Stories about: babysitting

Is your babysitter mature enough for the job?

Claire McCarthy, MD

The 12-year-old next door seems so nice and responsible. You find yourself thinking: she’d make a great babysitter.

Maybe—but maybe not.

Researchers from Penn State Hershey Medical Center surveyed 727 11- to 13-year-olds who had cared for younger children, to see how much they knew about safety. Forty percent had left a child unattended—and twenty percent had opened the door to a stranger.

The next-door neighbor is looking a lot less appealing all of a sudden, huh?

To be fair, you could spin it that more than half didn’t leave children unattended, and eighty percent knew not to open the door to a stranger. And there were other findings that were actually pretty encouraging.

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Health headlines: Deafness, IVF and the new flu vaccine

yawning boyOther stories we’ve been reading:

New York’s soda tax could bring in $222 million. [Read Children’s obesity expert’s take on artificially sweetened beverages.] Chronic health conditions are increasing in children. If your child’s grandparents are babysitting regularly, it’s more likely your kid will be overweight. Bone-anchored hearing aids help kids with single-side deafness.

The best way to keep your kids vaccinations up-to-date is to keep a shot card. [Read about the updated immunization schedule.] Rapid flu tests are most accurate for young children. The new seasonal flu vaccine will contain an H1N1 strain.

Teens might exercise more if they think it’s fun. Video games aren’t the cause for your teen’s headaches. Tired teens are more prone to car crashes. A lack of morning light can cause irregular sleep for teens. {Read how late bedtimes affect teens mental health.]

Preemie twins may face lower risks of certain complications versus single preemie babies. Does an adult’s health differ when they’re an IVF baby? Bilingualism may begin in the womb. The average birth weight in the United States in on the decline.

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