Stories about: health headlines

Is Massachusetts a parenting paradise?

Terence S. Jones photography

Massachusetts may boast some of the country’s highest rents and property taxes, (not to mention a serious lack of public parking in Boston), but if you’re raising a family you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to live.

According to the 2012 Kids Count Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Massachusetts is the second-best state in America for child well-being. The national study took into account health, education, community and economic factors when compiling the rankings.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a recent Parenting Magazine poll that gave Boston top honors in its annual “Best Cities for Families” list. The recognition from Parenting hit extra close to home for all of us here at Boston Children’s Hospital, because our hospital was specifically cited as one of the main reasons Boston is a parenting Eden:

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Health headlines: ATVs, the birthrate and the economy

Other stories we’ve been reading:

A local family pushes for stricter ATV regulations.

WCVB-TV Channel 5 speaks with Lois Lee, MD, MPH, about ATV-related injuries in kids and a bill that would regulate ATV use by anyone under the age of 14.

mother with newbornBirthrates fell in 2008, and the recession is being blamed. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics showed that the national birth rate dropped 2 percent in 2008 from figures for ’07 and some experts think the economy may have played a part.

Two insurers to resume sales with old rates. The Boston Globe reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Tufts Health Plan said they will, as ordered, resume making new policies available for individuals and small businesses.

Hospitals are taking caution when giving blood thinner to infants. After a recent infant death in a hospital in Nebraska involving the blood thinner Heparin, many hospitals are changing procedure for how the drug is administered to infants, and how its effects are monitored.

texting and drivingChildren’s Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, and Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program will lead the efforts of a $15 million grant recently announced from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support research and development of a new health care information technology infrastructure.

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Health headlines: Sports injuries, lazy ear and lice

Sports injuryOther stories we’ve been reading:

Be sure to keep liquid detergent capsules out of your kids’ reach. Scientists find out why Vitamin D is important. [Read how children are at risk of a Vitamin D deficiency.]There’s a jump in kids’ sports injuries due to overuse. [Read about how girls’ soccer injuries are preventable.]

Twenty percent of U.S. babies don’t get the hepatitis B vaccine. A Canadian vaccine study proves the idea of “herd community.” [Read about this year’s vaccine schedule.] A new drug could help protect against treatment-resistant lice.

Parents can help prevent bullying by modeling kindness and empathy. [Find out how to address bullying.] Girls start bullying at a younger age.

Special needs kids are often uninsured. Can a behavioral optometrist help kids with “issues?”

A consumer groups gives food advertisers an “F” on kids. Taxing soda and pizza could help consumers lose five pounds a year. Schools are serving less sugary drinks. [Read about artificially sweetened beverages.]

A stomach bug can raise a child’s risk of having irritable bowel syndrome. Temporary hearing impairment leads to lazy ear.

Peanut allergies are linked to worse asthma in kids. A family finds success using a pediatric obesity program.

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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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