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Coping with Kids: Stack and play toy helps develop fine motor skills

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Chewbeads
Chewbeads’ Stack and Play toy comes in sports themes.
Chewbeads
Chewbeads’ Stack and Play toy
Chummie
Chummie Premium Bedwetting Alarm
DK.com
Mind Benders: Brain-boggling Tricks, Puzzles, and Illusions

Chewbeads, made from food-grade silicone, aim to help babies develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and introduce babies to counting and colors.

Chewbeads' Stack and Play toy comes in three new designs: a nautical theme, a marine-life theme and sports balls. Each set costs $25.

Details: www.chewbeads.com

Bedwetting alarm aims to kids stay dry at night

Some physicians are recommending the Chummie Premium Bedwetting Alarm as a safe tool to help children stay dry through the night without side effects. The Chummie alarm is almost half the size of a credit card, weighs 1 ounce and comes in versions for a boy or girl.

Kits start at around $100 and are covered by many health insurance plans.

Details: www.chummie.com

‘Mind Benders' challenges with puzzles

DK, a division of Penguin Randon House, has released “Mind Benders: Brain-boggling Tricks, Puzzles, and Illusions,” aimed at kids those who want to flex mental muscles.

The hardback book sells at bookstores for $19.99.

U.S. teens smoke more marijuana, back off other drugs

U.S. teenagers are smoking more marijuana but backing away from other harmful drugs and doing less binge drinking, according to a report from federal health researchers released Dec. 18.

Easier access to marijuana provided by new state laws allowing the drug for medical treatment may be a factor, according to the report from the National Institutes of Health.

Don't blamee sugar cookies for hyper kids

Dr. Rachel Vreeman, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and co-author of “Don't Cross Your Eyes. They'll Get Stuck That Way!: And 75 Other Health Myths Debunked” says the theory that sugar makes kids hyper just isn't true.

“Sugar has actually been studied in children in randomized controlled trials better than many of the drugs we use in children for medication purposes,” Vreeman says. “And, I think it's been studied over and over again because scientists themselves cannot believe that sugar isn't making children hyper.” The kids may, indeed, be keyed up over the holidays, she says, but don't blame the sugar cookies.

Parent behaviors linked to kids' anxiety, depression

Young people whose parents tend to fight with each other or are overinvolved in their kids' lives are at increased risk of depression and anxiety, according to a new comprehensive review of past studies, reported by Reuters Health.

Kids tend to first experience depression or anxiety from ages 12 to 18, the authors write. They reviewed 181 papers published on potential links between how parents behave and which young people experience either disorder.

Obesity may disturb bone growth during teen years

Obese teens might not develop sufficient bone mass relative to their body weight, according to a new study from Brazil. Both body fat and lean body mass have an impact on bone growth, but it's not clear whether the bones of the heaviest teens are strong enough for their weight, and that could have long- and short-term consequences.

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail rkillian@tribweb.com.

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