First Vaccine to Help Control Some Autism Symptoms A first-ever vaccine created by University of Guelph researchers for gut bacteria common in autistic children may also help control some autism symptoms. (viaScience Daily)
CPS Student Boycott: High Schoolers Skip Required State Exam To Protest School Closures On a day they were slated to take a state-required test that directly affects their graduation eligibility, around 100 Chicago Public School students boycotted exams to protest the district’s plan to close 54 schools.(viaHuffington Post)
Sugary drinks can raise diabetes risk by 22 percent: study Drinking just one can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth, according to a large European study published on Wednesday.(viaReuters)
Fourth Grader’s Gay Marriage Essay Goes Viral A fourth grader’s poignant plea for gay marriage is making the blogosphere rounds.(viaHuffington Post)
Shire settles with Actavis, Watson Pharma on ADHD drug Drugmaker Shire Plc said it settled all litigation with Actavis Inc and Watson Pharma, allowing the two companies to sell a generic version of Shire’s drug, Intuniv, to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.(viaReuters)
Armed Teachers Bill: Florida Rep. Greg Steube Meets Opposition In School Boards
Your child’s third-grade teacher might be packing more than a lesson plan in the classroom if a bill designed to make schools safer becomes law. (via Huffington Post)
Denver School Cheating, Moody’s Likes Philly School Closings: Ed Today
According to Ed News Colorado, about 35 high school students figured out how to go into their teachers’ computer system. They changed their grades on instant “mastery tests” to make it look as if they’d entered the correct answers in the first place. (via Huffington Post)
Despite Evidence, Parents’ Fears of HPV Vaccine Grow
More parents of teen girls not fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) are intending to forgo the shots altogether – a trend driven by vaccine safety concerns, new research suggests. (via Reuters)
Grandparents Stepping Up to Help Fund Grandkids’ Education
Go to a workshop on how to pay for your kids’ college education, and you’ll see more gray hair in the audience than in years past. (via Today)
Faced With Eviction and Medical Bills, Parents Take Kids Along for Crime
Police in Utah say they’ve arrested a husband and wife bank robbery team that took their two young children along for the ride. (via ABC News)
NYC Teen Pregnancies Down Over a Decade
Teen pregnancies among New York public school students have dropped by 27 percent over a decade. Officials says the dip is due to contraceptives and delayed sexual activity, as reflected in new data released by the city Department of Health on Sunday. (via Fox News)
Insulin-requiring Diabetes Up in Young Children, Study Finds
The number of cases of insulin-requiring type 1 diabetes rose sharply in children under the age of Philadelphia over a two decade span, paralleling increases seen across the United States and in Europe, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)
Israeli and Palestinian Schoolbooks Fault Other Side in Conflict
Both Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks largely present one-sided narratives of the conflict between the two peoples and tend to ignore the existence of the other side, but rarely resort to demonization, a U.S. State Department-funded study released Monday said. (via Huffington Post)
California Preschool, Rocked by Sex Sandal, Is Closing Its Doors ( VIDEO)
A California preschool is reportedly closing its doors amidst allegations of sexual activity among its young students. According to KABC-TV, at least two young boys say they received oral sex from a five-year-old girl on the premises of the First Lutheran Church of Carson School, where the three children are students. (via Huffington Post)
Key TB Trial Fails; More Waiting in the Wings
A highly anticipated study of the first new tuberculosis vaccine in 90 years showed it offered no added benefit over the current vaccine when it came to protecting babies from TB infections, a disappointing but not entirely unexpected outcome, researchers said on Monday. (via Reuters)
Junk Food in Schools: USDA Proposes Calorie, Sugar Limits
Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation’s schools. For the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful. (via Huffington Post)
If your child is anything like mine, you probably dread vaccination day. When my then 3-year-old daughter wrapped her arms around me, and used every muscle in her little legs to push off of the examination table sending me flying backward into the hall, I have to admit, I deeply considered skipping the next round. But we pushed through them, and now at five, she’s replaced her fear of needles with a fear of large cotton swabs (a strep test — it’s a long story).
Although we’ve all witnessed a runaway kid or two at the pediatrician’s office, the truth behind this needle nightmare is that one in every 10 Americans has a fear needles, or trypanophobia. Digital health media company, Healthline, has called it an under-reported healthcare crisis. Fear of needles can cause a person to skip vaccinations, which puts everyone’s health at risk.
According to Healthline, needle phobia usually develops around age 4 or 5 with a traumatic immunization experience. And if you told your kid that it wasn’t going to hurt, you can bet his immunization experience was traumatic.
