Abstract: The aim of the study is to determine the acoustic features of voice and speech of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as a possible additional diagnostic criterion. The participants in the study were 95 children with ASD aged 5-16 years, 150 typically development (TD) children, and 103 adults – listening to children’s speech samples. Three types of experimental methods for speech analysis were performed: spectrographic, perceptual by listeners, and automatic recognition. In the speech of children with ASD, the pitch values, pitch range, values of frequency and intensity of the third formant (emotional) leading to the “atypical” spectrogram of vowels are higher than corresponding parameters in the speech of TD children. High values of vowel articulation index (VAI) are specific for ASD children’s speech signals. These acoustic features can be considered as diagnostic marker of autism. The ability of humans and automatic recognition of the psychoneurological state of children via their speech is determined.
Abstract: Iron is physiologically essential. However, it also participates in the catalysis of free radical formation reactions. Its deficiency is associated with amplified health risks. This trace element establishes some links with another physiological process related to cell death, apoptosis. Both iron deficiency and iron overload are closely associated with apoptosis. Soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) has the ability to trigger apoptosis and plays a dual role in the physiological versus pathological inflammatory responses of tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of these parameters as well as the associations among them in children with obesity, a low-grade inflammatory state. The study was performed on groups of children with normal body mass index (N-BMI) and obesity. 43 children were included in each group. Based upon age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by the World Health Organization, children whose values varied between 85 and 15 were included in N-BMI group. Children, whose BMI percentile values were between 99 and 95, comprised obese (OB) group. Institutional ethical committee approval and informed consent forms were taken prior to the study. Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, neck circumference) and blood pressure values (systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure) were recorded. Routine biochemical analyses, including serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation percent (Tf Sat %) and ferritin, were performed. sTWEAK levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. study data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests performed by the statistical program SPSS. Serum iron levels were 91 ± 34 mcrg/dl and 75 ± 31 mcrg/dl in N-BMI and OB children, respectively. The corresponding values for TIBC, Tf Sat %, ferritin were 265 mcrg/dl vs. 299 mcrg/dl, 37.2 ± 19.1% vs. 26.7 ± 14.6%, and 41 ± 25 ng/ml vs 44 ± 26 ng/ml. In N-BMI and OB groups, sTWEAK concentrations were measured as 351 ng/L and 325 ng/L, respectively (p > 0.05). Correlation analysis revealed significant associations between sTWEAK levels and iron related parameters (p < 0.05) except ferritin. In conclusion, iron contributes to apoptosis. Children with iron deficiency have decreased apoptosis rate in comparison with that of healthy children. sTWEAK is an inducer of apoptosis. OB children had lower levels of both iron and sTWEAK. Low levels of sTWEAK are associated with several types of cancers and poor survival. Although iron deficiency state was not observed in this study, the correlations detected between decreased sTWEAK and decreased iron as well as Tf Sat % values were valuable findings, which point out decreased apoptosis. This may induce a proinflammatory state, potentially leading to malignancies in the future lives of OB children.
Abstract: Domestic violence, trafficking with human beings especially violence against children, is a worldwide problem. Hence, it remains one of the most widespread forms of violence in Kosovo and which often continues to be described as a "closed door issue". Recognition, acceptance and prioritization of cases of domestic violence definitely require a much greater awareness of individuals in institutions for the risks, consequences and costs that the lack of such a well-coordinated response brings to the country. Considering that children are the future and the wealth of the country, violence and neglect against them should be treated as carefully as possible. The purpose of this paper is to identify steps towards prevention of the domestic violence and trafficking with human beings, so that the reflection of the consequences and the psychological flow do not reflect to a large extent in society. In this study is described: How is the phenomenon of domestic violence related to trafficking in human beings? The methods used are: historical, comparative, qualitative. Data derived from the relevant institutions were presented, i.e., by the actors who are the first reactors as well as the policy makers. Although these phenomena are present in all countries of the world, Kosovo is no exception and therefore comparisons of the development of child abuse have been made with other countries in the region as well. Since Kosovo is a country in transition, a country with a relatively high level of education, low economic development, high unemployment, political instability, dysfunctional legal infrastructure, it can be concluded that the potential for the development of negative phenomena is present and inevitable. Thus, during the research, the stages of development of these phenomena are analyzed, determining the causes and consequences which come from abuse, neglect of children and the impact on trafficking in human beings. The Kosovar family (parental responsibility), culture and religion, social services, the dignity of the abused child, etc. were analyzed. The review was also done on the legislation, educational institutions (curricula), governmental and non-governmental institutions their responsibilities and cooperation towards combating child abuse and trafficking. It is worth noting that during the work on paper, recommendations and conclusions have been drawn where it is concluded that we need an environment with educational reforms, stability in the political environment, economic development, a review of social policies, greater awareness of society, more adequate information through media, so that information and awareness could penetrate even in the most remote places of Kosovo society.
