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Killexams : SUN Development study tips - BingNews Search results Killexams : SUN Development study tips - BingNews Killexams : Is the sun good for eczema?

Exposing the skin to sunlight helps some people with eczema but not others. For some, the sun can trigger an eczema flare-up. People with eczema can protect their skin by seeking shade, covering up, and wearing mineral sunscreen.

Eczema is a common skin condition that causes inflammation and itchiness. It has various causes, such as allergies, stress, or environmental factors. For some people, sun exposure can Boost their symptoms.

This article explains how the sun may help or harm eczema, how to protect the skin from the sun, and other tips for managing eczema when the temperature rises.

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that can be difficult to manage. Extremes of temperature can affect symptoms, but everyone’s eczema responds differently. While some individuals have fewer flare-ups in summer, others can have worsened eczema in warmer temperatures. Below are several ways that the sun may help this condition.

Sunlight can dry out weeping skin

Exposure to the sun can be drying to the skin. This may benefit people with weeping or blistering patches of eczema but may cause problems for those with very dry patches.

Learn more about weeping eczema.

Sunlight increases vitamin D

A 2015 study found that a lack of sunlight may affect eczema development. It suggested that insufficient vitamin D, which the body makes on exposure to sunlight, has links to an increased risk of eczema. In the summer, when people are more likely to spend time in the sun, their vitamin D levels increase and eczema symptoms may improve.

Learn more about vitamin D and eczema.

Warmer temperatures may decrease stress

Another way the sun may Boost eczema is by helping people feel relaxed and less stressed. Studies have found strong links between stress and eczema, although researchers do not fully understand the mechanisms involved.

Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays have proven a successful treatment

Phototherapy is successful in treating eczema for some people. It is a form of light therapy that uses UVB light to reduce itching and inflammation. Exposing the skin to sunlight, which contains UVB light, may have a similar effect on some individuals.

Learn more about phototherapy.

For many people, warmer temperatures and sun exposure can worsen eczema. Researchers have been trying to understand why some people’s eczema reacts negatively to the sun while others experience the opposite. Below are some ways that the sun may make the condition worse.

Sunlight increases the likelihood of sunburn

The sun can dry out the skin, making it more vulnerable to damage from UV rays. When the skin becomes dry and fragile, it is more susceptible to burning. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), sunburn can cause long lasting damage to the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Heat increases itchiness

The heat from the sun can cause eczema to itch more than usual, which may lead to scratching. Scratching can cause further damage to the skin barrier, leading to open sores that can contract an infection.

Sunlight can trigger flare-ups

In rare cases, sunlight can trigger a type of eczema called photosensitive dermatitis. In people with this condition, the immune system reacts to some part of the electromagnetic spectrum of sunlight. Eczema flare-ups can occur 30 minutes to several hours after sun exposure or even several days after.

Some medications can also cause a person’s skin to become more sensitive to sunlight. People can read about the side effects of medication on the product label or discuss this with a healthcare professional.

Learn more about photosensitive dermatitis.

The sun can damage healthy skin cells, especially when people spend time outside without adequate protection. The AAD recommends that in hot weather, people should seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. The AAD also recommends using sunscreen and covering the skin.


The best skin protection is a sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. People can use sunscreens year-round to protect the skin from damaging UV rays.

Although darker skin is less likely to burn than lighter skin, the sun can still cause cell changes, leading to a higher risk of skin cancer and visible signs of damage, such as wrinkles. Therefore, it is still important for people with darker skin to wear sunscreen when the sun is strong.

People should choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, apply it 15–30 minutes before going out, and reapply it as necessary.

Additionally, sunscreen is less effective after swimming, towel drying, or sweating, so people should reapply them every 2 hours.

There are two types of sunscreen: chemical absorbers that absorb UV radiation from the sun and mineral-based reflectors that reflect UV radiation.

Mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both. According to the AAD, they can feel cooler on the skin and may be less irritating than chemical sunscreens.

People with eczema may prefer mineral sunscreen, as it is unlikely to cause a flare-up. However, titanium dioxide can leave a white sheen on the skin, which may be more visible on darker skin.

