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What Helps Your Heart More, Losing Fat or Gaining Muscle?

FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Shedding excess weight does much more for the long-term heart health of young people than building muscle, new research suggests.

It's not that gaining muscle while young proved to be a cardiovascular problem. It's just that losing fat offered bigger heart benefits.

"We absolutely still encourage exercise," said study le...

Long-Haul COVID in Kids Typically Ends Within 3 Months: Study

In kids and teens, symptoms of long COVID rarely last more than 12 weeks, a new international study reports.

The researchers also found that exposure to the highly contagious Delta variant did not result in more serious disease in children compared to earlier variants, and that most cases of COVID-19 were asymptomatic or mild.

Despite those reassurances, the study did include a trou...

Child Obesity Rose Sharply During Pandemic

Childhood obesity was a worrisome issue before the pandemic, and now it's alarmingly worse, new data shows.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found a "profound increase in weight gain for kids" that is "substantial and alarming," Dr. Alyson Goodman, one of the study's authors, told the Associated Press.

For the study, researchers reviewed the ...

Drug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell Anemia

FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Treating sickle cell anemia with the drug hydroxyurea may also reverse related heart abnormalities, a new study suggests.

Heart issues are common among people with sickle cell disease. Among them are enlargement of the heart and an impaired ability to relax heart muscles, a condition called diastolic dysfunction that can lead t...

COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Could Come This Fall: Fauci

Many parents hoping for COVID-19 vaccines for their children younger than 12 may get their wish this fall, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The vaccines could be authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this fall for children ages 5 to 11, Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.

"If you look at the studies that we at the (National Institutes of Health) are doing in collaborati...

Child Cancers Are Rare, But Here Are Signs to Look For

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

It's a Win-Win When a Child With Autism Gets a Shelter Cat

Parents of a child with autism might wonder if a pet cat would be a good fit for the family. Now, research suggests both children with autism and cats benefit when a feline joins the household.

Gretchen Carlisle, a research scientist at the Missouri University Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, in Columbia, Mo., and her colleagues studied the pet dynamic from both sides.

...

Kids' Temporary Tattoos Can Harm Skin Function

Parents: You may think temporary tattoos are harmless for children. But kids who decorate themselves with these transfer tattoos may be disrupting the skin's protective barrier, Spanish researchers report.

They looked at the effects on skin of permanent tattoos and temporary transfers. The surprising takeaway: Temporary transfer tattoos do more damage.

More moisture was lost in ski...

Getting Kids Eyeglasses Boosts School Grades: Study

New glasses are helping kids in Baltimore see more success in school.

A three-year clinical study found that students who got new eyeglasses through a school-based program had higher reading and math test scores.

"The glasses offered the biggest benefit to the very kids who needed it the most -- the ones who were really struggling in school," said Dr. Megan Collins, a pediatric opht...

Few Kids Get Dental Fluoride Treatments, Though Insurance Will Pay

Very few privately insured young children get recommended dental fluoride treatments at health wellness visits, even though insurance typically covers them, a new study finds.

"Medical providers are not required to do this; it's like a mammogram," said lead author Kimberley Geissler, an associate professor of health policy and management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "It's r...

Eczema Can Take Toll on Child's Mental Health

Eczema doesn't just irritate kids' skin. The often disfiguring condition may also be tied to depression, anxiety and sleep difficulties, new research warns.

A study of more than 11,000 British children and teens found that those with severe eczema were twice as likely to become clinically depressed as eczema-free kids.

"Eczema is an itchy red skin disease," said study author D...

No Lasting Damage to Lungs After COVID in Young Patients: Study

Young people appear to have normal lung function after recovering from COVID-19, new studies find.

In one, Swedish researchers found that even asthma patients had no significant impairment in lung function.

In the other, German researchers found unimpaired lung function after kids and teens had a COVID-19 infection -- unless their infection was severe.

"The COVID-19 pandemic h...

COVID Cases Rise Sharply Among Kids as School Year Starts

As the school year gets underway across the United States, new data shows that coronavirus cases among children are climbing.

Since the pandemic began, children have represented 14.8% of total cases, but for the week ending Aug. 26, that percentage jumped to 22.4%, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

While child COVID-19 cases declined in early summer, they have "increa...

Why Are Sports-Linked Concussions Rising Among Girls?

