Let's Talk Kids

Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Preventable Deaths: Children Die Even When Their Tragic Situations Have Been Reported to DCFS

In 2011, Christopher Valdez, 4, was beaten to death, allegedly by his mother’s boyfriend. Earlier, Christopher’s mother had been convicted of abusing him, but the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the courts had allowed him to remain in the home.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

For years, they’ve shuffled across Illinois’ front pages, a parade of tragedy.

There was Christopher Valdez, 4, of Chicago’s southwest side, whose mother’s boyfriend allegedly beat him to death in 2011. Earlier, Christopher’s mother had been convicted of abusing him, but the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the courts had nonetheless allowed him to remain in her home.

Read more
Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Hungry in Illinois: One in Five Children in Illinois Doesn't Have Enough to Eat

Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

When historians look back on this time, they might well refer to it as the “Age of Food.”

Food appreciation is a hobby. Chefs are rock-star famous. Grocery stores carry exotic items once only available in restaurants. Blogs are devoted to every kind of cuisine. “Food porn” glamorizes images of food. In fact, so many people call themselves “foodies,” some chefs and critics are shunning the word.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Just One Dose Of Many Common Medicines Can Kill A Child

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 6:32 am

Concerns about drug risks have led 28 state attorneys general to ask the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its approval of Zohydro, a long-acting narcotic painkiller, before the medicine is even put on the market.

Read more
Fitness & Nutrition
3:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Tips To Take Back The Dinner Table From Picky Eaters

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You may have one in your household, perhaps you're one yourself. We're talking about picky eaters, people who just won't try new foods. For the past month cookbook author Sally Sampson has been investigating what's behind fussy eating habits and blogging about her findings on The New York Times website.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Playing Outside

The numbers tell a solemn story.  American children play outside less now than at any other time in our nation’s history.  Time spent playing outdoors has decreased for all children, but especially for females and for minorities.  This lifestyle change has contributed to increasing health risks as children display more obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure than in previous generations.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

More Hints That Dad's Age At Conception Helps Shape A Child's Brain

Boy meets girl, sperm meets egg — how much does the age of each matter?
James Steidl/Kyle Gruba iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:05 pm

Traditionally, research has focused on women's "biological clock." But in recent years, scientists have been looking more and more at how the father's age at conception might affect the baby, too.

A study published Wednesday hints that age really might matter — in terms of the child's mental health.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:42 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome

The new test scans a mother's blood for bits of a fetus's DNA.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:24 am

A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.

A study that evaluated the test in 1,914 pregnancies found that the test, which checks DNA, produces far fewer false alarms than the current screening techniques.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs

Up till now, all babies have had two genetic parents. That could soon change.
Klöpper & Eisenschmidt GbR iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:08 am

A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.

Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.

Read more
The Salt
2:34 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

New Rules Would Curb How Kids Are Sold Junk Food At School

Michelle Obama eats lunch with school children at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., in 2012. The first lady unveiled new guidelines Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the marketing of junk food to kids during the school day.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 2:06 pm

If you want to teach kids to adopt healthier eating habits, it's probably unwise to give them coupons for fast food chains at school.

And those advertisements for sugary sodas on the gymnasium scoreboard? Seems like another mixed message schools are sending kids.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:54 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Overlooked Virus May Be Cause Of Paralyzing Disease In California

Sophia Jarvis, 4, of Berkeley, Calif., is one of the few children diagnosed with the polio-like disease, which left her arm paralyzed. She attended a press conference Monday at Stanford University with her dad, Jeff.
Martha Mendoza AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 10:55 am

Doctors in California are puzzled by an illness that has paralyzed at least five children and may have affected about 20 others.

Sick children had symptoms similar to polio. They lost muscle function in an arm or a leg over a few days.

So far, the children haven't responded to any treatments and the paralysis has been permanent, doctors from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, said in statement Sunday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Can A Doctor Really Demand An Extra $75 Upfront?

Insurers prohibit doctors from charging more than a copayment or other amount specified in your plan.
Douglas W Allen iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:25 pm

This week, I answer readers' questions about what doctors can ask for in advance and the nuances of switching insurance plans, both on and off the health exchanges.

Q. After signing up for a gold level plan on the health insurance marketplace, my physician, who is part of my plan, asked for $75 up front. My copayment is $25. His office also wants to keep a credit card on file. Is this legal?