People can test sunscreen on a small patch of skin for 24–48 hours to check for irritation before applying it all over the body.

Learn about the best sunscreens for sensitive skin.

Covering up

Having eczema can make it difficult to enjoy activities outside in the summertime. However, people can cover the skin with clothing that provides protection from UV rays. The AAD suggests wearing the following items in the sun:

  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants: These help cover up as much skin as possible. Darker colors are more protective than lighter colors, and close weave fabrics are more protective than loose weave items, such as lace.
  • Sunglasses with UV protection: A person should read the label on sunglasses carefully to ensure they offer UV protection. Wraparound sunglasses and those with large frames offer the most protection.
  • Wide-brimmed hat: Hats with wide brims prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the head, face, and neck. Some may even cast shade over the chest and shoulders.
  • Full shoes: A person should opt for a shoe that completely covers the foot. If they wear sandals or flip-flops, they should cover the exposed parts of the foot with sunscreen and reapply it every 2 hours.

Emollients are topical treatments that can help soothe dry, irritated skin. However, it is important that people using them also use sunscreen. Otherwise, the emollient may cause a “frying effect,” causing sunburn and skin irritation.

People should wait 30 minutes after applying an emollient before applying sunscreen. This prevents the emollient from diluting the sunscreen and helps it retain its protective properties. A person should never apply the products the other way around.

When applying sunscreen, people should avoid rubbing it in. This can cause itchiness in those with eczema. Instead, they should apply it in downward strokes, the same way they would apply their emollient.

Many different types of emollients are available, including mineral-based, plant-based, and synthetic options, such as petroleum jelly.

Learn more about emollients.

The most important steps a person can take to protect their skin from the sun are wearing sunscreen, covering up, and seeking shade. The National Eczema Association (NEA) also provides the following tips for managing eczema in the sun:

  • Rinse off chlorinated or salt water after each swim and apply moisturizer followed by sunscreen.
  • Rinse skin after sweating and change clothes to keep the skin clean and dry.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking 8 cups of water each day.
  • Do not wear clothing that is too tight or too loose on the body, especially when outside in the sun for long periods.
  • Take antihistamines to manage seasonal and environmental allergies.
  • Store sunscreen in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Buy a new sunscreen every year.

Below are answers to some common questions about eczema and sunlight.

Is it OK to swim if you have eczema?

Swimming can be a suitable exercise for people with eczema because it helps relieve stress, which can trigger symptoms. Many individuals with the condition find that chlorinated water helps soothe their irritated skin. However, the reverse can be true for others. Likewise, salt water can Boost symptoms for some and worsen them in others.

The NEA recommends showering right after swimming and applying moisturizer within 3 minutes to prevent the skin from drying out.

Can sweating make eczema worse?

Sweating is one of the most common triggers for eczema. As sweat evaporates, it dries the skin and leaves a salty residue that causes itching and irritation. People can regularly rinse sweat from the skin using clean water and wear loose-fitting natural fabrics to keep the skin cool.

For some people, the sun can alleviate eczema symptoms. However, it can worsen them in others.

The sun can damage the skin, and eczema-prone skin may be even more susceptible to damage. To protect the skin, people should stay in the shade during the middle of the day, wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, and cover the skin with protective clothing.

Individuals with eczema can still enjoy the sun by taking extra steps to apply moisturizers, keeping the skin clean and dry, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Tue, 27 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Sun wows with solar flare Oct. 2

A strong solar flare wowed NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Oct. 2.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory watches the Sun constantly and captured the image of the flare event.

Solar flares are bursts of powerful energy emitted from the Sun. Flares and solar eruptions have been known to impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigational signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts, NASA's press release read.

The flare was classified as an "X1 Flare." X-class flares are the most intense, and the number of the flare provides information into the flare's strength.

To see how such space weather may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts. NASA works as a research arm of the nation’s space weather effort. NASA observes the Sun and our space environment constantly with a fleet of spacecraft that study everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, and to the particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.

Mon, 03 Oct 2022 13:14:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Students learn about clean energy landscape

Luke Wentlent, Ph.D. ‘15, visited BU to discuss renewable energy storage and careers in the field.