Abstract: The death of a sibling in childhood leads to significant impacts on both personal and family development of the surviving siblings, however, both short-term and long-term effects of sibling loss in Chinese societies such as Hong Kong have been inadequately documented in the literature. This paper explores the experience of encountering siblings’ death during childhood with the use of semi-structured interviews. Through thematic analysis, the author explores the impacts on surviving siblings’ emotions, coping styles, struggles and challenges and personal development. Furthermore, the influences on family dynamics are explored thoroughly, including the changes in family atmosphere, family roles, family relationship, family communication and parenting styles. More importantly, the author identifies (i) existing continuing bonds; (ii) crying; (iii) adequate social support; (iv) hiding own emotions as a gesture of protecting parents as the crucial elements pertinent to surviving siblings’ successful adaptation in the face of sibling loss. In addition, “child-centered” and “family-centered” service implications of families with a sibling's death in a Chinese context are discussed.
Abstract: Mobility, for many people, is an important factor in the satisfaction of daily needs and many people are dependent on public transport. In rural areas with a low population density, it is difficult to provide public transportation with sufficient coverage and frequency. Therefore, the available public transport is unattractive. As a result, people use their own car, which is not desirable from a sustainable point of view and not possible for children and elderly people. Sometimes people organize themselves and volunteer transport services are created. These services are similar to demand-oriented taxis. However, these transport services are usually independent from each other and from the available line-based public transport, limiting both their usability and sustainability. We have developed a platform to improve usability and sustainability by connecting the different demand-oriented transport offerings with the line-based public transport. The system was implemented and tested in a rural area in Germany, but the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic limited real live operation.
Abstract: The average daily screen time (ST) has been increasing in children, even at young ages. This seems to be associated with a higher incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders, and as the time of exposure increases, the greater is the functional impact. This study aims to compare the daily ST of toddlers and preschoolers previously and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was applied by telephone to parents/caregivers of children between 1 and 5 years old, followed up at four primary care units belonging to the Group of Primary Health Care Centers of Western Porto, Portugal. A total of 520 children were included: 52.9% male, mean age 39.4 ± 13.9 months. The mean age of first exposure to screens was 13.9 ± 8.0 months, and most of the children were exposed to more than one screen daily. Considering the WHO recommendations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 385 (74.0%) and 408 (78.5%) children had excessive ST during the week and the weekend, respectively; during the lockdown, these values increased to 495 (95.2%) and 482 (92.7%). Maternal education and both the child's median age and the median age of first exposure to screens had a statistically significant association with excessive ST, with OR 0.2 (p = 0.03, CI 95% 0.07-0.86), OR 1.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI 1.05-1.14) and OR 0.9 (p = 0.05, 95% CI 0. 87-0.98), respectively. Most children in this sample had a higher than recommended ST, which increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are worrisome and point to the need for urgent intervention.
