SATURDAY, Oct. 12, 2019 — Fall can be a challenging time of the year for kids with asthma, an expert says.
“Although asthma can flare up for a number of reasons, a lot of people with allergies also have asthma, and asthma can be triggered by allergies. So the fall is a tough time for asthmatic sufferers,” said Dr. Gaurav Kumar, a pediatrician at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore.
While many kids do well with their asthma during the summer, problems often accompany the return to school.
“You go from taking these outdoor summer vacations to now being in a classroom again,” Kumar explained. “So now you’re in contact with people in closed spaces. And of course, what happens is germs are more likely to spread that way. So you could get colds from friends who have colds, and then that becomes a trigger for asthma.”
Parents need to make sure their child’s asthma is under control. If a child stopped taking preventive asthma medications regularly during the summer, they should resume daily use now, Kumar advised.
Children with asthma should have checkups at least once a year, and in some cases as often as three or four times a year.
“An asthma checkup is an opportunity for us to reassess how the year has gone and to make plans in anticipation of what might happen,” Kumar said in a LifeBridge Health news release.
A flu shot is also important, because kids with asthma are at high risk for serious flu-related complications. Asthma is the most common medical condition among children hospitalized with the flu.
Flu vaccine is “very safe” in children with asthma and “will not cause any negative effects to trigger asthma attacks,” Kumar said.
TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 — Think the chances that your kid could be hit by a train are slim to none?
New research suggests you should think again.
Issued to coincide with “Rail Safety Week,” the Sept. 23 report finds that, on average, a child dies of a train-related injury somewhere in the United States every five days. And for every death, another three children are injured.
The finding indicates that many parents may not realize the importance of addressing railroad safety, said Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide.
“In fact, fewer than half of parents we surveyed say they have talked with their children about it, and half of parents admit to taking risks around railroads,” Creppy added.
“We want to help parents get the little-known, but lifesaving information they need to protect themselves and their kids,” she added in a Safe Kids news release.
The Safe Kids Worldwide report highlights two key reasons people get hit by trains: car collisions and trespassing.
The report warns that collisions occur when drivers aren’t paying attention, ignore track safety barriers, or race to cross over the tracks before an oncoming train. The latter is a big mistake, Creppy and her colleagues noted, because even if a conductor spots a problem it’s impossible to stop a hurtling train on a dime. It can take upwards of a mile of advanced warning to bring a moving train to a full stop.
Trespassing on foot alongside tracks is both illegal and dangerous, they added. For one, modern trains aren’t as loud as one might expect. And they’re also considerably wider than the track itself — at least three feet wider on either side — which means being near, but not on, a track is no guarantee of safety.
In concert with Union Pacific Railroad, Safe Kids Worldwide offers some safety tips:
Only cross at designated track crossings.
Never try to beat a train across the tracks.
Always wait for trains to completely clear the crossing.
Don’t play, stroll or take photos anywhere near a train track.
Avoid distractions, such as cellphones or music, when preparing to cross a railroad track.
THURSDAY, Sept. 19, 2019 — When it comes to convincing your kids that vegetables taste good, variety might be the key to success.
New research suggests that offering children more than one type of vegetable may improve the chances that they’ll eat a greater amount.
The study included 32 families with children aged 4 to 6 who didn’t eat many vegetables. The children were divided into three groups: no change in eating habits, being given one type of vegetable (broccoli), or being given multiple vegetables (broccoli, zucchini and peas).
Parents were given instructions on portion size and cooking instructions, along with tips on how to offer the vegetables to the children, who were served a small piece of vegetable three times a week for five weeks. A sticker was given as a reward to children trying a new vegetable.
Vegetable consumption increased from 0.6 to 1.2 servings among children who were offered multiple vegetables, but no changes in consumption occurred among children who received a single vegetable or those whose eating habits weren’t changed.
The increased acceptance for multiple vegetables during the five weeks of the study was still evident three months later, according to the findings published in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
“While the amount of vegetables eaten increased during the study, the amount did not meet dietary guidelines. Nonetheless, the study showed the strategy of offering a variety of vegetables was more successful in increasing consumption than offering a single vegetable,” said lead author Astrid Poelman, from the CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Sensory, Flavour and Consumer Science in Australia.
