Your Child

Parents Beware! Ads for Concussion Supplements

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Dietary supplement companies are tuned into the concerns parents have about their children and sports related concussions. They often promise that their supplements provide faster brain healing and less time spent away from sport activities.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat or cure concussions are untested, unproven and possibly dangerous.

The agency said in a news release that companies attempting to exploit parents’ increasing concerns about concussions often sell their products on the Internet and in stores.

The products are also being marketed on social media sites.

One common misleading claim is that these dietary supplements promote faster brain healing after a concussion. Even if some of these products don't contain harmful ingredients, the claim itself can be dangerous, explained Gary Coody, National Health Fraud Coordinator at the FDA.

"We're very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready to resume activities before they are really ready," he said in the news release.

"Also, watch for claims that these products can prevent or lessen the severity of concussions or [traumatic brain injuries]," he added.

Many concussions occur during the time that kids are playing fall sports. Right now is the prime marketing time for these types of products and the FDA wants parents to be aware that replacing medical advice with supplements could lead to serious health problems for their children.

Head injuries require proper diagnosis, treatment and monitoring by a medical professional, the FDA stressed. There is mounting evidence that if concussion patients resume playing sports too soon, they're at increased risk for another concussion.

If a child is on the field and playing too soon after a concussion, repeat concussions are more likely to occur. Repeat concussions can lead to severe problems such as brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disability and death.

"There is simply no scientific evidence to support the use of any dietary supplement for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post-concussion symptoms that would allow athletes to return to play sooner," Charlotte Christin, acting director of the FDA's division of dietary supplement programs, said in the news release.

Many of the dietary supplements boast omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils and spices, such as turmeric, as their “secret weapon”. While these products may be beneficial for some heath concerns, the FDA wants parents to know that they are not helpful as far as concussions are concerned.

Two companies making false claims about their products changed their websites and labeling after the FDA sent them warning letters in 2012. The FDA issued a warning letter in 2013 to a third company that was doing the same.

"As we continue to work on this problem, we can't guarantee you won't see a claim about [traumatic brain injuries]," Coody said. "But we can promise you this: There is no dietary supplement that has been shown to prevent or treat them. If someone tells you otherwise, walk away."

Source: http://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-health-information-26/concussions-news-733/concussion-products-fda-release-691109.html

Your Child

Kids May Get Swine Flu Shots First

U.S. schoolchildren may be first in line for swine flu vaccine this fall, and might even be able to get the shot right at school. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is taking that possible scenario to school superintendents around the country, urging them to spend the summer planning what to do if the government decides it needs their buildings for mass vaccinations.

"If you think about vaccinating kids, schools are the logical place," Sebelius told The Associated Press. No decision has been made yet on whether and how to vaccinate millions of Americans against the new flu strain that the World Health Organization has formally dubbed a pandemic, meaning it now is circulating the globe unchecked. Currently, swine flu doesn't appear any more lethal than the regular flu that strikes each winter. But scientists fear it may morph into a more dangerous strain. Regardless, it can kill, and the WHO says about half of the world's more than 140 known deaths so far have been people who were previously young and healthy. If that trend continues, "the target may be school-age children as a first priority" for vaccination, Sebelius said. "That's being watched carefully." Those shots would be in addition to the regular winter-flu shots that will be given as usual. Health officials are working to make people understand who will need which vaccine, or maybe both. "We really just don't know, unfortunately, at this point," Sebelius said, noting that those decisions will be made in part based on how swine flu behaves in the Southern Hemisphere this summer, where flu season is just beginning.

Your Child

Exercise Improves Thinking Skills in Overweight Kids

A new study says the more the kids exercised, the more the intelligence-test scores went up. An average increase of 3.8 points on scores in cognitive planning skills was noted in kids who exercised 40 minutes a day for three months, the researchers found.When overweight, sedentary kids start to exercise regularly, their ability to think, to plan and even to do math improves, a new study suggests.