Read more
Parenting
10:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Paternity Leave: Why Men Don't Take It, But Should

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 11:45 am

New mothers usually take at least some time off after delivering a baby, but dads are less likely to take leave. Advocates are pushing more dads to take paternity leave, and employers to offer it.

Shots - Health News
1:39 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Legal Drinking Age Of 21 Saves Lives, Even Though It's Flouted

Students drink outside the Rose Bowl during the NCAA BCS national championship game in January.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:46 am

Eighty percent of college students say they drink, despite laws making it illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. Critics of that drinking age say that lowering it would reduce binge drinking and alcohol-related deaths.

But that might be wishful thinking, a study says. Researchers from Boston University reviewed scientific literature published since 2006 and concluded keeping the legal drinking age at 21 reduces rates of drunk driving and crashes, and reduces rates of underage drinking.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Why Pediatricians Want To Check 9-Year-Olds' Cholesterol

Joscelyn Benninghoff, 10, goes over the results of her cholesterol test with her mother Elizabeth Duruz (right) and Dr. Elaine Urbina at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 2011.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:15 pm

The yearly pediatrician's visit can seem like the same old thing: height, weight, shots. But the rules for well child visits are changing, and the nation's pediatricians want to make sure that parents and doctors are up to speed on the changes.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain

In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end.
Tom Szalay

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 11:07 am

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:41 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Tiny Iron Particles Help Find Cancer Without Using Risky Radiation

CT scans are valuable for finding cancers, but deliver a lot of radiation in the process. That's an especially big concern for children.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:20 am

Full body CT scans can save lives by helping detect cancer early. But the scans use high doses of radiation to create their detailed images, which means they also increase patients' risk of developing cancer later on in life.

Children and teenagers are at greatest risk, because they tend to live long enough to develop secondary cancers. And their growing tissues may be more susceptible to radiation.

Read more
Let's Talk Kids
12:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

The Anchor

Every parent understands that your joy and sorrow rises and falls with your child. Your heart vacillates between those two extremes as your child faces tragedy and triumph.

You may be on top of your game at work, but if you get a call from the principal telling you your child just cheated on a test, you feel like an utter failure. You may be enjoying great health yourself, but when your child's pediatrician wants to run some tests to rule out a dreaded diagnosis, your lay awake nights worrying.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:52 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Parents And Teens Aren't Up To Speed On HPV Risks, Doctors Say

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:17 pm

You would think that a vaccine that could prevent cancer would be an easy sell, but that's hasn't proven to be true so far with the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:28 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Babies Who Eat Too Well May Be On The Path To Obesity

It's great that he's going for the last piece of pasta. Or is it?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:48 pm

Parents love it when their babies are good eaters, whether it's polishing off a bottle or happily grabbing bits of pasta. But researchers think babies who chow down with gusto might be setting themselves up for obesity later on.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:22 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

IVF Baby Boom: Births From Fertility Procedures Hit New High

Sperm are placed inside the egg with a needle during a fertility treatment called intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:05 pm

More couples than ever are turning to in vitro fertilization to help build families.

In 2012, more than 61,000 babies were conceived with the help of IVF, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology reported Monday.

Read more
Parenting
11:22 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Bringing Up Olympians: Athletes' Parents Shed Their Own Blood, Sweat And Tears

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:39 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Finessing Health Coverage: When To Buy Insurance For A New Baby

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 8:59 am

We're heading into the home stretch to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year. The open enrollment period ends March 31 for most people.

But there are exceptions. And they are the subject of many of our questions this month.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:37 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids' Menu

Kids as young as 13 purchase e-cigarettes, or "vape pens," online, where independent sellers don't necessarily ask a buyer's age.
Jenny Lei Bolario Youth Radio

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:11 am

Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:26 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Here's One More Reason To Play Video Games: Beating Dyslexia

Video games with lots of action might be useful for helping people with dyslexia train the brain's attention system.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:38 pm

Most parents prefer that their children pick up a book rather than a game controller. But for kids with dyslexia, action video games may be just what the doctor ordered.

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities, affecting an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the world's population. Many approaches to help struggling readers focus on words and phonetics, but researchers at Oxford University say dyslexia is more of an attention issue.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages