Fish are high in several beneficial nutrients, including some that are related to healthy brain development.
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.
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
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
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.
Many a new mother has struggled with whether to breast-feed or give her newborn formula. A recent study, published in the journal
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
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.
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
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
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
How many times have you told your child Good Boy! or Good Girl! I know I did hundreds of times. It was a mommy reaction to my child's attempt at accomplishment. Hit the ball during a softball game? Good Girl! Create an amazing science project? Good Boy! It was an easy compliment that rolled right off the tongue.
According to a new study, I could have done a little better if I'd praised the actual action instead of just the child. Researchers at the University of Chicago and Stanford University studied the mother-child interactions over several years and discovered that the type of praise you give your child affects their attitudes towards meeting challenges in the future.
Specifically, praise with feedback about the child's behavior and the choices he or she made helped them cope better with difficult experiences five years later, compared with praise focused solely on the child.
This is something we suspected would be the case based on a lot of experimental research, and it's exciting to see it play out in the real world, says Elizabeth Gunderson, an assistant professor of psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia, who led the study while at the University of Chicago. Praising the efforts, actions and work of the kid is going to be more beneficial in their long-term persistence and [desire] to be challenged and work hard in the future.
Instead of just saying good boy or girl, you might say something like you really worked hard at learning how to hit that ball, or that was a very creative choice for a science project. I like how you built it. This kind of process praise focuses on the child's accomplishment and effort instead of person praise that focuses on the child's natural qualities.
While the difference may seem small, psychologists have made the distinction for years,. However, they haven't known exactly how these two types of praise affect the child's future development.
Dancing is a wonderful artistic expression and kids have taken to tapping, pirouetting, Irish stepping and even ballroom dancing across the country. While it can be fun and great exercise, lots of these kids are being seriously injured.
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital looked at a national database of emergency-department visits. What they found was that the most common dance-related injuries were sprains, strains and injuries from falls. The patients were between 15 and 19 years old.
The researchers said no one on the team is calling for parents to pull their children from dance classes, but that the results from their study suggests that instructors should look for ways to prevent injury in students who participate in the physically demanding activity.
About 113,100 children and teens were treated for dance injuries in U.S. emergency departments between 1991 and 2007, according to the research teams estimates. During that time, the number of cases in a year increased by more than 37 percent, to about 8,500 in 2007. This is the first study to examine dance-related injuries on a national level. It was published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
With about 22,000 dance schools across the country, study author Kristen Roberts, said one reason for the increase in injuries may be that there are simply more children dancing.
Steps to prevent injury include stretching, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest and using good form.
Eric Leighton, an athletic trainer with the Nationwide Children's sports-medicine program, works with dancers regularly and said that repetition and fatigue often lead to injury.
Whether it's a pitcher throwing a lot of pitches in one inning or a dancer repeating a dance, as the muscles get tired, some of the coordination and the body's ability to cope starts to suffer he said. The hospital recently started a program to focus on dance.
Just about all western babies wear diapers. I'm pretty sure we all know that, but what you may not know is that the bigger the diaper the more difficult it may be for baby to walk.
Scientists compared the gait of 60 babies who wore either a thin diaper, a thicker cloth diaper or no diaper at all. Half of the babies were 19 month-old more experienced walkers, and half were 13 month-old beginners.
When the 13 month-olds walked naked only 10 fell, but when they wore cloth diapers 21 fell. When the babies wore the thinner disposable diapers, 17 fell.
The more experienced walkers, the 19 month-olds, were able to maneuver better. Among the babies who went naked or wore the thinner disposable diapers only four fell. Once they switched to the fuller cloth diapers, 8 fell. Both of the age groups took wider and shorter steps when wearing diapers as opposed to walking naked.
The study cannot predict if wearing diapers has any long-term impact, but it does suggests that giving baby a break from diaper wearing might speed up walking development.
Of course, that leaves a rather big problem what to do about the mess that your baby makes when left to wander the house au naturel. By the way, fresh air on the hiney is also good to cut back on diaper rash, so if you're inclined to give it a try you might wait till after your baby has a bowel movement or has urinated and then let him or her walk a bit without a diaper.
I remember when my child was between one and two years old and learning to walk " it was an exercise in futility trying to keep clothes on her because she loved toddling around naked. She rarely had diaper rash and learned to walk pretty quickly. Of course, diapers are necessary and she wore her fair share, but when we had some time to relax and hang out together off the diapers came. While I kept a close eye on her in case an accident should occur (actually there were only a few), she smiled, giggled and toddled around butt-
Could spending three more minutes at the dinner table really help lower childhood obesity? According to a new study published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, more time equals less weight.
