Tips on potty training your toddler
Fish are high in several beneficial nutrients, including some that are related to healthy brain development.
Headlines recently announced the death of Cory Monteith, one of the stars of the TV show Glee.
The modified saying Music soothes the savage beast may have new applications in the modern world of medicine. New research suggests that music may help some children experience less discomfort when dealing with low level or moderate pain.
Do you remember your first period? I do. Even though it has been many years since that fateful day, I can recall the experience as if it happened yesterday. I was 13 years old and walking home from school. Something felt odd as I took each step something wet.
Many adults and kids have switched to diet drinks to help reduce their calorie intake. In fact, children who drink sugar-free beverages have doubled in the past 10 years according to a study released in 2012.
Is there ever really a perfect time to start a family? If you're in the planning stage or wanting to grow your family you might want to rule out the month of May for conception.
If your teenager tells you that he or she has a stomach ache it might be more than just an excuse to get out of doing something you've asked them to do.
Our typical sizzling summer has officially begun and temperatures are rising across the nation. My thermostat isn't reading as hot as some places like southern California (currently 114 degrees), but it's still pretty toasty outside.
Kids get runny noses. But is it caused by allergies, a simple cold or something more serious like a sinus infection? If your child has a history of sinus infections, a new review of clinical guidelines may be just what the doctor ordered.
When brothers and sisters pick on, harass, hit, punch, kick, insult and generally harass other siblings they're not typically identified as bullies. The response is more often kids will be kids.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is producing remarkable results in teenage girls by cutting infections in half. A new study measures the vaccines impact since it came on the market in 2006.
Only about half of teen girls in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of the expensive vaccine, and just a third of teen girls have had all three shots, according to the latest government figures.
"These are striking results and I think they should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC study compared infection rates in girls 14 to 19 before and after the vaccine became available. The proportion infected with the targeted HPV strains dropped 56 percent, from about 12 percent before the vaccine was sold to 5 percent. That result was for all teens after it was on the market, whether or not they were vaccinated.
Among girls who had gotten the vaccine, the drop in HPV infections was higher " 88 percent.
For the vaccine to be effective, 3 shots have to be given over a period of 6 months. There are two vaccines against HPV, but the study only looked at Gardasil. Both vaccines are approved for use in males and females " ages 9 to 26 for females and ages 9 to 21 in males.
The study involved interviews and physical examinations of nearly 1,400 teen girls in 2003 through 2006 and of 740 girls in 2007 through 2010.
The vaccine's impact was seen even though only 34 percent of the teens in the second group had received any vaccine. That could be due to "herd immunity" " when a population is protected from an infection because a large or important smaller group is immune.
Some parents have balked at having their children and teens vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease out of concern that it could encourage sexual activity. Frieden said the vaccination is meant to protect them when they become adul
The rotavirus vaccine is definitely one vaccine you want to make sure your child gets.
Rotavirus is a gastrointestinal disease that causes an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can produce severe diarrhea along with vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. Dehydration is often a side effect and globally, its responsible for more than half a million deaths each year in children under the age of five.
This disease is bad news for youngsters, but since the Rotarix and RotaTeq vaccines were introduced - U.S. children have benefited greatly from the protection.
Most parents are good about making sure their kids receive all the recommended vaccines, but many wonder how effective these vaccines really are. A new study says that the rotavirus vaccines are 91-92 percent effective for children 8 months and older. Thats an excellent result.
The study, led by Margaret M. Cortese, MD, of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aimed to find out the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine.
There are several types of rotavirus vaccines. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of the monovalent vaccine called RV1- that came out in 2008. They also reviewed data on the pentavalent vaccine RV5.
The researchers gathered files on all children who went to one of five hospitals in Georgia and Connecticut with severe diarrhea lasting no more than 10 days.
The children were all born after the RV1 vaccine had been introduced (2008).
The researchers tested their stools for rotavirus and looked at their immunization records.
The researcher then compared the vaccination history of the children who had rotavirus to those who did not have rotavirus.
There were 165 children who had rotavirus in their stool and 428 who tested negative for it.
When the researchers compared these groups, they found the RV1 rotavirus vaccine was 91 perce
Baby Matters LLC is voluntarily recalling its foam rubber Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners and their covers, in exchange for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) dropping an administrative complaint that it filed in December 2012.
From 2009 to the present, the Commission staff has received at least 92 incident reports involving the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill products, including five infant deaths. CPSC is aware of four infants who died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and a fifth death involved in the Chill model. In the incident reports received by CPSC, there were 92 reports of infants hanging or falling over the side of the products, including some infants who were restrained in the products harness.
In December 2012, four major retailers"Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us"announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny and Chill models sold in their stores. Consumers who purchased a Nap Nanny from one of these retailers should contact the retailer for instructions on how to obtain a refund for the product.
About 165,000 of the Nap Nanny and Chill products were sold between 2009 and 2012 for about $130. The recalled products were sold at toy and children's retail stores nationwide and online, including at www.napnanny.com.
Baby Matters LLC is no longer in business and is not accepting returns. CPSC urges consumers to immediately dispose of the products to ensure that they are not used again.
- Buy Buy Baby: Toll-free at (877) 328-9222,http://www.buybuybaby.com/productRecalls.asp
The esteemed Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank that conducts public opinion polls and demographic research and analysis, came up with five facts about fathers that are interesting.
Over the last thirty years, the roles fathers play in the lives of their children have changed. Some might say for the better.
While there are still way too many children growing up without a father, many dads are making a dedicated and heartfelt effort to be more involved in their child's life.
So, in keeping with dad appreciation week as we build up to Father's Day next Sunday, here are five facts you may not know about dear old dad.
1. The Census Bureau estimates that last year there were about 189,000 stay-at-home dads, defined as married fathers with children younger than 15 who stayed out of the labor force for at least one year primarily to care for the family while their wife works outside the home. Those dads cared for an estimated 369,000 children.
2. In 2009 there were about 2.4 million custodial fathers (that is, raising their children while the mother was living elsewhere), versus 11.2 million custodial mothers, according to a Census Bureau report. About 619,000 custodial fathers were due child support; collectively, they received about $1.9 billion.
