Let's Talk Kids

Research News
4:05 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Playtime With Mom Helps Boost Toddlers' Under-Developed Brains

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 10:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now we have a story about the power of play. Some 200 million toddlers in poor countries are starting life with an extra burden. Because of malnourishment or disease, these kids are small for their age and their brains are underdeveloped. The consequences of this can haunt them into adulthood. But here's some positive news - there's a study in the journal Science suggesting that more play time with parents can dramatically reverse the damage suffered by these kids. NPR's Nurith Aizenman reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Odds Of Abuse And Mistreatment Add Up Over Children's Lives

Maltreatment in childhood raises the risk of physical and mental health problems throughout life.
RenoCdZ iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 11:33 am

Children who are maltreated are much more likely to have physical and mental health problems later on. They face a higher risk of suicide and of getting in trouble with the law.

But there's a big gap between the number of people who say they were abused or neglected as children and the official rate of annual confirmed cases, which runs about 1 percent.

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Behind Closed Doors
10:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

'Drunk Mom' Tackles New Motherhood And Old Addictions

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
12:10 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Health Advocates Lament GOP Move To Relax School Lunch Rules

Currently, half of all products served in the school lunch program must be "whole-grain rich," which USDA defines as products made of at least 50 percent whole grain. According to the new standards, by the start of the next school year, schools must use only products that are whole-grain rich.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

We told you about lawmakers' proposal to give some school districts a way to temporarily opt out of the new, federal healthy school lunch standards.

The waiver provision was put forward by Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt, who says he supports healthy meals for school kids, but has heard complaints from schools in his district about the challenges of mandating kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains at lunch.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Measles Hits Amish Communities, And U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High

Measles was brought to Ohio's Amish communities by people returning from mission trips to the Philippines.
Chuck Crow The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Members of Amish communities in Ohio traveled to the Philippines for heartfelt reasons: They were there on service projects to help less fortunate people. Unfortunately, they came home with unwelcome hitchhikers: measles viruses.

Those travelers hadn't been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. As a result, they have triggered an outbreak of more than 130 cases, primarily among their unvaccinated friends and relatives in Amish communities.

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Shots - Health News
12:13 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

American Teens Are Becoming Even Wimpier Than Before

Pickup basketball may be losing out to computer games.
johnrf2/iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:50 pm

If you think that teenagers are becoming weaklings, you're right.

Less than half of youths ages 12 to 15 are even close to being aerobically fit, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's down from 52 percent of youths in 1999 to 2000, the last time this survey was conducted. It measures "adequate" levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, which children need not only for sports but for good health.

And that was true regardless of a child's race and family income.

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Parenting
10:44 am
Tue May 27, 2014

New York City's First Lady A Bad Mom ... Or Just An Honest One?

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice.

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Shots - Health News
2:44 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Anxious Parents Can Learn How To Reduce Anxiety In Their Kids

Noah Cummings, 13, starts the morning with his mom, Heather Cummings, at home in Epsom, N.H.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 1:35 pm

Children are increasingly anxious, stressed out and overly worried. Part of that has to do with increased pressures to excel in school, sports and extracurricular activities. But part of it has a lot to do with parents.

Like other mental and physical health problems, anxiety can be inherited. And some children are more vulnerable because of the way their anxious parents "parent."

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Education
2:12 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

After Months Of Homelessness, A Teen Leaves The Woods Behind

Desiree Wieczorek sits in a bedroom she now shares with her sister. The best part of living in a house after being homeless for five months, she says, is the warm showers.
Sarah Harris North Country Public Radio

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 9:53 pm

You may think of homelessness as a distinctly urban issue, with people sleeping in shelters or on the streets. But homelessness happens in rural communities too, and it happens to children.

For Desiree Wieczorek, a 10th-grader in northern New York, homelessness was all too real last year. For five months, she and her family lived in the woods near Parishville, N.Y.

