Let's Talk Kids

U.S.
10:50 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Can Federal Program Keep Mom And Dad Together?

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 11:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that means that millions of American men and women are making plans to please their romantic partners, at least in parts of the country where they are not buried under snow and ice. But what you might not know is that, for some years now, the federal government has been involved, not so much in romance, but in teaching families so-called relationship skills.

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Shots - Health News
9:21 am
Thu February 13, 2014

With This Year's Flu, Young Adults Are Not So Invincible

A flu shot would have helped protect young adults, but most didn't get it.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:40 am

We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.

This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Many of the worst cases of flu occurred in young, otherwise healthy people.

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Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Parenting Partners

My years of marriage have taught me that raising kids with another person is rarely a smooth ride.  Any two adults bring very different upbringings to the table, causing them to often take a different view of kids’ behavior.

But the single most important thing parenting partners do for each other is that every day, we can count on this:  No matter how difficult their behavior, we know that our kids are desperately loved by at least one other human being who would walk through fire for them.

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The Salt
2:09 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

For Lower-Income Students, Snow Days Can Be Hungry Days

When schools close for bad weather, some kids miss out on much-needed nutritious meals. "It's hard to be a hungry person, and it gets harder when the weather is like this," Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., says of severe cold and snow.
Jessica Glazer NPR

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:32 pm

For many Americans it's been a harsh, disruptive winter, from the country's Northern edges to the Deep South.

When cold snaps and blizzards shutter schools, kids miss more than their daily lessons. Some miss out on the day's nutritious meal as well.

This recently became apparent to school administrators in rural Iowa, where extreme cold delayed openings two days in a row at Laurens-Marathon Community School, where 59 percent of students who eat school lunch qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

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Parallels
8:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Belgian Proposal: Terminally Ill Kids Could Choose Euthanasia

Protesters in Brussels, Belgium, march on Feb. 2 against a proposed law that would allow terminally ill kids to choose euthanasia.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

This week Belgium is expected to become the first country in the world to allow terminally ill children to choose euthanasia.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those 18 and over, and the number of adults choosing a doctor-assisted death has been rising annually, reaching 1,432 in 2012.

But a bill before Parliament would lift age restrictions and allow terminally ill children to ask to be euthanized if they are in unbearable pain and treatment options are exhausted. In addition, their parents and medical team would have to agree.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Also Helps Prevent Genital Warts

University of Miami pediatrician Judith Schaechter gives a girl an HPV vaccination in 2011.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The HPV vaccine was created to protect women against the virus that causes cervical cancer. But it also helps prevent genital warts, a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the same virus, a study finds.

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Parenting
10:57 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Children And Anorexia: Noticing The Warning Signs

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:38 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
7:34 am
Tue February 11, 2014

How Caffeinated Are Our Kids? Coffee Consumption Jumps

According to the pediatrics study, about three-fourths of children in the U.S. consume caffeine on a given day.
iStockphoto

Energy drinks tend to get a bad rap. The Food and Drug Administration has investigated reports of deaths and sicknesses linked to them. Hospitals have reported increased ER visits.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Young And In Love? Thank Mom And Dad, At Least A Little

You learned it all from your folks, right?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:11 pm

If you're happily in love, Mom and Dad may have helped.

Teenagers' relationships with their parents have a small but measurable impact on their romantic relationships up to 15 years later, according to researchers at the University of Alberta.

People who had a tumultuous relationship with Mom and Dad in their teens were more likely to face heartache down the road. And those who felt close to their parents during adolescence tended to feel more emotionally and physically satisfied in their adult romantic relationships.

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Shots - Health News
9:29 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk For Teen Depression

Teenagers' sleep patterns may be a clue to their risk of depression.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:26 pm

The teenage years are a tumultuous time, with about 11 percent developing depression by age 18. Lack of sleep may increase teenagers' risk of depression, two studies say.

Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop major depressive disorder as their peers who sleep more, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. They tracked the habits of more than 4,000 adolescents over a year.

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Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Topless Blender

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s take on toddlers is right on:  “A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender but you don’t have a top for it.”

Our hopes for order and cleanliness are challenged when young children are around, for sure.  At a recent family dinner, we thought we’d placed toddler Emmy where she could do no harm.  We pulled back the tablecloth, laid a drop cloth on the floor beneath her, and covered her chair with a towel.

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Children's Health
12:03 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Poverty Behind Detroit's High Child Mortality Rate?

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:46 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Higher Blood Pressure At 18 Means Hardening Arteries At 40

Even if you're under 25, you should still know your blood pressure, a study says.
Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:41 pm

Young people in their teens and early 20s probably aren't thinking about heart disease. But maybe it's time they did.

People who have slightly higher blood pressure when they're 18 to 25 are more likely to have high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in their 40s, a study says. About one quarter of the people in this study were in that group.

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Parenting
10:57 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Calling Kids With Disabilities 'Heroes' Can Be Damaging, Says Parent

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 1:21 pm

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 or dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. And if you're a parent, you've probably enjoyed moments when your child is praised for something - a teacher calling her smart or another mom saying he's so well behaved.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens

Smoking can mess up your looks, according to an ad campaign aimed at keeping teens from smoking.
Courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.

"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Promote Riskier Sexual Behavior In Teens

A 13-year-old girl gets an HPV vaccination at the University of Miami in 2011. The vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

More than a few parents have worried that the HPV vaccine might encourage girls to be more sexually active.

