Family facts: Keeping kids fit, family vacations, children's museums and more

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

TV is not the best teacher

The TV isn’t a good teacher after all. Watching television doesn’t seem to influence the brain development of infants and toddlers, according to a study cited in Pediatrics, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatricians. Researchers looked at the amount of TV 872 children watched when they were 2 years old and younger. They found that it neither harmed nor helped language and visual motor skills.(www.aap.org)

Older is wiser

Adults who are 65 years or older have the lowest rate of alcohol problems in the United States, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Young adults between 18 and 29 years of age have the highest rate of alcohol problems.

(www.apahelcenter.org)

Keeping you sharp

Education seems to have a positive effect on brain function as people age, according to the MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. The study also found that physical exercise can enhance memory, and social support can improve mental function in the elderly.

(www.asaging.org)

Preventing fatal crashes involving teens

In a graduated driver licensing system teens are required to practice driving with adults. In addition, their driving is restricted after 11 p.m. and with peers. This system results in a 38 percent decrease in fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Johns Hopkins University.

(www.aaa.com)

Popular family getaways

Looking for ideas for a family vacation? The five most visited states in the United States are California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

(www.tia.org)

Keeping kids moving

School-age children should have at least an hour of physical activity a day, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Toddlers should have at least 90 minutes and preschoolers at least two hours of physical activity. Babies and young kids shouldn’t be inactive for over an hour at a time unless they’re sleeping, and school-age kids shouldn’t be inactive for more than two hours.

(www.kidshealth.org)

Find a kids’ museum

Give your offspring a hands-on, kid-friendly cultural experience by visiting a children’s museum. Chances are, there’s one nearby. The Association of Children’s Museums has about 300 museum members and estimates there are 65 more children’s museums currently being developed in the United States.

(www.childrensmuseums.org)

58: The recession seems to be dampening vacation plans for many families this year. Fifty-eight percent of Americans who normally take a yearly vacation plan to cut their vacation budget or simply skip a vacation, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.

49,843,083: Number of students attending public schools in the United States in 2007, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

100,308: Number of public schools in the United States in 2007, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

(www.schooldatadirect.org)