Tablets, e-readers among most popular gadgets students crave

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 @ 9:47 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 @ 9:47 PM

What’s on top of the school supply list this year? It isn’t T-shirts and tennis shoes. It’s the other T, for mobile tech.
Kids as young as elementary age are looking for smartphone upgrades, while the college set is sussing out the explosion in tablets, said Craig Johnson, president of the retail consulting and research firm Customer Growth Partners in New Canaan, Conn.
“The single most important thing is the acceleration of technology for back to school. Kids don’t get excited about a new lunch box these days, or a new backpack. Cool means technology,” he said.

Tablets

Back-to-school tech also means tablets. Once hallowed Apple ground, iPad 2 competitors are everywhere. Apple is still the big kid, but Android technology is in pursuit.
In addition to the iPad 2, tech analyst Andrea Smith suggests the 10-inch Toshiba Thrive (starting at $430) for back to school. It runs on Android, has two USB ports and an SD card reader. The new TouchPad (starting at $500) by Hewlett-Packard, runs on webOS, has a 9.7-inch screen and touts easy multitasking among open apps.
For analyst Natali Morris, iPad 2 (starting at $500) “really is the only tablet on the market that kids are coveting,” though she added that some Android technology is good for note-taking and syncing.
Tablets are cool, but are they practical for actual schoolwork? That might have everything to do with the popularity of bluetooth-enabled keyboard add-ons, including the new one Smith and Morris like from Logitech, with a case that easily turns into a tablet stand. Toshiba has a keyboard, too, also sold separately.

Laptops

Morris’ picks for student laptops: MacBook Air with an 11- or 13-inch screen (starting at $1,000 and $1,300, respectively). They weigh as little as 2.3 pounds and boot up in about five seconds, she said. Those features are good for students moving from class to class.
Going head to head with MacBook Air for PC-prone students is the sleek new Samsung Series 9 (starting at $1,650), Morris said. It’s light, boots Windows in 20 seconds and offers 160-degree viewing for group work.


E-readers

While not as powerful or versatile as tablets and laptops, high functionality — like highlighting and touchscreens — are coming to e-readers. “All of the features are out now or in the process of coming out,” Johnson said.
The new Nook ($139) from Barnes & Noble has a six-inch touchscreen and crisp, clear print for reading in bright light. It also has received praise for long battery life.

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MORE COOL FROM THE SUPPLY LIST

Post-It Flag Pen
This highlighter-pen combo comes with room for 50 color-coordinated flags on a shirt clip. You can find it at various stores that sell office supplies. It’s sold solo ($3.99 on Amazon.com) and in a three-pack ($7.55 on Amazon.com).

Crayola DryErase Crayons
An alternative to white-board markers, these dry-erase crayons ($5.04 on Amazon.com) come with an eraser mitt.

Azuna 3D Notebooks
Azuna 3D technology adds a new dimension to notebook covers (one-subject notebook $2.99, only at Staples).

Dad surprises son with video of ‘Tooth Fairy,’ watch what happens

Published: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 6:41 PM
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 6:41 PM


            Tinkerbell may not be the Tooth Fairy, but a proud father used a fairy that looked just like her when he made a video of the Tooth Fairy's visit for his son.
            Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Tinkerbell may not be the Tooth Fairy, but a proud father used a fairy that looked just like her when he made a video of the Tooth Fairy's visit for his son.(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A dad who has earned internet fame with a YouTube series featuring his son and movie-quality special effects managed to capture the “Tooth Fairy” on camera when his son lost a tooth.

>> Read more trending news 

 Daniel Hashimoto’s YouTube channel Action Movie Kid features his son James in various adventures of his imagination.

Hashimoto is know for his visual effects work on movies and TV shows. When his son lost his tooth, he set up cameras around his room before bed.

Little James placed his tooth under his pillow that night, and the next morning woke up to find a crystal in its place.

The next morning after breakfast, James and Hashimoto reviewed the footage and were thrilled by what they saw.

Check out Hashimoto’s impressive visual effects work above.

Kids food allergies need extra back-to-school planning

Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 @ 1:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 @ 1:00 AM

If you think your kid is fussy about what they eat, you should try packing a lunch when your child has food allergies.

Or in the case of parent Karen Earle's second-grader, multiple food allergies.

"Since she as old enough to understand, we've talked about foods she can have and she cannot have," Earle said.

Earle also make sure to meet with all the teachers and adminstrators before the school year starts and makes sure they have an action plan.

"And her teachers are great about it," Earle said.  "It's never been an issue."

Earle says parents of children with food allergies have to keep the mental and emotional side of the issue in mind, as well as the physical symptoms.

For example, Earle makes sure that she always packs something special in her daughter's lunch, so if kids are celebrating something at the school like a birthday with something her daughter can't eat,  her daughter doesn't feel left out.

"She can still participate," she said.

