• U.S.

In Brief: Sep. 4, 2000

2 minute read
Lisa Mclaughlin

SIDS DANGER A study has found that 1 out of 5 crib deaths occurs when kids are away from their parents. After finding that babies who sleep on their belly are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome, doctors recommended that parents have infants sleep on their back. This has led to a 40% drop in SIDS deaths. But many day-care centers, baby sitters and older relatives haven’t got the message and still put infants down for naps on their stomach. Parents should make sure that everyone who cares for their baby knows the proper sleeping position.

JUST SHOWING UP It may seem obvious that children with better school-attendance records also have better grades, but the link is proving even stronger than educators have thought. Research in Minnesota and New York has found that even small improvements in attendance yield large test-score gains. Students who scored in the 85-to-100 percentile on state exams attended school 93% of the time, whereas students in the 65-to-84 percentile attended only 91% of the time.

Exam Scores Rate of Attendance

0-54 85% 55-64 89% 65-84 91% 85-100 93%

VEGETARIAN GIRLS Researchers at Nottingham University in England have found that mothers who don’t eat meat or fish are more likely than carnivores to give birth to daughters. In the general British population, boys outnumber girls at birth 106 to 100, but girls outnumbered boys 100 to 81 among babies born to vegetarian moms in the study. Researchers theorize that a vegetarian diet may stress a woman’s body, creating an environment in which the stronger female embryos thrive but males don’t.

–By Lisa McLaughlin

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