children's health | KERA News

children's health

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT News

It’s been 50 years since Dr. Kenneth Cooper wrote “Aerobics,” the best-seller that helped launch the country's fitness movement.

His son, Dr. Tyler Cooper, continues the family legacy at the Dallas-based Cooper Aerobics Center. He talked with KERA’s Lee Cullum on the TV program "CEO" about how fitness research is changing — and what can be done to get children in better shape.

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In 1999, when TVs and desktops dominated, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its famous recommendation that children use no electronic screens before the age of 2.

Then in 2016 came an about face: If screens were used for something like video chat with faraway relatives or for looking at photos, they could be a good thing for kids of any age.

When parts of the federal government ground to halt this past weekend, Linda Nablo, who oversees the Children's Health Insurance Program in Virginia, had two letters drafted and ready to go out to the families of 68,000 children insured through the program, depending on what happened.

One said the federal government had failed to extend CHIP after funding expired in September and the stopgap funding had run out. The program would be shutting down and families would lose their insurance.

This week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage.

If Congress doesn’t reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) soon, it's not just Texas children who could lose access to health insurance; thousands of pregnant women could lose coverage, too.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, and more than a quarter million are hungry as their parents struggle to feed them.

Those are just a few statistics from a recent 97-page report issued by Children’s Health, the Dallas-based children’s hospital network. The study offers possible solutions, too.

Juan Paulido / Children's Health

One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, according to a report released Tuesday from Children’s Health. 

The families of roughly 400,000 children in Texas could be receiving letters from state officials in a matter of weeks, letting them know their health care is ending.

Advocates say Texas will run out of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program sooner than they thought. The program, which Congress failed to reauthorize last month, covers nearly 400,000 children from working-class families in the state.

A federal program that provides health insurance for about 390,000 Texas children must be reauthorized by Congress by the end of the month.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A cotton nightgown for your child seems like a pretty simple thing to track down. But it wasn't for John Rodakis, a dad living in Dallas. He’d heard about dangerous chemicals once common in kids pajamas, and out of precaution, he wanted a nightgown that was made from all natural materials. He’s not the only one. There’s a whole underground market for them. 

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One of the most common and potentially life-threatening food allergies, peanut allergy tends to develop in childhood and is usually lifelong. But new recommendations offer the chance to reduce the risk of children developing peanut allergy. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Last year, a federal judge declared the Texas foster care system broken. That’s no small-scale problem. There are more than 30,000 children in Texas foster care each year, and national studies indicate up to 80 percent of them have at least one chronic medical condition. 

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After a downturn in 2015, a rare disease affecting the nervous system is on the rise again. The CDC says 89 cases of acute flaccid myelitis has been confirmed this year in 33 states, including Texas. Five of those were in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. 

Reports of creepy clown sightings have rippled across the country over the last few weeks – and almost all of them have been debunked as hoaxes. For some professional clowns, it’s been a challenging time.

 

Want Healthier Kids? Let Them Eat Dirt

Oct 6, 2016
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Last month, the FDA banned the sale of soaps that contained certain antibacterial chemicals. Today on Think, Krys Boyd talked with microbiologist Brett Finlay about the problem with using these soaps, hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.

Children’s Health

For decades, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas has partnered with academic institutions, working within their own system to come up with ways to care for sick patients. Now, the model is shifting. They’re investing in tech startups to care for healthy kids. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

A much-watched annual report shows Texas slipping two spots to 43rd in a national ranking of the top states to be a kid.

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Head lice is a common problem among kids.  The CDC estimates the parasitic insects infest between six and 12-million children, ages three to 11, each year.  But Texas and at least 24 other states have reported cases of so-called super lice, which are harder to eliminate.

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Choosing-poorly designed toys or toys that aren’t age-appropriate for your child can lead to more harm than fun.  

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In this edition of Vital Signs, treating children with asthma. Doctors usually choose between two steroids to treat acute attacks that require a hospital stay. But a new study in the "Journal of Pediatrics" found one of the steroids – dexamethasone -- had additional benefits for hospitals, patients and their parents.

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In this edition of our series on real-life health issues, Vital Signs: Children suffering from pain. The Food and Drug Administration has approved OxyContin for use with children ages 11 through 16. 

Timberlawn Mental Health System

One of the state’s oldest residential treatment centers for people with mental illness could lose its federal funding on Tuesday. Timberlawn Mental Health System, a Pennsylvania-based chain that’s been in Dallas since 1917, is in trouble with regulators for violating patient care and safety.

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As local officials try to contain Ebola in Dallas, another virus has swept much of the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or state labs have confirmed nearly 800 cases of Enterovirus D-68, most of them in children.

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What kids eat before school can greatly impact how they perform in the classroom.

In this edition of Vital Signs, Navin Hariprasad, a nutritionist and Operations Manager of Patient Food Services at Parkland Hospital, explains the difference a healthy breakfast and a balanced diet throughout the day can make.

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Summer usually brings a peak in cases of hand, foot and mouth disease – a contagious, viral illness affecting mostly small children.

Dr. Barbara Durso is a pediatrician with Parkland Hospital System. In this edition of Vital Signs, she tells KERA’s Sam Baker most cases of hand, foot and mouth aren’t serious, but they can cause discomfort.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

An annual national report on children's well-being doesn’t have a lot of good news for Texas. The Kids Count study, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows that Texas still ranks in the bottom 10 states.

To be precise, Texas is No. 43.

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In this edition of Vital Signs, treating depression in children and adolescents. A study at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas indicates cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication can improve the long-term success of treatment. Dr. Betsy Kennard, who's with both institutions, is lead author of the study. 

My BuddyTag

Keeping track of your kids at a theme park or fair can be a challenge. That’s why Plano parent and engineer Willy Wu created a device called BuddyTag. There’s no GPS involved -- just a phone and a wristband.

Frisco School Superintendent Jeremy Lyon believes healthy children make better grades.  His philosophy is one reason the American Heart Association recently made Lyon the first superintendent appointed to an affiliate board. Here's more on how Lyon plans to put his passion into practice.

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