Teens would rather break their bones than lose their phones

Following is a transcript of the video.

Adam Alter: “Nomophobia” is a new word that’s being coined to describe no mobile phobia, and it’s the idea that a lot of us, in thinking about not having our phones, experience something like a phobia, and this is supposed to describe hundreds of millions of people today, and I’m sure that number is growing at the moment. What that means is that when you think about, for example, your phone falling out of your pocket, tumbling to the ground, and shattering into a million pieces, you should experience anxiety symptoms, and it’s especially true among young people.

I ran a study at one point where I asked young people, a whole lot of teenagers, a very simple question. I said to them: “Imagine you have this very unpleasant choice. So, you can either watch your phone tumble to the ground and shatter into a million pieces or you can have a small bone in your hand broken.” Now, that seems to people of a certain age and older like a fairly straightforward question with a straightforward answer. It seems ridiculous. Of course you choose to save the integrity of your hand and let your phone break. You can always replace a phone, but for young people this is actually a very difficult question. In my experience, about 40% to 50% of them will say, “Ultimately, I think it probably makes more sense to have a bone in my hand broken than it does to have my phone broken.”

And you can understand why that is, apart from the fact that it is expensive to have a phone repaired and there’s some time where you’re without your phone. That is their portal to a social world that is very important to them. Being without that social world for a while is probably not as detrimental in some respects as being without a particular bone in your hand. Most of the time, you can get by and you can see this in the way they ask follow-up questions. So, a lot of these teens will say to me things like, “Is it my left hand or my right hand?” and the most important question, “Once I break that bone in my hand, can I still use my phone? Is it a bone that I need to be able to scroll on the phone, because if it is, then that’s no deal, but if it’s not a bone that I need to use my screen at least I can continue to use my phone during the time I’m healing.” If people are willing to endure physical harm to keep their phones that obviously suggests that this is a major issue.

The definition that I like for behavioral addiction that makes the most sense to me is an experience that we return to compulsively over and over again because it feels good in a short run but in the long run, it ultimately undermines our well-being in some respect. So, it can be someone who notices that over time their social relationships are degrading because they don’t have a consistent, face-to-face contact with people and that’s especially problematic for kids who need time in that real face-to-face social world because that’s where they develop all the competencies of being a social creature. The way to work out what other people are thinking, to share your feelings in a way that you want them to be shared for other people to understand you for you to make just the right facial expressions at just the right times. Those seem like obvious and easy-to-do things for most adults but for kids it’s very difficult to do that. They take time to hone those skills and so you need face-to-face time to do that and if you don’t have that, if you’re spending all your time on screens because it’s really fun to crush one more candy on Candy Crush or do whatever it is that you might be doing, you’re not developing those long-term competencies and therefore your long-term well-being is degraded.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in April 2018.

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How To Help Your Kids Develop An Entrepreneurial Mind

Reading Time: 4 mins

Every parent hopes they have a genius on their hands, let’s be honest! But what if you could encourage your child’s brilliant mind to get them started early in life with an entrepreneurial attitude? That’s exactly what the folks at www.teiyu.co.uk offer. Teiyu use a storytelling approach to build an entrepreneurial mindset in children…and you can find out more below.

Because they believe, as we do, that it’s possible to help nourish kids in developing an overall leadership attitude and skillset.

  1. Teach Them About Money Early On
  2. Encourage A Leadership Attitude
  3. Inspire Creative Thinking
  4. Help Them Develop Excellence 
  5. More Ways Kids Can Make Money

Teach Children About Money Early On

Help your kid make millions by teaching them early on

At school, we hardly get any financial education at all. Sure, we’re taught maths – but there’s no real insight into how percentages (interest rates) and sums (budgeting) really impact our lives outside of the classroom.

Teaching your children about money early in their development doesn’t mean giving them lectures, either! You could start by demonstrating the importance of saving, by giving pocket money each week. For older children, what about showing them how bills work – raise their pocket money allowance, but take some back to pay ‘bills’ (you can sneak it into a savings account for them, if you like!).

Another way to encourage children to think about money is to include them in financial activities. When you go grocery shopping, for example, take a calculator. Tell them your total budget and ask them to monitor whether you’re sticking to it. Or, if you go to a restaurant, give them a budget to spend on their meal and see what they can get with it from the menu.

When they understand how money makes the world go round, it’s much easier to encourage them to consider how they want to make their own money. You can, for example, exchange a few pounds for chores they complete around the house. For older children, encourage them to take on a part-time job – that could be making and selling crafts, taking on a paper round (they still exist!), or helping older neighbours with their shopping or gardening.

 

Encourage a Leadership Attitude

When your child understands how money works, it’s a good time to start encouraging their entrepreneurial mindset. This starts with a leadership attitude!

Teiyu is a great resource for children who want to get ahead. It’s a storytelling strategy about a lizard called Teiyu, who helps children solve problems in the land of Teguria. It’s a positive, encouraging experience that helps children embrace problem-solving strategies on their own.

Other ways to encourage a leadership attitude is to volunteer with community groups, or attend other groups such as Scouts or an after-school sports team. This helps develop important skills like communication, teamwork, and delegation – as well as helping your child identify their own strengths along the way.

 

Inspire Creative Thinking

Inspire creative thinking to help your kid make millions

Another key attribute to help your kid make millions in the future is to encourage creativity. Abstract problem-solving is a perfect way to help your child identify unique ways to reach a solution. You can do this through techniques such as the Teiyu stories, as well as showing them real-world problems that need a solution.