Getting the school year off to a healthy start

Published: Monday, August 06, 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 7:31 AM

Read King’s blog entries on raising kids at blog.childrensdayton.org.

Summer is winding down, and the school year is quickly approaching.

That means parents must take necessary health precautions to ensure their children are ready to head back to the classroom, according to experts.

We asked Dr. Melissa King, pediatrician and “Dr. Mom” blogger at Dayton (Ohio) Children’s Medical Center, to bring you the facts about everything from physicals to vaccinations for your child.

Q: Back-to-school time is quickly approaching. What do parents need to think about in regards to their children and health before kids head back to the classroom?

A: Have your kids received all required immunizations? Have you discussed with your child’s physician the vaccines that may not be required but are recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)?

Have you filled out any forms that the school has sent home, such as emergency contact and health information forms? Remember to complete all of the parent portions of the form.

Do the school nurse and teachers know about any medical conditions your child may have, particularly food allergies, asthma, diabetes and any other conditions that may need to be managed during the school day? Have you made arrangements with the school nurse to administer any medications your child might need?

Do the teachers know about any conditions that may affect how your child learns? For example, kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be seated in the front of the room, and a child with vision problems should sit near the board.

 

Q: When should parents start preparing their children for the school year, in regards to health concerns?

A: Starting in July or early August, you should contact your child’s doctor office to set up an appointment. It may take up to six or eight weeks to schedule a physical. Your insurance provider will only pay for one physical every 12 months. However, if you have concerns, problems or chronic health issues, then it is advisable to set up a visit before your child returns to school to discuss any limitations or restrictions.

Q: How often should children get physicals?

A: Annually.

Q: Why are physicals important for children?

A: Physicals are important for children because it is often the only time the child might see a doctor all year. This is a time for the physician or designated health care provider to touch base with both the child and their parent regarding growth issues and any questions they might have. They are also important for students participating in sports, to possibly address any health concerns related to that specific activity. A yearly physical with the same doctor also allows a relationship to be formed, which makes the child feel more comfortable, and the doctor is able to identify medical concerns because they are familiar with the child’s medical history.”

Q: How do vaccinations work?

A: “Vaccinations work by administering a dead or weakened version of the virus to the child. The body is then able to produce antibodies to fight this weakened virus. If you are ever exposed to the real disease, then your body will use the antibodies. … This is called immunity.

Q: Why should children get vaccinations?

A: To protect children from potentially serious or deadly illnesses. We have been pretty successful in the U.S., drastically reducing the incidence of certain illnesses such as mumps, rubella, polio and diphtheria with vaccination campaigns. Unfortunately, there is still more work to be done, and even with the vaccine successes, the absence of an illness in the U.S. does not mean that it is no longer an issue. Even if the virus is no longer present in the U.S., it is still important to get vaccinated to prevent the illness because of travel. There are numerous other countries that still have a high number of cases of vaccine preventable illnesses, and if your child comes into contact with one other person carrying the illness, without a vaccine they could be quickly be affected. There are also children that your child may go to school with who are unable to receive vaccines because of an underlying illness. These children become very vulnerable to an outbreak of an illness. We provide those children with more protection if we are able to vaccinate as many children around them as possible.

Q: What are the potential side effects of vaccinations?

A: Possible side effects include pain, fever, swelling at the injection site, rashes, hives, difficulty breathing and extreme irritability. Some side effects such as encephalopathy (a disease, damage or malfunction of the brain) or Guillain-Barre [syndrome] (a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system) are more serious but luckily more rare as well. I realize that if your child has a severe reaction to a vaccine, then in your world, complications from vaccines are not rare. However, if your child is infected with a vaccine preventable illness and becomes extremely ill or has complications from that illness, then in your world, the risk of infection from an illness that could have been prevented is not rare either. Parents should contact their child’s pediatrician if their child experiences any of these after a vaccine.

Q: What are the common myths about vaccinations? Why are these myths wrong?

A: Myth 1: “Vaccines don’t work.” — This is false. Most occurrences of diseases like polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and now chicken pox have dramatically decreased since the introduction of the vaccines preventing each disease. The numbers of deaths related to influenza and whooping cough have declined as well; however, we still have too many of these cases as well.

Myth 2: “Vaccines aren’t necessary.” — Diseases that are prevented by vaccines still occur in the United States. If a child is not vaccinated against that disease, they are more likely to contract it. High immunization levels explain the dramatic decrease in outbreaks. If children are not properly vaccinated, the immunization level will decline, and outbreaks of the disease will increase. We have seen this occur with various illnesses worldwide when there is some trigger to vaccine avoidance.

Myth 3: “Vaccines aren’t safe.” — While some parents may worry about the side effects of vaccines, it’s important to note that pharmaceutical companies are under the strict supervision of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Vaccines are tested for years before they are approved, and all recommended vaccines are considered safe. Observation of vaccines and their safety in children also continues after the vaccine is in use. Anyone can report adverse events related to vaccines at the website vaers.hhs.gov.