Sports-related head injuries in male athletes tend to grab all of the headlines, but new research shows that female athletes are also increasingly at risk.

From 2000 to 2019, there was a threefold jump in sports-linked concussions seen among high school-aged girls. These injuries were most likely to occur during soccer, basketball, cheerleading, softball and volleyball, but they also happ...

Battle Over School Mask Mandates Heats Up

The debate over masks in schools intensified on Monday, as the U.S. Education Department launched a civil rights investigation into mask mandate bans in five states while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made good on his promise to slash funds to school districts that have defied his ban.

Why a federal investigation? Such bans may restrict access to classrooms for disabled students who are at hi...

Pandemic Had Many Young Athletes Reconsidering Their Sport

The pause in youth sports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic wound up shaking some budding athletes to their core, a new U.S. survey shows.

More than 1 in 10 youth athletes ended up reconsidering their sports goals or aspirations as the pandemic closed stadiums and gyms. That included one-quarter of athletes in their later teens, researchers found.

Some felt that the pandemic cost them...

Kids Piled on Extra Pounds During Pandemic

New research confirms the pandemic has not been good for the waistlines of children.

During lockdowns, American kids gained more weight than before the pandemic, and the number who became obese also increased, researchers report.

"This increased weight gain occurred in all youth between 5 and 17 years, but was particularly evident in children ages 5 to 11 -- an excess weight gain of...

Unvaccinated Teacher Infected Half of Students in Classroom: CDC Study

MONDAY, Aug. 30, 2021 (Healthday News) -- A case study from California may fuel further debate about vaccine mandates in schools as students return to classrooms.

It occurred in Marin County, Calif., in May and involved an unvaccinated elementary school teacher infected with the highly contagious Delta variant who then infected half of the students in a classroom, triggering an outbreak t...

Leaving Work to Care for Special Needs Child Takes Big Financial Toll

Having a special needs child can mean medical emergencies and doctors' visits where parents have to take time off from work, and now a new study shows that can bring a bit financial hit to a family.

Researchers analyzed U.S. government data from more than 14,000 families in that situation and found they lost an average of $18,000 a year in household income in 2016-2017.

"We found a ...

Your Young Child Is Sick: Is it COVID or RSV?

A common bug called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulating among American kids during what's normally its off-season may cause concern if parents don't know how to tell it apart from COVID-19, experts say.

Getting RSV during the summer is unusual, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an alert about a rise in RSV cases in Southern states.

"We...

Toppling TVs, Furniture Sending Many Young Children to ERs

It can happen in an instant. A young child climbs a heavy piece of furniture, and it topples over on the toddler.

New research suggests that's not as rare as you might think: Hundreds of thousands of children have been treated in U.S. emergency rooms for such injuries in recent decades.

"Some families may not think that heavy furniture or TVs can tip over, but they do, and when this...

As Classes Resume, Some Health Tips From the CDC

Students face a number of challenges as they head back to school this fall -- from potential exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses to injuries on the playing field.

"This return to school season is like no other," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Schools must be prepared to protect children from COVID-19, while also addressin...

One Benefit of Online Learning: Better Sleep for Kids

Despite all of the criticism of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research suggests there was a silver lining: more shut-eye for middle and high school students.

"Without the required transportation time or time required to get ready for school in the morning, online students were able to wake later, and thus get more sleep," said lead author Lisa Meltzer. She is a pediatr...

FDA Warns Against 'Off-Label' Use of Pfizer Vaccine in Younger Children

"Off-label" use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in children younger than 12 is "not appropriate," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday. Off-label use refers to an approved medicine being used in ways or in patients it's not FDA-approved for.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also "strongly discourages" such use.

On Monday, the vaccine was fully approved for u...

Teachers' Unions, Doctors Agree: Vaccines, Masks Crucial for Return-to-School

Schools are reopening as the Delta variant surges across America, a scary prospect for educators and parents alike.

But experts representing teachers and doctors say reopening must happen for the sake of students, and a combo of vaccination and safety measures will help keep kids and staff safe.

Kids have suffered during the pandemic, and they need in-person schooling this year...

Parents' Poll Finds Strong Support for Vaccination of Students, Teachers

As the school year starts across much of the United States amid a surge in coronavirus cases fueled by the Delta variant, a new survey shows most parents support vaccines for students and staff alike.

