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FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Being active is good for most everyone, and new studies now show it can help kids with autism manage common behavioral issues.

"Exercise goes beyond health-related benefits and increased levels of fitness for those with autism," said David Geslak, a pioneer in using exercise to help kids with autism. "Research shows that exercise can increase foc...

Are you the type to linger over a meal, or do you tend to eat quickly without giving it much thought?

New research confirms that you're better off going the slow route, because fast eaters tend to consume more and be more vulnerable to gaining weight and becoming obese. And it uncovers a new wrinkle: If you grew up with siblings, where you probably had to compete for whatever was on the t...

U.S. children commonly wait hours in the emergency room for help with a mental health crisis -- a problem that has worsened over time, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2005 and 2015, prolonged ER stays became ever more common for children and teenagers in need of mental health help. By 2015, nearly one-quarter of kids were in the ER for at least six hours -- up from 16% a...

More than 40,000 U.S. kids have lost a parent to COVID-19 and the long-term impacts could be severe, experts warn.

Americans under age 65 account for about 1 in 5 COVID deaths. Of those, as many as 15% involve someone in their 40s and 3% someone in their 40s.

"In these younger age groups, substantial numbers of people have children, for whom the loss of a parent is a potentially dev...

School-age children with autism may be faring better than commonly thought, with most "doing well" in at least some aspects of development, a new study suggests.

The study, of 272 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), found that nearly 80% were doing well in at least one of five developmental areas by age 10. Nearly one-quarter were doing well in four of those areas.

The res...

Infants born by cesarean section initially have less diverse gut bacteria than those delivered vaginally, but they catch up within a few years, new research reveals.

The researchers also found that it takes a long time for these bacteria colonies — known as the gut microbiome — to mature.

"Our findings show that the gut microbiota is a dynamic organ, and future studies will have...

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...

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...

Combining stem cell transplants with cutting-edge immunotherapy prevents leukemia relapses in young people and improves their chances of survival, new research suggests.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.

This study included 50 patients (ages: 4 to 30) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who received CAR T-cell therapy. The treatment genetically modifies...

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...

Here's yet another reason to keep your teenager from spending countless hours online and on popular social media: New research suggests it increases cyberbullying, particularly among teen boys.

"There are some people who engage in cyberbullying online because of the anonymity and the fact that there's no retaliation," said lead investigator Amanda Giordano. She is an associate professor...

In January, the coronavirus swept through Brian and Maria Padla's family of seven in Philadelphia, starting with their oldest daughter, 16, and then infecting Brian, Maria, and their four younger children.

The virus seemingly came and went without much fanfare for the family. During their two-week-long quarantine, the kids spent a day or two with runny noses and low-grade fevers. Brian an...

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...

It's critical for parents to maintain their children's vision checkups during the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert says.

"All children should have their eyes checked by their pediatrician at regular intervals, even if they don't have any symptoms," said Dr. Samantha Feldman, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Krieger Eye Institute in Baltimore.

"Part of the reason that vision screenin...

Over half of high-risk children in the United States are not receiving behavioral health services critical to their mental, emotional and physical well-being, new research warns.

"It's a pretty simple and kind of widely agreed upon finding that there are a lot of at-risk kids, when you look at it in terms of adversities or symptoms, who aren't getting mental health services, behavioral he...

Nonsmokers usually try to avoid secondhand smoke, but many kids have no option, and now a new study finds tobacco smoke exposure puts them at higher risk of hospitalization.

Compared to other kids, those exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to have had an urgent care visit over a one-year period, and to incur higher costs for such visits. They also were nearly twice as likely to b...

There's a reason you may choose to talk in singsong tones and with exaggerated sounds when you're talking to babies -- they're more likely to listen.

New research shows that babies pay more attention to baby talk than to regular speech. The finding held in many languages, and even when the baby was bilingual.

"Crucially for parents, we found that development of learning and attent...

Fewer children end up in ERs for asthma attacks if nearby coal-fired power plants are shut down, a new study finds.

"When these power plants close, we see a reduction of somewhere between 12% and 18% in emergency department visits for asthma," said senior researcher Emily Pakhtigian, an assistant professor of public policy at Pennsylvania State University. "When the plants close down, chi...

Nearly half of the public schools in America are now holding in-person classes, with white children far more likely to be in those classrooms than Black, Hispanic or Asian students, the first federal data on the state of education during the pandemic shows.

