Boy, even when you’re not officially on an academic year, the summertime means schedules go all out of whack! I’ve fallen behind again, but will be adding some new posts soon. First, another quick round-up of news you may have missed or want to revisit for the first week in June.
A couple of studies on bullying are unfortunately unsurprising: bullied children are more likely to self-harm as teens, LGBT teens are frequently bullied, and bullied teens are more likely to contemplate suicide and abuse drugs and alcohol. However, speaking of substance abuse, a piece of good news is that all that hype about bath salts is likely overblown — it’s not as much the epidemic as the headlines would appear to make it.
I already blogged about the study finding that whooping cough rates were higher in New York counties with more religious exemptions, but another study looked at babies who came in sick around the time of their well visit: turns out skipping shots may not be a great idea because they’re likely to fall behind.
Good news for little lungs: hospitalizations for bronchiolitis are down for kids and allergy therapies are working for kids’ rhinoconjunctivitis. Bad news for little bodies: poisonings from prescription drugs are up for kids and teens (the latter are likely related to recreational use and/or suicide attempts).
A couple of pregnancy-related stories: a new blood test is pretty effective at identifying trisomy disorders 13 (Patau syndrome), 18 (Edwards syndrome) and 21 (Down syndrome). What the study doesn’t say is that deciding to get screened — and then deciding what (if anything) to do afterward — is rife with ethical and emotional personal dilemmas. A less charged pregnancy issue is gestational diabetes, which apparently is linked to overactive bladders.
Speaking of diabetes, diabetic teens have a higher risk of developing kidney and eyes problems. Diabetes, of course, is tied to obesity, which disproportionately affect minority children at least in part because of family behaviors. Drinking calories contributes to obesity too, and children apparently drink more sweetened beverages while watching TV.
And then a bunch of miscellany…
As the hot temperatures approach (or, in some regions, are already here), be sure you and your family are taking precautions to avoid heat stroke.
For women who have more severe PMS symptoms, be on the lookout for a higher risk of postpartum depression.
Any concerns that the “Back to Sleep” campaign — encouraging parents to put babies to sleep on their backs instead of their tummies to reduce SIDS risk — has affected babies’ rolling over milestones need not worry.
In case you were under a rock when it all went down (ha ha), Michael Douglas revealed that his throat cancer was caused by HPV, most likely transmitted through oral sex. HPV, of course, is the sexually transmitted disease for which there is now a safe and effective vaccine (be sure your sons and daughters get it!).
An enlightening op-ed by Dr. Paul Offit explores whether there might actually be harm in taking your vitamins.
And finally, an interesting essay that explores the question our parents would roll their eyes at: Has parenting gotten harder?