CDC now recommends just two HPV vaccine doses for preteens

Children who start getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus before 15 need only two doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided Wednesday.

Its previous recommendation was for a three-shot regimen, but studies have shown that two doses work just as well. Experts predict that the simpler, more flexible timeline will result in higher rates of HPV vaccination, which has lagged among both girls and boys.

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American Academy Of Pediatrics Lifts 'No Screens Under 2' Rule

If there's one rule that most parents cling to in the confusing, fast-changing world of kids and media, it's this one: No screens before age 2.

As of today, that rule is out the window.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which first issued that recommendation back in 1999, has extensively updated and revised its guidelines for children and adolescents to reflect new research and new habits.

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Which Came First? The Behavior Problems, or the Poor Sleep?

It’s a classic which-came-first question: Is the child not getting enough sleep because of problem behaviors, especially at bedtime, or is the child behaving problematically because of not getting enough sleep? The answers are most likely yes and yes, and the back-and-forth currents can drag a child down developmentally.

In an editorial in JAMA Pediatrics in 2015, Michelle M. Garrison, a research assistant professor at the University of Washington in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry, described this intersection of sleep and behavior problems in early childhood as a “feedback whirlpool.” Dr. Garrison was commenting on a longitudinal study of more than 32,000 Norwegian mothers and their children who were followed from birth to age 5; the children with sleep problems at 18 months, including short sleep duration (sleeping 10 hours or less) or frequent nocturnal awakenings (three times a night or more) had more emotional and behavioral problems at the age of 5. This held true even when the researchers adjusted for emotional and behavioral problems already present in the 18-month-olds; compared to children at the same behavioral baseline, the kids with sleep problems ran into more difficulties as they developed.

“Sleep really does drive behavior problems and behavior problems are driving sleep problems, it really is bidirectional,” Dr. Garrison said. “A child can start having problems with emotional regulation, melting down more, and that makes it more difficult for the family to do all the things they have to do so the child can get good sleep. Sleep gets worse; behavior gets worse. It can really be an awful cycle for the kid and the family both.”

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Surviving Life In Foster Care: Why Children In Foster Care Are Vulnerable To Depression, Learning Disabilities, Obesity & Asthma

It turns out that being in foster care can have negative effects on children. A new study found that kids in the United States who have been in foster care have higher risks of mental and physical health problems such as obesity, asthma, depression, and learning disabilities including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who have been in foster care were twice as likely to develop asthma and obesity and three times more likely to have hearing and vision issues, Medical News Today reported. As for mental health, children who have been in foster care were seven times more likely to develop depression and five times more likely to have anxiety.


Behavioral problems are six times more common among children in foster care as well. ADHD is thrice as likely to appear in kids in foster care while learning disabilities and developmental delays are twice as likely to occur among fostered children.

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The Reason Behind Teens' Risk-Taking Behaviors Revealed In Research

Why teens take risks? Scientifically speaking, it is because of imbalance activity between the brain's prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, according to a new research from Dartmouth University. According to the researchers, the imbalance, which drives a teen's risk-taking behavior, appears to existence only during the adolescent period.

Youths are like cats: always curious of so many things. They always take risks to look for exciting and new ways to discover the world. That is a good thing, however if too much, this risk-taking behavior can be harmful, leading to risky driving, smoking, drugs etc., and the worst can kill them as the saying goes, 'curiosity kills the cat.' Now new research tries to find out the reason behind this behavior of teens.

The research suggests the teen's risk-taking behavior is due to uneven activity in the brain of teenagers. Researchers found out that there was a little activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex while a high activity occurred in the brain's nucleus accumbens. They also suggest that this only happens on adolescent period.

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Chemo shortage affects Bay area children

Imagine being told your loved one has cancer. Then the next thing your doctor says is that the lifesaving drug needed  is not available.

That's what a Bay area family is experiencing right now. Avalynn Luciano is just 2 years old. Her energy keeps her mom busy.

“We do this every time we come in sit here and play," says Alyssa Luciano, Avalynn's mom.

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What would you do to keep your child healthy?

October is Children’s Health Month. Of course, we worry about our kids every month, but this is a good time to assess some of the less obvious factors that contribute to their health.

Almost 20 years ago, President Clinton established the Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, and in 2010, President Obama charged the task force with “developing strategies to protect children’s environmental health and safety.” When I was a kid, parents’ biggest worries were keeping knives out of a kid’s reach and preventing them from racing across the street. It’s a lot more difficult now.

Heads of both the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services chair the task force with priorities including climate change, asthma-related problems, chemical exposure and healthy homes. Not surprisingly, these dangers are frequently related.

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Study shows foster care is bad for your health

Children who have been in the U.S. foster care system are at a significantly higher risk of mental and physical health problems — ranging from learning disabilities, developmental delays and depression to behavioral issues, asthma and obesity — than children who haven’t been in foster care, according to a University of California, Irvine sociologist.

“No previous research has considered how the mental and physical well-being of children who have spent time in foster care compares to that of children in the general population,” said study co-author Kristin Turney, UC Irvine associate professor of sociology. “This work makes an important contribution to the research community by showing for the first time that foster care children are in considerably worse health than other children. Our findings also present serious implications for pediatricians by suggesting that foster care placement is a risk factor for health problems in childhood.”

Published online Oct. 17 in Pediatrics, the large-scale study is the first to offer health comparisons based on a nationally representative sample of U.S. children. Turney and co-author Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, analyzed data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. Of the more than 900,000 kids included in the survey, 1.3 percent were identified as having been in foster care.

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Well-Child Visits Now Covered under Tricare Policy

Well-child visits for Tricare users over age six, as well as physicals required for school admissions, will now be covered due to newly updated rules.

The policy change, issued this week, seeks to bring the healthcare system's rules closer in line with the pediatric care standards known as "Bright Futures," included in the Affordable Care Act. Those rules, laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, are considered the blueprint for preventive child healthcare. Tricare is exempt by law from the Affordable Care Act.

Under previous rules, Tricare coverage for well-child exams, which are often conducted in conjunction with doctor visits for vaccinations, stopped at age six. The new policy, however, extends those visits through age 21.

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New Study to Offer Insight into the Adolescent Brain

There is a lot we don’t know about the effects of a child’s routine activities—sports, sleep, or screen time—on his or her developing brain. A new long-term study recently launched at 19 research sites around the country and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will collect significant data on normal, healthy teen behavior and its impact on neurological, social, emotional, and cognitive development. It also will examine some of the unhealthy and risky behaviors indicative of those experimental teenage years. 

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study aims to follow 10,000 children, from age 9 through early adulthood, to gather a trove of data, including—for the first time in a study of this size—brain images. Just as pediatricians monitor height and weight, the study, launched last month, will chart brain growth and development during the pivotal teen years. The NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are leading the study. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is one of several NIH partners participating in the effort.

This 10-year study will be tracking multiple variables and outcomes; among them, the effects of substance use (e.g., nicotine, alcohol, tobacco) on the adolescent brain. But it also will provide valuable information on teens who don’t experiment with drugs and alcohol, who exercise regularly, play music and sports, and spend time on social media. This bank of data and images will likely become a standard measure for researchers to use as a comparison—to fill gaps in our understanding of cognition, emotion, personality, and behavior. Ultimately, the study promises to help parents, educators, and health professionals improve children’s health and well-being.

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