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Stressed-out parents should reach out to others for support during the coronavirus pandemic, child health experts say.

As the number of coronavirus cases rise and families spend long periods in isolation, parents face unique financial and emotional stresses. Research shows that family stress puts kids at increased risk of abuse, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). <...

Kids and teens spend as much as five hours a day helping care for relatives with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a new study finds.

Although the young people often help with bathing, dressing, eating and other caregiving activities, they may not have enough training or information about the disease, the study authors said.

The resea...

Kids who don't get enough sleep may be at risk for ADHD, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, researchers report.

"If we make sure our children get enough sleep, it can help protect them from mental health problems," said researcher Bror Ranum, a doctoral candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The study followed nearl...

Despite some improvements, more than half of America's youth still aren't eating right, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on the diets of more than 31,000 children and teens, ageD 2 to 19, who took part in a nationwide health and nutrition survey between 1999 and 2016.

Over the 18-year study period, the percentage of kids with poor diets declined from 77% to 5...

Everyone is glued to some sort of media these days, but for young kids, that screen time could delay or limit their language skills, a new research review suggests.

"Our findings are really consistent with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP], and the bottom line is that kids should use screens in moderation and parents should try to prioritize using screens t...

If you and the kids are staying home to avoid the coronavirus, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers this advice to help you make the best of the situation.

Make a plan. Talk to your children about daily structure, dealing with stress, and when you'll take breaks from remote work and schoolwork.

Ask teachers about online and offline educational activities for your ...

A new trial confirms that the drug selumetinib shrinks tumors in children suffering from neurofibromatosis type 1.

The condition is characterized by changes in skin coloring and the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain and other parts of the body. The tumors cause disfigurement, limitations on strength and range of motion, and pain.

The tumors are hard to treat,...

Schools are closing. Sports and other activities have been cancelled. Everything is changing. In the midst of this chaos, how do parents keep kids from stressing too much?

"For families, this is truly now hitting home," said psychologist Robin Gurwitch, from Duke University and the Center for Child and Family Health, in Durham, N.C.

"Families now need to think about how to...

New research adds to evidence that children infected with COVID-19 have less severe symptoms than adults with the coronavirus.

Researchers analyzed the cases of 731 children in China with laboratory test-confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,412 children who were suspected of having COVID-19.

Most of those 2,143 cases were mild, and only one child died. Close to 6% of...

Staying calm during the coronavirus pandemic isn't easy, but a few simple steps will help you stay informed yet relaxed.

Keep up-to-date with reliable sources.

"Given the onslaught of media coverage and information, it's important to make sure you are getting updates from reputable sources," said Nathaniel Van Kirk, coordinator of inpatient group therapy at McLean Ho...

Many American parents haven't talked with their young children about inappropriate touching, a new poll finds.

Experts recommend starting that discussion during a child's preschool years, but the nationwide poll of more than 1,100 parents of 2- to 9-year-olds found that less than half of parents of preschoolers and only one-quarter of those with elementary school-age children had had ...

A new Chinese study of coronavirus infection in kids could bring comfort to American parents -- and highlight the wisdom of at least temporarily closing schools.

That's because the study, published March 13 in Nature Medicine, found that even though children typically only exhibit mild symptoms if infected, they can shed the coronavirus long after symptoms disappear.

...

Suicidal thoughts have haunted nearly one of every 10 pre-teens in the United States, a new study reveals.

About 8.4% of children aged 9 or 10 said they'd temporarily or regularly harbored thoughts of suicide, researchers report.

Importantly, only around 1% of children that age reported a suicide attempt or planning their suicide.

But suicidal thoughts at t...

Chronic pain can keep kids from being social and active, leading to anxiety and depression, a child psychiatrist says.

Unfortunately, this can turn into a vicious cycle -- worsening depression and anxiety can also worsen pain perception.

Between 5% and 20% of children live with chronic pain. It usually takes the form of bone and muscle pain, headaches or abdominal pa...

Kids get more calories from the snacks they eat after sports than they burn while playing, which could add up to thousands of extra calories a year, a new study warns.

"So many kids are at games just to get their treat afterwards, which really isn't helping to develop healthy habits long term," said senior study author Lori Spruance, an assistant professor of public health at Brigham ...

Busy moms and dads routinely stuff their purses and bags with every item their family might need for the day. But that creates a minefield of choking and poisoning hazards for babies and toddlers, pediatricians warn.

A purse, backpack or diaper bag can contain a hodgepodge of medications and supplements, cosmetics, hand sanitizers, candy, coins and other items that attract little hand...

Gun deaths in kids younger than 15 are 13% lower in U.S. states with gun-storage laws than in states without these regulations, a new study finds.

Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital conducted a 26-year analysis of states with and without child access prevention (CAP) laws. CAP laws are in place in half of U.S. states. They're designed to protect children from accessing fi...

If you child has allergies or asthma, you need to take that into consideration when selecting a summer camp.

"Parents and kids alike who are dealing with asthma or severe allergies need to know there's a good fit and that the child's medical needs are being met," said Dr. J. Allen Meadows, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

"Take the time to...

Mom and Dad, if you want your little ones to eat their fruit and vegetables, both of you must set an example, Finnish researchers say.

They noted that early childhood is a critical time for encouraging healthy eating habits that continue into adulthood.

Researchers surveyed 100 parents to see how they influenced their 3- to 5-year-olds to eat vegetables, fruit and berries. T...

About one-third of boys and 10% of girls in rural U.S. communities have carried a handgun, a new study finds. Many started carrying as early as sixth grade.

This study "provides evidence that youth handgun carrying in these settings is not uncommon," said lead author Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar. He is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Publ...

An expandable artificial heart valve could save children with congenital heart disease from repeated open heart surgeries as they grow up, researchers report.

Current artificial heart valves are fixed in size, meaning children need to get larger ones as they grow. Children who receive their first artificial valve before age 2 will require up to five open-heart operations before they ...

Young boys whose mothers were exposed to chemicals known as phthalates while pregnant may face an increased risk for developing behaviors associated with autism, a new study warns.

Phthalates are chemicals found in many household products, including cosmetics and plastics.

The study didn't identify a heightened risk for autism per se among boys, but rather a "small" increas...

Little ones who stay up late may have a higher risk of becoming overweight by the time they are school-age, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that young children who routinely got to sleep after 9 p.m. tended to gain more body fat between the ages of 2 and 6. Compared with kids who had earlier bedtimes, they had bigger increases in both waist size and body mass index (BMI) -- an...

More than a quarter of all opioid overdoses in the United States involve teenagers, and a full fifth of those cases were likely suicide attempts, new research shows.

The findings follow an in-depth analysis of nearly 754,000 American opioid poisoning cases that occurred between 2005 and 2018. All had been reported to the U.S. National Poison Data System. An...

Grandparents can be a bad influence on kids' weight, researchers say.

That's the upshot of an analysis of 23 studies conducted in the United States and eight other countries by a team from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The study found that kids who were cared for by grandparents had nearly 30% higher odds for being overweight or obese.

Sledding, skiing and ice skating are big fun in the winter, but can lead to big injuries, too.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reminds parents to take steps to help their kids avoid injury and make sure they're dressed appropriately for the cold weather.

"This is the time of year when we see people return from winter break vacations with knee injuries from skiing, ...

With stories about the new coronavirus outbreak flooding the media, it's easy to get scared. And if you're scared, your kids might be, too -- but they don't have to be.

Honesty and directness are key when talking to your child about this new virus, said Diane Bales, associate professor of human development and family science at the University of Georgia, in Athens.

To reliev...

Diabetes among U.S. youths continued to rise from 2002 to 2015, especially for Asian children and teens, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed type 1 and type 2 diabetes among 5- to 19-year-olds. They found rates were generally higher in blacks and Hispanics than in whites. Surprisingly, the rate in Asian/Pacific Islanders rose faster than in all other racial ethnic groups.

Researchers who have pinpointed an antibody linked to life-threatening autoimmune disorders in children say their discovery could lead to faster diagnosis and treatment of these patients.

The investigators identified the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody in their study of 535 children with central nervous system demyelinating disorders and encephalitis.

MOG ...

When a test showed a dangerous drop in the heart rate of Courtney Agnoli's unborn daughter, the doctor who urgently admitted her to the hospital said, "You aren't leaving here without a baby."

Doctors had already identified two critical congenital heart defects that would require surgery shortly after birth. The girl, named Tessa, was delivered by cesarean section and immediately tak...

As Valentine's Day approaches, parents are reminded to shower their children with love and attention throughout the year.

"Building strong bonds and a positive relationship with your child has a nurturing effect on their physical, emotional, and social development," said Dr. Jennifer Shu, medical editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) parenting website, HealthyChildren.or...

Migraine drugs that might work for adults won't prevent the debilitating headaches in kids and teens, a new study shows.

A number of drugs are used to prevent migraines, but treatment of youngsters has largely been based on the results of adult studies, the international team of researchers pointed out.

What really works in kids? To find out, the researchers reviewed 23 stu...

Heart problems are often associated with older people. But every year about 1 in 110 children in the United States are born with congenital heart disease, which include a variety of defects ranging from holes in the heart to malformed or missing valves and chambers.

These defects can increase the risk for irregular heartbeats, heart infections and heart failure. In some cases, surger...

One-quarter of kids who receive antibiotics in U.S. children's hospitals are given the drugs inappropriately, which increases the risk of antibiotic resistance, researchers say.

