Stories about: foster homes

Finding the missing links: adoptive kids and health history

Foster parents may not have access to early health information which can make it difficult to foresee potential health issues

A recent study by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics reveals surprising news about adopted children’s health: They’re three times more likely to develop physical and mental health disabilities than kids raised by their biological parents. Could childhood adoption really portend serious health problems?

Lisa Albers Prock, MD, MPH, director of the Adoption Program at Children’s Hospital Boston says that the findings have less to do with adoption itself and more to do with unknown family health history and missing information regarding a child’s early infancy. Not having that early health information can make it difficult to foresee potential health issues and genetic predispositions that might cause a condition later.

Albers Prock is quick to point out that just because adoptive parents may lack their child’s family health history, it doesn’t mean there should be a difference in the way they care for their child. Like any other child, she recommends simple attentiveness to a child’s well-being. “Adoption is not a problem, or a diagnosis,” says Albers Prock. “But for some, there are additional factors to consider.”

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Health Headlines: Industrial chemicals as dietary supplements, growth hormone therapy and school lunch safety

Other stories we’ve been reading:

Adolescents taking a certain anti-psychotic drugs are at an increased risk for diabetes. An industrial chemical is being sold as a dietary supplement for autism treatment. Diabetes drugs are helping dieting teens lose weight. [Read Minnie’s story about living with Type 2 diabetes.]

Loving foster homes improves children’s attention and impulsivity. Girls with ADHD are more likely to develop other mental health risks.

Obese boys are more likely to begin puberty later in life. A Girl Scouts’ survey found that the fashion industry pressures girls to be thin. [Read about unrealistic media images and how one teen feels about them.] Boys are treated with growth hormone therapy much more often than girls.

Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are much more stressed out. [Read how dangerous secondhand smoke is to children.] Black and Hispanic infants are more likely to have HIV. Expectant mothers can receive pregnancy tips through texting.

Girls who bike to school are in better shape than those who walk or get a ride. The USDA is tightening requirements to assure school lunch safety.[Read about our nation’s fight for kids’ food.]  Overloaded backpacks set your child up for spine strain. [Read about National School Backpack Awareness Day.]

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