Parents and Kids

On my recent flight to New York City, an attendant announced that a passenger had a severe peanut allergy. If any of us had brought food containing peanuts, it was requested that we put it away for the entire flight. I poked fun at this on my Facebook page, after which I was castigated for my insensitivity and lack of compassion.

"It's the recirculated air," one person said.

"It can be ingested through particles circulated in the air," chimed in another.

A teacher weighed in, too: "A child in my class... went in to shock after touching the same door knob that someone who had... peanuts had touched earlier."

No, that's not how it works. The apparently widespread belief that recirculated peanut-tainted air can kill unsuspecting children is based on several...

We like to make it a point not to alarm parents unnecessarily. Part of our mission is to inform the public about health concerns, simply and calmly, without resorting to scare tactics to get attention. And the most recent news about youth sports and eye-related injuries should be treated in just that way.

Eyes and eyesight are vitally important. No question about it. And a recent retrospective study shines light on a health issue that, while important, has recently been overshadowed by other youth concerns, like concussions and severe knee injuries, especially among adolescent and teenage girls. That said, it's good to pay attention to what this new study tells us, learn...

For a recent 15-year stretch, one trend line had been moving downward. During that same period, another had been moving upward. The first charts unintentional activity; the second, deliberate action. And since these disturbing graph lines have crossed, the data serves as a strong signal for parents to take notice, particularly for the sake of their young adolescents.

What we're talking about is suicide, and its sharp increase among children aged 10 to 14. Since 1999, the incidence rate for this group has nearly doubled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in 2014 it was just as likely that a child took his or her own life than it was that he/she died in a traffic...

When trying to identify why many children gain weight at an early age, the conversation always seems to include the idea that schools, with their scheduling constraints and ever-tightening budgets, find it increasingly difficult to fund or create periods of physical activity, like gym classes or field trips. And even if they are allocated periods outside of the classroom, technology is eating up more and more of their free time.

And then there are the school cafeterias. They tend to be a favorite target of critics, who contend that lunches being served are neither nutritious or appealing enough. And with all that, we collectively shrug.

But a new, large study of young children indicates that schools...

Aren't spa treatments great? Don't those women seem to be having a lot of fun?

Indeed, as wonderful as a day at the spa may be, we need to keep the benefits of a little pampering in check. 

The founder of the English company, Abi Wright, should be first in line for the lesson on what a day at the spa can do (relaxation) and cannot do (cure mental illness) as she promotes the benefits of spa services for the treatment of postpartum depression. 

It must be made clear to her (and everyone) that postpartum depression, which affects up to one in every seven new mothers, is very different from what is referred to as the "baby blues." Baby blues are common, with up to 80% of new mothers reporting feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, exhaustion ...

The decision of what to feed a newborn can be fraught with anxiety — is breast milk the only way to go? If I choose formula am I somehow cheating my baby?

Well, there are literally millions of healthy Americans who were raised on formula — imperfect as these older versions may have been. And formula manufacturers are constantly updating their products, trying to make them more and more like the gold standard — human breast milk. The latest advance is the addition of a new ingredient class — certain complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides.

Various members of this class of carbohydrates are known to be present in human milk, and different women produce different types. They are important in the...

The child who was never born - by Martin Hudacek

The emotional agony of losing a baby in utero can only be understood by the people that have experienced it. To the rest of us, it is unimaginable. 

But, what I can imagine, after that kind of tragedy, is wanting to know what happened - to have a reason. 

Unfortunately, more times than not, a reason is not provided after a stillbirth. A new study delved into a massive amount of data surrounding a large number of stillbirths in order to learn more about the methods that are used to determine their causes of death.  A team from The Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England published a series of six papers in a single journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and...

If there is any group that could take the fun out of Halloween, it's chiropractors.*

Just when you thought that chiropractors focus on back pain, think again! Didn't you know that their degree makes them experts on everything - even nutrition AND vaccinations?!?! 

Just check out the Halloween tips from the "Lakeland Chiropratic" office in Michigan.  Then in bullet points are the evidence-based reality.

 - Keeping your kids safe from the sugar goblins is no easy task!

  • I want to let you in on a little secret - the scare over the amount of sugar in a few pieces of Halloween candy is, like goblins, not real. 

 - Discuss the...

Trouble with math

As a nation, we have made progress in the medical and legal professions over the years in closing the occupational gender gap. Today, close to half of all med school graduates are women. Meanwhile, in the aggregate, law offices have a similar ratio, according to the American Bar Association, and it's been that way for more than a generation. (All this pertains to employment, just to be clear. The salary gender gap is a whole other matter, for another time.)

However, gender equality does not exist in professions requiring foundations in science and math, as women make up less than one-fifth of college graduates holding a degree in engineering and computer science. And why is that?

Here's why, at least partly. Once again, we're learning that a major factor for this...

Yesterday, we wrote about the new SIDS recommendations - along with every other new organization in the country - that were released by the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this week.

But, as I was working through the information, I couldn't help but be shocked by the coverage of this important health news. I noticed, with each new story that I read, how prevalent two recurring issues were regarding the media's presentation of the information. 

First of all, the majority of news organizations led with a new recommendation that infants...