page contents

Millions of U.S. students home alone

October 31, 2000 Web posted at: 2:58 p.m. EST (1958 GMT) WASHINGTON — Call it a scare that working parents could do without this Halloween — 2.4 million children under the age of 12 are home alone before or after school, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census bureau. The report says 7 million 5-to-14-year-olds of working parents are left to care for themselves an average of six hours a week. Thirteen percent of them are home alone for 10 hours a week, according to the report. The statistics, based on 1995 statistics, show the majority, 65 percent, are middle-schoolers, ages 12-14; the rest are grade school-age. Megan, age 9, and her sister, Sarah, age 11, are among them. After they come home from school, they told CNN’s Holly Firfer, they grab a snack, do some homework and watch TV. “Some things we can do and some things we can’t, ” the girls said. “But usually, we can do anything we want.” It’s not a situation they or their mom, who asked that their full names not be used, prefer. “I wish I didn’t have to do it,” their mom says, “I wish I really had a job that I was home by 3 o’clock. And I know they would like that, too, but they understand it. It’s not in the cards right now.” The amount of time children are left alone concerns not only parents, but child advocates and researchers alike. “It very well may be they are taking care of themselves during the after school hours from 3 to 6,” Kristin Smith, Census Bureau...

Health on the Internet

Before doctor’s visit, many surf Internet for info Last Updated: 2003-02-13 12:55:50 -0400 (Reuters Health) By Hannah Cleaver BERLIN (Reuters Health) – One in four Internet users search online for medical information before or after a visit to the doctor, according to a new survey conducted in Germany. This growing tendency is seen as a two-edged sword by doctors, who feel that an involved patient is a better patient, but worry about the quality of information people are getting, an expert said. The poll showed that 7% of Internet users go online to search for medical information before a visit to the doctor, while 8% check things out on the web after an appointment and 10% look on the Internet before and afterwards. A further 53% of the more than 1,700 Internet users questioned by polling company TNS Emnid said they could imagine themselves using the Internet as a source of information in conjunction with a visit to the doctor. Roland Ilzhoefer, spokesman for the KVB, the association covering most general practitioners and non-hospital specialists, told Reuters Health there were two sides to such use of independent information sources. “On the one side it is good when a patient is interested in their injury or illness, interested enough to get information for themselves from whatever source, be that newspapers, magazines or books and of course the Internet.” Those patients are more likely to follow-through with prescribed treatments, he said. “But of course, on the other hand, the question remains of how dependable the information that the patient has found, actually is. And even if it is useful information, it...

Early Childhood and TV Viewing

Heavy TV Viewing Causes Problems Oct 1, 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – “CONSISTENT, FREQUENT TV VIEWING CAUSES BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS“ In summary: “Consistent, heavy television viewing (more than two hours a day) throughout early childhood can cause behavior, sleep and attention problems. In the new study, “Children’s Television Exposure and Behavioral and Social Outcomes at 5.5 Years: Does Timing of Exposure Matter?” researchers assessed data from the Healthy Steps for Young Children national evaluation effort pertaining to the effects of early, concurrent and sustained television exposure at age 2.5 years, and again at age 5.5 years. The effects of having a television in the child’s bedroom were measured at age 5.5. Sixteen percent of parents reported that their child watched television more than two hours a day at age 2.5 years only (early exposure), 15 percent reported that their children watched more than two hours of television daily at 5.5 years only (concurrent exposure), and 20 percent reported more than two hours of television viewing daily at both times (sustained exposure). Forty-one percent of children had a television in their bedroom at age 5.5. Sustained television viewing was associated with sleep, attention and aggressive behavior problems, and externalizing of problem behaviors. Concurrent television exposure was associated with fewer social skills. Having a television in the bedroom was associated with sleep problems and less emotional reactivity at age 5.5. Early exposure to television for more than two hours a day, which decreased over time, did not cause behavior or social problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television viewing for children under age 2, and no more...

