Your Child

Recall: Popular Kid's Room Lamps

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Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps are cute and add a little pop to a kid’s room. But they may also short circuit and catch fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling 300,000 lamps sold at popular shopping outlets. Details are below.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Discovery Kids™ Animated Marine and Safari Lamps

Units: About 300,000

Importer: Innovage LLC, of Foothill Ranch, Calif.

Hazard: The placement of internal wires near the circuit board can cause electrical short-circuiting and sparking, posing a fire and a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Innovage has received 11 reports of short circuiting. This includes three reports of lamps catching fire, which led to property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps that feature rotating films with marine or safari scenes. The words "Discovery Kids" are printed on the front top-left corner of the product. The recalled products have both an 11-digit batch number that begins with either 584894 or 10128 and a model number of 1628626, 1642433, 1641522, 1641523, 1645729, or 1645853. Batch numbers can be found imprinted in the plastic underneath the lamps and on the bottom of the packaging. Model numbers can be found on stickers placed underneath the lamps and on the bottom of the packaging near the barcode.

Sold at: Bed Bath & Beyond, Bonton, JCPenney, Kohls, Office Max, Toys "R" Us stores nationwide as well as the online retailers Amazon, Ideeli, JCPenney, Kohls, Macy's and Overstock from June 2010 through March 2012 for between $10 and $20.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the lamps and contact Innovage for instructions on how to obtain a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information contact Innovage toll-free at (888) 232-1535 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, visit the firm's website at, or e-mail

Discovery Kids Lamp  Discovery Kids Lamp

Discovery Kids Lamp

Your Child

Bipolar Kids Focus Less on Eyes

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A new study suggests that bipolar children spend less time looking at someone’s eyes when trying to judge emotional expressions such as happy, sad, fearful and angry.

This new study finding may help explain why children with bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation have difficulty determining other people's emotional expressions, said the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health investigators.

The researchers tracked the eye movements of children with and without psychiatric disorders as they viewed faces with different emotional expressions. Most of the children spent more time looking at the eyes, the facial feature that conveys the most information about emotion.

Children with bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation paid less attention to the eyes and more attention to the noses and mouths of the faces.

"In combination with other studies, our findings indicate the potential value of treatment programs that teach children how to identify emotions by looking at others' eyes," study author Pilyoung Kim said in a society news release.

"If such training helps children to process the emotional information in their world more accurately, that may in turn increase their ability to regulate their emotional reactions to social situations," Kim added.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar is a serious brain disorder, and is sometimes referred to as manic-depressive illness.

Children with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy or "up," and are much more active than usual. This is called mania. Sometimes children with bipolar disorder feel very sad and "down."  They are much less active than usual. This is called depression.

Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and downs every kid goes through. Bipolar symptoms are much more powerful than that.

Bipolar youth may have more normal moods between these episodes, while the periods of depression or mania can last for days, weeks or even months. What many parents don't know is that these symptoms often mimic those attributed to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), 15% of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD may actually be suffering early-onset bipolar disorder instead.

What are the symptoms of bipolar or manic /depressive illness? offers these bipolar symptoms.
Manic Symptoms:

- Severe changes in mood compared to others of the same age and background - either unusually happy or silly, or very irritable, angry, agitated or aggressive

- Unrealistic highs in self-esteem - your child feels all powerful or like a superhero with special powersSignificant increase in energy and the ability to go with little or no sleep for days without feeling tired

- Increase in talking - your child talks too much, too fast, changes topics too quickly and cannot be interrupted

- Distractibility - your child's attention moves constantly from one subject to the next

- Repeated high risk-taking behavior, such as abusing alcohol and drugs, reckless driving or sexual promiscuity

Depressive Symptoms:

- Irritability, depressed mood, persistent sadness or frequent crying

- Thoughts of death or suicide

- Loss of enjoyment in favorite activities

- Frequent complaints of physical illnesses, such as headaches or stomach aches

- Low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, complaints of boredom, etc.

- Major change in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating

Some of these signs are similar to those that occur in teens with other problems, such as drug abuse, delinquency, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or even schizophrenia. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can only make the diagnosis with careful observation over an extended period of time.