Binghamton University students and faculty gathered in the University Union this past Friday to discuss the current clean energy landscape.

The clean energy landscape event was hosted as a joint initiative between Harpur Edge, an organization that promotes professional and intellectual development among students at the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, and the Watson Career and Alumni Connections (WCAC) office. The event was led by guest speaker and alumnus Luke Wentlent, Ph.D. ‘15, who received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering and his Ph.D. in materials science from BU. Wentlent discussed the importance of the storage of renewable energy and how students can get involved, concluding with a Q&A session with attendees.

Wentlent currently works as a principal research and development engineer at Plug Power, a manufacturing company that focuses on developing hydrogen fuel cell systems to store renewable energy. During his presentation, Wentlent explained how the sporadic nature of energy sources makes renewable energy storage a necessity.

“We need to store [renewable energy] because everything on the planet is intermittent,” Wentlent said. “The sun doesn’t shine all the time, the wind doesn’t blow all the time and hydropower is limited in terms of being able to deploy it. And when you start thinking about careers and opportunities and things you can do, all of these energy industries require virtually every physical science and stem background to be used in some capacity.”

Kimberly Eiche, director of the WCAC, expressed her belief that the event opened students up to a growing field.

“The WCAC is always looking to expand partnerships with companies in a variety of industries, and clean energy is becoming a primary focus for many students and local industries here,” Eiche wrote in an email. “Companies in this realm are actively recruiting our students for jobs and internships including BAE Systems, Constellation, Plug Power, Avangrid Renewables and many others.”

Some students attended to get a head start on job recruitment through attending Wentlent’s speaker event.

Harpreet Singh, a senior majoring in chemistry, said attending Wentlent’s talk helped him evaluate potential career opportunities that he could apply for once he graduates.

“The biggest thing I learned from this lecture is that the job dynamics in the field of science and engineering are shifting a lot, and have been moving toward ways of efficiently utilizing renewable resources for the benefit of the environment,” Singh said. “So I just came here to think about ways I can get involved in this field, as there are many paths I can consider based on my background.”

Other students attended the event to attain a basic understanding of the current energy landscape, and the research that Wentlent has conducted at Plug Power.

Mason Day, a junior majoring in biology, said Wentlent’s discussion helped him develop more of an interest in the different fields concerning clean energy usage.

“It was nice to become more familiar with what is currently going on in other fields of science that I do not study on a regular basis,” Day said. “I never realized just how interconnected different disciplines of STEM can be, so it is good knowing there are opportunities here that match some of my skill sets.”

During his guest lecture, Wentlent emphasized the importance of students participating in work beyond studying for their bachelor’s degree, in order to have the best chance for success after graduation.

“Always remember to constantly be out there seeking jobs, internships, conducting research and taking leadership roles that showcase your technical skills and experiences,” Wentlent said. “Energy is a great place to be in right now, we have professionals working with us at Plug Power from so many different educational backgrounds, who all acquired the skills needed to work here through other opportunities.”

Sun, 16 Oct 2022 17:59:00 -0500 Adi Kombiyil text/html
Killexams : Changing Your Eating Habits With These 5 Tips Will Boost Your Skin Health Daily exercise can put your skin under a huge amount of stress—but the right foods can counteract all the sweat and UV exposure. © OksanaKiian - Getty Images Daily exercise can put your skin under a huge amount of stress—but the right foods can counteract all the sweat and UV exposure.

Daily rides can put your skin under a huge amount of stress—just think of all that sweating and exposure to the sun’s beaming rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop a form of skin cancer by age 70, most of which is associated with UV radiation from the sun. And let’s not forget: While UVA and UVB wavelengths aren’t visible to the naked eye, it doesn’t make them any less harmful to the health of our largest organ.

By now we all know to slather on the sunscreen and toss on a rimmed cap and dark shades for the greatest degree of protection when working up a sweat in the great outdoors. But there’s one crucial step in your sun-protection routine that you might be overlooking: what you eat. Research shows that certain foods may help protect your skin against skin cancer, wrinkles, and other issues.

