Safety Seats in Short Supply for Obese Kids

Although child safety seats are required by law, there aren’t nearly enough seat types for the increasing number of obese children, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics (2006; 117 [4], 1197–1202). Researchers estimate that a total of 283,305 children 1–6 years of age would have a difficult, if not impossible, time fitting safely and appropriately into a child safety seat, because of their weight. The majority of these youngsters (182,661 children) are 3 years of age and weigh more than 40 pounds. Only four types of child safety seat—each of which costs between $240 and $270—are currently available for these children.

Active Teens Stay Out of Trouble

Exercise will not only keep adolescents healthy—it may also help them avoid being grounded. A study published in the April issue of Pediatrics (2006; 117 [4], 1281–90) found that teens who participate in a wide variety of physical activities, particularly with their parents, are at decreased risk for drinking, drugs, violence, smoking, sex and delinquency, compared to teens who spend a lot of time in front of the television. Despite a lack of wide public support for their chosen “sport,” skateboarders fare particularly well, especially with regard to self-esteem.

“We suspect that all teens might not benefit similarly from the same kind of activity—it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing,” said study author Melissa C. Nelson, PhD, RD, in a press release. “Helping to provide kids with the opportunity to get involved in any number of physical activities, instead of staying at home and watching television, may provide a kind of resilience against engaging in these other risky behaviors.”