Survey: Parental misconceptions about discipline

SURVEY REVEALS CHILD DEVELOPMENT KNOWLEDGE GAP AMONG ADULTS Need More Information about Discipline, Spoiling and Expectations of Young Children WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 4 – Results of a landmark survey released today raise questions about what Americans know about raising emotionally, intellectually and socially healthy children. “This lack of accurate child development information among adults has very real implications for American society,” said Kyle Pruett, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University Child Study Center, and president of ZERO TO THREE. “We’re potentially raising overly aggressive children who react to situations with intimidation and bullying, instead of cooperation and understanding; children who won’t be able to tolerate frustration, wait their turn or respect the needs of others.” “What Grown-Ups Understand About Child Development: A National Benchmark Survey” measured the child development knowledge of 3,000 adults and parents. Secondarily, it examined what the general public thinks about selected policies that impact children and families. The survey was sponsored by CIVITAS, ZERO TO THREE and BRIO Corporation, three organizations dedicated to the welfare of young children, and conducted by DYG, Inc., a nationally respected research company led by Daniel Yankelovich. “The results of the survey overwhelmingly indicate that adults need more and better information, delivered in more accessible ways,” said Suzanne Muchin, chief executive officer of CIVITAS, a not-for-profit communications group that commissioned the survey. The survey results show that specific areas of misinformation among adults include spoiling and spanking; adults’ expectations of young children at different ages; and the most beneficial forms of play. Parents Misunderstand: Babies Can’t Be Spoiled Parents are confused – and grandparents even more so...

Deadly Drug Side Effects

Drug side effects can be deadly in children under 2 Last Updated: 2002-11-05 11:06:07 -0400 (Reuters Health) By Natalie Engler NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Medications used to treat either a mother or child played a role in nearly 6,000 serious side effects, including 769 deaths, in children under 2 years of age in the US between 1997 and 2000, according to an analysis of cases reported to the Food and Drug Administration. Medications given to pregnant or breast-feeding women may have caused a large proportion of adverse events, and just four drugs were the principal suspect in more than one third of all the reported deaths. “The results of this study underscore the need for additional testing in the youngest pediatric patients and for greater vigilance in the use of higher risk drugs and in medication for pregnant and lactating women,” the researchers report in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics. However, they note that the reports do not prove that the medication was the actual cause of the side effect or death. Overall, the investigators identified 1,902 drugs, chemicals, biological products, vaccines, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements and other substances in the reports, but just 17 drugs were indicated in more than half of the serious side effects or deaths in children given medication directly. The vast majority of deaths (84%) happened before the infant’s first birthday. In the study, Thomas J. Moore of George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues analyzed over 7,000 reports of adverse drug reactions in children under age 2 received by the US Food and Drug Administration from...

Mental Care Poor for Some Children in State Custody

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 By ROBERT PEAR  The New York Times Thousands of parents have given up custody of their children under pressure from states in order to obtain treatment for the children’s severe mental illnesses, federal investigators say, but some states have not lived up to their end of the deal. Federal officials said they had found deplorable conditions in many state institutions where children were supposed to receive treatment. For example, investigators from the civil rights division of the Justice Department recently found “significant and wide-ranging deficiencies in patient care” at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, Calif., near Los Angeles. The hospital provides patients ages 11 to 17 with “woefully inadequate” treatment and unnecessary medications, exposing them “to a significant risk of harm and to actual harm,” the department said. Nora A. Romero, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Mental Health, said the state disagreed with some of the findings but was taking steps to improve care. The Justice Department also said children with mental disorders had been subjected to “unhealthy, inhumane and unlawful” conditions at two state training schools in Mississippi. Federal officials said children with mental disorders were not even supposed to be at the schools, Columbia and Oakley. The Mississippi Department of Human Services said it would work with the state’s Department of Mental Health to provide “alternative placement” for children found to be mentally ill at the schools. In a survey of state and local officials, the General Accounting Office (news – web sites), an investigative arm of Congress, found that parents had placed more than 12,700 children in the child welfare or...

