Pokémon GO for Families: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for July 15, 2016.

Parker Barry

  • 2. Video games could help your kid be a better driver someday.  A University of Hong Kong study found that playing “action video games for as little as five hours can be a cost-effective tool to help people improve essential visuomotor-control skills used for driving.” Using a driving simulator, researchers asked participants to keep the car as steady as possible between lines and despite other obstacles. They found that the participants improved after 10 hours of “training” on Mario Kart, a game they identified as “a fast-paced action video game,” but did not improve after playing RollerCoaster Tycoon, “a non-action strategy game.” (Playing action video games boosts visual motor skill underlying driving)
  • 3. Thumb-sucking, nail-biting may boost kids’ immunity. A decades-long study with 1,037 kids in New Zealand found that having young kids “build up their immune system” to help them be healthier as they grow up may actually work. The researchers followed kids from age 3 to 38, some being nail-biters and thumb-suckers and others not, and regularly tested them for allergies like wool, dogs, horses and dust mites. The study found that kids who were known to be thumb-suckers and/or nail-biters actually were less likely to have allergies than kids who were not allowed to do so. (Letting Your Kids Bite Nails And Suck Thumbs Turns Them Into Allergy Resistant Adults)
  • 4. Your kids’ bedtime may have an impact on their weight. The Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development looked at the effects preschoolers’ bedtimes had on weight gain in the teenage years and found that those who were in bed by 8 p.m. were much less likely to be overweight. The likeliness increased as the kids’ bedtimes were pushed back toward 9 p.m. (An Early Bedtime for Kids May Fight Weight Gain)
  • 5. Early childhood: How the U.S. stacks up against other developed countries. An article in the Atlantic looks at the investment the U.S. makes in the early years of kids’ lives, arguing that “the fate of all children is largely determined by their first years on this planet.” Lillian Mongeau writes, “In 2012 the U.S. ranked 35th among developed economies in pre-primary or primary-school enrollment for 3- to 5-year-olds.” Mongeau examines why that is and what it means for the future. (Why Does America Invest So Little in Its Children?)

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