For example, let’s say you have an arts and crafts afternoon ahead of you. Let your children build a castle from a shoebox and cardboard – but tell them it has to do certain things! Does the drawbridge go up and down? Is there a secret entrance? Things like this will help your child take instruction but think creatively to reach the solution.

Creative thinking when it comes to money is another step towards an entrepreneurial mindset. For older children, you could ask what they want to buy with their pocket money. You can work out with them how long it will take to save up for it – and get them to find ways they could make more money to save faster. This might be, for example, selling some of their old clothes and toys that they’ve grown out of at a car boot sale. When they see how much faster they can get the thing they want to buy, if they make money as well as save it, you’re encouraging creative thoughts around money from a young age.

 

Help Your Child Develop Excellence

Being brilliant at something is the most notable attribute of all entrepreneurs. For some, it might be technological savvy. For others, they could be great with social skills. Help your child find their passion – and the skills they’re great at – and nurture them.

This will help them to develop excellence in these habits, skills, or hobbies over time. As they become confident in these areas, it’s easier for them to identify their strengths and how they might be able to use them to make money through an entrepreneurial mindset. One great example of this is the 12-year-old investor we spoke to on the MoneyMagpie podcast! He realised very quickly that understanding the stock market was a great skill, and he nurtured it, and is already a leading example to other children about how to invest wealth!

 

Special offer

Right now, MoneyMagpie readers are able to get an exclusive 50% off the Happy Pack. All you have to do is use the discount code HOPE50 at the checkout.

 

More Ways Kids Can Make Money

There are lots of ways to include your children from an early age when it comes to understanding (and making) money. Here are a few more ideas:

The post How To Help Your Kids Develop An Entrepreneurial Mind appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Women are taking a ‘rain check’ on babies, and it could change the shape of the economy

millennialskids_ Alexi Rosenfeld
The number of births have been declining during the pandemic.

  • America is seeing a “baby bust” as women put off having kids during the pandemic.
  • The drop in births intensifies a pre-pandemic trend of decreasing birth rates and fertility rates.
  • It could slow down the economy in the long term, but it could also result in a delayed baby boom.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The predicted baby boom is looking more like a baby bust.

While many thought a year locked up would lead to some serious babymaking, Brookings Institute economists Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine forecasted the opposite last June: The pandemic would lead to 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in 2021, they said.

So far, their predictions are on track.

Nine months after the first lockdowns began in the US, the number of births in the country had declined by 7%, according to data provided to CBS News by health departments across more than 24 states. And fertility rates – the number of live births a woman is expected to have over her lifetime – are already lower in the first few months of 2021, said Christine Percheski, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University.

“We’re going to see many fewer babies in 2021,” she told Insider.

The drop continues a pre-pandemic trend of declining birth rates and fertility rates, as childbearing women, many of whom are millennials, delay having children. Both of these rates decreased by 2% from 2017 to 2018, per the latest CDC data, with the birth rate hitting its lowest in 32 years. As of January 2020, the US fertility rate sat at 1.73 births per mother – a stark contrast from the peak in 1957 at 3.77 births per women.

Demographers have expressed concerns over what this means for the future of America, as the fertility rate is below the replacement rate – producing as many births each year as deaths – of 2.1 births per woman.

The decline in births over time is the result of both economic distress as well as progress for women in the workplace, with potential long-term implications, such as a smaller workforce and higher cost of caring for the aging. It’s too soon to say whether we should be concerned about these economic effects, but it’s already clear the economy is in for a big change based off what happens to the American birthrate.

Catching up to a global shift

American women are having babies later. While US birth rates have declined for nearly all age groups of women under 35, per latest CDC data, they rose for women in their late 30s and early 40s.

But this is actually bringing the US in line with worldwide trends – or helping it catch up, depending on your perspective. High-income countries, and increasingly middle-income ones, have long seen women delaying their first child until later ages compared to American women, Percheski said.

It’s a sign of better access to education and employment opportunities, a rise in individualism and women’s autonomy, better sex education, and a shift from religious-based to more secular values, she said. But on a more individual level, having kids at a later age is also a result of women choosing to stay in school longer, waiting until later to marry, and paying off student debt first.

mother baby
American women delaying childbearing is bringing the US in line with worldwide trends.

To be sure, macroeconomic forces are another major factor in the decision to postpone having kids. Millennials have grappled with several of these, from the lingering effects of the Great Recession to soaring living costs for things like housing and, of course, childcare.

Finances are one of the top reasons why American millennials aren’t having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, Insider’s Shana Lebowitz reported, citing a survey by The New York Times. To raise a child to age 18 in America, it’ll cost parents an average of $230,000.

A ‘rain check’ on babies

Recessions typically have the strongest economic influence on birth and fertility rates. “People tend to wait during periods of political and social and rest,” Percheski said.

The Great Recession saw a 9% decline in births, per Brookings, about 400,000 babies fewer than there would have been otherwise. And while the Spanish Flu only resulted in an economic contraction, that public health crisis also led to a drop in births. A pandemic lumps together economic and health turmoil, which Brookings says could result in a greater impact on births.

parents pandemic
Sara Adelman became a working-from-home mom during the pandemic. Birth rates typically decline during periods of economic crisis.

But whether the current lapse in babymaking will translate to fewer babies overall or just a childbirth postponement, Percheski said. She said she thinks we’ll see a reduction in the number of women having two or three kids, as happened during the financial crisis.

