Thirty years ago, no one would have expected babies born extremely prematurely—between 23 and 25 weeks’ gestation, considered the edge of viability—to survive long enough to worry about what the future might hold for them as third graders.
But times change. Treatments like surfactants and prenatal steroids, along with improvements in ventilators and nutrition, have often enabled children born in that “gray zone” to survive.
Thus, doctors and parents now can start to ask questions about the long-term development of extremely premature babies. How will he do—physically, cognitively, intellectually—in the long run? What impairments might she face, and how severe will they be? …
More than four million babies are born in the United States every year. Of those, 13 percent will be born prematurely. For these infants, their time spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is critical to the future of their well-being.
Children born early in the year are more likely to be athletes. Obese children are more likely to die young. There’s a link between children with a super sweet tooth and alcoholism. Can you really tell if you’re child will be obese by age 2?