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The Heat Is On: Staying Safe When Temperatures Soar


Midsummer heat and high humidity aren't just uncomfortable -- they're a combo that can cause serious illness and even death.

"Whenever you walk or do outdoor activity, take a friend with you who can help you if you run into trouble," Dr. Eleanor Dunham advised. She's an emergency medicine doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Babies and sen...

Survey Finds U.S. Parents Split on COVID Vaccination for Kids Under 12

As a new school year approaches, U.S. parents are nearly evenly split on whether they'll vaccinate their young kids when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for their age group, a new survey finds.

"It's important that parents and providers don't wait for full COVID vaccine approval to begin discussions about vaccination," said Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Nati...

Kids Still Dying From Accidental Exposure to Fentanyl Pain Patches

Accidental exposure to fentanyl pain patches is putting children's lives at risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain reliever; so powerful that fentanyl patches are typically only prescribed to patients who require round-the-clock, long-term pain relief, such as cancer patients. They're generally replaced every three days.

Kids can overdo...

Regulators Pressure AirBnB, Vrbo After Another Child Dies in Elevator Accident

The death of another child between a residential elevator's inner and outer doors had prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to call on Airbnb and other vacation rental ...

Big Road Trip This Weekend? Keep Baby Safe

If you're hitting the road with your infant this summer, you need to ensure your child's safety and comfort, a pediatric expert says.

First, check your car safety seat to make sure it's installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. It needs to be rear-facing and at the correct angle to prevent your infant's head from slumping and potentially blocking the airway, Dr. Dina DiMaggi...

1.5 Million Kids Worldwide Lost Parent or Other Caregiver to COVID-19

In yet another finding that illustrates the tragic toll the pandemic has taken on families around the world, a new study shows that 1.5 million children have lost a parent, grandparent or other caregiver to COVID-19.

"For every two COVID-19 deaths worldwide, one child is left behind to face the death of a parent or caregiver. By April 30, 2021, these 1.5 million children had become the tr...

Pediatricians' Group: All School Kids, Staff Should Continue to Wear Masks

All U.S. students, teachers and staff should wear masks when in school, regardless of their vaccination status, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said Monday.

That guidance runs counter to recommendations released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month: Those guidelines said teachers and students who are vaccinated can enter schools without masks,...

Make Summer Camp Safe for Your Child With Asthma, Allergies

With many summer camps open again this year, parents of kids with asthma and allergies need to make sure the one they choose is safe for their youngsters.

While federal health officials have issued guidelines to protect campers and staff from COVID-19, "camps still need to make sure measures are in place in case a camper has an allergic reaction or an asthma flare," said Dr. Luz Fonacier,...

Drowning Deaths for U.S. Kids Have Fallen 38% Since 1999

There's some good news as millions of American children head back to the nations' lakes, beaches and pools: Newly released numbers for 1999 through 2019 show steady progress in reducing the number of young lives lost to drowning.

"Over the past two decades, the rate of unintentional drowning deaths among children aged 0 to 17 years declined 38%, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0 in 2019...

Half of U.S. Teens Plan to Get COVID Shot, But Can Numbers Go Higher?

Vaccine advocate Ethan Lindenberger, now 20, had to wait until age 18 to get the vaccinations that he knew he needed to protect his health.

"I knew growing up my mom was very anti-vaccine. Because of the legal restrictions, I really wasn't trying to fight her on getting me vaccinated," Lindenberger recalled. "She believed vaccines could kill me, and so it was not going to be an easy time....

Summer Drowning Deaths Can Happen Quickly: Know the Facts

The best way to prevent drowning in children and teens is to guard against the danger on multiple fronts, a leading pediatricians' group says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its "Prevention of Drowning" report online this week, which notes that about 70% of drowning deaths for U.S. children aged 15 and younger occur between May and August.

The report includes the ...

Backyard Fireworks on the 4th?  Rethink It to Keep Your Child Safe

If you're planning on shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges you to find other ways to celebrate the holiday.

"We know that sales of fireworks increased in 2020 as did injuries, so parents and caregivers need to be vigilant this 4th of July, and leave any fireworks to the professionals," Dr. James Dodington, a member of the executive comm...

Another Fireworks Hazard: Loss of Hearing

Add hearing loss to the many dangers posed by fireworks.

More than 40 million Americans have some type of hearing loss, and about 10 million of those cases can be attributed to noise, according to the American Academy of Audiology.