The survey, released early Wednesday, suggests the nation is moving toward a goal set by President Joe Biden for a reopening of ...

The smoke from forest fires is sending children to emergency rooms with respiratory problems at higher rates than ever before, a new study finds.

"Kids are particularly vulnerable to pollution from wildfires, so they can have asthma exacerbation and other respiratory problems," said senior researcher Tarik Benmarhnia, an associate professor of family medicine and public health at the Univ...

Kids and teens are already struggling to learn outside the classroom during the pandemic, but lockdowns and quarantines are also making it hard for them to control their weight, child health experts say.

Lost routines, economic insecurity and grief are making things more challenging for children who struggle with their weight, whether it's with obesity or anorexia, according to doctors at...

In a move that should make reopening schools an easier task, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday lowered its social distancing recommendation for most classrooms to 3 feet.

That should enable many schools to keep all students enrolled in a class within the same room.

"[The] CDC is committed to leading with science and updating our guidance as new evidence...

Preschoolers who spend a lot of time watching movies and shows on TVs and other screens are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems by age 5, a Finnish study warns.

But despite their reputation, video games did not appear to promote any emotional problems in youngsters, researchers concluded.

"We found that high levels of screen time at the age of 1.5 years is relat...

A new government report confirms what many moms and dads already know: Parents and kids are struggling mightily to cope with the stresses of distance learning.

A survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of parents of children aged 5 to 12 found that parents of kids receiving in-person instruction were less likely to suffer from stress than those whose school...

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...

School-based dental care cut cavities in half among thousands of elementary students, a new study says.

"The widespread implementation of oral health programs in schools could increase the reach of traditional dental practices and improve children's oral health -- all while reducing health disparities and the cost of care," said senior author Dr. Richard Niederman. He's chair of the depar...

Like many people this past year, teenager Tyona Montgomery began experiencing a sore throat and a loss of sense of smell and taste in November that suggested she might have COVID-19.

A positive test confirmed it, but she quickly felt better.

Then, just two weeks later, new symptoms surged. She was disoriented, with a headache that was so bad she called an Uber to take her to a hospi...

Could endless hours spent scrolling through social media and watching TV trigger binge eating in preteens?

Apparently so, new research suggests.

"Children may be more prone to overeating while distracted in front of screens. They may also be exposed to more food advertisements on television," said study author Dr. Jason Nagata. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Unive...

As if attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn't already tough on a child, new research suggests the condition might also raise the odds for a psychotic disorder later in life.

But parents should not panic.

"I would say that this finding should not be an alarm for parents and people who have ADHD, because the absolute risk for psychotic disorders remains low," sa...

For Morgan Compton, 7, who has attended school remotely for nearly a year, the stress of the pandemic manifests itself in meltdowns.

On one particular day, Morgan "threw a fit and decided to go upstairs," said her mother, Tracy Compton. Hearing the sound of his daughter's tears, Compton's husband, John, who also works from home, got involved.

Meltdowns are familiar to any paren...

The link between heart-lung fitness and brain health may begin at an early age, new research shows.

The study revealed that 4- to 6-year-olds who could walk farther during a timed test also scored higher on tests of thinking abilities and other measures of brain function.

Most studies of the link between brain health and heart-lung ("cardiorespiratory") fitness have focused on older...

Children have largely been spared severe COVID-19 infection, and new research hints at why.

In the study, children's immune systems attacked the new coronavirus faster and more aggressively than adults' immune systems did, the findings showed.

The researchers analyzed blood samples from 48 children and 70 adults who lived in 28 households in Melbourne, Australia, and who were infect...

As if suffering from a mental illness as a child isn't tough enough, new research suggests it could predict higher odds for physical ills in later life.

There was one silver lining to the findings, however.

Knowing that childhood mental illness is a factor, "you can identify the people at risk for physical illnesses much earlier in life," explained study lead researcher Jasmin Wertz...

In a finding that suggests heart health starts in the womb, a new study shows that the state of a woman's heart during pregnancy may predict her kids' health by the time they reach adolescence.

Researchers found that when mothers' weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels were less healthy during pregnancy, their children were at heightened risk for those same issues.

The reason...

If you've put off or skipped needed medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, you've got plenty of company.

