The modified saying Music soothes the savage beast may have new applications in the modern world of medicine. New research suggests that music may help some children experience less discomfort when dealing with low level or moderate pain.
Many adults and kids have switched to diet drinks to help reduce their calorie intake. In fact, children who drink sugar-free beverages have doubled in the past 10 years according to a study released in 2012.
Our typical sizzling summer has officially begun and temperatures are rising across the nation. My thermostat isn't reading as hot as some places like southern California (currently 114 degrees), but it's still pretty toasty outside.
Kids get runny noses. But is it caused by allergies, a simple cold or something more serious like a sinus infection? If your child has a history of sinus infections, a new review of clinical guidelines may be just what the doctor ordered.
When brothers and sisters pick on, harass, hit, punch, kick, insult and generally harass other siblings they're not typically identified as bullies. The response is more often kids will be kids.
On Monday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report saying that, in the United States, 2012 was the deadliest year on record for deaths attributed to the West Nile virus.
Texas led the nation, compromising 33 percent of all reported cases with 1,868 infections and 89 deaths. That was far above California, which had the second most reported cases at 479 and 20 deaths.
In the majority of West Nile virus cases, most people experience only minor symptoms such as fever and a mild headache. However, some people who become infected with the virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
Serious symptoms can include:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stupor or coma
- Tremors or muscle jerking
- Lack of coordination
- Partial paralysis or sudden muscle weakness
Signs and symptoms of West Nile fever usually last a few days, but signs and symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis can linger for weeks, and certain neurological effects, such as muscle weakness, may be permanent.
If you or a family member experience any of these more severe symptoms see a physician immediately.
The CDC's Dr. Lyle Petersen says it's impossible to know what West Nile will do this summer. "It is very hard to predict," he said in a telephone interview with NBC News. "I can't tell you what the weather is going to be like this summer, for example." The virus is driven by weather; it's worse during hot, wet summers in temperate climates.
"What last summer's outbreak tells us is that West Nile is not going to go away," Petersen said. "Most places in the United States are at risk of having outbreaks."
Currently, there is no vaccine against the virus for people. Most infections occur in the warmer months when mosquitoes are active.
Adults over 50 ar
Before it has a chance to fly off the shelves, Wrigley has decided to stop production, sales and marketing of their new caffeinated gum. The company's decision comes after meetings with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The government agency shared its concerns about the possible effects of caffeinated gum on children and adolescents.
Alert Energy Caffeine Gum was introduced into the marketplace less than a month ago. One piece contains 40 milligrams of caffeine, about the same amount that's typically in a half-cup of coffee.
The gum was available in 2 flavors: mint and fruit. Once someone starts chewing the gum, caffeine is released into the saliva. Some of it is swallowed and some goes directly into the bloodstream through the cheeks or from under the tongue.
"The FDA applauds Wrigley's decision and its recognition that we need to improve understanding and, as needed, strengthen the regulatory framework governing the appropriate levels and uses of caffeine in foods and beverages," said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. "The company's action demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health. We hope others in the food industry will exercise similar restraint."
Wrigley released its own statement about why they made their decision.
"When Wrigley launched Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, we took great strides to ensure that the product was formulated, distributed and marketed in a safe and responsible way to consumers 25 years old and over," Wrigley President Casey Keller said. "After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply. There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products."
Caffeine seems to be the new marketing chemical of choice for just about anything you can p
10 to 20 percent of children have common skin warts, but where do they come from? Old wives tales and folklore suggest they come from touching frogs or toads, but I think we've all grown past that as an explanation. Actually, warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They form when the virus gets into the skin, usually through a cut or scratch. The virus causes the rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of skin and once formed, they can be rough or smooth to the touch.
How do children get warts? A recent study found that elementary age children are most likely to catch the virus from family members or at school.
The study was led by, Sjoerd C. Bruggink, MD, Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He and his team looked at how warts are commonly spread. They focused on HPV, but not the strains transmitted through sexual activity.
The study looked at 1,000 children ages 4 to 12. Researchers looked for warts on the children's hands and feet, and recorded information such as whether any family members or classmates had warts, whether the children walked barefoot at home, and whether they visited public swimming pools, used public showers or played sports barefoot. At a follow-up exam a year later, the children were re-examined for warts.