Noise from fireworks can reach 155 decibels — louder than a jet plane taking off (150 decibels from 82 feet away) or a jackhammer (about 100 decibels)...

Fireworks Deaths Spiked in Pandemic; Stay Safe This 4th

The COVID-19 pandemic likely played a role in the 50% increase in deaths from fireworks in the United States last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says.

Many public fireworks displays were canceled last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That led many people to light rockets, sparklers and firecrackers in their own backyards, the agency said.

The result:...

Summer Playgrounds Come With Fun and Hazards

As the pandemic eases and children flock to playgrounds this summer, parents need to make sure their kids are safe, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says.

"After a challenging school year and months of being socially distanced and kept apart from their friends, children are eager to get outside and play," said AAOS spokesperson Dr. Rachel Goldstein. She is a pediatric o...

Why Do So Many Kids Never Get Swimming Lessons?

Cost and lack of time are among the reasons parents don't enroll their kids in swimming lessons, a new survey finds.

"Swimming is one of the most important life-saving skills that children and adults should master. Whether for fun or for exercise, swimming will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and it's never too early to start learning," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chair of medici...

Sharing Bed With Baby: Dangerous, and It Won't Boost 'Attachment,' Study Shows

Whether to share your bed with your infant at night has been the subject of heated debate: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against it, recommending room-sharing but not bed-sharing, while others promote the practice as part of an idea called attachment parenting.

Now, a new study finds bed-sharing did nothing to boost mother-infant bonding.

"I wanted to study this ...

Big Rise in U.S. Teens Identifying As Gay, Bisexual

More teens in the United States are reporting their sexual identity as gay, lesbian or bisexual, nationwide surveys show.

Between 2015 and 2019, the percentage of 15- to 17-year-olds who said they identified as "non-heterosexual" rose from 8.3% to 11.7%, according to nationwide surveys by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Although our analyses demonstrated that t...

Gun Suicides Are Rising Steeply Among American Youth

A rising number of young Americans, including children, are taking their own lives using firearms, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, gun suicides showed an "alarming" increase among Americans aged 5 to 24. And while those suicides remain rare among children, the rate among kids under 15 quadrupled during the study period.

It's well known that youth sui...

Babies Produce Strong Immune Response to Ward Off COVID-19: Study

British researchers report that babies have a strong immune response to the virus that causes COVID-19, based on a new, small study.

For the research, the investigators assessed the immune systems of four infants under 3 months of age who had recovered from COVID, and compared them with adults who also had recovered from the disease.

Compared to adults, the babies produced relative...

There Are Many Good Reasons for Kids to Get the COVID Vaccine

Parents need to know that COVID-19 shots are safe and effective for kids age 12 and older, an expert says.

While the Pfizer vaccine is approved in the United States for emergency use in this age group, parents may need reassurance, said Dr. Jessica Ericson, an infectious disease pediatrician at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey.

"The vaccines went through rigorous stu...

Child Drownings in U.S. Pools, Spas Are on the Rise

Pool and spa drowning deaths among U.S. children are spiking upwards, and restrictions related to the COVID pandemic may also mean that fewer kids are getting the swimming lessons that might keep them safe, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns.

On average, there were about 400 reported pool/spa drowning deaths among children younger than age 15 each year from 2016 through 2018, ac...

Girl's Tragedy Has Parents Calling for Changes to Car Design

Jay-Fay Fraser was in the back seat of her father's sedan, heading home from feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving 2016, when another car rear-ended them on the highway.

The driver's seat collapsed backward from the sudden force of the rear impact, slamming into Jay-Fay's head, her mother, Michelle Fraser, recounted.

"She lurched forward, the seat collapsed backward, and it basically...

Summer Water Fun Can Bring Drowning Risks: Stay Safe

As you seek to cool down in a pool or at the beach this summer, always keep water safety for yourself and others in mind, an expert urges.

"With children, I always recommend starting swim lessons at an early age and having parents put on floaties or life vests on their children when near any water. Parents should also never let their kids swim alone without supervision and ensure they're ...

Summer Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors

As you head into the great outdoors this summer, keep safety in mind, an expert says.

Drowning is one of summer's risks. It only takes a few seconds and can happen without an obvious struggle, according to Dr. Seth Hawkins, a wilderness medicine expert and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Adults must always closely superv...