Mauro Guillén, Wharton professor and author of “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future” told Insider that the decline in births is a “temporary blip,” likely to last one to two years.

“Young couples have said, ‘Give me a rain check, I don’t want the baby now because there’s too much uncertainty,'” he said. “But they will have those babies later. They don’t cancel their plans to have babies for life.”

A ‘demographic time bomb?’

A decline in birth rates has sparked worries that the US may be headed for what’s known as a “demographic time bomb,” in which an aging population isn’t replaced by enough young workers.

This could slow the economy in the long term by creating higher government costs and a smaller workforce, who will have to front the care costs for aging populations. It could also create a shortage of pension and social security-type funds and impact things like school enrollment and college demand.

Japan is a famous example of just such a time bomb, long ticking demographically. Experts in that country are now worried that a pandemic-fueled baby bust could worsen the country’s aging crisis that strains the working population. Like Japan, Italy is facing an aging population and dropping fertility rates, to the point where the government has begun issuing fertility ads. So far, high levels of immigration have kept the US from seeing the same economic impact that has hit these other countries.

But Percheski said a decline in births isn’t necessarily bad – it will just require structural adjustments, like creating new public policies that respond to changes in population size.

family child tax credit mothers
Today’s baby bust could end up being tomorrow’s baby boom.

In some ways, fewer classmates for those born in 2021 could be good, she added.”If there are fewer people competing for jobs when they hit the job market, that’s not bad from their perspective, but it does require us to make adjustments.”

America can also change now to avoid having to do it later, such as making childcare more affordable. “Raising children is one of the great joys of life, but it’s also one of the great burdens,” economist Tyler Cowen said in a recent panel with the American Enterprise Institute. “If we don’t have innovations to make raising children either easier or more fun or less costly, we’re in big trouble.”

But if the pandemic-fueled birth decline just results in women bearing children at a later age rather than having fewer kids or none at all, per Brookings, the fertility rate may be underestimated. It could even result in a delayed baby boom.

Guillen said he thinks we’ll see a higher number of births in 2022 and 2023, which could make preschools fuller. He said he’s more concerned with the mortality rate than the birth rate, but in any case the full effects of the birth decline won’t truly be seen until 20 to 30 years later.

“Generally, it would be better to have a smoother evolution of pace, but recessions always have their effect,” he said.

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A parent’s review of Disney Plus: It’s hands down the best streaming service for kids

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Disney_Plus_kids_profile_UK
Disney Plus features a ton of kid-friendly content.

  • Disney Plus is packed with family-friendly entertainment perfect for parents and their kids.
  • Parental controls allow you to fine-tune what your kids can watch and set a PIN to protect profiles.
  • At $8 a month, Disney Plus is also affordable, making it a great choice for families on a budget.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyMonthly Subscription Service (small)

Bringing the magic of Disney to the small screen, the Disney Plus streaming service has a lot to offer families and kids. And best of all, the platform comes in at a budget-friendly price of just $8 a month.

After spending over a year watching the service with my wife, our 8-year-old daughter, and our 11-year-old son, I continue to be impressed by the platform’s selection of all-ages content and kid-friendly navigation options. Here’s why Disney Plus remains our go-to streaming service for family viewing.

What can kids watch on Disney Plus?

wonderful world of mickey mouse

Disney Plus features a ton of movies and shows for kids and families. There’s a good mixture of blockbuster films and TV series that cover Disney’s entire library, from classics like “Snow White” and “101 Dalmatians” to recent releases like “Moana” and “Frozen II.” Live-action versions of “Aladdin” and “Lion King” sit alongside the animated originals.

The Disney Plus catalog also includes Pixar titles like “Toy Story,” Marvel superhero blockbusters, “Star Wars” cartoons and movies, documentaries from National Geographic, and plenty of kid-friendly titles from Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD.

In the US, Disney Plus has no R-rated content at all. The maximum ratings are PG-13 for movies and TV-14 for shows. This makes its library uniquely suited for families. Outside of the US, Disney Plus recently added an adult-focused section called Star, which does include R-rated movies and mature shows. Thankfully, Disney makes it easy to restrict access to these programs if you have kids.

My family experience with Disney Plus

the mandalorian
“The Mandalorian”

We signed up for Disney Plus when it first launched, and I recently renewed it for another year. As big “Star Wars” and Marvel fans, my whole family has enjoyed watching and rewatching the major movies.

The highlight of the service so far has been “The Mandalorian,” which became a weekly treat that brought us all together. We’ve also enjoyed introducing our bemused kids to nostalgic movies like “The Black Hole” and “Freaky Friday.” There’s a lot of choice if you’re hunting for family-friendly films, and we often pick something from Disney Plus for family movie nights.

My 8-year-old daughter is by far the most avid watcher of Disney Plus in the house. She loves the Disney and Pixar movies and watches favorites over and over. She also enjoys many of the Disney shows. My 11-year-old son is less interested, but there are certain series they frequently watch together, such as “Phineas and Ferb,” “Gravity Falls,” and “The Simpsons.” He also likes some of the National Geographic documentaries.

My wife and I enjoyed “WandaVision,” but that’s one of the few things we’ve watched on Disney Plus without the kids. That is beginning to change, however, with the addition of Star in the UK where we live.

Parental controls on Disney Plus

Disney Plus parental controls
Parental controls are included to restrict what kids can watch on Disney Plus.

With the launch of Star in international markets, Disney Plus revamped its parental controls, enabling optional PIN protection for profiles. The updated parental controls rolled out globally, so they also brought new options to parents in the US.

