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Kids safer with grandparents behind the wheel
July 18th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Kids safer with grandparents behind the wheel

Youngsters who are driven by their grandparents are less likely to suffer from serious injury if they're involved in a crash, says a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as doctors from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, found even though grandparents are in an older group that has a higher risk of severe crashes, youngsters driven by their grandparents suffered fewer injuries in crashes and were actually safer than children driven by their parents.

“With more and more baby boomers becoming grandparents, we were concerned about children in crashes with grandparents,” says Dr. Fred Henretig, lead author and an attending physician in the Philadelphia hospital's Department of Emergency Medicine.

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U.S. teen births down, early drug use up
July 6th, 2011
06:34 PM ET

U.S. teen births down, early drug use up

New statistics from the annual report on America’s children and their well-being point to some good news and bad news when it comes to the health of our kids.

The report, which is a compilation of statistics from numerous organizations, found that births to adolescents declined for the second consecutive year in the U.S. A drop in the adolescent birth rate, from 21.7 per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17 (2008) to 20.1 per 1,000 (2009, preliminary data) was reported.

And the preterm births declined for the third consecutive year, with a drop in the proportion of infants born before 37 weeks, from 12.3 percent (2008) to 12.2 percent (2009, preliminary data).

“It is reassuring to see continued declines in the preterm birth rate and adolescent birth rate,” said Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Guttmacher noted although the numbers were promising, the federal government did not identify reasons for the declines.

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'Late talkers' usually catch up without other problems
July 4th, 2011
12:26 AM ET

'Late talkers' usually catch up without other problems

Up to 18% of children worldwide are so-called "late talkers" but most of them develop language skills by the time they enter kindergarten, according to a study in the latest edition of Pediatrics.

In an effort to examine possible psychological problems in children who are slower to develop their verbal skills, Australian researchers looked at whether language delay at age 2 could be linked to other behavioral problems later in childhood and adolescence.

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Obesity caused by more than sitting on couch
June 27th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Obesity caused by more than sitting on couch

Obesity experts have been saying for years that children who sit in front of the TV screen day in and day out tend to be heavier. It's the sedentary lifestyle. But now experts are finding it's not only the couch potato effect, but the television ads children are watching, along with other factors that can add inches to their waistlines.

According to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, titled, “Children, Adolescents, Obesity and the Media," junk food and fast food ads increase a child's desire to eat those types of foods. Studies also show that snacking while watching the tube increases. And if kids stay up late at night while watching the tube or playing video games, their lack of sleep can be a major factor in raising their risk for obesity.

“We’ve created a perfect storm for childhood obesity – media, advertising, and inactivity,” said the statement’s lead author, Dr.Victor Strasburger, a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media. “American society couldn’t do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy – too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise, and not enough sleep.”

1 in 5 Pre-K kids carry too much weight

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New sunscreen labels designed to better protect outdoor enthusiasts
June 14th, 2011
09:59 AM ET

New sunscreen labels designed to better protect outdoor enthusiasts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it will implement new rules for sunscreen products, in order to help Americans reduce their risk of skin cancer and early aging.

The agency's new testing regulations will let consumers know whether a sunning product is "broad spectrum," which means it protects against both ultraviolet rays A and B. U-V-A rays are the main cause of skin cancer and premature aging. Too many U-V-B rays can cause serious sunburn.
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Study: ADHD meds don't boost severe heart risks
May 16th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Study: ADHD meds don't boost severe heart risks

Children and teens who take medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are no more likely to die from severe heart problems than those who do not take the medications, new research has found.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, along with co-authors from HealthCore Inc., noted that if a child is responding well to ADHD medicine, the benefit of the drug outweighs the risk of that child developing heart problems.

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Study shows differences in pancreatic cancer treatments
May 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Study shows differences in pancreatic cancer treatments

Researchers comparing pancreatic cancer treatments found notable differences in patient survival rates and quality of life.

French investigators from a private company known as BioMed randomly selected 342 patients with pancreatic cancer. Part of the group was given gemcitabine, the most favored treatment according to oncologists.  The other patients were given a combination of four chemotherapy drugs, (oxaliplatin, irinotecan, fluorouracil and leucovorin) known as FOLFIRINOX. The treatments lasted for six months. The purpose of the study was to record the overall survival rates of each group.

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CT scans not always necessary in kids' head trauma
May 9th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

CT scans not always necessary in kids' head trauma

When children are taken to the hospital with bumps to the head, many receive brain CT scans to determine the damage. Yet, according to statistics, in most cases, traumatic brain injury does not occur and the child is fine. Now new research finds that observing a child with head injuries for a certain period of time can help physicians determine whether the child has a serious problem without using CT scans. This not only cuts down on the cost of the visit, but also eliminates unnecessary exposure to unwanted radiation.

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Asthma cases up in the U.S.
May 3rd, 2011
02:04 PM ET

Asthma cases up in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma cases are on the rise. New statistics show that people diagnosed with asthma in the United States grew by 4.3 million between 2001 and 2009.

A new Vital Signs report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finds nearly 1 in 12 Americans were diagnosed with asthma by 2009. Asthma costs have escalate from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007, which is about a 6% increase.

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How not to be a bridezilla – cut the stress
April 27th, 2011
08:15 AM ET

How not to be a bridezilla – cut the stress

It's estimated that 2 billion people will watch Kate Middleton walk down the aisle when she weds Prince William  on Friday in London. Now that's pressure. But unlike many brides-to-be, Middleton has had a lot of professional help and probably hasn't had to sweat the tiny details.

However, most future brides are not future princesses. And weddings and all the hassles that go with them, can be overwhelming.

"There are just so many little details that people begin to focus on," says Dr. Gregory Jones, a clinical psychologist with District Psychotherapy Associates in Washington, D.C. "Many people don't understand how difficult it is, until they are in the middle of it. Weddings can take a life of their own." FULL POST


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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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