Guest Blog: CHIP Benefits are Worth Protecting

The day our son was born as the best and most terrifying day of my life. After going through an uneventful pregnancy and going into labor on my exact due date, our uneventful pregnancy was rocked to the core. At just three days old, our son, Noble Lett, was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) after being taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.

We quickly learned that Noble would require a massive amount of medical care from approximately 13 different specialists to manage various physical and developmental issues, and delays. We also knew that he would require a daily injection of Human Growth Hormone – a medication with a hefty cost of approximately $1,000 a month.

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If Congress Doesn’t Act Fast on Children’s Health Insurance, Millions Could Be at Risk

Last Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee announced it had reached a bipartisan agreement to extend funding for the national Children’s Health Insurance Program for five more years. The announcement, coming after months of pressure from children’s advocacy organizations, marked the first step toward renewing funding for the program, which provides health insurance for nearly nine million low-income children.

The catch: That funding runs out on September 30. So unless Congress can draft, pass, and reconcile the actual legislation in less than two weeks, families nationwide may be at risk of losing health coverage entirely for their children or facing soaring premiums.

“Here in New York, we’re all waiting with bated breath, because there would be an awful lot of work that would need to happen at the state level” should the funding not be renewed, says Ben Anderson, director of health policy for the Children’s Defense Fund–New York, one of the organizations that has been campaigning for an extender bill. “The deal that was announced sounds promising, but there’s still a lot of work to be done” before the deadline.

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Parents Say Schools Don't Help Kids With Mental Health, Chronic Disease

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many parents don't believe schools are prepared to help students with mental health problems and serious physical health issues, a new survey finds.

While 77 percent of parents were certain that schools would be able to provide first aid for minor issues such as cuts, they were less confident that schools could respond to more challenging health situations.

For example, only 38 percent believed schools could assist a student suspected of having a mental health problem.

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As an early intervention, pediatricians must talk to their patients about racism

As an African-American physician who has experienced the effects of racism, I should be comfortable talking about it. I’m not — but I need to be.

That feeling was reinforced by a horrifying news story from the New Hampshire community where I work as a pediatrician. The mother of an 8-year-old biracial boy said he had nearly been lynched by some white teenagers. The image his mother posted on social media before driving him to the hospital where I work showed rope burns on his neck consistent with being hung.

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To fidget spin or not to fidget spin?

Some light up. Some play music. All spin in a mesmerizing way. But do fidget spinners -- the kid craze of 2017 -- have health benefits, or are they a health hazard?

Some retailers have claimed that spinners have health benefits, such as easing stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Want your kids to have healthy bones? It will take more than a milk mustache.

For the first time in his 14 years, my oldest son brought home the bacon with two paid summer jobs. Boy, did he relish the reward of the paycheck. He has always spent whatever money he acquired through birthdays or allowance on the newest baseball glove, the hottest pair of basketball shoes or, dare I say it, candy. But this summer, he said there was something about devoting long days to work that made him want to save his pennies.

At the same time, he hit a growth spurt, and comparable to how the paycheck changed his perspective on money, his rapid growth altered his perspective on health. He is much more interested in what will keep him on this upward trajectory. He used to eat without thinking, but now he is making the food-health connection when he chooses what to eat.

As an athlete, he is more committed to eating a healthy breakfast. He has five-hour preseason football practices in the morning, and he wants to have strength and energy for them.

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How 2 Nurse Practitioners Decided To Help Babies Touched By Opioid Crisis

Kyle Cook and Carla Saunders are neonatal nurse practitioners at a children's hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., where they've spent decades caring for infants. In the summer of 2010, their jobs began to change.

"We had six babies in the nursery who were in withdrawal," remembers Saunders, 51.

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Study finds physical activity outside of school is vital for child health

Children who do activity outside of school in addition to during school hours are much more likely to meet the Government's physical activity guidelines, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

The results, published today in BMJ Open and funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), suggest that current efforts to increase exercise during the school day won't be enough for children to meet the recommended one hours of physical activity a day, set by the Chief Medical Officer.

Researchers looked at the time Year 4 children (aged eight to nine) spent doing physical activity outside of school, including after school clubs, playing in the neighbourhood and playing in the home.

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Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms

More than a million acres of Montana forests and rangeland have burned this year, so far, causing unhealthy air across the state since mid-July.

In August the Missoula County health department took the unprecedented step of advising the entire town of Seeley Lake to evacuate due to smoke; air there has been classified as "hazardous" levels for 35 days in August 1.

Now that fire season has extended into the school year, many western Montana schools have been keeping kids inside because of heavy smoke. But that doesn't mean they're breathing clean air. Some community partnerships are springing up to try to get air filters into more classrooms.

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Children's Health Insurance Program Demands Quick, Bipartisan Passage

Why would someone give up a career as a full-time surgeon to become an elected official?

It was a question I was asked time and again during my two terms in the U.S. Senate. To me, the answer was always clear: I was searching for a way to make a positive impact on the greatest number of lives.

Surgery certainly provided an avenue for helping others, but it required focusing on one patient at a time. Each time the door to the operating room closed, I never forgot that a patient’s loved ones were sitting just outside, anxiously waiting for news.

There was the single mother who refused to return home while her child was sick, shuttling her tired body between work and the hospital for weeks on end. The little brother bravely holding back tears as he watched his sibling emerge safely from surgery. The father who sat up late at night, medical bills stacked in front of him, wondering if a second mortgage would give him the means he needed to save his child’s life.

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