“In Australia, dietary guidelines for vegetable consumption by young children have increased although actual consumption is low,” Poelman said in a journal news release. “This study introduces an effective strategy for parents wanting to address this deficiency.”
Parents in the study said that offering the vegetables to their children was “very easy” or “quite easy,” and most followed the instructions provided by the researchers.
FILE PHOTO: Prompts on how to use Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant are seen alongside an Amazon Echo in an Amazon ‘experience center’ in Vallejo, California, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – The number of parents in Britain calling their baby girls Alexa dropped by more than half last year, statistics showed on Thursday, possibly due to the link with Amazon Echo voice-controlled gadgets.
The Echo, a smart speaker that can perform household tasks such as adjusting lights, responds to the name Alexa.
“The growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes may help to explain why the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved compared with 2017,” said Nick Stripe of the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).
“Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”
Alexa was the 380th most popular name for girls in England and Wales last year, with 118 newborns given the name – a sharp fall from 2017, when there were 301 Alexas.
Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular names for boys and girls, for the sixth and third year running.
Reporting by Molly Millar; editing by Stephen Addison
MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 — Forty percent of U.S. parents say they would likely find a new doctor if their child’s primary care provider sees families who refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide poll finds.
And three in 10 say their child’s primary care provider should not treat youngsters whose parents refuse all vaccines.
Those are key findings of the latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health from the University of Michigan. The findings, published Aug. 19, are based on responses from 2,032 parents of at least one child aged 18 or younger.
“When a family refuses all childhood vaccines, it puts providers in a challenging position,” poll co-director Sarah Clark said in a university news release announcing the findings.
Not only is an unvaccinated child unprotected against harmful and contagious diseases (such as measles, whooping cough and chickenpox), those who skip vaccines also pose a risk of transmitting diseases to other patients, she pointed out.
“This can be especially risky exposure for vulnerable populations, including infants too young to receive vaccines, elderly patients, patients with weakened immune systems or pregnant women,” Clark added.
But many parents were unaware of their health care provider’s policies, and some were unconcerned.
Thirty-nine percent said their child’s primary care provider requires patients to get all recommended vaccines; 8% said only some vaccines are required; and 15% said their provider has no policy. Almost four in 10 weren’t sure.
But 29% of respondents said they’d be “somewhat likely” to look for another doctor if theirs saw kids whose parents had refused all vaccines. Twelve percent would be “very likely” to switch, the findings showed.
Six percent said their provider doesn’t let unvaccinated kids use the common waiting room; 2% said they are allowed do so if they wear a mask. About one-quarter said their provider had no restrictions.
Many parents favor tighter controls: 17% said unvaccinated kids should be kept out of the waiting room and 27% said any allowed in should have to wear masks. Yet, 28% of parents favored no restrictions.
About 43% said they would want to know if other patients at their child’s primary care practice had received no vaccines, while 33% would not, according to the poll.
Clark said recent measles outbreaks underscore the need for parents and providers to consider policies for unvaccinated children.
“Parents may assume that when they take their child to the doctor, they are in a setting that will not expose their child to diseases,” she said. “Parents may not have considered that there could be another child in the waiting room whose parents have refused all vaccines.”
Clark said providers need to consider whether to adopt policies to prevent exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases and then communicate them to everyone in their practice.
“Any parent — and particularly parents of infants or immunocompromised children — should ask their child’s primary care provider about policies surrounding unvaccinated children,” she advised.
The poll, administered in February to a representative sample of parents, has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 to 3 percentage points.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on vaccinations.
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.
A nurse checks an incubator at the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland, 21 May 2019. Polish woman gave birth to four baby girls and two boys on Monday, the first sextuplets to be born in Poland. Agencja Gazeta/Adrianna Bochenek/via REUTERS
WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s first sextuplets on record, two boys and four girls, were born in the southern city of Krakow on Monday to the surprise of parents and doctors who had expected five babies.
