The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group

Medical X-Press – Philip Marcelo

A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season. Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., unveiled its 46th annual list of the 10 “worst toys” Tuesday at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston. (more)

Study evaluates effect of heading a ball in soccer

Medical X-Press – Christine Zeindle

The soccer ball is racing at a speed of 80 km/hr when the player uses their head to redirect it and score. Their team wins the gameā€”but at what cost? UBC Okanagan research suggests the price is high. The study shows that repetitive impacts of a soccer ball on a player’s head could cause damage to the cells of the nervous system. These findings, published recently in the BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, have implications for the more than 270 million soccer players worldwide. (more)

Four ways children say their well-being can be improved

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

Good emotional health as a child lays the foundation for good life satisfaction in adulthood. However, in the UK children and young people’s happiness with their life is now at its lowest since 2010. Our research team, HAPPEN (Health and Attainment of Pupils in a Primary Education Network) has been investigating how we can improve child health and well-being. But instead of looking solely at data and statistics, and asking adult experts what they think is best, we’ve been asking the children themselves. We spoke to 2,000 children aged nine to 11 from our primary school network across South Wales, and asked them what they would change in their area to make themselves, their friends and their family healthier and happier. (more)

Insufficient sleep in children is associated with poor diet, obesity and more screen time

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

A new study conducted among more than 177,000 students suggests that insufficient sleep duration is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle profile among children and adolescents. Results show that insufficient sleep duration was associated with unhealthy dietary habits such as skipping breakfast (adjusted odds ratio 1.30), fast-food consumption (OR 1.35) and consuming sweets regularly (OR 1.32). Insufficient sleep duration also was associated with increased screen time (OR 1.26) and being overweight/obese (OR 1.21). (more)

New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

Medical X-Press – Marilynn Marchione

Move more, sit less and get kids active as young as age 3, say new federal guidelines that stress that any amount and any type of exercise helps health. The advice is the first update since the government’s physical activity guidelines came out a decade ago. Since then, the list of benefits of exercise has grown, and there’s more evidence to back things that were of unknown value before, such as short, high-intense workouts and taking the stairs instead of an elevator. (more)