Let's Talk Kids

Children's Health
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Teens Now Reach For E-Cigarettes Over Regular Ones

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A study of the lives of American teenagers tells us this - more of them use electronic cigarettes than smoke traditional cigarettes.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Mon December 15, 2014

To Stop Teen Drinking Parties, Fine The Parents

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:53 pm

When it comes to teenage drinking, the typical venue is a party — where some teens play drinking games and binge. It may surprise you to learn that the majority of parents are aware that alcohol is flowing at these events.

On any given weekend, some teenagers receive three to four text messages about parties, says Bettina Friese, a public health researcher at the Prevention Research Center in Oakland, Calif.

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Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Football Players Drill Without Helmets To Curb Concussions

Making and taking a hit chest to chest, instead of skull to skull, is easier to remember if you're not wearing a helmet, say University of New Hampshire Wildcat football players.
Jack Rodolico New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:49 pm

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are heading into a do-or-die quarterfinal football game this week against the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

And whether they win or not, there's one thing you can say about the Wildcats: They are likely the only football team in America trying to reduce concussions by practicing without helmets.

Football has a concussion problem, from the National Football League down to Pee-Wee teams. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it.

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Let's Talk Kids
2:57 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "A Baby's Reach"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

In my occupation of watching babies, I’ve noticed newborns actually reach for things that captivate them.  My studies had earlier taught me that reaching is achieved by four-month-olds, but sure enough, newborns exhibit a sort of primal reach for just a few weeks which extinguishes and then comes back a few months later.

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Does Snoring Leave Tots More Vulnerable To Childhood Obesity?

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 am

A solid night's sleep does more than recharge a growing brain — it may also help keep a growing body lean.

Breathing problems or a chronic lack of sleep early in life may double the risk that a child will be obese by age 15, according to research published Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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The Salt
4:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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Shots - Health News
12:47 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Despite Decline, Elective Early Births Remain A Medicaid Problem

The proportion of elective early deliveries under Medicaid has declined but remains a problem.
Health Affairs

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:00 pm

Nearly 9 percent of the births covered by Medicaid — or about 160,000 each year — were elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation. Early deliveries like those can lead to worse health outcomes for mothers and children and higher costs, according to a study published Monday.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 am
Mon December 8, 2014

When It Comes To Day Care, Parents Want All Children Vaccinated

According to a national poll on children's health, over 80 percent of parents believe all children in day care should be required to be up to date on their vaccines.
Alison Bruzek NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 3:55 pm

There's been a lot of attention drawn to people who don't believe in vaccinating their children, but there are many more people who believe that vaccines are the best way to protect children from contagious disease. A recent poll shows just how concerned parents are about vaccines when it comes to putting their children in day care.

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Let's Talk Kids
1:25 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "Kids and Electronics"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Most families I know struggle with screen time.  Televisions, phones, computers and iPads—a plethora of electronic communication and entertainment devices lure children and their parents.  The use of electronics is an issue that begs for management control from this generation of parents.  Obesity, sleep issues, behavioral problems, impaired academic performance, and a desensitization to violence have all been tied to over-exposure to electronics.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Unhappy Toy Story: Foot-Powered Scooters Drive ER Visits

NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:06 am

Vroom! Vroom! Ow!!!!

When it comes to toys that cause serious injuries, those little scooters kids push along with one foot are unique.

A look at trends in injuries that sent kids to the emergency room over more than 20 years shows an Everest-like mountain of problems with ride-on toys, including scooters, that reached its zenith in 2001 — an estimated 109,000 injuries.

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NPR Story
4:06 am
Thu December 4, 2014

For Ebola Orphans In Liberia, It's A Bittersweet New Beginning

Makutu Jabateh hugs her daughter, Mabana Konneh, 5, as the little girl returns home to her neighborhood in Jacobstown, Monrovia.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 2:57 pm

Ebola has "orphaned" about 2,000 children in Liberia, health authorities say. Some children are being looked after in two shelters in the country's capital, Monrovia. Reuniting the kids with their relatives, or finding them foster homes, can take time.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Wed December 3, 2014

CDC Considers Counseling Males Of All Ages On Circumcision

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 7:18 am

Draft federal recommendations don't usually raise eyebrows, but this one certainly will — that males of all ages, including teenage boys, should be counseled on the health benefits of circumcision.

