kids

fitness

The best fitness trackers for kids, tried and tested

Getting your child a fitness tracker is a fun way to encourage keeping active. Children aged 5 to 18 should be getting at least one hour of exercise every day but many don’t, not least because watching TV and playing video games is often more appealing.

If your child is interested in tech and often wants to ‘have a go’ with your fitness tracker, you might consider buying them a gadget of their own.

Like the adult versions, kids’ fitness trackers monitor movement, recording your child’s daily step count and nudging them when they’ve been sitting still for too long. They offer the option to compete against friends in sporty challenges and win digital badges for reaching goals. Many also track sleep quality.

Smaller sizing aside, the key difference is that most children’s fitness trackers don’t track calories, so you won’t need to worry about them developing an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. They also won’t reveal the location of the wearer.

The data can be synced to a smartphone belonging to either the child or their parent, so that they can see how active they have been that day and monitor their progress.

How we test

We asked three children aged six, seven and eight, to wear each fitness tracker for a week at a time. The testers and their parents were asked to comment on comfort, simplicity of use, accuracy, battery life and any extra features.

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fitness

Kids’ physical fitness is more important than BMI — ScienceDaily

For adults, the goal of exercise is often to shed some pounds, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests the objective should be different for kids.

Physical education should focus on improving students’ physical skills, knowledge of the benefits of exercise and motivation to be active. The goal should be to build students’ cardiorespiratory endurance, a measure of how well the body handles long periods of exercise — not to help them lose weight, according to the study’s authors. Kids can be overweight (as measured by the Body Mass Index, or BMI) and still able to reach the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. And students who are more active during PE, despite their weight, are more likely to stay active after school as well.

“Research has shown that even in young children, people who are fitter in terms of cardiorespiratory endurance participate in more intense physical activities,” said lead author Sami Yli-Piipari, an associate professor in UGA’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. “It’s not really your weight that matters. Children can be a little bit overweight but still be relatively fit.”

The study followed 450 children, ages 10 through 12, who took 90 minutes of mandatory PE every week. The students wore an accelerometer on their right hip during the day to track their total physical activity for a week, and simple tests — such as being able to do a regular or modified pushup or crunch — were used to determine their mastery of physical skills. The researchers also explored whether students enjoyed PE or participated out of obligation.

“Physical education matters,” Yli-Piipari said. “It’s not only where students learn the skills, abilities and motivation to be active; it’s where students are having to do something active at a higher intensity than they probably would after school.”

The study took place in Finland, where children have more PE on average than American students, and the class also focuses on the importance of exercise and how to incorporate it into everyday life. In keeping with previous research, boys tended to be more active than girls. But surprisingly, muscle strength and motor skills didn’t play a role in activity levels. Neither did motivation — whether the child wanted to participate in PE — nor enjoyment of PE classes.

The students who didn’t participate in after-school sports were also typically less active during their down time. For many of these students, PE was the only time they exercised hard enough to work up a sweat, which makes it even more important to use class time effectively in a way that will get students moving and motivated to keep it up.

To help children learn to be physically literate, Yli-Piipari suggests teaching them in a way that gets students up and active.

  • Don’t just lecture and tell kids to do something. Take them to places, get them moving, and let them try different things themselves.
  • Variety is key. Introduce children to multiple ways they
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fitness

New study shows kids’ physical fitness is more important than BMI

Weight loss shouldn't be the goal of PE
Children get active outside UGA’s McPhaul Child Development Lab. Credit: Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA

For adults, the goal of exercise is often to shed some pounds, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests the objective should be different for kids.

Physical education should focus on improving students’ physical skills, knowledge of the benefits of exercise and motivation to be active. The goal should be to build students’ cardiorespiratory endurance, a measure of how well the body handles long periods of exercise—not to help them lose weight, according to the study’s authors. Kids can be overweight (as measured by the Body Mass Index, or BMI) and still able to reach the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. And students who are more active during PE, despite their weight, are more likely to stay active after school as well.

“Research has shown that even in young children, people who are fitter in terms of cardiorespiratory endurance participate in more intense physical activities,” said lead author Sami Yli-Piipari, an associate professor in UGA’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. “It’s not really your weight that matters. Children can be a little bit overweight but still be relatively fit.”

