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December 17, 2018

The Week in Early Learning

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This week’s best articles about early learning from around the web – December 15, 2018 edition.

Did you know there are new findings about your baby’s gut flora? Or that your brain echoes your baby’s when you play together? It’s hard to stay in the loop of what’s going on in the world of early learning. But we’ve got you covered!

Each week we will comb through the web and find the most interesting early childhood reads.

Groundbreaking study examines effects of screen time on kids – via CBS 60 Minutes

You’ve heard many opinions, but the science is finally here. 60 Minutes has the inside scoop on a landmark government study to see if phones, tablets and other screens are impacting the brain development of young people (video).

One in four children do not have role models, study says – via Independent

This research study didn’t take place in America. But it sheds light on a common issue: children are looking online for answers and support for issues they care about. What happens when kids look up to online personalities and celebrities for guidance?

“These results show that social media is playing a huge role in shaping the future of children’s career aspirations and choices.” — David Lakin — head of education at Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Infant gut microbiota develops in three stages – via the Gut Microbiota News Watch

Candida albicans is a common member of the human gut flora.

Gut bacteria, or gut microbiota, helps humans with a number of body functions. A new paper published in Nature provides insights into the link between the gut microbiota and infant development. In the study, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have found there are three stages to developing gut bacteria in babies from three months to four years of age.

Sucking on your infant’s pacifier could protect against allergies, research says – via USA Today

More on the topic of child development and bacteria! This study interviewed 128 mothers over an 18-month period and asked how they cleaned their babies’ pacifiers. Of the 74 whose babies used one, 72% said they wash them by hand, 41% said they sterilized and 12% said they spit-cleaned the baby soothers. The findings of this study will surprise you.

Parents’ brain activity ‘echoes’ their infant’s brain activity when they play together – via Science Daily

Play and Learning go hand in hand. Research shows for the first time that when adults are engaged in playing together with their infant, the parents’ brains show bursts of high-frequency activity. The activity is linked to their baby’s attention patterns and not their own.

Study: Babies, toddlers even more at risk from second-hand smoke – via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Babies who are exposed to second-hand smoke show the same effects as adults who are smokers.

“We’re finding [as much as] 15 percent of the babies have levels as if they were smokers themselves.” — Clancy Blair, senior study author and a professor of cognitive psychology at New York University.

Want to continue reading about your child’s growth? Check out these Brighter Futures Indiana blog posts:

Tasty Reads for your little foodie

Child Care Staff Gifts: What They Really Want!

Health Topics: When to Keep Kids Home

Signs of Quality Care for Infants

13 Fun Reads for Little Dinosaur Fans

What you need to know about gestational diabetes

Social & Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Tips for protecting young children against the flu