Let's Talk Kids

2:40 am
Wed October 15, 2014

'Culture Of Violence' Pervades Rikers' Juvenile Facilities

An inmate at Rikers Island juvenile detention facility carries a plastic fork behind his back as he walks with other inmates. A recent report found that juvenile detainees are subjected to routine violence, both by other inmates and by correction officers.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 3:19 pm

For most of New York, Rikers Island is out of sight and out of mind. It's in the middle of the East River between Queens and the Bronx. There's only one unmarked bridge that leads on and off. But a recent report on violence by correction officers, or COs, was no surprise to those who've spent time there.

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Mon October 13, 2014

A Polar Bear Might Keep The Measles Away, But Shots Work Better

A scene from the Ivy and Bean poster on vaccinating against measles.
Sophie Blackall

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 3:32 pm

In the bestselling Ivy and Bean books, 7-year-old Bean puts a lot of energy into avoiding chores and reading. So when her friend Ivy brings up measles shots, Bean is ready with alternatives:

  • Wear a hazmat suit for the rest of your life.
  • Make an anti-measles force field with 24 hula hoops.
  • Cover yourself in a 6-inch protective layer of lard.
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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi Aims To Eliminate Child Labor

Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has fought to end child labor in India, where 11 percent of the country's children work. In 2010, these children toiled at a construction site in New Delhi.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 11, 2014 10:22 pm

There are 165 million children toiling as child laborers around the globe, a number that Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi has dedicated his life to reducing. His organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood, works to free children in India from forced servitude and enroll them in school. The 60-year-old father of two has spent decades campaigning to end child labor and human trafficking in India.

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Goats and Soda
5:15 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Photographers Capture The Sorrow And Pain Of Global Girls

This year, Lynsey Addario photographed 13-year-old Rahaf Yousef, a Syrian refugee, at her engagement party at a camp in Jordan. "Syrian refugees typically marry young," says Addario. "It's been exacerbated by the war. Families are scared something might happen to their daughter. They prefer to marry them earlier so they're under the protection of a husband."
Lynsey Addario/Reportage by Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 9:28 am

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a U.N. event with a grand name and a powerful mission. Girls around the world, especially in lower-income countries, often face terrible things, from genital mutilation to child marriage to kidnapping. We asked five photographers, who devote much or all of their time to documenting the lives of global girls, to share photos with special significance and talk about the images.

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Goats and Soda
3:59 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

A Day For Global Girls Gets People Talking, But Then What?

High School students participate in a rally for the International Day of the Girl Child in Ahmedabad, India.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 4:14 pm

Tomorrow marks the third International Day of the Girl Child, designated by the U.N. to highlight the need to create a better world for adolescent girls.

It's a day when activists ramp up efforts to make the public aware of issues like child marriage, violence against girls and the lack of access to education. It's also a time for activists to push world leaders to make commitments — financial or policy-wise — to end those problems.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Sloppy Splinting Can Make A Child's Broken Arm Much Worse

A helmet and pads won't prevent every fracture — but they help.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 5:17 pm

About half of all boys and a quarter of all girls will break an arm or leg before they turn 16, statistics suggest — in many skateboarding, ballplaying families, a fracture is almost expected as the price of a fun, adventurous life. And, assuming the bones are set the right way, most such breaks quickly heal without lasting damage.

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Let's Talk Kids
6:45 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "Design for Success"

Credit mattpenning.com 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

I’ve noticed something about my alarm clock:  If I set it for 4 a.m., it goes off at 4 a.m. every time.  It doesn’t sometimes sound at 4 and other times at 9.  It always goes off at 4.

It was designed to respond the way I’ve instructed it to when I set it.  For me to expect it to function any other way would be silly.  And yet sometimes, we expect people to function differently than they were programmed to function.  Here’s an example.

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Shots - Health News
11:33 am
Thu October 9, 2014

4 Things We've Learned About Enterovirus D68, And 1 Mystery

Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., was the first to report a surge of children with serious respiratory illness in August.
Andy Pollard Children's Mercy Kansas City

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 7:15 am

On Aug. 15, doctors and nurses at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., realized they had a problem.

Children were coming into the emergency room with an illness that caused wheezing and breathing problems so severe that some children ended up in the ICU on ventilators. And it was spreading fast.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Detergent Pods Can Cause Eye Injuries In Children

If you think this looks like something fun to play with, you could get yourself into trouble.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 4:33 pm

Liquid detergent pods can cause eye injuries in children after they squeeze or bite the brightly colored pouches, a study finds.

Eye doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical treated 10 young children who had eye injuries in 2012 and 2013 as a result of encounters with a ruptured detergent pod. The injuries included conjunctivitis and corneal damage; fortunately they all recovered within a week, with no long-range problems.

