Parent in Prison: How to Protect the Well-Being of the Child

More than 5 million children in the U.S. have had at least one parent in prison, according to the most recent analysis of the issue, using the National Survey of Children’s Health. Put another way, 7 percent of all children will have a parent who lived with them go to jail or prison.

The latest figure doesn’t account for the number of children who had a parent not living with them who becomes incarcerated – so the total number of kids with an incarcerated parent is most likely higher. And while the total number of incarcerations has leveled since 2013 after climbing steadily, the number of women incarcerated rose more than 700 percent from 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014, according to a report from The Sentencing Project and figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The reasons for the spike range from expanded law enforcement efforts to stiffer drug sentencing laws. More than 60 percent of women in state prisons have a child under 18.

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New pilot programs in Detroit take aim at health barriers to kids' education

More than $1 million in foundation and state grants are going to the Detroit Health Department for five new initiatives aimed at addressing health problems of Detroit children, the Department announced today.

The goal is to reduce health barriers that interfere with school attendance and learning.

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Should My Slightly Sick Child Stay Home? The Rules Often Conflict

Cold and flu season means plenty of parents are trying to figure out whether their kid is too sick to go to child care or school.

It's not always an easy call. Day care centers for younger children often have exclusion policies laying out exactly which symptoms should keep kids at home — more on those in a minute. But rules in elementary school and beyond are often looser and less definitive, says Gary Freed, a pediatrician and co-director of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

The poll's national survey of 1,442 parents of kids ages 6 to 18 released Monday found that the top factors in a decision to keep a child home are concerns that the illness will get worse or spread to classmates at school. Parents of older kids were also more likely to worry than parents of younger children about students missing tests or class time when making the stay-home-or-go-to-school decision. Interestingly, only 11 percent said that not wanting to miss work themselves was a "very important" factor in deciding whether a kid should stay home.

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KIDS HEALTH MATTERS: HPV RECOMMENDATIONS

There is now a vaccine recommended for kids which can prevent cancer. However, the majority of American children aren't getting it.

While Mia and Noah Cruz work hard on achieving their dreams, their parents work on protecting their health.

They're making sure both children are vaccinated against HPV, the human papilloma virus.

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Vitamin D does more than help bones stay strong, and most kids don’t get enough

It is officially winter in our household because I have pulled out the vitamin D supplements. My daughter was too young last winter to remember that she added a vitamin to her morning routine, but my boys knew what it signaled.

Instead of gobbling down the vitamins without query as they did last winter, my boys fired questions my way as to why they had to take them. I guess this is what teenagers do: They question their parents about everything, even the things they have taken for granted for more than a decade.

I’m okay with their questions. I certainly don’t want them blindly taking vitamins or pills under any other circumstances, even if prescribed by a doctor. Asking questions is good. Demanding explanations is good. Understanding dosages is good.
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Heavy alcohol use in teens alters electrical activity in the brain: Study

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland studied the effects of long-term heavy alcohol use in adolescence and found it altered certain brain functions.

The study, the first of its kind to analyze long-term effects of alcohol in adolescents, found that heavy alcohol use can alter the cortical excitability and functional connectivity in the adolescent brain. The research was part of the Adolescents and Alcohol Study.

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Respiratory And Flu Cases On The Rise For Children In Orange County

ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — Fifteen-month old Maya McDonald is so sick with the Syncytial respiratory virus better known as RSV, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Orange County admitted her into ICU. Her mother Kelli McDonald brought her right in when she noticed a fever, wheezing and rapid breathing.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of RSV, but its hard to tell whether the peak for any given season will be until the season has passed,” Dr. Jasjit Singh said. “Certainly the Influenza season seems like it is gradually building up right now.”

The numbers are way up in both categories at CHOC compared to last flu season. People of all ages are being hit hard with illnesses that don’t seem to go away quickly.

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Your children might gain more weight if you consider them as overweight, Study says

A new study revealed that those children whose parents think their children are overweight are more likely to gain some more weight over the decade in comparison to the children whose parents treat them as normal children and think their children are normal to weigh children.

The study suggested, when parents consider their children as an overweight child, the children become more conscious about shape and size of their body and take it negatively. This is one of the major cause the children turned to lose weight as the thing provoke children to lose weight while these factors also consider as the reason for weight gain in children.

The new study was published in a journal that is linked with Psychological Science, in journal Psychological Science.

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Free play has benefits for mind and body

The snow may be tempting, but if it’s just too cold for your kids to get out and play, don’t worry. Indoor play can be just as enriching, and as active.

“Using their imagination helps children develop their brain,” says Melissa King, DO, pediatrician at the Children’s Health Clinic at Dayton Children’s. “Children learn to think creatively, problem solve and develop reasoning and motor skills during free play.”

For younger kids, mom and dad may have to help at first, by suggesting ideas or leading the play. Little kids may love to have a dance party in the living room with mom or dad. Draw pictures or do a craft. Make shadow puppets with a flashlight and have them direct the action. Have your children pretend to be their favorite animals and act out their motions. “Parents who share this free play time with their kids are being supportive, nurturing and productive,” says Dr. King.

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Unfinished business: Bipartisan help for child victims of the opioid crisis

In the wake of the partisan 2016 election, there is an urgent need for the parties to start solving problems together again. Helping children whose futures are threatened by the opioid crisis is exactly such an opportunity. 

Why health legislation must be bipartisan

Federal health initiatives can be more effective and sustainable when they have the support of both political parties. That is a clear lesson of the bitter partisan battle over The Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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