Older children may be smarter, study says
A study by the University of Edinburgh has indicated that older children have a greater capacity for thinking than younger ones, because parents encourage more first-born children in their early years of life.
To better understand the case, the researchers observed 5,000 children from birth to the age of 14. The children were evaluated every two years by performing reading recognition and imaging tests, as well as collecting information on economic and family environment conditions. The results of the study, published in The Journal of Human Resources, indicated that in the first year of life, the first-born had a higher score than their siblings on IQ tests. In addition, parents participated in fewer brain stimulation activities with their younger children, such as reading with them, playing instruments, and making crafts.
According to the researchers, although all parents believe they have given the same emotional support to all children, the truth is that older children receive a greater parental support, especially in tasks involving thinking skills.
For the researchers, parents change their behavior after the birth of other children, stimulating and participating less in activities with the youngest children. This may be the explanation for older children having better education and earnings when they reach adulthood. "Our findings suggest that major changes in parental behavior are plausible explanations for birth order differences observed in results of education and the labor market, "said Ana Nuevo-Chiquero, an economist at the University of Edinburgh.
Diabetologia , calls attention to the importance of controlling blood sugar levels before conception and performing prenatal care. Both type 1 diabetes, which usually appears in childhood, and type 2 diabetes, usually linked to diet, lead to problems controlling the amount of sugar in the blood. For a safe gestation, it is recommended that glycated hemoglobin levels (which examines average blood glucose levels in the last few months) should be below 6.
Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy may have more difficulty in controlling asthma than other children with the problem, a new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests. The discovery aims to motivate pregnant or future mothers to quit smoking as soon as possible to preserve their child's health.