Tag: children’s health

New Study: Early Exposure to Mercury Blocks Effects of Exercise on the Brain

New Study: Early Exposure to Mercury Blocks Effects of Exercise on the Brain

According to new research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, cognitive function improves with aerobic exercise, but not for people exposed to high levels of mercury before birth. This is one of the first 

Could Children with Allergies Have An Increased Risk of Heart Disease?

Could Children with Allergies Have An Increased Risk of Heart Disease?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), 8.3 million American children have respiratory allergies, 9.5 American children have skin allergies and nearly 6 million children in the U.S. have food allergies. Though the organization reports that early identification of childhood allergies 

Could Vitamin D Help Reduce Ear Infections in Children?

Could Vitamin D Help Reduce Ear Infections in Children?

About 75 percent of children get ear infections and by one years old, 60 percent will have had at least one.[1] Ear infections occur when fluid is trapped in the middle of the ear. It is a common side effect of a cold, throat infection or even allergies. But a new study from the University of Milan could shed light on the benefit of vitamin D supplementation when it comes to your child’s ear infections.

The Study on Vitamin D and Ear Infections

Researchers from the University in Italy studied 116 children with recurrent otitis media, “three of more episodes in the 6 months prior to the study or four or more episodes in the 12 months prior to the study,” Medpage Today reports. With an average age of 34 months old, most of the children studied are Caucasian and over 80 percent (the placebo group and vitamin D group) had received a vaccine for pneumonia. Researchers reported that over 72 percent of the test group and 84 percent of the placebo group had been breastfeed for three months or more. The children were monitored for six months.


Results of the study showed a significantly lower amount of ear infections (acute otitis media) in the treatment group (given 1000 IU of vitamin C) than the placebo group. Also seen in the results was a reduction in the number of incidences of complicated acute otitis media.

Though Vitamin D is commonly thought of as  the “Sunshine Vitamin”, this vitamin actually plays numerous roles throughout your body. The National Institutes of Health reports that vitamin D is also a major factor in immune function and the reduction of inflammation.

“Dr. Susanna Esposito, one of the researchers, noted that as many as 80 percent of children in the study had baseline serum vitamin D levels that were <0 ng/mL. All but two of the children in the treatment group had improvements to levels >30 ng/mL from supplementation, the recommended level for vitamin D. Esposito suggested to doctors that “if you have a child with recurrent otitis media you can check serum levels of vitamin D and if they present below certain levels you can try supplementation,” reported EmpowHER.

*The study advises parents to be sure to consult their child’s doctor before starting them on a vitamin supplementation routine.

Interested in more information on Vitamin D? Click here for more!


[1] http://www.empowher.com/

[2] http://www.medpagetoday.com/

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The Importance of Vaccinating your Children

The Importance of Vaccinating your Children

The CDC has recently released guidelines on what parents need to know regarding vaccinating their kids. Nowadays, many school health programs include the major vaccinations to make sure every child is safe from preventable illnesses. However, when schools don’t provide them, the request to make 

New Study: Antipsychotic Medication Prescribed to Children Who Don’t Need It

New Study: Antipsychotic Medication Prescribed to Children Who Don’t Need It

A new study has found that kids suffering from ADHD or other behavioral issues are being treated too quickly and incorrectly with antipsychotic medication. The most extensive analysis of antipsychotic medication use among children and adolescents of its kind was performed by the Journal of 

Sun Exposure: How to Protect your Kids

Sun Exposure: How to Protect your Kids

Summer is just around the corner – that means more time outdoors, barbecues, the beach, and of course, a lot more exposure to the sun. The sun has some great health benefits, like boosting your Vitamin D levels, mood, and energy. But we all know that too much sun carries serious risks, specifically for your skin. Even one bad sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer. 

Skin cancer isn’t usually considered as a risk to children’s health. Most parents don’t consider this form of cancer a major risk for their children, but according to experts, melanoma accounts for about 3% of pediatric cancers and 6% of teenage cancers (ages 15-19). There is currently no database that records cases of skin cancer among children in the US, but a 2013 study published in the journal Pediatrics found the rate of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – rose 2% annually among children aged 0-19 between 1973 and 2009.