Abstract: Obesity, as excessive fat accumulation in the body, is a global health problem. The prevalence of obesity and its complications increase due to easy access to high-energy food and decreased physical activity. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) constitute a significant part of obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Since the effects of obesity on cardiovascular system may start during childhood without clinical findings, elucidating the mechanisms of cardiovascular changes associated with childhood obesity became more important. In this study, we aimed to investigate some biochemical parameters which may be involved in obesity-related pathologic processes of CVDs. One hundred and seventy-seven children were included in the study, and they were divided into four groups based upon WHO criteria and presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS): children with normal-BMI, obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS. High-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer (sTWEAK), chromogranin A (CgA), multimerin-2 levels, and other biochemical parameters were measured in serum samples. Anthropometric measurements and clinical findings of the children were recorded. Statistical analyses were performed. Children with normal-BMI had significantly higher CgA levels than children with obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS (p < 0.05). Cardiac MyBP-C levels of children with MetS were significantly higher than of children with normal-BMI and OB children (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in hs-cTnT, sTWEAK, TMAO and multimerin-2 between the groups (p>0.05). These results suggested that cMyBP-C and CgA molecules may be involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-related CVDs.
Abstract: The study aims to identify the extent of effectiveness of the artistic formation program using some types of pastes to reduce the hyperactivity of the kindergarten children with learning difficulties. The researchers have discussed the aforesaid topic, where the research sample included 120 children of ages between 5 to 6 years, from five schools for special needs, learning disability section, Cairo Governorate. The study used the quasi-empirical method, which depends on designing one group using the pre& post application measurements for the group to validate both, hypothesis and effectiveness of the program. The variables of the study were specified as follows; artistic formation program using Paper Mache as an independent variable, and its effect on the skills of kindergarten child with learning disabilities, as a dependent variable. The researchers utilized the application of an artistic formation program consisting of artistic and musical skills for kindergarten children with learning disabilities. The tools of the study, designed by the researchers, included: observation card used for recording the culling paper using pulp molding skills for kindergarten children with learning difficulties during practicing the artistic formation activity. Additionally, there was a program utilizing Artistic and Musical Activities for kindergarten children with learning disabilities to acquire educational concepts. The study was composed of 20 lessons for fine art activities and 20 lessons for musical activities, with obligation of giving the musical lesson with art lesson in one session to cast on the kindergarten child some educational concepts.
Abstract: Both policymakers and researchers recognize that participating in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is useful for all children, especially for those who are exposed to the high risk of social exclusion. Social exclusion of children is understood as a multidimensional construct including economic, social, cultural, health, and other aspects of disadvantage and deprivation, which individually or combined can have an unfavorable effect on the current life and development of a child, as well as on the child’s development and on disadvantaged life chances in adult life. ECEC institutions should be able to promote educational approaches that portray developmental, cultural, language, and other diversity amongst children. However, little is known about the ways in which Croatian ECEC institutions recognize and respect the diversity of children and their families and how they respond to their educational needs. That is why this paper is dedicated to the analysis of the capacities of ECEC professionals to respond to the demands of educational needs of this very diverse group of children and their families. The results obtained in the frame of the project “Models of response to educational needs of children at risk of social exclusion in ECEC institutions,” funded by the Croatian Science Foundation, will be presented. The research methodology arises from explanations of educational processes and risks of social exclusion as a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon. The preliminary results of the qualitative data analysis of educational practices regarding capacities to identify and appropriately respond to the requirements of children at risk of social exclusion will be presented. The data have been collected by interviewing educational staff in 10 Croatian ECEC institutions (n = 10). The questions in the interviews were related to various aspects of inclusive institutional policy, culture, and practices. According to the analysis, it is possible to conclude that Croatian ECEC professionals are still faced with great challenges in the process of implementation of inclusive policies, culture, and practices. There are several baselines of this conclusion. The interviewed educational professionals are not familiar enough with the whole complexity and diversity of needs of children at risk of social exclusion, and the ECEC institutions do not have enough resources to provide all interventions that these children and their families need.
