children

Why having an only child can be good for everyone

Parents of only children by choice are no strangers to these questions.

But evidence shows there are very few drawbacks to a one-child family, and according to one expert those passing judgement are likely envious because they have "suffered through" raising several children.

Between Canditta Natakuapa and her husband, they have 17 siblings. So deciding to have just the one child was easy for the pair who value work-life balance and giving their son "the best start in life".

When men can't have children, they suffer in silence

Last month it was revealed sperm concentrations in Western men have declined by more than 50 per cent over the past 40 years — with diet and environmental influences possibly to blame.

And despite an estimated one in 20 Australian men experiencing some kind of reproductive problem, men often suffer in silence when struggling to become dads.

The international a-peel of Aussie television's top bananas

Which Australian icons would you say are the most internationally recognised? At the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the organisers wheeled out the likes of golfing great Greg Norman on top of a giant shark on wheels, and model Elle MacPherson. But between their floats, out came three teddy bears, one rat and two bananas on a staircase.

Mom's sweet tooth may be linked to child's allergies, study says

The researchers looked at allergies that produce respiratory and skin symptoms, including dust mites, cats and grass. "Allergic asthma" causes breathing problems, like wheezing and coughing, in the presence of common allergens such as dust.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London used data gathered from nearly 9,000 mother-child pairs in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, an ongoing research project that tracks the health of families with children born between April 1, 1991, and December 31, 1992.

Long-term breastfeeding leads to more cavities: study

Researchers analyzed breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption for 1,129 children in Pelotas, Brazil. At age 5, the children visited a dentist, and were examined for decayed, missing and filled primary tooth surfaces and severe early childhood caries, or severe cavities. Severe early childhood caries were defined as six or more decayed, missing and filled primary tooth surfaces.

How do you talk to children about domestic violence

Two early childhood educators from Tasmania, Judi Rhodes and Tanya McQueen, were struck by the lack of resources to help. So they made one themselves.

Queenie's Little Book of Comfort follows Queenie the quoll who, when faced with family violence, seeks help from her neighbour Eric the echidna.

"We decided to create this little book about Queenie because we were so heartbroken about the amount of children that come to school or play group that are trying to survive family violence," Ms Rhodes said.

Don't just consult Dr Google' for your child's worrying behaviour

But some behaviours can be more worrying than others, and it is hard to know when to call on professional help.

Psychologist and neuroscientist Charlotte Keating said it was understandable that parents were sometimes reticent to take their child to see a therapist.

"There's that fear that you'll make it a bigger problem if you treat it as a problem," she told ABC Radio Melbourne's Clare Bowditch.

'I had no idea Instagram had porn': Keeping kids safe on social media

But for Sydney-based online safety expert Leonie Smith, it was business as usual.

"I've seen more porn, more drug paraphernalia, more violence, more sick behaviour on Instagram than any other app," Ms Smith said of the platform, which the Royal Society for Public Health report found was more likely to leave users feeling anxious, depressed and lonely than Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or YouTube.

Bananas in Pyjamas celebrate 25 years of chasing teddies

ABC TV's Bananas in Pyjamas is celebrating 25 years, and to mark the occasion the Royal Australian Mint has launched a commemorative coloured coin set.

The 20 cent and 5 cent pieces feature images of the twin Bananas and Rat-in-a-Hat.

"It's the first time we've had colour on a 5 cent piece," Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said.

The Bananas in Pyjamas first aired on Australian television in 1992 as a live-action series featuring B1 and B2 and teddy bears Lulu, Morgan and Amy.

Child cancer initiatives seeing results in Pacific

Jane Skeen says she is passionate about getting better staff training and treatment to children in countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Dr Skeen said greater collaboration had seen an improvement in recovery rates, saying that about 50 children are now getting treatment in Fiji every year.

And colleagues at Auckland and Christchurch hospitals are also able to assist some children from the Pacific who travel for chemotherapy.