Let's Talk Kids

The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Calif. Moves Closer To Banning Vaccine 'Personal Belief' Exemptions

A photo from April shows protesters in Sacramento, Calif., rallying against a bill that would require all school-age children to be vaccinated. The state Senate just passed the measure.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 4:49 pm

California's state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate "personal belief exemptions" that currently allow parents to opt out of having their school-age children vaccinated.

SB 277, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica, passed 25 to 10 and now advances to the Assembly.

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Let's Talk Kids
1:08 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "Quality and Quantity"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

A recent study quantified the hours spent by moms and dads with their children aged 3-12 during the years 1965-2010.  In 1965, moms spent 10.5 hours each week engaged with their kids and dads spent 2.6 hours each week engaged with their kids.  In 2010, moms spent an average of 13.7 hours each week and dads spent 7.2 hours.  The study concluded that mothers spending more time with children is not necessarily linked to kids’ success.

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7:27 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Vindication For Fidgeters: Movement May Help Students With ADHD Concentrate

Allowing kids with ADHD to move around in class may help them collect their thoughts.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 8:46 am

Are you a pen-clicker? A hair-twirler? A knee-bouncer? Did you ever get in trouble for fidgeting in class? Don't hang your head in shame. All that movement may be helping you think.

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4:05 am
Mon May 11, 2015

South Korea's Single Moms Struggle To Remove A Social Stigma

On Sunday, about 70 marchers gathered at Seoul's City Hall Square to raise attention for South Korea's single moms. The annual event is in its fifth year.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 9:40 am

Monday marks a different kind of Mother's Day in South Korea. It's Single Mother's Day, an effort by civic groups to raise awareness of Korean society's unwed moms.

Despite Korea's rapid economic advancement, the country has yet to catch up to the notion of nontraditional families. Single moms are still forced into the shadows of society — ostracized by family members, discriminated against at work and all the while, trying to raise children without a network of support.

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Mental Health
5:42 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

In Palo Alto's High-Pressure Schools, Suicides Lead To Soul-Searching

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:51 am

Since October of last year, four teenagers in California's Palo Alto school district have taken their own lives. Tragically, it's not the first cluster of teen suicides this area has seen: In 2009 and 2010, five local teenagers killed themselves by stepping in front of trains, and more suicides followed the next year.

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4:18 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

Will Pregnancy Tests In Alaska Bars Dissuade Moms-To-Be From Drinking?

A free pregnancy test dispenser hangs next to a condom dispenser in the women's restroom at the Peanut Farm bar in Anchorage.
Anne Hillman/KSKA

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 12:34 pm

"Remember the last time you had sex? Were you drinking? Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause lifelong problems for the child."

That's part of the warning on a poster in the women's bathroom at the Peanut Farm bar in Anchorage. It depicts the silhouette of a pregnant woman guzzling straight from a bottle. And it's affixed to a pregnancy test dispenser hanging on the wall.

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Shots - Health News
4:57 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Can Volleyball Fight Crime? East Palo Alto Says, 'Game On'

In a FIT zone at Bell Street Park in East Palo Alto, Calif., friends from the neighborhood now gather regularly to play volleyball.
Jeremy Raff/KQED

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:01 pm

Sia Kailahi is a tough-looking amateur boxer with dark eyeliner and tattoo-covered arms, but today her boxing gloves are off. She tosses up a volleyball and smacks a serve over a net.

A dozen people, laughing, keep the ball airborne at Bell Street Park in East Palo Alto, Calif. The park sits right next to a freeway exit in a city that has significant crime, despite being surrounded by affluent communities and technology companies. This park has a history as an easy stop-off point for buying and selling drugs.

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Children's Health
5:10 pm
Sat May 9, 2015

Boosting Education For Babies And Their Parents

A group of mothers and infants celebrate a recent graduation from the Harlem Children's Zone Baby College program.
Marty Lipp Courtesy of Harlem Children's Zone

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 11:20 pm

The Harlem Children's Zone is a nonprofit known for its innovative, multifaceted approach to ending the cycle to poverty. It's garnered kudos from President Obama and philanthropists like William Louis-Dreyfus, who recently announced he would donate up to $50 million to the organization.

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Goats and Soda
3:34 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

As Ebola Leaves Liberia, Measles Makes A Forceful Comeback

A nurse holds a young girl who was vaccinated at the kickoff of a national measles prevention campaign in Liberia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 9:38 pm

On the northern side of Monrovia, a team of nurses is vaccinating children on the veranda of the AfroMed clinic. Tables with boxes of rubber gloves and vaccine coolers are arranged in the shade out of the intense, tropical sun.

