Boosting brain power

As a recent 60 Minutes piece on Boosting Brain Power reveals, modern teenagers often feel pressure to do it all, and better than anyone else: make straight A’s, ace the SATs, excel at sports or music or art and still have time for fun and friends. Which is why healthy teens across the country are turning to stimulants like Adderal, Ritalin and other medications traditionally prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In this article, Children’s Hospital Boston experts weigh in on the disturbing trend.

Here’s a quick overview of some other recent headlines that have the pediatric world talking.

A panel of ex-military brass released a report that called childhood obesity a threat to national security because so many potential military recruits are too overweight to qualify for military enrollment. The study called for school lunches to be more nutritious to help combat the rise of childhood obesity.

New smokeless tobacco products— that according to some look, taste and are packaged like candy— have some Children’s staffers and researchers at Harvard smoking mad. A study from the researchers says the candy-like nicotine products pose a potential poisoning threat to very young kids, especially if they accidently ingest them after mistaking them for candy.

Despite guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which states that minor medical issues like a cold don’t warrant sending a child home, a new survey shows many day cares have parents take their kids home for small, non-contagious symptoms.

A new report notes that tanning, both artificial and natural, may affect the same parts of the brain usually associated with drug dependence.  The reported stated that as many as a third of young people who use artificial tanning devices could be addicted to the habit. 

For some disabled parents, overcoming challenges associated with their disability is a bonding point between child and parent and has helped them in instilling empathetic values in their kids.