3. Fathers have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children, from 2.5 hours in 1965 to 7.3 hours per week in 2011, according to a Pew Research report that analyzed years of time-use data. Despite that increase, 46% of fathers said they spent too little time with their children, compared with 23% of mothers who said the same; half of dads said they spent the right amount of time.
4. More than three-quarters of new fathers took one week or less off from work after the birth or adoption of their most recent child, according to a 2011 Boston College study of fath
Kids and water: They may not want to drink a lot of it, but they sure love to play in it. Now that the magical season of summer is almost here, there will be a lot of children doing just that. While you may think you already know everything there is to know on water safety, its still a good idea for parents, guardians and babysitters to freshen-up on ways to help keep kids safe when around or in water.
The good news, according to a study published by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University in 2012, is that more parents ARE paying attention to water safety. Children dying from drowning"related incidents have declined dramatically since the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, more than 1,000 U.S. children still die from drowning and another 5,000 are injured every year. Dying from drowning isnt the only serious outcome that can occur. Nonfatal drowning can also result in brain damage and long-term disability.
Children less than 4 years old are most likely to die in drowning incidents, usually in bathtubs or after falling into water. Older children are more likely to drown while swimming, according to research cited in the study, with the risk rising in warmer regions of the South and West that have longer swimming seasons.
Lets review a few water safety tips, provided by kidshealth.org, and USA Today News that may help your little one from becoming one of the heart-breaking statistics listed above.
Supervision: The number one rule for water safety and children is that an adult, preferably one who knows CPR, is overseeing any child or group of children in water - whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. If you dont know how to swim, learn. A parent or guardian who can actually enter the water and retrieve a child is able to respond faster, when a child is in trouble, than someone who has t
Time and time again headlines declare that vegetables are absolutely necessary to a healthy lifestyle. As parents, we get it. But what if your little one doesn't like broccoli, green beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets -ok, I'll pass on that one too- corn, cauliflower, spinach or tomatoes? What if every time you attempt to smuggle a vegetable into your child's meal world war three breaks out?
Well...there may be hope. Try a little dip (and tenderness). According to a small but optimistic study, kids that don't normally like veggies messing up their perfectly good meal, will reevaluate that outlook and give vegetables a taste if they are presented with a bit of flavored dip.
The fact that the dip used during the study was low in fat, calories and sodium didn't seem to matter.
The study was conducted at the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University.
Thirty-four preschoolers were asked to do a taste test of vegetables with and without the low-fat dip.
Not surprisingly, the kids liked the veggies better when they were served with dip. When the dip was flavored, kids liked the vegetables even more compared to plain dip or no dip at all.
What I find amazing is that thirty one percent of the little tykes liked the vegetables as is nothing added. When the researchers added the dip though, a whopping sixty-four percent were thumbs up on the vegetables. There were of course, those children who wouldn't budge even while others were smiling, dipping and exclaiming how tasty cauliflower can actually be. Six percent said no thanks to the dip and the vegetables while eighteen percent said absolutely no to the vegetables with no dip.
To see just how far kids were willing to go with the veggie and dip combo researchers did another study. This time they offered 27 preschoolers celery or squash both notorious for being leaders in a preschooler's yuck category. The kids basically picked at the
Many obese men and women are turning to surgery to help them lose the extra weight. But for women who are planning a pregnancy, is it a good idea?
A new study suggests that for obese women who choose weight-loss surgery to bring their weight under control, having the procedure may also benefit their future children.
A Canadian study found that children born after their mother had lost considerable weight from gastric bypass surgery were slimmer than their pre-surgery siblings and had fewer risk factors for diabetes or heart disease later in life.
The findings showed that numerous genes linked to obesity-related health problems worked differently in the younger siblings than in their older brothers and sisters.
The researchers looked at the genes of 50 children who were born to 20 mothers before or after they had gastric bypass surgery. The children were on average about 15 years old.
The moms were between the ages of 35 to 51 and were all classified as obese before they had the procedures. They all lost almost 100 pounds after the surgery.
The type of gastric bypass surgery performed on the mothers who participated in the study is called a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure. It is not used as often as the more common Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. In the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure, a larger part of the stomach is left intact while bypassing most of the intestine.
In the children born after their mothers surgery and weight loss, researchers found 5,698 genes were expressed differently than their older siblings. What that means is that the mothers didnt pass on different genes to their children, but how those genes operated in the childrens bodies were different in the pre and post surgery children. The reason may be that factors inside the womb seem to affect the dimmer switches that develop on a fetus' genes " chemical changes that make genes sp
If you're planning on adding another child to your family-or thinking about starting a family-you might want to consider getting the whooping cough vaccine before you get pregnant.
Why would you do that? According to a new study from Australia, babies who are born to women that are vaccinated with the whooping cough (also known as Pertussis) vaccine before they become pregnant have a 50% lower risk of developing the disease.
Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system. It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before they are immunized, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to decrease. Pertussis is characterized by severe coughing spells that may produce a whooping sound when the child breathes in.
It is highly contagious and before the Pertussis vaccine was available it killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the U.S. each year. Now that there is a vaccine, the annual number of deaths is less than 30. But in recent years, the number of cases has started to rise. By 2004, the number of whooping cough cases spiked past 25,000, the highest level it's been since the 1950s.
The researchers looked at 217 babies ages 4 months and younger who had whooping cough. They compared them with 585 healthy infants born at the same time in the same area.
They discovered that a similar percentage of mothers - in both groups - received the whooping cough vaccine. However, 41 percent of the moms of healthy babies had been vaccinated at least four weeks before their infant became sick. However, of the mothers whose babies had whooping cough, only 27 percent of mothers had been vaccinated at least four weeks earlier.
Also in the healthy baby group, 26 percent of the mothers said they had been vaccinated before their baby was born, while only 14 percent of mothers whose babies had whooping cough said they had been vaccinated before delivery.
In this program, "there was no vaccination durin
Here is another one of the can't believe what I hear at the office! I was on call the other night and it was around bedtime when I walked in the exam room to see 2 little girls (actually they are part of a triplet set but their brother was home). Their dad had brought them in because they had rashes and bug bites. Nothing too serious. They are adorable 2 years old and very well behaved.
