Parents and Kids

A 7-year-old girl is wowing the internet with not only her knowledge of neurotransmitters and synapses, but also her passion for science experiments and big dreams of one day becoming a neurosurgeon.

Scientists and science communicators would be wise to watch Amoy Antunet in this BBC Trending viral video. She brings effective messaging back to the basics. With an affability not to be understated in importance, she is succinct, authentic and simplifies the complex with relatable references. Her joy from the subject matter is evident and draws viewers into her world.

Somewhere along the way as we mature and acquire more and more formal education, we complicate things. We become shackled with...

College campuses are dictating what costumes are offensive. Social media is deluged with healthy Halloween options, like dispensing kale chips instead of the real good stuff. I have tried them, so there will be no convincing me they are better than the more desirable treats. Let’s not even go there with the chocolate covered Brussels sprouts taking over the internet.

Dentists are offering candy swaps as if one day of indulgence translates into exceptionable oral hygiene. Fake News! Besides the fact it is mainly a marketing tool at the core, but I digress.

Does everything need to be sanitized these days? It was enough when the rumors spread years ago about the possibility of turning Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster into Veggie Monster. Is anything sacred? When did this trend...

Repetitive head injuries are par for the course for football players. And, more head injuries (with or without concussions) are associated with more long-term neurological damage.

What remains murky is how much is too much? Do factors such as the number of years played or the age when the athlete first started playing have long-term effects?

A new study from the Boston University School of Medicine (the leaders in this field of research) entitled "Age of first exposure to American football and long-term neuropsychiatric and cognitive outcomes" and published in Translational Psychiatry, suggest that when children start playing football, or their age of first exposure (AFE), is an important factor in long-term neurological health.

More specifically, the researchers...

We‘ve written extensively about the move by some to avoid routine vaccinations of children on the totally unproven grounds that some vaccines contain mercury or might cause autism. The truth is, of course, that vaccination not only prevents disease in vaccine recipients but also via herd immunity, can protect those who can’t be vaccinated for medical or other reasons. Considering the coverage anti-vaxxers have garnered at times, one might fear that most children entering school are at risk of measles or chickenpox or other ills. However, some recent statistics from the CDC should help allay these concerns.

Writing in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Dr. Michael Underwood and colleagues...

When the Internet finds out a woman is pregnant, prospective moms can expect to be bombarded with countless email advertisements for everything baby.  That is because most businesses recognize that the pregnant woman is a proverbial cash cow.  Pregnant moms, who are already stressed about their developing fetus' vulnerability and want to do best by their children, become the perfect target for those seeking to capitalize on fear. 

One such example is cord blood banking.  What exactly is it?   During the 1980s, it was discovered that the umbilical cord was a rich supply of potentially life-saving hematopoietic stem cells. These cells are similar to those found in bone marrow and capable of differentiating into many different cell types.  The cells can be used in a number of...

The other night, I had dinner with one of my best childhood friends who became an OB/GYN. She has three amazing children and was pregnant with her fourth.

Trigger warning: She ordered a glass of wine. And drank it.

I warned her that there was a lunatic on Twitter with a master's degree in photojournalism who pretends to be a science journalist that would be publicly mommy-shaming her into submission. She shrugged. A little bit of alcohol isn't going to hurt.

Of course, she's right. But when it comes to alcohol, the United States is incredibly puritanical. Our society has promoted the view that even a single drop of alcohol is harmful to developing babies. However, the totality of evidence does...

It seems, per usual, some bad apples are ruining it for the bunch in a Western New York town. As a result, the North Tonawanda Common Council unanimously passed a law that went into effect October 1st in an effort to hold parents accountable for their minor child’s violations of city laws.

At most, parents can be fined $250 or sentenced to 15 days in prison, or both. The decision is at the judge’s discretion with the Mayor insisting a warning or small penalty could be applied instead of the maximum.

This parental liability law is in response to frustration over “juvenile violence” caused by some middle schoolers earlier in the year. Police Department Captain Karen Smith told ...

It is hard to know what gadgets for your new baby are useful, which are unnecessary and which are actually harmful. 

There are so many gizmos out there from diaper genies to video monitors to an endless list of things to attach to your stroller. But, perhaps the most tantalizing market for new parents is that of helping your baby sleep. 

Who doesn't want their baby (and themselves) to get a good night's sleep? And, who doesn't think that $39.99 is worth seven straight hours of shut eye? 

There are many products on the market to help make that happen but they are not all safe. Now, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on one of these sleeping products - the sleep positioner.

There are two commonly sold types of sleep...

Signing an agreement to vaccinate your kid and then reneging kinda takes the wind out of your religious objection sails but that hasn't stopped one Detroit mother. Rebecca Bredow, was just sentenced to seven days in jail for being in contempt of court when she failed to vaccinate her nine-year-old son as she had chosen to do per a joint custody agreement with her ex-spouse. 

I have several major problems with this case, primarily that it is receiving media attention for the wrong reason. This woman is not going to jail because Michigan law mandates vaccinations - maintenance of adherence with vaccinations are made at the state and local level as requirements for school.  She is going to jail because she flat out refused to obey a court order enforcing an agreement which she...

Most moms will tell you that the first and last months of pregnancy are the hardest. The first eight to 12 weeks can certainly present some debilitating symptoms: morning sickness and nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fatigue so strong it sentences you to the couch for days.

Challenging, no doubt. But all very survivable. Until the ninth month — when you reach the end of your rope. 

By the last month of pregnancy, you've gained anywhere between 25-35 pounds (or more, let's be honest).  Your baby is literally the size of a watermelon. And not even a watermelon you can eat, which makes you mad because you want to eat everything in sight, hungry or not. 

Sleep deprivation

Perhaps the thing you need most in the weeks leading up to...