A mother rocks her crying baby, who has just been jabbed with a measles shot. Martina Seyah, who brought her 2-year-old daughter, Irena, to get the shot, says parents in the neighborhood are very worried their children could get measles or other diseases.

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Promises, Promises: Is Big Food Marketing Less Junk To Kids On TV?

TV marketing that pushes foods high in salt, sugar and fat to children can put their long-term health at risk, according to past research. So has Big Food changed its ways?

It's not hard to connect the dots between what kids see on TV and what they eat. Advertising works.

And researchers have documented that marketing practices that push items like sugary cereals, salted snacks and fast food put children's long-term health at risk, by promoting unhealthy eating habits.

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Goats and Soda
11:10 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Rescued From Boko Haram, How Can They Reclaim Their Lives?

Lami Musa, 27, cradles her 5-day-old baby girl at a refugee camp clinic. One of the women rescued from Boko Haram, she says her husband was killed before she was abducted by Islamist extremists.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 12:22 pm

How do you help a former captive reclaim her life?

That's the question mental health professionals face as they treat more than 200 women and children freed from the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram last Saturday in Nigeria.

According to reports, the majority of those rescued are children and a number of the teens and women are pregnant.

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Shots - Health News
10:54 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Despite Recent Measles Outbreak, Resistance To Vaccinations Persists

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 4:08 pm

A measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has exposed gaps in immunization against the highly infectious disease.

All told this year, 169 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia were reported sick with measles through May 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Childhood vaccination remains a potent public health weapon against the spread of many illnesses, including measles. But objections and worries about vaccination remain, too.

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Goats and Soda
7:58 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Scientists Crack A 50-Year-Old Mystery About The Measles Vaccine

Worth a little pain? Back in 1990, a school boy got a measles shot in the U.K., and it turns out, he got more than protection against the measles.
Photofusion UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 12:52 pm

Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.

But something else happened.

Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea were cut by half.

Scientists saw the same phenomenon when the vaccine came to England and parts of Europe. And they see it today when developing countries introduce the vaccine.

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4:19 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Some Very Premature Babies Can Survive With Aggressive Treatment, Report Finds

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 6:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Let's Talk Kids
1:00 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "The Watchful Eye"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Mothers do many things.  They wash, wipe, pick up, put down, stack, mix, measure, talk, sing, read, play, redirect, and laugh.  And that may be in the first 15 minutes of the day.  Most mothers are veritable whirling dervishes of activity.

And yet a mother’s most important job may look deceptively passive.  A mother’s most significant task may be to simply look at her children.

A mother sees subtle changes from day to day. She notices those newly-braced teeth shifting before the first week is out. She’s first to observe when a child is about to outgrow his shoes.

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Shots - Health News
10:36 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Whooping Cough Vaccine's Protection Fades Quickly

Vials of Tdap vaccine sit on a table at a Solano County, Calif., health fair in August 2010.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 6:11 pm

Lately, Californians have been focused on a measles outbreak that got its start at Disneyland. But in the past five years, state health officials have declared epidemics of whooping cough twice — in 2010 and in 2014, when 11,000 people were sickened and three infants died.

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Concussions Can Be More Likely In Practices Than In Games


Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:28 pm

Parents worry about a child getting a concussion in the heat of competition, but they also need to be thinking about what happens during practices, a study finds.

High school and college football players are more likely to suffer a concussion during practices than in a game, according a study published May 4 in JAMA Pediatrics. Here are the numbers:

  • In youth games, 54 percent of concussions happened during games.
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The Salt
3:29 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

When You Make Kids' Meals Healthier By Default, They Still Eat 'Em Up

The revamped children's menu at Silver Diner
Courtesy of Silver Diner

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:09 pm

Will a kids' meal sans fries and soda still tempt the youngest diners at restaurants?

Chef Ype Von Hengst certainly thinks so. He's the co-founder of Silver Diner — a chain of fast-casual restaurants in Virginia and Maryland.

Customers want healthier options for their kids, Hengst says. "We tempt them with the stuff they like, but we make sure it's also good for them," he says.

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TED Radio Hour
8:49 am
Fri April 24, 2015

How Can Kids Help Parents Manage Their Family?

"[The family is] like a startup — where basically everybody has to contribute, you have to adapt all the time, you need some order, but you've got to keep moving forward." — Bruce Feiler
Courtesy Of TED

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 9:38 am

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Getting Organized

About Bruce Feiler's TED Talk

Parents help their kids manage their lives. But according to Bruce Feiler, it can work the other way around. It just takes a little insight drawn from Japanese computer programming principles.

