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Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
On April 3, Parents and Easter Seals will host an autism-themed chat on the Parents Facebook page from 1 to 2 p.m ET.
Three experts will be available to answer questions; each expert will have their own status on the Parents Facebook page where readers can leave questions on the following topics specific to autism.
The experts are:
Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, who blogs for Autism Wonderland and frequently appears on the Parents.com blog To The Max, is mom to 7-year-old Norrin who was diagnosed with autism in May 2008. She will answer questions about her experience parenting a child with autism.
Georgina Peacock, M.D., MPH, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, will join us from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDD) to answer questions about the early signs of autism and developmental milestones.
Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, is a board certified behavior analyst and the National Director of Autism Services at Easter Seals. She will answer questions about autism treatment options and available services.
Join the Facebook event for the chat and remember to visit the Parents Facebook page on Wednesday, April 3 at 1 p.m. ET. We look forward to hearing your questions!
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Monday, March 25th, 2013
CDC: 105 Children Died During Flu Season in US
Health officials say the flu season is winding down, and it has killed 105 children — about the average toll. The flu season started earlier than usual and ended up being moderately severe. (via FOX News)
Babies Shouldn’t Get Solid Foods Until 6 Months Old
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found many mothers are feeding babies solid foods earlier than the recommended age of six months, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (via FOX News)
Kids Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Have Fractures in Old Age
It turns out that strengthening bone to avoid fractures starts at a very young age.
Physical activity, such as the exercise children get in school gym classes, is important for fighting obesity, but the latest research suggests it may help to keep bones strong as well. (via TIME)
Celebrity Endorsers May Impact How Much Kids Eat
Celebrities who endorse specific foods in TV commercials are a powerful influence on children, and that effect may extend beyond the advertisement itself, according to a new study from the UK.(via Reuters)
Some Schools Urge Students to Bring Their Own Technology
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Educators and policy makers continue to debate whether computers are a good teaching tool. But a growing number of schools are adopting a new, even more controversial approach: asking students to bring their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and even their video game players to class. (via The New York Times)
CDC, education, Exercise, flu, health, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, schools, solid foods, technology | Categories:
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
This comes to us from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
As a parent, you always do everything you can to keep your family safe. With flu season starting early this year, have you taken the steps to protect yourself and your family from flu? Most of the country is now seeing high levels of flu activity, and this may continue for some time. Unfortunately, there is nothing that provides 100% protection against flu. However, flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against seasonal flu and is especially important for children younger than 5 and children of any age with other health complications such as asthma, neurological disease or immune deficiencies. Here are six important things parents should know:
1. A flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu. If anyone in your family hasn’t gotten a flu vaccine yet, go get vaccinated now! With very few exceptions, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated each year, and it’s especially important for people at high risk to get vaccinated. If your child has a high risk condition or an egg allergy, ask your doctor which vaccine is best. Also, flu vaccine may be a little harder to find now than it was in the fall, so you may need to contact more than one provider (pharmacy, health department, or doctor) to find available vaccine. The flu vaccine locator may be helpful to you in your search.
2. Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu because they are made from killed or weakened influenza viruses. Unfortunately, there are a couple reasons why it’s still possible to get the flu even if you were vaccinated. First, people may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period (roughly two weeks) it takes the body to build its immune response after vaccination. Second, there’s a possibility of catching a flu virus not included in the vaccine. And last, some people can get sick with a flu virus that’s in the vaccine even if they got vaccinated, partly due to health and age factors.
3. Stay away from sick people. Flu spreads mainly in the droplets of sick people who are coughing and sneezing, so have your family stay away from people who are sick as much as possible, and, if you are sick, stay away from people who are well. Both kids and parents should stay home during illness and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone unless medical care is needed. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
4. Ask your doctor about antiviral drugs. If your family does get sick with the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat the illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. If you or someone in your family has a high risk condition, antiviral drugs are especially important, and treatment should be started as soon as possible. A doctor will decide whether antiviral drugs are needed (you will need a prescription to get them), but you need to take the first step by asking the doctor about your illness.
