Children

children

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* Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving.  Jody Heymann (Founding Director, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill U) with Kristen McNeill.  Cambridge MA: Harvard U Press, Feb 2013, 376p, $45.  We need to address the existing inequalities in children’s opportunities and healthy development—children out of school, laboring, living in poverty. Despite the scale of the problems, massive progress is possible on problems that once seemed unsolvable. For instance, within less than 25 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half and the number of children under age five that die each day has dropped by over 12,000. The authors call for targeting not children’s survival but their full and healthy development, drawing on never before-available comparative data on laws and public policies in 190 countries.  They show what works and what countries around the world are doing to ensure equal opportunities for all children, and provides a guide for what needs to be done to make equal chances for all children a reality. (CHILDREN * INEQUALITY AND CHILDREN)

 

* Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America.  Mark A. Largent (Assoc Prof of History and Director, Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy Program, Michigan State U).  Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins U Press, Sept 2012, 240p, $34.95 (also as e-book).  Since 1990, the number of mandated vaccines has increased dramatically—nearly three dozen vaccinations by age six—but parents worry about the unintended side effects.  “Nearly 40 % of American parents report that they delay or refuse a recommended vaccine for their children.”  Despite assurances from every mainstream scientific and medical institution, parents continue to be haunted by the question of whether vaccines cause autism.  In response, health officials herald vaccines as both safe and vital to the public’s health, and put programs and regulations in place to encourage parents to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. The vaccine-autism debate obscures a constellation of concerns held by many parents, including anxiety about the number of vaccines required (some for diseases that children are unlikely ever to encounter); unhappiness about the rigorous schedule of vaccines during well-baby visits; and fear of potential side effects, some of them serious or even life-threatening.  Largent disentangles competing claims, opens the controversy for critical reflection, and provides recommendations for moving forward.  (HEALTH * VACCINATION DEBATE * CHILDREN)

 

* Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving.  Jody Heymann (Founding Director, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill U) with Kristen McNeill.  Cambridge MA: Harvard U Press, Feb 2013, 376p, $45.  We need to address the existing inequalities in children’s opportunities and healthy development—children out of school, laboring, living in poverty. Despite the scale of the problems, massive progress is possible on problems that once seemed unsolvable. For instance, within less than 25 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half and the number of children under age five that die each day has dropped by over 12,000. The authors call for targeting not children’s survival but their full and healthy development, drawing on never before-available comparative data on laws and public policies in 190 countries.  They show what works and what countries around the world are doing to ensure equal opportunities for all children, and provides a guide for what needs to be done to make equal chances for all children a reality.  (CHILDREN * INEQUALITY AND CHILDREN)
 
Doing Better for Families.  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Paris: OECD, April 2011 / 278p / $NA.  All OECD governments want to give parents more choice in their work and family decisions. This report looks at the different ways in which governments support families. It overviews changes in family formation, household structure, work-life balance, an (CHILDREN * FAMILY POLICY: OECD * SOCIETY)

The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion.  Edited by Richard A. Shweder (Distinguished Prof of Anthropology, U of Chicago). .  U of Chicago Press, Sep 2009 / 1160p / $75.00.Offers both parents and professionals access to the best scholarship from all areas of child studies, and from all regions of the world. Over 500 articles consider such topics as child development, education, home schooling in the US, law, adoption in different cultures and at different times, public policy in the US and elsewhere, and the many worlds of childhood within the US and around the world. (CHILDREN ENCYCLOPEDIA)

Doing Better for ChildrenOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  OECD (dist. by Brookings), Sep 2009 / 195p / $NA.  Analyzes indicators of child well-being across the OECD in six key areas: material well-being, housing and environment, education, health and safety, risk behaviors, and quality of school life. Finds that "no one OECD country performs well in all areas, and that every OECD country can do more to improve children’s lives". Also examines country policies for children under age 3, the impact of single parenthood on children, and the effect of inequalities across generations. The way forward involves early investment in children’s lives, concentrating on vulnerable children, collecting high-quality information on well-being, etc. (INDICATORS OECD CHILD WELL BEING * CHILDREN OECD COMPARISON)

More Than Genes: What Science Can Tell Us About Toxic Chemicals, Development and the Risk to Our ChildrenDan Agin (Emeritus Associate Prof of Molecular Genetics, U of Chicago; columnist for Huffington Post).  NY: Oxford UP , Dec 2009 / 256p / $27.95.  Adding to the nature-nurture debate, it is argued that the fetal environment can be just as crucial as genetic hardwiring or later environment in determining intelligence and behavior. Stress during pregnancy and environmental toxins leads to IQ differences in racial or ethnic groups. (TOXIC CHEMICALS * CHILDREN)

 
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