In addition, exercise was linked to increased activity in the parts of the brain associated with complex thinking and self-control, according to brain imaging scans analyzed by the researchers. "This implies that chronic sedentary behavior is compromising children's ability and achievement," said lead researcher Catherine Davis, a clinical health psychologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta. "We know that exercise is good for you, but we didn't have very good evidence [before this] that it would help children do better in school," said Davis. Although this study was done among overweight children, she believes that similar results would be seen in normal-weight kids. Davis speculates that these positive changes are a result of a combination of biological and environmental factors. "There are some neural growth factors that have been identified in mice that exercise," she said. These benefits may include more brain cells and more connections between them. But there are also social and environmental factors, she noted. "There's more stimulation when things are moving faster and when you're moving. So it is cognitively stimulating to move," Davis said. With one-third of U.S. children overweight, Davis thinks that exercise needs to become an essential part of children's lives. "Make sure your child has a balanced life -- not only that they study, but that they learn to take care of their bodies as well," she said. The report is published in the January issue of Health Psychology. For the study, Davis's team randomly assigned 171 overweight children 7 to 11 years old, to either 20 minutes or 40 minutes of vigorous exercise every day after school or to no exercise. The exercise program focused on fun and safety rather than competition and skill, and included running games, hula hoops and jump ropes. Researchers found it raised their heart rates to 79 percent of maximum, which is considered vigorous. The researchers evaluated the children using standard achievement tests known as the Cognitive Assessment System and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III. Some children also had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brains. The MRIs found that children who exercised had increased activity in the so-called executive function area of the brain -- associated with self-control, planning, reasoning and abstract thought -- as well as the prefrontal cortex. The latter is the part of the brain linked with complex thinking and correct social behavior, the researchers noted. There was also decreased activity in an area of the brain that's behind the prefrontal cortex. The shift seems to be tied to faster developing of cognitive skills, Davis said. In addition, the more the kids exercised, the more the intelligence-test scores went up. An average increase of 3.8 points on scores in cognitive planning skills was noted in kids who exercised 40 minutes a day for three months, the researchers found. Children who exercised 20 minutes a day experienced smaller gains. There were also improvements in math skills, but not reading ability. "The finding of improved math achievement is remarkable, given that no academic instruction was provided, and suggests that a longer intervention period may result in more benefit," the researchers said. Commenting on the study, Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, said: "Take a bunch of kids, put them outside, give them some balls, jump ropes and street chalk, and they will be running, jumping and playing hopscotch in no time." They become happier, more energetic, smarter kids, she said. "Children's bodies know intuitively that exercise is essential for healthy brain and body function. But when we deny children their natural instincts and allow them to stultify in front of a TV or computer, they become lethargic and moody," Heller said, adding that sedentary kids are also prone to being overweight and may do poorly in school. "It seems a no-brainer to me that for kids' brains to be healthy, they should be encouraged to participate in regular exercise and given the time and place for it," Heller concluded. "We need to turn off the computers, TVs, cell phones and iPads and let kids do what they do naturally: Run around and play."

Your Child

Kid’s Cereals Packed with Artificial Dyes

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In general, the brighter the color in processed foods, the higher the amount of artificial dyes says a new study. Processed foods include, but are not limited to, cereals, candy and cakes; the mighty three Cs that children love.

Previous studies have suggested that some children may be sensitive to artificial coloring or the preservatives that often accompany it. Dyes have also been linked to inattention and hyperactivity.

For the new study, researchers bought and tested common processed foods to find out how much artificial coloring they included.

“Very few of these products were nutritious,” said Laura J. Stevens, who worked on the study at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The study noted that the amount certified of artificial dyes in processed foods has risen from 12mg/capita/d in 1950 to 62 mg/capita /d in 2010.

Children probably consume more of the heavily dyed foods, since bright colors appeal to kids, Stevens said.

Among popular children’s breakfast cereals, Fruity Cheerios, Trix and Cap’n Crunch OOPS! All Berries contained the most artificial dyes. These foods also had some of the highest sugar contents.

When you read the labels on some of these products you may see numbers after the dye such as: Red #40, Yellow #6, Yellow #5 or Blue #1. Numbered artificial colors are derived from petroleum, Stevens noted. Most of the brightly colored cereals contain numbered dyes. However, some cereals like Special K Red Berries and Berry Berry Kix were colored with strawberries or fruit juice and contained no artificial coloring.

Candies, cakes and colored icings also had large amounts of artificial dyes. M&M’s Milk Chocolate included almost 30 milligrams and a packet of original Skittles came in at 33 milligrams.

“Some white foods have dye, like marshmallows, and French dressing and cherry pie fillings actually had color enhancers too,” Stevens said.

