Let's Talk Kids

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.
Goldman Environmental Prize Courtesy of The Goldman Environmental Prize

In the gritty 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 2½-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.
iStockphoto

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/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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.
iStockphoto

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.
iStockphoto

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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Parallels
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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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Australia To Stop Payments To Families Who Refuse Child Vaccinations

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks during a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, last month. Abbott announced Sunday that his government would close a loophole to discourage families from refusing childhood vaccinations.
Lukas Coch EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:25 pm

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Australia has announced plans to halt welfare payments and child care rebates to families that refuse to have their children vaccinated — an aggressive move aimed at clamping down on a rising number of parents who opt out of immunizations.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday that the government was closing a loophole and would stop payments of up to $11,500 per child (15,000 Australian dollars) for parents who don't get their kids immunized by claiming to be "conscientious objectors."

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:09 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Ready To Try Some Free-Range Parenting?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 9:24 am

In a radio interview with WBUR's Tom Ashbrook on March 26 , dinosaur paleontologist Scott Sampson, who's also the author of How to Raise a Wild Child, said that the average child in the U.S. today spends between 4 and 7 minutes outdoors daily — a 90 percent drop from the time spent outside by their parents.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Bundle Of Joyful Microbes: Mom's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Bacteria

During the first year of life, a baby's gut will become home to about 1,000 species of bacteria.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 7:35 pm

Right after birth, trillions of microbes rush into a baby's gut and start to grow. Most of these critters come from the mom's skin, birth canal and gut.

But exactly which types of bacteria take up residence in an infant's gut can depend on the mother's DNA, scientists reported Thursday.

The study, published in the journal Microbiome, focuses on a microbe called Bifidobacterium that potentially benefits babies.

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Let's Talk Kids
12:15 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "The Warmth of Spring"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Winter can be wicked, but the softer days of spring follow as a comfort.  The hyacinth peeking out of the thawing earth demonstrates that universal truth that joy follows pain, sun follows rain, and some satisfying resolution follows most every difficult experience.  If life teaches us anything, it should be to hope for better days.

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Around the Nation
4:10 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Bill To Limit Vaccine Exemptions Moves A Step Closer In California

People who oppose repealing the personal belief exemption gathered outside California's Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday.
Pauline Bartolone/Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:58 pm

A California bill that would allow students to opt out of mandatory school vaccinations only if they have a medical condition that justifies an exemption is one step closer to becoming law, though it still has a long way to go. The bill was introduced in the California Senate in response to a measles outbreak at Disneyland in late December that's now linked to almost 150 infections.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Breast Milk Sold Online Contaminated With Cow's Milk

The number of women buying, selling and sharing breast milk is growing rapidly. But it can be a risky purchase, scientists say, because a mom can't tell by looking at the milk whether it's safe and nutritious for her baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 6:54 pm

Selling breast milk is big business.

Each year tens of thousands of women post ads on websites, offering their extra milk for $1 to $3 an ounce: "My rich milk makes giants!" promises one seller. "Organic and Gluten Free Breastmilk," claims another. Then there's this one: "470 oz. of breastmilk must go!!!"

But some women online aren't delivering what they're advertising.

Scientists at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, analyzed 102 samples ordered from popular websites and found about 10 percent of them were "topped off" with cow's milk.

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Shots - Health News
8:54 am
Sun April 5, 2015

In Rural Virginia, Truckers Can Stop For Coffee And A Physical

Crystal Groah holds four-month-old son Brently while Dr. Rob Marsh examines him. He and his twin sister Savannah were premature at birth, but with care from Marsh both are doing well.
Sandy Hausman/WVTF

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 4:00 pm

Rob Marsh has a medical practice in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. He likes the freedom to open his office at night if a patient gets sick.

Marsh wants to make house calls, and he needs to pay a staff that has grown from 2 to 23. But many people in this area lack insurance.

"You've got to make budget to make payroll," he says.

The financial pressures of practicing medicine in the 21st century have led more doctors to take jobs with large hospitals and medical practices. Last year, only 17 percent of doctors were in solo practice.

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U.S.
4:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Rethinking How To Care For California's Most Troubled Children

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 5:25 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Let's Talk Kids
12:38 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Let's Talk Kids - "12 Lessons for the Heart and Mind"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

High holy days for a number of world religions are celebrated this time of year.  The Jewish Passover, the Buddhist Theravada New Year, the Baha’i Ridvan, and the Hindu observances of both Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti.

The names of these holidays may seem foreign to many of us, but they represent significant family practices, based on centuries of beliefs and traditions.  More familiar may Easter—the highest holy day for those who practice the Christian faith—also observed this time of year, and celebrated by many Americans.

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Shots - Health News
12:10 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Will Your Child Become Nearsighted? One Simple Way To Find Out

You really should go out and play. But I can't blame the TV for your nearsightedness.
FPG Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 4:13 pm

This is for everyone whose parents said, "Sitting too close to the TV is going to ruin your eyes." In other words, pretty much all of us.

Sitting too close to the TV doesn't predict nearsightedness, according to a study that tracked the vision of thousands of children over 20 years. Nor does doing a lot of close work.

Instead, as early as age 6 a child's refractive error — the measurements used for an eyeglass prescription — best predicts the risk.

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Noteworthy
12:00 am
Wed April 1, 2015

2015 Kids Count Details Poverty’s Damaging Effects

Local human service agencies, school districts and municipalities report that child poverty has become a long-term problem for their communities, says a contributor to a new assessment of children’s quality of life in Illinois.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Tweeners Trust Peers More Than Adults When Judging Risks

Jump off a roof? Ride a bike while texting? Well, what do you think?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:33 pm

If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

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The Salt
5:01 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Guess What Makes The Cut As A 'Smart Snack' In Schools? Hot Cheetos

Frito-Lay reformulated Flamin' Hot Cheetos, a perennial favorite among school kids, to meet new federal "Smart Snack" rules for schools.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 3:07 pm

Flamin' Hot Cheetos might conjure a lot of descriptors: spicy, crunchy, unnaturally fiery red. But it's a good bet that "healthy" didn't exactly spring to mind.

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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 — 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 Fri March 27, 2015 1:10 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 — 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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