Big Kid Kids Health

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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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    Trips to the emergency room are nightmarish, to say the least. Between the stresses of a sick or injured child and the overwhelming environment of a constantly bustling ER, parents have enough to worry about when they arrive. But it turns out that parents have a whole slew of other things to keep in mind during these trips. A recent study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, found that ER doctors continue to prescribe codeine to children, despite the potentially harmful effects.

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    When it comes to being a mom of a child with autism, one big frustration is dealing with other people. You know who I mean -- people who just. Don't. Get it. Some mean well but are simply ignorant, while others are clearly suffering from Compassion Deficit Disorder. Either way, it's still appalling what comes out of their mouths sometimes. We wish everyone would just think before sharing their two cents. Here's a few of the worst things moms of kids with autism have ever heard.

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    April marks National Autism Awareness Month, and starting today, we're shedding light on the 1 in 88 American children who are on the spectrum.

    And while not everyone is directly affected by it, no one is alone in the journey. Autism is a concern for all of us.

    If your child has just been diagnosed with autism and you're not sure where to start, we have the sources for you. And whether you're looking for medical information, camaraderie, expert advice, autism-specific toys, best vacation plans for traveling with a child with autism, or just a shoulder to cry on, we have that resource as well. From national organizations to parent-written blogs to scholarship opportunities and even resources for siblings, we've put together a list of the 50 best autism resources on the Internet:

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    Euthanasia is a hotly contested topic, as it should be. The decision to assist a person in dying because he or she is suffering greatly from an illness is not a matter that should be taken lightly. But now we've thrown an additional question into the mix: should seriously ill children be allowed to have a say in whether they live or die? There's no way, as a parent, you won't feel something just thinking about that possibility.

    This week, Belgium became the first country to remove age restrictions on euthanasia, which has caused folks from both sides of the debate to come out and speak their minds. Those in favor of it argue that children who experience incomprehensible pain deserve the same respect adults receive to choose whether they want to put an end to their suffering. But plenty of people oppose the practice and feel it's immoral or inhumane to help a child end his life.

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    A father from New York is suing the city and state because he has been denied religious exemption to a law that requires his child be vaccinated for 11 communicable diseases in order to attend school. The dad, who is Catholic, took action after his 4-year-old son was removed from his public school pre-k class just before the Christmas break. In the parents' affidavit, which they filed this week, they stated: “Immunization demonstrates a great lack of faith in the gift of health and the promise of protection that we are given at birth and through baptism we put our child in the hands of the Lord ... God wants us to put our faith for disease prevention in him exclusively.”

    But, in the eyes of a judge, their beliefs aren't "genuine" or "sincere" enough to justify getting around the vaccination law -- which applies to all public, private, AND Catholic schools in New York City. 

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    Doctors in Finland are prescribing video games as an alternative to drugs like Ritalin for patients -- including countless children -- who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The concept, backed by research, involves doctors first analyzing a person's brain, discovering with parts are too active or not active enough, and then creating games for them that stimulate that part of the brain. The idea is if you spend time each day training the brain to think the right way, you can get the brain to think that way more often. 

    It's an out-of-the-box idea that seems too simple to be true -- but comes at a time when we desperately need it. 

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    Imagine a mom's anxiety when she sends her teen son or daughter with autism off into a world that she knows isn't prepared to accommodate his or her needs. It happens all the time. But for one family, at least, one of the most stressful experiences that anyone has to deal with -- flying -- has been made a bit easier, thanks to the unlikely efforts of one of the busiest airports in the world. 

    For the past five years, staff at London's Heathrow Airport have helped 21-year-old Aaran Stewart, who has severe autism and obsessive compulsive disorder, deal with the extremely uncomfortable reality -- particularly for a person with autism who doesn't cope well with changes -- of having to fly four times a year to attend a school in Boston. 

    Heathrow has gone out of its way to be a role model for other corporations. But efforts like its should become the norm, and not the exception

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    Time for the kids to put their backpacks on and get on the bus to head back to school! It's a time of very mixed emotions for, well, everyone! You want to be thrilled that they're off to start a new chapter, but at the same time, back to school means back to a higher risk for a bunch of icky, unnerving situations kids may suffer through/pick up when they're back in the classroom.

    Here, 8 most traumatic things moms worry about when school starts ...

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