She also noted “There are also dyes in pediatric medicines, personal care products, mouthwash and toothpaste”.

General Mills, Mars and the Grocery Manufacturers Association all responded to the report that the dyes they use are safe and within the bounds of current regulations. Each mentioned that the FDA has reviewed artificial dyes extensively and have affirmed their safety.

Many of the studies on artificial colors and behavioral problems were done decades ago and used dosages lower than what kids might actually be eating today, according to Joel Nigg. He studies attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

“The dosages were average at that time but weren’t very high by today’s standard,” Nigg told Reuters Health. “Many of the studies have found fairly small effects, but we may be underestimating compared to what children actually get these days.”

Some kids respond to higher amounts of dyes with inattention, hyperactivity, irritability, temper tantrums or trouble sleeping, but researchers don’t understand why or how, Stevens said.

Those behavioral problems don’t manifest in all kids, but tend to be more common among those who already have behavioral issues, like kids with ADHD.

Stevens recommends that parents read the labels of the food products they buy for their kids and avoid artificial colorings entirely. 

Source: Kathryn Doyle, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/20/us-food-artificial-colors-idUSKBN0E01UR20140520

Your Child

Regular Bedtime May Help Improve Kids’ Behavior

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Will maintaining a regular bedtime for your child improve his or her behavior? A new study suggests that kids with a consistent bedtime tend to have fewer behavioral problems than kids whose bedtimes change constantly.

"If you are constantly changing the amounts of sleep you get or the different times you go to bed, it's likely to mess up your body clock," said Yvonne Kelly, who led the study.

"That has all sorts of impacts on how your body is able to work the following day," Kelly, from University College London, told Reuters Health.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 10,000 children. Participants were part of a long-term study of babies born in the UK in 2000 to 2002. As a part of the study, parents were regularly surveyed about their child's sleep and behavioral problems.

Children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder, were not included in the study.

The children’s ages appeared to have an influence on whether parents insisted on a regular bedtime. 20 percent of children, aged three, did not have a consistent bedtime. The percentage dropped for older children. Nine percent of five-year-olds and eight percent of seven year-olds had inconsistent bedtimes.

Kids without a regular bedtime tended to score worse on a measure of behavior problems such as acting unhappy, getting into fights and being inconsiderate. The assessment is scored from 0 to 40, with higher scores indicating more problems.

When children were seven years old, for example, those without a regular bedtime scored an 8.5, on average, based on their mothers' reports. That compared to scores between 6.3 and 6.9 for kids who had a consistent bedtime before 9 p.m.

Although the percentage points were small, researchers felt that the difference was still “meaningful.”

The children’s teachers were also asked to be part of the study and to give their assessment of the participants’ behaviors. They also gave worse scores for the children without regular bedtimes.

Kids whose parents said they had non-regular bedtimes on every survey growing up had the most behavioral issues, Kelly's team reported in the journal Pediatrics.

But when children went from having a non-regular bedtime to a regular bedtime on the following survey, their behavior scores improved.

That is encouraging, Kelly said, because it shows parents can make changes to affect their child's behavior.

For an outline of how much sleep children need at different ages, The National Sleep Foundation provides an outline at their website at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep

A few thoughts about studies:

Studies don’t always determine a direct causation between a subject and an outcome.

While not perfect, individual studies do provide sections of data to see where there may be a link to an outcome. The link is an opportunity to give the connection more thought. It’s not black and white – it’s a possibility.

Some people prefer conclusions to be definite. Either it’s a fact or it isn’t. But many times facts change as education evolves.

Whenever there is a study published that “suggests” a correlation between the researcher’s conclusion and the study’s subject matter, some people simply dismiss the study. Those people want a direct causation determined by the study, one without any doubts.

Studies offer a variety of insights into causation. No one study will ever prove all there is to know about an outcome. But they are helpful tools in learning more about a subject.

Source: Generva Pittman, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/14/us-bedtimes-kids-behavior-idUSBRE99D02720131014

Your Child

4-Strain Flu Vaccine May Offer Kids More Protection

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The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) says this flu season is getting off to a more normal start than last year’s bout. While reports of the flu are increasing, particularly in the South region of the country, so far it hasn’t been near as bad as last year when about 381,000 people were hospitalized.  Last year, the flu season began earlier and by December was hitting people hard.  One reason for the large numbers of cases may be because last year’s vaccine was only 51 percent effective.