Overall, 29 percent of the children in the study developed new warts during the year. Researchers said that children who had warts at the start of the study were more likely to develop new warts than were children who had no warts at the beginning of the study.
The investigators noted that the susceptibility to developing warts may run in families. The study found that children who had family members with warts were twice as likely to develop warts.
20 percent of the children were more likely to get them from classmates who had warts.
Prevention should be aimed at reducing transmission within families and classes, the researchers s
The dreary days of winter are quickly giving way to longer hours of daylight. Kids will soon be swimming, biking, playing sports and enjoying all the other advantages that more sunshine and warmer weather offers. Theyll also be absorbing more UVA and UVB rays.
While skin cancer in children is rare, and melanoma " the deadliest form of skin cancer- is even more unusual, more cases are being reported according to a new study. The rates increased by about 2% per year from 1973 to 2009 in U.S. children ages newborn to 19. Melanoma accounts for up to 3 percent of all pediatric cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
As you might expect, the largest increase was seen in teenage girls from 15 to19 years old. Girls tend to lay out in the sun or visit tanning booths more often than boys. Girls are more likely to have melanomas on their lower legs and hips while boys melanomas are typically found on the face and trunk.
Recent studies have also shown that melanoma is on the rise among adults as well. Exactly what is driving these trends is not fully understood, but increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and tanning booths as well as greater awareness of melanoma may be responsible, according to study authors led by Jeannette Wong of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
Skin cancer looks pretty much the same in children as it does in adults. Parents should routinely check any moles or changes in their childs skin.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. It is highly treatable, grows very slowly and is located on the top layer of skin. It usually appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin, mainly those areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It more commonly occurs among people with light-colored eyes, hair, and complexion.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a more aggressive skin cancer but
If a child is diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), will he or she eventually outgrow it or continue with the condition into adulthood?
A new study shows that nearly 30% will continue to struggle with ADHD, and may develop other mental health issues.
"We suffer from the misconception that ADHD is just an annoying childhood disorder thats over treated," researcher William Barbaresi, MD, of Boston Childrens Hospital, says in a prepared statement. "This couldnt be further from the truth. We need to have a chronic-disease approach to ADHD as we do for diabetes. The system of care has to be designed for the long haul."
The study included 5,700 adults. Two groups were created: one group had been diagnosed during childhood with ADHD, and the other group grew up without ADHD.
Out of 367 participants who had childhood ADHD, 232 were followed into adulthood. At age 27, nearly 30% had adult ADHD.
Researchers also found that nearly 57% of the adults with childhood ADHD had at least one other mental health issue. 35% of the adults without childhood ADHD also had one or more mental health issues.
Substance abuse or dependence (26%), antisocial personality disorder (17%), other substance abuse/dependence (16%), hypomanic episodes (15%), anxiety disorder (14%) and major depression (13%) were the most common mental health issues experienced by adults diagnosed with childhood ADHD.
The researchers noted that death from suicide was nearly five times higher in this group.
Among all 367 adults with childhood ADHD, seven (1.9%) had died, three of them from suicide. Of 4,946 people without ADHD, only 37 (0.7%) had died, five by suicide.
Ten people whod had childhood ADHD (2.7%) were in jail at the time of recruitment for the study.
This study "speaks to the need to greatly improve the long-term treatment of children with ADHD and provide a mechanism for treating them as adults," r
I dont think this will come as a huge surprise to some people but many restaurant meals designed especially for kids contain way too much salt, calories and fat. What is surprising is how loaded some of these menu items really are. No caring parent wants their child to eat unhealthy foods and probably believe that a kids menu item is going to be a reasonable amount of calories and sodium. How bad can such a smaller meal be?
According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), pretty bad.
The CSPI has long monitored the publics nutritional interest. They campaigned to bar sodium nitrates in bacon and other cured meats, pushed for sodium levels to be added to all food labels, obtained funding for more government food inspectors and prompted Congress to pass a law requiring notification of the presence of food allergens such as peanuts, wheat and milk on food labels to name just a few.
Now theyve turned to restaurant kids menu items. The group found that among almost 3,500 combinations surveyed, kids meals failed to meet nutritional standards 97% of the time. Thats actually an improvement though over 2008 - when meals failed to meet standards 99% of the time. Not much of a change in 5 years.
