Let's Talk Kids

Shots - Health News
1:11 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Why A Spoonful Of Medicine Can Be A Big Safety Risk For Kids

Ordinary spoons vary widely in size and shape. Confusing regular spoons for accurate measurements of teaspoons and tablespoons can lead to accidental overdoses.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 4:15 pm

We've all done it. The bottle of Pepto-Bismol says to take two tablespoons, so you grab the nearest spoon from the silverware drawer and drink down two of those. It's probably pretty close, right?

Maybe not. With all the different sizes and shapes of spoons out there — soup spoons, dessert spoons, grapefruit spoons and coffee spoons, to name just a few — who knows if the spoon you chose is actually close to a tablespoon.

And when it comes to children, that lack of precision can be dangerous.

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NPR Ed
7:18 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Teaching 4-Year-Olds To Feel Better

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:35 pm

You're 4 years old, building a block tower. Another kid runs up and knocks it down. What do you do? A) Tell her that's against the rules. B) Go tell a teacher. C) Hit her. D) Start to cry. E) What did you say again?

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Shots - Health News
3:29 am
Mon July 14, 2014

To Make Children Healthier, A Doctor Prescribes A Trip To The Park

Zarr with Kellsi Aguilar and her father, Felipe, in Zarr's Washington, D.C., office.
Sam Sanders/NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:08 pm

When Dr. Robert Zarr wanted a young patient to get more exercise, he gave her an unusual prescription: Get off the bus to school earlier.

"She has to take a bus to the train, then a train to another bus, then that bus to her school," says Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health Care, a clinic that serves low-income and uninsured families in Washington, D.C. So the prescription read: "Walk the remaining four blocks on the second bus on your route to school from home, every day."

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Shots - Health News
7:40 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Mississippi Child Thought Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Infection

Human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 inserts its genetic material into the DNA of human cells, turning them into little HIV factories.
Eye of Science Science Source

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:21 am

A baby who generated great excitement last year because it appeared she had been cured of HIV is infected with the virus after all, health officials say.

This discovery is a setback for the child known as the "Mississippi baby." It also complicates efforts to test what had seemed like a promising new treatment for infants born with HIV.

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Shots - Health News
3:32 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Doctors Face Ethical Issues In Benching Kids With Concussions

If parents won't bench a child after a concussion, is it OK for the doctor to tell the coach?
iStockphoto

Doctors have gotten much better at diagnosing and treating sports-related concussions, which is a good thing since Americans suffer up to 4 million sports-related concussions a year.

But we're not so good at is following their advice.

Student athletes and parents sometimes balk at doctors' recommendations to avoid play until concussion symptoms are gone, or to cut back on schoolwork. Both have been shown to speed recovery, and getting another hit on a vulnerable brain increases the risk of long-term problems.

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Shots - Health News
12:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Why We Published A Photo Of A 16-Year-Old In A Diaper

James Lee often has to pick up his 100-pound son, Justin. Photographer Andrew Nixon shot this photo in an effort to show how being caregivers affects the aging parents.
Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:25 am

The series on family caregivers that NPR ran over the Fourth of July weekend sparked an extraordinary response, with tens of thousands of comments and likes on Facebook and NPR.org.

Many people responded to the intimate photographs of families caring for sick or disabled parents, siblings and children.

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Shots - Health News
8:46 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Math Nerd Or Bookworm? Many Of The Same Genes Shape Both Abilities

A study of twins shows why being a good reader and a good math student may go hand in hand.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:23 pm

Many of us tend to align ourselves with either numbers or words. We're either math brains or we're reading brains.

In college, my fellow English majors joked about how none of us could long-divide to save our lives, while our friends in engineering groaned about the fact that Lit 101 was a graduation requirement.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:34 pm

If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame.

At least that's the suggestion of a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Shots - Health News
3:10 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Raise Risk Of Blood Clots, Study Finds

The vaccine for human papillomavirus has been controversial from the get-go, partly because it protects against a virus that causes cervical cancer and is spread by sexual activity.

The vaccine's safety has also been contested, with media celebrities like Katie Couric publicizing rare reports of people who became ill or died after receiving the vaccine, even though there was no evidence that the vaccine caused the problems.

