Study: Moderate Drinking During Pregnancy Has No Ill Effects
Moderate drinking during pregnancy is safe, new Danish research suggests. Though expectant moms have long been told not to drink, the study authors found that 5 year olds whose mothers drank low to moderate amounts of alcohol during early pregnancy—between one and eight drinks a week—showed no negative effects. These children did not perform any worse on tests measuring IQ and executive functions than those whose moms did not drink. Kids whose moms' drinking exceeded the "moderate" threshold, however, had a lower attention span than others in their age group. Health experts continue to suggest erring on the side of caution and avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. "There may be subtle neurobehavioral changes that were not picked up in the study," Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay. "It can be hard to accurately test younger children, and tests at an older age may detect larger differences." Findings were published today in five different studies in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Does Your Child Really Have ADHD?
Through the years, a growing number of fidgety, forgetful, and unfocused children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 5 million children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with the condition, making it one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents. This has even prompted declarations of an ADHD epidemic in America. Recent research, though, suggests that a child's sleep patterns could partly be to blame.
"Sleep disorders may contribute to behaviors that resemble ADHD during the day," says Kevin Smith, a pediatric psychologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. A study published in March in Pediatrics analyzed more than 11,000 children over a period of six years, beginning at 6 months of age, and revealed that children suffering from sleep-disordered breathing—including snoring, breathing through the mouth, and apnea, where the child seems to stop breathing for several seconds at a time—had a higher incidence of behavioral and emotional issues such as hyperactivity, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety. In fact, they were 50 to 90 percent more likely to develop ADHD-like symptoms than were normal breathers. And those children who suffered most severely from all three sleep-disordered breathing behaviors at around age 2 and a half had the highest risk for hyperactivity. [Read more: Does Your Child Really Have ADHD?]
Summer Camps for Adults
Summer camp has grown up. Sure, you can still send the kids there, but there's no upper age limit. Nationwide, more than 800 camps cater to the adult crew. On the grown-up agenda: nature retreats, intensive cooking courses, triathlon camp, and cowboy college. "In this world of being the best one can be, people really want more out of their vacation time," says Nancy Diamond, managing principal of the Camp Professionals, which offers consulting services for camp owners and operators. In 1996, she launched the directory grownupcamps.com, which she spent 13 years running. "Maybe you're finally going to learn about something you always wanted to learn about, or a passion you always wanted to fulfill. It's a chance to take the time to take care of yourself."
1. Rock 'N Roll Fantasy Camp, Las Vegas. That inner rock star is itching to come out. At Rock Camp, you'll be placed in a band based on skill level, and learn to play (or perfect) an instrument. You'll write and record an original song, and perform it live at the MGM Grand Hotel. Next up: A session from October 10 to 14 that features Gene Simmons, Zakk Wylde, Vince Neil, and Sebastian Bach, among other rockers. Of course, rocking out alongside big names comes at a cost: Packages range from $6,999 to $8,999.