Scientists at the University of Illinois looked at ways low-income families could help their kids achieve and maintain a healthy weight. They discovered family mealtimes together could be linked to the kid's weight.
The study involved 200 family mealtimes. Children who regularly sat down and had their meals with the family were more likely to have a normal weight than those who cut mealtimes short. Even three minutes more at the table had an impact.
"Children whose families engaged with each other over a 20-minute meal four times a week weighed significantly less than kids who left the table after 15 to 17 minutes. Over time, those extra minutes per meal add up and become really powerful," study author Barbara Fiese, director of the University of Illinois' Family Resiliency Program, said in a statement.
The findings suggest that families who have a positive attitude about mealtimes together and consider it an important part of family life, were less likely to have obese or overweight children. Behaviors such as talking and interacting together also seemed to contribute to the children's healthier weight.
Flese noted that teaching low-income families how to make the most of mealtimes together was worthwhile in helping families make the necessary changes needed to combat obesity.
"This is something we can target and teach. It's much more difficult to change such factors as marital status, maternal education, or neighborhood poverty," she said.
Our changing society also offers new challenges for families.
"It's also important to recognize the increasing diversity of families and their sometimes complex living arrangements that may challenge their abilities to plan ahead and arrange a single time to commun
A new study from Scotland suggests that the more you talk to and interact with your baby, the less likely it is that your child will develop ADHD later in life.
Researchers believe they have discovered a link between a lack of communication between a mother and her baby and a risk that the child will develop emotional problems and behavioral disorders as the child matures.
Scientists analyzed hundreds of videos of mothers interacting with their year-old babies. Study co-author Dr Clare Allely, a psychologist at Glasgow University's Institute Of Health And Wellbeing, said: "We used 180 videos for this study of mothers interacting with their 12-month-old infants " of which 120 were controls and 60 were of the children who were later diagnosed with disorders at seven years old."
They found that for every decrease of five vocalizations per minute by the mother the odds of the child developing ADHD by the age of seven increased by 44%. Vocalizations included everything from simple sounds to words.
Researchers said the findings did not mean that if you dont talk to your baby all the time that he or she will develop psychological and psychiatric problems. Instead they suggest that active parenting may offer a protective effect against these kinds of conditions.
Philip Wilson, study co-author and professor of primary care and rural health at the University of Aberdeen, said there are several theories on why the link may exist. "We have got the possibility that active parenting and active communication by the parents may have a protective effect against the development of problems with attention and conduct," he said.
"The other main hypothesis is to do with genetics. We know people who themselves have ADHD or conduct problems tend to be more under-active and communicate less later on in life. So the second possible explanation is that it may be the mothers themselves have ADHD and have become underactive and passed on the
Weve all read about, maybe even experienced it ourselves, children being teased, harassed and bullied if they are overweight. The heavier the child, the more intense the negative trifecta becomes. This topic often comes up when discussing classmate and peer bullying, but a new study also looks at obese or overweight children who feel bullied by adults in authority (coaches, gym instructors, teachers,) and their own parents.
Researchers from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, gave 350 teens that had enrolled in two national weight loss camps, questionnaires to fill out. The teens were questioned about weight-based victimization including duration, location where the abuse occurred, who the perpetrators were and what kind of abuse they suffered.
Not surprisingly, results showed that a high percentage of bullying and teasing occurred at school (64%.) Most participants reported weight-based victimization for at least one year (78%) and 36% were teased and or bullied for 5 years.
The teens also noted who was responsible for the bullying. 92% said peers (classmates) and friends (70%.) Then the groups switched to the adults in their lives. PE teachers / sport coaches came in at 42%, followed by parents at 37% and teachers at 27%.
The types of teasing and or bullying were verbal teasing (75-88%), relational victimization (74-82%), cyber-bullying (59-61%) and physical aggression (33%-61%.)
Looking at these statistics, the saddest one of all is parents at 37 percent.
What we see most often from parents is teasing in the form of verbal comments, says Rebecca M. Puhl PhD, the studys lead author.
Some of the remarks made to teens about their weight come from well-meaning parents who are actually trying to encourage their child to lose the extra pounds. But other studies have shown " and former teens who are now adults can verify " that teasing, harassing and bullying by parents and relatives can lead
Add recess to reading, writing and arithmetic says a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.) The pediatricians believe that recess can be as important to a child's overall development as standard classes and should never be denied, especially as a punishment.
