A Look at What's New in Kids' Health

by Allison Bush Editor

Quit the baby talk

Researchers looking at the effects of adult speech on preterm infants have found that increased adult speech during the early weeks of life is associated with better cognitive scores later. When the babies were 18 months old, the researchers observed that for every increase of 100 adult words spoken per hour at 32 weeks, the infants displayed a 2-point increase in language composite scores and a 0.5-point increase in expressive communication scores.

Kids with peanut allergies may build immunity by exposing themselves to peanuts

Researchers conducting a study in children with peanut allergies found that the participants could build up a tolerance by consuming increasingly larger amounts of peanut protein on a regular basis through a tecnique called oral immunotherapy.

Note: Do not try this without medical supervision.

Probiotics may help infants with stomach issues

Just like in adults, probiotics may help infants with GI issues. A new study suggests that giving probiotics to children in their first 3 months of life may reduce their risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders. At 3 months, the researchers found that the children who received the probiotic supplement emptied their bowels more each day, compared with the placebo group - at 4.2 times versus 3.6 times.

Kids could be consuming too much caffeine

A new CDC study reveals that around 73% of children and adolescents consume caffeine on a daily basis. Even though the FDA has not set caffeine recommendations for children and adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against the inclusion of caffeine in a child's diet. Right now, it seems the main source of caffeine in kids' diets is through energy drinks and coffee.

Kids, step away from the TV

New research suggests that extensive media use, combined with low physical activity and lack of sleep, may increase the risk of mental illness for adolescents. The teens in the "high media-use" group showed similar levels of suicidal thoughts, anxiety, subthreshold depression (less than five symptoms of depression) as the teens in the predetermined "high risk" group.

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.