According to Healthline’s CEO West Shell, “The key to ending needle phobia is awareness, education, and action. Needle phobia must be addressed and it must be addressed on large public platforms. Fear of snakes or fear of public speaking doesn’t kill people, but fear of needles does.”
Healthline has recently launched a public health campaign to help put an end to needle phobia. Take the End Needle Phobia Pledge, and help prevent your children from developing needle phobia by telling them the truth: shots help to protect them and others from dangerous diseases, and they hurt – but only for a second.
Preschoolers’ Counting Abilities Relate to Future Math Performance, Researcher Says
New research suggests reciting numbers is not enough to prepare children for math success in elementary school. The research indicates that counting, which requires assigning numerical values to objects in chronological order, is more important for helping preschoolers acquire math skills. (via ScienceDaily)
Malaria Vaccine a Letdown for Infants
An experimental malaria vaccine once thought promising is turning out to be a disappointment, with a new study showing it is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants from the killer disease. (via NBC News)
Leftover Newborn Blood Samples Need Better Regulation, Ethicists Say
The tiny spots of blood left after routine tests on newborns could provide valuable information for researchers, but clear policies that govern their use are needed so that the samples are not destroyed or otherwise lost entirely, experts say. (via Fox News)
Iron, Omega-3s Tied to Different Effects on Kids’ Brains
For children with low stores of two brain-power nutrients, supplements may have different, and complex, effects, a new clinical trial suggests. (via Reuters)
Chocolate Nesquik Mix Recalled for Salmonella Risk
Chocolate giant Nestle USA is recalling some lots of its Nesquik chocolate powder drink mix because it might be contaminated with salmonella. (via NBC News)
Socioeconomic Status Linked to Childhood Peanut Allergy
Peanut allergies are rising among American children and one reason might be due to economic status. According to a new study, greater rates of peanut allergy are found in families with higher economic status. This supports the “hygiene hypothesis” of many allergists. (via ScienceDaily)
Whooping Cough Vaccine Loses Effectiveness too Fast
As the U.S. Faces its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers are reporting that its vaccine dramatically weakens when a child gets the last round of shots at age 6. (via Wall Street Journal)
Medical Errors More Common if Children Have Chronic Illness
Research shows that 5% of children who are hospitalized with chronic health problems were affected by a medical error. (via Reuters)
All Large U.S. Cities Now Add Fluoride to Water
Portland, Ore. was the last large U.S. City to add fluoride to its water on Wednesday. Opponents believe public fluoridation is unsafe, but many dental experts say it is useful in fighting cavities. (via NBC News)
Child Survival Rates Making Rapid Progress
The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that child mortality has been brought down from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011. (via Reuters)
Low Doses of Inhaled Drugs Relieve Pain During Labor
Researchers report that low doses of nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” can relieve pain during labor according to a new review of evidence. (via Reuters)
1 in 3 Developmentally Delayed Babies Untreated
About one out of every three infants who scores well below average on a test of developmental skills — and is therefore considered at a high risk of having delays — does not get referred to early intervention services, according to a new study.
More Relatives, Friends Caring for Kids: Report
The number of youth living with relatives or friends instead of their parents has risen nearly 18 percent in the past decade as a growing number of grandparents take on caring for their grandchildren, an analysis of government data shows.
Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Ari Brown, M.D., FAAP, a Parents advisor and pediatrician in Austin, TX. She is the co-author of the best-sellling “411” parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Here, she shares her new role as champion for the world-wide Shot@Life initiative.
As a pediatrician, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, I’ve been involved in children’s health initiatives in the U.S. for a long time. But this year, I’m going global! I’m excited to be a part of a new movement to help kids and I want to share it with you!
On April 26, 2012, the United Nations Foundation will roll out a new grassroots program cleverly titled, Shot@Life. The message: every child—no matter where they live—deserves a shot at leading a healthy, productive life.
American parents don’t usually have to worry about losing their children to diseases like measles, pneumonia, or even the worst case of diarrhea. That’s because most of our kids have access to and are able to receive life-saving vaccines. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 children worldwide don’t have that opportunity for protection. In fact, 1.7 million children will die this year from these diseases that are rare in the U.S., thanks to vaccination. Unfortunately, a child dies every 20 seconds.
I know, I know. We have so many economic issues at home, it is hard to think about the plight of children on the other side of the world. But honestly, protection against diseases there helps all of our kids. Germs don’t need a passport. They don’t have to take their shoes off in security or go through special body scanners to get on a plane to our hometowns. So, our own children will benefit from protecting children in other countries.