So, after examining the rashes and bites and determining that they could be dealt with a bit of cortisone cream, the dad and I were discussing a few more things. Of course the girls got bored, and as you know a bored 2 year old typically doesn't sit still, especially when it is time for bed. So as the girls jumped up and down off the table and picked out more stickers their Dad was getting tired as well. By the way, he is a great father and he and has wife have handled having triplets with such ease. They were meant to have multiples.
Well, before we could finish up the appointment the girls had gotten into the diaper bag, pulled out snacks and were enjoying themselves. As much as he was ready to go, they were not ready to pack up and leave and he was having a hard time getting them to listen.
Here comes the line of the night! He turns to the girls in a moment of what to do next and says,if you don't behave and listen to me, Dr. Sue is going to make you sick! LOL! I have heard a lot of Dr. Sue will give you a shot if you don't behave, but I have never heard this one. While I don't believe in threatening kids with shots at the doctors, this was a new one.
After I stopped laughing I told the girls that this was not true, doctors would and could not make them sick, but they did need to listen to their dad!!
I know that we all say things out of desperation, but please don't use the lines the doctor will give you a sh
You can count on it. As spring turns to summer and temperatures outside start climbing, a child will die after being left in a hot car.
It happened recently in Dallas. A mother arrived at work, parked her car, grabbed her purse, locked the car and went into her workplace. She didn't see her baby asleep in the backseat.
When officers arrived about 6 hours later, they said she seemed truly surprised when they confronted her. She asked if her husband was ok or if something had happened to her baby at daycare. She was sure she had delivered her baby to daycare that morning up until the moment she was told her baby had died in her car.
Variations of this story play out across the country every year and children die because they are either intentionally or accidently left in a hot car.
Many people are shocked when they hear or read about something like this happening especially when a parent or caregiver simply forgot the child was with them or thought they had left the child with someone else. They wonder how could that possibly happen?
While there is no excuse for negligence, experts say that parents who are otherwise loving and attentive to their kids can forget that their child is in the car when they are super-focused on getting somewhere, distracted while driving, under tremendous strain or when taking their child to daycare is not part of their daily routine.
Another factor that may contribute to a parent's forgetfulness is rear-facing car seats. Originally intended to save lives, when the car seat is placed behind the drivers seat a parent may miss the visual cue of a child when glancing in the rear-view mirror. Children are usually pretty noisy when they are in the car, unless they fall asleep. The silence doesnt offer the sound cue that someone else is in the car.
Then there are the parents or caregivers who deliberately leave their child in the car when they run an errand. They often think that its easier and faster
I recently ran into a friend I hadn't seen in about 5 years. We were catching up on each other's lives when her teenage son joined us. The last time I saw John he was about 11 years old and full of pre-teen energy and curiosity. This time however, he was quiet and kept his head down when he said hello. When he finally looked up, I saw why he had been avoiding full-face eye contact. John had a pretty severe case of acne. Not a few pimples, but entire areas on his face that were red and dotted with large pustules and cysts. It looked painful.
Typically, acne isn't a serious medical condition. It comes and goes throughout life and is more of an annoyance than anything else. For some though, acne can cause emotional distress and lead to scarring of the skin and psyche.
Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) medications that when combined with a consistent face cleaning routine, keep breakouts to a minimum.
But for some people, teens in particular, acne can progress to the point where OTC medications don't control the problem. Pediatricians are often called upon to help teens come up with a plan of treatment.
There is a range of medications that can clear up even severe cases of acne, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Writing in the May issue of its journal Pediatrics, the group throws its support behind new guidelines from the American Acne and Rosacea Society that detail how to treat acne in children and teens of all ages.
That "all ages" part is important because acne is becoming more and more common in pre-teens, too, said Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, the lead author of the AAP report. One study of 9- and 10-year-old girls found that more than three-quarters had pimples.
A possible reason for why kids are experiencing breakouts at a younger age is that, on an average, boys and girls are starting puberty earlier than in past generations says Eichenfield.
On Monday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report saying that, in the United States, 2012 was the deadliest year on record for deaths attributed to the West Nile virus.
Texas led the nation, compromising 33 percent of all reported cases with 1,868 infections and 89 deaths. That was far above California, which had the second most reported cases at 479 and 20 deaths.
In the majority of West Nile virus cases, most people experience only minor symptoms such as fever and a mild headache. However, some people who become infected with the virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
Serious symptoms can include:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stupor or coma
- Tremors or muscle jerking
- Lack of coordination
- Partial paralysis or sudden muscle weakness
Signs and symptoms of West Nile fever usually last a few days, but signs and symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis can linger for weeks, and certain neurological effects, such as muscle weakness, may be permanent.
If you or a family member experience any of these more severe symptoms see a physician immediately.
The CDC's Dr. Lyle Petersen says it's impossible to know what West Nile will do this summer. "It is very hard to predict," he said in a telephone interview with NBC News. "I can't tell you what the weather is going to be like this summer, for example." The virus is driven by weather; it's worse during hot, wet summers in temperate climates.
"What last summer's outbreak tells us is that West Nile is not going to go away," Petersen said. "Most places in the United States are at risk of having outbreaks."
Currently, there is no vaccine against the virus for people. Most infections occur in the warmer months when mosquitoes are active.
Adults over 50 ar
Many a new mother has struggled with whether to breast-feed or give her newborn formula. A recent study, published in the journal
Yesterday was Mothers Day and if youre on Facebook, you had a chance to see pictures of most of your friends mothers. Just about everyone I know - including me - posted either a recent or vintage photo of their mom. It was really quite sweet to see the impact that peoples mothers have had on them and to read the loving posts reaffirming their devotion. There were photos of new mothers, middle-aged mothers and old mothers. Mothers that are no longer with us (like mine) and substitute mothers that have stepped up to the plate when they were needed. It was a social media mother blitz.
When my child was little I didnt have social media to share thoughts and activities and to ask questions about child rearing.
I found myself somewhat isolated and wondering if I was doing everything right. Fortunately, I did have a phone and a mother I could call.
Moms now have the Internet, social media and blogging to help walk them through all the stages of childhood development and its actually proving quite beneficial.
