May 13, 2011 |
Hydroxyurea, the cancer drug long used for treating sickle cell disease in adults and adolescents, is just as effective and safe for treating the disease in infants under the age of 19 months, according to a major new study to be published Saturday. The new findings suggest that physicians should begin using the drug in infants as soon as they begin showing signs of the disease. "There are now strong reasons for healthcare professionals to consider starting children who have sickle cell disease as early as possible with hydroxyurea," said Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which sponsored the six-year study.
May 12, 2011 |
First memories—a trip to the hospital, an ice cream cone at the beach—change as children get older, a new study finds, and don’t crystallize until about age 10. But the study raises new questions about why the first few years of life, aside from traumatic events, are so forgettable. BrainConnection from PositScience offers this perspective on what’s known as infantile amnesia: “Studies suggest that we're not simply forgetting what happened during our earliest years; far fewer autobiographical memories exist from early childhood than simple forgetting predicts.
May 9, 2011 |
We should get more vitamin D; no, we already get enough. A debate rages over how much vitamin D adults, children and pregnant women should consume for health benefits and disease prevention. Now research suggests that infants who are born with low levels of vitamin D may be at higher risk for lung infections caused by a common virus. In the new study published online Monday in Pediatrics , researchers in the Netherlands assessed vitamin D levels in 156 babies at birth by measuring concentrations in their cord blood.
May 6, 2011 |
The current formula of liquid acetaminophen marketed specifically for infants will soon disappear from shelves -- instead, the medication will be sold in the same concentration as for children, over-the-counter drug makers announced Wednesday. The switch to a standard strength of the pain-relief medication will take place mid-2011, said the Consumer Healthcare Products Assn., which represents almost all brand-name and generic over-the-counter drug makers in the U.S. Acetaminophen for infants currently comes in two strengths: 80 mg/0.8mL and 80 mg/1 mL. Now only one strength will be offered: 160 mg/5 mL, the same strength currently sold for children ages 2 to 12. Children’s packages will continue to have dosing cups, but the infant products will now have syringes with restrictors to limit the flow.
May 2, 2011 |
Breastfeeding is universally recommended as the superior method for feeding infants because it's linked to long-term prevention of various illnesses including asthma, diabetes and obesity. A study released Monday puts more emphasis on breastfeeding by showing it may have a lasting impact on metabolism. French researchers analyzed three years of data following 234 children and how they were fed after birth. One group of children received only breast milk for the first four months of life.
April 25, 2011 |
A meningitis vaccine already in use has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children as young as 9 months old. The two-dose vaccine, Menactra, which produces antibodies against a strain of meningococcus bacteria, was approved in 2005 for 11- to 55-year-olds and in 2007 for 2-year-olds. Though meningitis cases are relatively rare - about 1,000 to 2,600 cases per year - the disease can be deadly. The FDA announcement states: “Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening illness caused by bacteria that infect the bloodstream (sepsis)
April 12, 2011 |
Police in northwestern China investigating nitrate-tainted milk that killed three infants and sickened 36 others announced Monday that the chemical was intentionally added, according to New China News Agency. Nitrate is used for making dyes and curing meat but is not found in dairy products. It is not clear why nitrate was added to the milk. Police have arrested two suspects and two farms have been shut down. Most of those who fell ill were younger than 14 and the deaths involved infants younger than 2. China's dairy industry is still reeling from a milk scandal in 2008 in which melamine-tainted milk killed six infants and sickened 300,000 people.
April 6, 2011 |
The flat-head look that more young children have been sporting has long been attributed to recommendations that babies be put to sleep on their backs. But researchers thought that a spike in such cases in Texas infants warranted a closer look. And they found that the cause was more complex. Researchers from the Texas Department of State Health Services looked in the Texas Birth Defects Registry to identify cases of plagiocephaly, a fancy word for a deformed skull. They found that between 1999 and 2007, the number of cases skyrocketed from 3 cases per 10,000 births to 29 per 10,000 births, an increase of 21% per year on average, the researchers reported online Monday in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The largest increase was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
March 31, 2011 |
There was no green bunting signifying strident support for Moammar Kadafi. Absent were the men shooting their Kalashnikovs into the air in honor of the martyr. Or young men driven in on pick-up trucks to hold up portraits of Kadafi in front of television cameras. There was instead a small group of women, some huddled in a ground floor sitting area, consoling each other as a cool gray drizzle fell on this mountaintop village. And there was a single, small plot of dirt in the local cemetery housing the remains of Sirajeddine Suessi, an 18-month-old infant killed early Tuesday morning by a stray Libyan rocket.