Debunking Myths That Have Some Parents Resisting COVID Vaccines for Teens

Many health experts hailed the recent approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 to 15, but some parents have been hesitant to take their kids in for a shot.

"Parents naturally worry more about their children than they do about themselves -- I think that's parenting defined," said Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefior...

Another Study Finds Routine Vaccines Safe for Kids, Adults

If more proof of the safety of vaccines is needed, a new study delivers fresh evidence that they carry few harms for children, adults and pregnant women.

"This in-depth analysis found no evidence of increased risk of serious adverse events following vaccines, apart from a few - previously known - associations," said Susanne Hempel, director of the Southern California Evidence Review Cente...

More Pot-Linked Poisoning Cases as Edibles' Popularity Booms

Newfangled marijuana products -- edibles, concentrates, vapes -- are driving an overall increase in pot-related calls to U.S. poison control centers, a new study shows.

There were more than 11,100 calls related to marijuana use in 2019, up from about 8,200 in 2017, researchers said.

More and more of those calls are related to manufactured products that contain distilled amounts of T...

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Highly Effective in Kids 12 and Older

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine fully protects children aged 12 to 17, the company announced Tuesday.

In a clinical trial that included more than 3,700 young volunteers, there were no cases of symptomatic COVID-19 infection in the two-thirds of participants who received both doses of the vaccine, which translates into an efficacy rate of 100%.

That's the same rate that was reported re...

Biggest Reason Teens Injure Their Spines: Not Wearing Seat Belts

Two-thirds of spinal fractures suffered by American children and teens occur in car crashes when they aren't wearing seat belts, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 34,500 U.S. patients younger than 18 who suffered spinal fractures between 2009 and 2014. Teens aged 15 to 17 accounted for about 63% of the spinal fractures, two-thirds of which occurred in motor vehicle...

Bike-Linked Head Injuries Plummet for U.S. Kids, But Not Adults

There's good news and bad on rates of head injuries among America's bike-riding public: Rates for these injuries have sharply declined among kids but barely budged among the growing number of adult bike riders.

Between 2009 and 2018, increasing helmet use, construction of dedicated bike lanes in cities and other safety interventions have greatly reduced bike-related traumatic brain injur...

How Summer Camps Can Shield Your Kids from Allergies, Asthma & COVID

As kids get ready for summer camp, parents might be fretting about exposure to COVID-19, but a doctors' group says they also need to make sure their campers will be protected from allergy and asthma triggers.

"The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has issued guidelines for keeping campers and staff protected from COVID-19. At the same time, camps still need to make sure measur...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills Following Child's Death, Numerous Injuries

Peloton said Wednesday it is recalling its Tread and Tread+ exercise machines, just weeks after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned that one child's death and dozens of injuries have been linked to the treadmills.

In a company statement, Peloton CEO John Foley acknowledged the company had been wrong to initially fight the CPSC's April 17 request to recall the product...

5 Steps to Protect Young Athletes' Eyes

As children begin to return to their favorite sports, parents need to ensure that their youngsters use protective eyewear, a leading group of eye specialists says.

Nearly 30,000 people suffer sports-related eye injuries every year in the United States, but 90% of emergency room visits for such injuries could be prevented by protective eyewear, according to the American Academy of Ophthalm...

Being Bullied Often Leads Teens to Thoughts of Violence

Bullied and mistreated teens are much more likely to fantasize about hurting or killing others, a new study warns.

"One way to think about fantasies is as our brain rehearsing future scenarios," said lead author Manuel Eisner, director of the University of Cambridge Violence Research Center in the U.K.

His research included more than 1,400 young people in Zurich, Switzerland, who we...

A Plus From the Pandemic: Fewer Kids Using E-Cigarettes

There appears to be a silver lining to forced school and business closures during early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study: Fewer kids used e-cigarettes.

Compared to the previous quarter, vaping rates fell among 15- to 20-year-olds while widespread stay-at-home orders were in place from March 14 to June 29, 2020, according to an online survey of more than 5,750

CPSC Warns Against Using Peloton Treadmill After Child's Death

Users with small children and pets should stop using Peloton Tread+ exercise machines immediately, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The warning comes after one child died and dozens of others have been sucked underneath the home treadmill. One family pet also was injured, CPSC said.

Less than a month ago, Peloton reported a child's death by a Peloton ...

Epidural in Delivery Not Linked to Autism: Study

In news that should reassure many pregnant women, having an epidural during childbirth won't increase the child's risk of autism, researchers report.

