Children Make You Happier — Once They’ve Left Home

Aug. 20, 2019 — Having children can make you happier, but only when you’re older and if your children have moved out, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed 55,000 people, 50 and older, in 16 European countries about their mental health and found that the “the positive aspects of parenthood dominate when getting older,” CNN reported.

One of the main reasons for that conclusion is that children offer a form of social support, according to the authors of the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They noted that social support networks are associated with greater happiness and less loneliness and can provide a cushion against stressful events, CNN reported.

“As stress associated with balancing the competing demands of childcare, work and personal life decreases, once people get older and their children leave (home), the importance of children as caregivers and social contacts might prevail,” study leader Christoph Becker, Heidelberg University, Germany, and colleagues wrote.

The study also found that having children who still live at home can harm older parent’s mental well-being, CNN reported.

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‘Children of Blood and Bone’ Lucasfilm’s First Franchise Departure Since Disney Buy

A feature adaptation of bestselling fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone planned for Fox 2000 is going ahead under the new Disney leadership, and Deadline reports that Lucasfilm is set to produce since the project caught studio chief Kathleen Kennedy’s attention. Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi’s tale of a gifted young woman a mission to bring magic back to her world would be the studio’s first film outside the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises since it was acquired by Walt Disney Co.

WGA Award nominee Kay Oyegun (This Is Us) is on deck to write a new script for the film, which has Image Award-winning writer/director Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, Talk to Me, The Chi) attached to direct. Famuyiwa is directing episodes of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, premiering later this year, and has been tapped for Sony’s graphic novel adaptation Son of Shaolin.

Original producers Marty Brown, Isaac Klausner and John Fischer (Temple Hill), Karen Rosenfelt (Sunswept Ent.) and Famuyiwa (VERSE) will continue to be involved.

Children of Blood and Bone was published in 2018 by Holt Books for Young Readers. The second book in the Legacy of Orisha series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is due later this year.

Book synopsis: Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy.

With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

[Source: Deadline]

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi

Rick Famuyiwa

Rick Famuyiwa

Kay Oyegun

Kay Oyegun

Animation Magazine

Parents Who Belittle Their Children May Be Raising Bullies

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 — It’s a vicious cycle: Teens who are belittled and demeaned by their parents are more likely to be bullied and to bully others, a new study suggests.

“Inappropriate interpersonal responses appear to spread from parents to children, where they spawn peer difficulties,” said study co-author Brett Laursen, a professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University.

“Specifically, derisive parenting precipitates a cycle of negative affect and anger between parents and adolescents, which ultimately leads to greater adolescent bullying and victimization,” he explained in a university news release.

“Our study is important because it provides a more complete understanding of how parents’ belittling and critical interactions with adolescents thwart their ability to maintain positive relationships with peers,” Laursen said.

He and his colleagues followed more than 1,400 teens from ages 13 to 15 and found that derisive parenting can cause significant harm.

Derisive parents use criticism, sarcasm, put-downs and hostility when dealing with their children, and they rely on emotional and physical coercion to get their children to do what they want, the researchers explained.

They found that teens who are subjected to derisive parenting can develop dysregulated anger, often a sign of difficulty controlling emotions. This type of anger presents itself in negative emotions, hostility, and verbal and physical aggression.

Dysregulated anger puts teens at greater risk for bullying and for becoming bully-victims (bullies who also are victimized by other bullies), the study said.

Previous research found that bully-victims are at high risk for poor mental health, behavioral problems and suicidal thoughts, according to the study authors.

“Implications from our study are far-reaching: Practitioners and parents should be informed of the potential long-term costs of sometimes seemingly harmless parenting behaviors such as belittlement and sarcasm,” said study senior author Daniel Dickson, from the department of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal.

“Parents must be reminded of their influence on adolescents’ emotions and should take steps to ensure that adolescents do not feel ridiculed at home,” Dickson said.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

More information

For more on bullying, go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019 – Daily MedNews

EPA Won’t Ban Pesticide Linked to Harm in Children

July 19, 2019 — Even though the pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to brain harm in children, it will not be banned in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.The agency said data highlighting health concerns about the pesticide was “not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable,” and added that it would continue to monitor the safety of chlorpyrifos through 2022, The New York Times reported.

In 2015, the Obama administration said it would ban chlorpyrifos after EPA studies showed that the pesticide could damage brain development in children. That ban was reversed by the Trump administration in 2017, which triggered legal challenges.