The study followed 450 children, ages 10 through 12, who took 90 minutes of mandatory PE every week. The students wore an accelerometer on their right hip during the day to track their total physical activity for a week, and simple tests—such as being able to do a regular or modified pushup or crunch— were used to determine their mastery of physical skills. The researchers also explored whether students enjoyed PE or participated out of obligation.

New study shows kids’ physical fitness is more important than BMI
Physical activity during PE in school is a good indicator of students’ activity after school, according to new research. Credit: Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA

“Physical education matters,” Yli-Piipari said. “It’s not only where students learn the skills, abilities and motivation to be active; it’s where students are having to do something active at a higher intensity than they probably would after school.”

The study took place in Finland, where children have more PE on average than American students, and the class also focuses on the importance of exercise and how to incorporate it into everyday life. In keeping with previous research, boys tended to be more active than girls. But surprisingly, muscle strength and motor skills didn’t play a role in activity levels. Neither did motivation—whether the child wanted to participate in PE—nor enjoyment of PE classes.

The students who didn’t participate in after-school sports were also typically less active during their down time. For many of these students, PE was the only time they exercised hard enough to work up a sweat, which makes it even more important to use class time effectively in a way that will get students moving and motivated to keep it up.

To help children learn to be physically literate, Yli-Piipari suggests teaching them in a way that gets students up and active.

  • Don’t just lecture and tell kids
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medicine

Go Insurance and Indiana University School of Medicine Team Up to Boost Car Safety for Kids

Go Insurance and Indiana University School of Medicine Team Up to Boost Car Safety for Kids

App-based auto insurance company launches car seat giveaway for Indiana families in need, as report finds Indiana is the fourth least safe US state for child passengers

Go Insurance, an auto insurance company revolutionizing insurance by using data analytics to make roads safer and save customers time and money, announced today that it is teaming up with Indiana University School of Medicine to provide free car seats for families in need. This giveaway is part of Go Insurance’s newly launched national child passenger safety program, which works to ensure every caregiver in America is equipped with the best tools to safely transport the children they care for in a secure, properly installed car seat.

Go Insurance is launching the program in collaboration with child passenger safety experts in three states with high rates of injuries and fatalities for child passengers. The company is granting a total of $40,000 to Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX, to distribute brand new car seats to local families in need.

To kick off the giveaway, there will be a car seat distribution event on Saturday, November 7 in Hobart, IN, at Hobart Fire Station #1, 401 East Tenth Street — the first of two in the state this month. Car seat distributions will continue in Indiana into 2021.

Go Insurance’s child passenger safety initiative was created in response to a report released by the nonprofit Go Safe Labs, showing that Indiana is the fourth least safe state in the nation for children traveling in passenger vehicles. Between 2015 – 2018, Go Safe Labs found that 383 children were injured or killed in traffic accidents in the state, with 73 percent of accidents occurring in rural areas and 27 percent in urban areas. The group analyzed publicly available data from government sources involving over 300,000 people involved in fatal accidents to find the top states with the most child injuries or fatalities.

“Providing car seats to families in need is part of Go Insurance’s commitment to keeping everyone safe on the road in Indiana and across the nation,” said Kevin Pomplun, Co-Founder and CEO of Go Insurance. “Car seats save lives. Every family should have access to a properly installed, high quality car seat to keep their kids safe. Go Insurance is thrilled to work with Indiana University School of Medicine to advance our shared goal of increasing safety for kids in cars.”

“The Automotive Safety Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine works to keep families safe across the state of Indiana. With Go Insurance’s support, we will be able to get car seats to hundreds of families,” said Marsha French, Director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Automotive Safety Program. “Our work is especially important now as the weather is worsening and families are preparing to travel by car this holiday

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medicine

Go Insurance and Indiana University School of Medicine Team Up to Boost Car Safety for Kids – Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO–(Business Wire)–Go Insurance, an auto insurance company revolutionizing insurance by using data analytics to make roads safer and save customers time and money, announced today that it is teaming up with Indiana University School of Medicine to provide free car seats for families in need. This giveaway is part of Go Insurance’s newly launched national child passenger safety program, which works to ensure every caregiver in America is equipped with the best tools to safely transport the children they care for in a secure, properly installed car seat.

Go Insurance is launching the program in collaboration with child passenger safety experts in three states with high rates of injuries and fatalities for child passengers. The company is granting a total of $40,000 to Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX, to distribute brand new car seats to local families in need.

