long-term consequences for children, such as increased aggression and other behavioural problems.
Province provides quality housing for families
The provincial government officially opened new affordable housing units for families in both Regina and Swift Current recently.
Twenty-four new affordable rental suites for families officially opened in Regina on Aug. 28.
Saskatchewan will expand its infant immunization program by adding a rotavirus vaccine (ROTARIXTM) to its routine childhood immunization schedule this fall.
ROTARIXTM is a two-dose oral vaccine series that will be given to infants between six weeks and eight months of age.
"Immunizations play an important role in protecting the population against disease and we are pleased to offer this new vaccine to some of our youngest residents," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said in a recent news release.
The vaccine will be offered starting Nov. 1, at the regular two- and four-month immunization appointments, in addition to the current publicly funded vaccines for infants routinely offered by public health nurses.
Study: Breastfeeding, milk drinking not tied to puberty timing
A new study is questioning other research tying breastfeeding or milk drinking to when kids start puberty, says a Reuters story.
Some studies have found links between girls that breastfeed and late menstruation, while others link drinking cow’s milk to earlier starts.