Let's Talk Kids

Shots - Health News
11:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

New York City To Teens: TXT ME With Mental Health Worries

Most teenagers with mental health problems don't get any help.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:57 am

The majority of teenagers with mental health issues don't get help. But maybe if help were just a text message away β€” they wouldn't be so hesitant to reach out.

That's the thinking behind NYC Teen Text, a pilot program at 10 New York public high schools that allows teens to get help with mental health issues by text.

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Shots - Health News
1:51 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

A Single Gene May Determine Why Some People Get So Sick With The Flu

The H1N1 swine flu virus kills some people, while others don't get very sick at all. A genetic variation offers one clue.
Centre For Infections/Health Pro Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:07 pm

It's hard to predict who will get the flu in any given year. While some people may simply spend a few days in bed with aches and a stuffy nose, others may become so ill that they end up in the hospital.

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Goats and Soda
8:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

What's Up With Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Their Children?

Two drops of polio vaccine are administered to a child in a Nigerian health clinic.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:19 pm

A decade ago in Nigeria, rumors spread that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. That led to a boycott of the vaccine in 2003 and a resurgence in the poliovirus three years later.

The story points up a key point about vaccines. Confidence is critical.

A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks as why people aren't confident in vaccines. The reasons vary, from a belief the vaccine isn't safe to a bad experience with a previous vaccination.

And the results can be devastating.

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Shots - Health News
2:38 am
Tue March 24, 2015

How 2 Children With Leukemia Helped Transform Its Treatment

Both James Eversull (left) and Pat Patchell were treated with experimental chemotherapy and radiation for leukemia as children in the 1960s. Together, they're now some of the country's oldest leukemia survivors..
Courtesy of James Eversull; Courtesy of Pat Patchell

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:50 am

When children are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia now, they have more than a 90 percent chance of survival.

But when James Eversull was told he had leukemia in 1964, there wasn't much hope.

He was just 18 months old when his parents discovered what was wrong.

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Scientists Urge Temporary Moratorium On Human Genome Edits

Microbiologist Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley. She's co-inventor of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology β€” a tool that's recently made the snipping and splicing of genes much easier.
Cailey Cotner UC Berkeley

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:58 pm

A new technology called CRISPR could allow scientists to alter the human genetic code for generations. That's causing some leading biologists and bioethicists to sound an alarm.

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Goats and Soda
5:07 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

How Malaria In The Brain Kills: Doctors Solve A Medical Mystery

The effects of malaria in the brain are clear: A healthy brain, right, has many grooves and crevices. But when the brain swells up, left, these crevices smooth out.
Courtesy of Michigan State University

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 11:16 am

Malaria is one of the oldest scourges of mankind. Yet it's been a mystery how the deadliest form of the disease kills children.

One doctor in Michigan has dedicated her life to figuring that out. Now she and her team report their findings in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The key to solving the mystery was looking inside the brain.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Teens Say They Change Clothes And Do Homework While Driving

Hey, I'm not texting. Surely this is safe.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:08 pm

While most teenagers recognize that texting while driving is a bad idea, they may be less clear about the risk of other activities – like changing clothes.

Twenty-seven percent of teens say they sometimes change clothes and shoes while driving, a study finds. They also reported that they often change contact lenses, put on makeup and do homework behind the wheel.

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Goats and Soda
5:36 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Breast-Feeding Boosts Chances Of Success, Study In Brazil Finds

Brazilian mothers participate in a demonstration in 2011 for the right to breastfeed in public, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Eduardo Anizelli/STF LatinContent/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:23 am

Babies who are breast-fed may be more likely to be successful in life, a provocative study published Tuesday suggests.

The study followed more than 3,000 babies into adulthood in Brazil. The researchers found those who were breast-fed scored slightly higher in intelligence tests in their 30s, stayed in school longer and earned more money than those who were given formula.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Vaccination Gaps Helped Fuel Disneyland Measles Spread

Disneyland and California Adventure Park seen in late December, soon after measles was contracted by some visitors to Disneyland.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 8:56 am

California has been dealing with a big measles outbreak since December, when cases emerged among visitors to Disneyland in Orange County.

Measles spread quickly afterward. As of Friday, the state had confirmed 133 measles cases among residents since December.

Of the people who got sick and for whom the state could determine vaccination status, 57 people hadn't been vaccinated against measles and 20 people had had at least one shot of the vaccine.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 am
Thu March 12, 2015

When Life Overwhelms, This Group Lends A Healthy Hand

Ella Barnes-Williams visits the thrift shop associated with Martha's Table, a nonprofit social services organization in Washington, D.C.
Anders Kelto/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 1:03 pm

Ella Barnes-Williams is dealing with a lot right now.

For starters, her government-subsidized house in Northeast Washington, D.C., leaks when it rains. She points at a big brown splotch on the ceiling.

