ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
CANCER
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Barefoot Best for Running?
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
What you need to know about swine flu.
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills

Parents who engage their young children in conversational give-and-take help their offspring gain a significant leg up in terms of language acquisition, new Dutch research reveals.

The boost to childhood language proficiency appears to be predicated on allowing children to engage in so-called "serious" conversations with their family members -- dialogues that permit them to make meaningful contributions to the subject at hand.

The findings are based on the results of a study that tracked 150 Dutch children aged 3 to 6 for a follow-up period of three years. The children were from a mixture of families of Turkish, Moroccan-Berber, and Dutch backgrounds.

Lead researcher Lotte Henrichs noted that as soon as children start school, they are confronted with a need to follow difficult and sometimes abstract concepts, expressed by their teachers through the routine use of complex sentence structures and summed up by the term "academic language."

By its nature, academic language is part of the normal student-teacher discourse, and has a scientific texture that is typically marked by multiple clauses and conjunctions, Henrichs explained.

The study revealed that parents who encourage their kids to contribute to conversations are preparing their children for gaining a natural proficiency in this particular sort of linguistic skill.

Additionally, parents who read to their children, tell them stories and initiate conversations on interesting subjects also give their kids a head start in being able to acquire the kind of academic language skills they will need throughout their education.

The work was funded by the Dutch Programme Council for Educational Research, part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, based in Den Haag.

SOURCES: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, news release, May 12, 2010 Published on: May 19, 2010