What were some of the restaurants surveyed? Popular chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dairy Queen, Hardee's, McDonald's, Panda Express, Perkins Family Restaurants and Popeyes.
Every kids meal fell-short of nutritional recommendations adopted by the center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They also didnt meet the standards set by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Program, said the CSPI, which titled its study, "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu."
"Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda," said Margo Wootan, CSPI nutrition policy director. "It's like the restaurant industry didn
By this time of year, many people are glad to see Winter's grumpy face retreat into the background and Spring's warm smile appear. But of course, Spring brings its own mischief for people who suffer from allergies.
In the coldest of climates, furnaces have been running pretty much non-stop and even in the warmer states at least a night- the heat is turned on and turned up.
Most everyone's home has been closed up and sealed tight to prevent cold air from entering or warm air from escaping which creates a perfect environment for indoor allergens.
The number one allergen is dust mites. These awful little creatures thrive in warm, humid places. Other allergens are house dust, cockroaches, mold spores, pet dander (dead skin cells) and even indoor plants.
You've probably heard of dust mites and have seen the magnified pictures that resemble alien looking spiders. You can't see them but they have 8 legs, are blind and naturally live indoors. If you have them (and you probably do) it doesn't mean your house is dirty, it just means that they are nearly impossible to eradicate completely. But you can cut down on how many you have and improve your indoor allergies.
They can't drink liquids so they survive on humidity. Their legs have little pads that help them attach to fibers in carpets, upholstery, mattresses, feather pillows, and stuffed animals. The less humidity in the house- the deeper they retreat into these places. What do they eat? They depend on human secretions and skin cells we shed. They love bedrooms where they can breed on mattresses, pillows, box springs, curtains, carpets, and any other fibers in the room.
Children are particularly susceptible to indoor allergens and you may notice that your child has watery eyes and trouble breathing when they've been in the house for a long period of time.
What can you do to help eliminate dust mites? One option is to move to a place where the elevation is over
No surprise here, but food for thought. A new report reveals a couple of connections, that with a little common sense you could probably figure out anyway, that have been confirmed in a scientific study.
According to the study, in the last 20 years, there has been a substantial rise in the consumption of sugary drinks in 2 to 11 year olds and children who drink these beverages ingest far more calories than children who don't.
Also, children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages eat more unhealthy foods than other children.
Sugar-sweetened beverages include sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Unhealthy foods are considered ones that contain high levels of solid fats, sodium and calories such as pizza, fast food hamburgers, cakes, cookies, pies, and fried foods.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 11,000 U.S. children aged 2-18 years old who participated in national surveys from 2003-2010. During this time children's consumption of food and sugar-sweetened beverages increased, and the consumption of non-sweetened beverages decreased.
Breaking down the analysis even more, it was determined that the sugar-sweetened beverages were the primary cause of increased calories for children 2 to 11 years old.
The study is scheduled for publication (with greater detail) in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
"Among all age groups analyzed, the energy density (calories per gram) of food consumed increased with higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake," lead investigator Kevin Mathias, of the department of nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release.
Currently in New York City, there is a hotly contested debate over the legality of banning certain sized sugar-sweetened beverages. Some people feel it's a good idea to help combat the obesity epidemic and others believe that banning these drinks denies a person the r
When a child is in pain and crying, a loving parent wants nothing more than to make the pain go away. Ear infections can be very painful and often a parent will request antibiotics to treat the infection from their pediatrician or family doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating childhood ear infections and would like to see fewer antibiotics prescribed.
The guidelines more clearly define the signs and symptoms that indicate an infection that needs treatment. They also encourage more observation, with follow-ups, instead of antibiotics. This would also include some children under the age of two. Most children with ear infections get well on their own and can be safely monitored for a few days.
For children with recurrent infections, the guidelines advise physicians and parents on when it is time to see a specialist.
"Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Allan Lieberthal, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City, in Los Angeles, and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
The guidelines say that there are definitely times when antibiotics should be prescribed such as when children have a severe ear infection. Severe is defined as when a child has either a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher or is in significant pain. He or she has a ruptured ear drum with drainage, or an infection in both ears for kids two years or younger. These account for fewer cases but studies have shown that children benefit from antibiotics given right away.
