Can Gratitude Improve Student Health?

Students benefit from writing down what they are thankful for, according to studies that found a gratitude practice helped adolescents become more generous and less materialistic. Another study showed that high-school students who used gratitude journals ate healthier foods.

National Public Radio

Childhood Immunization Schedule for 2016

The American Academy of Pediatric’s 2016 recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents is similar to last year’s format, but now recommends including the nine-valent human papillomavirus vaccine that was approved in 2014, researchers wrote in Pediatrics. Children should receive HPV vaccination starting at age 11, while those with a history of sexual abuse should receive it at age 9. The schedule also recommends giving the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine to all adolescents ages 11 to 12, with a booster at age 16.

Learn more at the CDC.


Kids And Screen Time: A Peek At Upcoming Guidance

Young boy in bedroom using laptop and listening to MP3 player

Adapted from NPR Ed

According to Common Sense Media, tweens log 4 1/2 hours of screen time a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. For teens, it’s even higher: nearly seven hours a day. And that doesn’t include time spent using devices for school or in school.

From babies with iPads to Chromebooks in classrooms, digital devices seem more ubiquitous every year. And one of the hottest issues today in both parenting and education circles is the proper role of electronic media in children’s lives.

There’s research to support both the benefits and dangers of digital media for developing minds. Plenty of questions remain unanswered.

But those of us raising and teaching children can’t afford to wait years for the final evidence to come in. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics plans to update its guidelines on media use later this year. Current recommendations are to avoid all screens for children under 2, and to allow a maximum of two hours per day of high-quality material for older children.

NPR spoke with David Hill, chairman of the AAP Council on Communications and Media and a member of the AAP Children, Adolescents and Media Leadership Working Group, to hear about the upcoming recommendations and to get some advice on how to use screens wisely.

Click here to read the interview