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Teens who text and drive more likely to take other risks
May 13th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

Teens who text and drive more likely to take other risks

High school students who acknowledge texting while driving are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol; not wearing a seat belt; or drinking and driving themselves, according to a new study.

"This suggests there is a subgroup of students who may place themselves, their passengers and others on the road at elevated risk for a crash-related injury or fatality by engaging in multiple risky MV (motor vehicle) behaviors," wrote the authors of the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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New discovery may be step toward ending malaria
May 9th, 2013
05:20 PM ET

New discovery may be step toward ending malaria

Worldwide elimination of malaria would save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But eradication remains elusive, because the parasite that causes the disease can evolve to withstand the effects of new malaria drugs and become drug-resistant.

Researchers, however, now believe they have discovered a way to track the spread of drug-resistant malaria, and this discovery may help to finally eradicate the disease. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Genetics.

“We’ve seen past cases of (malaria) drug resistance spread in a specific pattern,” said study author Nicholas White from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, and the University of Oxford in the UK. “It starts in Cambodia, spreads across Southeast Asia and crosses over to Africa, killing millions of children in the process.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Conditions • Malaria • On the Horizon

FDA warns pregnant women about epilepsy drug
May 6th, 2013
05:46 PM ET

FDA warns pregnant women about epilepsy drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pregnant women to stay away from migraine medicine containing valproate. The agency says the drug can lead to decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy.

Valproate sodium (Depacon), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP and Depakote ER) are among the valproate products the FDA says pregnant women should never use. That includes their generic versions.

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5 things we learned about kids' health this week
May 6th, 2013
05:40 PM ET

5 things we learned about kids' health this week

From cyber-bullying that could threaten your teen’s self-esteem, to dangerous distractions that could cause you to crash while driving your kids, here’s a look at five important studies about the health of children being presented this week at a large pediatric conference in Washington.

1. Moms and dads are distracted while driving kids

Researchers asked 600 parents what distractions they encountered while driving their most precious cargo: Their children. Among the interruptions: Talking on the phone, texting, surfing the Internet, checking a navigation system, and changing a CD or DVD.

Almost 90% of parents admitted to doing at least one of these technology-based distractions.
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Study finds baby's spit-cleaned pacifier is OK
May 6th, 2013
01:15 PM ET

Study finds baby's spit-cleaned pacifier is OK

As a parent, there are undoubtedly a few things you do now that before you had children you thought were gross: Changing diapers, wiping up vomit and using your own spit to clean off a child's pacifier, just to name a few.

Though it's hard to admit, most parents have done the latter. You're out at the mall when your kid drops his pacifier and there's not a place to clean it nearby. So you pick it up, suck on it a bit and hand it back to your baby.

What's the harm?

Turns out cleaning a recently dropped pacifier with your saliva - meaning you put it in your mouth before inserting it back into your baby's - may actually help strengthen your child's immune system and keep him from developing certain allergies, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. When parents cleaned pacifiers in this way their children were significantly less likely to develop eczema, a skin condition considered to be the most common early form of allergies.
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Suicides almost double among 50-somethings
May 3rd, 2013
10:48 AM ET

Suicides almost double among 50-somethings

Teen suicides often get the most media attention - tragic stories like that of Canadian teen Amanda Todd remind us that depression is a serious mental health issue for adolescents. But a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more attention needs to be directed at preventing suicide in adults as well.

Between 1999 and 2010, suicides in the 35-to-64 age group increased 28.4%, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Suicides among people aged 50 to 59 years old specifically almost doubled during that time period.

More than 38,000 Americans killed themselves in 2010; that's more than double those who were killed in a homicide that same year, according to the CDC. In 2009, the number of deaths from suicide in the United States surpassed the number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes for the first time. FULL POST


Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise
May 2nd, 2013
02:39 PM ET

Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise

Food and skin allergies are becoming more common in American children, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both have been steadily increasing for more than a decade.

Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy.  According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.

The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.
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Kids’ brains can predict math tutor benefit
May 2nd, 2013
07:02 AM ET

Kids’ brains can predict math tutor benefit

Kids don't all learn at the same pace, or in the same way. Extra tutoring doesn't always help either, but for some it helps a lot. Why?

Researchers, publishing this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, believe the answer is in the brain. By looking at the structures and wiring of children's brains, they've developed a method of predicting who will benefit most from tutoring.

This doesn't mean, however, that you will be seeing brain scans in every school.

"What we’ve done is much more modest, in terms of trying to understand what are the systems that underlie individual differences in response to math tutoring," said Vinod Menon, professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and senior author of the study.
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Thousands of kids hurt yearly on amusement rides
May 1st, 2013
02:40 PM ET

Thousands of kids hurt yearly on amusement rides

From carousels to roller coasters, part of summer fun for many kids is a trip to the local carnival or a nearby amusement park. But experts are warning parents their children need to be supervised on rides because of the risk of injuries.

Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, looked at Consumer Product Safety Commission information on youngsters who were taken to emergency rooms for amusement ride injuries during a 20-year period.  Their study, published in the May issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics, looked at fixed-site rides, such as those at major amusement parks, as well as mobile rides, which included rides at local carnivals, state fairs and mall rides like those found in shopping mall arcades.

The rides "included anything from coin-operated rides to Ferris wheels, carousels, bumper cars, roller coasters, and any type of ride like that," said Tracy Mehan, lead researcher of the study.

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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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