children

  1. New push to drug children

    Statins for kids? The very idea is insane, yet millions of children are already taking these "adult" meds -- and a new set of guidelines aims to give these drugs to millions more, including kids still in elementary school.

    The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says every child between the ages of 9 and 11 should be screened for cholesterol, even if they're in perfect health and have no family history of high cholesterol or heart problems.

    Forget that there's no evidence high cholesterol is even harmful to a child. And don't even think about the fact that supposedly high LDL levels in kids usually normalize on their own over time.

    Nope, none of that matters any more. All that matters now are the numbers on the blood test. And if your kid's number comes up, he needs to be "treated."

    That's code for those cholesterol meds, especially the statins that make up some of the best-selling drugs in the world despite side effects such as debilitating muscle pain, kidney and liver damage, cataracts and even a higher risk of diabetes.

    If there's one group of doctors out there who should be standing in the way of this, it's the doctors who supposedly know children best -- like the members of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    But that organization actually helped to create the new guidelines -- and, in fact, last year called for giving statins to kids as young as 8 years old. (Read about that here.)

    This failure to protect our children from over-medication is not a surprising one. Just last month, this very same group called for giving ADHD meds to children barely out of diapers. (Read the full story here.)

    You might say they can't keep their hands away from their prescription pads -- because even without these new guidelines, they've been busily passing out adult meds to children for years now.

    In 2009 alone, pediatricians wrote nearly 3 million prescriptions for cholesterol meds for kids, including 2.3 million statin prescriptions. So many kids are on these meds that Pfizer even created a chewable Lipitor just for children -- and it's already been approved in Europe.

    Thanks to the new guidelines, you can bet we'll be seeing it here at some point, too.

    Statins aren't the only adult drugs aimed at kids. Millions of children are already hooked on painkillers, antidepressants, BP meds, diabetes drugs and more.

    But all of these conditions, up to and including high cholesterol, can be treated and defeated without a single med.

    Now, you just have to find a doctor who still knows how to do it.

  2. Docs: No more TV for tots

    The American Academy of Pediatrics got it all wrong on ADHD with its outrageous new screening guidelines -- but the organization did manage to hit one nail right on the head.

    And that's with the new advice on television and little kids: Keep it off.

    The group now says the only safe amount of television for a kid under the age of 2 is no television at all -- and that includes "educational" programs and any DVDs that claim they can turn your child into the next Einstein, Mozart or da Vinci.

    See? We can agree on something -- although TV is a pretty easy target. After all, there are no studies that find television is good for children, especially young children.

    Instead, multiple studies have found that little kids who watch TV -- any TV, even the supposedly age-appropriate shows and videos -- have a higher risk of developmental problems.

    Other problems may not crop up right away -- but you can bet the remote control they're there: Children raised in front of a glowing screen have a higher risk of obesity, problems with social skills and even trouble doing their schoolwork... not to mention no time for homework.

    After all, who has time for homework when SpongeBob is on?

    And SpongeBob, by the way, is the last TV "friend" you want your kids spending time with -- and not just the under-2 set. A recent study found that 4-year-old children who watch this show have immediate problems with attention spans, focus and memory.

    It doesn't get any better after that -- a study I told you about last spring found that kids as young as 6 who watch the most TV already show the earliest warning signs of heart disease.

    These problems follow kids right through childhood -- and you don't need a crystal ball to see where it'll lead them in adulthood. One study this summer found that every two hours of daily TV viewing boosts the odds of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent, heart disease by 15 percent and death from any cause by 13 percent in adults.

    Good advice tends to be good advice, no matter how old -- or how young -- you are. So whether you have little ones at home or not, do yourself a favor and keep the TV off as much as possible.

  3. Risky business: Sleepless kids are bad news

    Kids who miss out on sleep aren't just groggy in school -- they're also far more likely to do all the things that give parents nightmares.
  4. ADHD meds reach new highs

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder isn't a diagnosis designed to help identify and treat children -- it's a condition tailor-made to sell meds.
  5. Plastics chemicals linked to developmental problems

    It's easy to protect your children from what you can see -- but it's a much bigger challenge to keep them safe from what you can't.
  6. The hidden risks of fatherhood

    You make a lot of sacrifices when you become a parent -- but this is one I'm sure most men never see coming... It's the loss of their manhood. I'm talking about real research that reveals a sharp dip in testosterone levels from the moment they hear the words, "It's a boy!"
  7. Playgrounds are too safe

    I'm sure many parents would bubble wrap their little ones before sending them out if they could, and some practically do these days. But they don't really need that protection -- because playgrounds have gotten so safe and dull that kids no longer have a chance to engage in the types of mildly risky play that's such an important part of development.
  8. Kids who sleep less, get fatter

    A new study shows what happens when kids stay up too late, too often: They get fat, and some even show the early signs of disease such as diabetes.
  9. TV is bad for babies

    Researchers say those who spend even a little time in front if it develop more slowly than those who don't watch any.
  10. Killer cures for kids?

    Using a combination of scare tactics and selective science, the researchers isolated 39 reports of kids who suffered side effects blamed on complementary treatments that took place between 2001 and 2003.
  11. Overtreating ear infections

    Kids are regularly given any med with a "-cilin" in the name for some of their most common ailments, whether the drugs are necessary or not -- and a new study confirms that the meds are a complete waste for most ear infections.
  12. Millions of kids hit with ADHD diagnosis

    A new survey finds an alarming number of children now have the condition--with 10 percent of all kids between the ages of 4 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD in 2007.
  13. FDA considers dangerous meds for kids

    The FDA is considering a move to allow Big Pharma to market powerful anti-psychotics for use in children.
  14. Keep kids off meds

    More kids are taking more drugs, including powerful meds to control conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  15. Are you the cure for ADHD?

    It's sad to see what happens to the children in our lives when they are forced to take mood-altering drugs.
  16. The cocaine of the playground

    It's bad enough when Big Pharma tries pushing dangerous and unnecessary drugs on adults. It's far, far worse when they do it to our children.
  17. Steroid inhalers not a breath of fresh air for asthmatic kids

    A recent study from the University of Leicester in England reexamined the protocol at many hospitals, where children who are admitted with sudden wheezing attacks often are given steroid inhalers.

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