When creating a profile for your child, you can now specify the content rating from TV-Y at the bottom of the scale all the way up to TV-14. This gives you tighter control for kids of different ages.

You can also toggle on “Kid’s Profile,” which changes the Disney Plus interface and limits the profile to content that’s suitable for kids. In the US, that means shows rated up to TV-Y7-FV and films rated G. The kid’s interface also organizes titles into simpler categories like “Super heroes” or “Princesses” instead of the “Marvel” or “Disney” categories you see with regular profiles.

The “Kid’s Profile” is ideal for younger children and, as long as you add a PIN to other profiles, there’s no danger your child will find anything inappropriate.

There is one potential issue here for families with multiple children, however. We set up PIN protection for the adult profiles, but didn’t want to for the kids. We allow my son to access 12+ content, while my daughter has the “Kid’s Profile” setting. But we soon found that this meant there was nothing stopping my daughter from choosing my son’s profile to gain access to a slightly wider library. The only way around this was to add a PIN to my son’s profile.

Can different family members watch at the same time?

Disney Plus profiles
Disney Plus supports multiple profiles.

For any family-friendly streaming service it’s important to have support for a wide range of devices, and the option to have multiple simultaneous streams. Disney Plus nails this with support for most smart TV brands, Roku, Fire TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and pretty much any Android or Apple media device you can buy. You can also stream through a web browser.

You can have Disney Plus play on four devices simultaneously, so you and you children can watch different titles at the same time. You can also download as much content as you want on up to ten mobiles devices. This makes it easy to save shows for your kids to watch later when you might not have access to an internet connection.

How does Disney Plus compare to other services?

We also subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Technically speaking, Disney Plus has some advantages since it offers 4K movies at no extra cost and it handles limited Wi-Fi bandwidth gracefully.

With Netflix, you need a Premium account at $18 a month to get 4K and stream on four screens simultaneously. With Prime Video, there’s no extra cost for 4K, but you are limited to three simultaneous streams. Prime Video is also slightly more expensive at $9 a month on its own, or $13 a month as part of Amazon Prime.

There are more adult-focused titles on Netflix and Prime, but Disney Plus is better for young kids. Classic Disney films are the kind of movies that kids will watch over and over. This type of content is disappearing from other services as Disney continues to make its programs exclusive to Disney Plus.

Netflix and Prime Video do offer some family favorites like “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Pokemon,” and “Scooby-Doo,” but we’ve also found that they carry a lot of subpar shows. The fact that they change content often can also lead to disappointment. So far, Disney Plus seems to have a more permanent library.

There’s quantity and quality for kids on Disney Plus. If family viewing is a priority for you, then Disney Plus can’t be beat right now.

Should your family get Disney Plus?

Disney Plus adult profile UK

Choosing a streaming service for your family will largely depend on your children’s tastes and your own beliefs about what’s appropriate. We feel Disney Plus is a must-have for kids around 10 and younger, but it isn’t as good for older kids unless they’re heavily into “Star Wars” or Marvel.

It’s nice to have a streaming service you can browse together without fear of inappropriate content, and there’s always something on Disney Plus that you can watch with a family of all ages.

You can sign up for Disney Plus today for $8 a month or $80 a year. In the US, you can bundle the service with Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 a month. This is a great way to supplement your Disney Plus subscription with access to live sports and more adult-focused content, making the bundle a value that’s equally strong for kids and their parents.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)Bundle Monthly Subscription (small)

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Researchers found 42 ‘mystery chemicals’ in the blood of pregnant women – and their newborn babies

Pregnant vaccine
A pregnant woman receives a vaccine.

  • San Francisco researchers identified 42 “mystery chemicals” in the blood of pregnant women.
  • The chemicals weren’t linked to any known compounds and hadn’t been reported in people before.
  • Research showed that mothers passed the chemicals to their newborn babies.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When researchers collected blood samples from 30 pregnant women in San Francisco, they expected to find evidence of common environmental chemicals.

Chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are found in the bloodstreams of 99% of Americans. Other toxic substances, like flame retardants and pesticides, often show up in human blood samples as well.

But to their surprise, the researchers discovered 55 chemicals never before reported in people.

A few of those chemicals contained recognizable compounds: Two belonged to the PFAS family, one was a pesticide, and 10 more were plasticizers – substances that make plastic durable and flexible.

The remaining 42 substances were labeled “mystery chemicals,” since the researchers couldn’t find a way to categorize them. The chemicals were identified in all 30 pregnant woman – as well as their babies after they were born, according to the researchers’ new study.

“We’re finding them, but we don’t know where they’re coming from and we don’t have any information about their potential toxicity,” Tracey Woodruff, the study’s senior author, told Insider.

The researchers were particularly concerned by evidence that the chemicals could pass from one generation to next.

“The majority of the chemicals we see are able to cross the placenta, suggesting that the placenta is not efficient at preventing these exposures and it’s not efficient at removing these chemicals from the fetus,” Dimitri Panagopoulos Abrahamsson, the study’s co-author, said.

He added: “Because they appeared to be both in the moms and in the babies, these chemicals would be expected to remain in the population for a very long time.”

Some mystery chemicals may be linked to consumer goods

makeup products
A worker cleans the makeup section inside Hema, a Dutch retail chain, in Katwijk, Netherlands on December 16, 2020.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a database of nearly 900,000 chemicals and their uses, but chemical manufacturers aren’t legally required to disclose every compound they create. That makes it difficult to hunt down substances that could potentially pose a risk to human health.

