Mental health and sexual orientation: What the evidence says

Gay-MarriageBeing different than other people — whether it means your race, gender, or sexual orientation — is often a source of stress in our society today. People of minority sexual orientations often feel that stress most acutely, according to the evidence. [Read more…]

Kids and ear infections: What’s the best strategy?

sick kidIf you’ve ever parented a child who gets frequent ear infections, you know that this is the time of year to brace yourself. It starts with a runny nose. And before you know it, there’s a fever and ear pain. [Read more…]

The birds and bees: Talking to your kids about safe sex

teenagers2There are conversations that many parents approach with apprehension. Ranking high on that list are talks about sex. But given our modern culture, conversations between parents and children about sex are increasingly important.

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Can we help children to avoid sexual abuse?

child-abuseI received a shocking e-mail from my public school superintendent a few weeks ago. A substitute teacher who has worked at my son’s elementary school was arrested for possessing child pornography.

After my initial surprise at the e-mail, I gave some serious thought to how I should broach the issue with my son, or whether to mention anything at all.  At seven years old, I’ve never talked to him about the possibility of sexual abuse. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know what it is.  I wasn’t sure if a conversation would be helpful, or would make him feel anxious or uncomfortable. [Read more…]

A tough pill to swallow? The evidence on taking medicine

Antidepressant pillsThere are all sorts of medicines on the market today that help us to feel our best, prevent illness and treat disease. The vast majority of them come in pill form. But some people struggle — for a variety of reasons —to swallow pills. [Read more…]

What we know about kids and car seats

car seatCar seat technology has certainly come a long way in the past three decades. I have clear memories sitting in the front seat of my mom’s car (and playing with the radio buttons!) at age five — a practice that is now against the law in most states. [Read more…]

How to test for concussion in athletes

footballAlong with the start of school comes a busy season for youth recreational sports. Soccer leagues, small fry football and lacrosse are all popular fall sports. This year, my 7-year-old opted to play flag football through our local recreation department. [Read more…]

Parents can eliminate summer learning loss

kids_runningKids across the country are off school and enjoying summer vacation.  This typically means more time spent at the park, swimming pool or beach, as it should!  It often means more time in front of the TV too.  And that almost always results in less time engaged in educational pursuits like reading, math and problem solving. [Read more…]

Poor health among kids harms education

Nela & Boris at Lighthouse Point complex - Collingwood, Ontario (August 2nd, 2008)Social scientists have clearly documented the link between education and poor health: Essentially, people with lower levels of education are more likely to suffer from illness and injury, and ultimately an earlier death. (More on that next week.) [Read more…]

New evidence on bullying

teenagersThe problem of bullying has received increased public attention in the U.S. and across the world over the past decade.  In response to being bullied by their peers,  adolescents have often  taken drastic measures – including committing suicide. [Read more…]

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