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Your Child

Kid’s With Partial Deafness Should be Treated

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Many parents that have a child with partial deafness do not get the condition treated according to new research.

“Traditionally, asymmetric deafness in childhood, particularly when only one ear is affected, has been overlooked or dismissed as a concern because the children have had some access to sound,” said lead author Karen Gordon of Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

“The problem is that children with asymmetric hearing still have a hearing loss,” Gordon said in an email to Rueters Health. “Without normal hearing from both ears, they experience deficits locating sounds around them.”

While a child with partial hearing can hear sounds, the task is more difficult when there are other noises in the room or other people speaking at the same time, Gordon said.

One of the main issues is lack of information,” said Dayse Tavora-Vieira of the University of Western Australia n West Perth, who was not part of the new review. “The implications of unilateral hearing loss/deafness have been historically underestimated by professionals and this has reflected on how they counsel parents.”

Also, the children may not show a handicap until educational, social and emotional concerns become clear later in life, she told Reuters Health in an email.

The researchers noted that newborns and young children with deafness in one ear should be treated early to help minimize long-term problems such as delayed speech and language development as well as being at risk of poor academic performance, usually with poorer vocabulary and simpler sentence structure than their normal-hearing peers, Tavora-Vieira said.  

Gordon and her colleagues reviewed research from neuroscience, audiology and clinical settings “that points to the existence of an impairment of the central representation of the poorer hearing ear if developmental asymmetric hearing is left untreated for years,” they write.

“We suggest that asymmetric hearing in children be reduced by providing appropriate auditory prostheses in each ear with limited delay,” Gordon noted. “The type of auditory prosthesis will depend on the degree and type of hearing loss.”

According to the 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, almost two in every 1,000 babies have some form of deafness discovered by early life screening.

With those kinds of numbers, what types of treatments are available for a child’s hearing loss? Currently, there is the cochlear implant for profound deafness, a hearing aid, a bone anchored hearing aid or a personal listening device like a radio-enabled ear-bud in the hearing ear. For the last treatment, a speaking source, like a teacher, speaks into a microphone, which transmits sound by FM signal to the ear-bud.

“Appropriate recommendations can be made by otolaryngologists and audiologists,” Gordon said.

Parents should seek a second opinion if a diagnosis is made and no options for rehabilitation are offered, Tavora-Vieira noted.

The research was published in the June online edition of Pediatrics.

Source: Kathryn Doyle, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/10/us-child-deafness-diagnosis-treatment-idUSKBN0OQ29A20150610

 

Your Child

Three Popular Children Products Recalled

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Sippy cups and baby rattles are two of three children’s products being recalled by the manufacturers and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Gerber, Target Home and the Manhattan Group LLC are the three companies that have products being recalled.

1. Name of Product: Whoozit(r) Starry Time Rattle

Units: About 3,000 in the United States and 150 in Canada. Importer: Manhattan Group LLC, of Minneapolis, Minn.

Hazard: The clear spheres on each end of the rattle can break, releasing small parts, posing a choking hazard to small children. 

Injuries/Incidents: Manhattan Group has received two reports of rattles breaking. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Whoozit(r) Starry Time baby rattles. The plastic rattles feature three colored (orange, aqua blue and purple) stars stacked front to back between two clear spheres on a flexible stem. The rattle measures about 5-1/2-inches long. Each clear ball, located at the end of the rattle, measures 1-3/4 inches in diameter. The clear rattles contain small multi-colored beads and a white plastic disc featuring a blue smiling character face inside. The name of the product is printed on the hang tag.

Sold at: Specialty toy and baby stores nationwide, in Canada, and online at www.manhattantoy.com from September 2011 through March 2012 for about $15. Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take these rattles away from young children and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Manhattan Group toll-free at (800) 541-1345 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.manhattantoy.com

Note: Health Canada's press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1590

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including a picture of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12161.html

2. Name of Product: Target Home Bunny Sippy Cup

Units: Approximately 264,000. Importer: Target Corporation; Minneapolis, Minn.

Hazard: The ear on the bunny sippy cup can poke a child in the eye area while using the cup for drinking, posing an injury hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Target has received six reports of incidents where the plastic ear poked children during routine use of the product. Cuts and bruises were reported in three of these reports.

Description: The recall involves two styles of Target Home Bunny Sippy Cups. The cups come with handles on both sides in pink and blue, female and male. Each contains a corresponding white bunny head screw-on lid and one bent ear and one straight ear. The cups can be identified by imprints on the bottom: "TARGET 200020683" for pink and "TARGET 200020884" for the blue.

