Category: Family & Lifestyle

Benefits of good childcare 30 years on

While the early years can be the most taxing for parents, they are also the most critical for child development. A major American study has found that the effects of good childcare on infants can be seen even at the age of 30. The study found that children who received a quality programme of extensive…

The Terrible Twos

  Temper tantrums are a normal part of human development, writes Rory Fitzgerald   There’s bad news about the ‘terrible twos’: researchers now say they can begin well before the age of two, and can go on for a number of years afterwards — if you’re not careful. The symptoms are well-known to all parents…

Health matters: The benefits of breastfeeding

Dr Andrea Fitzgerald   Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with approximately 50 per cent of women breastfeeding when they leave hospital, compared to, for example, 99pc in Norway and 84pc in Britain. On the whole, Irish mums also stop breastfeeding far earlier than their European counterparts. Research is yet to…

Do we need vitamin and dietary supplements?

In any chemist or health food section you will find a phenomenal array of vitamin and dietary supplements. Many of these can be quite expensive. So, are they of any real benefit? Since Victorian times, there has always been a ready market for ‘cure alls’. Research has shown that many of these dietary supplements are…

We are what we eat

  Keeping a healthy,balanced diet is actually fairly simple, writes Rory Fitzgerald   We are what we eat. That can be a curse or a blessing — depending on what you eat. The greatest health problem facing us in Ireland today is not the lack of food, but a surfeit of it. In a race…

Roisin Shortall makes a good point

  Minister of State, Roisin Shortall, suggested recently that parents who allow their teenage children to drink at home may be contributing to substance abuse among young people. In an interview with Conor Pope of The Irish Times, the minister said that while parents might be well meaning in their attempts to encourage a positive…

Strictly for the birds

Family activities Anne O’Connell   This year, people have been slower to begin a bird-feeding routine because of the relatively mild weather. Watching birds’ antics through the window in cold weather can be wonderfully entertaining for children. All you need is a simple feeding station. Robins and blackbirds find it difficult to hang on to…

Are mobiles bad for your health?

Health Matters Dr Andrea Fitzgerald   These days, almost everyone owns a mobile phone. It is increasingly common even for young children to have their own mobile phone. Ever since their advent, there have been public fears about their safety, especially in relation to cancer risk. Concerns about mobile phone health risks are particularly acute…

Two train journeys

Dad’s Diary   It was a glorious, blue-sky morning just before Christmas. The calm, half-empty train pulled out of London’s Waterloo Station. I had just finished work for the year and the cosy joys of the festive season sparkled ahead. One of the things I was especially looking forward to was taking my two-year-old boy…