It's Actually a Nightmare.' Mother Warns Others After 10-Year-Old Suddenly Dies From Flu

The mother of a healthy 10-year-old Connecticut boy who died suddenly of complications from the flu is warning other parents to watch their children closely during one of the most active flu seasons in years.

Nico Mallozi had never had a serious medical issue in his life. On Sunday, the vibrant, popular fourth-grader died of what at first seemed like a routine case of the virus — leaving his Connecticut community reeling.

“Ten years of health,” Nico’s mother, Mimma Mallozzi, tells TIME. “The kid never had a problem. He was like an ox.”

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Child vaccine rates higher in South Carolina than national average even as more parents refuse

More than three-quarters of South Carolina children insured by BlueCross BlueShield received their recommended vaccines for measles, mumps, hepatitis B and other infectious diseases between 2010 and 2016, even as a growing number of parents refuse to vaccinate their children, a new national report shows.

In this state, 77.8 percent of these children were appropriately vaccinated, compared to 73.5 percent nationally.

More than half of children who did not receive all their vaccines had missed a "well-child visit" with a pediatrician. 

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Most states don’t require that kids be checked for health issues

(Reuters Health) - - Most U.S. states don’t require that children be screened for health conditions that can affect learning, according to new research supported by the Children’s Health Fund (CHF).

“There are many children, especially in low income communities, that are not succeeding academically because they have health conditions that are known to interfere with learning, but nobody is screening for them or treating them,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, Co-Founder of Children’s Health Fund and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. “That is something that has to be fixed.”

The study was published online January 17 in the scientific journal PLoS One.

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Helping kids shake the post-holiday blues

When kids return to school after the holidays, school counselors often see their caseloads rise.

"We get reports from school counselors that they have a lot more kids lined up to see them because the kids are melancholy, apathetic or anxious," said Clifton Saper, Ph.D., an Amita Health clinical psychologist who specializes in individual, adolescent and family psychotherapy.

In many cases, kids are suffering from the post-holiday blues, a letdown that can occur after holiday festivities come to an end. "Most kids and most parents have unrealistic expectations of the holidays, so there's often this letdown feeling after the holidays of `Oh, it wasn't what I thought it was supposed to be,' " Saper said.

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State eyes Congress as Children’s Health Insurance Program spends final dollars

The state is looking at alternatives for children who would lose their current health insurance coverage without congressional action.

More than 27,000 Nevada kids receive Children’s Health Insurance Program benefits through Nevada Check Up. Nevada’s program is funded through February, when officials plan to ask the state’s Interim Finance Committee to allocate money to keep the program running.

CHIP funding had expired on Sept. 30. In December, lawmakers approved funding that was expected to last through March, but a Georgetown University report says that money could actually run out much sooner for certain states.

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Dangerous social media trend sending kids to Valley hospitals

A dangerous social media trend among teenagers could have deadly consequences and it is sickening kids right here in the Central Valley.

"I can assure that anyone who's ever tried it quickly discovered it's not a laughing matter," said Carlos Flores, the trauma coordinator for Valley Children's Hospital.

Just this weekend, Valley Children's had a young patient burned by laundry detergent pods, which may be the perfect example of the danger of first impressions.

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The Parasite on the Playground

Millions of American children have been exposed to a parasite that could interfere with their breathing, liver function, eyesight and even intelligence. Yet few scientists have studied the infection in the United States, and most doctors are unaware of it.

The parasites, roundworms of the genus Toxocara, live in the intestines of cats and dogs, especially strays. Microscopic eggs from Toxocara are shed in the animals’ feces, contaminating yards, playgrounds and sandboxes.

These infectious particles cling to the hands of children playing outside. Once swallowed, the eggs soon hatch, releasing larvae that wriggle through the body and, evidence suggests, may even reach the brain, compromising learning and cognition.

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Helping Strangers May Help Teens' Self-Esteem

At the start of the new year, parents may encourage their teens to detox from social media, increase exercise, or begin a volunteer project. While kids may bristle at the thought of posting fewer selfies, surveys indicate 55 percent of adolescents enjoy volunteering. And according to a recent study, when it comes to helping others, teens may benefit psychologically from spending time helping strangers.

The study, published in December in the Journal of Adolescence, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness, may raise teens' feelings of self-worth. However, not all helping behaviors are the same. The researchers found that adolescents who assisted strangers reported higher self-esteem one year later.

"Surprisingly, teens who helped friends and family members did not report the same emotional change," says Dr. Laura Padilla-Walker, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University and one of the study's researchers.

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Doctor's Orders: Bundle up! Tips to keep your child warm

Baby, it’s cold outside! That means it’s the time of year to pay extra attention to keeping your babies warm. Even though snow may be a rare sight in sunny Central Texas, dressing your kids in warm clothes before they play outside is still important to prevent hypothermia. These tips also apply if you plan to take a family vacation to somewhere a little chillier than Temple.

Dressing your child in several thin layers will keep them warmer and drier when they’re playing outside. So, go ahead bend those fashion rules and wear the Paw Patrol long-sleeve shirt with the Ninja Turtles sweatshirt and the puffy blue coat. Your child is adorable and can pull it off! A good rule of thumb for grownups is that kids should be wearing one more layer of clothes than their parents to stay warm in the same weather. A bonus is that multiple thin layers are more comfortable and safer than a bulky snowsuits when riding in a car seat. In car seats, layers should be snug, not bulky. Plus, don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.

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Hospitals, Doctors Brace For Loss Of Children's Health Funds

Providers of medical care are once again bracing for the loss of federal funding under the Children’s Health Insurance Program with the Republican-led Congress still unable to come up with a plan to fund it beyond March of this year.

new report last week indicates more than 20 states face CHIP funding shortfalls if Congress doesn’t act this month. And that’s beginning to worry hospitals and doctors who see a loss of 9 million children from low-income families who gain coverage from CHIP.

“If Congress fails to approve long-term funding for CHIP in January, nearly 1.7 million children in separate CHIP programs in 21 states with shortfalls in March 2018 could lose coverage by the end of February 2018,” Georgetown University Center for Children and Families researchers wrote in a new update on CHIP.

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