Posts Tagged ‘
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood
A recent study by a researcher at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine and professor at the Université de Montréal suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age. (via ScienceDaily)
School Officials Look Again at Security Measures Once Dismissed
Now, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, school officials across the nation are reviewing security protocols, including lockdown drills and building entry procedures, but also whether to hire more armed guards. (via New York Times)
Global Rates of Infertility Remain Unchanged Over Past 2 Decades
In 2010, almost 50 million couples worldwide were unable to have a child after five years of trying. Infertility rates have hardly changed over the past 20 years, according to a study by international researchers published in this week’s PLOS Medicine. (via ScienceDaily)
Muscle-Loss Study Sheds New Light On Ways to Prevent Muscle Loss, Obesity and Diabetes
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A research study from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has yielded important breakthroughs on how the body loses muscle, paving the way for new treatments for aging, obesity and diabetes. (via ScienceDaily)
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Today is World Diabetes Day, which aims to spread the word about diabetes advocacy and awareness. This is also part of the mission of the staff of Diabetic Living, one of our sister publications. If you or anyone in your family is affected by diabetes, particularly (but not exclusively) type 2, diabeticlivingonline.com is an amazing resource, with advice on how to control blood sugar levels, use the sometimes-confusing equipment, and manage your diet. (It has endless delicious recipes, all taste-approved by the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen.)
Earlier in the year we ran an article called “Could Your Child Have Diabetes?” The answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think. In fact, our piece featured the story of a 7-year-old girl whose father is a family physician and even he missed the signs of type 1 diabetes, which included unquenchable thirst and increased urination. It’s definitely worth a read for every parent.
For anyone living with diabetes, it’s very helpful to work with a diabetes educator, who focuses on helping people better understand the condition and learn how to adjust their lifestyle and behavior so that they can successfully manage their diabetes. Diabetes educators typically work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, or home health care agencies; find ones nearest you at diabeteseducator.org. This is what Teresa Pearson, R.N., a diabetes educator in Minnesota, wants parents to know to make insulin injections less scary:
When your child has diabetes it can be challenging and even frightening, especially if your child needs insulin. It’s really common for kids to be afraid of needles; many of the children that I have spoken with about diabetes become anxious when they see a needle. In addition to keeping your child calm before an injection, it is important to also remember to change injection sites on the body. Repeatedly using the same spot can cause a condition called lipohypertrophy, which is a lump that forms under the skin. This can affect the body’s ability to absorb insulin and can take several months to disappear, depending on how large the lump is. One study from El-Chatby University Children’s Hospital in Egypt, which studied kids living with diabetes aged 2 months to 21 years, found that more than half had lipohypertrophy. When the insulin is not absorbed consistently, you may notice that blood glucose values are higher than you would expect and your child may need more insulin just to compensate for the effects of lipohypertrophy. The best way to avoid this is by keeping injection sites two inches apart from one another.
Here are a few tips to consider from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) to help better manage your child’s diabetes:
• Insulin needles range in length from 4mm to 12.7mm. Children should use the shorter 4 mm needles, with a narrow gauge (32G), because these have been shown to reduce pain. You can put pressure on the injection site for 5-8 seconds after the injection if your child continues to experience pain.
• For younger children, try making injections less scary by helping your child first inject saline into a stuffed animal, a diaper or even you! If your child is particularly anxious, ask your doctor about using a covered safety needle to conceal the needle.
• Children tend to feel most comfortable injecting in the same part of the body, but because of the risks of lipohypertrophy I explain above, help your child get used to injecting in different places.
• It’s important to involve caregivers and school personnel in your child’s diabetes care by teaching them about insulin administration, the importance of blood glucose monitoring, and what to do about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
That last tip can be the most difficult one. Parents have told me that school personnel can be uncomfortable around needles and are unsure how to support their child’s condition. So find a diabetes educator near you who can help you lead school-based discussions with principals, teachers, and school staff about insulin therapy and your child. This person can talk about the symptoms of low and high blood glucose and what to do in an emergency.
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Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Fewer U.S. Kids Dying of Diabetes
According to federal health officials, the 61% decrease of kids dying of diabetes is due to better treatment and increased awareness. (via HealthDay)
Study Finds Healthy Snacks Still Limited in Some U.S. Schools
U.S. school children searching for a healthy snack at school may find a bag of potato chips is much easier to come by, a new report says. (via Reuters)
A Little Exercise May Help Kids with ADHD Focus
Twenty minutes of exercise may help kids with ADHD settle in to read or solve a math problem, new research suggests. (via Fox News)
Parents’ Anxiety Can Trickle Down to Kids
A new study suggests children are at a higher risk of developing anxiety if a parent has a social anxiety disorder. (via PsychCentral)
Church-Going Teens Go Further With School
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Sociologists have found that religiously-affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers, and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college. (via ScienceDaily)
ADHD, anxiety, diabetes, Exercise, healthy eating, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, schools, snacks, teens | Categories:
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
I was in New Orleans for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) annual conference this past weekend, where roughly 8,000 pediatricians convened to share the latest research and policies surrounding kids’ health. If you’ve been following the news (or our blogs) this week, you’ve probably already heard about some of the big stories to come out of the meeting, including research showing that boys are experiencing puberty at earlier ages and the AAP’s conclusion that there’s no evidence showing that organic food improves health or lowers risk of disease. Beyond that, these are among the takeaways that stuck with me:
1. In a presentation by one of our advisors, Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and author of the must-be-bookmarked blog Seattle Mama Doc, Dr. Swanson noted that that more and more parents are confusing experience for expertise. Though she didn’t single out this person, you can consider Jenny McCarthy a perfect example: Her experience with her son’s autism is clearly being confused by some as having an expertise in autism.