It's been since 2004 since the last set of guidelines were issued. Those guidelines stimulated new research that has provided evidence for the new AAP guidelines that will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics
Dancing is a wonderful artistic expression and kids have taken to tapping, pirouetting, Irish stepping and even ballroom dancing across the country. While it can be fun and great exercise, lots of these kids are being seriously injured.
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital looked at a national database of emergency-department visits. What they found was that the most common dance-related injuries were sprains, strains and injuries from falls. The patients were between 15 and 19 years old.
The researchers said no one on the team is calling for parents to pull their children from dance classes, but that the results from their study suggests that instructors should look for ways to prevent injury in students who participate in the physically demanding activity.
About 113,100 children and teens were treated for dance injuries in U.S. emergency departments between 1991 and 2007, according to the research teams estimates. During that time, the number of cases in a year increased by more than 37 percent, to about 8,500 in 2007. This is the first study to examine dance-related injuries on a national level. It was published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
With about 22,000 dance schools across the country, study author Kristen Roberts, said one reason for the increase in injuries may be that there are simply more children dancing.
Steps to prevent injury include stretching, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest and using good form.
Eric Leighton, an athletic trainer with the Nationwide Children's sports-medicine program, works with dancers regularly and said that repetition and fatigue often lead to injury.
Whether it's a pitcher throwing a lot of pitches in one inning or a dancer repeating a dance, as the muscles get tired, some of the coordination and the body's ability to cope starts to suffer he said. The hospital recently started a program to focus on dance.
For the first time ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines for the management of Type 2 diabetes. Until now type 2 diabetes has been considered an adult onset disease, but pediatricians are seeing more and more children either pre-diabetic or fully engaged in Type 2. Many physicians believe that the increase in type 2 diabetes is directly related to the rise in childhood obesity.
Type 1diabetes is a chronic condition that is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes. It is often a genetic disease or can be caused by certain viruses. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It is not curable but can be managed.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common and is rising rapidly among children and teens. It now accounts for up to one in three new cases between the ages of 10 and 18.
Why has the AAP decided guidelines are now needed? Because type 2 diabetes was once considered an adult disease- not a childhood disease.
"Few providers have been trained in managing type 2 diabetes in children and, to date, few medications have been evaluated for safety and [effectiveness] in children," says co-author Janet Silverstein, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida and chief of endocrinology at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
"This is a real issue in the pediatric population. It's something that many of us as pediatricians didn't grow up with because we just didn't see it very often," she says.
Proper diagnosis is paramount to the recommended guidelines. Type 1 or type 2 diabetes diagnoses are not always clear-cut and can take time for an accurate diagnosis.
The guidelines recommend giving insulin to patients if it's not clear whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If type 2 diabetes is confirmed, lifestyle changes along with the medication metformin are recommended. Metformin and insulin are the only two blood sugar-lowering medicati
Could spending three more minutes at the dinner table really help lower childhood obesity? According to a new study published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, more time equals less weight.
Scientists at the University of Illinois looked at ways low-income families could help their kids achieve and maintain a healthy weight. They discovered family mealtimes together could be linked to the kid's weight.
The study involved 200 family mealtimes. Children who regularly sat down and had their meals with the family were more likely to have a normal weight than those who cut mealtimes short. Even three minutes more at the table had an impact.
"Children whose families engaged with each other over a 20-minute meal four times a week weighed significantly less than kids who left the table after 15 to 17 minutes. Over time, those extra minutes per meal add up and become really powerful," study author Barbara Fiese, director of the University of Illinois' Family Resiliency Program, said in a statement.
The findings suggest that families who have a positive attitude about mealtimes together and consider it an important part of family life, were less likely to have obese or overweight children. Behaviors such as talking and interacting together also seemed to contribute to the children's healthier weight.
Flese noted that teaching low-income families how to make the most of mealtimes together was worthwhile in helping families make the necessary changes needed to combat obesity.
"This is something we can target and teach. It's much more difficult to change such factors as marital status, maternal education, or neighborhood poverty," she said.
Our changing society also offers new challenges for families.