More than a third of U.S. adults say they have delayed or gone without care either because they fear exposure to the virus or because health care services are harder to come by, two new surveys found.

The same reasons led nearly as many parents to avoid care for their kids.

Could the COVID-19 pandemic be taking a toll on kids' teeth?

A new, nationwide poll found the pandemic has made it harder for parents to get their kids regular dental care. But on the other hand, many say their youngsters are now taking better care of their teeth.

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine surveyed almost 1,900 parents ...

Getting bitten by a dog or wild animal is frightening, especially for kids, but a new study may help relieve some of the worry about catching rabies.

The rabies prevention treatment KEDRAB is safe and effective for patients 17 and younger, a groundbreaking pediatric clinical trial has shown.

The trial included 30 kids with suspected or confirmed rabies exposure who were treated with...

For parents with questions about COVID-19 vaccines and children, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts offer answers.

While vaccinations for adults are underway in the United States, clinical trials for the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized COVID-19 vaccines haven't yet been completed for children and teens younger than 16.

Before that age group can receive a vaccine, the ...

Too much coffee during pregnancy could lead to kids with behavior problems later on.

That's the key takeaway from new research that examined 9,000 brain scans from 9- and 10-year-olds as part of the largest long-term study of brain development and child health.

"The goalposts are moved by caffeine, and there are subtle, but real changes in behavioral outcomes in most kids who were e...

Latisha Wilborne was excited. She and her husband had tried for a year to get pregnant, and now, 20 weeks pregnant, she was at a doctor's visit with her two sisters where an ultrasound would determine if she was having a girl or boy. A party to celebrate the news was just days away.

The happy mood changed when the doctor told Latisha they detected a problem with the baby's heart.

"I...

Spina bifida is a diagnosis no parents-to-be want to hear as they await their child's birth, and the idea of performing surgery on a baby while it is still in the womb can be terrifying. But new research shows that performing the delicate procedure before the baby is born, and not after, is worth it.

The findings showed that children with myelomeningocele (the most severe form of spina bi...

Day camps could be considered breeding grounds for coronavirus infection, but a new study shows that when social distancing measures are followed, few illnesses result.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,800 children and staff members who were at 54 YMCA day camps in the greater Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina from March through August 2020, when community cases ...

Most parents know that child behavior experts recommend against spanking, but new research suggests that so-called "positive" discipline methods don't always work either.

For example, the common tactic of "verbal reasoning" with an unruly child "was associated with a mixed bag of outcomes, some positive and some negative," said study author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. He's a professor of socia...

It only takes a second.

Experts are warning that unsecured televisions, bedroom dressers and other heavy furniture can crush, maim and even kill curious children, and the issue may only worsen during stay-at-home lockdowns.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 2000 and 2019, 451 kids aged 17 years and younger died in tip-over accidents, the CPSC s...

Black and Hispanic children who land in the emergency room are less likely than white kids to receive X-rays, CT scans and other imaging tests, a new study finds.

Looking at more than 13 million ER visits to U.S. children's hospitals, researchers found that white children underwent imaging tests one-third of the time.

That was true for only 26% of visits made by Hispanic children, a...

Black American children have higher rates of shellfish and fish allergies than white children, a new study finds.

The research confirms the important role that race plays in children's food allergies, the study authors said.

"Food allergy is a common condition in the U.S., and we know from our previous research that there are important differences between African American and white ...

There have been good and bad changes to U.S. children's diets during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers say.

"Providing healthy meals and snacks to our kids can be a challenge even when we're not experiencing a pandemic," said senior study author Susan Carnell. She's an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimo...

As many as one in five U.S. children has special health care needs, and some of their caregivers are struggling to get them the support, care and services they need, new research shows.

Kids with special health care needs may have physical conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), mental health issues (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety), developmental disorders ...

Too much screen time can make your toddler more distractible, British researchers warn.

The use of smartphones and tablets by babies and toddlers has soared in recent years.

"The first few years of life are critical for children to learn how to control their attention and ignore distraction, early skills that are known to be important for later academic achievement," said lead autho...

With most in-person classes curtailed or canceled in schools across the United States since last spring, kids and their parents have had a really tough year.

However, new studies suggest a return to in-person classes could be warranted, according to officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Writing in the Jan. 26 issue of the Journal of the American ...

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