“Imagine this: we were prepared from early in the morning to help deliver five tiny citizens. So we are in the operating room, there are five teams of doctors ready to take care of five children”, Ryszard Lauterbach, head of Clinical Neonatology at the University Hospital in Krakow said.
“They are being delivered one after another until all five places were occupied. And then all of a sudden it turns out there’s another one waiting in there.”
He said the children, born at 29 weeks, were in “surprisingly good condition” for sextuplets, but they showed symptoms of immaturity of the respiratory system and the central nervous system that were typical for premature babies.
Doctors said they hoped the babies would be able to go home when they were between 2-1/2 to three months old.
“We have already made some preparation at home with five children in mind so now we’ll have to rearrange things a bit,” said the children’s mother Klaudia Marzec.
She said the babies would be named Filip, Tymon, Zofia, Kaja, Nela and Malwina.
Their father, Szymon Marzec, told a news conference at the hospital on Tuesday that he would soon introduce their first son Oliwier, a toddler, to his new siblings.
Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Edmund Blair
THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 — Even though California enacted tough legislation in 2016 barring “personal belief” exemptions for childhood vaccinations, some parents may be turning to unethical physicians to circumvent the new law.
And that could be fueling new and dangerous measles outbreaks in the state, a new study finds.
In a report on one such outbreak occurring early in 2018, “the six unvaccinated patients with measles all had parents who had chosen not to vaccinate them during childhood,” noted researchers led by Dr. George Han, of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in San Jose, Calif.
The outbreak began with an unvaccinated 15-year-old boy who picked up measles during a trip to Britain and brought it back to California. The illness quickly spread to others through connections at schools, scouting events and a tutoring center.
The outbreak wouldn’t have happened if the kids involved had received vaccinations as mandated by law, Han’s team said.
That law was passed because large clusters of “anti-vaxx” parents were refusing to vaccinate their children — allowing outbreaks of measles and whooping cough to re-emerge in that state.
However, “medical exemptions for reasons determined by individual physicians” are still allowed in the state, Han and his colleagues said.
So in some cases, parents are paying doctors to write bogus medical exemption notes. In fact, a study published in October in the journal Pediatrics found that the rate of medical exemptions in California rose by 250 percent in the two years after the state banned personal exemptions.
It’s possible this unethical practice may have played a role in the measles outbreak outlined by the new report.
“Interviews with local health authorities suggest that some students without contraindications to vaccination have received medical exemptions,” Han’s team noted. They reported that two of the kids infected in the outbreak had “received identical broad medical exemptions to all vaccines from a physician located several hundred miles away from the patients’ residence.”
Pediatricians who reviewed the report were quick to condemn the practice.
“I find it unconscionable that there may be physicians who are trying to profit off of parental fears,” said Dr. Sophia Jan, who directs pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “Though California did the right thing by eliminating the personal belief exemptions for vaccinations, parents who fear vaccines are clearly finding a way around the law.”
Dr. Michael Grosso is chair of pediatrics at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He agreed with Jan, adding that “disciplinary action by state licensing boards is reasonable” for doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions to parents.
Measles is an extremely contagious and, in rare cases, deadly infection that was once thought to be nearly eliminated from the United States due to widespread vaccination of children with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
But that was before the rise in recent years of the “anti-vaxxer” movement: parents who share the mistaken belief that routine childhood vaccines are somehow connected to serious developmental disorders such as autism. No such connections have ever been supported by rigorous scientific research.
Still, the anti-vaxx movement has spread. Alarmed by recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in areas where anti-vaccination sentiment is strong, some states (California included) have rushed to pass legislation barring personal belief exemptions.
With that, the number of issued medical exemptions has grown.
According to Jan, “there are very few medical reasons why a child can’t receive vaccines.” Having a child with a suppressed immune system is one, but “clearly there are no reports that there is a growing epidemic of children with suppressed immune systems,” she said.
And as more children go unvaccinated, measles has an opportunity to make a comeback, Grosso said.
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are already 159 reported measles cases from 10 states in 2019,” he said. “That’s a remarkable upswing from the last two years: in 2017 there were just 120 cases, and the following year, 372.”
