Here is a quick look at some headlines from this week impacting the lives of kids 0-5 and their families. The purpose of these stories is simply to inform, and they do not necessarily reflect First 5 Kern's areas of support or efforts towards these issues.

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Now for the headlines........

As more studies come out about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) , there is an increased understanding about trauma's physical effects on developing minds and bodies. A Reuters article analyzed a recent study linking recurrent depression to child abuse , and the the long-term damage it tends to cause.

RELATED: The Ohio State University recently completed a study regarding a general crisis text line and the varied reports it received. The co-author of the study suggested from the results that teens show an increased willingness to discuss abuse via text rather than in open conversation. Often, the subject of abuse comes up immediately in initial communication.

RELATED, part II: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Dena Murphy, director of the Kern County Department of Human Services, and Tom Corson, executive director of the Kern County Network for Children, teamed up for this guest editorial in the Bakersfield Californian recently. It's worth the read to shine the spotlight on our community for this subject.

A study in Baltimore involving 200 families showed issues with co-sleeping for both toddlers and their parents. The study concluded that the poor sleeping of those co-sleeping youngsters caused an average of nearly an hour of lost sleep per night for mom - some lost much more than an hour - and that those mothers often complain of other issues which can be related to a lack of sleep, such as stress, depression and anxiety.

Combined with the evidence showing that co-sleeping poses a threat of SIDS, and there appears to be plenty of reasons to avoid the practice. A report last fall showed that an average of more than 10 infants a year die in unsafe sleep conditions every year in Kern County, many of which are situations involving co-sleeping.

OTHER BABY SLEEP NEWS: This Vox article on how the Rock 'n Play became a cult baby product contains some interesting information on baby sleep items and an explanation of why the recall of that particular product became big news.

The Durango (Colo.) School District is offering up an outdoor preschool class next year. The class will spend 90-95% of its time outside. The format for the class is based off the experience one of the teachers had working for a "forest preschool" in Switzerland. The high demand to be included in the single class of 16 students is necessitating a lottery for participation.

Although this trend - there are over 100 of them operating in the U.S. currently - is growing on this side of the Atlantic , "forest schools" have become commonplace in Europe, with some counts estimating over 1,000 of them operating in Germany alone.

A Newsweek article this week addressed the increasing incidence of young children heading to the emergency room for swallowing objects - coins, batteries, magnets, etc. According to researchers, an average of 118 kids per day, 0-5 years old, are rushed to treatment, amounting to 43,000 cases per year. Over 80% of the emergency room visits were for ingesting batteries, which, along with magnets, can cause serious damage and even death. The research was noteworthy in that emergency room visits of this type have doubled in the last two decades.

The Chicago Times featured an article this week about how teaching babies a second language can make them smarter. They mention in particular that the notion that learning a second language leads to developmental delays is off the mark.

The article also references Patricia Kuhl, whose research features prominently in the article. Kuhl's TED Talk " The linguistic genius of babies " a few years back has been viewed over 3 million times and is well worth 10 minutes of a parent's time.

Here are some other great reads from this week on children's issues:

Researchers at the University of Alberta are claiming that toddlers with heavy screentime - listed as two or more hours a day - are more than seven times more likely to later meet the criteria for ADHD.

The CBS affiliate in Wassau, Wisconsin, has put together a series investigating child sexual assault. Although two time zones away from Kern County, their investigation provides an interesting look inside how one community deals with the cycle of abuse.

A feature in EdWeek predicts that Augmented and Virtual Reality will find a hot market in the near future in education. A poll of industry insiders ranked education third in market growth potential, behind only gaming and the medical field, and ahead of retail and military applications.
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...about First 5 Kern
First 5 Kern was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated from the tobacco tax are used to fund local programs in the areas of health and wellness, early childcare and education, and parent education and support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero to five.

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Special thanks to Vecteezy for assistance on graphics