Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents Becoming More Common

 

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes i...

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes in chronic pain.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schematic_Examples_of_CNS_Structural_Changes_in_chronic_pain.jpg Borsook D, Moulton EA, Schmidt KF, Becerra LR.

 

 

From the 9 December 2011 Medical News Today article

Children who suffer from persistent or recurring chronic pain may miss school, withdraw from social activities, and are at risk of developing internalizing symptoms such as anxiety, in response to their pain. In the first comprehensive review of chronic pain in children and adolescents in 20 years, a group of researchers found that more children now are suffering from chronic pain and that girls suffer more frequently from chronic pain than boys.

Their findings indicate that most types of pain are more prevalent in girls than in boys, but the factors that influence this gender difference are not entirely clear. Pain prevalence rates tend to increase with age. Psychosocial variables impacting pain prevalence included anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and low socioeconomic status. Headache was found to be the most common studied pain type in youth, with an estimated prevalence rate of 23%. Other types of pain, ie, abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, and pain combinations, were less frequently studied than headache, and prevalence rates were variable because of differences in reporting. However, the overall results indicated that these pain types are highly prevalent in children and adolescents, with median prevalence rates ranging from 11% to 38%. “These rates are of great concern, but what is even more concerning is that research suggests that the prevalence rates of childhood pain have increased over the last several decades,” stated Dr. King.

Researchers also found that many studies did not meet quality criteria and there was great variability in prevalence rates across studies due to time periods over which pain was reported……

December 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Can – A National Child Obesity Prevention Program

We Can, Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition
We Can!
 
 is a national education program designed to give parents and communities ways to help kids stay at a healthy weight, can help your family avoid excess pounds. From the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Get tips on choosing low-calorie snacks, getting active, and cooking fun, healthy meals.

The home page has links to

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public), Nutrition, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Has Benefits And Risks For Kids

Social Media Has Benefits And Risks For Kids

From the March 28 2011 Health News Today item

While social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube bring benefits to children and teenagers, such as helping them develop communication and technical skills, they can also expose them to danger and risk, such as cyberbullying and depression, according to a new report written by American pediatricians.

The report, which appears in the April issue of Pediatrics, [free full text] the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), says doctors are in an ideal position to encourage children to use social media in a healthy way, and to help parents and families understand and engage with their use of social media while also monitoring for potential problems….

…The report does much to stress the benefits of social media, such as developing communication skills, facilitating social interaction and improving technical competence. Other benefits include helping young people find opportunities to link up with community activity like volunteering, and helping them attain a sense of identity…
…A Common Sense Media Poll in 2009 found that more than half of American teenagers log onto their favorite social media site at least once a day, while 22% do so at least ten times a day.

75% of teenagers now own cellphones, with 54% of them using them for texting, 24% for instant messaging, and 25% for social media access.

The growth of social media has been so rapid and their presence in children’s everyday life is now so pervasive, that:

“For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” report co-author Dr Gwenn O’Keeffe told the press.

“Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world – and comfortably parent in that world,” urged O’Keeffe.

O’Keeffe and colleagues point out that a significant part of young people’s social and emotional development now occurs while they are using the Internet or on their cellphones.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kids Healthcast: Pediatric Podcasts For Time Deprived Parents From IU School Of Medicine

Kids Healthcast: Pediatric Podcasts For Time Deprived Parents From IU School Of Medicine

(via Health News from Medical News Today) March 28, 2011 2:00:00 PM EDT Share

This month marks the first anniversary of Kids Healthcast, innovative monthly podcasts from Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children pediatricians providing easy-to-understand, evidence-based health information. Targeted to busy parents, the lay language programs are available without charge anytime in the iTunes store or here. The show can be heard on an iPhone, iPad, MP-3 player or computer…

 

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The International Child & Youth Care Network

CYC-NET

The International Child & Youth Care Network (CYC-NET) is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation in South Africa. It aims to “promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty.” However parents and others will undoubtedly find information at this Web site to be useful.

Many items at the home page are updated at least weekly as Daily News, Today, Press Release, and Link.