Available for the first time, this year’s vaccine protects against four-strains of influenza, two viruses from the A class and two from the B class. Researchers conducted a test of the new four-strain influenza vaccine to determine how well it protected against the flu in young children.

The scientists tested the 4-strain flu vaccine in 2,379 children ages three to eight in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, Panama, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey and compared their rates of flu infection to a control group of 2398 children who received a hepatitis A vaccine. The study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, which donated both vaccines for the trial.

Compared to the control group, the 4-strain vaccine was 55 percent effective against preventing the flu. However, the research team found that the vaccine provided other benefits that the 3-strain vaccine did not. The quadrivalent shot was 70% effective in preventing more serious cases of the flu; most of the children who did get sick after getting vaccinated only had mild symptoms. The four-strain shot also resulted in 69% fewer medical visits, 75% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer absences from school, and 61% fewer parent absences from work.

“The efficacy of the vaccine was higher against moderate-to-severe disease–a potentially important end point associated with the highest clinical, social, and economic burden–than against illness of any severity,” the authors conclude.

The 4-strain vaccine is available as a nasal spray or an injection.

Another recent study of about 200 children did not compare the four-strain vaccine to the traditional three-strain vaccine. Rather, it looked at how kids responded either to the four-strain vaccine or a hepatitis A vaccine, and then compared response rates for the four-strain flu vaccine to response rates for the three-strain vaccine from last year's flu season.

"The results showed that, by preventing moderate to severe influenza, vaccination achieved reductions [of 61 percent to 77 percent] in doctors' visits, hospitalizations, absences from school and parental absences from work," said study co-author Dr. Ghasson Dbaibo, at the department of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, in Lebanon.

The researchers believe the study validates that the newer 4-strain flu vaccine is more effective and offers greater protection for kids.

"They also showed an 80 percent reduction in lower respiratory tract infections, which is the most common serious outcome of influenza. Therefore, vaccination of children in this age group can help to reduce the significant burden placed on parents, doctors and hospitals every flu season," Dbaibo said.

The 4-strain vaccine is in shorter supply than the 3-strain vaccine. So, it’s recommended that those who want that vaccine for their children and themselves check with their doctor or county health department on availability. Experts say both vaccines offer more protection than no vaccine and if you do get the flu after receiving the vaccine, your symptoms will be less harsh.

Children 6 months and older can receive the flu vaccine.  The standard 3-strain vaccine has a brand that is approved for 6 months old and up. Check with your physician about which 4-strain vaccine is available for children under 2 years of age. Also, children under the age of 9 may need a second dose if they’ve not received two doses since 2010. The CDC is not recommending one flu vaccine over the other, only that everyone get one.

Sources: Steven Reinberg, http://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay682970_20131211_New_Flu_Vaccine_May_Provide_More_Protection_to_Kids.html

Alexandra Sifferlin, http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/11/when-it-comes-to-flu-shots-the-more-influenza-strains-the-better/

 

 

Your Child

Concussion Symptoms Continue Long After Injury

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Symptoms such as headache, dizziness and blurry vision typically show up right after a child suffers a concussion. In a study from the emergency medicine division at Boston Children’s Hospital, researchers have found that emotional and mental symptoms, such as irritability and frustration may show up much later and hang around longer.

 "Patients and their families should expect the physical symptoms that they experience after a head injury to get better over the next few weeks, but that emotional symptoms may come on later, even as the physical symptoms subside," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Eisenberg.

"Only by knowing what symptoms can be expected after a concussion can we help reassure patients and families that what they experience is normal, know when to seek additional help, and make sure that children are taking appropriate precautions in regard to school and sports to achieve a full recovery," Eisenberg added.

For the study, 235 children and young adults, ages 11 to 22, who were treated for concussion at a pediatric ER, answered questionnaires about their injury and were followed for three months after their visit. Patients were monitored until all their symptoms were gone. During that time they were asked about symptoms, sports activity and school and athletic performance.

The most common physical symptoms were headache, dizziness and fatigue, which tended to start right after the injury and got better over time. Researchers found that most of the children also had mental symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating and taking longer to think.

Eisenberg’s team noted that a majority of the children recovered within two weeks, however, 25 percent still had headaches a month after their injury. More than 20 percent said they were fatigued and 20 percent reported taking longer to think.

