Category Archives: Schools

“Hypertension in children, teens linked to poorer cognitive skills:” 1 5/5 (1)

Children and adolescents who have high blood pressure may be at risk of poorer cognitive skills, finds a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

While high blood pressure, or hypertension, is perceived by some people to be a condition that only affects adults, studies have shown that it affects around 3-4 percent of children and adolescents aged 8-17 years.

A child’s blood pressure is calculated differently to that of adults; in general, a child is considered to have hypertension if their blood pressure is the same as or higher than 95 percent of children of the same age, sex, and height.

Similar to adults, children who are overweight or obese, have a poor diet and lack of exercise, a family history of hypertension, or who have certain medical conditions – such as heart and kidney disease – are at increased risk of high blood pressure.

According to study co-author Dr. Marc B. Lande, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues, previous research has shown that high blood pressure can interfere with adult’s cognitive functioning, but there has been little research on whether this association rings true for children.
Hypertension linked to poorer performance on cognitive tests

For their study, the research assessed the cognitive test results of 150 children aged 10-18 years. Of these, 75 had newly diagnosed hypertension, while 75 had normal blood pressure.

The team excluded subjects from the analysis if they had other conditions known to impact cognitive skills, such as learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sleep disorders.

“We wanted to make sure that if we found differences between children with and without hypertension, it was likely associated with the hypertension itself, not any of these other factors,” explains Dr. Lande.

Compared with children and adolescents who had normal blood pressure, those with high blood pressure performed worse on tests of visual skills, visual and verbal memory, and processing speed, the team reports.

What is more, the researchers found that high blood pressure was more common among children with sleep problems, supporting previous research suggesting poor sleep can impair cognitive functioning.
(From: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313189.php)

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“Hunger may motivate us more than thirst, fear, or anxiety.” Like No ratings yet.

Human motivation has been studied for decades, primarily in an attempt to answer one question: what drives us to take one action over another? Researchers shed some light in a new study, after finding hunger is a stronger motivational force than thirst, fear, anxiety, and social needs.

Senior author Michael J. Krashes, of the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal Neuron.

Put simply, motivation is the reason for acting in a particular way or making a certain choice over another.

In the 1940s, American psychologist Abraham H. Maslow created the “hierarchy of needs” – a set of five “needs” that he believed explained human motivation.

These range from physiological needs – such as food, water, and other requirements for human survival – to self-actualization, the desire for personal growth and success.

Over the years, researchers have either acknowledged, criticized, or amplified Maslow’s theory. With regard to the latter, neurologists have increasingly investigated the role of the human brain in motivation.
Hungry and thirsty mice opted for food over water

According to Krashes and team, most neurological studies of motivation are conducted in tightly controlled conditions and have focused on investigating one motivational state at a time, which has made it difficult to determine if some states are stronger drivers than others and what brain circuits are involved.

With a view to addressing this knowledge gap, the researchers conducted a series of mouse experiments in which they assessed a variety of motivational states, including hunger, fear, anxiety, and social needs.

For the study, the team used optogenetics – a technique that uses light to control cells – to govern nerve cells in the brain known as agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons.

AgRP neurons are situated in the brain’s hypothalamus. They are known to regulate appetite and are crucial for survival.

For one experiment, the researchers either deprived mice of food for 24 hours or activated their AgRP neurons in order to make them hungry. These mice were also deprived of water, making them thirsty. A control group was deprived of water but not food.

(Share Info from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313178.php)

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“Curiosity about cigarettes, cigars falling among students” 1 No ratings yet.

Fewer middle and high school students in the United States have ever used or are curious about using cigarettes or cigars, according to new research published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

However, the study – conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – identified no change in the percentage of American students who have ever used or are curious about smokeless tobacco.

According to the CDC, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 480,000 deaths each year.

There is no doubt that great strides have been made in reducing smoking rates in the U.S.; the number of adults who currently smoke has fallen from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2014.

Still, more needs to be done, and researchers are focused on curbing cigarette use among youth as a way of ending the tobacco epidemic.

In order to do so, investigators first need to get a good idea of the scale of tobacco use among youth and what is driving them to use tobacco products.

Study co-author Alexander Persoskie, of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, and colleagues aimed to address these factors with their new study.
Four percent fall in ever-use of cigarettes

The team analyzed information from the 2012 and 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which provides national data on tobacco use among American students in grades 6-12.

Using this data, the researchers calculated the percentage of students who had ever used or had been curious about using cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. For 2014 only, the team assessed ever-use of and curiosity about e-cigarettes.

(Info from and continues at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313045.php)

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The importance of assisting our children with their Exams 1 5/5 (1)

Throughout America, many children and teens will be preparing for their end of year examinations of some kind or another. And so it essential for parents and guardians especially to help them prepare to be successful.

We know that examinations can be very stressful at times, and of course, difficult to prepare for. But one the primary things parents can do is to ensure that they are always available for their children when they need them for assistance. It is realistic to remember that parents will not be available sometimes, because of work-related stress or family personal circumstances, but to take some time and focus on the needs of the kids will benefit parents as well as the children. The cost of extra tutoring, for example, or the need to retake an exam will be reduced with just some real concern and help from the parent to the child.

The environment in which the child has to study also matters. Here guardians and parents can do their part by ensuring it is accessible, clean and free from noisy disturbances as their kids conduct their study time. If this was not available during the regular times of the year, parents should try very hard to make the changes in line with this point (Final Exams Time ) so the children can study effectively. No one can truly prepare for difficult exams in a noisy environment, especially at home. Those who are seniors in high schools, for example, and are looking forward to their graduation, will need the best available place at home to concentrate and prepare for their last set of exams.