In April, a federal appeals court gave the EPA a July deadline to issue a final ruling on whether to ban chlorpyrifos, The Times reported.

One of the groups that challenged the 2017 Trump administration decision on chlorpyrifos was Earthjustice, which acted on behalf of farmworker organizations and others.

“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” Patti Goldman, a lawyer for Earthjustice, said in a statement.

She said the groups would continue their legal challenge, The Times reported.

Hawaii banned chlorpyrifos in 2018, and California and New York are considering similar measures. Consumers and environmental groups are urging the European Commission to ban the pesticide.

In the United States, the chemical industry and farmers have lobbied to continue using chlorpyrifos, saying it’s needed to protect crops, The Times reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

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WebMD Health

Health Tip: Avoid Mouth Injuries in Children

— From climbing on the playground to playing in a soccer game, children are prone to getting minor cuts and wounds to the mouth.

Most of these injuries can be handled with simple first aid, says the University of Rochester Medical Center. Although most are easy to care for, mouth injuries can be avoided.

To prevent mouth injuries, the school encourages parents to:

  • Teach children never to walk or run with an object in the mouth.
  • Teach children not to suck or chew on hard, sharp or pointed objects.
  • Have your child wear a mouthguard for any sport that poses a threat of injury.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

More News Resources – Daily MedNews

Can Some Children Outgrow Autism?

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 — Some toddlers thought to have mild autism “outgrow” the diagnosis, but most continue to struggle with language and behavior, new research suggests.

The study is not the first to document cases of autism “recovery.” Doctors have known for decades that a small number of young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) seem to outgrow it.

But what does that mean for those kids? The findings suggest that the vast majority continue to face challenges and need support, said lead researcher Dr. Lisa Shulman.

Her team found that of the 38 children who “lost” their autism diagnosis, most were found to have other conditions — including learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders.

Why did the picture change for those children?

That’s the “million-dollar question,” said Shulman, a professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Health System in New York City.

One possibility is that the initial diagnosis was wrong. But it’s also possible some children responded to early therapy aimed at supporting their development.

Shulman suspects both scenarios are true.

The 569 children in the study were diagnosed before the age of 3. And what looks like an autism in a 2-year-old may start manifesting differently as the child grows, Shulman explained. For example, that 2-year-old may actually have an anxiety disorder, but children that age simply can’t express what they’re feeling. It only becomes clearer when the child is a little older.

On the other hand, early behavioral therapy can help children with autism build their social and language skills, and ease behavior issues. So young kids who respond may no longer meet the criteria for autism at a certain point.

“I do think there is a group of children who were probably never going to have autism,” Shulman said. “And there are some who respond to early intervention.”

James Connell is clinical core director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia. He agreed that in toddlers, it can be “difficult to pin down” whether it’s autism or something else.

“Global developmental delays, language delays and separation anxiety in 18- to 24-month-old children can look like an ASD,” said Connell, who was not involved in the study.

In fact, he said, “I would argue that most, if not all of these kids, did not have an ASD.”

But that’s not to say that kids mistakenly given an autism label did not benefit from therapy. Connell said that early and intensive services can be very helpful not only for children with an ASD, but for those with developmental delays.

And in fact, Connell said, young children with developmental difficulties may specifically be given an ASD diagnosis so that they qualify for such intensive therapy.

“A diagnosis of autism gets services — services these children do need,” he said. “Doctors know that. Parents know that.”

The latest findings, published recently in the Journal of Child Neurology, were based on records for 569 children who were diagnosed with autism at the researchers’ center between 2003 and 2013. Four years later, 38 of those kids no longer met the diagnostic criteria.

They all had one thing in common, according to Shulman. They had what initially appeared to be milder symptoms; they were not on the more severe end of the spectrum.

And nearly all saw their diagnoses evolve. A full 68 percent still had language or learning disabilities. Half were diagnosed with “externalizing” behavior disorders — such as ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder — while one-quarter had “internalizing” mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. Two children had more severe mental illnesses involving psychosis.

There were three children, the researchers added, who did not “warrant” any alternative diagnosis.

