Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

K-12 Science and Health Education (Also, good ideas to keep kids busy this summer!)

K-12 Science and Health Education
Working with teachers and scientific experts to provide FREE reliable resources to help introduce, reinforce, and supplement education programs.

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…

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June 23, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Educational Resources (High School/Early College( | , , | Leave a comment

Doctors call embedding a severe type of self-harm

From a May 10, 2011 Reuters Health News article by Kerry Grens

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In a new study this week, doctors describe a form of self-injury among teenagers called self-embedding, which involves inserting objects into the skin or muscle.

The researchers say embedding is on the spectrum of self-harming behaviors, but a much more severe form that appears to be linked to thoughts of suicide and major psychiatric disorders.

“There’s clearly a more severe intent to hurt themselves than cutting,” said Dr. William Shiels, a radiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and one of the authors of the study.

“Inserting a 16 cm paperclip – not just to do that on one arm, but both arms – the intent that’s required to cause that much self harm is significant,” he said.

Self-injury, which is often in the form or cutting or burning, is a fairly common behavior, with estimates ranging between 4 and 30 percent of youth who have hurt themselves in some way.

The pain involved in self-harm is thought to provide a sense of psychological relief, and is generally not considered part of a suicide attempt.

Click here to read the rest of the article

  • Cutting (Teen Health/Nemours Foundation)
    Article written for teens with information and advice
  • Self-harm videos a worrying trend (healthzone.ca)
  • Cutting: Deliberate Self-Harm Syndrome (Medpedia)
  • A new study on self-injury behavior encourages quick and targeted intervention (eurekalert.org)
  • How can we tackle the rise in self-harm? (Irish Times, May 2011)

    “The solution, she says, is a multiple-intervention approach similar to the very successful German model, which has reduced self-harm and suicide in Nuremberg by 24 per cent over two years and has now been rolled out across that country.

    The Nuremberg Alliance Against Depression was a two year pilot intervention programme performed at four levels: training of family doctors and support through different methods; a public relations depression awareness campaign; cooperation with community facilitators (teachers, priests, local media, etc.); and support for self-help activities as well as for high-risk groups. The programme has been extended throughout Germany and in other European countries through the European Alliance Against Depression.”

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, 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

Sexually active teens need confidential health care, study finds

Sexually active teens need confidential health care, study finds

From the March 24 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011) — After reviewing existing research regarding the common practices of health care providers who see adolescent patients across the country, Rebecca Allen, MD, MPH, a clinician and researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and her colleague, Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH, an adolescent medicine specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, asserted that the nation needs to offer more confidential care for teenagers who are sexually active.

This includes access to effective contraception, noted the doctors in the paper “Adolescent Sexuality and the Use of Contraception,” which was published in a recent issue of the professional journal SRM: Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause.***

“With almost half of teens in high school being sexually active, effective contraception screening and counseling is a critical component of adolescent health visits,” explained Dr. Allen, who is affiliated with Women & Infants’ Contraceptive Consult Clinic and is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“Given the high rate of unintended adolescent pregnancies in the United States, effective adolescent contraception continues to be an elusive goal.”

Forty-six percent of American teens aged 15 to 19 have had sex at least once, and 20% have had sex by the age of 15. Although 83% of females and 91% of males report using contraception, approximately 750,000 teens aged 15 to 19 become pregnant each year. This rate is 2 to 4 times higher than the birth rates among adolescents in such developed countries as Great Britain, Sweden and France where more adolescents use contraception.

“Counseling adolescents about using contraception and ensuring access to contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is critical,” Dr. Allen said.

The article includes tips for promoting contraceptive success in adolescents, including the use of the “Quick Start” method, which allows females to start hormonal contraceptives the same day as the doctor’s visit regardless of the day of their menstrual cycle. Dr. Allen also stated that because adolescents might have more difficulty taking daily pills consistently, providers should discuss weekly or monthly methods, IUDs and implants…….

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NIAMS Kids Pages on Muscles, Joints, Skin and Bones

NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Neuromuscular and Skin Diseases)  Kids Pages on Muscles, Joints, Skin and Bones

These Kids pages are divided into 4 sections. All have basic information, tips on diet & exercise, definitions, and a quiz.
Links to Websites for further information as well as the NIAMS twitter site.

Junior high school level.

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , | 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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