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All Tech Considered
4:44 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Even Techies Limit Their Children's Screen Time

A recent UCLA study found that screen time could negatively affect children's ability to read emotion. But scientists are still unsure how much screen time is too much for a child.
Anatoliy Babiy iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 6:54 pm

Sure, using tablets and computers can have upsides for children. They can provide, education for one, or just plain old entertainment value.

But we know there are downsides, too. NPR reported just last week on a study indicating screen time can negatively affect children's ability to read people's emotions.

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Goats and Soda
5:17 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

After Losing Parents To Ebola, Orphans Face Stigma

A girl cries outside an Ebola treatment center in Monrovia in late September. Both her parents died in the Ebola outbreak.
Zoom Dosso AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 5:41 pm

In the countries of West Africa where Ebola is taking its heaviest toll, one special concern is for the thousands of children whose parents have died from the illness.

According to UNICEF, at least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola since the outbreak's start.

The figures are climbing, says Andrew Brooks, UNICEF's head of child protection for West and Central Africa. In Liberia alone, where he's currently based, Ebola has robbed about 2,000 children of their parents.

One particular case struck him.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Is Enterovirus D68 Behind The Mysterious Paralysis In Children?

Sofia Jarvis, seen here with her family at a press conference in February, is one of several dozen children in California who have been diagnosed with a rare paralytic syndrome. It has left her left arm paralyzed.
Martha Mendoza AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:28 pm

When nine children in one hospital in Colorado come down with a mysterious form of paralysis in less than two months, it's hard not to worry.

Colorado has been hit hard by enterovirus D68, a virus that has caused severe respiratory illnesses in children around the country over the past few months.

All of the children had had been ill within a few weeks of suffering weakness in their arms or legs, a drooping face or difficulty swallowing.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Long-Term Birth Control Works Best For Teens, Pediatricians Say

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 10:46 am

"Always remember to use protection" is a fairly straightforward message for sexually active teens. But young women have a lot of options when it comes to the types of protection they can choose to use.

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Goats and Soda
10:57 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Raya The Muppet Talks About Poop And Is Proud Of It

Raya might tickle Elmo with toilet paper if he doesn't use it properly.
John Barrett Courtesy of Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:19 pm

Why did the superhero go to the toilet?

"Because it was her duty!" Raya exclaims as she throws her head back laughing.

Six-year-old Raya is not shy at all — especially when it comes to talking about poop.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical

Daniela Chavarriaga holds her daughter Emma as Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares administers a measles vaccination at Miami Children's Hospital.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 10:02 am

When essayist Eula Biss was pregnant with her son, she decided she wanted to do just a bit of research into vaccination. "I thought I would do a small amount of research to answer some questions that had come up for me," she tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "And the questions just got bigger the more I learned and the more I read."

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Shots - Health News
1:12 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

More Active Play Equals Better Thinking Skills For Kids

Good for bodies and good for brains, the scientists say.

As schools cut down on physical education and recess, kids are spending more time than ever in a desk. And while nerdy second-graders like me didn't ever consider arguing for more gym, there's increasing evidence that being active helps not just children's waistlines but their brains.

"If you consider the anthropology of humankind, we were designed to move," Charles Hillman, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tells Shots.

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Children's Health
4:05 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Respiratory Disease Affects Hundreds Of U.S. Kids

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 11:26 am

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



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The Salt
2:33 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Sayonara To 'Super-Size Me'? Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

Wouldn't this salad make a healthful addition to your pizza for dinner?

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:48 am

It just might be the dawn of a new era in American eating. Two-thirds of us are now more likely to go for foods marketed as lower-calorie and "better for you," and that means we're finally eating fewer calories.

But all this calorie-cutting from our cookies and cupcakes isn't just benevolent behavior on the part of the big food and beverage companies. It's also good for their bottom line.

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The Salt
6:05 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

To Stop Picky Eaters From Tossing The Broccoli, Give Them Choices

Students are given healthy choices on a lunch line at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y., in 2012. To keep students from tossing out the fruits and vegetables they're served, researchers say it helps to give them a choice in what they put on their trays.
Hans Pennink AP

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 4:11 pm

In many communities, the local school district is the largest food provider, filling thousands of hungry bellies every day. But trying to feed healthful food to some of the pickiest eaters can result in mountains of wasted food.

Now, many schools are finding that giving kids a say in what they eat can cut down on what ends up in the trash.

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Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Hearing That Things Can Change Helps Teens Dodge Depression

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 10:02 am

Depression is common in teenagers, with 11 percent being diagnosed by age 18, and many more having depressive symptoms. Social and academic stress can trigger depression, and rates of depression tend to peak in adolescence around the age of 16.

