New Report Finds Children in Rural Areas Face Different Health Challenges
Children in rural areas are more likely to face different challenges to their health and have less access to care when compared with children in urban areas, according to a new report from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Child poverty more common in rural areas
From the Web site
- Children living in rural areas are more likely to have public insurance, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, while urban children are more likely to be privately insured.
- The percentage of children with chronic conditions such as obesity, asthma and diabetes is highest amongst teenagers living in small rural areas.
The National Survey of Children’s Health is sponsored by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Technical appendices at the end of the book present information about the survey methodology and sample. To see more in-depth information about the book and its findings, visi tmchb.hrsa.gov/nsch/07rural.
Hamilton, ON (August 16, 2011) — A successful new rehabilitation approach to treating children with cerebral palsy puts its focus on where a child lives and plays, not just improving the child’s balance, posture and movement skills.
Called a “context-focused intervention”, McMaster University and the University of Alberta researchers report in a new study this approach is just as beneficial as traditional child-focused therapy, offering parents an additional treatment option for their child.
The McMaster study, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Alberta Health Services in Calgary, is the first randomized trial to examine the effects of therapy focused on changing a child’s task or environment, not the child. It appeared in the July issue of the medical journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.
Context-focused and child-focused therapies were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial of 128 children with cerebral palsy ranging in age from one year to almost six year old. The children, from 19 different rehabilitation centres in Ontario and Alberta, received one of the two approaches for six months. Therapy was provided by occupational therapists and physical therapists. Between assessments at six and nine months, they returned to their regular therapy schedule.
Researchers found that while both groups improved significantly over the study, there were “no significant differences in daily functioning” between the two treatment groups, reported lead author Mary Law, professor in McMaster’s School of Rehabilitation Science and co-founder of the university’s CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage in the brain before or just after birth that results in problems with muscle tone and movement, and impacts ability to perform everyday activities. More than 50,000 Canadians have cerebral palsy, which occurs in about two of 1,000 babies.
During the study, parents in both groups received general information and education about their child’s disability as well as specific strategies to practice at home.
In the child-focused approach, therapists identified the underlying impairment – tone, posture, range of motion – and provided therapy to improve the child’s skills and abilities…..
- Using Play and Technology for Therapy (mentalflowers.wordpress.com)
- HealthWatch: Cerebral Palsy (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Smartphones, Tablets Provide Therapy for Cerebral Palsy, Autism (blogs.forbes.com)
CDF’s new report The State of America’s Children 2011 finds children have fallen further behind in many of the leading indicators over the past year as the country slowly climbs out of the recession. This is a comprehensive compilation and analysis of the most recent and reliable national and state-by-state data on population, poverty, family structure, family income, health, nutrition, early childhood development, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and gun violence. The report provides key child data showing alarming numbers of children at risk: children are the poorest age group with 15.5 million children—one in every five children in America—living in poverty, and more than 60 percent of fourth, eighth and 12th grade public school students are reading or doing math below grade level.
View this year’s interactive report or download the document.
- Race and Child Welfare (fosterwee.wordpress.com)
- Op-Ed Columnist: The Decade of Lost Children (nytimes.com)
- Dire State of of America’s Children – by Stephen Lendman (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Report: Recession Catastrophic for Children (theroot.com)
- Many child deaths ‘preventable’ (cutie79.wordpress.com)
Short-stay inpatient hospitalizations for children and adolescents with a psychiatric diagnosis increased significantly over a 12-year period (1996 to 2007) and decreased for the elderly, according to a report in the early online edition in Archives of General Psychiatry by Joseph C. Blader, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University School of Medicine…
- Prescriptions for Antidepressants Increasing Among Individuals With No Psychiatric Diagnosis (cherished79.wordpress.com)
- Antidepressants Prescribed Without Psychiatric Diagnosis (webmd.com)
- Psychiatric Hospitalizations Increased Among Children And Teens, But Dropped Among Seniors (medicalnewstoday.com)
- In Defense of Psychiatric Medications, Part Two (psychologytoday.com)
Two US Government Agencies (NLM-National Library of Medicine and HHS – Health and Human Services) have joined forces
to provide links in the areas of biology, environmental health science/chemistry, general health, and forensics and medical terminology, and More!
