Category: Family & Lifestyle

Celebrating a day of love

  Rory Fitzgerald looks at the origins of St Valentine’s Day   St Valentine’s Day is not what it once was. Many historians believe that until the Middle Ages it was associated, not with romantic love, but with ideas of sacrifice and agape — or the love of God. However, the feast day can still…

Lucky grandparents, lucky children

Family activities Anne O’Connell   If a grandparent has a skill which they can pass on to their grandchild, February is a good month to do so: there are still many long, dark evenings ahead. It can be any skill from tying shoelaces to whistling, to skimming a flat stone across the water! Think of…

Health Matters: Autistic spectrum disorder

Health Matters Dr Andrea Fitzgerald   Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurological disabilities that start in early childhood and are life-long. ASD encompasses a range of disorders, the commonest of which are Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Symptoms are characterised by difficulties in communication, social interaction, and behaviour. ASD seems to be on…

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…