In this Issue:
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics - January 20, 2016
Lead exposure can cause serious damage to the developing brains of young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that all elevated lead levels are a concern and there are no safe levels. Lasting decreases in cognition have been documented in children with blood levels as low as 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood. A set of new resources on Lead Exposure and Lead Poisoning from the AAP provides information on lead poisoning and its effects on children, what families can do to protect their children, and more.
Source: National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health - January 27, 2016
Findings from a recent study show that uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia) in preschool children is associated with significant early literacy deficits. Children with moderate hyperopia did significantly worse on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) than their normal-vision peers. These findings underscore the importance of early detection, especially because early deficits in literacy have been shown to be associated with future problems in learning to read and write. Read the full press release here.
Citation: Kulp, M.T., Ciner, E. et al. Uncorrected Hyperopia and Preschool Early Literacy: Results of the Vision in Preschoolers - Hyperopia in Preschoolers (VIP-HIP) Study. Ophthalmology, January 27, 2016.
Source: Education Commission of the States - January 26, 2016
A new analysis, State Pre-K Funding for 2015-16 Fiscal Year: National Trends in State Preschool Funding (January 2016), shows an increased investment in pre-k programs across the country for the fourth straight year. In 32 states and the District of Columbia there was a total increase of 12% in the 2015-16 fiscal year over the previous year. The report includes a number of state examples and an overview of the pre-k programs they have in place.
Source: National Institutes of Health - January 28, 2016
The Video Interaction Project (VIP) involves videoing parents as they read and play with their children during routine checkups, reviewing the videos with parents, highlighting positive interactions, and giving parents a book or toy and a copy of the video to take home. A recent study involving 675 parents and their newborn babies found that the children of VIP participants had better attention and play skills and reduced hyperactivity and aggression at age 3 than children in the control group. For children in the highest risk families, hyperactivity was reduced by more than half. The authors suggest that reducing aggression and hyperactivity in young children is extremely important, because the ability to behave in school is crucial for learning and educational achievement. Read the full press release here.