Abstract: Obesity is a disease with an ever-increasing prevalence throughout the world. The metabolic network associated with obesity is very complicated. In metabolic syndrome (MetS), it becomes even more difficult to understand. Within this context, hormones, cytokines, and many others participate in this complex matrix. The collaboration among all of these parameters is a matter of great wonder. Cortisol, as a stress hormone, is closely associated with obesity. Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of energy as well as glucose metabolism with all of its associates. Fetuin A has been known for years; however, the involvement of this parameter in obesity discussions is rather new. Recently, it has been defined as one of the new generation markers of obesity. In this study, the aim was to introduce complex interactions among all to be able to make clear comparisons, at least for a part of this complicated matter. Morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Two groups with 46 MO children and 43 with MetS were constituted. All children included in the study were above 99th age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles according to World Health Organization criteria. Forty-three morbid obese children in the second group also had MetS components. Informed consent forms were filled by the parents of the participants. The institutional ethics committee has given approval for the study protocol. Data as well as the findings of the study were evaluated from a statistical point of view. Two groups were matched for their age and gender compositions. Significantly higher body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, thyrotropin, and insulin values were observed in the MetS group. Triiodothyronine concentrations did not differ between the groups. Elevated levels for thyroxin, cortisol, and fetuin-A were detected in the MetS group compared to the first group (p > 0.05). In MO MetS- group, cortisol was correlated with thyroxin and fetuin-A (p < 0.05). In the MO MetS+ group, none of these correlations were present. Instead, a correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin was found (p < 0.05). In conclusion, findings have shown that cortisol was the key player in severely obese children. The association of this hormone with the participants of thyroid hormone metabolism was quite important. The lack of association with fetuin A in the morbid obese MetS+ group has suggested the possible interference of MetS components in the behavior of this new generation obesity marker. The most remarkable finding of the study was the unique correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin in the morbid obese MetS+ group, suggesting that thyrotropin may serve as a target along with cortisol in the morbid obese MetS+ group. This association may deserve specific attention during the development of remedies against MetS in the pediatric population.
Abstract: Childhood obesity is an important clinical problem, because it may lead to chronic diseases during the adulthood period of the individual. Obesity is a metabolic disease associated with low-grade inflammation. The liver occurs at the center of metabolic pathways. Adropin, fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A are hepatokines. Due to the immense participation of the liver in glucose metabolism, these liver derived factors may be associated with insulin resistance (IR), which is a phenomenon discussed within the scope of obesity problems. The aim of this study is to determine the concentrations of adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A in childhood obesity, to point out possible differences between the obesity groups and to investigate possible associations among these three hepatokines in obese and morbid obese children. A total of 132 children were included in the study. Two obese groups were constituted. The groups were matched in terms of mean±SD values of ages. Body mass index values of the obese and morbid obese groups were 25.0±3.5 kg/m2 and 29.8±5.7 kg/m2, respectively. Anthropometric measurements including waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, and neck circumference were recorded. Informed consent forms were taken from the parents of the participants and the Ethics Committee of the institution approved the study protocol. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine biochemical tests including glucose- and lipid-related parameters were performed. Concentrations of the hepatokines (adropin, FGF-21, fetuin A) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Insulin resistance indices such as homeostasis model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment metabolic syndrome index as well as obesity indices such as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II index, and fat mass index were calculated using the previously derived formulas. Statistical evaluation of the study data as well as findings of the study were performed by SPSS for Windows. Statistical difference was accepted significant when p < 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found for insulin, triglyceride, high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of the groups. A significant increase was observed for FGF-21 concentrations in the morbid obese group. Higher adropin and fetuin A concentrations were observed in the same group in comparison with the values detected in the obese group (p > 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the ALT/AST values of the groups. In all of the remaining IR and obesity indices, significantly increased values were calculated for morbid obese children. Significant correlations were detected between HOMA-IR and each of the hepatokines. The highest one was the association with fetuin A (r = 0.373, p = 0.001). In conclusion, increased levels observed in adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A have shown that these hepatokines possess increasing potential going from the obese to morbid obese state. Out of the correlations found with IR index, the most affected hepatokine was fetuin A, the parameter possibly used as the indicator of the advanced obesity stage.