To kick off the giveaway, there will be a car seat distribution event on Saturday, November 7 in Hobart, IN, at Hobart Fire Station #1, 401 East Tenth Street — the first of two in the state this month. Car seat distributions will continue in Indiana into 2021.

Go Insurance’s child passenger safety initiative was created in response to a report released by the nonprofit Go Safe Labs, showing that Indiana is the fourth least safe state in the nation for children traveling in passenger vehicles. Between 2015 – 2018, Go Safe Labs found that 383 children were injured or killed in traffic accidents in the state, with 73 percent of accidents occurring in rural areas and 27 percent in urban areas. The group analyzed publicly available data from government sources involving over 300,000 people involved in fatal accidents to find the top states with the most child injuries or fatalities.

“Providing car seats to families in need is part of Go Insurance’s commitment to keeping everyone safe on the road in Indiana and across the nation,” said Kevin Pomplun, Co-Founder and CEO of Go Insurance. “Car seats save lives. Every family should have access to a properly installed, high quality car seat to keep their kids safe. Go Insurance is thrilled to work with Indiana University School of Medicine to advance our shared goal of increasing safety for kids in cars.”

“The Automotive Safety Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine works to keep families safe across the state of Indiana. With Go Insurance’s support, we will be able to get car seats to hundreds of families,” said Marsha French, Director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Automotive Safety Program. “Our work is especially important now as the weather is worsening and families are preparing to travel by car this holiday season.”

Company Description: Go Insurance is an innovative insurance company revolutionizing a vital industry by harnessing the power of data analytics to help drivers enjoy safer roads and to save money. The Go Safe Map now analyzes 10 trillion miles

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health

There’s no extra Covid risk from living with kids, study finds

  • Living with children does not carry with it a greater risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a study in the U.K.
  • Living with children appears to lower the risk of dying from Covid-19.
  • The study looked at 9 million adults in the U.K. under the age of 65.



a group of people standing on top of a grass covered field: Students play during their break on their first day of school after the summer break at St Luke's Church of England Primary School in East London on September 3, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
Students play during their break on their first day of school after the summer break at St Luke’s Church of England Primary School in East London on September 3, 2020.

If you live with children, you’re not at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a large study carried out in the U.K.

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In fact, living with children was associated with a lower risk of dying from the coronavirus compared to those that didn’t live with children, researchers from the University of Oxford and London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.

They investigated 9 million adults in the U.K. under the age of 65 between February and August to see whether the risk of infection with Covid-19, and the risk of severe outcomes from having the virus, was different for those living with and without children.

The researchers found that living with children under the age of 11 “was not associated with increased risks of recorded Covid-19 infection, Covid-19 related hospital or ICU (intensive care unit) admission but was associated with reduced risk of Covid-19 death.”

However, living with children aged 12-18 years was associated with a small increased risk of recorded coronavirus infection, the study noted, but not associated with other Covid-19 outcomes.

Living with children of any age was associated with a lower risk of dying from non-Covid-19 causes, the researchers found.

The study also looked at an additional 2.5 million adults above the age of 65 and also found that “there was no association between living with children and outcomes related to Covid-19.”

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Researchers highlighted that parents are known to have lower all-cause mortality than individuals without children, noting that the “protective mechanisms of having children are likely to be multifactorial, including healthier behaviours among parents, e.g. in relation to smoking and alcohol, and self-selection of healthier individuals becoming parents.”

They also said “beneficial changes in immune function from exposure to young children have been proposed to cause reduced mortality among parents.”

Wrangling over schools

The study comes amid ongoing uncertainty over the role of children and adolescents in the transmission of the coronavirus. But the researchers in this study noted that there was “accruing evidence” that suggests that, when it comes to Covid-19, “lower susceptibility and possibly lower infectiousness among children means that they may not transmit infection more than adults.”

There has been heated debate over whether schools and colleges should remain open during national lockdowns, with millions of kids having to stay at home when governments first locked down their economies

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health

‘I Want to Live for My Kids’

Tarek El Moussa On His Two Battles with Cancer and How Men Can Detect ‘Preventable’ Cancer Sooner

The Movember ambassador shares that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and men aged 18-34 are at the highest risk for testicular cancer

Tarek El Moussa is taking part in Movember to help raise awareness for men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer. The movement encourages men to grow out their mustaches for the month of November to show support.

