• U.S.

In Brief: Nov. 8, 1999

2 minute read
Daniel S. Levy

LOCK AND UNLOAD Thousands of children are injured or killed each year in accidental shootings, yet according to a survey in the journal Pediatrics, 28% of parents polled said they keep a firearm at home. Of those, 52% say they keep their weapons loaded or unlocked. And 74% believe their kids ages 4 to 12 can distinguish between a toy and a real gun. So if your child is going to play at a friend’s home, it’s wise to ask whether guns are present and unlocked.

TEACHING TEACHERS The American Council on Education last week called for an overhaul of the way teachers are taught, reporting that more than half of America’s students learn math and science from instructors who are not qualified to teach the subjects. And the demand for qualified teachers is rising faster than the supply. What can parents do? Some schools allow you to request certain teachers for your child. If your school is one of them, check the credentials of the available candidates before you state your preferences.

LET’S GET PHYSICAL A study in JAMA reports that women ages 25 to 45 who use home-exercise equipment lose more weight than those who go for brisk walks or otherwise exercise outside the home. Members of the latter group were found to be more likely to skip their regimen in bad weather or if they got delayed until after dark. Those with treadmills and such at home could more easily fit exercise into fast-changing family schedules, even as they watched over children.

–By Daniel S. Levy

SOURCE: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

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