Here is a sampling of Web sites especially geared to K-12 students…
(Grades 6 -12+)
Easy to read health information. An excellent source for all ages.
Check out Videos and Cool Tools for health videos on the human body, surgery videos (FYI-graphic),quizzes, and calculators to self check your health (as diet and exercise).
- Household Products Database
(Grades 6 – 12+)
Learn about the potential health effects of chemicals in common household products.
- Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body
(Grades 6 – 12+)
Collection of images, videos and stories about the history and the development of forensics. Includes lesson plans.
Includes links to a video clips of a real autopsy, real cases (including insect testimony!),links to resources (as NPR radio interviews) and more.
- Children’s Page
(Grades 3 – 8)
Health and safety materials for students. Includes quizzes and games.
- Teen Health
(Grades 7 – 12)
Materials written specifically for teens about health and safety.
- Environmental Health Student Portal – Connecting Middle School Students to Environmental Health Information (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- What’s Cooking Uncle Sam? (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
We Are What We Breathe: The Impacts of Air Pollution on Employment and Productivity – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution
The Impact of Air Pollution on Health and Productivity
Air pollutants are linked to higher rates of infant mortality, increased frequencies of low birth weight, greater risks of asthma attacks and other forms of respiratory sickness, and premature mortality among adults. The incidence of low birth weight has been associated with higher health care costs and reduced earnings later in life. More broadly, good health is also a requisite for being productive on the job, and thus air pollution also affects employment and productivity.
In an intriguing new paper, elevated ozone concentrations, even at levels well below current federal air quality standards, was found to reduce productivity of farm workers in California. Another study found that higher carbon monoxide concentrations result in increased school absences.
In short, air pollution has a direct impact on the health and productivity of today’s and tomorrow’s work force.
- Shanghai air pollution reaches record levels – how to track air quality around the world (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Half of US population breathes polluted air: report (news.bioscholar.com)
- Asthma in the US: Growing Every Year (cdc.gov)
- The Link Between Air Pollution and Asthma (everydayhealth.com)
Poor childhood health caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, cost the United States $76.6 billion in 2008, according to authors of a new study in the May issue of Health Affairs. This price tag represents a dramatic increase in recent years, rising from 2.8 percent of total health care costs in 1997 to 3.5 percent in 2008…
Researchers used recent data to estimate the number of environmentally induced conditions in children and then calculated the annual cost for direct medical care and indirect costs, such as lost productivity resulting from parents’ caring for sick children. They found that the aggregate cost of environmental illness in children was $76.6 billion in 2008 dollars.
The study provides an update to an analysis of 1997 data that documented $54.9 billion in annual costs of environmentally contributable childhood diseases in the United States. In comparing the two studies, researchers found that diminished exposure to lead and reductions in costs for asthma care were offset by diseases newly identified as environmentally induced, including attention deficit disorder,[Editor Flahiff's note: see above map] and the added burden of mercury exposure. This toxic metal, from contaminated fish and coal-fired power plants, can harm the developing brain and is associated with intellectual disability.
Key findings from the study:
- Lead poisoning cost $50.9 billion
- Autism cost $7.9 billion
- Intellectual disability cost $5.4 billion
- Exposure to mercury (methyl mercury) cost $5.1 billion
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder cost $5.0 billion
- Asthma cost $2.2 billion
- Childhood cancer cost $95.0 million
- US must strengthen efforts to restrict chemicals that threaten health, say researchers (scienceblog.com)
- Asthma Rates on the Rise in U.S. (webmd.com)
- Protect our kids from toxic mercury (cnn.com)
- US must strengthen efforts to restrict chemicals that threaten health, say researchers (medicalxpress.com)
(via Health News from Medical News Today) March 28, 2011 2:00:00 PM EDT Share
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC launches an iPhone App (techburgh.com)
- Best iPhone Apps for Parents (brighthub.com)
- Kids Healthcast: Pediatric Podcasts For Time Deprived Parents From IU School Of Medicine (medicalnewstoday.com)
Careful cleaning of children’s skin wounds key to healing, regardless of antibiotic choice
Hopkins Children’s study suggests antibiotics may not always be best therapy
When it comes to curing skin infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), timely and proper wound cleaning and draining may be more important than the choice of antibiotic, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study. The work is published in the March issue of Pediatrics.