Sixty-two percent of nearly 1,700 parents with at least one child aged 7 to 18 said they would feel safer if schools had higher vaccination rates, according to the University of Michigan Hea...

In Florida County Where 3 Teachers Died, School Board Member Pleads for Safeguards

Like it or not, Broward County, Fla., has become a flashpoint for the national debate over reopening public schools in the middle of a COVID-19 surge driven by the highly infectious Delta variant.

Coronavirus infections claimed the lives of three Broward educators within 24 hours of each other, just as schools are set to reopen next week in the south Florida county.

The deaths occur...

Common Pesticide to Be Banned Over Links to  Problems in Children

The Biden Administration said Wednesday that a widely used pesticide will be banned because it's been linked to neurological damage in children.

The new rule to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food will take effect in six months, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

"Today [the] EPA is taking an overdue step to protect public health," EPA head Michael Regan said in an agency ...

4 Out of 10 Parents Have No Plans to Get Child Vaccinated for School: Poll

Almost 90% of U.S. parents plan to send their kids back to the classroom this fall, but fewer than 60% plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine for those who are old enough, a new poll reveals.

Anxiety is also high among many parents, who wonder just how safe in-person learning will be as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads nationwide and the pandemic grinds on.

"To feel safe sending ...

Only 1 in 10 Kids With ADHD Will Outgrow It

Struggling with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a child is heart-breaking enough, but now new research confirms what many have long suspected: These patients will often continue to be plagued by ADHD symptoms as adults.

Only about one in 10 kids with the disorder are likely to have a full and lasting remission of their symptoms, according to new data gleaned from tracki...

RSV Respiratory Illnesses Rising for Babies, Experts Warn

While the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States has been dominating the news, an old viral enemy has been making a quieter comeback.

In late spring, U.S. pediatric hospitals began reporting an unexpected rise in serious infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Unlike COVID-19, RSV is a long-established foe that normally emerges in late fall, peaks in the ...

Babies, Toddlers Spread COVID Faster in the Home Than Teens Do: Study

Infected babies and toddlers are more likely to spread COVID-19 to others in their homes than teens are, a new study indicates.

It also found that very young children are less likely than teens to actually bring the virus into their homes, The New York Times reported.

Researchers from Public Health Ontario in Canada analyzed data on positive coronavirus tests and COVID-19 c...

Four Teachers in Same Florida County Die of COVID-19 Within 24 Hours

In just 24 hours, four teachers in Broward County, Fla., died from COVID-19.

At least three of the teachers were unvaccinated, CBS News reported.

"Within a 24-hour span, we had an assistant teacher pass away, a teacher at her school pass away, an elementary teacher pass away and another teacher at a high school," Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco told CBS News...

Biden Administration to Greatly Expand Food Stamp Program

The largest permanent increase in the history of the United States' food stamp program and changes to its nutrition standards will be announced Monday.

Supporters say the changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program that benefits 42 million Americans will better reflect how people eat and will help improve nutrition, reduce hunger and lead to better health, ...

Get Your Kids on a School-Ready Sleep Schedule

After a year of learning online in their pajamas at home, many kids may struggle to wake up early for class as schools reopen this fall, an expert says.

"I think the biggest concern is that the virtual environment of last year led to some unstructured schedules since it did not need a full morning routine that requires waking up early, getting dressed, preparing lunches and transport to s...

Largest U.S. Teachers' Union Supports Mandatory COVID Vaccination

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for teachers now has the support of the United States' largest teachers' union.

"It is clear that the vaccination of those eligible is one of the most effective ways to keep schools safe," Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, said Thursday in a statement, The New York Times reported.

She suggested that teachers who a...

Moderna COVID Vaccine Safe, Effective in Teens: Study

With COVID case counts surging as the school year begins, new research showing that the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective for teens should reassure parents who are on the fence about the shots.

"Large trials in adults and smaller trials in adolescents show that this vaccine is effective and safe, and outside of these trials, hundreds of millions of people have received the COVID-19 va...

COVID Vaccines Now Mandatory for California Teachers, School Staff

California on Wednesday became the first state to require teachers and other school staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or else have to undergo weekly tests.

The announcement, made by Gov. Gavin Newsom, comes...