It doesn't help that stressed-out teens often fall into hopelessness, says David Yeager, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. "When kids have hard things happen to them, they think it'll be like that way into the future."

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Children's Health
4:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

It May Be 'Perfectly Normal', But It's Also Frequently Banned

Michael Emberley's illustrations, like this one showing an egg traveling through a fallopian tube, make sexual health information accessible to an elementary and middle school audience. But elements of the art, including naked bodies, make some parents uncomfortable.
Candlewick Press

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 6:48 am

Banned Books Week kicks off Sunday: Each year, the American Library Association takes this week to sponsor events all over the country to talk about the books that shock, offend and generally make Americans uncomfortable.

Violence and curse words are two of the top three reasons books get banned in the U.S.

The third reason is sexual content. For example, the Fifty Shades of Grey series has been frequently banned from libraries for its explicit descriptions of intercourse.

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Shots - Health News
11:22 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How To Get Children To Behave Without Hitting Them

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:13 am

There's plenty of evidence that spanking, paddling or hitting children doesn't improve their behavior in the long run and actually makes it worse.

But the science never trumps emotion, according to Alan Kazdin, head of the Yale Parenting Center and author of The Everyday Parenting Toolkit.

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Let's Talk Kids
1:26 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Let's Talk Kids - "The Ages of Children"

Claudia Quigg
Credit mattpenning.com 2011

When the world sees our children, it sees them as they are at this moment and in this environment, through a narrow lens.  Their teacher at school sees how well they internalized today’s math lesson (or not).  Their dentist sees the condition of their teeth as they are today, including that new cavity in a molar.  The neighbor sees them as the sweet child who brought in their garbage can for them or the nasty brat who littered in their front lawn.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:32 pm

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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Shots - Health News
12:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 9:29 am

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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Shots - Health News
10:46 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Antibiotics Prescribed For Children Twice As Often As Needed

Drat those viruses. They're the culprit in the majority of children's colds and sore throats.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:58 am

When your child has an earache or a bad cold, it's hard to think that there's not much you can offer beyond Tylenol and sympathy. But most of those infections are mostly caused by viruses that don't respond to antibiotics, a study finds.

Just 27 percent of acute respiratory tract infections are caused by bacteria, researchers at Seattle Children's Hospital found. That means that more than two-thirds are viral and antibiotics don't help.

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Goats and Soda
4:17 am
Sun September 14, 2014

It's All About The Girls: Is The World Listening To Them?

"I want to grow up and become a police. But I need to study in a good school for that. I want to become a police to protect the country." - Fiza, 13 (India)
Courtesy of Nike Foundation

"My shoes wear out from walking to school, and then I can't go because we can't afford new shoes," says a girl from Indonesia.

"I want to live freely," says another girl, in Egypt. "I don't want people to dictate what I do. No one to control us, no one to hit us, no one to tell us what clothes to wear."

In Congo, a girl starts to list her chores: "Tidying the house, fetching water, preparing meals," she says. "There are so many I can't even name them all."

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Shots - Health News
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Poets Give Voice To The Toll Of Type 2 Diabetes

Young poets Monica Mendoza (clockwise from top left), Erica Sheppard McMath, Obasi Davis and Gabriel Cortez have written about how Type 2 diabetes affects their families and communities.
Courtesy of The Bigger Picture

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:50 pm

It may not seem like spoken-word poetry and diabetes have a lot to do with one another, but public health educators in California are using the art form to engage young people about the disease.

"Between growing up in Colón, Panama and a tour in the U.S. army, Grandpa is a proud old soldier marching through a never-ending war," Gabriel Cortez, 24, wrote in his poem "Perfect Soldiers." "At 66, we are scared that another stroke could do what no war ever could and cut him to the ground."

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Rare Virus Has Sickened Hundreds More Children, Hospitals Say

PCR tests like this can tell if a virus is an enterovirus, but they can't ID the new virus that has caused a surge in serious respiratory infections.
BSIP / Science Source

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 4:33 pm

Just 82 children have confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hospitals around the country say they are treating hundreds more children who have been sickened by the rare virus.

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7:03 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Playgrounds For All Children: Here's How To Find One

John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 12:11 pm

Janna Espinoza's daughter Coraline has hearing loss, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and developmental delays. Nearly 2 years old, she can't sit up, stand, creep or use her hands as a typically developing child does.

Coraline is among an estimated 6.4 million children in the U.S. with a disability. And for these kids the simple ritual of playing outside can get very complicated.

"My daughter can't do very much at a typical playground, except watch her older sister play," says Espinoza. "Playgrounds are a depressing place for us."

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