While a salad is no substitute for using sunblock regularly, these healthy eating habits are a solid way to give your skin some relief.

1. Eat more Mediterranean foods

Switching from a standard American diet to a Mediterranean style one isn’t just good for your heart, it can also be an ally in the battle against a serious skin disease. A report in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that women who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely over a period of 15 years benefited from a lower risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma and basil cell carcinomas. Another study supported this outcome: It found an association between improved adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a 72 percent lower risk of skin cancer in adult men and women. Researchers found fruits and lower-fat dairy to be particularly helpful for skin health.

The Mediterranean diet is centered around consuming plants—fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts—and monounsaturated fats. This ensures people consume ample amounts of foods containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which provide a protective component to our skin, particularly against damage caused by the sun and other environmental factors including pollution, according to Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., owner of Eat 4 Sport.

2. Snack on grapes

Here’s news that makes grapes an even sweeter treat: People who consumed a powder of freeze-dried grapes every day for 14 days—the equivalent of 2.25 cups of fresh grapes a day—had a significant increase in polyphenol antioxidants in their skin. This is likely why they were nearly 75 percent more resistant to ultraviolet light-induced sunburn, according to a latest study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Remember that sunburn raises the risk for developing skin cancer down the road.

Biopsy findings also revealed an association between grape consumption and less skin-cell damage and fewer inflammatory markers after UV light exposure. Polyphenols found in grapes may help repair UV-ray damage and also reduce inflammation.

Future research needs to determine if certain varieties of grapes are more protective against sun-induced skin damage, but it’s been shown that concord and purple grapes have a greater concentration of polyphenol antioxidants (beneficial compounds that we get through certain plant-based foods) than green or red grapes. As a bonus, Giles says the natural sugars you get from eating a couple handfuls of nature’s candy after a sunny ride can help restock your carbohydrate energy reserves and aid with recovery.

Giles notes that raisins, which are simply dried grapes, also contain high concentration of polyphenols. And don’t overlook other fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and blackberries that also contain a cocktail of polyphenols that may help out your skin.

3. Make your plate colorful

An investigation in the journal PLUS ONE determined that an increased intake of carotenoids (bright yellow, red, and orange pigments in plants)—found in bright vegetables like sweet potato, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, and bell peppers—over six weeks can have a beneficial impact on reducing UV-induced skin reddening and other discoloration. Researchers witnessed the skin benefits with just three servings a day of carotenoid-rich veggies and fruits.

New research also suggests that carotenoids, like beta-carotene and lycopene, can limit skin cell oxidative stress and inhibit inflammatory cytokines (small proteins important in cell signaling) that degrade skin collagen (a protein responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity).

“Carotenoids can accumulate in the epidermis of our skin where they are efficient in halting the formation of cancer cells,” Giles says.

To make carotenoids work harder for your skin, Giles says it’s best to consume them with a source of dietary fat, considering they're fat-soluble. Adding a drizzle of olive oil or sliced avocado to a salad should do the trick.

“Ideally, you want to eat a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits each day to ensure that many different carotenoids are available to you,” says Giles.

4. Go fish for salmon

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that can offer some natural protection from the rays of the sun. As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the University of Manchester found that people who supplemented their diets with omega-3s and then were exposed to the equivalent of either 8, 15, or 30 minutes of summer midday sun experienced up to 50 percent less sunlight-induced immune system suppression— which affects your body’s ability to fend off skin cancer and infection—than participants who did not take the omega-3 fats.

The level of omega-3 consumption was equivalent to about 6 ounces of oily fish daily, so it remains to be determined if lower intakes can also help keep our skin healthy.

What’s more, a large review also showed that including more fish in your diet, as well as noshing on more fruits and vegetables, could help prevent acne development.

5. Crunch on almonds

The main cause of wrinkles and changes in skin pigmentation is photoaging, which is damage to the skin caused by exposure to sun and its ultraviolet light. Since most rides happen during the day, it might be a good idea to keep your pantry well-stocked with almonds.