5. “Everyday healthy habits” are still important. Make sure everyone in your family knows to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. And remember to wash hands with soap and water often. These last tips are good ones to live by during and outside of flu season and can help protect against the spread of other viruses too. Let’s all do our part to prevent the flu!
6. Know when to seek medical attention. Parents should seek medical attention if their child is not drinking enough fluids, if there is persistent or severe vomiting, if flu-like symptoms linger or improves and returns, if there is difficulty breathing, or other health conditions that are accompanied by flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough. For infants, parents should watch for signs of inability to eat, trouble breathing, no tears when crying, and significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.
For more questions about influenza and ways to prevent it, visit: cdc.gov/flu or flu.gov.
Photo: Little girl is blowing her nose via Shutterstock
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Sunday, October 14th, 2012
If your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), take the time to educate your family and friends about this neurobehavioral disorder for ADHD Awareness Week.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), the common symptoms of ADHD include the inability to pay attention, listen, and stay still for long periods of time. And as of 2007, 5.4 million children (ages 4-17) in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The Parents magazine article, “Attention for ADHD” (May 2012), lists nine key facts about ADHD:
- The brains of kids with ADHD are different.
- No one knows the exact causes of ADHD.
- ADHD often looks different in girls.
- ADHD can make learning difficult.
- ADHD is tricky to diagnose.
- There is no cure for ADHD, but there is effective treatment.
- Kids can be taught to cope with ADHD.
- Parents can also be taught to cope with ADHD.
- Kids with ADHD also have it as adults.
Learn more facts about ADHD at CDC.gov and ADHDAwarenessWeek.org. Or read more about ADHD on Parents.com:
Image: Bored student balancing a pencil on his nose via Shutterstock
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Monday, September 17th, 2012
CDC: US Kids Eat Too Much Salt, as Much as Adults
American kids are eating about 1,000 milligrams of excess salt according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (via ABC News)
Gel Balls New Threat to Toddlers, Doctors Say
New gel balls toys increase in size when combined with water, posing a threat to toddlers who swallow the colored balls. (via Reuters)
Vitamin D in Pregnancy Critical for Brain Development, Study Says
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could hinder babies’ brain development, impeding their mental and motor skills, a new study suggests. (via U.S. News and World Report)
In-the-Womb Learning Affected by Mom’s Drinking
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Drinking during pregnancy may harm an infant’s ability to learn even before he is born, according to a new study that is the first to examine alcohol’s effect on fetuses in the womb. (via Fox News)
Friday, August 31st, 2012
This September marks the third annual Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, first proclaimed by the Obama administration in 2010 to highlight the alarming epidemic in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity nearly tripled in the past three decades. That means more than 23 million children and teenagers are currently affected, putting them at higher risk for such conditions as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
To kick off the month, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), in collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America and Let’s Move! (the program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama), will announce its youth tennis initiative at the U.S. Open this weekend. On hand to launch the initiative will be actress and tennis mom Christine Taylor, as well as fitness expert Bob Harper and Olympic gold medalists Dara Torres and Cullen Jones.