The study was presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Your Child

Study: Children May Benefit From Probiotics

The study published by the journal Pediatrics, says that when probiotics are given to children, who are otherwise healthy but are suffering with diarrhea from a viral infection, the duration of the illness is shortened. The review also found that probiotics may help prevent diarrhea in children who are taking antibiotics.A new study suggests that giving probiotics to children with diarrhea, from a viral infection, can shorten the illness.

A report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) finds that probiotics, “good” bacteria that colonize in the gut and may help improve digestion, immune defense and even metabolism, can have certain health benefits for some children. The study published by the journal Pediatrics, says that when probiotics are given to children, who are otherwise healthy but are suffering with diarrhea from a viral infection, the duration of the illness is shortened. The review also found that probiotics may help prevent diarrhea in children who are taking antibiotics. The AAP stopped short of recommending that probiotics be added to children's formula, and warned that the live microorganisms should not be given to seriously ill children with weakened immune systems or who use intravenous catheters because serious infections have been reported. There's also not enough data to recommend probiotics to kids for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease, or to prevent asthma or eczema in children, the AAP reports. Future research may find more benefits, the report says. And "prebiotics," which contain fiber and other nutrients that feed probiotic bacteria, also may someday prove helpful. The bacteria in the products are only helpful if they're alive. "Consumers should keep in mind that a large percentage of organisms in a probiotic supplement may die before the product is even purchased and labels can be misleading or incorrect," said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of, which tests products and reports on their quality. The company tested probiotic supplements last year. Two children's probiotics contained only 7 percent and 21 percent of the listed amounts. Cooperman suggested that products be stored in sealed containers out of heat, light and humidity. He said it's best to refrigerate them.

Your Child

Study Links Pesticide to Childhood Leukemia

A new study shows that patients with childhood leukemia have elevated levels of household pesticides in their urine. "In our study, we compared urine samples from children with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) and their mothers with healthy children and their moms," said study researcher Offie Soldin from the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We found elevated levels of common household pesticides more often in the mother-child pairs affected by cancer," said Soldin, an epidemiologist at the center, who led the research published in August's issue of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.

"We shouldn't assume that pesticides caused these cancers, but our findings certainly support the need for more robust research in this area," she said. Between January 2005 and January 2008, the study tested 41 pairs of children with ALL and their mothers, and 41 pairs of healthy children and their mothers. Pesticides were found in the urine of more than half of the study's participants, but levels of two OP metabolites -- diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethlydithiophosphate (DEDTP) "were higher in the children with ALL." Pesticides are prevalent in the environment and can easily be absorbed through the skin or through respiration. The participants were asked to provide a family history and details about their home and neighborhood, diet, smoke exposure and use of pesticides in the home. Some 33 percent of women whose children had ALL said they used pesticides at home, as compared with 14 percent among women whose children were healthy. "We know pesticides -- sprays, strips, or 'bombs,' are found in at least 85 percent of households, but obviously not all the children in these homes develop cancer," Soldin said. Previous studies, including in agricultural areas where such chemicals are used frequently, have indicated a link between pesticides and cancer in children, but this study is the first to examine the link between household pesticides and the disease, according to the research's authors. ALL usually affects children between the ages of three and seven years old.

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."


Your Child

Shortage of Liquid Tamiflu for Kids

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With the flu season in full swing, it’s a bad time for a shortage of liquid Tamiflu for kids. The maker of Tamiflu, Genentech, says that manufacturing problems are putting them behind in production. Liquid Tamiflu is often given to children who have a difficult time swallowing capsules.

Fortunately, the shortage doesn't include the capsule form of Tamiflu, which remains in good supply, said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Influenza Division.

Flu vaccines also remain widely available and unaffected by shortages, FDA spokesman Eric Pahon said. The CDC recommends vaccination for everyone older than 6 months of age as the best way to try to ward off the flu.

Tamiflu is an anti-viral drug. It works by attacking the flu virus to keep it from multiplying in the body and by reducing the symptoms of the flu. A shortage of the drug can cause some children to be sick with the flu for a longer period of time. The good news is that some pharmacies are able to take the Tamiflu capsule and convert it into a liquid form for children who are very ill.