For many, emotional symptoms -- such as frustration and irritability -- were not as common right after the injury, but developed later, the study authors noted.

Dr. John Kuluz, director of traumatic brain injury and neurorehabilitation at Miami Children's Hospital, said, "It takes longer than people think to fully recover from a concussion. My experience is that kids who still have symptoms two weeks after a concussion are going to have a very hard time, and it's going to be a struggle to get them to the point where they have no symptoms."

Kuluz recommends that parents make sure concussion symptoms are not ignored and their kids receive prompt and continued treatment. He suggests physical therapy to work on balance and helping with any vision problems.

He also recommends keeping children out of school for a couple of days after the injury and then gradually letting them get back to normal activities.

Kuluz tries to get kids back to school for half a day or as much as they can tolerate until they get better. Children should not start sports again until all symptoms have disappeared and then only gradually, he added.

This study was published online and in print in the journal Pediatrics.

Another recent study looked at the effects of concussion and years of repeated hits to the brains of college football players.

Researchers found that players who had been diagnosed with concussions and those who had been playing football for years had smaller hippocampuses – a part of the brain that is critical to memory. A smaller hippocampus has been linked to depression, schizophrenia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The symptoms of CTE, which tend to set in years after the last traumas, often include memory loss, aggression and dementia.

“Boys hear about the long-term effect on guys when they’re retired from football, but this shows that 20-year-olds might be having some kind of effect,” said Patrick Bellgowan, the study’s senior author from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Concussion studies seem to be popping up everywhere, and for good reason. For too many years, a concussion injury wasn’t given much attention. The common train of thought was that if you play rough sports and you get hit - you shake it off and get back in the game. That philosophy applied whether you were 10 or 30 years old.

Then professional players began to exhibit early onset dementia and depression. Teens began to complain of constant headaches and feeling out of sorts. College players had difficulty concentrating and vision problems.

Parents demanded answers and researchers began looking at concussion and its long-term impact on the brain. The new studies shed a bright light on why these symptoms were troubling.

Most young athletes will not become professional players in their chosen sport or even play on college teams. Eventually, the helmets and pads will be passed on to the next group of excited young athletes and children will choose other activities or graduate into   the “real world”.

What these types of studies tell us is that long after the games are over, children who suffer concussions may experience serious long-term effects.

The symptoms can be so similar to typical teen behavior that they get overlooked. Kids get headaches, they get tired, they forget things and they have emotional outbursts. But if your child has suffered a concussion or even a very hard hit and you notice these symptoms don’t go away, take him or her to see a concussion specialist. They may or not be related to a more serious brain injury, but a missed opportunity for treatment may change your child’s future in ways that no one ever expected.

Sources: Steven Reinberg, http://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/injury-health-news-413/kids-concussion-symptoms-can-linger-long-after-injury-687715.html

Andrew M. Seaman, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/13/us-brain-health-football-idUSKBN0DT24720140513

 

 

 

Your Child

Young Baseball Pitchers Playing With Pain

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It’s that glorious time of year when pitchers pitch; batters swing and outfielders reach out to catch a fast and furious white leather-bound ball. Yep, it’s baseball season!

While the pros start their 162 game regular season, school teams and Little Leagues are suiting up and hitting the fields as well.

Although typically in good physical shape, professional players are not immune to injuries – just ask the Texas Rangers.

Kids on the other hand, play long and sometimes double games at tournaments on the weekends. Many of these kids are weekend warriors that love the game, but aren’t always in the best physical condition.

According to a pair of recent studies, young baseball pitchers are playing with arm and shoulder pain because they feel pressured by their parents or coaches. Playing through the pain may lead to injuries that won’t heal.

"Kids are playing harder and longer in more leagues than ever before," said Dr. Paul Saluan, director of pediatric and adolescent sports medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "Kids also are not getting enough rest in between episodes of pitching, which may lead to insufficient time to heal smaller stress injuries. Over time, these smaller injuries add up."

Kids explained why they kept playing even though they were in pain.  "Players who experience pain often felt their parents and coaches were frustrated with them," said Dr. Christopher Ahmad, professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

"Throwing with pain is a signal that injury is occurring," added Ahmad, who is the New York Yankees' head team physician.

In Ahmad's study, he and his colleagues surveyed 203 healthy players, aged 8 to 18. Just under one-quarter of them had experienced a prior overuse injury, they found.