Read more about childhood obesity and healthy living on Parents.com:
Image: Stop sign reading “Stop Childhood Obesity,” via Shutterstock
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CDC, child health, childhood obesity, Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, health, Health & Safety, healthy eating, Noelia de la Cruz, obesity, tennis, U.S. Open | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Health & Safety
Friday, July 20th, 2012
CDC: 1 in 13 Pregnant Women Say They Drink Alcohol
A government survey shows 1 in 13 pregnant women drink alcohol and some even go on binges. (via AP)
U.S. Whooping Cough Cases Could Be Worst In More Than 50 Years
Whooping cough is causing the worst epidemic seen in the United States in more than 50 years, health officials said Thursday, and they’re calling for mass vaccination of adults. The epidemic has killed nine babies so far, and nearly 18,000 cases already have been reported nationwide this year. (via TIME)
Entire Genetic Sequence of Individual Human Sperm Determined
Stanford University researchers have sequenced the entire genomes of 91 human sperm from one man. The results provide a glimpse into naturally occurring genetic variation in one individual and are the first to report the whole-genome sequence of a human gamete — the only cells that become a child and through which parents pass on physical traits. (via Science Daily)
In Utero Exposure to Diesel Exhaust A Possible Risk Factor for Obesity
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Pregnant mice exposed to high levels of air pollution gave birth to offspring with a significantly higher rate of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood than those who were not exposed to air pollution. These findings suggest a link between diesel exhaust exposure in utero and bulging waistlines in adulthood. (via Science Daily)
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that is more commonly diagnosed during childhood. Children diagnosed with ADHD are unable to focus or stay still for a long time and act impulsively. According to the CDC, an average of 5.4 children (9.5%) between ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, and boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls (13.2% vs. 5.6%). ADHD is also a more common term than Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), although both are still used interchangeably.
This guest post was written by Ben Glenn, the author of “Simply Special, Learning to Love Your ADHD.” In grade school, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, but he wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until an adult. Glenn travels the country and the globe, sharing his personal experiences with ADHD. He resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two children. For more information, visit www.SimpleADHDExpert.com.
Despite the amount of press, websites, and books explaining Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it is still one of the world’s most misunderstood psychiatric disorders. At its simplest, ADHD is the inability to sustain attention, and the person who has it is generally restless, fidgety, impulsive, and struggles with sustaining productivity. The deeper issue is that people with ADHD have problems with the part of the brain that controls executive functions (also known as the pre-frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex), such as initiating tasks, knowing when to put on the brakes, transitioning easily from one task to another, being systematic and maintaining order, self-monitoring and controlling one’s emotions, and holding onto information vital to completing a task.
While the bulk of scientific data about ADHD has increased in the last quarter century, ADHD is not a new disorder. In fact, it has been around for decades (some speculate even centuries). ADHD was officially recognized in British medical literature for the first time in 1902 (it was labeled as “morbid defect of moral control“) and has, since then, undergone several more name changes (including minimal brain dysfunction). The 2013 revision of The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders might see yet another name revision. While the exact definition of ADHD is still evolving, there is no doubt that ADHD is real and affecting the lives of millions of children and adults. I am one of them.
I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was an adult because I didn’t have the “hyperactive” element, but the schools did catch my dyslexia in third grade. I hated being labeled. Going to a Special Education classroom was hell. I was teased and treated like a dummy. I struggled with things that were easy for everyone else and done in no time at all, I was walking around feeling like a mistake, like a loser with no future. For a while I really lost all hope. This is a terrible way to grow up.
Children and adults with ADHD get a bad rep for being lazy, unmotivated, disorganized, and unable to complete any task on time. Relationships suffer because people with ADHD tend to blurt out what’s on their mind without thinking or lose interest in the middle of the conversation and wander off. While we all have moments where we display these behaviors, the important distinction is that people with ADHD literally can’t help being this way most of the time. It’s not a matter of trying harder to be better. It’s a neurobiological inability to do so. ADHD is also not the result of bad parenting or “broken homes” or lack of parental attention and discipline. While these may worsen the symptoms of ADHD and negatively impact a child’s behavior, ADHD is not caused by any of these things. Research has shown that ADHD symptoms are caused by brain chemistry. ADHD may also be genetic, which supports some beliefs that ADHD is more “nature” than “nurture.”
However, ADHD is one of the most treatable psychiatric disorders and has one of the best outcomes for anyone who gets the right kind of help and support from understanding parents, friends, teachers, and doctors. Thankfully there were teachers who helped and supported me. I credit them for restoring some of my self-confidence. The rest of the credit goes to my wife, my sympathetic enforcer!
Read More About ADHD on Parents.com
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