Myth 4: “Infants are too young to be vaccinated.” — Many vaccine-preventable diseases strike children under the age of 2, so they are one of the most important groups to vaccinate.

Myth 5: “Vaccines weaken the immune system.” — Natural infections of certain viruses like chicken pox and measles without a doubt weaken the immune system; however, the viruses in vaccines are different from the ‘wild’ virus of the natural infection. Viruses in vaccines have been altered to the point where they will not weaken the immune system.

Myth 6: “Vaccines cause autism.” — This claim has recently been retracted, and there is no longer a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. Studies found that the only connection between these events is age. The MMR vaccine is usually given to children around 15 months old, and the early signs of autism generally begin to show at about 2 years of age.

 

Q: What else should parents know about preparing their children for school health wise?

A: Prepare your children for adequate sleep each night. Discourage TV, computer or telephone use after a specific time in the evening so that children are not distracted by these electronic devices when they should be sleeping. If your child has become a night owl, then you will need to make them wake up a couple of hours earlier each day until they are mimicking their school schedule. Discourage naps.

Encourage your children to eat three meals a day and include milk, fruits and vegetables into their daily intake. Discourage skipping meals at any point in time. Ask your children about their eating habits when they are not with you. Encourage them to drink water.”

Encourage regular, daily exercise for at least one hour every day for your children.

Highlighter hues fuel back-to-school neon trend

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 3:16 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 3:16 PM

Neon is a fashion trend that might be best suited to the cool kids — or real kids.

Unlike so many looks that trickled down from designer runways to mass retailers and into teenagers' closets, the almost electrifying shades of pink, green, yellow and orange have been hanging out in high school hallways for a while. And they're back again for the new school year.

"Teens stayed with neon because for them, it's so easy to wear. It taps into youth, emotion and standing out, which they like doing," says Seventeen senior fashion editor Marissa Rosenblum.

The highlighter colors have evolved this season into accessories, beauty products and outerwear. There are still the T-shirts, colored jeans, hoodies and athletic apparel, but Rosenblum says the way to wear neon is as a single bright pop, not head to toe. (It's probably a safe bet that lots of pint-sized athletes will buy into the bright footwear that has made Nike's track and field sneakers one of the most buzzed-about looks of the Olympics.)

"This is the season of color: color on color, color back to neutrals. Neons are just one of the amazing colortrends that are important right now," says Anu Narayanan, vice president of women's merchandising for Old Navy.

She'd like to see mint green jeans with a yellow neon tank with a gray cardigan. "Neon looks best as a surprise within a look."

For its largely grade-school customer, The Children's Place will pair neon with navy as the cooler weather moves in. The brand started introducing neon through bright accents for its summer products but "you'll see even more for the holidays," says TCP senior vice president of design Michael Giannelli. "And it will continue into the spring and probably into next fall. ... We grabbed onto it because we have more freedom in kidswear to play with bright color."

He adds, "The children have a sense of humor about their clothes."

Elena Klam is creative director and co-owner of the jewelry brand Lia Sophia, which is launching a fashion jewelry collection called Sisters aimed at the tween and teen set. It includes neon, preapproved by Klam's teenage daughters and their friends.

"They can be a tough crowd. They're changing all the time, reinventing themselves all the time, trying new things. It's an age of experimentation, but they're also a part of the population who knows what's going on," she says. "They're very savvy."

If everyone is wearing neon, they'll also want it for their accessories, says Klam, adding that schools with strict dress codes will likely allow superbright friendship bracelets or earrings. Her uniform-wearing girls don't get a lot of variety in their school-day clothes, so "they change up their jewelry for a little bit of self-expression."

She expects neon citrus yellow-green to be particularly popular with kids and — as with everything — neonpink. "You don't have to be the 'pink girl' when it's neon. That has a bit of an edge to it," Klam says.

Neon, however, isn't just a chick thing. Giannelli points to the 1980s, when it was a staple in every kid's wardrobe, and he says the skater-snowboarder-surfer look has brought brights back into favor for boys. "Skater kids and surfer dudes are wearing bright pinks and deep purples, and they're also getting into orange and banana."

These colors work surprisingly well in snow gear, particularly fleece, which often is done in one color and trimmed in another, Giannelli says.

Neon hues are probably more traditional for warmer months — and that's what makes them so fresh for fall, says Old Navy's Narayanan. Each year, it seems there are deep shades of brown and purple in stores, but shoppers might not have seen them with a top that has neon pink, she says. "The rules are out the window."

A word of caution, though, from Rosenblum: You might need to be a little more selective about a neon shade than you would a neutral.

"You have to choose the color that looks good on you. That funny off-green is definitely an important color but it's not for everyone. But all the colors for teens are very popular so you can find one."