Sold exclusively at: Target stores nationwide from February 2012 through April 5, 2012 for $3. Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled sippy cups and return them to any Target store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Target at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.target.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12162.html

3. Name of Product: Gerber(r) Instant(tm) Knife

Units: About 3,000. Importer: Gerber Legendary Blades of Portland, Ore.

Hazard: The locking mechanism on the spring-assisted blade can fail to engage properly, causing the blade to fold during use, posing a laceration hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: None 

Description: The recalled knives are spring-assisted clip knives with a black retractable 3.18" blade which can be folded into the textured black handle when the knife is not in use. The black handle has four diagonal slots on both sides. When closed, the knife measures 4.57" in length and when open, it measures 7.75". The Gerber "sword and shield" trademark appears in silver, on one side of the blade, close to the handle. The name "Gerber(r)" is written in silver on the knife's pocket clip. This recall involves model numbers 30-000435 and 31-001101. The different model numbers refer to the same knife sold in a box (30-000435) and in a blister pack (31-001101). The model number is printed on the original packaging underneath the barcode. It is not printed on the knife.

Sold at: Sporting goods stores nationwide from February 2012 through March 2012 for about $50. Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Instant Knives and contact Gerber Legendary Blades to receive a free replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, please contact Gerber Legendary Blades toll-free at (877) 314-9130 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.gerbergear.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12163.html

Whoozit® Starry Time Rattle

 

Target Home Bunny Sippy Cup

 Gerber® Instant™ Knife

Your Child

Students Do Better on Tests After Short Break

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As the school day wears on, kids can begin to suffer from mental exhaustion. A new study suggests that students do better on test scores if the testing starts earlier in the day or they are allowed a short break before testing begins.

The study found that students aged 15 and under suffered from mental fatigue as the school day progressed, and that their test scores dipped later in the day. The effect appeared to be the greatest on those who scored the poorest; a hint that tests later in the day might hurt struggling students the most.

They also found that kids who were given a short break before they took the test scored higher.

Many school administrations have toyed with the idea of extending the school day.

"If policymakers want to have longer days, then they should consider having more frequent breaks," said study co-author Francesca Gino, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in Boston.

The researchers also suggested that standardized tests be given at the same time of day to avoid giving some students an advantage over others and skewing the results in favor of children who are tested earlier in the day. If testing times must be spread out, then the study’s author recommend that students who test later in the day be given time to relax and recharge before the test begins.

The new study is unusual because it's so large and because it explores the role played by breaks during the day, Gino said.

The researchers reviewed results from about 2 million national standardized tests taken by kids aged 8 to 15. The children attended public schools in Denmark from 2009-2010 and 2012-2013.

The findings revealed that test performance decreased as the day progressed. As each hour went by, scores declined. But they improved after breaks of 20 minutes to 30 minutes, the research showed.

Gino described the effect as "small, but significant."

"We found that taking the test one hour later affects the average child the same way as having 10 days less of schooling," she said.

Gino blames "cognitive fatigue" -- essentially, tiredness that affects thinking. "But a break can counterbalance this negative effect. For example, during a break, children can have something to eat, relax, play with classmates or just have some fresh air. These activities recharge them."

Even though the test score differences were not huge, Christoph Randler, a professor of biology at the University of Tubingen in Germany, believes they were still significant. They could be consequential if they affect a student’s chances of getting into college, he said.

Other academic experts also found the findings had an important message. Pamela Thacher, an associate professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., endorsed the study. She agreed with Randler that small differences in test scores could be important to a student's future.

As for the value of breaks, she said the findings make sense. "Rest restores the ability to perform," she said. "These results are consistent with virtually every study we have that has spoken to the brain's requirements for best performance."

The study appears in the February issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Randy Dotinga, http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-health-news-719/kids-score-better-on-tests-earlier-in-day-study-finds-708062.html

 

 

 

 

Your Child

Are Kid’s Sack Lunches Healthier?

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For some kids who bring their lunch to school, a new study suggests that as far as nutrition goes, they’d be better off buying their meal at the school cafeteria.

Researchers found that student’s bag lunches typically contained foods that were higher in sodium and sugar with fewer vegetables and whole grains compared with standards set for school cafeterias.