The new findings refute a widely criticized 2020 study that said epidurals were associated with a 37% higher risk of autism.

Experts said that study didn't account for numerous socioeconomic, genetic and medical risk factors for autism...

Newborns Won't Get COVID Through Infected Mom's Breast Milk: Study

A new study offers more reassurance that mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2 can safely breastfeed their babies.

The study of 55 infants born to moms with COVID-19 found that none contracted the virus -- even though most started getting breast milk in the hospital.

Researchers said the findings support existing advice from public health authorities. Last year, the World Health Organiza...

Most Parents OK About School Rules for Kids' Return to Sports: Poll

Though playing youth sports comes with new pandemic-era precautions and some experts are linking these activities to community spread of COVID-19, many kids are still participating, according to a parent survey.

In the survey, about three-quarters of parents said their child's teams mostly did the right thing while resuming sports during COVID. Thirteen percent said officials were too str...

When Will America's Kids Get Their COVID Vaccines?

Kids will be kids, and that's exactly why Holly McDade plans to get her three young children the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.

"Little kids can't help but touch their mouths and their noses and touch other things," said McDade, 32, of Strasburg, Va. "They just don't think about it. It's not where their brains are at yet."

McDade isn't concerned so much ab...

What Will Summer Camp Look Like This Year?

Splashing in a pool. Hiking through fresh green forests. Making macaroni art. Stitching together a leather wallet. Knocking a kickball around.

It's nearly time for summer camp, and the experience is expected to be especially important for America's children because of the pandemic.

"We really feel like summer camps are a huge opportunity for kids to disconnect from screens that they...

1 in 4 Parents Won't Vaccinate Their Kids Against COVID-19: Poll

More than one-quarter of U.S. parents don't plan to vaccinate their kids for COVID-19, and roughly as many oppose school-required coronavirus shots, a new study finds.

This opposition was more common among moms than dads, and was especially common among white mothers who identified as Republican/Republican-leaning, the researchers said.

"Women tend to serve as family health managers...

Most Parents Skip Child Car Seats When Using Uber, Lyft

Many U.S. parents don't use child safety seats when they take ride-share vehicles like Uber or Lyft with their young children, a new study finds.

"Our results are concerning, as ride-share services are increasingly popular," said senior study author Dr. Michelle Macy, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

"Car accidents rem...

OCD May Be More Common in New Moms Than Thought

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is more common among new mothers than previously thought, and it's often driven by worries about things that may happen to their newborns, a new study finds.

Many new moms may keep the issue hidden, the Canadian researchers said.

"When mothers have these kinds of thoughts they might think, 'There's something wrong with me and I can't tell anyone b...

Even a Little Coffee in Pregnancy Could Impact Newborn's Weight: Study

As little as half a cup of coffee each day might be enough to stunt the growth and birth weight of a baby in the womb, a new study claims.

Women who consumed an average 50 milligrams of caffeine per day -- equivalent to half a cup of coffee -- had infants that were 2.3 ounces lighter than babies born to women who didn't drink any caffeine, researchers report.

That amount is a fracti...

Another Study Finds COVID Doesn't Spread in Schools With Proper Safeguards

COVID-19 transmission is rare in schools that follow precautions such as mandatory masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing, a new study finds.

And that's true even among close school contacts of people who test positive for the new coronavirus, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Schools can operate safely during a pandemic ...

Some Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Face High Risk of Severe COVID-19

Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes significantly increases a child's risk of COVID-19 complications and death, researchers warn.

The risk of complications is 10 times higher in youngsters with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes than in those with well-controlled diabetes, according to a study presented Saturday at a virtual meeting of The Endocrine Society.

"This study shows keeping d...

Kids' ER Visits for Swallowed Magnets Soared After U.S. Lifted Sales Ban

Calls to U.S. poison centers about incidents involving children and high-powered magnets surged more than 400% after a court overturned a ban on the magnets, a new study finds.

"Regulations on these products were effective, and the dramatic increase in the number of high-powered magnet related injuries since the ban was lifted - even compared to pre-ban numbers - is alarming," said Dr. Le...

Could Diphtheria Become Resistant to Vaccines?

Diphtheria could once again become a major global health problem due to vaccine and antibiotic resistance, researchers warn.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious -- and potentially deadly -- infection that can affect the nose and throat, as well as the skin.

It is caused primarily by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which make a toxin, or poison, that ca...