Daily News Roundup

Snow days push back the end of many school years
From Evanston to Lincolnshire, several school districts this week delayed the final day of classes, retooled the end-of-year exam schedule and even pushed back the start of summer school. State law requires that school districts build 185 days into their calendars to ensure that students are actually seated, in class, for 176 days a school year. The added time typically includes five days to account for anything from snow-slicked roads to a broken boiler. But the blizzard’s impact went beyond school calendars. About a dozen school districts contacted the Illinois State Board of Education to request a delay in the state standardized tests that initially were slated to begin later this month. (Chicago Tribune)

Real cooties? Boys catch flu from boys, study says

If your 7-year-old son comes home from school with flu, he probably caught it from another boy rather than one of the girls, says new research that sheds light on how the flu virus spreads. Scientists researching the spread of H1N1 in an elementary school classroom found that boys typically transmit the infection to other boys and girls pass it on to girls. In fact, grade-school guys are three times more likely to spread flu to classmates of the same sex than the opposite sex, according to a recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (MSNBC)

Surgery in womb spares babies worst effects of spine defect
A landmark study shows that an operation to fix a hole in the spine while the fetus is still in the womb leads to better outcomes for children with spina bifida. The operation showed such a clear benefit over waiting until the infant is born that the study was stopped early. Though spina bifida is usually diagnosed before birth, the operation is typically done days after delivery. Quick surgery can prevent further harm but cannot reverse the nerve damage that has already occurred. “There are significant risks,” said pediatric surgeon Dr. Diana Farmer of UC San Francisco. “So this procedure is not for everyone.” (MSNBC)

New public service ads help parents get kids on the move – Video

Parents who are looking for ways to get their kids to be more active may get some clever ideas from new public service announcements being released today for first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. (USA Today)

Link Between Childhood Physical Abuse And Peptic Ulcers

Victims of childhood physical abuse are more than twice as likely to develop ulcers than people who were not abused as children, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto. “I originally thought the link would be explained by factors such as stress, obesity, smoking or alcohol abuse – characteristics that are highly associated with peptic ulcers – but even after adjusting for sixteen known variables, those who had been physically abused in childhood had 68% higher odds of peptic ulcers than their non-abused peers,” says lead author Esme Fuller Thomson.  (Medical News Today)

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