It's July, and for many of us, that brings back fond childhood memories of family vacations, summer camp or long, happy days spent playing with friends. But this quaint notion of summers as a kids' paradise is dangerously misleading, evidence from social research suggests.
After spending the summer away from the classroom, children return to school one month or more, on average, behind where they were when the previous year ended. Kids also tend to put on weight in the summer two to three times faster than they do during the school year.
To put it unkindly, the average child becomes dumber and fatter during the vacation. And although there's no need to declare war on summer, there's plenty we could do to combat the seasonal learning loss and weight gain.