Let's Talk Kids

Parenting
11:36 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Grandma Helping With The Baby: Dream Or Nightmare?

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.

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Shots - Health News
2:41 am
Mon April 21, 2014

For The Children's Sake, Put Down That Smartphone

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 11:29 am

It's not just kids who are overdoing screen time. Parents are often just as guilty of spending too much time checking smartphones and e-mail — and the consequences for their children can be troubling.

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Shots - Health News
6:03 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Mental And Physical Toll Of Bullying Persists For Decades

The longitudinal British study checked in with 8,000 families across 40 years to trace the trajectory of a bullied child.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 5:56 pm

What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right? Well, not when it comes to bullying.

Some may still consider bullying a harmless part of growing up, but mounting evidence suggests that the adverse effects of being bullied aren't something kids can just shake off. The psychological and physical tolls, like anxiety and depression, can follow a person into early adulthood.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country is the primary source of the virus in Africa but appears to be making progress against the disease; the current outbreak in Cameroon that has spread to Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, not Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:41 am

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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Let's Talk Kids
9:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Super Kid

Four-year old Luke sat quietly while his dad participated in a meeting with a bunch of grownups, hard at work on an effort of his own.  Brow furrowed, he labored intensely throughout the meeting.

When the group adjourned, Luke shared his work.  These words were written on small cards:  AQUAMAN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, BATMAN and ROBIN.

Each word was spelled correctly and written meticulously in his clear childish block letters. I was heartily impressed.

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Shots - Health News
4:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

Francis Csedrik remembers details of being bonked hard on the head when he was 4, and having to go to the emergency room.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:13 am

Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.

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Parenting
11:36 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Vaccinating Children: Who Gets To Decide?

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:49 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.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:33 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Involuntary Shaking Can Be Caused By Essential Tremors

Deep brain stimulation eased Shari Finsilver's tremors, but didn't stop them entirely. Here she uses both hands to stabilize a glass of water.
Marvin Shaouni for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:51 pm

Katharine Hepburn had it. So did playwright Eugene O'Neill and Sen. Robert Byrd. Essential tremor is a condition that causes involuntary shaking.

While it usually develops in middle age, it can start much earlier. Shari Finsilver was aware of her hands shaking as a child.

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Shots - Health News
6:31 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

How Public Health Advocates Are Trying To Reach Nonvaccinators

A school nurse prepares a vaccine against whooping cough before giving it to students at Mark Twain Middle School in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 10:54 am

Whooping cough made a comeback in California last year, which researchers have linked to vaccine refusals. And with new measles outbreaks in Southern California, New York and British Columbia, the debate over vaccination is also spreading.

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Shots - Health News
12:14 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Could A 'Barbie' Get Real? What A Healthy Fashion Doll Looks Like

Look familiar? Artist Nickolay Lamm designed a doll to look like the average 19-year-old walking — or running — on the street.
Courtesy of Lammily

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:35 pm

For decades, the Barbie doll has been slammed by parents for promoting an unhealthy female body image. Playing with a Barbie doll for just a few minutes may cause girls to limit their career ambitions, psychologists reported last month.

So why do we keep offering girls bone-thin dolls like Barbie and the popular Monster High crew, asks artist Nickolay Lamm?

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Shots - Health News
1:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin

Images of the developing fetal brain show connections among brain regions.
Allen Institute for Brain Science; Bruce Fischl, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 1:31 pm

A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism.

The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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Let's Talk Kids
12:57 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Chaos Crescendo

You rise with the sun, planning for a happy day with your children.  You walk into your daughter’s room to wake her for school and discover urine-soaked sheets, again.

 

You calmly strip the bed and run the bath for the requisite clean-up you hadn’t really allowed enough time for.  You get this one headed to the tub and throw the linens in the washer just before you go wake your other child.

 

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Parenting
10:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Taking Your Kid To The Museum Doesn't Have To Be Miserable

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
8:18 am
Sun March 30, 2014

What A Small Town's Teen Pregnancy Turnaround Can Teach The U.S.

Michelle Nimmons (with the red shoe) poses with some of the students in her sex education program in Denmark, S.C.
Courtesy of Michelle Nimmons

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:57 am

Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state's highest teen pregnancy rates.

"We had very young grandparents, grandparents were maybe [in their] 30s," says Michelle Nimmons, who has worked for the past 30 years on the issue of teen pregnancy. "Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen."

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Shots - Health News
6:40 am
Sun March 30, 2014

After Ending Polio, India Turns To Stop Another Childhood Killer

A boy waits to get vaccinated at an anti-polio campaign in Moradabad, India.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:20 am

The world just took one step closer to eradicating its second disease.

On Thursday, health officials declared India — and the entire Southeast Asia region — free of polio. And India's success against paralyzing disease is already opening doors for the massive country to stop even bigger problems.

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Shots - Health News
5:46 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

A Third Of School-Age Kids May Have Risky Cholesterol Levels

Getting kids to exercise regularly and eat right can reduce their risk of heart disease down the road.
Robert Brown iStockphoto

Of all the things parents worry about when it comes to their children's health, high cholesterol probably isn't very high on the list.

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Shots - Health News
2:55 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Why Playing Minecraft Might Be More Healthful For Kids Than TV

It's not exercise, but at least kids can't eat potato chips while gaming on phones.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 8:15 am

Doctors say children shouldn't log more than two hours a day of screen time, though what with phones, computers and TV most children put in much more.

