Let's Talk Kids

Shots - Health News
10:01 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Federal Officials Order Medicaid To Cover Autism Services

State Medicaid programs now have to cover a range of treatments for autism.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:13 am

When Yuri Maldonado's 6-year-old son was diagnosed with autism four years ago, she learned that getting him the therapy he needed from California's Medicaid plan for low-income children was going to be tough.

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Shots - Health News
12:34 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health

About 40 percent of high schools start before 8 a.m., which contributes to chronic sleep deprivation among teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chris Waits/Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:44 am

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.

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The Salt
2:29 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:09 pm

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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StoryCorps
2:35 am
Fri August 22, 2014

When Living Out Of A Car, It's Hard To Feel At Home

Erika Kalberer (left) and her mother, Kris. Their family has been living in their car. Kris tells her daughter, "I don't think sometimes you know how strong you are."
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:25 am

About a decade ago, Kris Kalberer left her job as a retail manager to raise her kids and care for her elderly mother. For a while, the family did well on her husband's income. Then he lost his job.

Their finances spiraled out of control. They lost their house in March 2011, and since then, their lives have become transient. They stayed in motels, or with friends. Currently they live in their car.

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Health
3:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

What's Behind The Stark Rise In Children's Disabilities

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:38 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

Brita has announced a recall of 15-ounce bottles that feature children's cartoon characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. "No injuries have been reported."

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Shots - Health News
11:58 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Schoolchildren Who Add Hand Sanitizer To Washing Still Get Sick

If a kid is already washing his hands well, adding sanitizer in school doesn't appear to help reduce illnesses and absences.
Juanmonino/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 12:49 pm

Schools can be a great breeding ground for colds, stomach viruses, the flu and other bugs kids (and their parents) would rather not get.

Researchers wanted to know whether the transmission of those baddies could be reduced by telling elementary school children to use hand sanitizer in addition to the usual hand washing. But their study, conducted in 68 primary schools in New Zealand, found putting sanitizer in classrooms might not be worth the money and effort in higher-income countries, where soap and clean water are readily available.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Where We Learn That Artificial Eyes Really Aren't Round At All

A prosthetic eye is a work of art custom-crafted for an individual.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 2:49 pm

Almost every time reporters go out on assignment, they run across something unexpected that they just can't fit into the story they're working on.

When science correspondent Joe Palca and producer Rebecca Davis were in Boston reporting on a boy with a rare form of cancer, they found themselves in the office of Jahrling Ocular Prosthetics, a business dedicated to making artificial eyes.

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Shots - Health News
12:20 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Playing Video Games Can Help Or Hurt, Depending On Whom You Ask

When it comes to the effects of video games, content matters.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 1:48 pm

Parents worry that video games are bad for kids, but the evidence on how and why they may be harmful has been confusing.

"Most of popular media puts the most emphasis of concern on aggression," says psychologist Jay Hull from Dartmouth College. "But aggression is just the tip of the iceberg."

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Shots - Health News
2:41 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Oxytocin Isn't Lacking In Children With Autism, Researchers Say

The hormone oxytocin affects social functioning, but researchers say it isn't commonly lacking in children with autism.
danchooalex/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 11:22 am

Scratch one more simple explanation for autism off the list. This time it's the idea that children with autism have low levels of oxytocin, often called the "love hormone" because it can make people more trusting and social.

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Breast-Feeding Is Still Difficult For Many Moms

Amber Medel weighs her 3-week-old baby, Elijah, as lactation consultant Carol Chamblin takes note. Medel had problems breast-feeding and Chamblin encouraged her to use a breast pump to get the milk flowing more easily.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 9:19 am

When Elizabeth O'Connell was expecting her first child, she knew she wanted to breast-feed. And, she says, she sort of expected it to just happen, naturally.

That's not quite how it panned out. "I was experiencing very tremendous pain," she says.

At first she figured that was normal — but soon it became too much to handle. "I was devastated," she says. "The reality is nursing is a wonderful bonding experience, but when you're in pain, you aren't really thinking about that."

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TED Radio Hour
8:10 am
Fri August 1, 2014

How Do Our Worst Moments Shape Us?

"You need to fold the worst events of your life into a narrative of triumph, evincing a better self in response to things that hurt." — Andrew Solomon
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Growing Up.

About Andrew Solomon's TEDTalk

Writer Andrew Solomon dives into his childhood to describe moments of great adversity, and how they helped him build identity.

About Andrew Solomon

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TED Radio Hour
8:10 am
Fri August 1, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be A 'Child Of The State'?

"We are our story — whether we suppress it, whether that is our nature, or we speak it. Family is a group of people who are building story for each other." — Lemn Sissay
Paul Clarke TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Growing Up.

About Lemn Sissay's TEDTalk

Poet Lemn Sissay was raised by the state. He talks about the empty space where his family should have been.

About Lemn Sissay

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TED Radio Hour
8:10 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Why Is Parenthood Filled With So Much Anxiety?

"It's one of the weird illusions we all live under: that there is a right way to parent." — Jennifer Senior
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 1:53 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Growing Up.

About Jennifer Senior's TEDTalk

Journalist Jennifer Senior says the goal of raising happy children is so elusive it has put modern, middle-class parents into a panic. She says there's no right way to parent.

About Jennifer Senior

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Health
3:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Polio's Surge In Pakistan: Are Parents Part Of The Problem?

Usman (right), 7 months, and Abdullah (left), 18 months, are held by their mothers while they wait to receive the polio vaccine at the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:29 pm

What do the parents think? That's always a crucial question when it comes to vaccinating kids.

And it's particularly important in Pakistan, which is one of the last places in the world where the polio virus is still making kids sick.