Abstract: The study deals with the presentation of the results of quantitatively oriented research. The research was conducted as part of a questionnaire survey with the aim to find out what are the attitudes of parents to compulsory preschool education in the Czech Republic. This research presents results from the area of importance of compulsory pre-school education from the parents’ perspective. The research method was a questionnaire, which was distributed to respondents through an online platform. The research involved 107 parents, who answered a total of 36 questions that found out their attitudes to last year’s compulsory preschool attendance. The results show that compulsory pre-school attendance has increased the importance of pre-school education. However, the results also show that the compulsory last year of preschool education is not more important according to parents than in previous years. Most participants consider compulsory pre-school attendance to be important and are happy that their child attends it. The results reveal the fact that the introduction of compulsory pre-school attendance has contributed to the importance of parents’ perceptions of pre-primary education.
Abstract: The training and education of under- and post-graduate students can be promoted by more active learning especially in engineering, overcoming more passive and vicarious experiences and approaches in their documented effectiveness. However, the possibility of outreach to young pupils and school-children in primary and secondary schools is a lesser explored area in terms of Education and Public Engagement (EPE) efforts – as relates to feedback and influence on shaping 3rd-level engineering training and education. Therefore, the outreach and school-visit agenda constitutes an interesting avenue to observe how active learning, careers stimulus and EPE efforts for young children and teenagers can teach the university sector, to improve future engineering-teaching standards and enhance both quality and capabilities of practice. This intervention involved careers-outreach efforts to lead to statistical determinations of motivations towards engineering, manufacturing and training. The aim was to gauge to what extent this intervention would lead to an increased careers awareness in engineering, using the method of the schools-visits programme as the means for so doing. It was found that this led to an increase in engagement by school pupils with engineering as a career option and a greater awareness of the importance of manufacturing.
Abstract: Vitamin deficiencies are common in obese individuals. Particularly, the status of vitamin B12 and its association with vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin D is under investigation in recent time. Vitamin B12 is closely related to many vital processes in the body. In clinical studies, its involvement in fat metabolism draws attention from the obesity point of view. Obesity, in its advanced stages and in combination with metabolic syndrome (MetS) findings, may be a life-threatening health problem. Pediatric obesity is particularly important, because it may be a predictor of the severe chronic diseases during adulthood period of the child. Due to its role in fat metabolism, vitamin B12 deficiency may disrupt metabolic pathways of the lipid and energy metabolisms in the body. The association of low B12 levels with obesity degree may be an interesting topic to be investigated. Obesity indices may be helpful at this point. Weight- and fat-based indices are available. Of them, body mass index (BMI) is in the first group. Fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II (D2I) index lie in the latter group. The aim of this study is to clarify possible associations between vitamin B12 status and obesity indices in pediatric population. The study comprises a total of 122 children. 32 children were included in the normal-body mass index (N-BMI) group. 46 and 44 children constitute groups with morbid obese children without MetS and with MetS, respectively. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Tables prepared for obesity classification by World Health Organization were used. MetS criteria were defined. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were taken. BMI, FMI, FFMI, D2I were calculated. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Vitamin B9, B12, D concentrations were determined. Statistical evaluation of the study data was performed. Vitamin B9 and vitamin D levels were reduced in MetS group compared to children with N-BMI (p > 0.05). Significantly lower values were observed in vitamin B12 concentrations of MetS group (p < 0.01). Upon evaluation of blood pressure as well as triglyceride levels, there exist significant increases in morbid obese children. Significantly decreased concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed. All of the obesity indices and insulin resistance index exhibit increasing tendency with the severity of obesity. Inverse correlations were calculated between vitamin D and insulin resistance index as well as vitamin B12 and D2I in morbid obese groups. In conclusion, a fat-based index, D2I, was the most prominent body index, which shows strong correlation with vitamin B12 concentrations in the late stage of obesity in children. A negative correlation between these two parameters was a confirmative finding related to the association between vitamin B12 and obesity degree.