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Parenting
12:01 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Why Aren't Men Asked If They Can 'Have It All'?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Men In America
4:47 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Teen Tries To Be The Parent His Own Dad Never Was

Marvin Ramos, now 18, was overwhelmed when his daughter, Hailey, was born. But now he says he's determined to be the best father he can be. "I haven't run away," he says, "and I never want to."
Marvin Ramos Courtesy of WNYC

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 7:40 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

Marvin Ramos found out he was going to be a father when his girlfriend, Stephanie, called him during a basketball game. He says he sat down on a bench and looked up at the sky. He was 16. Stephanie was 19.

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Shots - Health News
4:14 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Faith Strengthens Aging Parents As They Care For Their Son

James Lee carries his son, Justin, to the shower. Justin's parents have a lift to help move him around the house, but their nearly 100-pound son, who has cerebral palsy, often needs to be picked up.
Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:37 pm

A good night's sleep is rare for Judy and James Lee. They are on parenting duty 24/7 for their son, Justin.

Justin, who has cerebral palsy and was born missing parts of his brain, also has a seizure disorder, which has gotten worse lately. He's often silent during his seizures, which means he has to sleep with his parents so they can tell when he needs help. Judy says caring for Justin is a lot like taking care of a newborn.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Kids and Water

In the months before we’re born, we swim peacefully in our amniotic sac. Born to be aquaphiles, we gravitate to water for all of our time on this planet (which happens to also be about 75% water.)

Infants sleep better after baths which seem to drain tension away from their tiny bodies.  Toddlers and preschoolers delight in their baths, using them as opportunities for physics experiments. Teenagers drain their families’ hot water tanks with marathon showers, which are about much more than getting clean.  And adults soak away their day’s troubles in a hot bath.

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Can We Predict Which Teens Are Likely To Binge Drink? Maybe

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:07 pm

More than half of 16-year-olds in the United States have tried alcohol. While many of them learn to drink responsibly, some go on to binge on alcohol, putting themselves at risk for trouble as adults. Researchers still aren't sure why that is.

But it may be possible to predict with about 70 percent accuracy which teens will become binge drinkers, based on their genetics, brain function, personality traits and history, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

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Parenting
12:25 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Kids Dealing With Negative Body Image? Don't Judge, Listen

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:20 pm

Transcript

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Lead Exposure May Cause Depression And Anxiety In Children

A child plays in a Beijing park. Health threats caused by pollution have become a major concern in China.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:44 am

Lead is well known for causing permanent behavioral and cognitive problems in children, but a study says it may also cause less obvious problems like depression, too, even at low levels.

That's the word from a study tracking the health of 1,341 children in Jintan, China, where the health effects of pollution from rapid development have become a national concern.

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Shots - Health News
2:26 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Preschoolers Outsmart College Students In Figuring Out Gadgets

If you've noticed that kids seem to be better at figuring out these things, you're not alone.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:32 pm

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:18 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Her Baby Is At Risk: Lauren's Story

Courtesy of Lauren R. Weinstein/Nautilus

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:55 pm

They're odds. That's all they are. Not fate, just probabilities. Lauren Weinstein, cartoonist, is having a baby, and she's told — out of the blue — that she and her husband are both carriers of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. They are sent to a genetic counselor. What happens next — told in five beautifully drawn, emotionally eloquent cartoons — tells what it's like to walk the edge for a few weeks. She's so many things (sad, funny, scared, puzzled), and then there's the ender. Take a look.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Federal Panel Backs FluMist For Kids, But The Shot Isn't Dead Yet

An elementary school student Shane Shorter gets a a dose of FluMist in Gainesville, Fla.
Doug Finger Gainesville Sun/Landov

What's worse, a shot in the arm or a spritz up the nose? Children increasingly have a choice when it comes to vaccination for influenza.

On Thursday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel that advises the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccinations, voted for the spritz up the nose. It recommended that healthy children ages 2 through 8 get FluMist, a nasal spray flu vaccine, instead of the traditional flu shot.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

When Heat Stroke Strikes, Cool First, Transport Later

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo takes a water break during the 2014 World Cup soccer match between Portugal and the U.S. in Manaus, Brazil, on June 22.
Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 4:38 pm

The first-ever World Cup water break (taken during the game between Portugal and the United States this week) is a reminder that we all need to take extra precautions when playing in the heat.