But it may be that not all screens are equally evil.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that sixth-graders who watched a lot of TV were more likely to eat junk food and drink soda than their peers who spent the same amount of time on the computer or playing video games, researchers from the University of Michigan say.

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Shots - Health News
5:25 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Southeast Asia Free Of Polio As India Declares Health Victory

Eight-year-old Manish, who caught polio years ago, learns to walk with leg braces at a rehabilitation center in New Delhi on Thursday.
Manish Swarup AP

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 5:08 pm

A watershed moment occurred in global health Thursday: The World Health Organization said that its Southeast Asian region is now officially polio-free.

The milestone means that 80 percent of the world's population now lives without fear of the paralyzing disease.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Jump In Autism Cases May Not Mean It's More Prevalent

State numbers on autism probably don't accurately reflect children's health status, researchers say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:39 pm

The government's latest estimate shows that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. That's a remarkable jump from just two years ago, when the figure was 1 in 88, and an even bigger jump from 2007, when it was just 1 in 150.

But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the agency's skyrocketing estimates don't necessarily mean that kids are more likely to have autism now than they were 10 years ago.

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Let's Talk Kids
11:01 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Always Do Your Best

If there’s a gift I could give parents it would be to forgive themselves for not being perfect.  We love our children so much we want them to be raised by perfect parents, but we’re daily aware of the ways we’re unable to be those imagined perfect parents.

The fourth of don Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements” speaks to this drive in parents:  “Always do your best.”  Notice, the concept is not “Be perfect,” but is instead “Do your best.”

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Shots - Health News
9:41 am
Thu March 27, 2014

A Booming Economy Doesn't Save Children From Malnutrition

Indian schoolchildren wait in line for food at a government primary school in Hyderabad, India. Consistent access to nutritious food and clean water is key to helping children thrive, researchers say.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:29 am

Lack of food is the leading cause of child death worldwide, killing 3.1 million children each year and accounting for 45 percent of all child mortality.

Undernourished children who survive still face a daunting future, including reduced intellectual capacity and a higher risk of disease and disability. And while economic growth is presumed to get more children fed, a booming economy alone doesn't fix the problem, researchers say.

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Shots - Health News
5:30 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:03 am

The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.

Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.

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Parenting
10:25 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Beating Video Sparks Discipline Debate

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Can Fear Of Cancer Keep College Kids From Binge Drinking?

They're probably not thinking about breast cancer risk right now.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:26 pm

Many college students associate a good time with good friends, good music and good booze. But with half of all college drinkers engaging in binge drinking, the habit remains one of the biggest health risks among young adults.

Campaigns that tackle this problem often focus on familiar risks like drunken driving, unsafe sex and even death, but researchers say that warning students about the lesser-known link between alcohol and cancer may also be a new approach for deterring binge drinking.

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Shots - Health News
2:43 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

When Mothers Get Moving, Children Are More Active, Too

Moms of young children don't have much time to go to the gym. But getting active with the kids is a win all around.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:41 pm

Mothers of young children may feel like they don't have much time to exercise, but the more active the moms are, the more active the children.

The activity level of young children is directly linked to that of their mothers, researchers in the United Kingdom say.

But the problem is that mothers with young children aren't very active, says Esther van Sluijs, a behavioral epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge and the study's lead author.

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Kids Benefit From Counseling At The Pediatrician's Office

Behavior issues like defiance and aggression are common, and short-term counseling can help parents and kids do better.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Pediatricians often recommend some mental health counseling for children who have behavior problems like defiance and tantrums. But counseling can be hard to find. Children are much more likely to get help if the counselor is right there in the doctor's office, a study finds.

The children in the study had behavior problems, and many also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety. They were 8 years old, on average, and two-thirds were boys.

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Children's Health
10:55 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Florida Responds To Reports Of Child Abuse And Neglect

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to update you on a story that aired on this program last Friday. We heard from the Miami Herald about its investigative series called "Innocence Lost." Reporters there documented nearly 500 children who had some contact with Florida's Department of Children and Families and later died of abuse or neglect. My colleague Jennifer Ludden spoke with writer Audra Burch about how so many children fell through the cracks at the agency.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING)

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Shots - Health News
4:28 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Doctors Say Don't Give Birth To Baby In A Tub, But Midwives Disagree

Proponents of water birth say it's easier on the mother and more peaceful for the baby.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Hospitals are increasingly giving women the option of going through labor or giving birth in a pool of warm water. Laboring in the tub is fine, the nation's obstetricians and pediatricians say, but there's not enough proof that it's safe to actually give birth in one.

The doctors' statement has raised eyebrows among nurse-midwives, who have been helping women deliver in water for decades in order to ease pain and speed delivery.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Parentology': Bribes, Behavior And The Science Of Raising Kids

Dalton Conley lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Stephen P. Hudner Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:36 am

Raising kids is hard. It just is. And there's a whole industry out there trying to help parents figure out how to do it. There are all kinds of books on the very basics — sleeping, eating and talking — to those that deal with more complicated stuff, like how to teach self esteem and resiliency.

Adding to that aspirational reading list is Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask, a new book by sociologist Dalton Conley.

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Children's Health
10:14 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Were Hundreds Of Innocent Children Lost?

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 11:34 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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