Gimme 5: News That Parents Should Know This Week

Fidget spinners in the classroom

Fidget spinners are the new craze with middle school students.The fidgets, which students can fidgetsspin around on their fingers, hands, feet, and even their heads, were originally developed to help kids with ADHD to focus in the classroom. Many teachers are fed up with the spinners. Some schools have started to ban the trendy toys, saying that it distracts students from their schoolwork. Others advocate for the fidgeting devices. Pediatric occupational therapist Claire Heffron says, “These little gadgets should be called fidget tools, not toys, and they can be part of a successful strategy for managing fidgety behavior if they are introduced as a normal part of the classroom culture.” (Washington Post)

Major strides made in concussion treatment

Do your children play sports? Concussions are one of the main concerns for athletes who participate in contact sports. Researchers are studying long-term effects of repeated brain injuries, while schools and sports organizations are working to make sports safer for kids. Steven Hicks, assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State Hershey, has discovered that a spit test may help doctors and parents treat kids who have suffered from concussions. kids footballMost concussions only result in a couple of days of symptoms, but a quarter of young patients, “go on to have these prolonged headaches, fatigue, nausea, and those symptoms can last sometimes one to four months,” Hicks says. The saliva swab may reveal how long symptoms will last and would assist treatment and assessment. (NPR)

Rate of suicidal thoughts in children increases

The rate of hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts in children has nearly doubled in the past ten years, according to a recent study. Monitoring children from ages 5-17, Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital said, “An increasing number of our hospital beds are not being used for kids with pneumonia or diabetes; they were being used for kids awaiting placement because they were suicidal.” Most of the children admitted for thoughts of self-harm were between the ages of 12 and 17. The study didn’t look monitor specific factors for the suicidal thoughts, but rates increased during the school year. (CNN)

College student attempts to steal final exam by crawling through air ducts

Students will go to great lengths to cheat on exams…. when it’s probably easier to simply study for the test! test collegeHenry Lynch, II, a junior at the University of Kentucky, crawled through an air duct to steal the final exam for his class this week. Unfortunately for Lynch, John P. Cain, the instructor for the class, returned to find his student stealing the test. Lynch was charged with felony burglary. (New York Times)

Family forced off of plane over seating for their 2-year-old

Travel seems to be getting more and more difficult for families these days. Brian Schear and his family were traveling home on a Delta red-eye flight from Hawaii to California when the airline asked him to relinquish the seat where his 2-year-old son was seated. The spot was originally purchased for Schear’s 18-year-old son Mason, who had travelled home the night before. A flight attendant threatened the family with jail time if they did not comply… although FAA regulations recommend that young children sit in their own seats. (Huffington Post)