Big Kid Kids Health

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    By now you've probably heard about enterovirus D68, or E-D68 -- a highly contagious virus that's spreading rapidly across the US. So far, hundreds of kids in 12 states have been hospitalized as they struggle to recover. Adding to the panic is that symptoms for E-D68 are remarkably similar to those for the common cold or allergies.

    This may have you wondering: how the heck can you distinguish whether your child has come down with a garden-variety bug or become the next victim of this serious illness?

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    Here's one mystery you don't think you'll have to solve as a parent: the case of the missing teeth. Kids get their baby teeth, they fall out, and they're replaced by permanent ones. Your biggest fear is getting the bill for your kid's braces ... not searching for permanent teeth that are MIA.

    But sometimes, that's exactly what happens. According to Dr. Anne Hertzberg, DMD, a pediatric dentist with Chestnut Dental Associates in Massachusetts, missing permanent teeth in children are not as rare as you may think.

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    When you least expect it, instead of rolling out of bed and getting ready for school, your little kid will start with the sniffles and then you'll know immediately: today is a sick day. So instead of scurrying and figuring out how you'll adjust the plans for the day, have your own ready-made strategy. You need a sick day survival kit.

    It takes a little bit of comforting, some distraction, and a lot of entertainment to get the kids through the dreaded day, but it's possible.

    Here is what you need to stock up and build your very own sick day survival kit:

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    There are moments in life that strike like a stray bolt of lightning -- recklessly, dangerously, and leave your nerves singed, your heart shattered. When the smoke clears, you feel like curling up in the fetal position to grieve, to heal, to compose yourself ... but you choose to absorb the life-altering zap. As a mom, you instinctively know your child is counting on you to meet her gaze with hopeful eyes. Carrie Sorkin recently delivered in one of those moments ... when her beloved 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

    According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

    Each year, more than 15,000 kids are diagnosed and that figure is on the rise. Three million people are living with the disease ... and there is no cure.

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    Childhood obesity is a hot button topic for moms, but helping your kids shape up and slim down is much easier said than done. Many moms out there are wondering what they can do to help their kids shed some pounds without messing with their heads.

    The Stir asked weight loss experts to dish out some kid-friendly advice (some of which they say worked wonders on their own children). Here are some top dos and don'ts to set your family on a healthier path.

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    Here's a scary statistic: nearly one third of kids age 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. Most moms would certainly like to help their kids fight childhood obesity for the sake of their health, but getting kids to cooperate can turn into a battle over every candy bar. Not up for a fight with your overweight child? Joanna Strober can help.

    Two years ago, the mom from Palo Alto, California, was told that her 11-year-old son Jared needed to lose weight. Today he's a healthy teenager, and the mom behind the Kurbo Health program to help parents help kids to lose weight told The Stir how she helped her son pare his weight down without instigating a ton of family dinnertime fights.

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    Today, one in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism, and Betty Crea Davidson, a lawyer living in Westchester, New York, was devastated when her 2-year-old son became one of them in 2004. While there is no cure for autism, she became determined to find the best treatment possible for her son. Three hard years later, Davidson had achieved an astounding feat: Atticus had improved so much, doctors say he no longer has the condition. While Davidson is the first to say that what worked for her won't work for everyone, she wants to share what she's learned in the hopes that some parents can follow in her footsteps. Here is her story:

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    I grew up chomping on Flintstones vitamins. Now my daughter does the same (only hers are gummies, and far yummier). Still, when I asked at her last checkup, "Does my child need a multivitamin?" I didn't get a straight answer -- and a ton of recent media coverage claims that vitamins aren't necessary and can actually do harm, and that many kids get too many vitamins and minerals, which is potentially harmful since certain nutrients are unhealthy taken in high amounts. So what's the deal: Do kids need a multivitamin, or are they a waste of money ... or even potentially harmful when combined with all the fortified cereals, milk, juices, and other fortified foods available today?

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    Summer has moms on high alert for tick bites on kids, and for good reason: These nasty insects can cause all sorts of illnesses including Lyme disease. Only what's it like to actually come down with this much-dreaded ailment? To find out, we talked to Kathleen O’Rourke, 49, co-founder of Bay Area Lyme Foundation, whose 15-year-old son, Louis, came down with the disease four years earlier -- a discovery which led her to realize that she also had the condition herself. Here is their story:

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    Of all the bugs that accost us during summer, ticks strike fear in the heart of most moms. Every black dot on our kid's skin is cause for alarm. Every dot that turns out to be a freckle, a sigh of relief. Not only do these tiny bugs bury their heads under our skin, they carry a plethora of tick-borne illnesses including the very serious Lyme disease, which can drag on for years with symptoms ranging from joint pain to fatigue to neurological disorders, learning disabilities, even death.

    Here's what to do if you find a tick embedded in your child's skin.

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