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Diaper needs put stress on moms
July 29th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

Diaper needs put stress on moms

For many new moms, the first few years of childhood are a sea of stress. "Is my child eating enough?” “When will my child sleep through the night?” "Should I be doing this differently?"

Low-income moms face additional stress when it comes to providing diapers for their babies, new research shows.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows nearly 30% of women have some sort of diaper need for their children. Eight percent of the women surveyed reported needing to stretch their diapers to make them last, meaning they're not changing diapers as often as they should.  

Re-using diapers and leaving them on too long can lead to more urinary tract infections and diaper rash. That's not only bad for the baby, it's also bad for mom, the study authors say. The researchers found 30% of the mothers surveyed reported experiencing some sort of emotional stress or depression over diapers. That stress can, in turn, impact their children.
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Should there be choking warning labels on food?
High-risk choking foods, including hot dogs, seeds and nuts, were more likely to require hospitalizations.
July 29th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Should there be choking warning labels on food?

Choking is a leading cause of injury in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, especially those four years and younger. Although the number of choking incidents involving toys and toy parts has gone down in the last 20 years due to manufacturer and federal government warnings, the number of food-choking cases in youngsters is still high.

"We have done a great job in this country (of) preventing choking in children on toys, “says Dr. Gary Smith, co-author of a new study on choking injuries and a professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Since the 1990s we've had laws and regulations, systems where we can monitor these injuries when they happen. We have no such systems in place currently for food."

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reviewed thousands of statistics on children who had choking-related emergency room visits between 2001 to 2009. The study authors found that an average of 12,400 children under the age of 15 were treated for non-fatal, food-related choking each year, which equals about 34 children per day.
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More children being injured by toppling TVs
July 22nd, 2013
05:19 PM ET

More children being injured by toppling TVs

Of all the dangers you've imagined your child facing, a falling TV probably didn't make the top of the list. But a new study shows parents may need to pay more attention to their flatscreen safety.

An average of 17,000 children come to the hospital with TV-related injuries each year, according to the study, which published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers looked at emergency room data between 1990 and 2011.

"Although the overall rate of TV-related injuries stayed fairly constant, the rate of injury associated with a falling TV almost doubled during the study period," the study authors concluded.

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Regular bedtimes better for young minds
July 8th, 2013
06:35 PM ET

Regular bedtimes better for young minds

If your children are throwing temper tantrums because sleep seems unappealing, consider that it may be OK to let them stay up a little longer, as long as bedtime happens around the same time every night.

A new study suggests that consistency of young children's bedtime is associated with positive performance on a variety of intellectual tests. The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"If the child prefers to go to sleep a little bit later, but it’s done regularly, that’s still OK for them, according to the evidence," said Amanda Sacker, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. FULL POST


Should your child get ear tubes?
July 1st, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Should your child get ear tubes?

Parents of young children may be all too familiar with the ear aches, ear infections, and middle ear fluid build-up that can plague their little ones.

For many of these children, ear tubes, known clinically as tympanostomy tubes, may be the best treatment. But until now, there has been no clinical guideline to advise doctors and parents on which children should - or should not - receive them.  A multidisciplinary panel associated with the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (also known as AAO-HNSF) has changed that, releasing new guidelines on Monday.

"You've got the number-one ambulatory surgery in kids, the number-one reason they are given anesthesia, and no national society has ever published evidence-based guidelines about the best way to do this," said Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, a professor and chairman of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. FULL POST


Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
June 25th, 2013
01:20 PM ET

Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week's journal Pediatrics.

In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.

More than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  In fact, it's the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in U.S. children.  A diagnosis can help kids get the proper treatment and medication they need, and early intervention can be key in helping a child learn.

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Pregnant? To drink or not to drink?
June 18th, 2013
12:36 PM ET

Pregnant? To drink or not to drink?

Don't drink while you're pregnant, not even in moderation. It's wisdom that major medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have repeatedly emphasized. But researchers are still looking into the specific effects of different quantities of maternal drinking on children.

A new study in BMJ  is the latest to look at whether moderate drinking during pregnancy is associated with adverse effects on children. The researcher's measure for detrimental fetal neurodevelopment - children's ability to do various balance tasks at age 10.

Researchers found that mothers who drank between three and seven glasses of alcohol a week during pregnancy did not, on average, have children who had balance problems at age 10, and there were even some observed benefits. However, these are associations, not a proof that alcohol causes any outcomes.

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Minority children with autism lack access to specialists
Hispanic and African-American children are less likely to see specialists for autism or other conditions, according to a new study.
June 17th, 2013
09:13 AM ET

Minority children with autism lack access to specialists

Editor's Note: Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a resident psychiatrist at Emory University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

African-American and Hispanic children are far less likely to be seen by specialists - for autism, but also other medical conditions - and also less likely to receive specialized medical tests than their white peers, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Sarahbeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues studied the records of 3,615 children with autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital,  specifically looking at the rates of both referral to specialists and medical tests undertaken.  They discovered that children from African-American and Hispanic families were far less likely to receive specialized care or specific medical tests such as a sleep study, colonoscopy, or endoscopy.

When compared to their white peers, African-American children were three times less likely to see a gastroenterologist or nutritionist, and half as likely to see a neurologist or mental health specialist, according to the study. The story is similar among children from Hispanic families.

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BPA linked to obesity in young girls
June 12th, 2013
05:05 PM ET

BPA linked to obesity in young girls

Poor diet and lack of exercise might not be the only factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. A new study suggests the environment may also play a role.

“Eating too much and exercising too little are important factors,” said Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. “But they cannot explain the steep increase in the obesity rate the last three decades. We haven’t really changed our eating habits and exercise that much.”

The environmental culprit, according to the study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, may be bisphenol-a, a chemical commonly found in plastic and cans.

Li and colleagues studied 1,326 school-age children in Shanghai, China, and measured BPA levels in their urine. In girls ages 9 to 12, higher BPA urine levels were associated with a doubled risk of obesity. And as BPA urine levels increased, so did the girls’ obesity risk - measured using their weight in reference to weight distribution in the population. FULL POST


June 10th, 2013
05:21 PM ET

Baby's brain aneurysm halted - by superglue

Chalk it up to a win for ingenuity: Doctors are crediting surgical superglue for saving the life of a 20-day-old girl in Kansas.

Ashlyn Julian was born healthy and happy on May 16. Shortly after returning home from the hospital, however, her parents noticed something was wrong with their newest addition.

“She was probably around 10 days old, and she was sleeping a lot, and I understand that babies sleep a lot, but to the point that you couldn't wake her up to feed her,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Gina Julian.

Then abruptly, her behavior changed. “We (went) from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up, and at that point we knew something was very wrong," Julian said.

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Filed under: Brain • Children's Health • Conditions • On the Horizon

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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