The findings are not necessarily surprising, said the study's senior researcher, Karen Cullen, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"Parents often pack lunches based on their children's preferences," she noted. Plus, she added, some other recent studies have found a similar pattern.

The study involved 12 elementary and middle schools in one Houston-area school district. Over two months, the researchers observed more than 300 students who brought their lunch from home -- noting what they ate and what they threw away.

On average, bag lunches were low on fruits and whole grains, and especially vegetables and milk.

School guidelines say kids should have three-quarters of a cup of vegetables (which really isn’t much) with every lunch. The average elementary school bag lunch had about one-tenth of that amount, according to the study.

Lunches brought from home also contained way too much sodium. The average bag lunch averaged 1,000 to 1,110 mg, versus a limit of 640 mg in elementary school lunches.

About 90 percent of the home lunches contained a dessert, sugary drink or snack chip. Guess what? Kids ate those items whereas between 20 and 30 percent of vegetables ended up in the garbage, according to the study.

Packing milk and palatable vegetables is tricky, noted Dr. Virginia Stallings, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who specializes in nutrition.

Giving your kids money to buy it at school can help solve the milk dilemma, said Stallings, who wrote an editorial published with the study. With vegetables, though, it can be challenging to go beyond carrot sticks, she added.

"I think that's one of the advantages of the school lunch," Stallings said. "Kids can have a hot meal, with cooked vegetables." She added that schools are working on making meals that are tasty without relying on salt, and expanding to include culturally diverse choices.

I don’t really think that kid’s attitudes have changed much about school lunches in the last few decades. As long as I can remember, kids eat what they want, trade foods with others and throw out the rest. They often gripe about their lunch food whether it comes from home or the school cafeteria.. That’s just what kids do.

So, if they are going to complain anyway you might as well fix them a lunch that will help them develop strong bones and hearts. The school systems have finally started paying attention to nutrition after all these years. They’re working on creative recipes that just might temp kids to eat better.

You already know that there are way too many American children that are eating poorly, not exercising and developing diabetes at a young age. It’s important what our children eat. Sometimes a school lunch is best and sometimes a lunch brought from home is best. Many times parents split the difference and do both.

Source: Amy Norton, http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/education-news-745/kids-bag-lunches-not-meeting-nutrition-guidelines-694048.html

Your Child

Putting Together a Family Medical History

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More often than not, many of us do not think – or even know- about our generational family medical history. Do you know what your great grandmother or grandfather died from? Are there certain diseases or medical conditions that seem to run in your family?

Honestly, I only know about my own parents and siblings. I know very little about my aunts and uncles or cousin’s medical conditions. Everyone in my extended family has passed away as well as my parents and one sibling. It’s just my sister and I left.  So, most likely I won’t be able to learn much more.

Here’s what I do know about my family’s medical history in a nutshell: My mother had emphysema as well as my oldest sister. They both smoked cigarettes most of their lives. One sister had breast cancer – one had benign lumps in her breast removed and several skin cancers taken off.  My father had high cholesterol all his life and dementia when he died. My paternal grandmother died of a stroke. My maternal grandmother lived to be 96 and was seldom sick. My mother had 16 brothers and sisters. I know one aunt had heart disease. I have no idea what other conditions the rest of them may have had, so I cannot pass that infomration on to my child. 

Why is this important? Because a medical history will help you gain insight into your likelihood of developing specific conditions. It can also provide your doctors with clues they may need to reach a diagnosis for you or your child.

Putting together a reliable and complete family medical history may require some investigative work.  It’s not a topic many people like to talk about. There was a time when families did not talk about cancer, heart disease, mental illness or any illness for that matter. Superstition and ignorance kept future generations from knowing that they might be susceptible to the same conditions. Once someone begins asking questions about their family medical history, they might learn that not only did their father die of heart disease, but so did his brother, his father, his grandfather and so on. That’s important information for you and your children and their children.

It is essential to get the right information. Make a list of relatives to talk with. Include parents, siblings, children, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and grandparents. Ask them about current and past medical and mental health conditions, and their ages at diagnosis.

Pay special attention to conditions that developed much earlier than typical or affected multiple family members. Include pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and stillbirth, and birth defects.

Ask about deceased family members’ cause of death, other health problems, and age at death. Ethnicity is important, because some diseases are more common in certain groups. Sickle cell anemia, for example, is more likely to occur in those of African, African-American, or Mediterranean heritage.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, for instance, notes that women with a parent, sibling, or child with breast cancer might benefit more than average-risk women from starting breast cancer screenings between 40 and 49, rather than at age 50.

