childrens health

Kids stress over public acts of discrimination

In a sign of the times, new USC research shows that some kids stressed out over recent public acts of discrimination show increased behavioral problems. The study focused on Los Angeles-area teens from communities of color or families with limited education. Many of the youths reported concern that discrimination is a growing societal problem. The more worried the teens were, the worse their substance use, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms became, the study shows.…

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Green schoolyards offer physical and mental health benefits for children

A growing body of evidence supports the claim that access to safe, natural areas improves health across a wide variety of areas, including heart health, mental health, weight management, ADHD, and stress among children. A concept gaining momentum in this realm is green schoolyards. But what is a green schoolyard? A research abstract, “Green Schoolyards Support Healthy Bodies, Minds and Communities,” that explores the concept of a green schoolyard will be presented Saturday, Sept. 16…

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High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact on offspring behavior. The new study links an unhealthy diet during pregnancy to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression in children. “Given the high level of dietary fat consumption and maternal obesity in developed nations, these…

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Anxiety measure for children with autism proven reliable

A new method devised by a Drexel University professor to diagnose children on the spectrum for anxiety symptoms — which tend to be masked by symptoms of autism — was shown to be effective in a recent study. “Anxiety is considered an internalizing symptom, in that it is mostly felt by the person inside their bodies and minds and is not always obvious to others,” said Connor Kerns, PhD, an assistant research professor in the…

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Fact or fiction: Dispelling the myths and misconceptions of ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very common condition diagnosed mainly in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.4 million children between four and 17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. While many have heard of this condition, there are myths that surround the disorder and a certain stigma still exists. Joshua Cabrera, MD, clinical psychiatrist and assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of…

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Fewer indications of ADHD in children whose mothers took vitamin D during pregnancy

Children of mothers who took vitamin D during pregnancy with resultant high levels of the vitamin in the umbilical blood have fewer symptoms of ADHD at the age of 2½ years. These were the findings in a new study from the Odense Child Cohort just published in The Australia & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. “And for every 10 nmol/L increase in the vitamin D concentration in umbilical blood, the risk of a being among the…

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Web-based technology improves pediatric ADHD care and patient outcomes

As cases of ADHD continue to rise among U.S. children, pediatricians at busy community practices are getting a much-needed assist from a web-based technology to improve the quality of ADHD care and patient outcomes. According to a multi-institutional study published online July 26 in Pediatrics, a new web-based software program is helping reduce ADHD behavioral symptoms in children receiving care at community pediatric practices by coordinating care and ensuring patients get the most effective ADHD medications.…

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Youth sports hazing victims often in denial, research shows

The true incidence of hazing in youth sports is unknown because victims don’t report the mistreatment or fail to recognize it as hazing, according to a review of scientific literature on the subject by a team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers. One study revealed that of the 47 percent of student athletes who had been hazed, only 8 percent labeled the behavior as hazing. Another study found that college students perceived hazing as…

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Children with ADHD may benefit from following healthy behaviors, new study suggests

A new study shows that children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder follow fewer healthy lifestyle behaviors than non-ADHD youth, suggesting that they may benefit from improving lifestyle choices such as increasing water consumption, decreasing screen time and getting at least one hour of physical activity per day. The disorder is typically managed with prescriptions like Adderall or Ritalin, though many parents are worried about side effects from these medications, and are interested in alternative…

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Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise

The percentage of children with chronic health conditions is on the rise, and new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting shows this is especially true among children who live in or near poverty. Researchers presenting the study abstract, “National Trends in Prevalence and Co-morbid Chronic Conditions among Children with Asthma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” looked at data from the National Survey of Children’s Health data for 2003,…

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