2. Another doctor spoke about the importance of a pediatrician getting a family history from patients. It’s not easy, since lots of families don’t necessarily know their health history. In fact, one study showed that only 1/3 of people have ever tried to gather and organize their family’s health history. Have you? It’s most helpful for docs to have info on three generations: yours, your parents’, and your grandparents’ (and, of course, your partner’s parents and grandparents).
3. Along those lines, it’s really important to let your pediatrician know if anyone in your family (or your partner’s family) has died suddenly, or if there’s a new family history of cancer. Your child’s doctor can use this information to consider recommending certain health screenings, either now or down the line.
4. Firearm safety was a big focus at this year’s meeting. Did you know that when you look at the rate of deaths in children up to age 14 in 23 high-income countries, 87% of them occur in the United States?
5. The AAP’s position has not changed: The safest home for a child is one without guns. The next-best option is a home where guns are stored safely (as in locked up), unloaded and separate from the ammunition.
6. Pediatricians are noticing a disturbing trend in the country, where they may find themselves limited by the kinds of information they can share with patients. One example is asking parents whether they have a gun in their home–and then talking to them about gun safety. You may remember the controversial Florida law that passed in 2011 restricting pediatricians from having this conversation. The law was determined to be unconstitutional and was overturned, but Florida’s governor is appealing it.
7. Sexual abuse was the subject of a crowded session. One doctor shared this stat: When a child decides to share that she has been abused, she’s more likely to tell a peer than anyone else. (Abused children tell their peers 53% of the time; an adult relative 32% of the time; a non-related adult 10% of the time, and school personnel 3% of the time. 2% of kids tell someone who falls into an “other” category.) This means, said the expert, that there’s an “underground railroad” of kids who know about other kids being abused. She made a point that we didn’t address in our recent story about sexual abuse: We have to teach our children that if a friend tells them that he’s been abused, they should try and help this friend tell an adult who can do something about it.
8. Several sessions dealt with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)–more than I can remember from past conferences. It’s encouraging to know that 70% of those children who experience trauma have no lasting symptoms. Of the 30% who do have lasting symptoms, though, half recover, and half have a chronic form of PTSD. So it’s important to make sure a child who has suffered a trauma–whether that’s abuse, a car accident, witnessing a violent episode, among other examples–gets help.
9. For everyone with a child who has a food allergy, or diabetes, or asthma, or a similar chronic disease: Emergency medical bracelets are always a good idea, especially if your child goes to a day care center or school. Your child’s usual caregiver or teacher may be very well aware of his condition and how to manage or treat it, but new caregivers or substitute teachers can definitely benefit from the info.
10. Last week, a report came out noting that three major health organizations around the world recommend that kids under 6 get three hours a day of physical activity instead of the one hour that’s currently suggested by groups like the AAP. For those of us who have a child younger than 6, this can feel daunting. (And by younger than 6 we’re not talking about, say, newborns–this guideline is meant for kids who are awake at least 12 hours each day.) But a professor who gave an interesting talk called “The Reluctant Athlete: How To Get the Sedentary Child Off the Sofa” put it into context. The one-hour recommendation is for “moderate to vigorous” activity–and that’s just hard for a young child to pull off–so changing it to three hours gives kids more time to be active. It works out to about 15 minutes per hour, which seems doable.
Image: Female pediatrician checking cute baby with stethoscope via Shutterstock.
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AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, asthma, diabetes, food allergy, gun safety, organic food, physical activity, PTSD, puberty, sexual abuse, trauma | Categories:
Babies, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, Your Child
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
“Are You Pouring On the Pounds?” That’s the question posed by advertisements plastered on New York City subway cars. The ads depict sugar packets and beverage containers bubbling over with globs of fat, and caution that excess sugar consumption is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
New Yorkers will soon have to settle for chugging smaller sodas. The New York City Board of Health voted today to pass a ban on supersize soft drinks. The controversial ban, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last spring, imposes a 16-ounce limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other high-calorie beverages. The policy only applies to drinks sold at cafeterias, theaters, restaurants, and fast-food joints—meaning that you can still guzzle mega beverages sold at supermarkets or convenience stores. Dairy-based drinks get a free pass if they contain more than 50% milk.