New Clues to What Triggers Dangerous Syndrome in Kids With COVID

New research offers insight into a rare but dangerous inflammatory disease that can occur in children after COVID-19 infection, researchers report.

More than 2,600 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) have been reported in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's characterized by fever, pain and inflammation of multiple organs, inclu...

Kids of Heavy Drinkers Face Multiple Threats to Health

Death, injuries, abuse and mental health disorders are among the many harms faced by children whose parents are heavy drinkers, Danish researchers say.

"Within the last 10 years, there has been an expansion of research on consequences that extend beyond the drinker," wrote lead author Julie Brummer, a doctoral student in psychology and behavioral sciences at Aarhus University, Denmark, an...

U.S. Kids Are Eating More 'Ultraprocessed' Foods

Frozen burgers, pizza pockets and toaster strudel. Energy drinks and sugary sodas. Fruit leather and potato chips. Cookies and cereal bars. Fish sticks and chicken strips.

These sorts of quick-pick manufactured foods are considered "ultraprocessed," and dietitians believe they could be at the root of America's obesity epidemic.

A new study has found that two-thirds of the calories c...

Pandemic Has Depression, Anxiety Rates Among Youth Climbing Worldwide

If you think the pandemic hasn't taken a toll on the mental health of young people, ponder these two facts from a new review: one in four are suffering from depression, while one in five are struggling with anxiety.

"Being socially isolated, kept away from their friends, their school routines and extracurricular activities during the pandemic has proven to be difficult on youth," said lea...

Easy Steps to Get Your Child Ready for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccination is the best way parents can protect the health of kids 12 and older during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

AAP offers a checklist to prepare older kids and teens for the shot.

To begin, tell their health care provider you're planning to have your child vaccinated against COVID. Ask questions and outline any concerns.

Your child ...

Keeping Classrooms Safe for Kids With Asthma, Allergies

Parents of kids with asthma and allergies should prepare a plan to keep them safe as schools reopen, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says.

Along with guarding against COVID-19, it's important to protect against cold, flu and other viruses that pose a risk to children with asthma. That includes wearing masks, washing hands and using hand sanitizer whenever po...

Is the Delta Variant Hitting Kids Harder?

The Delta variant is proving just as infectious for children as for everyone else, with pediatric cases surging in some parts of the United States, pediatricians and children's hospitals say.

However, it's not clear yet whether the variant is any harsher on kids compared to earlier COVID-19 strains, leading to more hospitalizations and brushes with death rather than just the sniffles.

...

White House Outlines Effort to Vaccinate Young as Schools Start to Reopen

Worried about low vaccination rates among the young as the new school year looms, the White House on Thursday unveiled a new initiative to get shots into the arms of more students.

The push will include enlisting pediatricians to make COVID-19 vaccination part of back-to-school sports physicals and encouraging schools to host vaccination clinics.

The initiative was announced by...

'Long COVID' Symptoms Rare in Kids: Study

As doctors see more kids with COVID-19, some positive news has emerged: Only about 4% of children and teens have long-lasting COVID symptoms, a British study finds.

The study confirms that COVID-19 tends to be a mild illness in children and that they usually recover quickly, the researchers reported Aug. 3 in

  • Robert Preidt
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  • August 5, 2021
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  • AHA News: Protecting Children's Mental Health as They Head Back to School

    At-home schooling was no vacation for Francis Huang and her 11-year-old daughter, Cheyenne Kuo.

    The COVID-19 pandemic thrust remote learning upon their family in spring 2020. With it came the stresses now familiar to millions of families. "I think the whole year, we just tried to survive," said Huang, who lives in suburban Dallas.

    In August, they finally leave all that behind, when ...

    Parents' Pot Smoking Means More Colds, Flu for Kids

    Kids who are around people who use marijuana may be at risk for more colds and respiratory infections due to secondhand smoke, according to a new study.

    In a survey of 1,500 parents and caregivers, those who regularly smoked or vaped marijuana reported more respiratory viruses among their children in the preceding year, compared to parents who did not smoke tobacco or marijuana.

    "Th...

    Troubling Rise Seen in Both COVID, RSV Cases Among Children

    A rise in cases of a common childhood disease called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is unfolding just as coronavirus infections are increasing among children.

    RSV is a highly contagious, flu-like illness that causes symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever, and is more likely to affect children and older adults, The New York Times reported.

    There's been ...

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