Are Children Born in the Summer Actually Healthier?

Are Children Born in the Summer Actually Healthier?

Science shows that while the differences between winter and summer babies are slight, they do exist.

This study definitely sounds like it was written by a mom waiting to give birth in July. But it’s something to ponder-check it out.

Published in the journal Heliyon, the study shows that babies who are born in the summer –June, July and August-tend to be healthier than those born in the winter months, at least in northern climates.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that children who were born in the summer months were a bit heavier at birth. They were also taller as adults and those who were girls tended to go through puberty slightly later than those individuals born in winter months- a sign of better health in adulthood.

“This is the first time puberty timing has been robustly linked to seasonality,” said Dr. John Perry, lead author of the study. “Our results show that birth month has a measurable effect on development and health.”

Related: Babies in Canada Cry More Than Those in Germany: Study

To come up with their findings, researchers compared the growth and development of around 450,000 men and women from the UK Biobank study. This is a major national health resource that provides data on UK volunteers and helps shed light on the development of diseases.

Why do the differences exist? Researchers feel they probably come down to the fact that a greater amount of sunlight is available in the summer, in the north. The result is higher vitamin D levels in both moms and babies. But they aren’t sure.

“More work is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this effect,” said Dr. Perry.

Like most research projects, more is to come. For the moment, enjoy the warm weather, and stay safe in the sun.

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