"It's also important to recognize the increasing diversity of families and their sometimes complex living arrangements that may challenge their abilities to plan ahead and arrange a single time to commun
If your child frequently gets colds, sinus infections and laryngitis you may have considered having his or her adenoids removed to see if the infections would lesson. A new study from the Netherlands says you might want to rethink that.
According to Chantal Boonacker, who led the research team at the University Medical Center Utrecht, waiting has no bad consequences. The watchful waiting approach seems to be as effective as surgery.
Adenoids are tissue that sit in the back of the nasal cavity and are above the roof of the mouth. You can see your tonsils when you look in the mirror and open your mouth, but you can't see your adenoids. Their purpose is to help fight infection in children and usually shrink and disappear by adulthood.
Sometimes the tissue becomes enlarged. A surgery called an adenoidectomy may be performed in children with a chronic cough and cold. The study suggests that in children with respiratory problems, delaying the surgery may be a smart financial and medical decision.
The research included 111 children, age one to six, who'd had an average of nine or ten respiratory infections - including colds and sinus infections - in the past year.
Half of them were randomly chosen to have an adenoidectomy right away and the rest were assigned to a watchful waiting strategy over the next two years.
In a report released in 2011, the study team found no difference in future respiratory infections or ear problems in kids who did or didn't have immediate adenoidectomy. Of the 57 kids initially allocated to watchful waiting, 23 went on to have their adenoids removed.
Researchers also looked into the expense of the two medical approaches. Boonacker and her colleagues found that once surgery, drugs, doctors' appointments and family expenses were considered, immediate adenoidectomy was about one and a half times more expensive than waiting - at an average of $1,995 versus $1,216. The cost may be different i
The flu season is off to an early and dangerous start. ;Southern and southwestern states, in particular, are reporting large numbers of people with the flu in ER rooms and doctor's offices seeking relief. Many doctors have said that they began seeing patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms as early as Thanksgiving and a few even said they saw patients in September. That's far ahead of the normal beginning of the flu season in December and January. Typically, the flu just makes people very sick for a week or two, but it can also be deadly for the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. However, even people who are otherwise healthy can suffer a fatal bout with the virus. Max Schwolert , a 17-year-old athletic boy in Flower Mound, Texas, died over the holidays from a staph infection that developed after he became ill with the flu. The heartbreaking death of the popular teen has prompted many of his friends and community to get their flu shot. Even though the flu season is currently active, it's not too late to get a flu shot. Understand, some people still get the flu even when they've been vaccinated- but they usually have less severe symptoms. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is saying that this flu season is stronger than usual and is expected to continue to get worse. Anyone over the age of 6 months can and should receive the flu vaccine. Besides your pediatrician or doctor's office, there are other locations that are providing flu shots such as local pharmacies, clinics and health departments. As more and more people decide to get vaccinated, supplies of the vaccine could start being in short supply so don't delay. Other steps you can take to help prevent getting or spreading the flu are: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touchin
Add recess to reading, writing and arithmetic says a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.) The pediatricians believe that recess can be as important to a child's overall development as standard classes and should never be denied, especially as a punishment.
"We consider it essentially the child's personal time and don't feel it should be taken away for academic or punitive reasons," said Dr. Robert Murray, who co-authored the new policy statement for the AAP.
According to the authors, recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development.
Other reasons given for the importance of recess are that it helps students develop better communication skills, counteracts the time sitting in classrooms, and may foster skills such as cooperation and sharing - all good things.
The authors noted that previous research has found that children are able to pay closer attention and perform tasks better after a recess break. A year ago, 14 studies were reviewed and researchers found that kids who get more exercise do better in school. Recess and sports related activities offer children the opportunity to exercise and burn off excess energy. They also get a chance to recharge their brains and bodies.
Other organizations have recommended that children need recess as well. The American Heart Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CPSC) both call for schools to offer recess to kids. You might think that recess in schools is a given, but in a 2011 survey of 1,800 elementary schools, researchers discovered that a third of the schools did not offer recess to their third-graders. However, most schools do offer recess of between 15 and 30 minutes once or twice a day.
Is there a particular time of day that helps kids most? Before lunch seems to be the consensus from government agencies, CPSC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Previous studies have found