Those kids, Connell said, probably never had autism. “Most researchers would agree that children are never ‘cured’ of autism — it just becomes less apparent,” he said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on diagnosing autism.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: March 2019 – Daily MedNews

Children Fighting Cancer Create Allegorical Animation ‘ZOUA’

Artistes Pour Rêver (Artists for Dreams) and Toronto-based Switch VFX & Animation have wrapped production of a unique animated short, titled ZOUA. This first of its kind project brings to life a story and characters conceived by a group of 10 children in Switzerland currently battling cancer.

Premiering September 22 at a AJAFEC ( charity event in the kids’ hometown of Porrentruy, the film will be used as a tool to raise money for associations affiliated with cancer support and research while raising awareness of childhood cancer.

An additional charity event is to be held in Los Angeles to benefit the Leukemia Research Foundation; the date and location is to be confirmed.

“Our greatest hope is that ZOUA will inspire hospitals and organizations to provide more creative activities for children who are battling cancer and other diseases” says Artistes Pour Rêver Producer Tiziana Giammarino. “We were thrilled to be able to use the power of film to provide moments of escape and surround these brave children with magic and a world where everything is possible”

The film centers on a young hero named Zoua, a special boy who lives on a deserted island. Even though he is great friends with the local animals, he longs more than anything to live where he can play with other children.

“From the beautiful imaginations of these children, through their clever story arc and onto paper with their crayons, we at Switch are honored to have played a small role in bringing this heartwarming project to the screen” reflects Pete Denomme, Executive Producer at Switch VFX & Animation.

Learn more by following @artistespourrever or visit to see more of Switch VFX & Animation’s work.





Animation Magazine

FDA Could Approve First Cannabis-Based Drug in US For Treating Epilepsy in Children

By Matthew Perrone WASHINGTON (AP) — A closely watched medicine made from cannabis reduces seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy and warrants approval in the United States, health officials said Tuesday. British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking permission to sell its purified form of an ingredient found in cannabis — one that doesn’t […]

Trailer: Adventure Awaits in ‘Boxcar Children: Surprise Island’

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island

Gertrude Chandler Warner’s beloved adventure books are coming alive on the big screen next month with a special US theatrical event as Shout! Factory Films and Fathom Events present The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island for one day only, May 8 at 4 p.m. local time. Audiences will also be treated to an exclusive introduction by voice star Griffin Gluck (“Henry”), and an explanation on the making of the movie from producer-director Dan Chuba after the film.

“What I like best about the Boxcar Children books and Surprise Island in particular, is how the kids seem to effortlessly appreciate life as it happens,” said Chuba in the announcement. “The vegetables they eat taste better because they tended the garden themselves. They make daily chores more fun by doing them together. They wonder at and explore the nature that surrounds them on the little island, experiencing and sharing their world in a series of small, beautiful moments.”

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island follows the adventures of the orphaned Boxcar Children as they spend an entire summer living on their Grandfather’s small, nearly uninhabited island. There they meet Joe, who is friendly and helpful, and inexplicably living on their island…

Based on the second book from the series, the full-length feature has a stellar voice cast lead by Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons, Griffin Gluck, Joey King and Dane DeHaan. Dan Chuba and Mark Dippé directed the film, which is produced by Legacy Classics at its animation and VFX studios, with co-producers Shout! Factory, Albert Whitman & Company and Blueberry Pictures.

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island

Animation Magazine

CDC: Most Children Dying From Flu Not Vaccinated

Feb. 15, 2018 — As in the past, most children who have died of the flu so far this season had not been vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Of the 63 confirmed child deaths from the flu, investigators have health histories on 56 of them.

Of the 54 kids who were old enough to get the flu vaccine, only 14 — or 26% — had gotten at least one dose, according to a flu update published today in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

About half of the children who died had underlying medical conditions that made them more vulnerable to severe complications from the flu, and 60% had been admitted to the hospital before they died.

The children ranged in age from 2 months to 17 years.

“She was eating Cheerios last night,” said her grandmother, Tameka Stettler. “She was walking last night. How does that just happen?”

Buddy Creech, MD, a pediatrician and a spokesman for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in Arlington, VA, said both children and adults with flu can suddenly get worse after seeming to improve, and it can happen very fast.

“This sort of double hit is well characterized with flu,” he says. “It’s important for parents to realize it can happen.”

Not only is the flu miserable by itself, it also primes the body for secondary infections. It does this two ways: It weakens the immune system for a while, and it causes your nasal passages to go bald.