Even when the EPA prohibits the use of a certain chemical, manufacturers have been known to develop spin-off chemicals that aren’t subject to the same regulations. For instance, companies must seek EPA approval to manufacture or import products that use PFAS with eight carbon atoms, but they’re free to manufacture or import PFAS with six carbon atoms. (Research suggests that both versions might be linked to cancer.)

The San Francisco researchers found four types of PFAS that weren’t previously identified in human blood. In general, such chemicals are found in food packaging, clothing, carpets, and cookware.

The researchers think several of the “mystery chemicals” they found may hail from consumer goods as well, since items like furniture, electronics, and cosmetics are known to contain chemicals.

“There are some chemicals that appeared to be at higher levels in people with a higher socioeconomic background,” Abrahamsson said. “Our best educated guess about this is that when you can afford more products, when you have a higher buying power, you introduce a lot more products to your home.”

He added that some of the mystery chemicals his team identified may be impurities – chemicals either purposely or accidentally added to common substances used by manufacturers.

“In these cases, it’s even trickier to know where these chemicals are being used because they’re not the main chemical used in the product,” Abrahamsson said.

Potential threats to fetal development

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago.  A new study released Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, suggests when a pregnant woman breathes in air pollution, it can travel beyond her lungs to the placenta that guards her fetus. During pregnancy, particle pollution is linked to premature births and low birth weight, but scientists don’t understand why. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford, File)
A doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago.

In general, chemicals pose a greater health risk in higher doses, or when people are exposed more regularly. But Woodruff said it will take a while before scientists know what levels of these mystery chemicals, if any, are potentially hazardous to humans.

“Given that they’re mystery chemicals, they’re probably not even on EPA’s radar in terms of identifying their potential health risk or setting any type of levels that would be of more or less concern,” she said.

Already, pregnant women in the US are widely exposed to environmental chemicals like pesticides or flame retardants, which may threaten the development of a fetus. In some cases, this exposure can lead to birth defects, childhood cancer, or health problems in adulthood such as reproductive issues, obesity, and diabetes.

For that reason, Woodruff said, it’s important for scientists to keep studying unidentified substances in people’s blood. But these studies are bound to hit a wall, she added, if companies don’t report all the substances they’re using.

“We are only covering the tip of the iceberg on chemicals that we need to be focused on,” Woodruff said. “There are many of them, and we anticipate that there’s reason to be concerned.”

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Two 13-year-old brothers are participating in Moderna’s vaccine trial for kids. They’re ‘pretty chill’ about it.

preston boys
Gavin Preston (left) and Emmett Preston (right).

  • Emmett and Gavin Preston, 13-year-old brothers, are participants in Moderna’s vaccine trial.
  • Moderna is studying the effects of its coronavirus shot among 3,000 kids from 12 to 17.
  • The brothers said they didn’t want to spread the virus to their mom, who has an autoimmune condition.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At 13 years old, Emmett and Gavin Preston aren’t yet eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the shots for kids under 16 due to a lack of data.

But the Preston brothers are participants in Moderna’s clinical trial: The company is currently studying the effects of the shot among 3,000 kids ages 12 to 17. A separate trial is testing it in 6,750 children under 12, including babies as young as six months.

Emmett and Gavin, both adopted, received their first shots on February 12 at their local doctor’s office in Charleston, South Carolina, then their second shots one month later. The brothers said they were a bit nervous about the needle but haven’t felt many side effects.

“When they showed me the shot, I was like, ‘What?’ And then when I took it, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not that bad,'” Emmett told Insider.

For a week after each dose, they logged their symptoms into an app so researchers could track their side effects.

“I just felt like my normal self,” Emmett said. By the second time he got vaccinated, he added, he was “pretty chill” about it.

Kids may respond differently to the vaccine than adults

Moderna vaccine
A nurse prepares a coronavirus vaccine shot developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., July 2020.

Moderna’s trials are randomized, double-blind studies, meaning half of the participants get the vaccine while the other half get a placebo, and nobody knows which they’ve gotten.

For some adult participants, side effects were sometimes a clue that they’d gotten more than a saline solution – some felt headache, fever, or chills (indicators that their bodies were reacting and building antibodies). But scientists aren’t sure whether kids will feel side effects to the same degree.

“Children generally respond well to vaccines,” Donna Farber, a Columbia University immunologist, previously told Insider. “They should respond well or comparably to a young adult – and maybe even better.”

Emmett said he had a sore shoulder and “felt a bit run down” after the first shot. Gavin said he had some minor fatigue two days after the second one.

“It went perfectly after all that,” Gavin said. “Nothing has really happened.”

In general, kids aren’t very susceptible to severe illness due to COVID-19. Children represent around 13% of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US, but less than 0.2% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths. Some researchers suspect that’s because kids’ immune systems fight off the virus before it has a chance to replicate widely.

The Preston brothers were on board with the trial right away

Children can be difficult to include in trials, since ethical questions arise if they don’t fully understand what they’re signing up for, and scientists are cautious of any research that could stunt a child’s development. Many parents are not comfortable signing their kids up to participate for the same reasons.

But the Preston brothers are no strangers to clinical trials. For the past few years, they’ve participated in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the US. The study recruits healthy children ages 9 to 10 and observes their brain growth through early adulthood.

So when the Preston boys’ mother, Katie, approached them about getting the Moderna vaccine, they didn’t think twice about it, they said.

