by Denene Millner
By NICK CHILES
This is one that will surely stop new mothers in their tracks: Infants that live with a dog in the house are healthier than those who don’t. Why? Because of all the germs, silly!
That’s right. The germs that dogs track into the house—particularly dogs who spend as much as 18 hours a day outside—help newborns build up immunities that allow babies to more easily ward off illness, such as ear infections, the bane of every new mom and dad’s existence.
The findings were reported in the medical journal Pediatrics, which published the results of the study of 397 children who lived in rural and suburban Finland.
The dogs, and to a lesser extent cats, helped the babies ward off respiratory tract infections and ear infections during their first year of life.
“The children having dogs at home were healthier, they had less ear infections and they needed less antibiotics,” said Eija Bergroth, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland. Read more…
By NICK CHILES
Sometimes science can deliver tasty little morsels of good news. Here’s the latest one I heard: playing with your kids can actually reduce your stress at work. Talk about your great two-for-one deals. Come on, that’s like saying that eating more chocolate cake can help you lose weight. That having more sex can make your marriage better. (Oh, wait, that one is true, isn’t it?)
When you’re a busy, overstressed parent, it seems like you spend half your time fussing with your kids, and the other half telling them you don’t have the time to do… whatever it is they are trying to get you to do at the moment. Kids being kids, their request usually has something to do with play. And according to a study of stress by scientists at the LIKES Foundation for Sport and Health Sciences in Finland, we should start agreeing to their play requests if we know what’s good for us. Participants in the study who engaged in more leisure-time physical activity showed lower amounts of job stress. How cool is that—the more we play, the less stress we exhibit on the job. Read more…