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World
3:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Bolivia Makes Child Labor Legal, In An Attempt To Make It Safer

A young girl sells pastries on a street in El Alto, Bolivia. While most of the world is trying to put an end to child labor, Bolivia has legalized it.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 2:24 pm

A new law in Bolivia allows children as young as 10 to work legally, and has led to sharp criticism from many international human rights groups who note that it goes against a United Nations convention setting a minimum age of 14.

But supporters of the legislation say that the law guarantees legal protections and fair wages for children, who have been working regardless of laws against it.

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Goats and Soda
6:41 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Hidden Costs Of Fighting Polio In Pakistan

During nationwide polio campaigns, hundreds of thousands of health workers go door to door, giving children two drops of the polio vaccine.
Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 10:06 pm

Pakistan is currently at the center of the global effort to eradicate polio. Although the country has reported only about a hundred cases this year, that's more cases than in all other nations combined.

Eliminating the paralyzing disease is a major logistical operation in Pakistan. More than 200,000 vaccinators fan out across the country, several times a year, to inoculate millions of children. The government also deploys tens of thousands of armed security forces to guard the workers.

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Parenting
1:00 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

After 7 Years, Moms Panelists Share How They've Changed

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parenting
1:00 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Where Do Dads Go For Parenting Advice?

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:07 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication

A health worker gives a child the polio vaccine in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. More than a quarter-million children in Taliban-controlled areas are likely to miss their immunizations.
A. Majeed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 9:46 am

Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door to door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.

"Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn't understand why he was taking out the gun," Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.

"But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life," she says. "My first thought was that I won't be able to see my children again."

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Goats and Soda
8:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

A child grabs sleep after a long day of labor in a struggling West African fishery.
Courtesy of Jessica Pociask, WANT Expeditions

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:45 pm

When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.

But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work, and more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists wrote Thursday in the journal Science.

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Goats and Soda
4:51 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

UNICEF Report On Female Genital Mutilation Holds Hope And Woe

For 15 years, Amran Mahamood made a living circumcising young girls in Hargeysa, Somalia. Four years ago, she gave it up after a religious leader convinced her that Islamic law did not require it.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 9:00 am

Women and girls are less likely to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, than 30 years ago. That's the encouraging news from a UNICEF report on the controversial practice, presented this week at London's first Girl Summit.

The rate has dropped in many of the 29 countries across Africa and the Middle East where FGM is practiced. In Kenya, for example, nearly half the girls age 15 to 19 were circumcised in 1980; in 2010 the rate was just under 20 percent.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

U.S. Teens Still Lag In Getting Vaccinated Against HPV

Dr. Donald Brown inoculated Kelly Kent with the HPV vaccine in his Chicago office in the summer of 2006 — not long after the first version of the vaccine reached the market.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 9:48 am

Though the vaccine against human papilloma virus is highly effective in preventing certain forms of cancer, the number of preteens getting the vaccine is still dismally low, doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

"One of the top five reasons parents listed is that it hadn't been recommended to them by a doctor or nurse," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told reporters at a press briefing.

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U.S.
5:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Amid Wave Of Child Immigrants, Reports Of Abuse By Border Patrol

Thousands of young immigrants, many of them from Central America, have crossed illegally into the United States this year, causing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:21 pm

Some of the immigrant children crossing the border say they are being subjected to abusive and inhumane treatment in U.S. Border Patrol stations in South Texas. This includes frigid holding rooms, sleep deprivation, verbal and psychological abuse, inadequate food and water, denial of medical care, and worse.

Dozens of children have come forward to make complaints against Customs and Border Protection officers. The agency responds that any complaints are the result not of mistreatment, but of its stations being overwhelmed by the surge of minors.

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The Salt
4:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery

Logan Kovach, 6, Matthew Kovach, 2, and Allyson Kovach, 5, eat a lunch distributed by the YMCA in Hopkins County, Kentucky.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:49 pm

More than 21 million children get free or reduced priced meals during the school year. But in the summer, that number drops to only three million.

The big question is what happens to all the other children. Do they get enough, and the right food, to eat?

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Shots - Health News
6:29 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

Fun hikes offer health benefits for kids of every shape and size.
Annette Birkenfeld annedde/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:07 am

Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they're heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that's not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent "misperceived" their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. (The CDC bases those categories on body mass index, adjusted for gender and age.)

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

As High School Lacrosse Surges In Popularity, So Does Injury Focus

Walt Whitman High School's Caroline Schweitzer runs through a host of Severna Park High School defenders during a semifinal game in Maryland's Class 4A/3A lacrosse tournament in May.
Toni L. Sandys The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:02 pm

Sometimes called the fastest game on two feet, lacrosse is also one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.

Between 2008 and 2012, kids' participation in lacrosse climbed 158 percent to a little more than three-quarters of a million, according to a survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association/Physical Activity Council. At the same time participation in baseball, basketball, football and soccer has either stagnated or declined.

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Parenting
11:07 am
Tue July 22, 2014

When It Comes To Other People's Kids, Should Parents Intervene?

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Teens Say Looks Can Be Liberating Despite Fashion Police

Youth Radio

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 10:36 am

At Oakland Tech, like high schools all over, passing period is a time for passing judgments.

Aaliyah Douglass, a 17-year-old, gives me a taste of how harsh critiques can be at the school in Oakland, Calif. She starts by evaluating a male classmate who walks by wearing shorts, a T-shirt and Vans.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

High-Performing Charter Schools May Improve Students' Health

Researchers are just starting to look at how school choice affects health.
romester/iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:47 pm

Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. wanted to know whether attending a high-performing charter school reduced the rates of risky health behaviors among low-income minority teenagers.

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