"We consider it essentially the child's personal time and don't feel it should be taken away for academic or punitive reasons," said Dr. Robert Murray, who co-authored the new policy statement for the AAP.
According to the authors, recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development.
Other reasons given for the importance of recess are that it helps students develop better communication skills, counteracts the time sitting in classrooms, and may foster skills such as cooperation and sharing - all good things.
The authors noted that previous research has found that children are able to pay closer attention and perform tasks better after a recess break. A year ago, 14 studies were reviewed and researchers found that kids who get more exercise do better in school. Recess and sports related activities offer children the opportunity to exercise and burn off excess energy. They also get a chance to recharge their brains and bodies.
Other organizations have recommended that children need recess as well. The American Heart Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CPSC) both call for schools to offer recess to kids. You might think that recess in schools is a given, but in a 2011 survey of 1,800 elementary schools, researchers discovered that a third of the schools did not offer recess to their third-graders. However, most schools do offer recess of between 15 and 30 minutes once or twice a day.
Is there a particular time of day that helps kids most? Before lunch seems to be the consensus from government agencies, CPSC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Previous studies have found
Ask people to raise their hand if they like math and you most likely won't see a lot of hands in the air. When asked why math isn't particularly popular, many will answer that they just never have been very good at it. A new study suggests that for kids who are not mathematically inclined, studying harder and being strongly motivated to improve can be the key to making better grades.
While genetics may play a role in math comprehension, motivation and study habits can play a more important role during the all important high school years according to the study. It's not how smart we are; it's how motivated we are and how effectively we study that determines growth in math achievement over time, says Kou Murayama, a post-doctoral psychology researcher at University of California Los Angeles and lead author of the study published in the journal Child Development.
Murayama and his colleagues studied math achievement among roughly 3,500 public school students living in the German state of Bavariain. Students were followed from 5th grade through 10th grade and were given annual standard math tests in each grade. They were also given IQ tests and questioned about their attitude towards mathematics.
Researchers wanted to know if the kids believed that better math skills were achievable through hard work and if they were interested in math for its own sake. They also wanted to know if their approach to math included incorporating mathematical concepts into their every day life, or if they relied more on memorization to pass tests.
The psychologists said they were surprised that a higher IQ did not predict new learning ability. Intelligence measured by the IQ test did not indicate how likely students were to understand new concepts or to add new skills. Children with high IQs did have higher test scores but how much new material the kids learned throughout the years the study was conducted, was not related t
By now most people know that concussions can be dangerous. A new study suggests that children who suffer concussions may be more susceptible to long-term effects from their injury.
Researchers studied 30 children between the ages of 10 and 17 years old. Bran scans and cognitive tests were performed. Half of the children had recently suffered concussions in which they'd lost consciousness and shown an altered mental state.
Children who had suffered concussions showed small deficits in their cognition and changes in their brains' white matter, compared with those who hadn't suffered brain injuries. White matter consists of nerve fibers surrounded by the insulating fat called myelin. These results were found 2 weeks after their injuries.
Three months later, brain scans showed that the children who had suffered concussions still had changes in their white matter.
"These findings may have important implications about when it is truly safe for a child to resume physical activities that may produce a second concussion, potentially further injuring an already vulnerable brain," study researcher Andrew Mayer, of the University of New Mexico, said in a statement.
Studies with adults who have had concussions have shown that the brains white matter changes, but this study showed that the damage to white matter in children who had concussions was greater. Mayer said that children may be more susceptible to the effects of brain injuries.
Dr. Christopher Giza, a brain injury researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, said future studies should investigate whether the structural changes revealed in the brain scans have clinical implications for kids. Giza was not involved in the study.
"Further work is needed to determine whether the changes in white matter present at four months represent a prolonged recovery process or permanent change in the brain," Giza said in a statement.
Previous studies have shown tha
Like many adults, kids tend to be more generous when someone else is aware of their actions. A new study from Yale University says age isn't really a factor when it comes to giving.
Previous research with adults has shown that they are more likely to act in ways that will benefit their reputation if they know someone else is aware of their actions. If they know that their actions are going to be made public, they also tend to be more generous compared to when they are giving anonymously.
Research on children has been rather scant in relation to this topic. The researchers at Yale University decided to see if young children were as inclined to be more generous when they knew their actions were being watched as adults.
According to the results of the study, scientists have concluded that children view generosity pretty much as adults do.