Normally, you have tiny hairs called cilia that line the nasal passages. They’re there to snare and sweep away any bacteria that try to get in. The flu causes those hairs, and the protective layer of mucus that sits underneath them, to slough off. That allows the bacteria that normally hang out on the surface of our skin to invade, Creech said.

“It can change the way the bacteria in your nose and throat can gain access to deeper parts of your body,” says Creech, who is also director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville.

It takes about 7 days after you’re first infected for this natural protective layer to grow back.

“What we do know is that those who get vaccinated — even in years where there’s a bit of a mismatch — are typically more protected, not just from severe flu, but flu itself,” Creech says.

He says parents need to look out for other infections for at least a week after a flu diagnosis. Signs that kids are getting sick a second time include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Not acting well, even when the fever comes down
  • Complaining of pain in a specific area
  • A cough that lingers or gets worse, even as other symptoms seem to be improving

Creech says two of his kids have had the flu in the last week, so this is something he’s thinking about right now. He says the signs of a second infection can be subtle.

“Even as a pediatrician, I look at them and sometimes it’s hard to tell,” he says.

The bottom line, Creech says, is that you know your kids better than anyone else. If they don’t seem right, call a doctor.

“I think every pediatrician on the planet, if a parent is concerned, wants them to call and ask questions,” he says.

Because we’re only about halfway through the flu season, it’s still not too late to get a child vaccinated. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all children older than 6 months of age.

Kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a double dose. This is called the two-shot prime. The two shots are given about a month apart. If you aren’t sure whether your child has had that double dose, ask your pediatrician.

If your child missed the two-shot prime, the CDC recommends getting them another dose this year.

Sources, “A 3-Year_Old Indiana Girl Who Was Not Vaccinated Died From Flu This Week”

Buddy Creech, MD, director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

Feb. 12, 2018, news report, RTV6, ABC, The Indy Channel.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb. 15, 2018.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Is Surgery Riskier for Black Children?

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2018 — Black children are more than twice as likely as white kids to die from surgery complications in the United States, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that black kids more often had risk factors that raised their odds of dying within 30 days of surgery. They were more likely, for example, to need blood transfusions or to be placed on ventilators to help them breathe.

But even when compared to white children with the same risk factors, black kids were relatively more likely to die.

It’s not clear why, the study authors said.

“We definitely need further investigation to find out why these risk factors are more prevalent, and more strongly associated with risk of death, among black children,” said lead researcher Oguz Akbilgic, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The good news: The average risk of a child dying after surgery was still very low. Among white children, the study found, the risk was just under 0.003 percent, while black kids faced a 0.006 percent risk.

Still, Akbilgic said, that translated into a more than twofold higher risk for black children.

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, agreed that “it’s troubling when we have studies saying that being a person of color is a risk factor.”

However, she explained, race is often a “proxy” for other factors, such as social conditions and access to health care.

It’s possible, according to Heard-Garris, that black children are more likely than white kids to have surgery at “low-volume” hospitals — those with less experience performing the procedure.

Other research has found that to be true of black adults, she added.

Difficulty getting health care at all could be a factor, too — whether that’s because of money or because the nearest hospital is an hour away, she said.

“This study is a starting point,” said Heard-Garris, who wrote an editorial published online with the findings Jan. 10 in the journal Pediatrics.

Now researchers need to figure out the reasons behind the disparity, she said.

The study results are based on a national database with information on pediatric surgeries at dozens of U.S. hospitals. Akbilgic’s team looked at outcomes of over 183,000 surgeries performed between 2012 and 2014.

In general, the study found, black children and teenagers were more likely to have certain conditions or complications that raised their risk of dying after surgery.

In the study, just over 6 percent had a blood disorder, like hemophilia, versus just under 3 percent of white children. And over 4 percent needed to be placed on a ventilator after surgery, compared with 2.5 percent of white children.

But, the researchers found, it wasn’t just a matter of black kids having more risk factors. Some risk factors also appeared to be more deadly for black children than for white children.

For example, when black children ended up on a ventilator, their risk of dying was over 10 percent. When that happened to white children, the risk of death was roughly 7 percent.

Akbilgic said he and his colleagues will now try to dig into the social factors that might be at work.

“For example,” he said, “it’s worth investigating whether the higher prevalence of ventilator dependency or oxygen support is associated with the air and housing quality of children’s neighborhoods.”

For now, Heard-Garris encouraged parents to ask questions if they are told their child should have surgery.

