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MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two medical groups have declared war on sodas and energy drinks by calling for taxes on what has become the leading source of sugar in the diets of children and teens.

In a new joint policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) also recommended a host of other public policies, all aimed a...

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity can lead to physical, social and emotional struggles for kids, so parents need to help their children maintain a healthy weight, experts say.

"Children with obesity are more likely than their classmates to be teased or bullied and to suffer from low self-esteem, social isolation and depression," said Dr. Alka Sood, a family medicine...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stimulant drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) carry a small risk of a psychotic episode, but it appears to vary depending on which medication young people use, a new study finds.

Soon after receiving a stimulant prescription, about one in 660 teens and young adults developed psychotic symptoms, such as hall...

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- After-school activities help develop social skills and talent, but a new report finds that many kids are priced out of participating.

In fact, for 1 in 6 middle and high school students, costs are the prime reason for not taking part in these activities. And the poorest students are two times less likely to participate, compared with their b...

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency departments are seeing a surge in the number of kids and teens seeking help for mental health problems, new research warns.

Between 2011 and 2015 alone, there was a 28 percent jump in psychiatric visits among Americans between the ages of 6 and 24.

"The trends were not a surprise," said study author Luther Kalb, given...

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Drowning can be swift and silent, making it a leading cause of accidental death among children.

To help parents protect their kids in and around the water, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its water safety recommendations.

Drowning is the third-leading cause of accidental injury-related death among 5- to 19-year-...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young Americans may be more vulnerable to depression, distress and suicidal thoughts or attempts than their parents' generation, and social media might be fueling that troubling trend.

So claims a review of a decade's worth of data on roughly 200,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17, and 400,000 young adults over 18.

Investigat...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's good news and bad news from a new study of children visiting U.S. emergency departments for head injuries: The rate of these potentially serious events has fallen among boys, but risen for girls.

In recent years, the danger of concussion from contact sports -- most notably football -- has garnered much media attention. So the author...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Candy- and fruit-flavored electronic cigarettes hold far more allure for teens and young adults than older adults, a new study shows.

The sharp rise in e-cigarette use by American youth has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Surgeon General to declare youth e-cigarette use an epidemic.

On Wednesday, FDA Commission...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Responding to the steep, recent rise in the use of addictive e-cigarettes among kids, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it would go ahead with efforts to restrict sales of some types of flavored vaping products to minors.

The new restrictions were first announced in November. Under the rules, most forms of flavo...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Making sure electronic cigarettes don't get into the hands of youngsters is the key to beating tobacco use and nicotine addiction in the United States, a new American Heart Association policy statement says.

The statement authors said the tobacco industry's aggressive targeting of youngsters has led to a sharp rise in the use of e-cigaret...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When the clocks spring forward an hour this Sunday, it will throw everyone off.

But the time change will affect children with mental health issues the most, experts warn.

"Sleep is a more complicated issue for patients with a mental health disorder," said Dr. Robert Kowatch. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and sleep medicin...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hookah users inhale high levels of toxic chemicals that endanger the heart and blood vessels.

That's the stark warning in a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement.

A single half-hour session of smoking tobacco in a hookah typically exposes the user to more carbon monoxide than a single cigarette. Even short-term ex...

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday it is turning up the heat on retailers that continue to illegally sell tobacco to teens.

First, the agency said it is asking Walgreen Co. for a meeting to "discuss whether there is a corporate-wide issue related to their stores' track record of violating the law by illegally selling tobacco pro...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and young adults haven't been spared from the opioid addiction crisis sweeping through America.

And new research shows that when a teen is prescribed an opioid painkiller after minor surgery, his or her odds for long-term abuse nearly doubles if someone living at home already has an opioid use problem.

The study of more than...

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The actual number of childhood cancer cases worldwide is nearly double the recorded number, a chilling new study finds.

"Our model suggests that nearly one in two children with cancer are never diagnosed and may die untreated," said study author Zachary Ward. He is a researcher at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Publ...

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity and severe obesity have been added to the list of conditions that put children and teens at increased risk for early heart disease.

So says a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

"Parents need to know that some medical conditions raise the chances of premature heart disease, but we are learning...