"It's like mold, mold, mold all over," she says. "I've got to clean that now 'cause that just came back."

Barnes-Williams is 54 and lives with her 30-year-old daughter and three young grandchildren. All three grandkids have severe asthma, which makes the mold a serious problem. And she and her daughter are diabetic.

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The Salt
4:35 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Why Some Schools Serve Local Food And Others Can't (Or Won't)

A lunch served by the Yarmouth, Maine, School Department on Sept. 26, 2014, featured Sloppy Joe's made with Maine beef and local beets, carrots, apples and potato salad. More than 80 percent of Maine schools said they served local foods in a survey conducted by the USDA.
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 3:23 pm

For many years, if a public school district wanted to serve students apples or milk from local farmers, it could face all kinds of hurdles. Schools were locked into strict contracts with distributors, few of whom saw any reason to start bringing in local products. Those contracts also often precluded schools from working directly with local farmers.

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Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Would A Pill To Protect Teens From HIV Make Them Feel Invincible?

Truvada can dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infection when taken as a preventative medicine β€” if taken every day. Studies are underway to determine if young people are likely to take the pill consistently.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:08 am

Leon Richardson is 18 years old and tall, charismatic and thoughtful about his sexual health.

He understands that as a young, gay black man, he is in the demographic with the highest rate of HIV infections in the country. But when Richardson learned that he could be part of an HIV prevention pill research study for young people, he was skeptical.

"I was scared. I had to really think about it, 'What is this drug going to do to me?' " he says.

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The Salt
10:12 am
Wed March 11, 2015

How Big Sugar Steered Research On A 'Tooth Decay Vaccine'

Garry Gay Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 2:18 pm

Sugar can promote tooth decay. Duh.

So if you want good oral health, it makes sense to brush and floss regularly and perhaps limit the amount of sugar you consume. Right?

In 2015, this may seem fairly obvious.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

A Sheriff And A Doctor Team Up To Map Childhood Trauma

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell (left) and Dr. Nancy Hardt, University of Florida.
Bryan Thomas for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 11:30 am

The University of Florida's Dr. Nancy Hardt has an unusual double specialty: She's both a pathologist and an OB-GYN. For the first half of her career, she brought babies into the world. Then she switched β€” to doing autopsies on people after they die.

It makes perfect sense to her.

"Birth, and death. It's the life course," Hardt explains.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Do Parents Nurture Narcissists By Pouring On The Praise?

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 8:16 am

When a kid does something amazing, you want to tell her so. You might tell her that she's very smart. You might tell her that she's a very special kid. Or you might say that she must have worked really hard.

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Shots - Health News
12:57 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

To Head Off Trauma's Legacy, Start Young

Silvester Fullard fixes dinner for his 11-year-old son Tavestsiar. When Tavestsiar first came to live with his dad in 2010, he was closed off, Silvester says; "he didn't want to be around other kids."
Charles Mostoller for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:25 pm

At the Cobbs Creek Clinic in West Philadelphia, Dr. Roy Wade relies on some of the same tools every pediatrician uses for exams β€” blood pressure cuffs, a stethoscope, and, of course, tongue depressors.

He also uses particular questions to get at something that few doctors try to measure: childhood adversity.

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Around the Nation
12:04 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Many Unaccompanied Minors No Longer Alone, But Still In Limbo

Boys wait in line to make a phone call at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona in June. Many of the minors who arrived from Central America last year are now awaiting court hearings to determine if they can stay in the U.S.
Ross D. Franklin/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:45 am

Last summer, NPR spoke with a teenage boy who fled the violence in his home country to come live with his aunt just outside of Washington, D.C. Jose was just one among the wave of unaccompanied youths from Central America who poured across the border last year.

Nine months later, he says he's very worried about the safety of his three younger siblings, who still live back home. We agreed not to use Jose's full name or say which Central American country he's from, because his parents were murdered there in 2012 for not cooperating with drug traffickers from a local gang.

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Shots - Health News
11:10 am
Mon March 9, 2015

For Young People In Rural Areas, Suicide Poses A Growing Threat

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 4:59 pm

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults, and those who live in rural areas are especially at risk.

For young people between the ages of 10 and 24, the suicide rates in rural areas are nearly double those of urban areas, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. And that disparity is growing.

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Shots - Health News
2:55 am
Mon March 9, 2015

The Gentle Cesarean: More Like A Birth Than An Operation

Kristen Caminiti cuddles her son Connor while doctors stitch her up following a C-section.
Courtesy of Kristen DeBoy Caminiti

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 1:30 pm

There are many reasons women need cesareans. Sometimes the situation is truly life-threatening. But often the problem is that labor simply isn't progressing. That was the case for Valerie Echo Duckett, 35, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. After receiving an epidural for pain, Duckett's contractions stopped. By late evening she was told she'd need a C-section to deliver her son, Avery. Duckett says she has vague memories of being wheeled into the operating room, strapped down and shaking from cold.