"Antibiotic resistance is a growing danger to everyone; however, there is limited data on children," said study co-author Dr. Jason Newland, a professor of pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis.

...

It's supposed to be the best time in your life, but a new study finds that U.S. high school students have mostly negative feelings throughout their schoolday.

Surveying nearly 22,000 students nationwide, researchers found about 75% expressed boredom, anger, sadness, fear or stress.

Girls were slightly more negative than boys, according to the Yale Center for Emotional In...

Schools may strive to teach kids that sharing is caring, but a new study suggests that altruism begins in infancy and can be influenced by others.

It's been unclear when people start to display altruism, which can include sharing resources such as food with others in need.

"We think altruism is important to study because it is one of the most distinctive aspects of being hum...

Cyberbullying can worsen symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, new research shows.

That's the conclusion of a recent survey of 50 teens who were inpatients at a suburban psychiatric hospital near New York City. Researchers reported that those who had been bullied had higher severity of PTSD and anger than those who were not bullied.

"Even...

Play-Doh and uncooked pasta are classic classroom craft supplies -- but what if the kids in the classroom have celiac disease?

Gluten in these substances is not dangerous, new research finds. As long as kids with celiac disease don't eat what they're playing with, we can strike Play-Doh and raw pasta from the exposure risk list, the researchers said.

Other school supplies li...

Students have better focus in class if teachers praise them for being good rather than scolding them for being bad, according to a new study.

Researchers spent three years observing more than 2,500 students in 19 elementary schools across Missouri, Tennessee and Utah. The children came from 151 classes from kindergarten through grade 6.

The students exhibited 20%-30% g...

Fiberglass and plaster casts are widely used to treat broken bones in kids, but they have drawbacks compared with other methods such as braces and splints, experts say.

Doctors and patients should review the available options, considering not only treatment of the fracture, but also patient comfort and compliance as well as the burden on the family, according to a review article in th...

Girls tend to be diagnosed with autism at an older age than boys, perhaps delaying essential treatment, a new study concludes.

That delay in diagnosis is a clinically important finding, said study author Eric Morrow, an associate professor of molecular biology, neuroscience and psychiatry at Brown University.

"The major treatment that has some efficacy in autism is early dia...

This flu season is hitting children particularly hard, but new research shows that a flu shot is still well worth it for these youngest patients.

Getting vaccinated halved the risk of hospitalization for flu-related complications among young kids, scientists found.

The researchers analyzed vaccination data from more than 3,700 children, ages 6 months to 8 years, who were adm...

Children who receive multiple antibiotic prescriptions early in life may be vulnerable to obesity, two new studies suggest.

In one study, researchers found that 4-year-olds who'd received more than nine antibiotic prescriptions in their lives were twice as likely to be obese as their peers with no antibiotic exposure.

The second study found a similar pattern. However, the an...

While health problems from childhood exposure to lead and mercury are on the decline, these and other toxic chemicals continue to take a toll, a new study reports.

The progress likely owes to decades of restrictions on use of heavy metals. But researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City said that exposure to other toxic chemicals -- especially flame retardants ...

Young school-aged children with behavior problems may have different bacteria in their guts than their well-behaved peers, new research suggests.

The study also noted that parents may play a key role in development of the particular bacteria in their child's gut (collectively known as the microbiome). That role even extends beyond the type of foods parents give their children, resear...

Four in 10 gun owners have at least one gun at home that isn't locked up, even if there are children in the home, a new survey suggests.

To come to that conclusion, researchers questioned nearly 3,000 people while they waited for a free gun storage device (lockbox or trigger lock) at public gun safety events in 10 cities in Washington state between 2015 and 2018.

While many ...

Severe deprivation in childhood can lead to a smaller-than-normal brain, lower IQ and attention deficits in early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed MRI brain scans of 67 young adults, ages 23 to 28, who were institutionalized as children in Romania during the Communist regime. They had spent between 3 and 41 months in institutions, where they were often malnourishe...

How teens see their family's social status may play a part in their mental health and success at school, a new study suggests.

Social status appears to be more important than what their parents do for a living, how much money they have or how educated they are, the researchers said.

"The amount of financial resources children have access to is one of the most reliable pred...

Can television teach kids how to eat healthy?

Maybe, suggests new research. Watching cooking shows that featured healthy recipes seemed to encourage healthy eating in children, the study showed.

"The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children's food-related preferences, attitudes and behaviors," said ...

Regardless of their family's insurance status, many children get medical care they don't need, a new study suggests.

One in 11 publicly insured and 1 in 9 privately insured children in the United States were given what the researchers called unnecessary, "low-value" care in 2014, the researchers report.

"While we found that publicly insured children were a little more likel...

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