Almost half of the players -- 46 percent -- said they had been encouraged to continue playing with arm pain, and 30 percent said their arm pain sometimes made playing less fun.

Those most likely to report being encouraged to play despite pain had a previous overuse injury. They were also more likely to report feeling arm pain while throwing and to experience arm fatigue during games or practice.

The second study looked at whether parents were monitoring their child’s pitch count during a game. Sixty parents of baseball pitchers were surveyed and just over half of the parents were not aware of safe pitching guidelines and did not actively monitor their child's pitch count.

The most important aspects of safe pitching guidelines are a maximum number of recommended throws based on a child's age and the number of days of rest needed between throwing stints, said Saluan.

"The focus has been on creating a better athlete who can throw harder, faster and more accurately than ever before," Saluan said. "Injury prevention has taken a back seat."

One in five parents did not know how many pitches their child threw in a typical game, but 64 percent recalled that their child had experienced pain in the upper extremities because of pitching, the survey found. For one-third of the pitchers, the pain required a medical evaluation.

"Kids who continue to pitch through pain end up with significant injuries that may have lifelong consequences," Saluan said. "Younger pitchers who are still growing are much more vulnerable than adults to sustain an injury to the growth plates around the shoulder and elbow.”

Injuries to the growth plates usually heal with rest, Ahmad said. But he noted that more young pitchers are also damaging their ulnar collateral ligament, an important ligament in the elbow.

"Unfortunately, these injuries do not always heal and often require surgery," he said.

Most of the injuries are caused when kids are playing too many games, specializing in one aspect of the game, using poor pitching mechanics and throwing too hard.

In the pitching study, half the young pitchers threw in at least two leagues at a time, one-quarter pitched more than nine months of the year, and just over half participated in extra showcase situations.

"We have fallen into the trap of 'too much too soon,'" said Saluan. "This has resulted in a rise in injury rates in kids whose bodies are not prepared to handle the stresses that are encountered."

If you’re unsure of how to monitor your child’s pitching, the Major League Baseball website has a “Pitch Smart” guidelines page for young and adolescent pitchers listed at the end of this article.

The studies were presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting in Las Vegas. Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Sources: Tara Haelle, http://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/baseball-or-softball-health-news-240/young-pitchers-often-pressured-to-play-despite-pain-study-says-697197.html

http://m.mlb.com/pitchsmart/pitching-guidelines

Your Child

Sugar Substitute May Prevent Cavities in Toddlers

Young children given syrup containing the naturally occurring sweetener xylitol may be less likely to develop decay in their your-baby teeth.Young children given syrup containing the naturally occurring sweetener xylitol may be less likely to develop decay in their your-baby teeth, results of a study hint. Xylitol, approved in the United States for use in food since 1963, has been shown to be effective in preventing tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. These previous studies have primarily involved chewing gum or lozenges used in school-age children with permanent teeth.

Early childhood cavities are characterized by severe tooth decay early in life and remain a problem, Dr. Peter Milgrom from the University of Washington in Seattle says in a new study. "Poor children experience rates twice as high as those of their more affluent peers, and their disease is more likely to be untreated." Milgrom's team evaluated the effectiveness of using xylitol-containing syrup among 94 children, 9 to 15 months old, from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where early childhood tooth decay is a serious health care problem. "Our results suggest that exposure to xylitol (8 grams per day) in a twice-daily topical oral syrup during primary tooth eruption could prevent up to 70 percent of decayed teeth," the investigators report. After an average of 10.5 months, 8 of 33 children (24.2 percent) receiving two doses of xylitol per day and 13 of the 32 children (40.6 percent) receiving three doses of xylitol per day had tooth decay, compared with 15 of the 29 children (51.7 percent) in a control group. The average numbers of decayed teeth were 0.6 in the two-dose xylitol group, one in the three-dose xylitol group and 1.9 in the control group. "These results provide evidence for the first time (to our knowledge) that xylitol is effective for the prevention of decay in primary teeth of toddlers," Milgrom and colleagues wrote. "More research is needed to develop vehicles and strategies for optimal public health, but in populations with high rates of tooth decay, xylitol is likely to be a cost-effective preventive measure," they conclude.

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DR SUE'S DAILY DOSE

What if you see a bulge near your infant's belly button?