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Code Switch
4:35 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Transgender Students Learn To Navigate School Halls

Eight-year-old TomΓ‘s Rocha, a third grader at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., is among a handful of gender non-conforming students at the school.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 11:28 am

The first time I learned that gender could be fluid was in sex ed in the ninth grade. I remember the teacher mumbling under her breath that some people don't identify their gender with the biological sex they were born with.

At the time it didn't faze me because I'd never known anyone who'd talked about it or felt that way. But now, three years later, I have a 16-year-old classmate who's transgender. His name is Jace McDonald.

"That is the name I have chosen," Jace says. "It's what my parents would have named me if I was born biologically male."

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Let's Talk Kids
12:55 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "A Shot in the Arm"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

It was midnight when our toddler awoke with an astronomical temperature.Β  We hated to wake him, but our pediatrician responded eagerly, as though he’d been sitting by the phone waiting for our call.Β  Dr. Chiligiris listened patiently as we frantically described her fever, then assured us he would wait while we put down the phone and went to check on more symptoms.Β  After a short time, he’d talked us through a frightening episode, helped us plan a course of action, and bid us a peaceful goodnight.

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Shots - Health News
2:43 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Fertility Clinic Courts Controversy With Treatment That Recharges Eggs

Along with sperm, the in vitro procedure adds fresh mitochondria extracted from less mature cells in the same woman's ovaries. The hope is to revitalize older eggs with these extra "batteries." But the FDA still wants proof that the technique works and is safe.
Chris Nickels for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 3:57 pm

Melissa and her husband started trying to have a baby right after they got married. But nothing was happening. So they went to a fertility clinic and tried round after round of everything the doctors had to offer. Nothing worked.

"They basically told me, 'You know, you have no chance of getting pregnant,' " says Melissa, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her privacy.

But Melissa, 30, who lives in Ontario, Canada, didn't give up. She switched clinics and kept trying. She got pregnant once, but that ended in a miscarriage.

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Goats and Soda
4:48 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

How To Help Children Orphaned By Ebola

Promise Cooper, 16, Emmanuel Junior Cooper, 11, and Benson Cooper, 15, of Monrovia lost their mother, Princess, in July and their father, Emmanuel, in August.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:05 pm

The Ebola epidemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on children.

More than 1,000 children have died from the disease. Even more have lost parents, grandparents and siblings.

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Shots - Health News
1:45 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

College Help For Students Cuts Drinking, But Not For Long

Women and younger students were more likely to drink less after alcohol-education programs.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 10:24 am

Most colleges require students to go through some sort of alcohol education program. When I was a freshman in college, I was required to play a video game that involved helping Franklin the frog navigate through various college parties without succumbing to alcohol poisoning. (Easy, Frank, remember to hydrate).

Other universities require students to watch educational videos or take online quizzes about appropriate alcohol use.

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Shots - Health News
3:10 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

10 Questions Some Doctors Are Afraid To Ask

Vidhya Nagarajan for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 4:03 pm

Imagine that the next time you go in for a physical, you're told there's a new tool that can estimate your risk for many of the major health problems that affect Americans: heart disease, diabetes, depression, addiction, just to name a few.

It's not a crystal ball, but might hint at your vulnerability to disease and mental illness β€” long before you start smoking or drinking, gain a lot of weight, develop high blood pressure or actually get sick.

And all you have to do is answer 10 yes-or-no questions about your childhood:

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

What Shapes Health? Webcast Explores Social And Economic Factors

Mitchell Funk/Getty Images/Harvard

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 11:14 am

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick β€” and who does not.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Uzuri Pease-Greene, right, leads a walk through the public housing complex in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where her family lives. She is working to have the old buildings replaced.
Talia Herman for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:20 pm

Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."

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Goats and Soda
3:51 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

How 'Flower Beds' Give Love And Lentils To Moms And Babies

Mina, a 22-year-old mother in Jamkani, Chhattisgarh, says sending her child to the Fulwari gives her more time to farm and collect forest wood.
Ankita Rao for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:09 pm

Chhattisgarh is one of the world's worst places to raise a baby, let alone be one. The state in central India has some of the worst health indicators in the country, including sky-high child mortality and extreme malnutrition.

For decades, aid organizations tried to improve the health of moms and babies in Chhattisgarh. Little made a dent. But then a garden of flowers rose up in the state.

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Shots - Health News
2:34 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 4:28 pm

In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something potentially revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.

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Shots - Health News
2:18 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Take The ACE Quiz β€” And Learn What It Does And Doesn't Mean

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Source: CDC

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:23 pm

An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems. You can take the test below:

So, you've got your score. Now what?

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