Let's Talk Kids

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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Shots - Health News
11:39 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Former Foster Care Youth Get Help Paying For Health Care

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:59 am

When Joseph Hill turned 21, he went from being homeless to being homeless and uninsured.

Hill grew up in foster care. He entered the system when he was 3 months old, and lived in 10 different foster homes in San Diego. At 19, he aged out of foster care and faced an abrupt transition into adulthood.

At first he received health insurance under Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid. But those benefits disappeared when he turned 21.

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Shots - Health News
12:33 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Want Your Kids To Ace School? Good Motor Skills May Help

The cross country team may do more for your child's grades than the math tutor.
Robert Brown iStockphoto

There's no lack of evidence that children are getting fatter and weaker. And children who are obese or out of shape tend to do worse in school. But scientists are just starting to figure out just what it is in that mix that makes the difference with academics.

It looks like just being strong isn't the secret. Children and teens who did well on a hand-grip test and on a standing long jump did less well in school than peers who tested well on cardiovascular fitness and motor ability, according to a study of about 2,000 people in Spain. And motor ability mattered the most.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Cousins!

Closer than classmates, more sensational than siblings, cousins are a boon to growing up.

While I never lived in the same town with my own cousins, I remember how I loving family get-togethers.  Even for cousins I saw rarely, our play would pick up right where it left off the last time we were together.

My older cousins were someone to look up to.  My younger ones tickled me with their cuteness.  We always managed to fill the hours with games and adventures that each of us could relate to.

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Shots - Health News
11:49 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Kids In Juvenile Detention Face Risk Of Violent Death As Adults

Girls who were arrested and detained were at particular risk for premature death in adulthood.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:24 am

Delinquent children are much more likely than their nondelinquent peers to die violently later in life, a study finds. And girls who ended up in juvenile detention were especially vulnerable, dying at nearly five times the rate of the general population.

"This was astonishing," says Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's medical school and the lead author of the study.

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Shots - Health News
8:03 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Fewer Women Are Having Labor Induced Early

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:43 am

There has been a major effort in the past several years to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries. Those are births that for no medical reason are hastened by inducing labor or performing a cesarean section before the pregnancy has reached 39 weeks of gestation.

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Health
11:20 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Educate And Ask: Key To Living With Sickle Cell Disease

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:34 am

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
5:35 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Cancer When You're Young Isn't Always 'The Fault In Our Stars'

In The Fault in Our Stars, Gus and Hazel, played by Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley, play two teenagers with cancer.
James Bridges AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:55 am

It's hard not to be charmed by Hazel and Gus, the flippant yet noble teenagers with cancer in the hit film The Fault in Our Stars. But movies have a bad habit of taking life-or-death health crises and turning them into cliché.

To find out if The Fault in Our Stars stayed true, we called on the experts – people who have had cancer as teenagers and young adults. Not surprisingly, most of them have read the book and seen the movie.

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Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years

As Lindsay Lohan's character (far left) learned in the movie Mean Girls, popularity comes at a price.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:07 am

Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

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Shots - Health News
12:14 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Teen Smoking Hits A 22-Year Low, But Other Tobacco Uses Rise

A teenager finishes her cigarette in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students has dropped to the lowest level in 22 years, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students who reported smoking a cigarette at least one day in the last 30 days fell to 15.7 percent in 2013, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a large federal survey that has been tracking youth smoking since 1991.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

What Dads do for Kids

Mothers and fathers are similar when it comes to devotion to their children or commitment to their love and care.  In fact, some of the newer research indicates that during later pregnancy and early parenthood, even men’s hormones mimic those of women’s as testosterone drops and estrogen increases in men around the births of their babies. 

Dads love their babies just like moms do.  But they have a very different way of showing that love.

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Shots - Health News
8:47 am
Wed June 11, 2014

More Young Adults Get Inpatient Psychiatric Care After Health Law

Mental health admissions of young people rose 9 percent after implementation of a key portion of the Affordable Care Act, researchers say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:29 am

Expanded coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act substantially raised inpatient hospital visits related to mental health, finds a study conducted by researchers at Indiana and Purdue universities.

That looks like good news: Better access to care for a population with higher-than-average levels of mental illness that too often endangers them and people nearby.

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The Salt
4:25 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight

Patrick McCoy (right) and Harry Fowler of Schwan's Food Service show off their company's Big Daddy's pizza at the School Nutrition Association's national conference in Chicago in 2007.
Brian Kersey AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:01 pm

The School Nutrition Association — what you might call the national organization for lunch ladies (and gents) — says it was trying to improve the healthfulness of school lunches.

But it says the U.S. Agriculture Department didn't help when things got tough, so it went to Congress. House Republicans provided help, but they also put the group in the middle of a partisan battle over what to feed America's school students.