“If the current rate continued for the rest of this year, our country will have seen almost 1,000 cases,” Grosso said. “The most important variable in this equation is the number of unimmunized children.”
He also noted that “under-immunization in the U.S. is not a characteristic of poor communities, but of the wealthy and educated.” In many cases, Grosso said, highly educated parents have convinced themselves that they know better than doctors and the scientific community.
“There is no one way to talk about vaccine safety with parents,” Grosso said. For example, “a number of studies have shown that emphasizing the serious nature of diseases like measles actually make some parents less likely to accept the vaccine,” he said.
In the meantime, measles remains a very real threat, as current outbreaks in anti-vaxx hotspots in Oregon, New York City and other locales rage on.
“This virus is highly contagious,” Grosso said. “Just being in a room where someone recently had measles can transmit the infection. And it is serious: Complications include pneumonia, brain infections and death.”
The overview of the California outbreak is published in the March 1 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
SUNDAY, Jan. 27, 2019 — American parents aren’t sure whether their teen and young adult children should be prescribed opioid painkillers, and many don’t know there are other ways to get pain relief, a new survey finds.
The poll included more than 1,000 parents of children aged 13 to 24, one-third of whom had been prescribed opioid painkillers.
While more than half of the parents were concerned their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believed opioid painkillers were better at controlling their child’s pain after surgery or an injury than over-the-counter medications or non-drug treatments.
Many parents don’t know or ask about those other options, according to the Jan. 27 survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The survey results shed light on the country’s conflicted relationship with and understanding of opioids. While most parents said they were concerned about side effects and risks such as addiction, improper or recreational use and overdose, they still thought opioids work best to manage pain,” Dr. Linda Mason, ASA president, said in a society news release.
While 59 percent of parents said they would talk to their child’s doctor about pain management options, only 37 percent of those whose children were prescribed opioids actually did.
The survey also found that nearly nine out of 10 parents knew that non-opioid, over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and aspirin can be effective in treating pain. But few knew the same is true of other non-opioid options such as steroids (23 percent), antidepressants (9 percent), and anti-seizure medications (7 percent).
In addition, 15 percent of parents incorrectly said antibiotics are an effective pain reliever.
A number of non-drug treatments can help with pain, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, virtual reality, massage and acupuncture, according to the ASA.
While about four out of five parents said they could safely manage their child’s opioid use if prescribed, the survey results revealed shortfalls.
Only half of the parents said they stored or would store opioids in a safe and secure place. This does not include the medicine cabinet, which can be accessed by others.
Sixty percent of parents whose children took opioid painkillers said they needed fewer than were prescribed, resulting in leftover medication.
But only 39 percent of all parents disposed or would dispose of leftover opioids as recommended, such as taking them to a collection center at a local police station or drug disposal program at a pharmacy or health clinic, flushing them down the toilet, or mixing them with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
“Opioids may not always be the best option. It really depends on the type of surgery and how long they are required,” Mason said.
Short-term use of opioid painkillers can be safe and effective when properly managed, but more than 2 million Americans abuse them and there are more than 90 opioid overdose deaths every day in the United States.
Opioid-related deaths among children and teens nearly tripled between 1999 and 2016, driven mostly by prescription opioids, according to the ASA.
“It’s critical that we recognize the gaps in opioid knowledge and work to correct them, ensuring everyone understands how to use them safely and minimize their risks,” Mason said.
“A physician anesthesiologist or other pain management specialist can help parents address their child’s pain and decrease the risk of opioid misuse and addiction,” she explained.
“We also need to reassure parents that naloxone saves lives and needs to be widely available,” she added.
Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a lifesaving medication given via nasal spray or injection that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
The survey found that 71 percent of parents believed that having naloxone on hand is the same as having other lifesaving medications available for people who suffer from conditions such as allergies, asthma or diabetes. And 80 percent said they would be more comfortable having naloxone at home if their child or another family member was taking opioids.
However, 29 percent were concerned that having it on hand would encourage risky opioid use, the survey found.
FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 — Your chances of inheriting genes linked to longevity are highest if you come from a family with many long-lived members, researchers say.
And that includes aunts and uncles, not just parents.