About Bruce Feiler

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Let's Talk Kids
12:50 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "The Intense Child"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

He refuses to brush his teeth, adamantly opposes wearing clothes, and falls to the floor with a tantrum when you ask him to pick up his backpack.

And that’s all before breakfast.

Some children experience everything in their lives with such intensity that their reactions understandably exhaust parents.

At the same time, other children move through their days with little reaction at all.  These easy-going kids take life as it comes and rarely throw a fit.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Young Adults With Autism More Likely To Be Unemployed, Isolated

Credit: NPR; Source: National Longitudinal Transition Study-2/A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:12 am

The transition to adulthood marks a big turning point in life for everyone, but for young people on the autism spectrum that transition can be really tough.

Young adults with autism had lower employment rates and higher rates of complete social isolation than people with other disabilities, according to a report published Tuesday by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

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Goats and Soda
3:00 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

You Don't Want To Mess With An Angry Mother

Phyllis Omido is one of six winners of the 2015 Goldman Environmental prizes.
Courtesy of The Goldman Environmental Prize

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 3:42 pm

In the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, Phyllis Omido knew that industry could pose a danger to the surrounding communities. She'd worked on environmental impact assessment reports for several factories.

But when her 2 1/2-year-old son, King David, got sick with a mysterious condition, it didn't occur to her that it might be from environmental toxins. He had a high fever that wasn't responding to medication. He couldn't sleep. He was plagued with diarrhea, and his eyes became runny. He spent two weeks in the hospital, and still no one could figure out what was wrong.

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Shots - Health News
2:09 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Doctors Don't Always Ask About Pet-Related Health Risks

Reptiles like leopard geckos can bring Salmonella along with them.

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:07 am

If you're being treated for cancer, an iguana might not be the pet for you.

Ditto if you're pregnant, elderly or have small children at home.

Pets can transmit dozens of diseases to humans, but doctors aren't always as good as they should be in asking about pets in the home and humans' health issues, a study finds.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun April 19, 2015

See Priya Cook: Gender Bias Pervades Textbooks Worldwide

A student reads inside her home in Srinagar, India, as her sister points to a sketch resembling a male police officer in a first-grade textbook
Mukhtar Khan AP

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 10:07 am

"If aliens beamed onto Earth and read our school textbooks, they wouldn't have a clue about what women contribute to our society," says Rae Blumberg, a sociologist at the University of Virginia.

Blumberg has spent years looking at textbooks from all over the world. In almost every country she has studied, women are either completely written out of texts — or they're portrayed in stereotypical, often subservient roles.

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Children's Health
4:09 am
Fri April 17, 2015

E-Cigarettes Grow In Popularity Among Teen Students, Survey Says

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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Let's Talk Kids
3:28 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "The Real Work of Pregnancy"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

When we think about “prenatal development,” we mostly refer to the amazing process whereby a fertilized egg becomes a newborn.  That journey is nothing short of miraculous when you consider the rapid progression of what resembles a tadpole turning into a fully functional person with a heart that beats, lungs that breathe, arms and legs that move, and a brain that processes an astounding amount of information.  

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Some Doctors Still Dismiss Parents' Concerns About Autism

Some doctors aren't up to date on how to assess autism symptoms in very young children.

Most children with autism get diagnosed around age 5, when they start school. But signs of the developmental disorder may be seen as early as 1 year old.

Yet even if a parent notices problems making eye contact or other early signs of autism, some doctors still dismiss those concerns, a study finds, saying the child will "grow out of it." That can delay diagnosis and a child's access to therapy.

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2:34 am
Wed April 15, 2015

The All-Work, No-Play Culture Of South Korean Education

Students take the annual College Scholastic Ability Test, or college entrance exam, at a high school in Seoul last November. Students face enormous pressure to do well on the test and get into a top university. Airplanes are grounded on the day of the test so they won't disturb the students.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 2:39 pm

In South Korea, grim stories of teen suicide come at a regular clip. Recently, two 16-year-old girls in the city of Daejeon jumped to their deaths, leaving a note saying, "We hate school."

It's just one tragedy in a country where suicide is the leading cause of death among teens, and 11- to 15-year-olds report the highest amount of stress out of 30 developed nations.

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Goats and Soda
11:11 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Disease Detection Gets A Boost With Plans For A CDC In Africa

Secretary of State John Kerry and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma signed an agreement Monday to establish the first Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa. The U.S. will provide technical advice and a few staff for the agency.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:02 pm

In 1946, a malaria outbreak across the Southern U.S. catalyzed the formation of what would eventually become the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Then in 2002, China's CDC began its operations just as an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, took hold.

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