Kids Health Matters

Oxford University and The Open University have completed the first study into child happiness and development for two to three year oldsResults were summarised in the Press earlier this year. It’s a significant study because these issues have not yet been explored for children as young as two years old.

Their findings come from research undertaken with 800 families and results suggest that interactive activities like arts and craftsstorytelling and singing all result in higher levels of happiness and development. These activities are said to be more helpful to young children than watching television, which requires no interaction at all.


After reading a summary of findings from 'Happiness and Development In Very Young Children', by Oxford University and the Open University, which looks at the impact of different activities on children's happiness, I decided it was time for change in our household. The study has some interesting findings concerning children's happiness, from the analysis of data from 800 families with children aged two or three. In the study, Parents were asked to feedback/rate their children’s happiness, as well as their levels of development in terms of social interaction, speech, movement, and "everyday skills" such as getting dressed by themselves and feeding themselves with a spoon. They were also asked to feedback whether their child has been:

Stumbling across a study by Cornell University, I had to have a little smile. It's obvious when you think about it, but their study, looking at healthy eating for kids, found that children are far more likely to eat vegetables that had a superhero or daft name. In fact, in their study, 66% of carrots offered up to child diners were eaten when named 'X-Ray carrots' vs 32% when named 'Food of the day'. A similar thing happened with 'Silly Dilly Green Beans' and 'Power Punch Broccoli.

The average 8 - 11 year old has 92 social networking friends, according to Ofcom (Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, October 2012). Ofcom also found that 57% of parents don't use parental control on their PCs, in the same study in 2013....and yet we hear many stories in the media about cyber bullying, online grooming and identity theft, not to mention the risk of them accessing something inappropriate. So what can we do to manage internet safety for kids, given that IT is most definitely a part of our children's future?