Researchers gave stickers to 5-year-old children who had the option of sharing one or four of the stickers with another child of the same age. The children were more generous when they could see the recipient than when the recipient was hidden. They were also more generous when they had to give the stickers in a transparent container rather than in one where the stickers could not be seen. No matter how many stickers the children were allowed to keep for themselves, the results were the same when they were ask to give others stickers. If they could see who was getting the stickers they gave more. If the amount of stickers they were giving, could be seen by others they gave more. If not- they gave less.
The scientists deduced from these results that children as young as five years of age are able to make strategic decisions about whether to be generous or not if no one sees their gift.
"Although the frequency with which children acted antisocially is striking, the conditions under which they chose to act generously are even more interesting and suggest that children
Another study suggests higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may play an important role in a baby's future health. In the latest study, Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to poorer mental and motor skills in babies.
Researchers in Spain measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of almost 2,000 women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and evaluated the mental and motor abilities of their babies at about 14 months of age. The investigators found that children of vitamin D deficient mothers scored lower than those whose mothers had adequate levels of the vitamin.
"These differences in the mental and psychomotor development scores do not likely make any difference at the individual level, but might have an important impact at the population level," said study lead author Dr. Eva Morales, a medical epidemiologist in the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona.
One concern is that lower scores in motor and mental tests could lead to lower IQs.
Previous studies have linked a deficiency in vitamin D during pregnancy to babies born with a greater risk for developing language problems, higher body fat, bone weakness, lung infections and schizophrenia.
Vitamin D deficiency in moms-to-be has also been associated with a higher risk for developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is rarely fatal, but can lead to premature births.
How much vitamin D should a pregnant woman be getting? There's not a clear-cut answer.
The Institute of Medicine, an independent U.S. group that advises the public, recommends pregnant women get 600 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D and no more than 4,000 IU/day. However, the Endocrine Society says that 600 units does not prevent deficiency and that at least 1,500 to 2,000 units a day may be required.
You might think that all overweight kids eat more calories than thinner kids, but according to a new study, you'd be wrong.
Younger children who are overweight do consume more calories than their thinner peers, but older overweight kids may actually eat fewer calories than their healthy-weight counterparts.
"The message for society and parents is: Don't assume that a child who's overweight is overeating. Obesity isn't just a simple matter of eating more," said study author Asheley Cockrell Skinner, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. "Be sympathetic. Overweight children reported eating fewer calories, and to lose weight, these kids have to eat even less. It's probably even harder for them to lose weight than we give them credit for."
The study included dietary information from nearly 13,000 children between the ages of 1 and 17. The information came from U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted from 2001 to 2008. The population included in this study is representative of the U.S. population.
The food-consumption data was collected on two separate days. Children and their parents were asked to recall what the child had eaten in the last 24 hours and how much they ate of any particular food. The researchers had a number of representative measuring devices to try to get the best approximation of portion size that they could.
In the younger kids researchers found that obese and overweight children did in fact eat more calories. For example, in 3- to 5-year-olds, overweight girls consumed an average of 1,721 calories a day compared to 1,578 calories a day for their healthy weight peers. In boys of the same age, the overweight group consumed 1,809 calories a day vs. 1,668 calories a day for the normal-weight children.
But the older obese and overweight children actually ate fewer calories than the thinner kids. Between the ages of 12 and 14
Everyone knows by now that smoking is bad for your health, but there are people who will still argue that second-hand tobacco smoke isn't harmful to those to have to inhale it. If you're an adult you can choose to leave a smoky environment. However, if you're a child you're pretty much at the mercy of the smoking adults in the household. If you're a child with the flu, all that smoke could be making you even sicker.
Children who have been hospitalized with the flu, and come from homes where they've been exposed to second-hand smoke, are more likely to need intensive care and a longer stay before they are released according to a small new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Researchers analyzed more 100 children hospitalized with flu in the state of New York. They found that those exposed to second-hand smoke were five times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and required a 70 percent longer stay in the hospital, compared to the kids not exposed to smoke.
"People are being a bit complacent and thinking that because they don't see smoking as often that it's not a problem anymore," said Dr. Karen Wilson, of Children's Hospital Colorado, in Aurora, who led the study. "But we still need to be vigilant about protecting kids from second-hand smoke."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that passive smoking can have a huge impact on children. According to the CDC, second-hand smoke causes ear infections, breathing problems, and lung infections in children and leads to hospitalization of up to 15,000 kids-under the age of 18 months-every year.