Speaking to Daryn Carp on an episode of People TV’s Reality Check, the Flip or Flop star — who survived both testicular cancer and thyroid cancer — stressed that men need to pay attention to their bodies.

“Some of the statistics are shocking. One in nine men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and a lot of times it’s preventable. Another statistic that was shocking to me is that the highest occurrence age of testicular cancer in men is 18 to 34,” he said. “Young men have no idea they are at the highest risk.”

El Moussa then spoke about the importance of men also doing self-checks. “With testicular cancer, it’s literally a 3– to 5-second self-check in the shower can save your life,” the HGTV host explained.

RELATED: The Heartwarming Reason Flip Or Flop‘s Tarek El Moussa Is Revealing His Secret (Second) Cancer Battle

Asked why more he thinks men aren’t aware of the need to do self-checks, he said, “It’s just men being men. We’re raised to keep things in and be quiet and be strong, and a lot of times that’s what we do . . . I haven’t talked to many other men about this, but I never had anyone tell me to check myself, and even they did tell me to check myself, what am I checking for? I don’t even know what to look for.”

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Tarek El Moussa

He encourages others to visit the Movember website to learn the answer. “They’ll teach you how to do a self-check. It’s really important because there are people out there today that are gonna get testicular cancer, like it’s gonna happen. And if they find it sooner, the odds of survival are just so much greater,” he added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

El Moussa’s personal cancer battle started in 2013 when a Flip or Flop fan who was also a registered nurse noticed a lump on his neck and wrote to the show’s producers to say she thought the HGTV star might have thyroid cancer.

She was right. After being diagnosed, El Moussa decided to go through his old medical records for any other irregularities and found an irregular testicular exam from two years earlier. He decided to get further testing and was also diagnosed with testicular cancer.

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health

Big Spike Seen in COVID Cases Among Kids | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is surging among America’s children, according to leading medical groups.

As of Oct. 29, more than 853,000 children in the United States had tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began — 200,000 of them in October alone. In the week ending Oct. 29, an estimated 61,000 new cases in kids were reported — the most of any week in the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Children’s Hospital Association reported.

“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” said AAP president Dr. Sally Goza. “This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too. We can help protect everyone in our communities by keeping our physical distance, wearing masks, and following other recommendations from our doctors and public health experts.”

Severe COVID-19 illness is rare among children, but more data are needed on longer-term effects. Those include ways the virus may harm kids’ long-term physical health as well as its emotional and mental health effects.

“Not only are children feeling the direct effects of the virus and becoming ill, but the pandemic has transformed their lives at critical stages of development and education,” Goza said in an AAP news release. “I’m very concerned about the long-term harms that children may suffer, particularly Black and Hispanic children, who are suffering a higher number of infections.”

Goza said this includes not only children who test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but everyone in these communities who are suffering disproportionate mental health harms.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chairwoman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said the new numbers reflect a disturbing nationwide increase of COVID-19 cases in all groups, especially young adults.

“We are entering a heightened wave of infections around the country,” Maldonado said. “We would encourage family holiday gatherings to be avoided if possible, especially if there are high-risk individuals in the household.”

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in children is likely less than the true number because they often have mild symptoms and may not be tested, according to the AAP.

“On every measure — new infections, hospitalizations and deaths — the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction,” Goza warned.

She called on policymakers to listen to doctors and public health experts, and not to level “baseless accusations” against them.

“Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals have put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” Goza said. “We can all do our part to protect them, and our communities by wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and getting our flu immunizations.”

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Nov. 2, 2020

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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health

How Parents Feel About Their Kids in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

Katelyn Evans, 16, has never met Randy Kerr—and there’s no reason she should have. It was 66 years ago that Kerr, then 6, became briefly famous, receiving the first injection of Jonas Salk’s experimental polio vaccine during the massive field trial of hundreds of thousands of children in the spring of 1954. History notes that the vaccine worked, and the children who stepped forward to receive either the actual shot or a placebo were heroically dubbed the Polio Pioneers.