"For those patients who cannot swallow capsules, the capsules can be opened and the contents may be mixed with chocolate syrup or some other thick, sweet liquid, as directed by a health-care professional," according to the FDA announcement on the shortage.

Jhung added that this is a "spot" shortage that should only affect some parts of the country.

The anti-viral drug can only work to reduce flu symptoms; it’s not a cure. But, if you’ve had the flu, you know any relief from the symptoms is welcomed.

Dr. Robert Wergin, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, has noted that Tamiflu is the only option for treating flu in young children. The other flu antiviral drug, Relenza, is not recommended for children younger than 7 as a flu treatment, and not younger than 5 as a preventive therapy to protect against flu. On the other hand, Tamiflu is approved down to 2 weeks of age, he said.

The FDA says that the shortage is expected to be resolved within a week.

Texas, along with 24 other states is seeing widespread flu activity. Several deaths, including children and adolescents have been linked to the flu already. The dangerous H1N1 strain is responsible for the majority of the cases this year. The current trivalent flu vaccine covers the H1N1 strain as well as the A and B virus.

Flu symptoms can mimic a cold until the virus really takes hold of you. Serious flu symptoms that warrant a trip to the hospital or doctor are shortness of breath, if someone is exhibiting confusion, if a fever is not responding to medication and for infants- a dry diaper for longer than 6 hours.

The best way to avoid the flu or diminish its’ severity is for everyone in the family to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

Source: Dennis Thompson,

Your Child

Music May Help Children Feel Less Pain

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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.

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have found additional evidence that suggest music decreases people’s perceived sense of pain.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher, Lisa Hartling, led the research team that involved her colleagues from the Department of Pediatrics, as well as fellow researchers from the University of Manitoba and the United States. Their findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Pediatrics.

During the research phase, some of the children listened to music while getting an IV, while others did not. The team noted that the children in the music group had less pain than the children in the other group after certain procedures.

Researchers measured the children's distress, perceived pain levels, and heart rates.

They also measured the satisfaction levels of parents, and the satisfaction levels of the healthcare providers who administered the IVs.

"We did find a difference in the children's reported pain -- the children in the music group had less pain immediately after the procedure," says Hartling. "The finding is clinically important and it's a simple intervention that can make a big difference. Playing music for kids during painful medical procedures would be an inexpensive and easy-to-use intervention in clinical settings."

Researchers noted that the children who listened to music reported significantly less pain, some demonstrated significantly less distress, and the children's parents were more satisfied with care.

In the music listening group, 76 per cent of health-care providers said the IVs were very easy to administer -- a markedly higher number than the non-music group where only 38 per cent of health-care providers said the procedure was very easy. Researchers also noticed that the children who had been born premature experienced more distress overall.

The mood of the music, whether it contained lyrics and whether it was familiar to the child also played an important role in how helpful the music intervention was.

"There is growing scientific evidence showing that the brain responds to music and different types of music in very specific ways," said Hartling. "So additional research into how and why music may be a better distraction from pain could help advance this field."

Hartling and her team hope to continue their research in this area, to see if music or other distractions can make a big difference for kids undergoing other painful medical procedures. The pain and distress from medical procedures can have "long-lasting negative effects" for children, the researchers said.

On a more practical daily basis, next time your little one needs a shot or has to undergo something uncomfortable, it might be worth a try to crank up his or her favorite song to see of it relieve some of the pain and anxiety.

You never know, it may just help.


Your Child

Increased Injuries in Bounce Houses

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They look safe. Unlike trampolines, you can’t fall off of a big bouncy inflatable bubble house. They’re a hit with kids and parents; showing up at private homes for birthday parties and family get-togethers. They’ve also become a staple at amusement parks and fairs.

According to a new study, they may not be quite as safe as they appear.

Kids often pack themselves into bounce houses, jumping high and hard. That can send smaller children flying through the air causing them to land outside the house or to collide with another child.

