Children’s Health tagged posts

How early can you — and should you — diagnose autism?


Autism is common. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 59 children has been diagnosed with autism. That’s a marked rise from 2000, when only 1 in 150 children had been diagnosed with autism.

There is a lot we don’t know about autism, such as exactly what causes it or why it is becoming more common. But one thing we do know is that the earlier we start treating it, the better. Communication and social skills are built very early. We have our best chance of improving things if we work within that natural window. That’s why there has been a steady push toward making the diagnosis as early as possible.

It is not easy for parents to hear that their child has, or might have, autism...

Read More

Rising temperatures? How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths

Bottleless Water Coolers

In Boston, we believe warmer is better. Our cravings for warmth are formed in the cold, dark winter nights when the prospect of summer seems impossibly remote. But with temperatures reaching 100°F in July, our winter dreams are becoming a nightmare. And it’s not just Boston. More than half of all Americans endured unsafe heat conditions during July, which was the hottest July ever recorded in US history, according to the Washington Post. Europe fared no better; sweltering temperatures broke records in more than a dozen countries in June (this was the hottest June ever in Europe) and July. Not surprisingly, heat-related illnesses and deaths of people at greater risk from high temperatures rose, too.

What is heat-related illness?

Our ability to cool off has limits...

Read More

Why do parents worry about vaccines?


We are in the midst of a measles epidemic. As of July 25th, more than 1,100 cases have been reported in 30 states since the beginning of the year. That’s the highest number since 1992 — and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. Given that measles is extremely contagious — the virus can linger in rooms even after a sick person has left — and can lead to serious complications, this is really alarming.

There is a simple way to help: get more people immunized.

How many children receive vaccines?

Most children in the US are immunized. Only a little more than 1% of children have no immunizations...

Read More

Infant car seats are for cars only (how not to use an infant car seat)


Infant car seats are crucial for keeping infants safe when transporting them in cars or other vehicles. That’s what they are meant for — and that’s all that they should be used for, or the consequences can be lethal.

When you have one of those infant car seats that detaches from a base and can be carried, it’s very tempting to leave Baby in it after transporting him. If he’s asleep, you can bring him to wherever you are going and let him sleep — nobody wants to wake a sleeping baby — while you do chores or visit or whatever you were going to do. If you are leaving him with a babysitter, the car seat seems like a convenient place for him to sleep. And when you are home, the car seat can seem like a great place to put Baby when you need your hands free.

Except that none of t...

Read More

5 ways we can help our children succeed

In the wake of the recent college admissions scandal, in which rich parents paid thousands or even millions of dollars to bribe coaches or have someone else take standardized tests for their children so that they could get into elite colleges, there has been a lot of discussion about admission to elite colleges — and about what it takes to succeed.

All parents want their children to succeed in life. Going to an elite college can help, mostly in terms of networking and resume-building, but is that the ticket to success? Probably not.

True success and happiness in life comes from being able to create, persevere, roll with life’s punches, and work with others. The good news is that parents and caregivers can teach children these skills from infancy onward — for free...

Read More