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Giving blood can be a way to help your community, but teenaged girls face special risks when donating, a new study shows.

Specifically, they face a higher chance of developing iron deficiency and anemia, so they require additional measures to protect them, the researchers said.

Blood donation is largely a safe procedure, but the bloo...

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Crippling brain injury from football can start early, even among high school players, a new study suggests.

And its effects can last over time, even without additional head impacts, researchers report.

Football players can develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after playing high school football, although higher rates of CTE a...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As excited as you are that your teen's going to college, it's normal to have mixed emotions, such as anxiety, sadness and possibly depression. It's even normal to feel envious that his or her life is just beginning while yours is on the wane.

For most parents, this rush of emotions will pass, but both generations might have to work to ease...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While the vast majority of American parents support legal medical marijuana, they want pot dispensaries banned near schools or day care centers, according to a new national survey.

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital poll was conducted by the University of Michigan.

Not only did three-quarters of parents support legalizing marijuana f...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Marijuana legalization has been sweeping across the United States, raising concerns that more teens will start toking as pot smoking gains in legitimacy.

A new study suggests that's not the case. Researchers actually found fewer teen marijuana users in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws.

States with medical marijuana laws ...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pot may be particularly dangerous for the teenaged brain, a new review suggests.

Not only were those who smoked marijuana more likely to suffer depression and suicidal thoughts, they were also more than three times as likely to attempt suicide between the ages of 18 and 32.

What isn't clear from the review is why. Does marijuana (...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Social media is now a key part of American youngsters' lives, so parents need to provide guidance and rules to help them enjoy its benefits and protect them from potential dangers, experts say.

Social media can help kids connect and find others who share their interests and concerns, SAY specialists at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles H...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- E-cigarettes have obliterated past progress in reducing tobacco product use among teenagers, U.S. health officials said Monday.

About 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of a tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017, according to results from the annual National Youth Tobacco Survey.

All told, m...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're worried that your child may suffer from a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you have plenty of company.

About one in every six American kids has at least one mental health disorder, new research shows. But the study delivered even more troubling news -- only half ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Time spent on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook probably isn't driving teenagers to depression, a new study contends.

In fact, Canadian researchers found the relationship worked in the opposite direction -- teenage girls who were already depressed tended to spend more time on social media, to try to feel better.

These findings run count...

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to analyzing the effects of watching reality TV, well, it's complicated. While some see these shows as a brief escape from daily life, they can have negative effects on some viewers, including impressionable teens.

Researchers asked 1,100 girls aged 11 to 17 about their viewing habits. On the one hand, watching reality TV was ti...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In states where marijuana is legal, teens smoking pot and then getting behind the wheel of a car is common, a new study finds.

"There's a general public zeitgeist that marijuana is a pretty safe drug," said study co-author Darin Erickson, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health.

"In actuality...

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Too little sleep. Not enough exercise. Far too much "screen time."

That is the unhealthy lifestyle of nearly all U.S. high school students, new research finds.

The study, of almost 60,000 teenagers nationwide, found that only 5 percent were meeting experts' recommendations on three critical health habits: sleep; exercise; and time sp...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in four American teens misperceives their weight, and that can trigger a bad chain of events, researchers say.

"American adolescents who misperceive their weight are significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy dietary and food habits, and are more likely to have sedentary lifestyles," said corresponding study author Jagdish Khub...

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The kind of teenager least interested in smoking appears to be the type most likely to try a cigarette after they experiment with vaping, a new study indicates.

Overall, teens are four times more prone to trying traditional tobacco cigarettes if they've ever used an e-cigarette, the researchers said.

But "low-risk" teens are nearly ni...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- E-cigarette use is surging among American teenagers, with millions of kids flirting with nicotine addiction by regularly vaping.

Unfortunately, these kids are going to face a rocky road if they try to kick their nicotine habit, experts say.

There are no tested or approved methods for quitting e-cigarettes, said Linda Richter, direc...

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fish oil did not improve asthma control in overweight/obese young people with uncontrolled disease, a new study shows.

It included 98 participants, aged 12 to 25, who had diagnosed asthma but poor asthma control, despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid.

Three-quarters of the participants took four grams of fish oil a day for si...