Using databases at the University of Utah and in the Dutch province of Zeeland, investigators analyzed the genealogies of nearly 315,000 people from over 20,000 families dating back to 1740.
“We observed . . . the more long-lived relatives you have, the lower your hazard of dying at any point in life,” said study lead author Niels van den Berg. He is a doctoral student in molecular epidemiology at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
“For example, someone whose parents are both ‘top survivors’ has a 31 percent lower hazard of dying than someone of the same age without such parents,” van den Berg said in a University of Utah news release.
“Top survivors” refers to people in the top 10 percent age-wise of a group of people born within a given time period.
“Moreover, that person’s hazard of dying is reduced, even if the parents themselves did not live to be extremely old but aunts and uncles were among the top survivors,” van den Berg said.
“In long-lived families, parents can therefore pass on longevity genes to their children, even if external factors prohibited them from reaching the top survivors,” he explained.
The findings reinforce the idea that “there really are longevity genes to be discovered in humans,” van den Berg said.
The study was published online Jan. 7 in the journal Nature Communications.
Researchers have long searched for genes associated with longevity, but those genes have been much more difficult to pinpoint than genes for disease, said study co-author Eline Slagboom, a professor of molecular epidemiology at Leiden University.
“This research has led us to be far stricter in selecting the people in whom you have to look for those genes,” Slagboom said.
“If you investigate a random group of people aged over 100, however exceptional they may be, it’s highly likely that many of them do not in fact belong to a family in which longevity is heritable,” Slagboom said. “Their age is probably a matter of chance, the result of a healthy lifestyle or healthy circumstances, for example during childhood, and isn’t therefore reflected in their DNA.”
FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — An “alarming” number of American parents save unused antibiotics and give them to family members and other people, a new study finds.
This type of misuse helps fuel antibiotic resistance, the study authors said. Their report is scheduled for presentation Monday in Orlando, Fla., at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
“This is dangerous not only for those given antibiotics that weren’t prescribed for them, but for entire populations of people who some antibiotics may no longer help when the bacteria they target become resistant to them,” study senior author Dr. Ruth Milanaik said in an AAP news release.
Milanaik directs the neonatal neurodevelopmental follow-up program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.
The researchers conducted an online survey of nearly 500 U.S. parents and found that about 48 percent said they’d kept leftover antibiotics rather than properly dispose of them.
Of those, 73 percent later gave the drugs to siblings, unrelated children and unrelated adults, sometimes months after the antibiotic was originally prescribed. Some of the parents also used the leftover antibiotics themselves.
A common reason parents gave for keeping unused antibiotics was to avoid the cost of a second trip to the doctor.
The dosage of the unused antibiotics given to others was typically the prescribed dosage, or was estimated based on the age of the child, the study authors said.
The survey also found that 16 percent of parents said they’d given adult medications to their children.
Milanaik said more needs to be done to educate parents about antibiotics and the risks of taking them without proper medical consultation.
“Although the discovery of antibiotics has revolutionized medicine, it is imperative that clinicians emphasize the importance of [proper use and disposal of these medications] to make sure they remain an effective tool against infectious diseases,” she said.
Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary unless published in a peer-reviewed journal.
TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 — Safety concerns are a main reason American parents hesitate to have their children vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study.
The finding challenges a common reason given by doctors for not recommending the vaccine more forcefully — that parents are concerned the vaccination will lead to greater sexual activity among children.
The vaccine protects against the HPV virus, which can cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, mouth and anus. Despite recommendations to include the HPV vaccine in routine childhood vaccinations, its use remains low in the United States.
The study findings appear in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“We wanted to better understand why parents choose not to vaccinate their children against HPV, since that information is critical for developing improved public health campaigns and provider messages to increase vaccination rates,” study author Anne Rositch said in a journal news release. She’s an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore.
The findings show that public health campaigns should focus on persistent concerns about the safety and necessity of the vaccine for both boys and girls, the researchers said.
“We think all physicians need to be champions of this vaccine that has the potential to prevent tens of thousands of cases of cancers each year,” said study co-author Dr. Anna Beavis, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Hopkins. “Providing a strong recommendation is a powerful way to improve vaccination rates.”