A 2012 study says blogs, in particular, may help mothers feel less alone and more connected with family and friends. According to the studys findings, whether they are readers or writers, moms who are participating in supportive parenting blogs are less stressed.
"It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported," said Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies at Penn State. "That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they're feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression."
The Brigham Young University researchers surveyed 157 new mothers about their media use and their well-being. The m
Before it has a chance to fly off the shelves, Wrigley has decided to stop production, sales and marketing of their new caffeinated gum. The company's decision comes after meetings with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The government agency shared its concerns about the possible effects of caffeinated gum on children and adolescents.
Alert Energy Caffeine Gum was introduced into the marketplace less than a month ago. One piece contains 40 milligrams of caffeine, about the same amount that's typically in a half-cup of coffee.
The gum was available in 2 flavors: mint and fruit. Once someone starts chewing the gum, caffeine is released into the saliva. Some of it is swallowed and some goes directly into the bloodstream through the cheeks or from under the tongue.
"The FDA applauds Wrigley's decision and its recognition that we need to improve understanding and, as needed, strengthen the regulatory framework governing the appropriate levels and uses of caffeine in foods and beverages," said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. "The company's action demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health. We hope others in the food industry will exercise similar restraint."
Wrigley released its own statement about why they made their decision.
"When Wrigley launched Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, we took great strides to ensure that the product was formulated, distributed and marketed in a safe and responsible way to consumers 25 years old and over," Wrigley President Casey Keller said. "After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply. There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products."
Caffeine seems to be the new marketing chemical of choice for just about anything you can p
Have you ever sucked on your baby's pacifier to clean it? Many parents have. Babies drop their binkies all the time and if you're in a hurry or just figure a little spit-cleaning won't hurt, you're more likely to stick it in your own mouth and give it a quick once over.
A new study out of Sweden says the spit-cleaning technique may actually help your infant avoid eczema and asthma.
It was surprising that the effect was so strong, says pediatric allergist Dr. Bill Hesselmar of Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, lead author of the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
The study involved 136 infants who used a pacifier in their first 6 months. 65 of the infants had parents that reported sucking the pacifier to clean it. In those children, both eczema and asthma were strongly reduced when they were examined at 18 months of age. At 36 months of age, the protective effect remained for eczema but not for asthma.
Scientists didn't know why the sucking on the baby's pacifier acted as a protector or whether it was filtering out germs. The technique didn't have any impact on respiratory illness, meaning that the babies were not more likely to get a cold or the flu from their parents. Common sense would dictate that if you have a cold or the flu or any other contagious condition, then it's not a good idea to suck on your baby's binky. Otherwise, maybe it's not such a bad idea.
Why is sucking on your infant's pacifier possibly helpful in preventing asthma or eczema in your child? Scientists hypothesize that tiny organisms in the saliva of the parents may be why. Parent's saliva introduces gut micoflora that live in the digestive tract of the baby. We know that if infants have diverse microflora in the gut, then children will have less allergy and less eczema,says Hesselmar. When parents suck on the pacifier, they are transferring microflora to the child.
Its really amazing how far this country has come in its recognition that smoking is bad for you. During the 1950s almost half of American adults were lighting up, today that number is below 20 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The American Lung Association says that 68 percent of adult smokers say that started smoking regularly when they were age18 or younger.
Tobacco use among middle and high school students is gradually going down, but far too many kids are still giving cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco a try.
Kids are attracted to smoking for a lot of reasons. I dont think anyone of any age thinks cigarettes smell good or finds a brown slimy wad of spit attractive, but kids will overlook the gross factor if they really want to try a cigarette.
So how do you talk to your child about the dangers of smoking without it going in one ear and out the other? What if YOU smoke- how do you tell your child not to smoke?
The number one reason for smoking among kids is peer pressure. Kids want to fit in. So, the first conversation to have when you talk to your child about smoking is how to respond to peer pressure other than just saying no thanks. Other suggestions might be It makes my clothes and breath smell bad. I dont like that, Smoking can make you sick and I dont like being sick, You may want to smoke but I really dont want to. If you are going to smoke, please dont do it around me, and smoking will make my teeth yellow. Give your child some optional ways to respond when pressure is applied. Create a plan and even let your child practice responding by role-playing.
Another approach to talking with your child about smoking is to ask them why they think kids start smoking. There are actually a lot of reasons kids (and adults) start smoking. Anxious or worried kids like the calming affect it has on them. A lot of girls think smoking will help them lose weight. Top
When your baby cries should you pick him or her up and walk or find a good rocking chair and rock back and forth? A new study from Japan says that infants respond best when mom (or any caregiver) picks them up and walks around.
Researchers said that the babies rapidly beating hearts also slowed down, proving that they felt calmer.
"Infants become calm and relaxed when they are carried by their mother said study researcher Dr. Kumi Kuroda, who investigates social behavior at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Saitama, Japan. Interestingly, the study also observed the same response in baby mice.
For the study, researchers monitored the responses of 12 healthy infants ages 1 month to 6 months. The scientists wanted to discover the most effective way for mothers to calm a crying baby over a 30-second period " simply holding the baby or carrying the infant while walking.
Results showed that infants carried by walking mothers were the most relaxed and soothed compared to babies whose mothers sat in a chair and held them. As a mother stood up with her cradled her baby and started to walk, scientists observed an automatic change in the baby's behavior.
These results held even after the researchers took into account other factors, such as the child's age and sex, and the mother's age and walking speed.
Kuroda said she was surprised by the strength of the calming effect. Researchers noted that the rhythm of walking might be more effective in soothing infants than any other rhythmic motion, including rocking.
Babies cry for a variety of reasons. If an infant is hungry or in pain, they'll most likely start crying again when they are laid back down. But sometimes a baby just feels a little anxious or unsure about their environment and will relax when held close and comforted. Kuroda acknowledged carrying might not completely stop the crying, but it may prevent parents from becoming frustrated by a crying infant.<
10 to 20 percent of children have common skin warts, but where do they come from? Old wives tales and folklore suggest they come from touching frogs or toads, but I think we've all grown past that as an explanation. Actually, warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They form when the virus gets into the skin, usually through a cut or scratch. The virus causes the rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of skin and once formed, they can be rough or smooth to the touch.
How do children get warts? A recent study found that elementary age children are most likely to catch the virus from family members or at school.
The study was led by, Sjoerd C. Bruggink, MD, Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He and his team looked at how warts are commonly spread. They focused on HPV, but not the strains transmitted through sexual activity.
The study looked at 1,000 children ages 4 to 12. Researchers looked for warts on the children's hands and feet, and recorded information such as whether any family members or classmates had warts, whether the children walked barefoot at home, and whether they visited public swimming pools, used public showers or played sports barefoot. At a follow-up exam a year later, the children were re-examined for warts.
Overall, 29 percent of the children in the study developed new warts during the year. Researchers said that children who had warts at the start of the study were more likely to develop new warts than were children who had no warts at the beginning of the study.
The investigators noted that the susceptibility to developing warts may run in families. The study found that children who had family members with warts were twice as likely to develop warts.
20 percent of the children were more likely to get them from classmates who had warts.
Prevention should be aimed at reducing transmission within families and classes, the researchers s
More funny stories from work.
I was on call yesterday. In my practice, call days are pretty long. On a given call day, I might be responsible for making hospital rounds all morning (I may go to 3 or 4 different hospitals) and then work evening office hours as well. The evenings in the office are typically pretty busy and for some reason some of the sicker children seem to come at night. Usually not a lot of time for chatting with the patients or their parents.
The other night was a bit slower (maybe spring is finally here and all of those colds are going away!) and I was finishing up with a toddler who had been wheezing and was getting breathing treatments. While waiting for her treatment to finish, her mother and I started talking and somehow got to the subject of funny things our mothers had said to us. (I think because her own mother had told her that her daughter was wheezing because she hadnt been wearing a coat during the last cold snap. This is a myth).
At any rate, I remember my own mother telling me during those teen years to always wear matching undergarments in case I got into an accident. At the time it sounded a bit weird, but looking back now, it is kind of morose. I mean REALLY!!! But I sometimes laugh out loud thinking about those words of wisdom.
I saved the best line of this conversation for last. This young mother, with her really cute 20 month old daughter in her lap, looks up at me and says, I bet I tell this one to just make sure she has underwear on when she goes out, who cares about the color!
Celebrity moms seem to be popping up everywhere showing no hint that theyve just delivered a baby. Many of them are incredibly in-shape within a few months after childbirth, donning bikinis, short shorts and tank tops. How do they do it? Theyve got an army of people helping them and they spend hours doing extreme workouts every day. However, most post-pregnancy moms dont have access to that kind of potent combination.
So how long should it take to lose your pregnancy weight gain? It depends on what shape you were in before you gained the weight and how much you gained over nine-months.
If you started at a normal weight, and gained between 25 and 35 pounds, it should take about 2 to 4 months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Remember that your body has changed over that nine months, so although you may lose the extra pounds, your shape may be different.
If you were overweight before you were pregnant you most likely added more weight than doctors typically recommend (25-35 lbs.). It may take up to a year or more to lose your extra weight and the weight you dont lose may stick with you for a very long time.
Looking at pictures of models and actresses that seem to drop the pounds almost magically after giving birth can be depressing to new moms who dont have the same resources. But its really unrealistic to compare yourself with others. Everyone is different and you have to objectively look at where youre starting from and what a realistic goal is for you.
Should you diet?
Dieting usually isnt the answer. As strange as that may sound, trying to stick to a diet while adjusting to having a new baby in the family is probably asking too much of yourself. A better approach is to eat a well-balanced variety of foods. Actually eating more often throughout the day and creating smaller portions can help boost your metabolism. It will also keep you from getting too hungry from going too long between me
You've probably had this experience before, I know I have. You decide it's a great night for eating out and choose a popular restaurant to go to. Or, perhaps it's a special night for you and your spouse and youve dressed up and are looking forward to going to your favorite eating establishment to spend a little quality time together. Once there, you're having a wonderful conversation and waiting on your dinner to arrive.
A family with small children arrives and is seated in the booth behind yours. You don't think much about it until suddenly a volcano of chaos erupts. You are now faced with a child (or children) who is screaming, kicking the back of the booth, jumping up and down, running around the restaurant tables, tossing food and has picked this moment for a category-5 meltdown.
Meanwhile the parents continue having their conversation, oblivious to the fact that their child is ruining everyone else's dining experience.
Sound somewhat familiar? Of course, this doesn't only happen in restaurants but also in stores, movie theaters and other places where people have to share space with one another.
I use the term parents only as an example. You can substitute grandparents, guardians, friends whoever should be in charge.
Let's face it, this can be a touchy topic. Many parents become quite defensive when this subject comes up and people who've had their dining experience interrupted by an out of control child can get very upset.
It's become such a problem for customers that some restaurants won't serve families with kids under 6.
A lot of parents get this. They don't want their kids acting up or causing anyone discomfort. But they also want to be able to eat out with their kids every once in a while.
So what is a parent to do?
Good behavior begins at home and teaching children table manners and social etiquette when they are small helps them learn self-control even in stimulating en
This is one of those health concerns you heard a lot about in the 70s and 80s when the government began to take an active role in reducing the amount of lead in our everyday environment.
As long ago as 1904, child lead poisoning was linked to lead-based paints, but it wasnt until 1971 that the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act was passed. Finally in 1978, lead-based paint was banned. The inside and outside of homes built before then most likely were painted with a lead based paint. Since lead is slightly sweet to the taste children are tempted to put fallen paint chips, or peeled chips, into their mouths.
Lead was also an additive used in gasoline till 1986 when it was phased out of production. Tons of lead was released into the atmosphere and eventually found its way into the dirt of playgrounds, and yards.
The banning of lead in these two areas alone has dramatically reduced the number of American children with elevated blood lead levels. Thats extremely good news because lead poisoning can have terrible consequences for children and adults.
But, despite the progress that has been made in the last four decades, about 2.6% of U.S. children aged 1 to 5 years old still have too much lead in their systems, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Surveys conducted between 2007 and 2010 show that more than half a million children had blood lead levels equal to or above the recommended 5 micrograms per deciliter (mg/dl). A level at, or higher than 5 mcg/dl, is considered a level of concern by the CDC.
Children can be exposed to lead by inhaling it, swallowing it or in rare cases absorbing it through the skin. In the bloodstream it can damage red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it. Lead can end up in the bones and interfere with calcium absorption. It can severely affect mental and physical development and at very
The dreary days of winter are quickly giving way to longer hours of daylight. Kids will soon be swimming, biking, playing sports and enjoying all the other advantages that more sunshine and warmer weather offers. Theyll also be absorbing more UVA and UVB rays.
While skin cancer in children is rare, and melanoma " the deadliest form of skin cancer- is even more unusual, more cases are being reported according to a new study. The rates increased by about 2% per year from 1973 to 2009 in U.S. children ages newborn to 19. Melanoma accounts for up to 3 percent of all pediatric cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
As you might expect, the largest increase was seen in teenage girls from 15 to19 years old. Girls tend to lay out in the sun or visit tanning booths more often than boys. Girls are more likely to have melanomas on their lower legs and hips while boys melanomas are typically found on the face and trunk.
Recent studies have also shown that melanoma is on the rise among adults as well. Exactly what is driving these trends is not fully understood, but increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and tanning booths as well as greater awareness of melanoma may be responsible, according to study authors led by Jeannette Wong of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
Skin cancer looks pretty much the same in children as it does in adults. Parents should routinely check any moles or changes in their childs skin.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. It is highly treatable, grows very slowly and is located on the top layer of skin. It usually appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin, mainly those areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It more commonly occurs among people with light-colored eyes, hair, and complexion.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a more aggressive skin cancer but
If a child is diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), will he or she eventually outgrow it or continue with the condition into adulthood?
A new study shows that nearly 30% will continue to struggle with ADHD, and may develop other mental health issues.
"We suffer from the misconception that ADHD is just an annoying childhood disorder thats over treated," researcher William Barbaresi, MD, of Boston Childrens Hospital, says in a prepared statement. "This couldnt be further from the truth. We need to have a chronic-disease approach to ADHD as we do for diabetes. The system of care has to be designed for the long haul."
The study included 5,700 adults. Two groups were created: one group had been diagnosed during childhood with ADHD, and the other group grew up without ADHD.
Out of 367 participants who had childhood ADHD, 232 were followed into adulthood. At age 27, nearly 30% had adult ADHD.
Researchers also found that nearly 57% of the adults with childhood ADHD had at least one other mental health issue. 35% of the adults without childhood ADHD also had one or more mental health issues.
Substance abuse or dependence (26%), antisocial personality disorder (17%), other substance abuse/dependence (16%), hypomanic episodes (15%), anxiety disorder (14%) and major depression (13%) were the most common mental health issues experienced by adults diagnosed with childhood ADHD.
The researchers noted that death from suicide was nearly five times higher in this group.
Among all 367 adults with childhood ADHD, seven (1.9%) had died, three of them from suicide. Of 4,946 people without ADHD, only 37 (0.7%) had died, five by suicide.
Ten people whod had childhood ADHD (2.7%) were in jail at the time of recruitment for the study.
This study "speaks to the need to greatly improve the long-term treatment of children with ADHD and provide a mechanism for treating them as adults," r
A new study slated to appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, says that there is no association between the amount of vaccines a young child receives and autism. Some parents have worried that there may be a link and have opted out of having their child vaccinated or reduced the number of vaccines recommended.
I dont think this will come as a huge surprise to some people but many restaurant meals designed especially for kids contain way too much salt, calories and fat. What is surprising is how loaded some of these menu items really are. No caring parent wants their child to eat unhealthy foods and probably believe that a kids menu item is going to be a reasonable amount of calories and sodium. How bad can such a smaller meal be?
According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), pretty bad.
The CSPI has long monitored the publics nutritional interest. They campaigned to bar sodium nitrates in bacon and other cured meats, pushed for sodium levels to be added to all food labels, obtained funding for more government food inspectors and prompted Congress to pass a law requiring notification of the presence of food allergens such as peanuts, wheat and milk on food labels to name just a few.
Now theyve turned to restaurant kids menu items. The group found that among almost 3,500 combinations surveyed, kids meals failed to meet nutritional standards 97% of the time. Thats actually an improvement though over 2008 - when meals failed to meet standards 99% of the time. Not much of a change in 5 years.
What were some of the restaurants surveyed? Popular chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dairy Queen, Hardee's, McDonald's, Panda Express, Perkins Family Restaurants and Popeyes.
Every kids meal fell-short of nutritional recommendations adopted by the center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They also didnt meet the standards set by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Program, said the CSPI, which titled its study, "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu."
"Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda," said Margo Wootan, CSPI nutrition policy director. "It's like the restaurant industry didn
When should babies be introduced to solid foods? Many physician groups and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend waiting till your infant is at least 6 months old before solid foods are introduced into his or her diet.
But a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that 4 in 10 parents start feeding their babies solid foods before their four-month birthday.
Why should parents wait? According to the AAP, its partly because early solid foods have been linked to obesity and other chronic conditions. Public health experts also agree that a mothers breast milk or nutritionally fortified formula is best fed exclusively till the baby is about 6 months old.
"Introducing solid foods early means that the baby gets less breast milk over the course of their infancy, and that decreases the ability to get optimal benefits, like protection against infection," said Dr. Alice Kuo, from the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.
Choking on solid foods is another concern experts have noted.
"Infants should be able to sit up (and) take food off the spoon," said the CDC's Kelley Scanlon, who worked on the research." Sometimes if they're not ready, if they get presented with the food, they might not open their mouth or they might spit it back up."
The teams research included 1,334 new moms who filled out questionnaires each month about what their baby had eaten in the past week. The surveys were conducted between 2005 and 2007, when AAP recommendations called for starting solid foods no earlier than four months of age. Just over 40 percent of parents reported their babies were eating solids, such as cereals and purees, before that point.
Why were the mothers feeding solid foods so early? They gave several answers. They thought their baby was old enough, their infant seemed hungry " even after being breastfed or given a bottle, and surprisingly many re
Most small children who are poisoned by an adults prescription medication do not get it from a secured cabinet but rather from a purse, countertop, sofa cushion, floor or other easy-to-see place in the house.