The study is the first of its kind to look at the effect of second-hand smoke on kids with influenza.
Wilson and her team looked at hospital records for 117 kids admitted for influenza to a New York hospital between 2002 and 2009.
Second-hand smoke exposure was reported on the charts of 40 percent of the kids - slightly lowe
It's that time of year when car-pools assignments are being scheduled, and parents or caregivers who drive their child to school are determining the best route to take.
Of course kids have been transported by car here and there all summer long, but now the school-year routine is about to start up and that's a ride in the car at least 5 days a week.
A new study looks at how parents and caregivers are doing when it comes to making sure their child is properly restrained while riding in a car. The results were that many parents still don't use car seats the right way and are not aware what the guidelines are for car safety restraints.
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) updated their child passenger safety guidelines in 2011.
Here are their recommendations:
- Rear-facing car seats for kids until at least age 2, or when the child exceeds the maximum height and weight recommended by the car seat manufacturer
- Forward-facing car seats with a five-point harness for kids over 2, until the child reaches the seat's maximum weight and height
- Booster seats until an adult seat belt fits properly, typically when the child reaches 57 inches in height (4 ft., 9 in.), between 8 and 12 years of age
- Back seat riding with seat belt until age 13
In the new study researchers reviewed 3 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2007-2009 National Survey on the Use of Booster Seats. Booster seats are typically recommended for kids who are 4 to 8 years old or who weigh at least 40 pounds and are up to 4 feet 9 inches tall. The data included nearly 21,500 kids who were observed in their parents vehicles as they pulled into gas stations, fast food restaurants, recreation centers and child care centers. Drivers were asked about their child's age, race and ethnicity. The type of car safety restraints were noted as well as where the child was sitting, whether the driver was wearing
My grandmother used to say a little honey was the best thing to stop a cough. A new study, published in the September issue of Pediatrics confirms what mothers and grandmothers have been saying for decades; a couple of teaspoons of honey soothes the throat, stops the coughing and helps you sleep better.
It's tough for parents to find an over-the-counter solution to treat colds and coughs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines don't work for children younger than 6 years and may pose risks. The FDA takes a similar stance.
In the new study, 270 children aged 1 to 5 with nighttime cough due to simple colds received one of three types of honey or a non-honey liquid of similar taste and consistency 30 minutes before bedtime. Parents completed questionnaires about their child's cough and sleep on the night before the study began and then again the night after their kids were treated.
Children received either 2 teaspoons of eucalyptus honey, citrus honey, Labiatae honey, or similar-tasting silan date extract 30 minutes before bed. All kids did better the second night of the study, including those given the date extract. But children who received honey coughed less frequently, less severely, and were less likely to lose sleep due to the cough when compared to those who didn't get honey.
The study was co-funded by the Honey Board of Israel.
Not only were the children able to sleep better, parents were able to sleep through the night as well. That's a huge relief especially for parents who have to be at the office or on the job site the next day.
Mild coughing isn't always a bad thing: it helps clear mucus from the airway. But an acute cough can be relentless - causing vomiting and gasping for air.
Honey can be part of a supportive care regimen for children with colds, says Alan Rosenbloom, MD. He is a pediatrician in private practice in Baldwin,
There are thousand of news stories about obesity in this country reaching epidemic levels.
What actually constitutes an epidemic? According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary an epidemic is something a) affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. b) excessively prevalent. c) characterized by widespread growth.
If you take a look around it won't be long before you will see exactly what is meant by an obesity epidemic. Adults are one thing barring a medical condition, they choose to be obese. Children are another thing altogether. Again, with the exception of children with a medical condition, if kids are overweight, obese or morbidly obese it's because they are given a lot of the wrong kinds of food to eat and allowed to sit for hours in front of a TV or computer. Kids aren't responsible for putting food on the table- adults are. They may not pay for the food, but they are paying a price.
Researchers in the Netherlands have found that two out of three severely obese children already have at least one risk factor for heart disease. These are kids between the ages 2 to 18. That means toddlers through teens are already developing what was once considered an older adult disease.
The Dutch study authors assessed heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, diabetes and cholesterol in 500 cases of severely obese children, aged 2 to 18 years.
The authors found that younger boys were more often severely obese compared to older boys, while they found the reverse for girls, according to the study published online July 23 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Overall, two-thirds (67 percent) of the children had at least one risk factor for heart disease. When it came to specific risk factors, 56 percent of the children had high blood pressure, 54 percent had high levels of "bad" LDL ch