Big Kid Kids Health

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    There are some oddball milestones in parenting, aren't there? A recent one for me was taking my son to see Godzilla. The noise, the monsters, the immersive nature of watching it in IMAX 3D ... there was a time I would've predicted that sort of movie outing would have been about as successful as trying to force-feed him a bag of live spiders.

    It seems so obvious in retrospect: he wouldn't have enjoyed a loud dramatic movie because he was too young. But at the time, I thought of him as quirky. I mentally referred to his sensory issues. It occurs to me -- now that he's older, now that I'm not so caught up in how he compares to other kids his age -- that our easy access to an infinite amount of anecdotal medical information has ruined our collective ability to let our kids develop at their own pace.

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    One Pennsylvania mom is taking on the school board after her 10-year-old daughter was drug tested for the third time in a single school year. The fifth grader is an honors student at her middle school, where any child who joins an after-school activity is randomly drug tested throughout the year.

    But with the latest test, mom decided to take some action. Some board members even agreed that their policies need to be reviewed, so the district will be going over their testing rules.

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    The first, and most important, meal of the day is meant to keep us energized and going and ready to start the day. For the kids, it gets them prepped to take on school. But when it comes to what breakfasts feed our children, researchers have found that one bowl of cereal every day is the same as eating 10 pounds of sugar every year.

    In their annual evaluation of the most sugary cereals, the Environmental Working Group found that the worst cereals contained up to 15 grams of sugar per serving. And that one serving of crunchy and sweet cereal equaled 50 percent of a child's recommended intake of sugar.

    Here are the most sugary cereals by grams of sugar per serving, from pretty bad to the absolute worst. Read at your own risk!

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    No matter how old kids are, moms want to ensure their little ones are happy and healthy. From time to time, an ugly cold or nasty scrape is bound to rear its ugly head. That's why it pays for all moms to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

    Here, the 12 items every parent should have at the ready ... 

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    Juice cleanses have been all the rage for the past several years, as women and men are starting to puree their fruits and vegetables into drinkable concoctions. But a new, and very disturbing, trend has surfaced lately: juice cleanses for kids. And they're bad. Like, really, really bad.

    Turns out, grade school-aged kids are now flocking to the spinach, kale, and beet mixtures. A California-based company has even been selling a Children's Cleanse of liquid extracts that's are meant for kids from 2 to 12. That means that your toddler, and even your growing preteen, can now rid their body of toxins and -- bonus! -- probably shed a few pounds.

    Is this crazy or what?

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    Bullying happens to about half of all children at some point in their lives. And at least 10 percent of kids experience it on a regular basis. It happens on playgrounds, in the hallways, and on countless social media sites daily.

    Sure parents worry, but often we think our kids will get over it once that day, or week, or school year passes. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Bullying extends far beyond adolescence and can have lasting effects on your child's future relationships, health, and well-being. "Bullying is something that can change someone's life trajectory for years and years to come," says William Copeland, MD, an Associate Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine.

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    How many times have you thought: "I'll just plop the kid down on the couch, let him watch TV, and I'll finally have a moment to breathe"? It's easy, after all. They're entertained and you get to enjoy some peaceful moments. Sorry, Mom, but you might have to find a new way to get some me time.

    Even though we're constantly surrounded by TVs, computers, the Internet, video games, and our phones and tablets, their negative effects far outweigh the good.

    From developmental delays to health and mental illnesses, too much time spent in front of screens has been found to cause lifelong harm to children. Especially when they consume far more than the recommended two hours daily.

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    Whether they're minor or severe, food allergies and aversions can be threatening to a child's safety or health. Any child with serious allergies, and their parents, know how important it is to keep them protected from anything that can trigger an allergic reaction. If that means changing the whole family's diet or shopping for exclusively allergen-free products, families will often make changes in their habits to make sure that kids are kept healthy and are able to avoid irritants.

    However, plenty of people are ignorant and insensitive to those who suffer incredibly serious, even life-threatening, allergies to certain foods. And unfortunately, when people lack understanding, they tend to make not-so-nice comments to parents of kids with food allergies. We can all do better to understand what these families deal with on a daily basis. Here is a list of 10 things you should never say to a mom of a child with allergies:

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) 

    More than 30,000 people showed up at the White House yesterday for the 2014 "Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape" Easter Egg Roll, but 7 kid reporters (including my daughter) were lucky enough to have a more intimate meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama on the floor of the White House Library.

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)  

    Yesterday I was part of a group of 7 Kid Reporters who met with First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll (that's me in the light blue dress on the left). We met in the White House library to talk about the program she started four years ago called Let's Move and how kids can stay healthy. As a kid, there are a lot of reasons I like this program.

    Here they are:

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