An investigation from the University of California-Davis suggests that a daily almond habit might benefit skin health by improving measures of wrinkle width and severity. The total amount of almonds the postmenopausal women in the study consumed was about 2 ounces daily for four months. It’s not known if lower amounts of nut intake in other demographics will also benefit skin appearance. However, the researchers are optimistic that the nutritional stew in almonds—including beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—can have skin-benefiting powers for all.

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 04:33:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Healthy eating, low alcohol intake and reduced sun exposure can combat cancer, evidence suggests

Following a healthy diet and spending a small amount of time in the sun could prevent 155,000 cancer cases per year, a new study has identified.

A team of academics have found that 400 cancer cases could be prevented each day in the UK if people adopted more healthier lifestyles.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, not smoking and reducing your red meat and alcohol intake can combat the development of cancer.

In 2019/20, more than 380,000 cancer cases were reported, with breast cancer and prostate cancer being the most common.

Data shows that lung cancer causes the most deaths, with 34,171 people dying from the disease in 2019/20.

People who are obese or overweight are more likely to be diagnosed with 13 types of cancer, including liver, breast, pancreatic, bowel, womb and kidney.

In the UK, 60% of adults and 30% of children are obese or overweight, research has reported.

Dr Vanessa Gordon-Dseagu said: “The growing population will see numbers continue to rise over the next few decades.

“Over the years, research has estimated that around 40% of cancers are associated with modifiable risk factors.”

She added: “Screening plays a vital role in improving cancer outcomes – the earlier someone is diagnosed, the more likely they are to survive.”

Prior studies show that 70% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Previous research has reported that overall cancer cases would drop significantly if nobody in England smoked.

Fri, 07 Oct 2022 02:14:00 -0500 Conor Seery on October 12, 2022 en-GB text/html
Killexams : Even Tiny Activity Tweaks—Like Taking the Stairs Over the Elevator—Could Protect Your Brain Against Age-Related Loss neuroprotective effects of exercise © Photo: Getty Images/Kilito Chan neuroprotective effects of exercise

Starting any type of new routine can feel overwhelming at first. There are certain things that can help make it easier, though, like finding joy in what you're doing, stacking new habits with old ones you already do consistently, and, possibly best of all, starting slow and small.

This last one is particularly helpful if you're trying to get into exercising after being inactive. It's a common misconception that you have to work out a lot in order to for it to be beneficial, when in reality, that all really depends on your goals. Yes, if you want to run ultramarathons, you're going to have to put in the miles. But if keeping your brain healthy is a major motivator to get moving, new research into the neuroprotective effects of exercise indicates that even small amounts of physical activity can help safeguard against cognitive decline.

The study findings are from the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases where researchers examined the brain volumes of 2,550 people ages 30 to 94, and determined that certain areas of the brain—including the hippocampus (AKA the control center for memory)—were larger in those who exercised. "Larger brain volumes provide better protection against neurodegeneration than smaller ones," Fabienne Fox, PhD, neuroscientist and lead author of the current study, told ScienceDaily.

Researchers found the largest bump in brain volume between inactive people and those who were moderately active, meaning that doing some physical activity versus none could have significant neuroprotective effects. Those benefits are not as pronounced in people who are already rather active and just up their exercise amounts—meaning that if you’re an already active person, more movement isn’t necessarily going to do much to move the needle.

"We understand this intuitively," says Barry Gordon, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Cognitive Neurology/Neuropsychology Division at Johns Hopkins Medicine. "If someone who runs the length of Central Park several times per day adds one more Central Park run, they're not going to get the same incremental benefits as someone who starts out never moving and then walks the length of Central Park."

Not that they'd need to go that far to see brain gains. "Our study results indicate that even small behavioral changes, such as walking 15 minutes a day, may have a substantial positive effect on the brain and potentially counteract age-related loss of brain matter and the development of neurodegenerative diseases," Dr. Fox told ScienceDaily. Here, indicate is the operative word.

What scientists understand about exercise and brain health—and what they don't

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon about the study results, he emphasized that it's important for people to understand the difference between correlation and causation. So for example, with this study, they determined that there was a link between larger brain volumes and people who exercise, but they didn't prove that exercising alone is what made people's brains bigger.