When your doctor knows your family history, he or she may be able to make a quicker diagnosis or start a series of tests and treatment earlier.

There are more tools available now, than ever before, to help you build a good family medical history.  A recent Consumer Reports article list these digital resources:

•       This page from the National Society of Genetic Counselors shows you how to draw a family tree.

•       The March of Dimes' Family Health History form (PDF) considers lifestyle as well as family history.

•       The Office of the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait allows you to enter, print, and update your family medical history.

Family histories can also help identify illnesses that mimic other conditions.

Because my extended family was spread all around the country, I didn’t get to know them as well as I would have liked. They moved on and began families of their own. We got the yearly Christmas card and occasionally a notification when someone died.

I never thought about putting together a medical family history, but I wish I had. It’s a good idea to gather as much medical information about present and past family members as you can, so that future generations will have that knowledge and can benefit from your generous and investigative work.

Source: Orly Avitzur, M.D., http://www.consumerreports.org/conditions-treatments/why-your-family-medical-history-matters

 

 

 

Your Child

Harsh Parenting May Hurt a Child’s Physical Health

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While it is generally known that harsh parenting often leaves psychological scars on children, a new study suggests it may also impact their physical health with problems like obesity.

Researchers also note that having at least one kind and caring parent doesn’t necessarily counteract the effects of the harsh parent.

"Harshness, as we measured it, is always bad for kids. But it is particularly bad if the adolescent perceives high levels of warmth and support from the other parent," said study lead author Thomas Schofield.

The researchers defined "harsh" parenting as angry, hostile and antisocial.

Schofield and his colleagues assessed the results of a study of 451 children.

All were seventh-grade students in eight Iowa counties in 1989.

The researchers studied their families, even videotaping how they interacted in their homes. Then, the investigators followed the children's health through age 20. All of the families lived in small towns or on farms. All were white and spoke English.

The study authors also asked kids questions about their health and whether their parents showed warmth to them by expressing caring or appreciation.

The findings showed evidence that harsh parenting appears to have a measurable impact on the health of kids. When parents were "hostile, angry, and antisocial towards their adolescent," Schofield said, the kids were more likely to report declines in their physical health and to gain extra weight.

Meanwhile, "warmth from the second parent did not consistently buffer or protect the adolescent from the harshness from the first parent," he said.

When the researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) -- a ratio of weight to height -- they found that the harmful effects of the harsh parent on BMI increased even as the warmth of the other parent went up.

The study showed an association between the harsh parenting and childhood health problems, but did not prove cause and effect.

The study didn't reveal possible reasons why a harsh parent might cause lasting physical harm. But, Schofield said, stress in childhood does hurt people's health over their lives.

Michael MacKenzie is an associate professor of social work and pediatrics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He said stress may indeed be the cause of health issues in kids with harsh parents. The reason: there's evidence that stress disrupts the functioning of the immune system and growth hormones, he said.

Schofield said the new study findings should help show parents that their behavior matters. "Parents reacting emotionally to life stress or parenting stress is natural, and can require concerted effort to master," he added.

Schofield said parents should consider their actions with their kids and think about whether they'd act differently in public when people are watching.

"If we're behaving one way at home and another way in public, some part of us knows we're doing something we feel the need to hide," he said. "And if a child ever begins to behave as though they're on edge, afraid, or timid around the parent, that's a sign that something needs to shift."

Schofield says that there are ways parents can change their own behaviors and self-help books as well as therapy may offer new options for them.

"All of these options require parents to admit 'We may have in the past done things that hurt our children,' and 'We can improve [our] parenting behaviors,' " he said. "Acknowledging those two truths is very hard, but it is probably the first step, and it is universally true because none of us are perfect parents."

The study was published recently in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Story source: Randy Dotinga, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20160506/harsh-parenting-may-harm-a-childs-physical-health

Your Child

July 4th Food and Fireworks Safety Tips

2:00

This July 4th may be even more special than usual for a lot of families. Besides the excitement and patriotic fervor of celebrating our country’s official Independence Day, it may finally stop raining long enough for people to enjoy being outside.

However the day unfolds, you can bet there will be plenty of families and friends celebrating with good food!

Grilling is particularly popular on the Fourth as well as picnics. To make sure that the food you prepare is safe and stays safe for consumption, the USDA and the FDA offers these food preparation tips:

•       Clean: Make sure you clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water.

