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Famed Quintuplets Fight One Last Disappointment

Two surviving Dionne sisters are fighting for their childhood home

(Newser) - When five identical baby girls were born 83 years ago in Canada, it was a global event; the one-in-a-billion birth, not to mention first known survival past birth, drew tourists from near and far to the tiny town of North Bay, Ontario. And the provincial government, declaring the parents unfit... More »

Fish Oil During Pregnancy May Cut Baby's Asthma Risk

Large Danish study suggests its reduction of inflammation, a key part of asthma

(Newser) - A large, double blind study out of Denmark suggests that fish oil during pregnancy may help lower a child's risk of asthma, reports the New York Times , reducing rates from 24% in women given placebos to 17% in those given fish oil in the final trimester, amounting to a... More »

How Tough Childhoods May Lead to Premature Aging

Kids may appear to bounce back from life stressors, but their bodies tell a different story

(Newser) - Children appear to be highly susceptible to the stress of trauma on a biological level, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . US and Canadian researchers led by Eli Puterman of the University of British Columbia have been studying the length of telomeres,... More »

Most Kids With ADHD Grow Out of It

Strong association between sleep problems and ADHD, and both are resolved in many young adults

(Newser) - Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is often characterized as restless days followed by restless nights. In fact, the association between poor sleep quality and the disorder is so strong that scientists are now questioning whether lack of sleep is contributing to the rise in ADHD. The good news, researchers report in the Journal ... More »

Stressed Kids Have Higher Heart Attack Risk as Adults

A Finnish study spots a connection

(Newser) - If your kids are happy and you know it clap your hands—because their level of stress in childhood may have an effect on their heart attack risk later in life. So report Finnish researchers in a longitudinal study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics after 311 children were followed... More »

A 'Bullying Crisis'? Come On

Nick Gillespie: American children have it better than ever

(Newser) - With the documentary Bully coming out this weekend and stories of online bullying increasingly common, we must be in the midst of a "bullying crisis"—right? "I don't see it," Nick Gillespie writes in the Wall Street Journal . "I also suspect that our fears... More »

How Do You Parent a Dying Child?

Emily Rapp offers a heartbreaking 'New York Times' essay

(Newser) - Parenting advice is strictly forward-focused: Is breastfeeding better for development? Which is the best preschool to ensure a bright future? Like so many other mothers-to-be, Emily Rapp considered those and other similar questions before giving birth to her son Ronan. Then she discovered that Ronan, now 18 months, has the... More »

Fla. Homeowners Want Ban on Kids Playing Outside

Supporters tired of parents turning their kids loose

(Newser) - Ahh, childhood: that magical time when you can be slapped with a $100 fine for playing tag on the street outside your house. At least, that’s what will happen if a certain group of Edgewater, Fla., homeowners get their way. The Persimmon Place homeowners association will vote later this... More »

Future Criminal? Unless He Learns Self-Control

Get a grip early or kids will pay later, says study

(Newser) - Bad kids grow up to be bad adults—unless they learn a little self-control. That's the gist of a new study out of New Zealand which shows that a lack of such control remains consistent through adulthood unless it is caught early and addressed. More than 1,000 kids were... More »

Children of Divorce Face Doubled Stroke Risk

Study shows link between childhood stress, health

(Newser) - Compared to other kids, children of divorced parents are more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke during their lives, a study suggests. Researchers gathered data from 13,000 subjects in a 2005 Canadian health survey and found that, even when other stroke risk factors, like smoking and obesity,... More »

Why I Didn't Want My Son to Wear a Dress

And why Matt Cheplic is sad when he doesn't

(Newser) - When Matt Cheplic’s 4-year-old son announced his desire to dress up as Snow White for Halloween, Cheplic was troubled. “But why?” he wonders on Salon , insisting that he didn’t see the dress “as a threat to my legacy, an insult to generations of men who fought... More »

Firstborn Kids Are Smarter, Study Says

...but their brothers and sisters get better grades

(Newser) - Firstborn kids are generally more intelligent than their brothers and sisters, but younger siblings do better in school and are more outgoing, according to a new study. Previous birth-order research looked at children in isolation—e.g., how many presidents are firstborns?—but the new study examined 90 pairs of... More »

Today's Tom Sawyer Would Be Medicated

He and Huck would be diagnosed with all kinds of disorders

(Newser) - Reread Huckleberry Finn today, and just try to keep track of the disorders Huck and Tom Sawyer would be diagnosed with as kids today: oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder right off the bat, writes Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post . It's "weirdly reassuring,"... More »

Personality in First Grade Sticks for Life: Study

Personality traits persevere decades later

(Newser) - Chatty kids grow up to be intelligent adults, and children with low self-esteem remain insecure decades later, say researchers investigating how much personality changes with age. "We remain recognizably the same person," the study author tells LiveScience . "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it... More »

No More BFFs: Schools Intervene

Educators, psychologists argue over what's healthier

(Newser) - Remember your childhood best friend, the person you shared secrets and slumber parties with? Your son or daughter might never have that experience. “Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend. We say he doesn’t need a best friend,” one counselor tells the New York Times... More »

Day-Care Kids Take Bigger Risks

New fuel for mommy wars

(Newser) - Teenagers who spent long hours in day-care as toddlers are more likely to take risks and act impulsively than peers who spent those years at home, finds the largest and longest study of child-care in America. The findings—sure to stir controversy among parents and policy makers—found that teens... More »

Help Wanted: Imaginary Friend Exorcist

5-year-old's new buddy gives dad flashbacks of 'The Shining'

(Newser) - A generally literal-minded 5-year-old has a new imaginary friend, and his dad is quietly freaking out—and blaming Stephen King. Oh, and Stanley Kubrick, who translated King's novel The Shining to the big screen. "Before King and Kubrick came along, I'm guessing that imaginary friends were kind of cute,... More »

Malia, Sasha Thrive in White House: Dad

First daughters 'unbelievably well-adjusted kids': President Obama

(Newser) - Barack and Michelle Obama's determination to keep their daughters' daily routines as normal as life in the White House can be is paying off, the proud president says. "Malia and Sasha have just turned out to be unbelievably well-adjusted kids," Barack Obama said this morning on the Today... More »

Obama Talks Childhood, Breaking Friend's Arm

He did not want to be president when he was 6, but did break kid's arm

(Newser) - In lieu of actually going to Indonesia—the visit was put off to seal the health care deal—President Obama recently sat down for an interview with a television station from the country where he spent some of his childhood. His breathless interlocutor appears focused on confirming or debunking myths... More »

Scott Brown: From Latchkey Kid to Male Model to Senator

His story is 'part Horatio Alger, part Zoolander'

(Newser) - One look at Scott Brown’s past, Frank Bruni writes, and you can see that “he’s indisputably self-made” with a “background that’s part Horatio Alger, part Zoolander.” Sure, the “famous truck” was purchased “not so he could haul lumber” but to haul his... More »

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