Besides seeking a second opinion, she said, parents can try to learn more about the surgeon’s and hospital’s experience.

“You can ask, ‘How many of these surgeries have you done in the last year?’ And, ‘How many has this hospital performed?’ ” Heard-Garris said.

Minority patients can be particularly hesitant to question doctors, Heard-Garris noted. But if anything, she said, the new findings should help parents “feel empowered” to ask questions.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about what to expect on the day of your child’s surgery.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 2018 – Daily MedNews

Health Tip: Protect Children from Playground Hazards

— Playing at the playground is a rite of passage, but it doesn’t come without risks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hospital emergency departments see more than 20,000 children aged 14 and younger for playground-relatedtraumatic brain injurieseach year.

The National Safety Council offers these suggestions for evaluating a playground:

  • Check out ground surfaces, which should be at least 12 inches deep and made of wood chips, mulch, wood fiber, sand, pea gravel or rubber mats.
  • The area under and near equipment where a child might fall should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.
  • Beware of hardware that could injure a child. Examples include bolts, hooks and rungs.
  • Also watch for things that could catch on clothing. Children should never wear drawstring hoodies at the playground.
  • To avoid trapping your child’s head, there should be no openings that measure between 3 1/2 and 9 inches.
  • Swings should be set far enough away from other equipmentthat kids won’t be hit by a moving swing.
  • Children under age 4 shouldn’t play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders.
  • Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young kids. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because kids can crush their hands under the chains.
  • Avoid metal or wooden swing seats in favor of softer materials.
  • Watch for sharp edgeson equipment.

© 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2017

More News Resources – Daily MedNews

Groups Help Children Grieve After A Parent Dies

Nov. 16, 2017 — Alicia Kelly’s husband, Christopher, died suddenly in March 2016 at the age of 43 from a blood clot, leaving behind Alicia and her two young sons. Although her older son wasn’t showing any signs of grief, the mother of one of her son’s friends introduced her to Kate’s Club, an organization that helps children deal with the loss of a parent or sibling.

For more than a year, Kelly has taken her eldest son, Kieran, 7, to the club in in Atlanta, which helps them develop skills to deal with their grief. Her younger son, Graeham, 3, is not old enough to attend.

“It is important to me that people don’t underestimate the feelings your child has,” Kelly says. “They feel things on a deeper level sometimes, and you can’t assume because they aren’t crying that they aren’t upset and they don’t think about it.”

Kate’s Club is among a growing number of groups dedicated to helping the 2 million children and young adults who have lost a parent:

  • Kate Atwood founded the group in 2003 to organize outings and activities for children who’ve experienced loss. Lane Pease, program director at Kate’s Club in Atlanta, says they have expanded to add support groups and therapeutic services. While they are not a clinical organization, they do offer community support. They served about 470 children in the metro Atlanta area in the past year.
  • The Dinner Party, a national organization that hosts get-togethers aimed at young adults who have lost a parent, is in 70 cities nationwide and 12 abroad. Lennon Flowers, a co-founder and the executive director, says they have been able to grow their community to about 5,000 people since 2014.
  • The National Alliance for Grieving Children, founded in 2004, includes around 900 member organizations. The alliance offers support and training, and it hosts a national symposium each year, says Andy McNiel, former chief executive officer of the group.
  • Children’s Grief Awareness Day, commemorated this year on Nov. 16, has grown from a local celebration to an international event since being started in 2008 by Highmark Caring Place in Pennsylvania, says director Terese Vorsheck.

McNiel says it’s important for family members to recognize that kids do grieve.

“Whether they are showing it or not, they are impacted when someone in their life dies, and kids fare better when they are able to be understood by people around them,” McNiel says.  

Flowers, of The Dinner Party, says those who experience loss become good at being silent about it.

“You learn pretty quickly how to avoid making other people uncomfortable and ‘Like, oh my god, I am so sorry for making you feel weird about my life, I promise to never ever to do that again,’’’ Flowers says. She says people that have lost a parent often feel as if they live parallel lives as they try to do “normal” things.

Flowers says the organization started in 2010 from a group of people she knew socially who had all lost their parents. They were able to help expand the group after starting a crowdfunding campaign in 2013.

The point of the group is not to fix loss, but to bring people who might be isolating themselves into a community to help them heal and build meaningful relationships, she says.

Creating a Community

Kelly says Kate’s Club has become a big part of their lives and that she can’t imagine them not in her life now.