The home page has two main gateways to information through the tabs

  • Learning Zone with free online courses and training/educational podcasts
  • Network with site statistics, as recent top queries and the average number of daily visitors. On January 26,2011 the Recent top search queries were  bullied to death, homeless children statistics, bowlby, montesorri, anorexia nervosa, principles of management, punishment for children, bipolar disorder, peer influence, positive reinforcement for children, effects of corporal punishment, heroin stories.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Immune System Quiz and other KidsHealth Information Just for Kids

The Immune System Quiz uses upbeat music and wild cheering to motivate kids to progress through 10 questions.

The quiz is provided by KidsHealth, part of The Nemours Foundation‘s Center for Children’s Health Media.
See the About page for more information about this site whose content is reviewed by doctors before publication.

The Movies and Games section includes links to not only games and movies but also experiments, quizzes, and experiments.
These links are also found within Kids Health Web pages addressing specific  topics.

Here is a sampling on the sections for kids ( there are also sections for teens and for parents)

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables and Fruits

From the American Heart Association Web page

In a new study, children who ate the most vegetables and fruits had significantly healthier arteries as adults than children who ate the fewest.  Here are 10 tips to encourage your children to eat more vegetables and fruits.

1.   Make fruit and vegetable shopping fun: Visit your local green market and/or grocery store with your kids, and show them how to select ripe fruits and fresh vegetables. This is also a good opportunity to explain which fruits and vegetables are available by season and how some come from countries with different climates.

2.   Involve kids in meal prep: Find a healthy dish your kids enjoy and invite them to help you prepare it. Younger kids can help with measuring, crumbling, holding and handing some of the ingredients to you. Older kids can help by setting the table. Make sure you praise them for their help, so they feel proud of what they’ve done.

3.   Be a role model: If you’re eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables — and enjoying them — your child may want to taste. If you aren’t eating junk food or keeping it in your home, your kids won’t be eating junk food at home either.

4.   Create fun snacks: Schedule snack times — most kids like routines. Healthy between-meal snacks are a great opportunity to offer fruits and vegetables. Kids like to pick up foods, so give them finger foods they can handle. Cut up a fruit and arrange it on an attractive plate. Make a smoothie or freeze a smoothie in ice cube trays. Create a smiley face from cut-up vegetables and serve with a small portion of low-fat salad dressing, hummus or plain low-fat yogurt. A positive experience with food is important. Never force your child to eat something, or use food as a punishment or reward.

5.   Give kids choices — within limits: Too many choices can overwhelm a small child. It’s too open ended to ask, “What would you like for lunch?” It may start a mealtime meltdown. Instead, offer them limited healthy choices, such as choosing between a banana or strawberries with their cereal, or carrots or broccoli with dinner.

6.   Eat together as a family: If your schedules permit, family dining is a great time to help your kids develop healthy attitudes about food and the social aspects of eating with others.  Make sure you are eating vegetables in front of your children. Even if they aren’t eating certain vegetables yet, they will model your behavior.

7.   Expect pushback: As your kids are exposed to other families’ eating habits, they may start to reject some of your healthy offerings. Without making a disparaging remark about their friends’ diet, let your children know that fruits and vegetables come first in your family.

8.   Grow it: Start from the ground up — create a kitchen garden with your child and let them plant tomatoes and herbs, such as basil and oregano in window boxes. If you have space for a garden, help them cultivate their own plot and choose plants that grow quickly, such as beans, cherry tomatoes, snow peas and radishes. Provide child-size gardening tools appropriate to their age.

9.   Covert operations: You may have tried everything in this list and more, yet your child’s lips remain zipped when offered a fruit or vegetable. Try sneaking grated or pureed carrots or zucchini into pasta or pizza sauces. Casseroles are also a good place to hide pureed vegetables. You can also add fruits and vegetables to foods they already enjoy, such as pancakes with blueberries, carrot muffins or fruit slices added to cereal. On occasions when you serve dessert, include diced fruit as an option.

10. Be patient: Changes in your child’s food preferences will happen slowly. They may prefer sweet fruits, such as strawberries, apples and bananas, before they attempt vegetables. Eventually, your child may start trying the new vegetable. Many kids need to see and taste a new food a dozen times before they know whether they truly like it. Try putting a small amount of the new food — one or two broccoli florets — on their plate every day for two weeks; but don’t draw attention to it.

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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