If need be, finding the most reliable and effective tutor may help if a parent cannot assist a child the best way they may desire to. Not all parents may be at the educational level or faculty of mind to assist their own kids with a specific kind of school work for final exams. So a good option is to find a close friend or relative who may be able to do so. The aim is to get the right kind of specific help for the child without paying an expensive fee to a tutor. Some relatives will even help for free or just a pocket money. And at times, close friends or relatives will be more sincere and reliable in seeing your child succeed than a stranger who may be doing his/her tutoring duty because they have to be paid for their services. By no means does this mean that professional tutors are not essential. They really are, but a child may just learn best with someone they know and trust assisting them.

Reassurance of parental acceptance or love even if a child does not succeed matters. Even after all is done to help a child succeed at his/her final exams, the child may still not be successful or to the extent that was anticipated. In such cases, parents and guardians will need to honestly reassure the child that all is not lost and they can still succeed in life and are loved by family and friends. Disappointment can be painful especially after a lot of time, effort and money are invested by both parents and kids. But under exam pressure, some children will make mistakes that can result in failure and hence disappointment. At such times, parents will need to restrain themselves from aggressive anger and abuse (verbal or physical) of the child. There will be another chance for the child to correct his/her mistakes and succeed. So parents and guardians need to remember this and continue to show their love and acceptance in times of disappointment. This can be crucial to a child’s long-term productive development.

Parents and guardians therefore need to remember that final exams, for example, can be a very stressful time in the lives of kids. Every possible assistance form all who are associated with a child development will then be necessary and appreciated at this time. Only some are mentioned above. But above all else, we need to remember to show kids that they are still loved and appreciated, even if and when they do not succeed.

END.

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Tutoring is essential for your children’s school life success. 1 5/5 (1)

One meaning of a tutor, from my experience in tutoring, is someone who is dedicated to rendering consistent relevant instructions and assistance to someone or a small group of 7-10 persons. Dedication and consistency are important because they are intricately associated with tutoring and teaching.

The primary objectives of tutoring will depend on the needs of the students and the teachers when being done in a formal educational environment or by home schooling. But the essence is to help or assist the student achieve what he or she cannot attain on his or her own, with only the standard teaching from others. After tutoring, they will then be able to function independently while they continue their learning in that specific and related subject area.

In some cases, tutoring style and the method of tutoring in one subject area may not be relevant in another. Hence, different tutors will be necessary or needed to help the student achieve the desired objectives. For example, while many of the principles in English Tutoring can be applied in Social Sciences, they may not be relevant in other technical area, such as practical engineering and mechanics. Tutoring can be done in class during teaching time, by the pull-out principle (where needed and willing students are temporarily remove from the regular teaching environment for tutoring in another room or place) and after school. In the latter case, the students will meet with the tutors after regular class ends in a quiet, secure and supervised environment. From my experience, which is most effective will depend on the student’s needs, the teacher objectives and what the parents agreement.

For the student, excellent tutoring will enhance the need and desire to learn. There will be improvements in students study habits and effectiveness, the ability to generate greater information and knowledge in the specific subject area, and in general. The student attendance at school will also improve with an elevated positive cooperative attitude towards the subject, fellow classmates and the teacher.

But to achieve the above, certain acceptable principles are required from the tutor.

An excellent and effective tutor must be dedicated, consistent, demonstrate a strong positive perspective towards the student, teacher and tutoring. He or she must believe in the student’s abilities to improve consistently and sustainable, show empathy, express equity in his or her duties. They will need to very objective and not controversial. They must be extremely cooperative with the parents, students, teachers and school officials. Effective background clearance checks with Child Abuse Agencies and Federal Criminal Agencies, in the United States for example, are needed before a tutor is approved and accepted for tutoring. Experience will matter, but may not be too relevant in some cases because some new tutors will demonstrate excellent abilities.

From my experience in tutoring Middle and High School Students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the last 2 years, the parents of the students must play a very essential role in the process. Parents are encouraged to know that their children are not necessarily receiving tutoring because they are not smart, but for different individual reasons. Educational Specialist and Child Psychologists, for examples, may be able to help in explaining this point, if need be. But what parents need to know and do is work sincerely, consistently and positively with the tutors, teachers and school officials.

An example of this last issue has to do with the after school attitudes of parents. Many students receiving tutoring often say they receive little encouragement (or inconsistent support) once they leave the school environment and go home. Here homework assistance from parents is needed as a principle of helping in the tutoring process.

Some parents, because of unfortunate reasons, may not actually be able to practically work with their children while they do their home work. But to ask them and insist that they do so everyday will matter in the success of their children tutoring and school achievements. Parents with language problems, for example when the child may be learning a new language from tutoring and classroom teaching that the parent is not aware of or familiar with, because they do not speak that language, can still help their kids. Simple love, concern and encouragement will definitely mean a lot to the child effective tutoring and learning achievements.

What a student does or does not do to enhance the tutoring experience will matter. They need to be extremely willing to accept the help or assistance that their parents, teachers and the schools have identified as necessary for them to improve in their learning. Students need to be cooperative, attend tutoring regularly, be respectful to their tutors and teachers, obey the school and parent instructions or rules, and participate in assisting themselves and other students.

Therefore, from the above, tutoring is essential for all needed children. This will help the child achieve current and long-term educational learning goals. Parents support is essential to all children success. The students must be very willing to receive and accept the help and assistance that tutoring provides. Backgrounds checks to make sure the tutors are qualified and suitable for the children’s objectives must never be overlooked. This will help to ensure that the correct person is chosen for the student, parents and school needs or objectives.

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