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Facebook 'no place' for young children

Facebook 'no place' for young children

Technology
More than 100 child health experts are urging Facebook to withdraw an app aimed at under-13s.In an open letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, they call Messenger Kids an "irresponsible" attempt to encourage young children to use Facebook.Young children are not ready to have social media accounts, they say.Facebook says the app was designed with online safety experts in response to parental calls for more control over how their children used social media.It is a simplified, locked-down version of Facebook's Messenger app, requiring parental approval before use, and data generated from it is not used for advertising.The open letter says: "Messenger Kids will likely be the first social media platform widely used by elementary school children [four- to -11-year-olds]. "But a growing body of...
Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Health
Plastic used in some second-hand toys could pose a health risk for children as they don't meet the most up-to-date safety guidelines, a study has found. Scientists tested 200 used plastic toys they found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England's south-west for nine hazardous elements.Twenty toys had traces of all nine elements, with some concentrations high enough to fail European standards. But experts said it would be difficult to quantify the risk. "Lego bricks from the 70s and 80s are the big fail," said Dr Andrew Turner, of the University of Plymouth, who conducted the study. "Toys in those days weren't tested and now we're using them and handing them down." Chronically toxicFor the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, Dr Turner and his team used X-ray...
Save the Children offices in Afghanistan hit by attack

Save the Children offices in Afghanistan hit by attack

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceAttackers have detonated explosives before storming the offices of the Save the Children charity in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.At least two people have been killed and 12 injured, officials say. It is believed about 50 staff were in the building at the time.At least three gunmen are involved in the attack, reports say, with fighting continuing on the upper floor.No group has yet said it was behind the attack.What's the latest?The attack started at about 09:10 local time (04:40 GMT) on Wednesday when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle explosive at the entrance to the Save the Children compound, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, told the BBC.An eyewitness who was inside the compound at the time tol...
Children in England 'deserve better' from healthcare

Children in England 'deserve better' from healthcare

Health
The health of children in England is being harmed by deepening public sector cuts and "disjointed" government policies, a report has found. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the government had failed to improve care in a number of "fundamental areas", such as by banning junk food advertising. It said the government had not made the same strides as in Wales and Scotland.The government said "world-leading plans" for child health were in place.But the RCPCH called for more to be done, including a bigger focus on preventive measures, which had faced "destructive" reductions.Professor Neena Modi, president of the RCPCH, called for "much bolder" policies, adding: "It is no good only throwing money at treating established problems."There must be far better investment in pre...