Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kiddo's sleep, size and social interaction

I attended a St Al's pediatric conference today, covering several topics. It was on sleep issues, childhood obesity and autism.

Dr Daniel Marks, pediatrician with concerns about childhood obesity, spoke about the brain being a big (and inefficient) consumer of calories. Scientists now have the ability to measure how and when the brain burns calories.

The brain uses less calories when you are watching TV than when you are sitting quietly reading a book. And the brain also burns less calories while watching TV than when sleeping! Oh really . . . that surprised me. It is because segments of the brain shut down---go inactive--when one is watching TV or playing a familiar screen-time game.

He doesn't believe in putting kids on diets. He does believe in the whole family making small life changes: walk more, sit less; play active games; park and walk; use smaller plates.

Dr Barbara Kissam, MD was the presentor about autism. She hails from Meridian Pediatrics

It's the first professional I've heard who gave what I considered useful evidence refuting the emotional uproar against immunizations (related to autism).

On their site, there is an autism screener you can check out, for free (M-CHAT). And there is an Autism Intake form, if you want to educate yourself a bit. Also there are screeners to measure if your kiddo is reaching developmental benchmarks. (All under the "Forms and Policies" button.)

The two lecturers on sleep issues were good. This was new information to me - - - how important sleep is.

But I'm too sleepy to report on that . . . . .

What have you read about the functions of sleep for our children?


  1. I wondered how your "sleep class" went. Any tidbits that would be helpful/interesting to me? Probably...I love that stuff. Wonder where that comes from?.. not really. :)

  2. Interesting stuff
    I like the part about the brain.