This week on my dad blog, I have three short news stories that may be of interest to dads and moms:
Read Across America at Walmart
Walmart.com is running a month-long promotion on children books as part of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Dads and moms can save up to 40% on the top 500 children’s books. Parents can purchase children books for as low as $3 (including free shipping). According to various studies, by the age of two, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.
Hope for Children with Food Allergies
According to three new studies, oral immunotherapy can help kids build up tolerance to foods to which they are allergic. In experimental treatments, children with food allergies were fed tiny amounts of the very food to which they’re allergic [Warning! Dads and moms should not try this at home because there is a chance a child could have a significant life-threatening reaction].
In the first study, nine of 12 children with peanut allergies who swallowed small doses of peanut protein under a doctor’s supervision daily for three to five years can now eat unlimited amounts of peanuts.
In a second study of 25 children with peanut allergies, the researchers gave the peanut protein treatment to 16 children and placebo powder to the other nine. After one year, the children were given the peanut challenge. The kids taking placebo had allergic reactions after consuming the equivalent of one and a half peanuts. Those in the treatment group could tolerate 20 peanuts before they developed symptoms.
The third study involved 55 children aged 5 to 18. Forty were given escalating daily doses of egg white powder and the rest got placebo powder. None of the kids on placebo passed the egg challenge a year later, while 21 of the 40 could tolerate the full 5-gram dose without having a reaction. That’s only about half an egg, but a few of the children are able to tolerate more and are eating scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Alice in Wonderland Video Game
Disney Interactive Studios released a new video game, Alice in Wonderland (anyone see the new movie yet?), for Wii, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows. In the videogame, Alice and friends embark on a journey to save Underland, which has been taken over by the Red Queen’s army. Players explore multiple environments, including the Mushroom Forest and the Red Queen’s castle filled with strange doors, passageways, false perspectives, and objects that come to life to enhance the journey. It’s rated Everyone 10+. The list price is $40 for the Wii, $30 for the Nintendo DS, and $20 for Windows. The kids and I have not tried the game, so I don’t know if it’s any good. Leave a comment if you have played the game.