“My mom brought it up and I was like, ‘Ooh, that sounds interesting,'” Emmett said.

preston boys
The Preston brothers wait to receive their shots.

Katie said she learned of the trial through a friend who posted about it on Facebook. She emailed her doctor’s office in Charleston to express interest, then heard back a few weeks later.

“We had to go through a little screening process and they said the boys were good, so we went for it,” Katie said.

Emmett and Gavin are less stressed about in-person school now

school closure empty classroom
An empty classroom.

The Preston brothers were motivated to get vaccinated as soon as possible because Katie has an autoimmune condition and both boys have returned to school in-person. They didn’t want bring the virus home.

Coronavirus transmission tends to be low in schools, as long as masks and social distancing are mandatory, but kids can still spread the virus, even if they have no symptoms.

“Just being able to protect myself and my family from coronavirus really makes me feel positive inside,” Gavin said.

He added that he was eager to assist with scientific research, since science is one of his favorite subjects.

When he grows up, he said, “I want to research dementia, Alzheimer’s, anything memory loss related, to try and help those people.”

Knowing that there’s a 50-50 chance they’re vaccinated, both brothers said, has made them less stressed about getting sick at school. Neither wants to return to virtual learning.

“It was really hard to learn online,” Gavin said. “Then when I got in school, my grades started to go up.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill would literally pay parents for having kids, and it could dramatically change America’s social safety net forever

family child tax credit mothers
The child tax credit, part of the stimulus bill, would give parents up to $3,600 per child.

Later this week, President Joe Biden is set to sign a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law that would inject a massive amount of federal cash into nearly every part of the economy. Much of that direct aid would temporarily benefit people as the nation’s economy slowly begins recovering from the pandemic.

But the legislation also plants the seeds for what could be a major transformation of the nation’s social safety net for the lowest-income Americans. The bill contains a one-year provision to dramatically expand the child tax credit, which would allow for parents to receive up to $3,600 per child.

Democrats aim to distribute this credit through monthly checks. Parents with children ages 5 and under could get a $300 payment per child, while those with kids between 6 and 16 could get $250 each month.

Some Democrats in the House and the Senate have said they will press to make it a permanent benefit program later this year. Biden told House Democrats last week he supported making the temporary beefed-up child tax credit permanent, though it’s unclear if that applies to monthly checks.

Democrats seem to be wagering that giving this credit to families for one year will be so popular that the case for making it permanent will be obvious.

There is some support on the right for this idea, too: Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah proposed a larger cash benefit for families last month.

Researchers at Columbia University projected the measure would form a key component in cutting the child poverty rate nearly in half, a statistic that Biden and other White House officials have cited repeatedly in recent days. The bill would also halve the poverty rate for Black and Hispanic children, according to the Columbia study.

If it does so, the policy may revolutionize the government’s relationship with families by offering a universal benefit to many with the potential to lift them out of poverty. That has been a key priority of Democrats for decades.

The relief package is “one of the most consequential and most progressive pieces of legislation in American history,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

‘Social Security for Children’

Democrats and progressives already see similarities between this child tax credit expansion and historic additions to the social safety net from the 1930s and ’60s during the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, respectively.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of New York, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, compared the initiative to “Social Security for children” in an interview with The New York Times – essentially another program directed at providing a basic income to a specific segment of Americans.

Chuck Marr, the director of federal tax policy at the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Progressive Priorities, drew a comparison between the proposed program and Johnson’s push to curb poverty through his “Great Society” program. Johnson’s goal was, as he put it in his first State of the Union address, “not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”

Marr told Insider if the child tax credit became permanent, “it becomes a landmark achievement.”

Current law prevents many of the poorest families from tapping into the child tax credit that the federal government offers. The maximum amount for families with small tax bills is $1,400, and nearly one-third of children live in families with earnings too low to qualify. The stimulus would make this tax credit fully refundable instead, meaning households could receive cash even if they had no tax obligations – but only for the duration of 2021.

If the child tax credit became a permanent fixture in the US economy, America would move closer to many Western European countries, including Germany and Sweden, which have a universal child benefit. Canada and Australia also have generous tax-free child benefit programs that phase out for top earners.

A permanent child tax credit along the lines of the stimulus would be on par with Luxembourg’s family allowance, which offers a standardized monthly amount of $313 per child (this increases slightly at ages 6 and 12). It would be higher than Denmark’s $732 quarterly allowance for children ages 0 to 2 and $151 monthly allowance for those ages 15 to 17.

The other countries that offer such programs typically have lower child poverty. Denmark, which spends 20.9% of its GDP on social programs, has a child poverty rate of 2.9%, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

As of 2019, the US child poverty rate was 14.4%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Democrats may be about to change the relationship of families to the government forever

family child tax credit mothers
The child tax credit, part of the stimulus bill, would give parents up to $3,600 per child.

Later this week, President Joe Biden is set to sign a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law that will inject a massive amount of federal cash into nearly every part of the economy. Much of that direct aid will temporarily benefit individuals as the nation’s economy slowly begins recovering from the pandemic.

But the legislation also plants the seeds for what could be a major transformation of the nation’s social safety net for the lowest-income Americans. The bill contains a one-year provision to dramatically expand the child tax credit, allowing for parents to receive up to $3,600 per child.

Democrats aim to distribute this credit through monthly checks. Parents with children aged 5 and under could get a $300 payment per child, while those with kids between 6 and 16 could get $250 each month.

Some Democrats in the House and the Senate have said they will press to make it a permanent benefit program later this year. Biden told House Democrats last week he supports making the temporary beefed-up child tax credit permanent, although it’s unclear if that applies to monthly checks.