Researchers originally set out to compare the efficacy of two antibiotics commonly used to treat staph skin infections, randomly giving 191 children either cephalexin, a classic anti-staph antibiotic known to work against the most common strains of the bacterium but not MRSA, or clindamycin, known to work better against the resistant strains. Much to the researchers’ surprise, they said, drug choice didn’t matter: 95 percent of the children in the study recovered completely within a week, regardless of which antibiotic they got.
The finding led the research team to conclude that proper wound care, not antibiotics, may have been the key to healing.
“The good news is that no matter which antibiotic we gave, nearly all skin infections cleared up fully within a week,” says study lead investigator Aaron Chen, M.D., an emergency physician at Hopkins Children’s. “The better news might be that good low-tech wound care, cleaning, draining and keeping the infected area clean, is what truly makes the difference between rapid healing and persistent infection.”
Chen says that proper wound care has always been the cornerstone of skin infection treatment but, the researchers say, in recent years more physicians have started prescribing antibiotics preemptively.
Although the Johns Hopkins investigators stop short of advocating against prescribing antibiotics for uncomplicated MRSA skin infections, they call for studies that directly measure the benefit — if any — of drug therapy versus proper wound care. The best study, they say, would compare patients receiving placebo with those on antibiotics, along with proper wound cleaning, draining and dressing.
Antibiotics can have serious side effects, fuel drug resistance and raise the cost of care significantly, the researchers say.
“Many physicians understandably assume that antibiotics are always necessary for bacterial infections, but there is evidence to suggest this may not be the case,” says senior investigator George Siberry, M.D., M.P.H., a Hopkins Children’s pediatrician and medical officer at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health & Human Development. “We need studies that precisely measure the benefit of antibiotics to help us determine which cases warrant them and which ones would fare well without them.”
The 191 children in the study, ages 6 months to 18 years, were treated for skin infections at Hopkins Children’s from 2006 to 2009. Of these, 133 were infected with community-acquired MRSA, and the remainder had simple staph infections with non-resistant strains of the bacterium. Community-acquired (CA-MRSA) is a virulent subset of the bacterium that’s not susceptible to most commonly used antibiotics. Most CA-MRSA causes skin and soft-tissue infections, but in those who are sick or have weakened immune systems, it can lead to invasive, sometimes fatal, infections.
At 48-hour to 72-hour follow-ups, children treated with both antibiotics showed similar rates of improvement — 94 percent in the cephalexin group improved and 97 percent in the clindamycin group improved. By one week, the infections were gone in 97 percent of patients receiving cephalexin and in 94 percent of those on clindamycin. Those younger than 1 year of age and those whose infections were accompanied by fever were more prone to complications and more likely to be hospitalized.
Co-authors on the study included Karen Carroll, M.D., Marie Diener-West, Ph.D., Tracy Ross, M.S., Joyce Ordun, M.S., C.R.N.P., Mitchell Goldstein, M.D., Gaurav Kulkarni, M.D., and J.B. Cantey, M.D., all of Hopkins.
The research was funded by a grant from the Thrasher Research Foundation and the General Clinical Research Center at Johns Hopkins.
Knowledge Gaps, Fears Common Among Parents of Children with Drug-Resistant Bacteria http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Fears-Common-Among-Parents-of-Children-with-Drug-Resistant-Bacteria.aspx
Community-Acquired MRSA Becoming More Common in Pediatric ICU Patients http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Community-Acquired-MRSA-Becoming-More-Common-in-Pediatric-ICU-Patients.aspx
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Research topics include “Child Poverty,” “Fatherhood & Parenting,” “Youth Development,” and “Health.” In each section, the research focus on that topic is explained in a brief introduction, followed by resources that include research briefs, executive summaries and full reports, fact sheets, and a publications archive of materials over three years old.
A feature that visitors shouldn’t miss is “What Works/LINKS,” which can be accessed via the left side menu. The data in this section is about “programs that work -or don’t- to enhance children’s development”. There are effectiveness charts, “Lifecourse Interventions that Work,” and a continually updated database on programs that work (or don’t).
Visitors who are “Program Providers” in policy, education, or the media will find the “Information for…” heading on the left side of the homepage useful for fulfilling their specific needs.