Will the ban shrink our waistlines? Given that beverages are just one component of any diet, it’s hard to tell for sure. But sugar-packed drinks can definitely contribute to weight gain. There are about 240 calories in a 20-oz. Coke, compared to 200 in a 16-oz. one. The difference might not seem significant, but consider this: if you gulp down a soda a day, it adds up to an extra 14,600 calories per year. That’s enough to make me want to put down my straw.
Image: Girl drinking soda via Shutterstock
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Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Clinical Trial Is Favorable for a Prenatal Gene Test
A new method of prenatal testing that can detect more genetic problems in a fetus than ever before could be headed toward wider use after encouraging results from a clinical trial, researchers say. The new technique surpassed standard testing in detecting chromosomal abnormalities, the study found. (via NY Times)
Fertility Treatments May Put Women At Risk for PTSD Symptoms, Study Suggests
Women who undergo fertility treatments may find the situation so distressing that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study says. In the study, close to 50 percent of participants met the official criteria for PTSD, meaning they could be diagnosed with the condition. (via MSNBC)
Diabetes and the Obesity Paradox
Type 2 diabetes, a condition widely thought of as a disease of the overweight and sedentary, also develops in people who aren’t overweight—and it may be more deadly. Scientists found those who were of normal weight around the time of their diagnoses were twice as likely to die within the same period. (via NY Times)
Boys Appear to Be More Vulnerable Than Girls to the Insecticide Chlorpyrifos
A new study found, at age 7, boys had greater difficulty working memory, a key component of IQ, than girls with similar prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Having nurturing parents improved working memory, especially in boys, though it didn’t lessen the negative effects of exposure. (via Science Daily)
Air Pollution Linked to Stillbirth Risk
Air pollution has been linked to a number of breathing problems, mainly in developing countries, and now a new preliminary study looking at pollution levels in New Jersey has found an increased risk of stillbirths among women exposed to certain pollutants. (via NBC News)
Stressed People Use Different Strategies and Brain Regions
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Researchers have found stressed and non-stressed people use different brain regions and different strategies when learning. Non-stressed individuals applied a deliberate learning strategy, while stressed subjects relied more on their gut feeling. (via Science Daily)
air pollution, boys, Brain Function, child obesity, diabetes, Fertility, fertility treatments, genetics, girls, memory, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, prenatal, stillbirth, stress | Categories:
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Suspensions Are Higher for Disabled Students, Federal Data Indicate
Students with disabilities are almost twice as likely to be suspended from school as nondisabled students, with the highest rates among black children with disabilities. (via NY Times)
Chalk Wars: Mom Ticketed for Child’s Chalk Drawing in Public Park
A Virginia mom has been ordered by a judge to perform community service after allowing her daughter to do chalk drawings in a public park. Last Tuesday, Susan Mortensen appeared in a Richmond, Va. court and agreed to serve 50 hours of community service by January 3, or return to court for sentencing and possibly a $2500 fine. (via MSNBC)
School’s Policy Requires Girls to Take Pregnancy Tests
Calling a charter school’s policy on pregnant students illegal, Louisiana education officials will require the Delhi Charter School to drop its classroom ban on pregnant students and the ability to mandate pregnancy tests for students suspected of being pregnant. (via Today.com)
Among Diabetes Patients, the Obese Outlive the Trim
People with Type 2 diabetes who are relatively trim may not live as long as people with the condition who carry extra weight, a new study finds. (via NBC)
Kids’ Cholesterol Down; Fewer Trans Fats Cited
A big government study shows that in the past decade, the proportion of children who have high cholesterol has fallen. (via Associated Press)
Why Aren’t Hoarders Bothered by all That Junk? Scientists Find a Clue
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Scientists may have uncovered an important clue that could help explain why hoarders can live surrounded by mounds of clutter: A brain network that helps us decide whether something should be kept or thrown away may be malfunctioning. (via NBC)
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Survival Rates for Premies Are Better Than Previously Reported
Premature babies are more likely to survive when they are born in high-level neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) than in hospitals without such facilities. Pediatric researchers who analyzed more than 1.3 million premature births over a 10-year span found that the survival benefits applied not only to extremely preterm babies, but also to moderately preterm newborns. (via Science Daily)
Severely Obese Babies: Hearts Already in Danger
Heart disease is normally associated with middle age, but the early warning signs were detected in children between the ages of two and 12. Two-thirds of the 307 children studied had a least one early symptom such as high blood pressure. (via BBC)
Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth
Severe psychological and physical neglect produces measurable changes in children’s brains, finds a study led by Boston Children’s Hospital. But the study also suggests that positive interventions can partially reverse these changes. (via Science Daily)
After 30 Years, Unintended Birth Rate Still Almost 40 Percent
About 37 percent of births in the United States are the result of unintended pregnancies, a proportion that has remained fairly steady since 1982, according to new research from the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (via ABC)
Childhood Obesity Linked to Cancer Risk
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According to the American Heart Association, one in three children and teenagers are now considered overweight or obese. There is a growing recognition of health problems associated with extra pounds, including the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and joint and muscle pain. (via Science Daily)
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