Democrats seem to be wagering that giving this credit to families for one year will be so popular that the case for making it permanent will be obvious.

There is some support on the right for this idea, too: Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah proposed a larger cash benefit for families last month.

Researchers at Columbia University project the Biden measure would form a key component in cutting the child poverty rate nearly in half, a statistic that Biden and other White House officials have cited repeatedly in recent days. The bill would also halve the poverty rate for Black and Hispanic children, per the Columbia study.

If it does so, the policy may revolutionize the government’s relationship with families by offering a universal benefit to many with the potential to lift them out of poverty. That has been a key priority of Democrats for decades.

The relief package is “one of the most consequential and most progressive pieces of legislation in American history,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

‘Social Security for Children’

Democrats and progressives already see similarities between this child tax credit expansion and historic additions to the social safety net from the 1930s and 1960s, in the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, respectively.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of New York, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, compared the initiative to “Social Security for children” in an interview with The New York Times – essentially another program aimed at providing a basic income to a specific segment of Americans.

Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Progressive Priorities, drew a comparison between the proposed program and Johnson’s push to curb poverty through his “Great Society” program. Johnson’s aim was, as he put it in his first state of the union address, “not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”

Marr told Insider that if the child tax credit becomes permanent, “it becomes a landmark achievement.”

Current law prevents many of the poorest families from tapping into the child tax credit that the federal government offers. The maximum amount for families with small tax bills is $1,400, and nearly a third of children live in families with earnings too low to qualify. The stimulus makes this tax credit fully refundable instead, meaning households could receive cash even if they have no tax obligations – but only does so for the duration of 2021.

If the child tax credit becomes a permanent fixture in the US economy, America would move closer to many Western European countries, including Germany and Sweden, which have a universal child benefit. Canada and Australia also have generous tax-free child benefit programs that phase out for top earners.

A permanent child tax credit along the lines of the stimulus would be on par with Luxembourg’s family allowance, which offers a standardized monthly amount of $313 per child (this increases slightly at ages 6 and 12). It would be higher than Denmark’s $732 quarterly allowance for children ages 0 to 2 and $151 monthly allowance for those ages 15 to 17.

The other countries that offer such programs typically have lower child poverty. Denmark, which spends 20.9% of its GDP on social programs, has a child poverty rate of 2.9%, per the The Economic Policy Institute.

As of 2019, the US child poverty rate was 14.4%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

4 ways to mentor and support the young entrepreneurs in your life

kids working business with parent whiteboard
Kids learn resilience when you let them fail and build self-confidence.

  • Young entrepreneurs need to be nurtured and supported to transform their creativity into viable careers or business ideas.
  • Parents should allow kids to try out new hobbies and activities, determine what excites them, and explore what they’re curious about. 
  • A kid entrepreneur will likely need help and resources once they find what they’re passionate about, so offer books, your professional network, and sage advice if they ask. 
  • Foster their resilience and self-confidence by letting them fail, learn from their mistakes, and improve. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Young people have always been a force to be reckoned with when it comes to social entrepreneurship. 

From lemonade that helps save bee populations to headbands that help fund ocean conservation, there’s no shortage of kid-run businesses that are protecting our planet. 

For many young would-be entrepreneurs – just like adults – the hardest part isn’t coming up with the idea. It’s getting that idea off the ground, and transforming it into a viable business. 

If you’ve got a kid entrepreneur in your life, here are a few tips to help them get started. 

Suggest that they try out new hobbies and activities to find something they’re passionate about

For kids who have a cause they want to support but no business idea yet, trying out new hobbies and activities can be a great way to discover something that sparks their interest. 

From volunteering at a local organization to trying out a new sport, you never know what could lead to a great social enterprise idea! 

Read more: Some wealthy parents are eager to give their children multicultural experiences, from elaborate trips to nannies that speak multiple languages. During COVID-19, they’ve had to get creative.

Support kids’ interests by encouraging their curiosity

One 11-year-old entrepreneur, named Sri Nihal Tammana, developed his nonprofit organization when he learned about a frequent cause of landfill fires: used batteries. 

With some help from his parents, he founded the nonprofit organization Recycle My Battery. Through Recycle My Battery, he’s recruited more than 45 other kids to help him recycle over 38,000 used batteries, thanks to a partnership with the country’s largest battery recycling company, Call2Recycle

But Tammana isn’t stopping there, despite the huge impact he and his fellow team members have already made. “There are three billion batteries that are thrown in the trash every year just in the U.S., and 15 billion batteries that are thrown in the trash worldwide,” Tammana said. “With the help of all my team, I would like to bring this number down to 0 to make the earth a better place to live.”

Be ready to lend your own adult support, and help them find support from other professionals if needed

No matter how talented or precocious a kid entrepreneur may be, he or she will always need help in some area of their business. After all, no child is born knowing about cash flow or how to manage a team. If they’re struggling in one area, you may want to help them find a book that can help teach them what they need to know, or offer to connect them to someone in your professional network who might be willing to help. 

In Tammana’s case, he was able to call on the support of parents and teachers to help him conduct a market study before he started Recycle My Battery. “I talked to our family friends and asked them what they are doing with regards to used batteries. Out of 20 people, only two said that they are recycling them properly by throwing them in battery bins placed at their work location,” he said. “All the other 18 said that they were throwing batteries in the trash. That was when I was 100 percent confident that I could go ahead with creating a nonprofit organization.”