Abstract: Spexin, expressed in the central nervous system, has attracted much interest in feeding behavior, obesity, diabetes, energy metabolism and cardiovascular functions. Fetuin A is known as the negative acute phase reactant synthesized in the liver. Eosinophils are early indicators of cardiometabolic complications. Patients with elevated platelet count, associated with hypercoagulable state in the body, are also more liable to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In this study, the aim is to examine the profiles of spexin and fetuin A concomitant with the course of variations detected in eosinophil as well as platelet counts in morbid obese children. 34 children with normal-body mass index (N-BMI) and 51 morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Written-informed consent forms were obtained prior to the study. Institutional ethics committee approved the study protocol. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used to classify healthy and obese children. Mean age ± SEM of the children were 9.3 ± 0.6 years and 10.7 ± 0.5 years in N-BMI and MO groups, respectively. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken. BMI values were calculated from weight and height values. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine hematologic and biochemical tests were performed. Within this context, fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin (INS), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were measured. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values were calculated. Spexin and fetuin A levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were evaluated from the statistical point of view. Statistically significant differences were found between groups in terms of BMI, fat mass index, INS, HOMA-IR and HDL-C. In MO group, all parameters increased as HDL-C decreased. Elevated concentrations in MO group were detected in eosinophils (p < 0.05) and platelets (p > 0.05). Fetuin A levels decreased in MO group (p > 0.05). However, decrease was statistically significant in spexin levels for this group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results have suggested that increases in eosinophils and platelets exhibit behavior as cardiovascular risk factors. Decreased fetuin A behaved as a risk factor suitable to increased risk for cardiovascular problems associated with the severity of obesity. Along with increased eosinophils, increased platelets and decreased fetuin A, decreased spexin was the parameter, which reflects best its possible participation in the early development of CVD risk in MO children.
Abstract: Obesity in children particularly draws attention, because it may threaten the individual’s future life due to many chronic diseases it may lead to. Most of these diseases including obesity itself altogether are related to inflammation. For this reason, inflammation-related parameters gain importance. Within this context, complete blood cell counts, ratios or indices derived from these counts have recently found some platform to be used as inflammatory markers. So far, mostly adipokines were investigated within the field of obesity. Metabolic inflammation is closely associated with cellular dysfunction. In this study, hematologic inflammatory markers and cytokines produced predominantly by the liver (fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A) were investigated in pediatric obesity. Two groups were constituted from 76 obese children based on World Health Organization criteria. Group 1 was composed of children, whose age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles were between 95 and 99. Group 2 consists of children, who are above 99th percentile. The first and the latter groups were defined as obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO). Anthropometric measurements of the children were performed. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Blood cell counts and ratios were determined by automated hematology analyzer. The related ratios and indexes were calculated. Statistical evaluation of the data was performed by SPSS program. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of neutrophil-to lymphocyte ratio, monocyte-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio between the groups. Mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width values were decreased (p < 0.05), total platelet count, red cell distribution width (RDW) and systemic immune inflammation index values were increased (p < 0.01) in MO group. Both hepatokines were increased in the same group, however increases were not statistically significant. In this group, also a strong correlation was calculated between FGF-21 and RDW when controlled by age, hematocrit, iron and ferritin (r = 0.425; p < 0.01). In conclusion, the association between RDW, a hematologic inflammatory marker, and FGF-21, an inflammation-related hepatokine, found in MO group is an important finding discriminating between OB and MO children. This association is even more powerful when controlled by age and iron-related parameters.
