Childhood

Attention-deficit diagnosis depends on kids’ birthdays, study shows

Kids who are young for their grade level are unusually likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — a worrying sign that, for many kids, plain old immaturity has been misdiagnosed as a clinical disorder.

In two separate studies — both appearing in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Health …

Drugging children: an under-recognized form of abuse?

The misuse of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and other types of drugs and alcohol on children should be considered a form of child abuse on par with neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse, concludes Dr. Shan Yin in a study published this week in the Journal of Pediatrics. Yin, of the University of Colorado and …

Analyzing baby sounds to detect autism early?

A new technique that identifies early differences in vocal development between children with an autism spectrum disorder or language delay and those developing on a normal trajectory could give pediatricians and other caregivers a tool for earlier detection of autism, and as a result facilitate earlier intervention. To distinguish the …

Can Your Neck Tell You If You’re Overweight?

As helpful as the body mass index is for telling you if you’re overweight or obese, doctors agree that it’s not perfect. Because it measures height and weight, researchers have noted that doesn’t take into account muscle, which can push the BMI of a fit but built individual into the above normal range.

Have we created too many rules for pregnancy?

Don’t eat cold cuts, swordfish, or “soft” cheese. Try to limit your exposure to stress and don’t drink much caffeine. And, of course, don’t drink alcohol. The list of things that women need to avoid during pregnancy seems to grow …

Assisted reproduction increases congenital defect risk

In new research presented today at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics in Sweden, French geneticist Dr. Géraldine Viot of Maternité Port Royal hospital in Paris, highlights the elevated risk for congenital defects for children born using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and stresses the need for …

Parental controls: getting children to watch less TV

To get your kids to watch less television, a study suggests a simple solution for parents: set firm rules and stick with them.

In a study of the screen-gazing habits of 7,415 9-to-15-year-olds — which included watching TV and playing video and computer games — researchers found that children who strongly agreed with the statement …

Childhood obesity: moms’ work schedule a factor?

New research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology and highlighted by Reuters suggests that the increasing prevalence of moms holding down full-time jobs may be a contributing factor in the childhood obesity epidemic. In an effort to determine what factors may be driving childhood obesity, researchers from University College …

Routine bedtimes linked to improved child development

Young children who have consistent, early bedtimes may perform better academically than peers who get less routine rest, according to new research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in San Antonio. The analysis, conducted by investigators at the independent, non-profit research …

In India, payment program reduces infant deaths

A novel program in India that pays impoverished women to give birth in medical institutions may be reducing infant mortality and the risk of stillbirth, according to new research published last week in the British medical journal The Lancet.

In this latest study, which was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers …

Possible criminal investigation for Tylenol maker

Things just seem to be getting worse for Johnson & Johnson and one of its branches, McNeil Consumer Healthcare. After a routine inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a McNeil plant in Pennsylvania found serious lapses in quality control — including bacterial contamination and lack of proper evaluation of a …

Pediatricians approve swimming lessons for babies

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) loosened its position on swimming lessons for toddlers younger than 4 years old.

Until now, the national pediatricians group has recommended against swimming lessons for very young children on the grounds that there was no evidence that early aquatic lessons reduced the risk of drowning or …

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