But girls say that's not so, even if they think, wrongly, that the HPV vaccine protects them against other sexually transmitted diseases.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives

A nurse attaches the low-cost breathing machine (far left) to an infant at The Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
Jocelyn Brown Rice University

There's only one thing better than having a good idea, and that's having a good idea that really works.

Earlier this year, I reported on some students at Rice University who had designed a low-cost medical device to help premature infants breathe.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Most Teens Aren't Active Enough, And It's Not Always Their Fault

The CDC would be happy with these guys, who were playing in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2013. Teenage boys say basketball is their favorite activity.
Mark Almond AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:43 am

Sure, you think, my kid's on a football team. That takes care of his exercise needs, right? Probably not.

"There are these bursts of activity," says Jim Sallis, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "But if you think about it, one hour of playing football out on the field means that the vast majority of that time is spent standing around waiting for the next play."

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Shots - Health News
2:26 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much

A West Coast team player kicks the ball during a match at the Adidas Challenges America's Youth Soccer Stars tournament in Venice, Calif.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:27 am

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

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Shots - Health News
11:55 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Poll: Support For High School Football, Despite Concussion Risks

Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:26 pm

Making sure that children are active often means getting them interested in sports. But parents have to weigh the health risks of those sports, including hits that can cause concussions.

Concussions are brain injuries. Most people, including kids, recover from a concussion. But concussions, particularly repeated ones, can lead to serious, lasting health problems.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: Fans Risk Hearing Loss

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:48 am

For diehard football fans, nothing beats screaming your lungs out in the stadium alongside tens of thousands of other fans.

There is, however, a downside: hearing loss.

With the battle among fans to be the loudest crowd getting almost as competitive as the NFL itself, hearing experts say it's time for a serious conversation about the damage caused by crowd noise.

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Shots - Health News
11:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Access To Toilets And Books Improves Life For Kids Across The Globe

Palestinian girls read the Koran at a camp in Gaza City, June 2012. In poor countries, boys are 20 percent more likely than girls to enroll in school, UNICEF says.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

The world is in the midst of a porcelain revolution.

Nearly 2 billion people have gained access to clean toilets, or at least a decent outhouse, since 1990, the nonprofit UNICEF reports Thursday.

That rise in sanitation has led to big health improvements, the agency says, because contaminated drinking water is still a major cause of disease and death for children.

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Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Watch for the Twinkle

Parents entertain the fantasy our children will enjoy the same activities that interest us.  If you lettered in track in high school, you may be shopping for baby running shoes before your child can walk.  If you spent your childhood playing in piano recitals, you have your little one listening to piano concertos on the nursery CD player as she drifts off to sleep at night.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten

Playing outside can help kids — and their parents — maintain a healthy weight.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:20 pm

A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.

"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says Solveig Cunningham, who led the study. But that doesn't mean putting young children on calorie-restricted diets.

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Shots - Health News
11:35 am
Tue January 28, 2014

College Students Can Learn To Drink Less, If Schools Help

Eighty percent of college students drink, and schools have had little success reducing those numbers, or the problems caused by excessive alcohol.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:20 pm

Drinking remains one of the biggest health risks for college students, with 80 percent of students drinking alcohol and more than one-third binge drinking.

This may seem like an inevitable part of student life. But there's actually a lot that schools can do to help students get their drinking under control if they're willing to offer more than generic online courses, a study finds.

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Parenting
10:48 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Teenagers Are 'Crazy' But Expert Says Behavior Is Vital To Development

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:50 am

Teenagers are often seen as impulsive and moody. But psychiatrist Daniel Siegel says it's time to rethink adolescence as a time of great opportunity, as well as challenge. Host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Siegel about the teenage brain and his new book Brainstorm. Parents Leslie Morgan Steiner and Aracely Panameno join in.

Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids

Clinical specialist Catey Funaiock took notes while observing a 5-year-old boy at the Marcus Autism Center, part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, in September.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:55 pm

The clinical definition for when a child has some form of autism has been tightened. And these narrower criteria for autism spectrum disorder probably will reduce the number of kids who meet the new standard.

But researchers say the changes, which were rolled out last May, are likely to have a bigger effect on government statistics than on the care of the nation's children.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 am
Mon January 27, 2014

How Parents And The Internet Transformed Clubfoot Treatment

Alice Snyder, with her parents Mary and Ryan, during a checkup with Dr. John Herzenberg, who treated her clubfoot without surgery.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:35 am

Mary Snyder found out at her 19-week ultrasound that her unborn baby had clubfoot. Both of the fetus's feet were completely turned inward, forming the twisted U-shape typical of clubfoot.

The condition is one of the most common birth defects, affecting about 1 out of every 1,000 babies, but that was little comfort to Snyder.

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Shots - Health News
12:12 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases

Council on Foreign Relations

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:41 am

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.

But that's not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.

As an interactive map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Can Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Choose wisely: What Mom eats during pregnancy can set the stage for obesity in her baby.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 6:07 pm

Moms-to-be are often reminded that they're eating for two. It's tempting to take this as an excuse to go for that extra scoop of the ice cream. (Believe me, I've been there.)

But a solid body of research suggests that expectant mothers should be walking away with the opposite message: Pregnancy should be a time to double-down on healthful eating if you want to avoid setting up your unborn child for a lifetime of wrestling with obesity.

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