Evans is a pioneer of the modern age, one of an eventual group of 600 children in the 16-to-17 year-old age group (along with 2,000 more between 12 and 15) to volunteer to be part of a Phase 3 trial to test an experimental COVID-19 vaccine made by the multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The company had already enrolled 42,113 adult volunteers in its Phase 2 and 3 trials, but only recently did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) give approval to include children. And Evans, a high school junior in Cincinnati, was among the earliest, receiving her first of two injections on Oct. 14, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“She was the youngest one to receive the vaccine at that point in time,” says her mother, Laurie Evans, an elementary school teacher. In the spring, the family saw a news report that Pfizer was looking for volunteers and Evans and both of her children signed up. “Katelyn was the only one who got the call,” Laurie says. “I know from the response we’ve gotten that there are some people out there who don’t think this is the smartest thing for us to have done. But I’m more afraid of COVID than the vaccine.”

With good reason. The 8.8 million Americans who have contracted the disease include about 800,000 children, with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reporting a 13% increase in total pediatric cases in just the first two weeks of October. Children with COVID-19 may typically fare better than adults who catch the virus, but they can still become severely ill: some 3.6% of total U.S. COVID-19 patients who have had to be hospitalized have been children, according to the AAP. That reality makes volunteering for the Pfizer field trial more than an act of public-service heroism; it is also a potential act of preventive medicine.

Certainly, that’s the way Sharat Chandra saw things. Sharat was already part of the Pfizer adult trial and when word first went around that children would soon be included too, he and his wife discussed the possibility of enrolling their 12-year-old son Abhinav, and then posed the question to him.

“I raised it to my son and we felt that it might be a good thing for him because if he got the vaccine, it could protect him from getting the virus himself,” Sharat says. “Because he was attending school in person, we felt that it would be good to minimize his risk for infection, if we can.”

Abhinav Chandra participating in Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial.

Abhinav Chandra participating in Pfizer’s

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health

California Prop 14 may change lives of sick kids, keep taxpayer funding of stem cell therapy research

Three-year-old Ava was constantly sick. Her gums were inflamed, and every time she got a scraped knee, it turned into a dangerous infection.

Her parents, Alicia and Jon Langenhop, were months pregnant with their third child when they learned that Ava’s constellation of symptoms added up to an extremely rare, inherited disorder of the white blood cells, called leukocyte adhesion deficiency-1. Although antibiotics and antivirals could prolong her life, the disease was considered fatal, usually before kindergarten.

Ava’s primary hope, doctors told the Langenhops, was a bone marrow transplant from someone who was a good match, probably a brother or a sister.

Two-year-old Olivia had inherited the same disease as her big sister. She had been hospitalized with infections, too.

The baby in Alicia’s belly would be the girls’ best hope. Since both parents were carriers of the rare genetic mutation, the new baby, a boy, had a 25% chance of inheriting it, too.

Alicia was still in the hospital last October when they found out baby Landon had the mutation. Around the same time, the couple learned of a research trial in California.

Children Ava, Olivia and Landon Langenhop were diagnosed with an extremely rare, inherited disorder of the white blood cells, called leukocyte adhesion deficiency-1. California Proposition 14, a citizen-initiated ballot measure, authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research.
Children Ava, Olivia and Landon Langenhop were diagnosed with an extremely rare, inherited disorder of the white blood cells, called leukocyte adhesion deficiency-1. California Proposition 14, a citizen-initiated ballot measure, authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research.

Doctors would take each child’s blood cells, fix the mutation and return them. It should be a permanent fix, with less risk than a bone marrow transplant because the healthy cells would be their own, so their bodies wouldn’t reject them as foreign.  

The approach had been tried in only one child, though.

This is the type of research reaching patients nearly two decades after President George W. Bush banned federal funding of stem cell research and 16 years after California residents approved a tax increase on themselves to support research.

Proposition 14 on Tuesday’s ballot asks whether Californians want to continue this work, providing $5.5 billion for stem cell research over the next three decades.

In the early 2000s, stem cell research was controversial because it often required the destruction of human embryos. Though embryonic stem cells remain essential for some therapies, in cases such as the Langenhops’, treatment focuses on manipulating a person’s own cells.

Stem cell science has made tremendous progress, but as in most new fields, the pace remains painstakingly slow. Every treatment has to be the subject of years of trial-and-error research, and many scientific hurdles linger. 

Stem cells have been used to treat rare diseases, such as severe combined immunodeficiency, also known as “bubble boy disease,” and they are being tested in more common conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, Type 1 diabetes and even heart disease.

“Even if a subset of stuff in the pipeline goes all the way, it will change the world for patients who currently don’t have other good options,” said Sean Morrison, a stem cell biologist in Dallas.

“It’s a pivotal time in the field,” said

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