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The Salt
2:21 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Moms And Tykes Should Eat More Fish Low In Mercury, Says FDA

The FDA is recommending that pregnant women eat 8 to 12 ounces per week of fish such as salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia or cod.
Iakov Filimonov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 5:49 pm

Lots of us think of fish as brain food.

But many moms-to-be and breastfeeding women have been turned off of it, in part due to concerns about the potentially harmful effects of mercury in some types of fish.

An analysis by the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency released Tuesday found 1 in 5 pregnant women were not eating any fish for long periods of time during pregnancy. And 75 percent of women were eating fewer than 4 ounces per week.

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Parenting
11:53 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Dad Advice: How to Quiet Your 'Inner Screaming' And Survive

When a woman becomes a mom, she gets lots of advice. But what about dad, who's also trying to figure out what each cry means? Tell Me More hears from dads about lessons learned in fatherhood.

Shots - Health News
10:43 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Giving School Nurses Access To Medical Records Improves Care

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:17 pm

School nurses today do a lot more than bandage skinned knees. They administer vaccines and medications, help diabetic students monitor their blood sugar, and prepare teachers to handle a student's seizure or asthma attack, among many other things.

"Chronic disease management is what school nurses spend most of their time doing," says Carolyn Duff, president of the National Association of School Nurses. "We do care for students in emergencies, but we spend more time planning to avoid emergencies."

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NPR Ed
3:56 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Why NYC Is Afraid Of Free Lunch For All

In New York, three-quarters of all students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, but a third of those simply don't participate.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:45 pm

More than 30 million kids a year participate in the National School Lunch Program, getting free or reduced-price meals at school. Hunger experts believe many more qualify but don't use it because a.) their families haven't filled out the necessary paperwork or b.) they don't want to be seen as poor.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Hospitals Put Pharmacists In The ER To Cut Medication Errors

Brian Micalizzi, a pharmacist at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, prepares an antibiotic prescribed to a patient in the emergency department.
Juan Pulido Courtesy of Children's Medical Center

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 9:47 am

In the emergency department at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, pharmacists who specialize in emergency medicine review each medication to make sure it's the right one in the right dose.

It's part of the hospital's efforts to cut down on medication errors and dangerous drug interactions, which contribute to more than 7,000 deaths across the country each year.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Early Exposure To Bacteria Protects Children From Asthma And Allergies

To keep children healthy, it may take a city that's dirty in just the right way.
Carey Kirkella Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 2:57 pm

Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.

It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignore harmless things like pollen and cat dander.

But what's interesting about this study is that it gets specific; not just any old germs or allergens will do.

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Law
11:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Should Tweens Be Prosecuted As Adults?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:02 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Taking More Time Between Babies Reduces Risk Of Premature Birth

Being born prematurely increases the risk of lifelong health problems.
AndyL/iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 8:07 am

An ideal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. And it looks like there's also an ideal time between pregnancies.

The length of time between giving birth to one baby and getting pregnant with the next should be 18 months or more. Women who get pregnant sooner than that are more likely to have a premature baby.

Women who got pregnant within a year of giving birth were twice as likely to have that new baby born prematurely, a study finds, compared with women who waited at least 18 months.

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Thu June 5, 2014

The Birds And The Bees ... And iPads

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 12:03 pm

"The talk." The facts of life. The birds and the bees. Whatever you call it, do you remember when and how you first learned about human sexuality? For me, it was a series of conversations in school and with my parents that began in third grade with the classic picture book Where Did I Come From?.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Teacher Let the Monkeys Out

In my family, the first time we see a child after school lets out for the summer, we HAVE to say, “School’s out, school’s out, teacher let the monkeys out!”  A great deal has changed in the world since I was a student, but this remains true:  The last day of school represents a real transition for children, for teachers, and for parents.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Hatching is Hard

Hatching chicken eggs with my class as a kindergarten teacher turned out to be good training for raising the children I would have later.  One spring, after most of the chicks successfully hatched, one little fellow seemed to have a hard time. I worried about him like a mother hen. Thinking I could help, I contacted a chicken farmer to ask if I couldn’t give the chick a little assistance.  “No way!” he warned me.

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Shots - Health News
8:50 am
Wed June 4, 2014

For New College Grads, Finding Mental Health Care Can Be Tough

Finding a good therapist can take time, especially in a new city.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 3:41 pm

For many young people, college graduation marks the entry into what grown-ups call "the real world." But if you're a new graduate with a mental health condition, the transition can be especially challenging.

Many young people start managing their own health care for the first time when they graduate. And while finding and paying for a psychologist or psychiatrist can be difficult at any age, for young people who don't have steady jobs or stable paychecks, the task can be especially daunting. Perseverance and planning ahead help.

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Parenting
12:09 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Diverse Summer Reading Picks For Kids

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

Transcript

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