Big Kid Kids Health

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    We want to believe any vaccine that is recommended by doctors and given to our kids is relatively safe. Sure, there are risks. We have to do our research, trust our instincts, think of our kids, and then decide what vaccines we want them to have and when to give them. No matter where you stand on the vax debate, all parents need to know about what one lead developer in the vaccine world is saying. It's apparently weighed so heavily on her mind that she couldn't keep it in any longer and went public so she can "sleep at night."

    Dr. Diane Harper says that Gardasil and Cervarix are not safe. These are the vaccines used to protect against human papilloma virus vaccines.

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    Phew! We're here, and we're still alive. It's hard to believe we made it this far though, what with the crazy way our parents raised us. There were no helicopter parents or Tiger Moms, no baby monitors or preschool admission tutors; they were just moms and dads doing what they thought best. 

    Looking back though, what they thought best was pretty dang scary in many cases. If we followed in their footsteps today, we'd have CPS on our doorstep in heartbeat ... or at least a judgy mom in our face. I recently polled some friends and family to find out what kinds of crazy things their parents let them/made them do when they were young, and they came up with some doozies. See if you recognize any that your own parents did, and add any new ones in the comments.

    What's the craziest thing your parents did when you were young that could get someone arrested today?


    Image via John Fisher/Flickr

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    In what could potentially be good news for some of the children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a doctor claims to have a cure -- more sleep. Dr. Vatsal Thakkar believes that more than a third of children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when what they're really suffering from is sleep deprivation.

    I'm sure there are plenty of parents who have been through countless doctors, medications, and other treatments with their children who will bristle at this assertion. However, he's not saying that ADHD isn't a real thing for some people, he just believe that "a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep disorders in disguise."  Interesting.

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    Max McNary was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive genetic mutation that causes muscle weakness throughout the body, and eventually results in pulmonary and cardiac failure. Most people with the disease do not live longer than their mid-20s. So when Max started taking an experimental drug that caused him to make remarkable improvements, it was like the miracle for which his mother, Jenn McNary, had been waiting.

    She says the drug, called Eteplirsen, has changed Max in ways she'd never imagined possible. She told Today: “It really is a miracle drug. This is something that nobody ever expected and he looks like an almost normal 11-year-old.”

    Incredible, although along with that amazing joy comes a huge dose of heartbreak, as McNary's other son, Austin, 14 -- who suffers from the same disease -- isn't eligible for the drug.

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    Based on my pediatrician's advice, I have made a point of getting my kids and myself a flu shot every single year.

    So you'd better believe I sat up and took notice when a Johns Hopkins scientist released a study recently that questions whether the flu shot is as safe and effective as we've been led to believe.

    Suddenly, I'm not feeling so good about those flu shots.

    The article was written by Peter Doshi, PhD, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and published in the British Medical Journal. In it, Doshi had some pretty strong words for the CDC.

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    I understand wanting to give your kids everything, but there's got to be a limit -- especially when the law provides a pretty specific age limit. That didn't deter Mohammed Nisham, however, who allowed his son to drive his Ferrari for his ninth birthday.

    It wasn't just around some empty parking lot or quiet block, but rather on a city street. He wasn't on dad's lap; he was in full control of the Ferrari, and dad wasn't even riding shotgun. The boy's 7-year-old brother was in the passenger seat. Unbelievable, right? Well, fortunately, the boy's mom filmed the whole thing, so you can see for yourself.

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    I grew up eating bologna sandwiches but now that my thinking about food has evolved -- thank you Fast Food Nation, Morgan Spurlock and Michael Pollan -- I can't even look at a hot dog or a chicken finger. Still, both are often in my shopping cart because they are among the few items my 6-year-old daughters will consistently eat.

    Same with sugar. I have read countless articles about how sugar, not fat, is the root of all nutritional evil and my kids eat ice cream or some kind of dessert every night.

    They are skinny kids. This is not about weight (for now). But I find myself having a crisis of conscience about the fact that I have different standards for my food than I do for theirs.

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    It's beyond heartbreaking to think of what some special education children in the Chicago area may have endured before anyone knew. A teacher from Finkl Elementary School there has been suspended after reports of abuse from students, including one from a 7-year-old boy with autism who is unable to speak that came in the form of some drawings.

    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, dad Luis Murillo said his son kept coming home this year with bruises on his body. Once the knee of his pants were ripped, "as if he had been pulled across the ground." When Luis checked in with the school, he was told it was from the children fighting with one another.

    His son's pictures, however, told a different story.

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    Sonny Wilson decided to do something stupid one day recently. The 12-year-old hopped onto the back of a truck and "surfed" it as it drove through crowded streets at 30 miles per hour.

    He was quite a sight too, laughing and giving a thumbs up when hopping off. Other drivers even took a video of him, and posted him it online, where it went viral. I'm sure he got plenty of high fives from friends for his daring ways, and felt pretty smug about it ... for awhile.

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    New Jersey may be famous for Snooki, Tanning Mom, and generally being the butt of a million jokes, but according to a new report, it's the number ONE best state to raise a kid in. Released by the Foundation for Child Development, the annual Child Well Being Index (CWI) is a state-by-state comparison of quality of life for kids. Fist pump?

    The report weighs 28 indicators in seven categories, from family economic well-being and health to emotional/spiritual well-being. Curious to know where your state stacks up?

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