WHATS THE BUZZ

Traditional toys are best for children

Childhood development experts have stated that playing with traditional toys and games is the best way to stimulate the imagination and support learning in a child.
Dr Jon Jureidini, a child psychiatrist at the University of Adelaide, shared his concern about the shift towards electronic toys and computer games, which stop a child from being creative. “The role of the child in play becomes more reactive,” he said.
“Much more of the content is going to be generated by the computer than would be the case if a child was playing with a doll’s house.”
“The danger is that children aren’t having as much stimulation to their imagination and creativity.”
“Playing through some distressing event helps children to come to terms with it and feel less bullied by their scary memories.”
“There’s the working-through aspect and also the communication aspect,” Dr Jureidini, who uses play in therapy, said.
His thoughts on the subject were echoed by Deakin University Associate Professor Karen Stagnitti, who said imaginative play has also been shown to expand children’s vocabulary, comprehension and social skills.

Babies born to obese mum at increased asthma risk

Babies born to overweight mothers are at a greater risk of developing asthma, says a new study. “Obesity is not a neutral state; adipose tissue is an active producer of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while it also suppresses the action of anti-inflammatory cytokines,” said Jet Smit, National Institute of Public Health and Environment, Netherlands.
“Therefore, when you have an obese person, you are not just looking at a problem of excess fat, but a problem of systemic inflammation. This may affect the immunological and pulmonary development in the fetus and possibly result in a higher risk of asthma symptoms after birth,” Smit added.
To determine whether the presence of these pro-inflammatory factors in overweight mothers did, in fact, put their children at a greater risk of developing asthma, Dr Smit and colleagues analysed data from nearly 4,000 children of the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) birth cohort for evidence of asthma.
The children were included prenatally and followed up yearly until the age of eight years.
Asthma was defined as at least one episode of wheeze and/or dyspnea and/or a prescription for inhaled corticosteroids in the last year.
The chocolate bar that can render acne history
They say it’s the worst enemy of clear skin, but eating chocolate could actually prove to be a lifesaver for people who abandon their social lives just because of acne.
Acne Care chocolate bars are said to deliver antioxidants and micro-nutrients that help clear the skin.
Makers of the revolutionary new chocolate, which is set to hit Australian shelves, claim that pimple-plagued sufferers will experience dramatic results within just two weeks of eating the chocolate.
Developed by US-based Frutels, the chocolate-coated treatment is believed to be the first of its kind and supports the body’s defences and clarifies the skin from within.
Frutels recommend consumers eat between two and five chocolates a day for the fastest results, reports News.com.au.
A company spokesman said: “This product takes beauty foods to another level by not only tackling acne care in an ingestible form, but by using a food that has been associated with causing acne to make these claims”.
“Chocolate has long been taboo for acne sufferers,” he pointed out.

Too much cola consumption can cause paralysis

Excessive cola consumption can cause muscle problems, an irregular heartbeat and even paralysis, doctors have warned.
Doctors issued the warning after noticing an increase in the number of patients suffering from muscle problems, according to the June issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
“We are consuming more soft drinks than ever before and a number of health issues have already been identified including tooth problems, bone demineralisation and the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” says Dr Moses Elisaf from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Ioannina, Greece.
“Evidence is increasing to suggest that excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia, in which the blood potassium levels fall, causing an adverse effect on vital muscle functions,” the expert added.
A research review carried out by Dr Elisaf and his colleagues has shown that symptoms can range from mild weakness to profound paralysis. Luckily all the patients studied made a rapid and full recovery after they stopped drinking cola and took oral or intravenous potassium.

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