In the past 15 years, studies in Africa have found that circumcision lowers men's risk of being infected with HIV during heterosexual intercourse by 50 to 60 percent. Being circumcised also reduces men's risk of infection with the herpes virus and human papillomavirus.

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The Salt
2:42 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Of Carrots And Kids: Healthy School Lunches That Don't Get Tossed

Samples of carrots cooked three ways are placed on a table for the kids at Walker-Jones Educational Campus, in Washington, D.C., to sample after they have finished lunch. The crowd favorite will later end up on the school lunch menu.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:50 am

You can lead a child to vegetables, but can you make her eat them?

A child, for instance, like Salem Tesfaye, a first-grader at Walker-Jones Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. Tesfaye picked up a lunch today that's full of nutrition: chicken in a whole-wheat wrap, chopped tomatoes and lettuce from local farms, a slice of cantaloupe and milk.

But, she confesses, sometimes she throws her lunch out. I ask her what she did today. "I threw all of it away," she says softly.

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Shots - Health News
10:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Doctors Warn That Soft Bedding Puts Babies At Risk

The use of infant bedding by mother's age, between 1993 and 2010. Data provided by the National Infant Sleep Position Study.
Alison Bruzek NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:15 pm

While blankets, pillows and quilts sound like the makings of a cozy bed for an adult, they can be downright dangerous in an infant's crib.

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Shots - Health News
8:03 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Eyeing That BB Gun For Christmas? Don't Go There, Doctors Say

In the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, all Ralphie wanted was a BB gun.
The Kobal Collection/MGM/UA

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:59 am

If you've seen the classic movie A Christmas Story, you know that Ralphie really, really wanted that BB gun. And you know that his mother, his teacher, even the department store Santa all said: "You'll shoot your eye out."

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Shots - Health News
12:58 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Those Phone-Obsessed Teenagers Aren't As Lonely As You Think

Loneliness may be part of the human condition, but social media don't seem to be harming teenagers' social lives.
Neil Webb Ikon Images/Corbis

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 3:58 pm

A recent dinner with my friends went something like this:

"Wait, who is going to take a Snapchat of all of us when our drinks arrive?"

"Oh no, I can't! My phone is dying."

"Guys, this is such a stereotypical millennial conversation. I am totally tweeting about this."

So I guess I understand why older folk fret that youngsters these days are losing out on authentic social connections because of social media.

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Tools Of The Trade
2:22 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Tools Of The Trade: The Presidential Physical Fitness Test

Patches for the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program in Lauren Horton's office at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, recorder and Bunsen burner.

Mere mention of today's tool sends shivers up the spines of entire generations — the tool long used to measure physical fitness: the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Blind From Birth, But Able To Use Sound To 'See' Faces

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:04 pm

A brain area that recognizes faces remains functional even in people who have been blind since birth, researchers say. The finding, presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this week, suggests that facial recognition is so important that evolution has hardwired it into the human brain.

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Let's Talk Kids
1:25 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "Love Is Love"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The most significant change in family functioning I have seen in my nearly thirty years of working with families is the changing role of dads.  By some estimates, over the last twenty years, the amount of time fathers spend with their children has doubled.  And most of that increase is spent in real caregiving tasks, like feeding, bathing, and the other daily tasks of raising children—even when they require an adjusted work schedule. In some families, dads are staying at home to raise kids.

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The Salt
10:36 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Soda Companies Step Up Their Marketing To Black And Latino Kids

Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:06 pm

While beverage companies have cut their marketing of unhealthy drinks to children on TV and websites overall, they have ramped up marketing to black and Latino kids and teens, who have higher rates of obesity than white youth, a study finds.

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Shots - Health News
10:21 am
Wed November 19, 2014

You Can Monitor Your Baby's Vital Signs 24/7, But Should You?

The Owlet, which is not yet on the market, is designed to measure a baby's heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Courtesy of Owlet Care

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:23 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has hovered over a newborn's crib, wondering, "Is she breathing?" Tech companies are now offering to help parents manage that anxiety with devices that monitor a baby's vital signs and beam them to a smartphone.