Looking at the data, the numbers suggest 30 kids a day are treated in emergency rooms for broken bones, sprains, cuts and concussions from bounce house accidents. As the popularity of bounce houses has increased, the number of injuries has also climbed. In 1995 there were fewer than 1,000 injuries reported. In 2010 the number is closer to 11,000. That's a 15-fold increase, and a doubling just since 2008.

"I was surprised by the number, especially by the rapid increase in the number of injuries," said lead author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Smith and his colleagues analyzed data on ER treatments for nonfatal injuries linked with bounce houses. The records are kept by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC.)

About 3% of children were hospitalized, mainly with broken bones. More than a third of the injuries occurred in children under the age of 5. The CPSC already recommends that children under the age of 6 not be allowed to use full size trampolines. Smith believes that barring children 6 and under from entering bounce houses is a good idea that should be considered. If the CPSC is unwilling to bar them for young children, he thinks parents should consider making that a house rule. No small children in the bounce house. Bounce houses come in a variety of sizes – but smaller or larger isn’t necessarily a factor in accidents. "There is no evidence that the size or location of an inflatable bouncer affects the injury risk," Smith said.

Other recommendations, often listed in manufacturers' instruction pamphlets, include not overloading bounce houses with too many kids and not allowing young children to bounce with much older, heavier kids or adults, said Laura Woodburn, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials.

The study only looked at nonfatal accidents, but there have been recorded instances of fatalities. Separate data from the product safety commission show four bounce house deaths from 2003 to 2007, all involving children striking their heads on a hard surface.

A group that issues voluntary standards says that bounce houses should always be supervised by a trained operator, and that children should be prohibited from doing flips and purposely bouncing into other children.

Bounce house injuries can be similar to those linked with trampolines, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against using trampolines at home. The author notes that policymakers should offer the same special consideration to bounce houses.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.


Your Child

Preventable Sports Injury Knowledge Lacking

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Do you know how much sports safety training your child’s coach has? According to a national survey by Safe Kids, a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, only 2 in 5 parents knows how much safety training their kid’s coach has received.

One in 3 American children, who plays team sports suffers injuries severe enough to require medical treatment, according to the survey.

Results also show how little parents understand about sports injuries and the recovery time needed to properly heal. Nine of 10 parents underestimate how long children should refrain from playing any one sport in order to protect them from overuse, overtraining and burnout.

Children need to take two to three months (or a season) away from a specific sport every year in order to avoid those problems, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Most parents rely on coaches to keep their child safe while playing sports. But nearly half of all coaches said they have felt pressure to play an injured child in a game. Kids also believe that being injured is not a good reason to stop playing. 3 of 10 children think a good player should keep playing even when they're hurt, unless a coach or other adult makes them stop. 


Even the well-trained coaches said they would like to receive more training. Costs, lack of time and local resources were the main factors given for not extending their training. 

Other troubling results from the survey revealed that more than half of all coaches believe there is an acceptable amount of head contact during play without potentially causing a serious brain injury. It's difficult to tell the degree of head impact, however, and every precaution should be taken to protect children from head injuries, according to Coaching Our Kids to Fewer Injuries: A Report on Youth Sports Safety.

"The research findings are particularly alarming because experts tell us more than half of these injuries are preventable," Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, said in an organization news release. "There is a gap between what we as coaches and parents can do to keep our kids safe and what we're actually doing. With some simple precautions, we can change these troubling statistics and keep our kids healthy and enjoying the benefits of sports."

"Culturally, there's an attitude that injuries are a natural consequence of sports and that good athletes tough it out when they suffer an injury. But that attitude is hurting our kids," Carr noted.

The survey showed that about four of 10 parents underestimate the amount of fluids a typical youth athlete needs for each hour they play. In order to prevent dehydration, children require fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during physical activity.

So, how can parents educate themselves about preventable sports related injuries and safe practices? outlines sports injury prevention and safety tips for parents and coaches on their website.

Being involved in various sports is a great way for kids to learn how to work together as a team, build stamina, learn leadership skills and have fun. You can’t guarantee a child won’t get injured, and most of the time injuries are not life threatening, but being better educated on preventable injuries can help parents, coaches and kids enjoy the games more.



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