Generally speaking, scientists understand that it's plausible that exercise protects the brain from neurodegeneration, but they don't have proof—nor do they have a clear understanding of how, exactly, it works. "The relationship between sedentary lifestyle and neurodegeneration remains unclear," says Arjun V. Masurkar, MD, PhD, clinical core director of NYU Langone's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

This is at least partially due to the fact that testing the neuroprotective effects of exercise would take decades, according to Dr. Gordon. "Because that's how long it takes for neurodegeneration to have its effects," he says (which is why he recommends taking measures to Boost brain health in your 30s and 40s—well before you'd potentially start seeing signs of it in your 60s or later). "And people don't wanna subject themselves to the kind of studies that would be necessary to find proof, nor are most of those studies very practical."

These new findings do, however, help to further affirm what neurologists already believe: "Research suggests that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, is directly healthy for the brain by enhancing blood flow to the brain and stimulating biochemical pathways that maintain the functional and structural integrity of neurons," Dr. Masurkar says. "It has been shown that regular exercise can maintain or even increase brain size. While it is not known how exactly this occurs, some research suggests that aerobic exercise can initiate the release of growth factors that could potentially increase brain volume."

A helpful way to think of it, according to Dr. Gordon, is that exercise is kind of like SPF for your brain. "We all know that as the skin gets older, it shows signs of aging," he says. "But it's also known that sun causes additional damage. So you look at somebody who's both older and been out in the sun a lot without sunscreen; they have more damage than somebody who had the same genetic background, the same age, but stayed outta the sun religiously, or put on, you know, 400 layers of SPF."

The same can potentially be said for someone who's older and has been physically active regularly versus someone who hasn't when it comes to cognitive decline. “You can think of Alzheimer's disease, for example, as a combination of the changes from aging you can't currently control, as well as the changes from damage that you might be able to control,” Dr. Gordon says.

Easy movement swaps to start making now for better brain function in the future

At this point there's a strong enough correlation between brain health and exercise—and a large enough body of research to support it—that neurologists do recommend being physically active as a way of protecting your brain from neurodegeneration. And, probably more compelling, Dr. Gordon says he does aerobic exercise three times per week precisely for this reason.

But if you don't have time in your schedule to carve out for exercise, below, he and Dr. Masurkar share some simple ways to get more movement in your daily life in the name of better brain health. "Because people are so busy and exercise-averse, one easy way is to make an existing day-to-day task more active," Dr. Masurkar says. To that end, here are easy tweaks to start making today.

Swap 1

Bike instead of taking the bus or driving to run a local errand.

Swap 2

Get up for a short walk break every 30 minutes while you sit at your computer.

Swap 3

Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.

Swap 4

Park farther away from places instead of looking for the closest spot so you have a little longer to walk.

Swap 5

Take long phone calls while walking or riding an exercise bike rather than sitting at your desk.

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 03:00:41 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Pandemic Lockdowns May Have Slowed Babies' Communication Skills

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- When social interaction came to a halt during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, newborn babies missed out on vital communication milestones, researchers say.

A new Irish study found about 25% of these new babies spent a year without ever meeting a child their own age. Incidental interactions with strangers and community members at grocery stores or play groups didn’t happen. They rarely had a chance to wave "bye-bye."

But it’s not cause for parents to worry, cautioned lead study author Dr. Susan Byrne, a senior lecturer in pediatrics and child health at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.

“Babies are very resilient and, obviously, the pandemic measures are all reduced now so there's loads of opportunities for people to get out with their little people and for them to see the world,” Byrne said.

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For the study, researchers used data from 1,629 infants born between 2008 and 2011 (BASELINE study) and compared that to data on 309 infants (in the CORAL study of allergies and autoimmune dysregulation in infants) born during lockdown. These babies were born between March and May 2020.

The researchers assessed 10 developmental outcomes, including communication skills, such as expressing one definite and meaningful word, pointing at objects and waving "bye-bye."

The differences in language skills were small, the investigators found.