•       Separate: When grilling, use separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods (like raw vegetables) to avoid cross-contamination.

•       Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer. 

•       Organize cooler contents. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. That way, as picnickers open and reopen the beverage cooler to replenish their drinks, the perishable foods won’t be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.

•       Clean your produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler - including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. Packaged fruits and vegetables that are labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed," or "triple washed" need not be washed.

•       Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer. That’s the only way to know it’s a safe temperature.

•       Remember: Ground beef and egg dishes should be cooked to 160°F. Steaks, roasts, pork and fish should be cooked to 145 degrees F, and Chicken breast and whole poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F. Shrimp, lobster, and crabs  cook until pearly and opaque. Clams, oysters, and mussels cook until the shells are open

•       Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking. You shouldn’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours (or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90° F), so if you’re away from home, make sure you bring a cooler to store those leftovers.

Warm weather events present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. As food heats up in summer temperatures, bacteria multiply rapidly. Safe food handling and cooking when eating outdoors is critical for your family’s health.

Most cities have banned fireworks within the city limits except for controlled displays. However, rural and unincorporated areas still allow the sale and use of fireworks by citizens.

Fireworks are now much more sophisticated and larger than mere firecrackers and sparklers; injuries associated with fireworks can be devestating. 

In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.

On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends these fireworks handling safety tips:

•       Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

•       Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

•       Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

•       Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

•       Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

•       Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

•       Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

•       Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

•       Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

•       After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

•       Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

The Fourth of July is definitely one of the most treasured holidays for Americans, make sure your family has a safe one!

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

 http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/fireworks

 

 

Your Child

A Little Sugar and Higher Fat In School Lunches?

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Should sugar and fat be included in your child’s school lunch meal? In an effort to curb obesity in children, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has frequently urged parents and schools to restrict these 2 ingredients and find healthier substitutes.

In a new policy statement, the AAP is asking parents and schools to take a broader approach to kid’s nutrition. What the AAP would like to see instead of focusing on specific foods is the emphasis placed on the child’s overall diet. 

"A good diet is built on highly nutritious foods from each of the main food groups," said Robert Murray, M.D., FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, "Snacks, Sweetened Beverages, Added Sugars, and Schools," published in the latest journal of Pediatrics. "No ingredient should be banned. A small amount of sugar or fat is ok if it means a child is more likely to eat foods that are highly nutritious."

In the last 20 years, improvements have gradually been implemented in school lunch programs with more lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains replacing high fat meats and nutritionally deprived starches and sweets.

In that effort, national standards now limit the type of foods and drinks that are sold in schools.  As of 2014, 92 percent of school districts reported meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture school meal standards released in 2012.

While some parents and school boards have objected to the required changes, most schools have moved forward using creative culinary skills and producing healthier meals that taste good and in some cases, use locally grown vegetables and fruits.

Parents can always choose to pack a lunch at home for their child to take to school and many do. They know what foods their children are more likely to eat and they make an effort to provide a nutritional alternative to the school lunch. Sometimes however, parents pack high-calorie meals that are way over the daily sodium and fat recommendations for a child.   

The AAP believes there is an opportunity to help all parents or guardians make better choices for their child’s home-made lunches by offering a five-step approach in selecting food for packed lunches and social events:

•       Select a mix of foods from the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy, and quality protein sources, including lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs).

•       Offer a variety of food experiences.

•       Avoid highly processed foods.

•       Use small amounts of sugar, salt, fats and oils with highly nutritious foods to enhance enjoyment and consumption.

•       Offer appropriate portions.

"Children, like adults, often want their own preferred flavors and textures during meals and snacks," Dr. Murray said. "It's no secret that brown sugar on oatmeal, or salad dressing with cut vegetables, can make these healthy foods more palatable to children, and increase their consumption. This is not a license to give kids anything they want; we just need to use sugar, fat and sodium strategically."

The Internet is full of websites that offer great recipes and suggestions for kid's healthy lunches. You can review the sites, check out the ingredients and decide which ones fit your lifestyle and time schedule.

A little added sugar or fat is not a problem as long as the child is getting a well-balanced meal. The key (as with everything) is moderation.

Source: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Recommends-Whole-Diet-Approach-to-Children's-Nutrition.aspx

Your Child

Concussion Symptoms Continue Long After Injury

2.00 to read

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

 

 

 

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DR SUE'S DAILY DOSE

Why your kids need to play it safe!

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