Recently, I trekked into the woods with Desiree and her father, Kenny, to the area where they had lived. It's remote, with tall trees and a raging river.

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Let's Talk Kids
8:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Remembering Love

On May 1, 1865, former slaves dug up the remains of 257 dead Union soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp outside Charleston, South Carolina.  They worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial in gratitude for their sacrifice.  Following the burials, 10,000 people celebrated with a parade led by 2800 black children.  

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawmakers Seek Delay On Healthy Lunch Rules For Schools

Some schools say they're having a tough time implementing new nutrition rules requiring more whole grains, more veggies and less fat.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:57 pm

How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?

Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.

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Shots - Health News
12:24 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Poll: Yes To Medical Marijuana, Not So Much For Recreational Pot

Total of responses exceeds 100 percent because of rounding.
NPR-Truven Health

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:50 am

Minnesota has become the 22nd state to loosen restrictions on use of marijuana, with its legislature approving the sale and use of medical marijuana on May 15. Other states, including Florida, are considering similar measures.

These changes are happening fast, and we were wondering how people feel about this seemingly inexorable push to decriminalize pot, so we asked, in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

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Parenting
10:19 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Breaking Your Kid's Picky Eating Habits

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. And today we thought we'd get some advice about food.

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Shots - Health News
7:50 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Beezin' May Be Bogus, But Other Dopey Teen Fads Can Bite Back

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:00 pm

Another month, another apocalyptic news report of some weird substance that kids are abusing in pursuit of a high.

The most recent example is "beezin'," which supposedly involves smearing Burt's Bee's lip balm on one's eyelids. The tingling allegedly heightens the sensation of being drunk or high, according to the Oklahoma Fox News affiliate that first declared this a "viral trend."

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U.S.
4:01 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

When States Can't Control Violent Youth, Is Prison The Answer?

Protesters rally outside the Department of Children and Families in Hartford, Conn., in April. The state's decision to send a transgender teen to adult prison has galvanized juvenile justice and LGBT advocates.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 7:18 pm

More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.

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Around the Nation
2:47 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco

Eddie Ramirez, 15, outside his mobile home in Snow Hill, N.C. He's been working in tobacco fields during the summer for several years.
Will Michaels for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:30 am

Kids under 18 can't buy cigarettes in the U.S., but they can legally work in tobacco fields when they're as young as 12.

One of those kids is Eddie Ramirez, 15, who works the fields in the summer.

"It just sticks to my hand," he says of the plant. "It's really sticky, you know, and really yellow." It's nearly impossible to wash off, he says.

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Parenting
10:21 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Parents Draw The Line On Teen Relationships And Social Media

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:05 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Driving While Pregnant Is Riskier Than You Might Think

Be a bit more careful? The risk of a traffic accident rises by about 40 percent during the second trimester of pregnancy.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:04 pm

Don't scuba dive. Be careful about flying. Stay out of those hot tubs. Pregnancy comes with a long list of do's and don'ts.

Now it looks like we might need to add another item to that list: Drive more carefully.

Expectant mothers are more likely to have serious car crashes, a large study out of Canada finds.

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Health
11:18 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Midwifery: A Profession Of Passion, For Men Too

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
7:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hoarding Can Start Early, But Signs Are Hard To See In Teens

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 3:53 pm

Hoarding disorder is generally diagnosed in older adults, after their inability to discard things and their anxiety over possessions leave them unable to function. But it may take root much earlier in life, though psychiatrists say they're just starting to figure that out.

Hoarding symptoms may look different in teenagers than they do in adults, researchers reported at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting this week in New York.

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Shots - Health News
3:05 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Is This Save The Children Ad Too Sexy For The Cause?

Save the Children USA YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:18 am

The sexy male model makes bedroom eyes and says, "Malaria."

The sexy female model twirls her glossy hair in a flirtatious manner and says, "Diarrhea."

It's part of a 2 minute, 17 second public service spot called "The Most Important 'Sexy' Model Video Ever." And no, it's not a spoof.