The study looked at data from a series of surveys on vaccine usage conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2010 and 2016. Thousands of parents of teens ages 13 to 17 were asked if their children had had the vaccine, if they planned to get it and, if not, why.
Among parents of girls in the most recent survey, 22 percent cited safety as the reason for not having their daughters vaccinated against HPV. One in 5 parents withheld the vaccine because they didn’t think it was necessary. Thirteen percent didn’t have enough knowledge about HPV; 10 percent said their doctor hadn’t recommended it, and 10 percent cited their child’s lack of sexual activity.
Among parents of boys, the chief reasons for not having their sons vaccinated against HPV were: lack of necessity (22 percent); followed by no doctor recommendation (17 percent), and lack of knowledge (14 percent).
Fourteen percent of parents of boys mentioned safety concerns, 9 percent cited their son’s lack of sexual activity, and 2 percent said gender was the reason.
In 2016, only 50 percent of eligible females and 38 percent of eligible males had completed the HPV vaccine series, according to background notes with the study.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on HPV vaccination.
FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 — A growing number of U.S. children are being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
But parents shouldn’t be too quick to get their child checked for ADHD, a child expert says.
“The key to determining if your child has the disorder is the consistent demonstration of at least six specific traits for a minimum of six months, and in two settings such as at home and at school,” said Ronald Brown.
“Also, the traits must be impairing how your child functions, and cause him or her to fall behind the normal development for his or her age,” he added.
Brown is dean of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ School of Allied Health Sciences.
People with ADHD have a number of traits within three main symptom categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
“Some people have problems within one of the groups and others exhibit characteristics within two or three,” Brown said.
Traits within the inattention symptom group may include: disorganization; difficulty paying attention to details and a tendency to make careless mistakes; trouble staying on topic while talking, not listening to others, not following social rules; being easily distracted by things such as unimportant noises usually ignored by others.
Traits within the hyperactivity symptom group may include: fidgeting and squirming when seated; getting up frequently to walk or run around; running or climbing frequently at inappropriate times; and having trouble playing quietly.
Traits within the impulsivity symptom group may include: having a hard time waiting for a turn; blurting out answers before someone finishes asking a question; frequently interrupting or intruding on others; starting conversations at inappropriate times.
“Many of these symptoms happen from time to time in all youngsters, and sometimes among adults,” Brown said in a university news release.
“The difference between an active, imaginative child and one diagnosed with ADHD is functional impairment. Those with the disorder may have consistently poor academic performance, trouble interacting with peers and friends, and even challenges at home,” he explained.
Among American kids aged 4 to 17, there was a 42 percent increase in ADHD diagnoses between 2003 and 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
October is ADHD Awareness Month.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on ADHD.
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Two male penguins entrusted with the care of a fostered egg have welcomed a tiny sub-Antarctic Gentoo chick into the world, Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium said on Friday.
The pair, Magic and Sphen, made headlines around the world this month when aquarium staff gave them the egg, following a successful trial with a dummy egg.
The yet-to-be-named chick, weighing 91 gm (3.21 oz), was born on the evening of Oct. 19 and is the first sub-Antarctic penguin born at the aquarium.
The couple, who formed a bond before the 2018 breeding season, doted on the adopted chick, said Tish Hannan, an aquarium official.
“The first 20 days of a penguin chick’s life are the most vulnerable, so it is extra-important the chick is very happy, healthy and well fed by his parents,” she added.
Magic and Sphen had placed the egg on small nesting rings built with pebbles and shared duties, with one patrolling for possible threats, while the other kept the egg warm.
There is little difference between opposite-sex and same-sex rearing among Gentoo penguins, which share parenting and feeding responsibilities equally, Hannan said prior to the birth, adding that the example was not the first among zoos across the world.
A children’s book, “And Tango Makes Three”, based on the real story of two penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo who reared their own chick, drew acclaim from some for its depiction of non-traditional family structures.
It was also among the titles Hong Kong pulled from bookshelves in public libraries this year, following pressure from anti-gay groups, the South China Morning Post newspaper has said.
Reporting by Kate Ashton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez