Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:27 pm
Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.
A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:35 pm
Most sore throats aren't strep. But because strep bacteria can in rare cases cause rheumatic fever, people often feel like they should get tested for possible strep infection.
It might be possible to skip that step someday by checking whether your neighbors have been getting strep throat, researchers say. Aside from reducing the cost and inconvenience of needless clinic visits, the neighborhood strep check could reduce the risk of being needlessly treated with antibiotics.
Weight-loss surgery is becoming increasingly popular because it's the only treatment that pretty much guarantees weight loss.
There is very little evidence on how it will affect people's health over the long haul. But people who had surgery maintained substantial weight loss three years later, according to a study that's trying to figure out if it works.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael with us from Cleveland. Joining us from Boston, healthcare consultant and contributor to National Review magazine, Dr. Neil Minkoff. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, Dave Zirin. He is sports editor at The Nation. And Corey Dade is a contributing editor for The Root. Take it away Jimi.
There’s one resource every parent needs: a close friend or family member to stand beside them in the trenches.
Dr. Victor Bernstein from the University of Chicago teaches that “Relationships take the edge off chaos.” When we find ourselves in the midst of trauma, chaos or disorganization, a relationship with someone we trust has the power to soothe and settle us.
The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
In the border town of Wajaale, Ethiopia, a frayed, knotted rope marks the international boundary with Somalia. The rope is ignored by just about everyone.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Earlier this year, Ethiopia carried out five mass immunization campaigns against polio along the Somali border. But to be fully protected, kids need several doses of the oral vaccine.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
The town of Wajaale, Ethiopia, is located along the Somali border. The region around the border here is peaceful. But farther south, armed militants rule the area on the Somali side.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Ethiopian health official Abdulahi Mohamed says vaccinators along the Somali border are charged with immunizing all kids crossing who are under age 15. But he concedes that extremely poor pay may sap the workers' motivation.
A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.
Each year, Halloween brings out the funny, scary and sometimes racist costumes. This year, a young man is getting criticized for wearing blackface to portray slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Our diverse panel of parents gives their take on when dress-up goes too far.
Austin Newman, 10, of Menlo Park, Calif., is not allowed to play video games during the school week. His mother, Michelle DeWolf, says she had to take that step to keep her son focused on his homework during the week.
It's really only a sliver of time when humans build the bulk of their skeleton. At age 9, the bones start a big growth spurt. And by the time puberty ends, around 14 or 15 years old, the adult-sized skeleton is all but done, about 90 percent complete.
But doctors say a lot of children aren't getting what they need to do that. Calcium and vitamin D are essential, sure, but so is lots of time jumping and running.
Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially if you're on a tight budget. Host Michel Martin asks health guru and rapper Stic, of the rap duo Dead Prez, for his suggestions on eating well while on a so-called "hood" budget.
Across the country, newly formed task forces made up of local, state and federal law enforcement officers are starting to view what was once seen as run-of-the-mill prostitution as possible instances of sex trafficking.
With support and funding from the FBI and the Justice Department, agencies are starting to work together to identify and rescue sex trafficking victims and arrest their pimps.
The new approach is being hailed by victims of trafficking and their advocates as a much-needed paradigm shift — and, the FBI says, is reaping results.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:31 pm
A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.
New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am
Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.
It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.
Online breast milk marketplaces can be a godsend for a mother who might not be producing enough for her baby but still wants her child to get the the health benefits of breast milk. But milk sold on one popular website had more bacterial contamination than that from a milk bank, a study finds.
If you tear open a packet of M&M's, what's the first thing you notice?
The colors: bright blue, vibrant orange, bold yellow. Kids love this visual stimulation.
But the sponsors of a new petition on Change.org — which is urging M&M-maker Mars to replace the artificial colorings used to create these distinctive hues — say these dyes can make some kids hyperactive.
"In this petition, I'm asking Mars to change to natural colorings," mom Renee Shutters told me by phone. "It's very doable."
It’s one of those enigmas of child-rearing: In order to flourish, children need a complex mix of events that are both normal and novel.
Normal events include reliable routines which structure a child’s day. Going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday may sound a bit boring. And yet, this predictable pattern helps children develop healthy sleep habits.
Likewise, a consistent daytime schedule builds a child’s feeling of competence as he anticipates what comes next throughout the day. This regularity breeds trust and reduces stress for kids.
New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:48 pm
If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.
A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.
Nowhere is the temptation to use technology to monitor a child greater than when that child is learning to drive.
Auto accidents are still the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. And while fatalities are dropping, giving a teen the keys to a car is still one of the most terrifying things most parents ever do.
The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.
Kimberly Rae Miller grew up among piles of junk. Doors wouldn't close, stacks of paper turned to sludge, and the pool was filled with brown muck. Her father was a hoarder — in the most extreme kind of way. Host Michel Martin talks to Miller about how she coped, which is detailed in her memoir, Coming Clean. This segment initially aired July 29, 2013 on Tell Me More.