children

More Mental-Health Treatment Sought For Children

May 24, 2019
Woman addressing classroom full of children
Wikimedia Commons

Florida has an estimated 400,000 children who need behavioral-health services, but 55 percent of them don’t get any treatment, members of a health-care panel were told Thursday. 

Funding within this year’s budget could help thousands of children get health insurance.

Courtroom bench
Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court this week upheld a judge’s decision that would end a long-running legal battle about whether Florida’s Medicaid program properly provided services to “medically fragile” children. 

 

On Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced his plan for responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It includes $50 million in additional funding to expand mental health services for children and youth. The move comes as lawmakers consider the recommendations of a panel they created last year to study the statewide rise in minors being involuntarily examined under the Baker Act.

A few days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 16-year-old Aiden Edrich carried a bouquet of hydrangeas from Publix, still wrapped in plastic. He walked over to a makeshift memorial of teddy bears and crosses.

“For all the victims, all 17 victims," he said. "It's just to show our respect to the community." 

His parents brought him and his sister to the memorial just down the street from the high school.

Federal health officials say that, as they anticipated, the flu vaccine isn't very effective this year — but they say it has still prevented thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease. One bright point for parents of young kids: Children ages 6 months to 8 years responded significantly better to the vaccine than older Americans.

The current flu season is still getting worse, federal health officials said Friday. And it continues to take a toll on children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 16 flu deaths among children, bringing the nationwide total this season for youngsters to 53.

Editor's note, Jan. 17: Some identifying information has been removed from this report to guard the privacy of the family that is part of the probiotics test.

It's a typical hectic morning at Michele's house in Northern Virginia when she gets a knock on her front door.

"Hi, how are you?" she says as she greets Keisha Herbin Smith, a research assistant at Georgetown University. "Come on in."

Michele, 39, leads Herbin Smith into her kitchen.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 8, 2017
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

More than 4,000 babies were born addicted to opioids in Florida last year, an increase of over 1,000 percent from a decade ago.

In just over four decades, obesity levels in children and teenagers have risen dramatically worldwide, though that rise has been far from uniform. In a new study published online Tuesday, British researchers and the World Health Organization say those levels have plateaued lately in high-income countries, "albeit at high levels," while the rise in obesity rates has only accelerated in regions such as East Asia and Latin America.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Florida pediatricians will be able to test babies for more diseases under a new law signed by Governor Rick Scott.

Zika may have fallen from headlines, especially with everything going on in politics these days, but the threat remains.

And recommendations for pregnant women haven't changed: Pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant — should not travel to places where the Zika virus is circulating.

It's just too risky because Zika can cause birth defects.

But what about babies? Or kids? Is it safe to travel with them?

Despite the toxic ingredients commonly found in e-cigarettes and other vaping products, many adults don't think secondhand e-cigarette aerosol poses a risk to children, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About one-third of adults surveyed didn't know if secondhand aerosol caused harm to children, and 40 percent of the adults said this kind of exposure caused "little" or "some" harm to children.

Twenty percent of children who were in a car crash where someone died were not buckled in properly or were not wearing a seat belt at all, a study finds, as were 43 percent of children who died themselves.

And child fatality rates in deadly car crashes vary widely by state.

Kids with chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to health insurance changes, relying as they often do on specialists and medications that may not be covered if they switch plans. A recent study finds that these transitions can leave kids and their families financially vulnerable as well.

Exposure to lead as a child can affect an adult decades later, according to a study out Tuesday that suggests a link between early childhood lead exposure and a dip in a person's later cognitive ability and socioeconomic status.

Lead in the United States can come from lots of sources: old, peeling paint; contaminated soil; or water that's passed through lead pipes. Before policies were enacted to get rid of lead in gasoline, it could even come from particles in the fumes that leave car tailpipes.

"When I was taking classes, autism was this little paragraph in a book. not a chapter, not a whole book, it was a little paragraph." Debbie Keremes is sitting in her crowded office at the Autism Center at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital off Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola. She is the manager of the facility as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

Hundreds of volunteers are needed in Tampa on Friday to help package meals for people in Haiti.

There's new evidence that excessive screen time early in life can change the circuits in a growing brain.

Scientists disagree, though, about whether those changes are helpful, or just cause problems. Both views emerged during the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego this week.

The share of U.S. mothers who spank their young children or endorse physical discipline has declined significantly over the past two and a half decades, according to an analysis of four national surveys.

The findings, out Monday in the journal Pediatrics, came from an analysis of data from 1988 to 2011. Researcher found that 21 percent of median-income mothers of kindergarten-aged children endorsed physical discipline at the end of that period — down from 46 percent at the start.

Many medical studies involving children never end up being put to use because scientists frequently don't publish the results of their work, according to an analysis published online Thursday.

The findings raise both scientific and ethical issues regarding research on this vulnerable population.

sportzsafe.com

Dr. Dr. Gillian Hotz is the director of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center and the sports concussion program at the University of Miami. And now, she can add videogame developer to her resume.

This fall, Hotz is piloting an educational video game with youth football leagues across the country.

The game is called SportzSafe. And it’s designed to teach young players how to prevent, identify and address concussions.

Many babies born to mothers who are covered by Medicaid are automatically eligible for that health insurance coverage during their first year of life. In a handful of states, the same is true for babies born to women covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program.

According to a report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Florida's system for delivering Medicaid to children is among the worst in the nation. 

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

A Florida radiologist and his wife are facing child abuse charges after authorities say they routinely tied up a 12-year-old girl who lived at their home and confined her to a playhouse.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

  

Nationally, Florida tops the charts for drowning deaths for children under five.  That's why the Tampa Bay Rays and the YMCA partnered again this summer to teach children in the Tampa Bay area how to swim.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Florida is faring poorly on economic factors that influence child poverty, but key health indicators -- from low-birthweight babies to child health insurance rates and teens who abuse drugs and alcohol –  have improved, according to the latest Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

KidsAndCars.org

Around this time last year, five children in Florida had died after being forgotten in a vehicle. So far this year, there are no reports of such deaths in Florida, according to the child safety website KidsAndCars.org.

"I'm happy as can be that there haven't been any deaths in Florida, and we'd really like to keep it that way,” said Janette Fennell, founder of KidsAndCars.org.

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