“It just seemed like the best place to be and the best decision I could’ve made,” Kelly says. “They have really had a significant impact on my older son in coming to terms with his dad’s death, and we’re very open — we talk about it, which is kind of their philosophy. It’s just a great fit.”

She says her older son enjoys the activities like crafts, going to the zoo, and playing games.

Liz Carson, program and outreach coordinator of Kate’s Club, says weekly “clubhouse days” begin with drop off and a chance to mingle, followed by a welcome circle. The welcome circle provides an opportunity for introductions and for children to talk about who in their family died, she says.

They club also offers four outings a year in each season, plus holiday and other programs related to loss like Mother’s day, Father’s day, and sibling’s day. They also have a family night once a month.

Highmark Caring Place is similar to Kate’s Club, with four centers located around Pennsylvania. It provides peer support and programming for children and their families to help cope with loss, Vorsheck says.

The idea for Children’s Grief Awareness Day came after talking to children about what they wanted. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the impact of death on children and their need for support.

“People oftentimes don’t understand that kids who are grieving really need extra support,” Vorsheck says. “We hope to spread the word that it is hard for these kids when somebody close to them dies.”

The days falls before the holidays because this can be a hard time for those experiencing grief since that time is usually filled with family traditions, Vorsheck says.

For people looking for an organization, Donna Schuurman, senior director of advocacy and training, says people should evaluate a group’s website to see:

  • Who are the people running the organization?
  • How credible is the organization?
  • What is the level of education of the staff? Do they have people with master’s degrees or higher?
  • What is the organization’s philosophy?
  • What is the basis of the organization?

Also check out the standards of practice on the National Alliance for Grieving Children’s website.



Alicia Kelly, 43, East Point, GA.

Liz Carson, program and outreach coordinator, Kate’s Club, Atlanta.

United States Census Bureau.

Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT, senior director of advocacy and training, executive director emeritus, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families, Portland.

Lane Pease, program director, Kate’s Club, Atlanta.

Terese Vorsheck, director, The Highmark Caring Place.

Lennon Flowers, co-founder and executive director, The Dinner Party.

Andy McNiel, former chief executive officer, National Alliance for Grieving Children.

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Black Children Missing Out on Eczema Treatment

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 — Black children may have more severe eczema than white children, but they are less likely to visit a doctor for this common inflammatory skin condition, new research shows.

Eczema causes the skin to become red and itchy. Roughly 11 percent of children in the United States are affected by the condition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Previous studies have demonstrated disparities in overall health care utilization among racial and ethnic minorities, but few studies have examined this question specifically for eczema,” said senior study author Dr. Junko Takeshita. She is an assistant professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

“This is the first study to look at racial and ethnic differences in health care utilization for eczema on an individual level rather than relying on a sample of outpatient visits, making this a unique evaluation of eczema that includes those not accessing care for their disease,” she said in a Penn news release.

The study included health care data on a group of more than 2,000 children and teens under 18 with eczema. The data was collected from 2001 and 2013.

Based on their analysis, the researchers estimated that 66 percent of the nearly 3 million children with eczema are white, 18 percent are black and 16 percent are Hispanic. Overall, about 60 percent of these children have been treated for their condition but the odds of being treated by a doctor also varies by race, the researchers found.

Among the white children with eczema, about 62 percent visited a doctor for the condition. Roughly 58 percent of Hispanic kids with the condition were also treated, compared to just 52 percent of black children.

Overall, black children and teens with eczema are 30 percent less likely to see a doctor than white kids, the researchers calculated.

Those who do see a doctor for eczema however tend to have more office visits and receive more prescriptions than white children, suggesting they have more severe cases of the condition, the researchers said.

“The data show that race alone can be a predictor of whether or not a child with eczema will see a doctor, independent of other social or demographic factors or insurance status,” Takeshita said.

Minority children with eczema also tended to be younger. They were more likely to also have asthma than the white children with the condition. The minority children were also less likely to have private insurance and more likely to come from low-income homes.

“While the study is not without its limitations, our findings suggest there are barriers to health care for eczema among black children, irrespective of income and insurance status, despite likely having more severe skin disease,” Takeshita said.

“Further research is needed to understand what these barriers are and why they exist so that we can ultimately make efforts to eliminate this disparity,” she added.

The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information on eczema.

Posted: October 2017

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