Danger Zones for Children’s Injuries

Mon Jun 2, 1:37 PM ET  Reuters CHICAGO (Reuters) – The most common injuries children suffer vary by age almost month by month, with the most dangerous time coming at 15 to 17 months, according to a U.S. study published on Monday. The University of California report, based on a review of more than 23,000 childhood injuries, 636 of them fatal, from 1996 to 1998, was designed to alert parents and doctors to the most common hazards at any given point. During the first year of life, the study found that unspecified falls were the main source of injury before 3 months, battering by parents or caregivers at 3 to 5 months, falls from furniture at 6 to 8 months, swallowing foreign objects at 9 to 11 months and hot liquid or hot vapors at 12 to 17 months. In general, the overall injury rate for all causes, everything from fires to ingestion of drugs, rapidly increased with age starting at 3 to 5 months and peaked at 15 to 17 months, said the study published in the June issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This coincides with developmental achievements such as independent mobility, exploratory behavior and hand-to-mouth activity,” the report said. “The child is able to access hazards but has not yet developed cognitive hazard awareness and avoidance skills.” The study, which tracked statistics up until age 4, found that the most common cause of injury after 3 came from moving vehicles hitting children on foot. Across all ages medication poisoning was the single highest cause of injury, peaking at from 18 through...

Child abuse, neglect can trigger permanent brain damage

December 14, 2000 Web posted at: 3:41 PM EST (2041 GMT) By Troy Goodman CNN.com Health Writer (CNN) — Child abuse and neglect can “rewire” the nascent brain, scientists have found, which may lead to psychological problems throughout adulthood. “These changes are permanent,” said Dr. Martin Teicher of Mclean Hospital, a psychiatric center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “This is not something people can just get over with and get on with their lives.” In a report published in the journal Cerebrum, Teicher analyzed the largest and most detailed study on how childhood experiences affect brain development. He used high-tech brain imaging on several hundred children and adults to identify four types of brain abnormalities — all of which were linked to child abuse and neglect. The abuse-related brain damage appears to foster such problems as adult aggressiveness, depression, anxiety and even memory and attention impairment. The report confirms smaller studies showing that the brain “rewires” itself in response to trauma. “A child’s interactions with the outside environment causes connections to form between brain cells,” said Teicher, who heads McLean’s Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program. “These connections are pruned during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired.” Previous experiments with monkeys raised without their mothers have already linked depression, schizophrenia, autism and attention deficit disorders to childhood maltreatment, according to other experts. There is even a growing body of evidence concerning “a history of childhood abuse among adolescents who later commit violent crimes,” according to Teicher’s report. Other doctors were quick to point out that...

Depression and the Childhood Depression Inventory

Depression and the Childhood Depression Inventory Presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2004 Annual Meeting C Petersen, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine; , S Mayes, Ph.D., N Vegesna, M.D., D Mauger, Ph.D. Abstract Objective:  This study on inpatient children reports on the congruence of a clinician’s DSM-IV diagnosis versus a patient-administered scale (CDI) versus the parent’s report of depression. Methods: The sample comprised 111 children, 5 to 15 years of age admitted to our child psychiatry unit. Sixty-three of the children had a DSM-IV diagnosis of depression and 48 did not. Children completed the CDI. Results: CDI scores differed significantly (p < .0001) between children with depression and children without depression. Positive and negative predictive power were high (79% and 61%). Within the depressed group, percent agreement for depression was 81% for the child psychiatrist and child, and 81% for the psychiatrist and parent. Conclusion:  The CDI is a valuable instrument in the inpatient assessment of children and is a good predictor of depressive diagnosis. See full report in PDF format Free Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 to download and read the above PDF file (If you have an earlier version please upgrade to 5.0 for...
Page 3 of 1312345...10...Last »