Abstract: A lot of children under the age of five spend their daytime hours away from their home, in a kindergarten. Caring for children is a serious subject, and their safety in case of earthquake is the first priority. Being aware of earthquakes helps to prioritize the needs and take the appropriate actions to limit the effects. Earthquakes occurring anywhere at any time require emergency planning. Earthquake planning is a cooperative effort and childcare providers have unique roles and responsibilities. Greece has high seismicity and Ionian Islands Region has the highest seismic activity of the country. Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO) is a national organization in Greece. The mission of EPPO is the seismic risk reduction by designing an earthquake management program of mitigation and preparedness. Among other actions EPPO has analyzed the needs and requirements of kindergartens on earthquake protection issues and has designed specific activities to familiarize the day care centers staff being prepared for earthquakes. This research presents the results of a survey that detects the level of earthquake preparedness of kindergartens in all over the country and Ionian Islands too. A closed-form questionnaire of 20 main questions was developed for the survey in order to detect the aspects of participants concerning the earthquake preparedness actions at individual, family and day care environment level. 2668 questionnaires were gathered from March 2014 to May 2019, and analyzed by EPPO’s Department of Education. Moreover, this paper presents the EPPO’s educational activities targeted to the Ionian Islands Region that implemented in the framework of “Telemachus” Project. To provide safe environment for children to learn, and staff to work is the foremost goal of any State, community and kindergarten. This project is funded under the Priority Axis “Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development” of Operational Plan “Ionian Islands 2014-2020”. It is increasingly accepted that emergency preparedness should be thought of as an ongoing process rather than a one-time activity. Creating an earthquake safe daycare environment that facilitates learning is a challenging task. Training, drills, and update of emergency plan should take place throughout the year at kindergartens to identify any gaps and to ensure the emergency procedures. EPPO will continue to work closely with regional and local authorities to actively address the needs of children and kindergartens before, during and after earthquakes.
Abstract: After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. These undocumented migrants present a significant challenge in achieving the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). Due to the recent polio outbreak among the undocumented migrant children in Sabah, an in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.
Abstract: A great number of children in mainstream schools across Libya is currently living with emotional, behavioural difficulties. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and their attributions of the causes of EBD. The relevance of this area of study to current educational practice is illustrated in the fact that primary school teachers in Libya find classroom behaviour problems one of the major difficulties they face. The information presented in this study was gathered from 182 teachers that responded back to the survey, of whom, 27 teachers were later interviewed. In general, teachers’ perceptions of EBD reflect personal experience, training, and attitudes. Teachers appear from this study to use words such as indifferent, frightened, withdrawn, aggressive, disobedient, hyperactive, less ambitious, lacking concentration, and academically weak to describe pupils with EBD. The implications of this study are envisaged as being extremely important to support teachers addressing children’s EBD and shed light on the contributing factors to EBD for a successful teaching-learning process in Libyan primary schools.
Abstract: Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have been observing in some seaside resorts aging demography, combined with an increase in second homes. These seaside resorts are said to have become places undergoing profound changes, leading to hybridization of functions (personal services, health, residential, etc.) and practices. All of these issues are part of the challenges of silver tourism, which stems from the silver economy. The Hauts-de-France region is made up of numerous seaside resorts that have a significant proportion of second homes in their real estate stock. The seaside resorts have tourist offers based on sports and leisure activities. They also offer a suitable environment for the installation of this category of the population. This set of attractive criteria in the choice of installation in seaside resorts is likely to be replaced by personal and health services due to the advanced age of the population. The resorts of Le Touquet Paris-Plage, Bray-Dunes, Neufchâtel-Hardelot and Le Crotoy seem to be evolving towards other functions of residential resorts, as opposed to seaside resorts This paper will be an opportunity to present the results of the surveys we conducted in 4 seaside resorts in the Hauts-de-France region, where more than 420 retired secondary residents were questioned. The results show that nearly 90% of retirees spend their time in their second home at any time of the year. The criteria that lead them there are school vacations and the weather. More than 40% of them have been living there for more than 20 years. The reasons for the installations are the living environment (83%) and the quality of life (79%). Their activities are walking and strolling, as well as sports. More than 99% of the respondents do not take into account the health service offers. Personal services are also little taken into account - around 60% of respondents say they do not know whether personal services exist in the resort. 80% of respondents answer that their grandchildren benefit from activities organized by the commune and the tourist offices during their stay. To conclude, the influx of retired secondary residents will not lead to a change in the functions of the seaside resorts. Their classic tourist offers - leisure and sports activities, the environment - will remain the attractive criteria of the seaside resorts. The results of the study prove that personal services and health services are not the first choice criteria in the installation of retired secondary residents, quite the contrary. We can even complete that retirees in secondary residences are demanding and concerned about living in a calm, safe and clean environment and quality of life.