The medications that are dangerous enough to send a child to the emergency room usually belong to a mother or grandparent according to a report released by the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide, based in Washington D.C.
Kids "are getting medications from Mom's purse and Grandma's pillbox," says Rennie Ferguson, a researcher for Safe Kids.
Ferguson examined 2,315 emergency department records on children 4 years old and under that were compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2011.
67,000 children visited emergency departments in 2011 after accidental exposure to one or more medications.
The report notes that such cases have grown by 30% in the last decade amid a growing number of prescription and non-prescription medicines in the home. While ER cases dropped slightly between 2010-2011, the difference was not statistcally significant.
Where are children finding unsecured medicines? When examining the cases, the researchers noted that when a source was recorded:
- 27% came from the floor or had been otherwise misplaced.
- 20% came from a purse, bag or wallet.
- 20% had been left out on counters, dressers, tables or nightstands.
- 15% came from a pillbox or bag of pills.
- 6% came from a cabinet or drawer.
- 12% came from other places.
The medications belonged to adults in 86% of cases, the report adds. Moms (31%) and grandparents (38%) were the most common sources.
Because small children tend to put anything and everything in the
Do You Follow Your Child's Doctor's Advice?
Do you follow your child's doctor's advice? If not, you're not alone but you may be setting your child up for future health problems according to a new study.
The study showed that 56 %, about two-thirds, of parents said they followed the doctor's advice most of the time, and 13% said they followed it only occasionally.
The findings were produced by, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.
One possible reason as to why parents didn't always follow their child's doctor's advice was how well they related to their medical provider. Among parents who rated their children's doctor as excellent or talking to me in a way I can understand, 6 % said they followed the advice only occasionally. But 46% who rated their doctor as good, fair or poor said they also followed his or her advice only occasionally.
"Parents need to ask for clarification if they are unsure about what the provider is saying, or why it's important," said Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the poll. Doctors should use clear language, ask parents about their concerns, and give practical examples of what works with children, he said.
That last point cannot be emphasized enough. While parents need to speak up if they don't understand what the doctor is telling them, providers need to take the time to ask the parents questions to make sure they understand what is being said and why. Too often parents say they feel they are being rushed out of the exam room and receive information that is given to them in doctor speak and not common language.
What advice are parents more likely to heed? The studys results say that recommendations on nutrition, dentist visits and using car seats.
What recommendations were parents least likely to follow? 40 % said they didn't follow advice on discipline, 18% said they didn't follow advice on sleeping recommendations a
It's March Madness and I for one love college basketball! Being a mother of boys always meant that there sporting events to attend, you name it my boys did it. Soccer, baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, lacrosse, track. No dance lessons or cute tutus around my house, just lots bats, balls and helmets.
It also meant that there always seemed to be a sporting event on TV that someone wanted to watch. I am not much of an athlete, but I did always enjoy the spectator aspect of basketball, maybe because I think I somewhat understood the game. I could even occasionally be found on the outdoor court playing a little b-ball with my boys, although I don't think I ever scored a basket.
At any rate, one of the things I did love to do is fill out the NCAA brackets. This came about due to necessity. The boys would all be waiting for the brackets to be announced and then they would frantically print copies for distribution among the family. Many a family breakfast or dinner was spent with heads down discussing the top teams, filling in choices and how much for the family pool. If you can't beat them, join them, and so I would ante up and figure out my teams. I never had much basis for intelligent choices, but dumb luck is sometimes a good thing.
Now, while I am not advocating gambling, a little family wagering can be a healthy endeavor. Filling in brackets and discussing the night's games is a great way to communicate. And it is not just a one day or night conversation. These games go on for a weeks! Our family would talk about the teams, watch some games together and some years even trekked to see some of the teams when games were played in our area. Good family times and memories.
By this time of year, many people are glad to see Winter's grumpy face retreat into the background and Spring's warm smile appear. But of course, Spring brings its own mischief for people who suffer from allergies.
In the coldest of climates, furnaces have been running pretty much non-stop and even in the warmer states at least a night- the heat is turned on and turned up.
Most everyone's home has been closed up and sealed tight to prevent cold air from entering or warm air from escaping which creates a perfect environment for indoor allergens.
The number one allergen is dust mites. These awful little creatures thrive in warm, humid places. Other allergens are house dust, cockroaches, mold spores, pet dander (dead skin cells) and even indoor plants.
You've probably heard of dust mites and have seen the magnified pictures that resemble alien looking spiders. You can't see them but they have 8 legs, are blind and naturally live indoors. If you have them (and you probably do) it doesn't mean your house is dirty, it just means that they are nearly impossible to eradicate completely. But you can cut down on how many you have and improve your indoor allergies.
They can't drink liquids so they survive on humidity. Their legs have little pads that help them attach to fibers in carpets, upholstery, mattresses, feather pillows, and stuffed animals. The less humidity in the house- the deeper they retreat into these places. What do they eat? They depend on human secretions and skin cells we shed. They love bedrooms where they can breed on mattresses, pillows, box springs, curtains, carpets, and any other fibers in the room.
Children are particularly susceptible to indoor allergens and you may notice that your child has watery eyes and trouble breathing when they've been in the house for a long period of time.
What can you do to help eliminate dust mites? One option is to move to a place where the elevation is over
Drugs given to help manage ADHD can be very effective when they are prescribed for kids who have been properly diagnosed. However, when these drugs are prescribed as study aids they can become addictive and can produce serious cardiac risks.
Dr. William D. Graf, professor of pediatrics and neurology at Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, and five colleagues became concerned when they noticed the increasing number of physicians prescribing ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall- to perfectly healthy children.
The dramatic increase in the number of children taking stimulants and other "study drugs," as they are popularly known, seems to back up his anecdotal evidence.
The Yale doctors have publicly taken a position on this topic in a paper that offers guidance to physicians and discusses the ethics of prescribing stimulant drugs to children who do not have ADHD in order to help them do better in school.
The paper suggests that physicians have a moral obligation to prevent misuse of medication.
It concludes that the practice of "neuroenhancements" isn't justifiable. It adds that the prescription of these drugs is inadvisable because of "numerous social, developmental, and professional integrity issues."