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Parenting
12:38 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Foster Kids Can Be Torn Between Worlds On Mother's Day

Barbara Gerber and her son, Kayden
Stephanie Natale Courtesy Barbara Gerber

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:34 pm

Children across the country will be rolling out the breakfast trays and handmade cards for Mother's Day. But the holiday brings up mixed feelings for many foster mothers and their children.

"It can be really confusing for a child when there's Mother's Day and the child is supposed to celebrate their 'new mom,'" says Cris Beam, author of To The End of June: An Intimate Life of American Foster Care. "The child is still really attached, and it's a complicated holiday, and they need sometimes a new way to think about this other parent."

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Shots - Health News
2:37 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis

Noah Shaw, now 5, shows off his Texas roots at a recent birthday party.
Courtesy of Bryan Shaw

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 12:34 pm

A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.

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Shots - Health News
5:09 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

On the outskirts of Islamabad, a Pakistani health worker vaccinates an Afghan refugee against polio.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:25 pm

It is, says the World Health Organization, "an extraordinary event." Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The World Health Organization has set a goal of wiping out polio by 2018.

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Shots - Health News
4:11 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Saving The World's Babies Simply Starts Before Birth

Shefali Rani Das, an expectant mother in Bangladesh, has given birth to six children (including 4-year-old Suborna) at home without a doctor. Only three of her babies have survived.
Colin Crowley Save the Children

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 10:17 am

Every day, all over the world, newborns die when they don't have to. They die from preventable infections and because their tiny bodies can't stay warm enough.

Shefali, a mother from Bangladesh, knows this global tragedy all too well.

"Whenever a child is born and then dies, we're overwhelmed with grief," she says. "It's terrible."

Shefali has given birth to six children at home in her village in Bangladesh. Only three of her babies have survived the first week of life.

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Shots - Health News
11:08 am
Wed April 30, 2014

To Get Help From A Little Kid, Ask The Right Way

Need a hand with those dishes?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:31 am

Motivating children to stop playing and help out with chores isn't exactly an easy sell, as most parents and teachers will attest. But how you ask can make all the difference, psychologists say.

If you say something like, "Please help me," the kids are more likely to keep playing with their Legos. But ask them, "Please be a helper," and they'll be more responsive, researchers report Wednesday in the journal Child Development.

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Shots - Health News
4:14 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Mom's Diet Right Before Pregnancy Can Alter Baby's Genes

Even before you were a twinkle in your mom's eye, what she ate — and didn't eat enough of — may have helped shape you.
George Marks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 8:59 am

Pregnant women have heard it time and time again: What you eat during those nine months can have long-term effects on your child's health.

Heck, one study even found that when pregnant women eat a diverse diet, the resulting babies are less picky in the foods they choose.

So what about mom's eating habits before she even knows she's pregnant?

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Parenting
10:37 am
Tue April 29, 2014

What Would Dad Do?

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

MARTIN MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. And yes, OK, we admit it. We are more likely to hear from moms than dads.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Higher Doses Of Antidepressants May Raise Teen Suicide Risk

It's not clear why children, teenagers and young adults would be at greater risk of suicide when they start taking antidepressants.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:50 pm

Antidepressants are thought to increase the risk of suicide in young people, but that may be caused by starting them on larger doses of the drugs, a study finds.

Children and young adults who started taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants in higher-than-average doses were twice as likely to attempt suicide as people taking average doses, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Shots - Health News
9:50 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Pediatricians Say Training Can Help Teens Avoid Knee Injuries

Kelly Koshuta, a basketball star at James Madison High School, Vienna, Va., had surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament injured in 2012.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 11:43 am

If you're a teenage athlete, or the parent of one, you probably live in fear of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, one of the knee's key stabilizing ligaments.

A torn ACL often requires surgical repair. But so-called neuromuscular training programs can cut the risk of a serious ACL injury and should be recommended to at-risk young athletes, especially girls, according to a clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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