But that might not be such a good idea, according to Dr. David King, a pediatric researcher at the University of Sheffield. He first heard baby vital signs monitors being discussed on the radio, and "I suspected there wasn't much evidence behind it, because I knew cardiovascular monitoring wasn't recommended in SIDS."

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Goats and Soda
4:05 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Dangerous Deliveries: Ebola Leaves Moms And Babies Without Care

A woman enters the Ebola treatment center at the Island Hospital outside of Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 6. She said she was bleeding heavily from a miscarriage and was turned away from other clinics in the city.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:24 am

For more than two decades, Lucy Barh has been helping women deliver babies. Even during Liberia's violent civil war, when other midwives left, Barh stuck around.

But none of this prepared her for a patient she saw a few months ago.

"I was on duty that day when the patient came in," says Barh, at the headquarters of the Liberian Midwives' Association in Monrovia. "We did the examination. She was not in labor."

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Goats and Soda
4:39 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

For Babies, Preterm Birth Is Now The No. 1 Cause Of Death

Premature and sick babies are cared for in the neonatal unit at Isaie Jeanty maternity hospital, operated by Doctors Without Borders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 7:30 pm

Babies around the world face a lot of risks to their health: pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, to name a few.

But it turns out that no single infectious disease takes a greater toll than the simple fact of being born premature.

Premature birth is now the single largest cause of death among babies and young children. Every year, 1.09 million children under age 5 die due to health complications that stem from being born before week 37 of pregnancy (a 40-week pregnancy is considered full-term).

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Goats and Soda
4:29 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

How Bacteria In The Gut Help Fight Off Viruses

You've got a trillion friends in low places: Bacteria in the gut may protect against viruses by signaling their presence to your immune system.
Michael DeForge for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:56 pm

If it was a snake, it would have bitten us.

The secret to stopping a deadly stomach virus may be sitting right there in our guts, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science. Or more specifically, the treatment is in our microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that inconspicuously hang out in the GI tracts.

Immunologists at Georgia State University found that a tiny piece of gut bacteria can prevent and cure a rotavirus infection in mice.

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Let's Talk Kids
5:35 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "Another Season"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

When an older child leaves home for college or career, second born children often blossom in one way or another.  Parents would do well to be prepared.

Two families I know are experiencing this phenomenon right now.  In one family, an older sister left for college in August.  She’d been a challenging teen, but her younger sister was more compliant. 

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Shots - Health News
10:10 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Preemies May Be Exposed To High Levels Of Phthalates In The NICU

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 9:06 am

Parents with a premature baby in the neonatal intensive care unit don't need one more thing to worry about. But researchers say that plasticizers used in medical equipment may pose unique risks to very small babies.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

The Risk Of Brain Injuries Shifts As Children Grow Up

As children grow, they learn to crawl, to walk and then to drive. It turns out, the way they get hurt, and in particular their heads, evolves as as their forms of motion change.

Small children suffer head injuries from falling, while teenagers are at risk from car accidents, assaults and sports injuries, according to a paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Goats and Soda
5:03 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

A Smartphone Gadget Pumps Up Breast-Milk Banks

Newborn in an incubator at Greytown Hospital in South Africa in 2009.
Wendy Stone Courtesy of PATH

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 9:37 am

Breast-milk banks are a great way to help babies whose mothers aren't able to breast-feed. Breast milk, in case you didn't know, does a better job than formula at bolstering a baby's immune system, especially if the tot is premature or underweight.

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Children's Health
4:09 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Thousands Of Kids Sickened By Laundry Pods That Are Hard To Resist

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Detergent pods are dangerous for young children. That's the message out today from a group of poison experts. For the first time, the researchers documented the hazards posed by these increasingly popular products.

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The Two-Way
4:43 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Study: Detergent Pods Can Harm Children Who Play With Them

Laundry detergent makers recently introduced miniature packets, but doctors across the country say children are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets with candy and swallowing them.
Pat Sullivan Associated Press

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 6:58 am

It's generally a good idea to have the number of the poison control center handy. That's an even better plan if you have laundry detergent and small children at home.

For decades, poison centers received many calls each year about children swallowing laundry detergent or getting it in their eyes. That problem has gotten worse due to new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets.

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