Author: Annie Cardi

Health headlines: August 21

Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:

  • Vice President Joe Biden announced that nearly $1.2 billion in grants will go towards helping hospitals and doctors utilize electronic health records. The grants, funded by the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, will be available on October 1.
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Friends with video games: When playdates involve age-inappropriate activities

Michael RichMedia expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, answers your questions about media use. Last week, he gave some great suggestions for kid-friendly films.

And now, here’s this week’s Ask the Mediatrician query:

Q: My son is entering 3rd grade and is an only child. When he has playdates at his friends’ homes, sometimes the moms allow video games above my son’s age level, usually because my son’s friends have older siblings. It makes me uncomfortable, but I’ve noticed that a lot of parents don’t appreciate it when I ask that they not play any video games during the playdate—it’s viewed as trying to control what happens in their home, or as some judgment upon them for allowing the younger child to play age-inappropriate games. I don’t want to tell my son he can never go to their houses, so do you have any advice?  I usually try to have kids over to my house so that it’s not an issue, but at some point, the other parents want my son to come to their home.
Problems with Playdates in Evanston, IL

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Health headlines: August 19

Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:

  • School officials are preparing for swine flu, with many schools planning to offer in-school vaccinations, in possibly “the most widespread school vaccinations since the days of polio.” Where will your children be vaccinated?
  • On Friday, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino will hold a health summit with city, school, health and business leaders to prepare the city for swine flu.
  • The nation’s largest autism advocacy group says there’s no link between thimerosal, a mercury preservative used in certain vaccines, and autism.
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For very young, cochlear implants can make a huge impact

Discovering that your child is deaf can be overwhelming—how will his language skills develop? How do you communicate? One increasingly common option is a cochlear implant. Between an external speech processor (roughly the size of a hearing aid) and an internal receiver (surgically implanted in a child’s inner ear), a cochlear implant can provide a child with the sensation of hearing. With 97 percent of deaf children born to hearing parents, this surgery can be life changing for the whole family.

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