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Shots - Health News
12:08 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

A Doctor Tries To Save A 9-Year-Old Stricken With Ebola

Workers with Doctors Without Borders prepare isolation and treatment areas for Ebola patients in Gueckedou, Guinea.
Kjell Gunnar Beraas AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:46 am

He was a little boy, 9 years old. He and his mother had both been infected with Ebola. She likely caught the virus while washing a deceased Ebola victim, as is often the custom for burials in Guinea. Then she probably infected her child.

Once she began showing symptoms, she and her son were locked in a house for four days because neighbors were so scared of the virus. Medical workers learned of the case. And the mother and son were driven to a treatment center in the back of a pickup truck, along a dirt road.

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Let's Talk Kids
1:11 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Social Surrogacy

They’re calling it “Social Surrogacy,” this new practice of affluent parents delegating the tasks of pregnancy and childbirth to another person.  Social Surrogacy is for women who could carry a child, but choose not to because of perceived risks to their productivity or physical image.

The price?  Social surrogacy represents at least a $100,000 investment.  And yet, I’m convinced that this cost is grossly understated.  The physical costs of pregnancy and childbirth are only the beginning of the toll paid by parents, like the ante required to get into the parenting game.

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Shots - Health News
10:06 am
Thu June 26, 2014

FDA Warns Of Life-Threatening Reactions With Acne Products

This might help with pimples, but be aware of risky reactions.
iStockphoto

The announcement that popular over-the-counter acne treatments can cause rare but life-threatening reactions sure got our attention. Who among us hasn't slathered that stuff on our face?

The reactions include throat tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, low blood pressure, fainting and collapse. Hives and swelling of body parts where the products were not applied were also reported. And 44 percent of the people affected were sick enough to be hospitalized.

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Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Few Doctors Warn Expectant Mothers About Environmental Hazards

Doctors may be more hesitant to discuss environmental hazards than the risks of smoking and drinking.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:14 am

Doctors regularly counsel expectant mothers about the risks associated with smoking, drinking and poor nutrition during pregnancy.

But many obstetricians are reluctant to speak with them about the potential dangers posed by toxic substances in the environment — things like heavy metals, solvents and pesticides.

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NPR Ed
1:03 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

What Kids Can Learn From A Water Balloon Fight

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 8:30 pm

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Shots - Health News
8:56 am
Wed June 25, 2014

How Connecticut's Change In Autism Coverage Could Make Waves

Many families with children who have autism count on their insurance to help pay for expensive, long-term treatment. But a recent bulletin issued by the Connecticut Insurance Department may undermine existing coverage protections, some advocates say, and they are concerned that other states might follow suit.

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Shots - Health News
12:29 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Never Too Young: Pediatricians Say Parents Should Read To Infants

Cuddling up to read a story with the very young helps them recognize words and learn vocabulary, researchers say.
Jo Unruh iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:29 pm

Children whose parents read to them get a head start on language skills and literacy, as well as lovely cuddle time with Mom or Dad. But many children miss out on that experience, with one-third of children starting kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read.

So the nation's pediatricians are upping the ante, asking parents to start reading to their children when they're babies.

And pediatricians are becoming book purveyors, handing out books to families who might not have the resources to buy them.

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Parenting
11:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

What To Do If Your Child Is Not A Happy Camper

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:17 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Parents Get Some Help In Teaching Their Teens To Drive

No, your other right! Most parents would probably welcome some help when it comes to teaching teenage drivers.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:28 pm

Parents often take the lead in teaching their teenage children to drive, even though their own memories of starting out behind the wheel may be hazy at best.

And since car crashes are the top cause of teen deaths in the United States. claiming more than 2,700 teen lives in 2010 and sending another 282,000 to the emergency room, it's a task that parents really need to get right.

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The Salt
12:38 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

School Nutrition Fight Widens As School Board Members Join In

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 2:18 pm

The political food fight over rolling back school nutrition standards is at an impasse for the moment. But advocates on both sides aren't backing off, and there are new players in the game.

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