"We are a highly competitive society, and we know some physicians are prescribing these at a parent's request," Graf said. "Other parents have told us they felt doctors pushed these drugs on their children."
Several studies have looked at the increase number of students who are taking study drugs. A 2004 study notes that in some U.S. schools "the proportion of boys taking methylphenidate (Ritalin) exceeds the highest estimates of the prevalence of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder."
Another study suggests that about 16% of the population of some high schools and colleges use prescription drugs as study aids.
Other college professors have noticed the increase in college students
No surprise here, but food for thought. A new report reveals a couple of connections, that with a little common sense you could probably figure out anyway, that have been confirmed in a scientific study.
According to the study, in the last 20 years, there has been a substantial rise in the consumption of sugary drinks in 2 to 11 year olds and children who drink these beverages ingest far more calories than children who don't.
Also, children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages eat more unhealthy foods than other children.
Sugar-sweetened beverages include sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Unhealthy foods are considered ones that contain high levels of solid fats, sodium and calories such as pizza, fast food hamburgers, cakes, cookies, pies, and fried foods.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 11,000 U.S. children aged 2-18 years old who participated in national surveys from 2003-2010. During this time children's consumption of food and sugar-sweetened beverages increased, and the consumption of non-sweetened beverages decreased.
Breaking down the analysis even more, it was determined that the sugar-sweetened beverages were the primary cause of increased calories for children 2 to 11 years old.
The study is scheduled for publication (with greater detail) in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
"Among all age groups analyzed, the energy density (calories per gram) of food consumed increased with higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake," lead investigator Kevin Mathias, of the department of nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release.
Currently in New York City, there is a hotly contested debate over the legality of banning certain sized sugar-sweetened beverages. Some people feel it's a good idea to help combat the obesity epidemic and others believe that banning these drinks denies a person the r
In a recent KidsDr.com website article, Pediatrician, Sue Hubbard, writes about Food Myths & Your Baby. Dr. Hubbard emphasizes the need to introduce a variety of foods to children when they start eating solid foods. The myths relate to a nonexistent forbidden foods list parents should avoid in order to prevent their child from having an allergic reaction.
New recommendations, from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), support Dr. Hubbard's encouragement of including foods such as wheat, milk, eggs, fruits, nuts and shellfish in your child's diet.
In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued guidelines that suggested children should put off having milk until age 1, eggs until age 2 and peanuts, shellfish and nuts until age 3. However, in 2008 the AAP revised those guidelines citing little evidence that delays prevented the development of food allergies. It didn't say when and how to introduce such foods though.
The AAAAI's recommendations address those concerns by suggesting foods that are considered highly allergic be slowly introduced in small amounts- after first foods such as cereals, fruits and vegetables have been eaten and tolerated. Babies can be introduced to the more allergic type foods as long as they are prepared correctly. Foods should be mushy and easy for an infant to eat or in the case of eggs and fruits cut into very small pieces.
"There's been more studies that find that if you introduce them early it may actually prevent food allergy," said David Fleischer, co-author of the article and a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver. "We need to get the message out now to pediatricians, primary-care physicians and specialists that these allergenic foods can be introduced early."
The theory behind introducing foods, that are considered the most likely to cause an allergic reaction, early and in small doses is that children may actu
Being physically active used to easier before the world of cable TV, video games and computers. Now a-days, many families have a more sedentary lifestyle and a lot more health-related problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Childhood obesity is now epidemic and more than a third of American adults are clinically obese.
So, what can families do to counteract these problems? One is to change the family diet to include healthier foods and fewer fast food meals. Two is to exercise as a family. Theres lots of ways to include physical activity in your daily living and to add new routines that you and your kids can depend on to keep everyone moving.
When a child is in pain and crying, a loving parent wants nothing more than to make the pain go away. Ear infections can be very painful and often a parent will request antibiotics to treat the infection from their pediatrician or family doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating childhood ear infections and would like to see fewer antibiotics prescribed.
The guidelines more clearly define the signs and symptoms that indicate an infection that needs treatment. They also encourage more observation, with follow-ups, instead of antibiotics. This would also include some children under the age of two. Most children with ear infections get well on their own and can be safely monitored for a few days.
For children with recurrent infections, the guidelines advise physicians and parents on when it is time to see a specialist.
"Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Allan Lieberthal, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City, in Los Angeles, and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
The guidelines say that there are definitely times when antibiotics should be prescribed such as when children have a severe ear infection. Severe is defined as when a child has either a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher or is in significant pain. He or she has a ruptured ear drum with drainage, or an infection in both ears for kids two years or younger. These account for fewer cases but studies have shown that children benefit from antibiotics given right away.
It's been since 2004 since the last set of guidelines were issued. Those guidelines stimulated new research that has provided evidence for the new AAP guidelines that will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics
Certain medical conditions can be present at birth but not easily identifiable. Metabolic or inherited disorders can impede a child's normal physical and or mental development in lots of different ways. Without even knowing that they are carriers, parents can pass on the genes that produce these types of disorders. That's where genetic screening of newborns comes in. With a simple blood test doctors can tell if the newborn has a condition that may eventually cause the child problems. Some of these disorders, if treated early, can be managed.
The federal government has not set any national standards, but many states have mandatory newborn screening programs. Parents can opt out of genetic testing if they want. Parents should discuss genetic screening with their pediatrician or child's doctor so they can weigh the pros and cons.
Many states screen for more than 30 disorders and the screenings are often covered in the delivery and hospital charges. If a parent wants expanded testing on their newborn, they may have to pay an extra cost but it may be worth it to their baby.
To help guide states and parents determine what criteria should be used for genetic screening, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics just offered new guidelines.
The new guidelines say that all newborns should be tested for the genetic diseases that are included in their state's newborn screening panel, but anything beyond that is up to parents and the decision must be made in the child's best interest.
The recommendations distinguish between genetic testing for childhood onset conditions versus those for adult onset conditions.
"There is an important role for counseling before and after genetic screening," added policy author Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, a pediatrician and ethicist at the University of Chicago. "The focus should be on education of families, counseling them and helping them make decisions
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Bexco Enterprises Inc., doing business as Million Dollar Baby of Montebello, Calif. is announcing a voluntary recall of 18,000 children's four-drawer dressers