Of course, as any parent knows, there’s a fine line between being supportive and being overbearing. While offering support (both practical and moral!) to kid entrepreneurs is crucial, it’s also important to grant them the independence they need to figure things out on their own and make their own decisions, as many of the most successful entrepreneurs say

Read more: Parents are spending thousands on the latest gadgets, coding bootcamps, and tech tutors for their toddlers to prepare them to compete in a digital world

Let them fail

It’s a hard thing to do, but letting your children fail teaches them an invaluable lesson: that failure doesn’t have to be catastrophic. It’s a critical element in building resilient kids – kids who have the self-confidence to get up and try again when something doesn’t work out. And that’s not just a good lesson for business, but a good lesson for life. 

Nurturing a child’s entrepreneurial skills can help them develop self-confidence, resilience, and creativity, among so many other valuable attributes. And these kids grow up into people who not only believe they can improve the world but actually do. Just take it from Tammana: “If I can make the earth a better place to live, you can. If you can make the earth a better place to live, we all can!”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Scientists are investigating whether the new COVID-19 variant is more infectious in kids. Here’s what we know so far.

mask children
A child wears mask and reaches for hand sanitizer in a cafe.

  • The coronavirus has mutated, with one variant called B.1.1.7 causing concern.
  • Emerging evidence suggests B.1.1.7 is probably around 70% more infectious than other variants.
  • There’s growing speculation that kids are more susceptible to infection with the variant, but we don’t know for sure. 
  • The UK’s biggest teaching union has requested schools remain closed for two weeks from January 4.
  • Here’s everything we know so far.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A variant of coronavirus called B.1.1.7 is causing major disruption, precipitating new lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Experts are beginning to suggest that children are more susceptible to B.1.1.7. – and the UK’s biggest teaching union has asked for schools to remain closed for two weeks from January 4.

The evidence, for now, remains inconclusive, and scientists continue to investigate. Here’s what we know so far.

Why is the variant more infectious?

Increasing numbers of people are becoming infected with COVID-19 – the disease that causes coronavirus – and scientists say that B.1.1.7 is probably more infectious, but evidence is still emerging.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Tuesday that the UK variant is likely to have already spread to the US.

Further information is expected in the coming weeks, but it’s not thought that B.1.1.7 is more or less deadly than the original virus.

It’s normal for a virus to mutate, and there have been tens of thousands of coronavirus mutations already.

The new variant, however, significantly changes the virus, potentially altering its behaviour. For example, B.1.1.7 has changes in the spike protein – the part of the virus that is used to infect cells – that could mean it gets into cells more easily.

The spike protein is also the target for vaccines, but experts think that vaccines will still work.

Are children more susceptible to the new variant?

“There is a hint that it has a higher propensity to infect children,” Professor Neil Ferguson told reporters on Monday. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist at Imperial College London and also member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Group – NERVTAG – the UK government’s advisory group.

The reason for the difference could be down to the fact that the body’s ACE-2 receptor, where the virus binds, is a bit different in children and adults

Ferguson told the Commons select committee on Wednesday that there had been anecdotal reports of the variant in schools in areas of England now under the strictest lockdown. 

The concern contrasts with previous variants of coronavirus circulating in the UK. Chris Whitty, the UK chief medical officer, said in a statement in August that there was reasonable –  although not conclusive – evidence that primary school children were less likely to catch COVID-19 than the general population.

Professor Wendy Barclay, head of the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, and a NERVTAG member, said in a briefing to reporters on Tuesday, that the B.1.1.7 variant might bind better in children, adding that she was speculating.

“I have not seen any data to say that it is actually being transmitted more in children,” said Barclay.

Barclay explained that it’s unusual for children not be affected by a respiratory virus.

“We know that almost all other respiratory infections spread amongst children. It wouldn’t surprise me that eventually they ended up spreading quite freely [amongst children],” she said, 

Ferguson said on Wednesday that there was a small – but statistically significant – increased proportion of cases under 15-years-old with the new variant, compared with the old variant. He said that it doesn’t mean it will affect children any worse.

“I would emphasise – while it is a significant shift [in age distribution], it’s not a huge shift. It’s relatively small,” he added.

‘Too early to tell’

Ferguson, whose coronavirus predictions triggered the first UK lockdown, said that scientists needed to gather more data to see how the variant behaves.

Speaking with BBC Radio 4 on Monday, Ferguson said he expected a decline of all the variants of the virus in circulation while schools remain closed for the holidays, but that it’s too early to say precisely what additional measures might be needed in the new year.

Some scientists have advocated closing schools only as a last resort. Professor Deenan Pillay, a professor of virology at University College London, told the Guardian on Monday that the focus should be on supporting schools to operate as safely as possible.

“It’s easy to start to think of this variant as a different virus, but no, it’s the same virus. And it’s transmitted in the same way,” he said.

The UK government could rely on testing to support schools.

“If we work together on testing, we can keep schools open,” said Gavin Williamson, UK Education Secretary said in a statement on Monday.

The variant can be detected by normal tests, although some may need to be altered slightly. One test used by big UK labs looks at three parts of the virus’ genetic sequence. B.1.1.7’s mutations mean that only two of the three parts of the virus that normally show up come back positive.

Experts recommend that measures that restrict the spread of the virus, like social distancing, remain paramount. The challenge will come in 2021 when decisions need to be made about schools.

“The real question then is – how much are we able to relax measures in the new year, and still retain control?” said Ferguson. 

Read the original article on Business Insider