It’s true that a skin cancer diagnosis during childhood is rare – but sun exposure early on can certainly increase melanoma risk later in life. Last year, Medical News Today reported on a study that revealed multiple sunburns during adolescence can raise the risk of melanoma by a whopping 80%!

So, how can we reduce the risk of skin cancer for our kids? Here’s a breakdown of the specific precautions that should be taken for kids, by age:


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, infants ages 6 months and younger should be kept out of direct sunlight. Before babies reach 6 months, their melanin levels (the substance that gives pigment to the skin, hair and eyes and protects against the sun) are very low, making them extremely sensitive to UV radiation. The Skin Cancer Foundation advises that parents take their infant for walks in a stroller with a sun-protective cover before 10 am and after 4 pm, when UV radiation is lowest. Before 6 months of age, infants should be dressed in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs, as well as a hat to protect the sensitive skin on their face, neck and ears. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under 6 months old.

Protect your kids from the inside out with Children’s Vitamins!


It makes sense that protecting toddlers from the sun is more difficult than it is with infants – by age 2, your toddler is probably playing outside and ignoring your demands to wear a hat and protective clothing. The good news is that sunscreen can be used on children older than 6 months. The Skin Cancer Foundation advises a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a low SPF of 15 should be used on children after they reach 6 months of age. However, Dr. Perry Robins, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, cautioned that sunscreen is only one factor in an army of defense when it comes to sun protection. “Strategies such as seeking shade and dressing children in sun-protective clothing are just as important and can’t be abandoned in the second year, since sunscreen cannot keep all of the sun’s rays away from the skin,” Dr. Robins states. “Teaching these techniques early to children can leave them with sun safety habits that will help prevent skin cancer later in life.”

Elementary School

School rules can actually be a major roadblock to your child’s sun protection protocol. Experts recommend making sunscreen application a part of your child’s usual morning routine. Unfortunately, as noted by the Skin Cancer Foundation, many schools view sunscreen as a medicine and require either written permission to use it or ban children from applying it themselves. Many schools also prohibit hats and sunglasses during school hours, including recess when your child is most likely to be exposed to the sun. As a parent, talk to your child’s school about their sun protection policy, and if it does not allow major precautions to be taken, let other parents know and take action to change the school’s policy.


This is where things get even more difficult. Teenagers generally feel they need to look a certain way to fit in, and for many (especially girls) this means a “healthy” glowing tan. But what so many people don’t acknowledge – or don’t know – is that a tan is a major indication of skin damage. When the skin becomes tan, melanin production increases in an attempt to protect the skin from further damage. So even though your teenager thinks a tan looks great now, things can get ugly later in life. The risks are heightened even further by the use of tanning beds, which produce rays 10-15 times stronger than natural sun. A 2014 study estimated that about 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US may be related to indoor tanning, while a study reported by Medical News Today last year linked the use of tanning beds in teenagers to greater risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer in the US.

If your teen needs a little motivation to skip the tanning bed, show them Tawny Willoughby’s story. Tawny was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma at age 21, a result of excessive indoor tanning as a teenager. She recently posted some grisly photos of her skin after cancer treatment. “If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun, this is what skin cancer treatment can look like,” she quoted with her photos. “Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it.” Alternatives to tanning for teens include spray tans, tanning lotion, and fashionable cover-ups like sarongs and beach dresses. But sunscreen must be used along with all of these alternatives.

The bottom line: the best way to get your child to take precautions against sun exposure, no matter what age, is to lead by example – by taking the same precautions yourself. “You are your children’s role model,” notes the Skin Cancer Foundation. “Be sure to let them see you protecting yourself from the sun. If you have great skin, so will they.”

As a parent, how do you encourage your kids to take proper precautions when it comes to sun protection and sun exposure? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Medical News Today