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The synthetic drug alpha-PVP -- or Flakka -- is sometimes called the "zombie" or "cannibal" drug, and about 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors have tried it, according to a new study.

"Flakka is infamous for being tied to rashes of bizarre behavior, which has led the media to refer to it as the 'zombie' or 'cannibal' drug," said the stud...

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The concern over vaping has continued to build as e-cigarettes have become more popular, especially with kids and teens.

Vaping -- inhaling liquid nicotine vapors -- was first marketed as a way to help adults quit smoking. But younger people, including tweens, quickly seized on it as a way around conventional cigarettes, some attracted by th...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- HPV vaccination rates for younger American adolescents are alarmingly low, researchers say.

"While we have seen gains in HPV vaccination coverage, we are still falling behind at the younger ages," said study lead author Robert Bednarczyk. He'sassistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Human ...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The "choking game" -- and other clearly ill-advised and dangerous internet challenges -- leave many parents wondering what drives teens to take the bait and participate.

Now, a new study suggests that an underlying psychological disorder may be one reason why some kids jump at online dares such as the "Bird Box" challenge, where people walk ar...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Strong limits on marketing and sales are needed to control and prevent teens' use of electronic cigarettes, a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement says.

Teens who use e-cigarettes are more apt to use traditional cigarettes eventually, studies show.

The surge in vaping among American teens threatens to turn back fiv...

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Youth suicide rates are higher in U.S. states with greater rates of homes containing guns, a new study finds.

"This study demonstrates that the strongest single predictor of a state's youth suicide rate is the prevalence of household gun ownership in that state," said study co-author Michael Siegel. He is a professor of community health scienc...

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While one in five kids may have a learning disability that requires one-on-one intervention, others may simply need to develop good study habits to improve their grades.

But good study habits don't always come easily or naturally. You can help your 'tween or teen develop them with a few easy steps, and save both of you hours of stress and ar...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- School shootings have become much deadlier in recent decades, a new government report shows.

And the body counts have risen even more sharply in the past few years, the researchers noted.

Between 2016 and 2018, eight multiple-victim shootings claimed the lives of 31 kids at primary, middle and high schools in the United States, acco...

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Parents often worry that violent movies can trigger violence in their kids, but a new study suggests PG-13-rated movies won't turn your kids into criminals.

Researchers found that as PG-13 movies became more violent between 1985 and 2015, overall rates of murder and violence actually fell.

"It doesn't appear that PG-13-rated movies ...

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all TV food ads aimed at Hispanic and black children in the United States are for unhealthy products, a new report claims.

In 2017, black teens saw more than twice as many ads for unhealthy food products as white teens, researchers found.

"Food companies have introduced healthier products and established corporate responsibil...

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Today's teens are better at using birth control when they first become sexually active, but many unexpected pregnancies still occur, new research finds.

Teens who didn't use birth control during their first month of sexual activity faced nearly a fourfold increase in the risk of an unwanted pregnancy within three months, the study found.

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking just a couple of joints may cause significant changes in a teenager's brain structure, a new study has found.

Brain scans show that some adolescents who've tried marijuana just a couple of times exhibit significant increases in the volume of their gray matter.

These changes were associated with increased risk of anxiety, and ...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having confidential talks with a health care provider is important for teens and young adults, but they rarely get the chance to do so, a new study finds.

"Discussing confidentiality and having private time with a provider are critical components of comprehensive clinical preventive services for young people, however about half of young people...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When children are having suicidal thoughts, their parents may often be in the dark, a new study shows.

The study included more than 5,000 kids, aged 11 to 17, and one parent for each child. Researchers found that among the children, 8 percent said they had contemplated suicide at some time. But only half of their parents were aware of it.

...

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millennials struggling with depression aren't being helped by their use of Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, a new study reports.

College students who meet the criteria for major depressive disorder tend to use social media more often and are more heavily addicted to social media, researchers found.

They're also more likely to use s...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Add another danger that e-cigarettes pose to teenagers: A new study finds secondhand exposure to vaping may raise the chances of asthma attacks in adolescents with the respiratory condition.

Middle school and high school students with asthma were 27 percent more likely to have suffered an asthma attack if they'd been exposed to vapor from so...

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