About 77% of the CORAL babies had expressed one definite and meaningful word compared to 89% of the BASELINE babies. About 84% of the CORAL group could point, compared to 93% of the others. About 88% could wave bye-bye compared to about 95% in the BASELINE group.

“What we put it down to is that the babies were probably seeing far fewer people and hearing fewer words and voices,” Byrne said. “And they also were in their homes for most of the time, so they didn't have anyone to wave bye-bye to because nobody was coming to the house and nobody was leaving,” she explained.

“Also, with pointing, you want to point at things in a new environment if you're a little baby, but if you're not really in a new environment because you are advised to stay home or have limited movements, you're less likely to be pointing at things,” Byrne added.

However, the babies did have stronger command of another skill: They were more likely to be crawling at 12 months than their earlier counterparts.

The researchers also found higher rates of breastfeeding and immunization for these babies, as well as a slightly increased risk of eczema, or atopic dermatitis.

Ireland experienced a tight lockdown for about 13 months, Byrne said.

“The social circles of the babies were extremely small,” she noted. “When the babies came home, other than their parents they were only seeing one other adult outside the home.”

Now, though, this group is 2 years old. Researchers are continuing to check in with parents on milestones and doing standardized assessments.

Demographic differences between the two groups of babies were that there were fewer first-born babies in the CORAL study, and more mothers in the CORAL study who had achieved higher levels of education.

Study limitations include that the researchers were comparing two different groups of babies, which isn’t an exact science. The findings also relied on parental recall.

It can be hard to tease out whether the pandemic was good for child development, bad for it or mixed, said Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, associate professor of pediatrics and human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

It’s possible to argue that not interacting with peers and teachers was bad for babies’ development, Navsaria said. Conversely, someone could argue that intensive time together as a family may actually have improved development because of reciprocal nurturing interactions between baby and parents.

“If your parents have to be home and you’re home, then presumably there would be a lot more of that,” Navsaria suggested.

Depression of parents during lockdown could also have had an impact on a baby’s development, he said, noting that many adults and children experienced mental health issues because of the strains of the pandemic.

“A depressed parent is much less likely to do the back-and-forth interaction, and you'd see some delay just simply from that,” Navsaria said. “Whether that depression is due to lockdown or whether that depression is due to not receiving care because no one's going to clinics and doing the parental depression screenings is debatable.”

Navsaria said babies who may have experienced some social delays will likely catch up without much trouble because baby brains are still very "plastic."

Navsaria and Byrne said parents can aid that growth by engaging with children in the usual ways. Child-directed language and play can help, as well as narrating trips to the grocery store or other activities, Navsaria advised.

“Doing all the things that one would typically do will get them back there,” he said.

The findings were published online Oct. 11 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on infant developmental milestones.

SOURCES: Susan Byrne, MD, PhD, senior lecturer, pediatrics and child health, University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin; Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MPH, associate professor, pediatrics and human development and family studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Archives of Disease in Childhood, Oct. 11, 2022, online

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 04:15:00 -0500 en text/html
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THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Birth weight below the 25th centile for full-term infants is associated with child developmental concerns, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in PLOS Medicine.

Abiodun Adanikin, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from Coventry University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the association between birth weight centiles across the whole distribution and early childhood development. The analysis included 686,284 singleton infants born from 37 weeks of gestation, with child developmental assessments conducted between age 2 and 3.5 years.

The researchers found that babies born with birth weight below the 25th centile had a higher risk for developmental concerns than those with birth weight between the 25th and 74th centiles; the risk was elevated with decreasing centile. For larger birth weight categories, there was no substantial increase seen in the risk for early childhood developmental concerns versus birth weight between the 25th and 74th centiles. For birth weight between the 10th and 24th centiles, approximately 2.5 percent of social skills concerns and 3.0 percent of fine motor developmental concerns were attributable to birth weight compared with 0.90 and 2.30 percent, respectively, for birth weight below the 3rd centile, because the 10th to 24th centile group included more of the population.

“Mild-to-moderate small for gestational age is an unrecognized potentially important contributor to the prevalence of developmental concerns,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 03:35:00 -0500 en text/html
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